Tuesday, November 30

remembering the Utah

Too often, we forget to remember the other guys.

It's easy to compare Pearl Harbor to 9/11 by using raw numbers:
  • 2,403 (mostly military) died at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941
  • of those .. 1,177 lost their lives on the USS Arizona. Another 58 died on the USS Utah.
  • 2,973 (mostly civilian) died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11
  • of those .. 2,749 lost their lives in the World Trade Center (including the victims on the jets, but not the hijackers). Another 184 died in the attack on the Pentagon.
The WTC disaster could have been much worse; about 50,000 people worked in the buildings. I found one website (afronets.org) which said basically "so what?" since 7,000 died of AIDS in Africa that day, and every day since then.

I caught the tail end of a History Channel piece about Pearl Harbor a day or so ago, and it mentioned the USS Utah Memorial, which I did not visit, nor recall even seeing. When I visited Pearl Harbor, I saw the submarine USS Bowfin and the USS Arizona, but not the USS Utah. Did I miss something?

I nosed around the National Park Service website seeking anything that said USS but this only led to 4 memorials: the Arizona; Cairo; Cassin Young; and the venerable Constitution.

It took some digging, but indeed there is info on the Utah (where 58 died on 7 December 1941) and why the Arizona is visited more often. I found a good 5-page PDF titled Lost Heritage: WWII Battlegrounds in the Pacific written ten years ago, for Cultural Resource Management by J. Steven Moore. It's worth a read, and helps us remember that the death toll from the initial strike (whether it be Pearl Harbor, or the World Trade Center) often pales in comparison to what comes in retaliation.

Saturday, November 27

Pearl Harbor remembered

It's hard to believe that there are some places where holidays don't apply. For instance, I started thinking about Hawaii (after hearing that Ira and June won a trip thataway) and my many trips there in the early 1990's. In case you didn't know (!) they don't get a "white Christmas", nor do the blokes on the beaches of Australia, for that matter.

The first time I was in Hawaii (about 1986), I didn't know how many chances I'd have to see it, so .. I made a trip to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. I'd heard the good advice about going early in the day, so I didn't have to wait several hours for the orchestrated tour. Unless they've changed it .. you first are herded into a small theatre where the history of the 7 December 1941 attack is shown in a brief film. Then, your group boards a skiff for the journey to the Memorial, which straddles the battleship (still leaking oil, some 50+ years later). It was a somber visit, accentuated by the wall of 1,177 names at the far end. As you crane your neck up to read the list, you get a feeling for how many sailors are still below you, entombed in that hulk. It was very quiet and respectful. Afterwards, I made my way to Punchbowl (the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific) which has an inspiring view of modern day Honolulu. The road to Punchbowl is curved and narrow, barely able to handle the large tour buses that ferry visitors there.

I returned to the USS Arizona Memorial in 1990, and was not happy that day. A large crowd of Japanese tourists were there, taking pictures and laughing as if this were a joyous retreat. It was not the somber scene that I recalled from a few years earlier. At the time, I thought the only thing more inappropriate than their laughter would have been if they'd brought red-and-white checked tablecloths to spread onto the memorial for a fried chicken lunch. I'm not the kind of guy to cause a scene, and had hoped the tour guides would've told them to stifle the laughter, but .. that didn't happen. I never returned to the Memorial.

Thursday, November 25

and the cow says? "Gobble Gobble?"

Another day, another Thanksgiving!

Seven of us gathered at my home for Thanksgiving dinner today, and a good time was had by all. Trish-Bob and her family made it all the way down from Upper Plano, while Matthew and Michael explored the nooks and crannies (not to be confused with bright red cranberry relish) of the GeBo Ranch. Kudos to Trish for (especially) her yams with special sauce!

Given all the activity (at the sub-3 foot level!) Pandora and Samantha stayed out of sight (while Beta the Wonder Dog bark-bark-barked from the backyard). HayJax did a marvelous job with turkey #1 .. meat so tender it nearly fell off the bone by itself. It was a good thing, too .. since the GeBo Ranch doesn't have proper carving equipment!

Jill-Bob made her world famous Four Way Delight, along with her first ever (!) pumpkin pie and was last seen squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing into her car for the trip back to the farm. 

I turned the remaining dishes loose on My New Friend, and I came back to check email and see that June (receptionist where I worked in Los Angeles) and Ira won a trip to Hawaii on their local radio station. Woo hoo! I've been to Hawaii at least 8 times, and tried to give them some pointers on what to see and what not to bother with ...

Please put down your carving knives .. I have updated the Sundry on Thursday blog. There's no need to get your cranberries in a bonnet.

Tuesday, November 23

rain, rain .. go away ..

My rain gauge claims 2.8 inches in the past day, of which 0.6 inches fell in the past hour. Could be worse; areas south of here really got dumped on. The local weather pundits say we're 14+ inches above normal for the year, and 2004 will be Dallas' 6th wettest year since they started keeping records .. assuming there's no more rain this year (highly unlikely).

me, i'm off to practice my duck calls.

Monday, November 22

it was 41 years ago today ...

November 22, 1963 was what .. 41 years ago?

People of the world: please send your extra guns to us here in America, where Everybody Knows™ that Guns Have Made Us Safer™ (unless you're one of those Liberal Democrats who believes in fairy tales like the FBI Statistics).

A Scottish company is releasing JFK Reloaded - a $10 videogame allowing you to participate in JFK's assassination here in Dallas (no relation to the documentary TV Series of the same name). Everybody Knows™ that JFK was a liberal senator from Massachusetts. `Nuff said?
Note: I've babbled about the JFK Assassination Anniversary before (see my November 2003 posting if you're into nostalgia).
JFK Reloaded may not go over well here, since those Liberal Democrats are already bent out of shape over live-shot.com which (for $20) lets you shoot a deer from the comfort of your high-rise office in New York City, without so much as having to rent camouflage clothing, or step in moose dung.

Lately, no one cares about the [January 1996] Texas law allowing concealed weapons; most of us are packing weapons and Everybody Knows™ it's made us A Safer America. The anti-gun crowd should read John R. Lott, Jr's inspirational text on the "issue" (as liberals would have us believe). Me, I don't understand why they don't allow us to take our guns onboard airplanes, or to an NBA game. What could go wrong?

In 2002, "Everybody Knows™ he's an anarchist" Michael Moore created the work of fiction called "Bowling for Columbine" where he fabricated a story about 2 nice boys in Colorado who playfully executed a few fellow "students". Everybody Knows™ those "students" would have died from drug overdoses or STDs anyway.

In September 2004, the assault rifle regulations were not renewed. Weeks later, the Dallas Police Department [DPD] are equipping themselves with assault rifles, because a trio of misunderstood bank robbers blasted a few DPD police cruisers with same. Hey, nobody got hurt; what's all the fuss about?

Finally, a few days ago some more New York Liberals criticized our brave soldier who shot an unarmed, wounded "Iraqi militant". That guy could've been thinking about harming one of our soldiers, so he had to be killed. After all, Iraq will never be truly free as long as there are any Iraqis left alive. Eventually, the world will come around to our inspired way of thinking.

Next thing, you'll be trying to tell me the Moon Landings actually happened in 1969. Yeah, right. What do you think I am, stoopid?

Everybody Knows is a trademark of Fox "News"; Rush Limbaugh Productions; [Ann Coulter's] Foul Mouth Enterprises; and the Christian Fascist Republican Party.

Saturday, November 20

green light? whatever could that mean?

my, my .. what a mind-numbing day. the dishwasher installer called Friday night to advise he'd arrive the next morning between 11 and 1.
"okay, good."
ten minutes later, he calls back and asks if he can move it to between 9 and 11. this morning, he arrives around 9:30 .. i am immediately suspicious because Everybody Knows™ no installer is ever on time. he says i'm his first appointment of 8, before he can go home for the day. he has a Russian accent (the vast majority of contractors have "far south Texas" accents). he says he usually doesn't work Saturdays, but it's busy with the gift-giving season. indeed, Nothing Quite Says "Romance" but a New Dishwasher.

he says he's a licensed plumber and works quick: most installations take 30 minutes, but .. mine will take longer because he must first install a separate water cutoff valve to the dishwasher, as mandated by Dallas City code. that'll cost extra, and take another 30 minutes. yeah, i could've told him to Stop Right There, allow me to get 3 independent bids, and maybe save a few dollars. but he's already removed my Old Friend (now sleeping quietly on the grass outside) so i authorized that work. my home is 40+ years old and I'm not immune to the fact that such upgrades are a way of life.

he also asks if i want the old dishwasher hauled away. i started to say
"no, i want to use it as a flower planter for the front yard"
but caught my tongue before those words met the air.
"yes, please."
okay, he says .. that'll be another $16. sheesh .. nickel and dime me to death, will ya? okay, whatever. that was the end of the extra charges, and in an hour or so, my Shiny New Friend was installed! now: it's time to move the accumulating dishes from the sink. we will see if New Friend is up to the task.

i didn't bother reading the manual (it's a dishwasher, for cryin' out loud .. not a plutonium centrifuge) so i added some rinse agent, added some detergent, closed the door, spotted the [Smart Wash] button and (smartly!) pressed the [Start] button. it gently hummed to life and began washing. hmm .. it's too quiet. something's wrong. where's the house-jarring vibration, like my Old Friend made?

alas, i suspect i will soon grow fond of my New Friend. i accidentally (!) read the (20 pages) English section of the tri-lingual manual, and discovered what the TurboZone™ is all about and how to use it, and a mistake (!) I'd been making for the past 20 years in using a dishwasher .. i.e. how to stack the glasses in the upper rack. hmmm .. i'm not sure i'm ready to learn new things today.

feeling the need to give my (as yet unnamed) New Friend some breathing room, i went outside and mowed the front yard grass, before another session of rain makes it way through the Metroplex. that task complete, i came inside and saw that New Friend was sporting a solid green light. uh oh .. something's wrong. i bent over, to see that the light said simply "CLEAN". hmm .. this may take more getting used to than i ever imagined.

with this much excitement, it's hard to believe there was one last agenda item for the day: watch The Amazing Race 6 (since I was at that faux teardowns workshop, I missed the regular Tuesday time slot). During tonight's 2-hour premiere, I opted for Ethnic Gourmet's Picadillo for dinner. After all, it's self contained, and doesn't require a plate; I don't want to stress out My New Friend. I truly hope she likes her new home.

Everybody Knows is a trademark of Fox "News"; Rush Limbaugh Productions; [Ann Coulter's] Foul Mouth Enterprises; and the Christian Fascist Republican Party.

Friday, November 19

tell me it isn't phô !!

tonight, I tried something new for dinner: Ethnic Gourmet's rendition of Thit Ga Kho Tieu (Vietnamese chicken and vegetables). It was yummy. I often choose Thai dishes based on how much they sound like the orginal Klingon, and I now will use the same technique for Vietnamese dishes.

trivia: a Vietnamese friend once told me how to pronounce "phô" (Vietnamese noodles): pretend you're in the middle of a bad word, and the Pope walks in the door. so,
phô => phuh (and Nguyen => when) !

my dishwasher installation will supposedly happen tomorrow morning. this is sooooo exciting. My World War II era dishwasher will fade into the sunset.

Nostradamus (the chap who opined several hundred thousand vague predictions) should take notes: H.L. Menchen was right when (in 1920) he wrote "eventually the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

Thursday, November 18

honk, sniff (repeat)

I've been under the weather the last 36 hours with a wannabe-cold. Somebody at my breakfast meeting said I probably got it at the hospital on Monday, when I participated in the terrorist drill. "Everybody knows that hospitals are full of germs," (said the Fox "News" devotee).

I've been gargling with Listerine (well, not really - Walgreens' Fresh Breath™ Antiseptic Mouth Rinse has the same ingredients and costs about 60% less) and trying to get some sleep, with Beta (the Wonder Dog) snuggling nearby. I've still got the sniffles and a dry, intermittent cough.

Other exciting drama:
1) SBC finally restarted my CallerID (they inexplicably removed it when they processed my request to make an unrelated change). The guy at SBC Repair said they wouldn't change me for adding this service -- well, isn't that special? I suppose it would have presumptuous of me to ask for a refund for the 13 days it was down;

2) Comcast finally diagnosed my cable problem (a wire on the pole was cut when they upgraded the cable 12 days ago). Like SBC, they didn't offer a refund for their mistake;

3) my replacement dishwasher arrived, but the installer has yet to be scheduled. this close to Thanksgiving, I don't know what the odds are of getting that done. in theory, i'm In The Queue.

Wednesday, November 17

tear this down!

It was a surprising overflow crowd (read: Standing Room Only) at last night's "Residential Teardowns" session (held as part of the "Forward Dallas!" attempt to forge a citywide comprehensive plan for Dallas). Most public meetings are poorly attended, unless Wal-Mart is involved. People love a target, even if it's just a developer and his latest McMansion, making our lives miserable. Heaven forbid we end up looking like Plano: blech!

I don't think anyone expected 200 people in a room which would seat 75 comfortably. As a result, some people left frustrated, but some struck me as the proverbial bullies trying to get their way, and when they couldn't, they left the playground. Then again, I could be wrong.

On the whole, I think Forward Dallas! is a good attempt to involve a community .. gathering together to solve common problems. Pity they didn't make the Radical Right wear some identifying mark, so we could know whose opinions to discount. Having to listen to people without labeling them is a lot of work.

well, fold my proteome!

the UD Agent (computational chemistry screen saver) is on a Human Proteome Folding Project this morning (before, it has only been seeking smallpox or cancer cures). I noticed because the graphics are significantly different! It is explained thus:
"This project is determining how proteins coded by the human gene sequences are most likely to fold. This knowledge will help scientists build the understanding needed to develop new treatments for diseases."
Uh, okay. Now, will that help explain why 51-48 is suddenly a mandate .. or is Human Proteome Folding just that much simpler?

There's more information available on world Community Grid.org in case you want to trying folding your own proteomes. This reminds me, I must go fold laundry.

Tuesday, November 16

disaster drill !

Yesterday, I participated in the "Functional Field Exercise" which was a test of emergency preparedness. This took place at both the Texas Motor Speedway (where they simulated a dirty bomb attack via small plane) and many area hospitals. I was assigned to Children's Medical Center where about 25 volunteers (mostly nursing students) gathered. Someone told me that about 2500 volunteers were involved, Metroplex-wide. Various "injuries" were assigned to each of us; I chose a broken arm and radiation exposure. Although Children's (about 275 beds) caters to those under 18, in the event of a disaster, it can be used like any other hospital with an ER [Emergency Room]. Lesson learned: not all hospitals have ERs.

In the exercise, we were transported by ambulance to the ER, then scanned (Geiger counters) for radiation before being "decontaminated" and then "treated" for our injuries. I use the "" marks because they didn't really take X-rays, decontaminate or otherwise treat us, but they did go through the motions. Yes, mistakes were made and hopefully a debriefing session will correct those flaws.

The exercise appeared to be done by Defenbaugh & Associates (yes, the Danny Defenbaugh of FBI fame). He retired as head of the Dallas FBI office in 2002.

Monday, November 15

fa la la la la

Tis the season, eh? Perhaps my favorite local charity is the North Texas Food Bank (affiliated with the splendid America's Second Harvest organization). They appear to make excellent use of the money received. They earn a Gene-Bob Thumbs Up.

A close second on my list is the SPCA of Texas (not affiliated with the ASPCA of New York City).

Sunday, November 14

coming soon: Swift Boat Attack, Part 3

This afternoon, I moseyed down to the Angelika to see Vera Drake [2004]. I would say that Imelda Staunton deserves an Academy Award for her leading role, but this is a foreign film (UK) and hence ineligible. Not to mention that it took me 42 minutes to get the hang of the British accents.

I watched [60 Minutes] tonight, and expect the Radical Right to begin vilifying Mike Scheuer as quickly as possible. Scheuer is the "Anonymous" author of Imperial Hubris: Why The West Is Losing The War On Terror which blasted the CIA's handling of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda cult. Scheuer apparently doesn't understand the political needs of the Bush regime to avoid taking responsibility for anything.

Saturday, November 13

BBQ: noun vs adjective

Tony (one of many ex-managers) is in town on business; we met Friday evening at Pappas Bar-B-Q (Northwest Highway, near 35-E). The real stuff is hard to come by in his part of the world - he lives in one of those Blue States, where Barbecue is an adjective or verb rather than the noun it is supposed to be.

let's go git some barbecue! (correct)
let's barbecue some weenies! (wrong)
let's git some barbecued tofu! (criminal)

Two things in particular set Pappas Bar-B-Q apart from the competition:
1) they have a drive-thru window (at least in Dallas, that's unique for barbecue);

2) they have a breakfast menu. That's right, breakfast barbecue.
Ah, life is gooood.

by-the-by: Tony and I calculated that the last time we met was 1998, so we agreed to meet again in 2010 (every 6 years). See ya soon, Tony!

Friday, November 12

Sorry Everybody

Just in case you ain't seen this website:
Sorry Everybody

Thursday, November 11

oxymoron: Comcast service

This afternoon, I heard the telltale beep-beep-beep sound that trucks make when they're in reverse, and thought "huh? - this is Thursday (not trash day) and it's Veteran's Day (explaining the lack of s-mail). I looked outside and saw a Comcast truck. Doh! This reminded me to call them and complain that my cable TV is still out (it's been down since Saturday).

This morning (after 5 days!), I deduced that the trouble is probably outside, since the TV in my bedroom no longer sees the cable, either. Yeah, I'm quick on my feet, huh?

A few days ago, I considered cancelling the Comcast service. But .. they do provide some things I don't get via satellite, namely (1) the local weather channel, and (2) that delicious thing called Channel 27 (aka "local access", where anyone with a heartbeat can "be on TV"). I love watching Singing Armadillo Stuffers, or Benny Hinn wannabees ... plus, the cable's useful when thunderstorms neuter the satellite signal. A monthly "basic cable" bill is a hassle, so I pay for 6 months at a time.

After seeing their service truck zooming down my alley, I dug out their customer service number (easier than navigating their website) and made the call. Cable TV outages must be the most common reason people call, since the options I needed to press were (sit down for this) 1, 1, 1, and 1. It's obviously tied into CallerID, since it never asked for my 16-digit account number. The prompts were:

1=English (versus Spanish);
1=service trouble;
1=cable TV (vs cable modem);
1=total interruption.

Eventually, I reached a recorded message saying something like
"We're upgrading the service in your area. This could result in service interruptions or a bad signal. This work is done Monday through Saturday from 7a-6p. Sorry for any inconvenience."
At the end of the call, they say "thanks for your patience," which made me all teary-eyed. They really do care about me as a customer! {swoon}

Now, wouldn't it have been nice for them to notify me of this "service upgrade" via (a) s-mail; (b) e-mail; (c) phone? I guess that was too much trouble. After all, a multi-day service upgrade is Just An Inconvenience, right? Now .. will they cheerfully deduct the percentage of downtime, since they've apparently taken my service offline to suit their schedule? I didn't think so.

Then again, this "service upgrade" could have nothing to do with my outage. It's still possible that an intelligent squirrel found its way into my attic, chewed up the cable TV then chewed through the power outlet next to the TV and fried itself in my attic. Funny, I don't smell squirrel carcass up there. The mystery continues.

Monday, November 8

I had a dream ...

I had a dream last night, where I was watching a basketball game. The game went back and forth, until .. near the end, the score was tied 48-48. At the last second, the Red team scored a 3-pointer, to beat the Blue team 51-48. After the game, the Red team's coach claimed they had won a decisive victory. I wonder what it all means?

Sunday, November 7

lazy days and Saturdays*

Yesterday was one of those "woke up, got outta bed" days, minus the comb. Why use a comb when you have a nice new gimme cap? So, I fulfilled my duty and rendezvoused with HayJax and Jill-Bob at The Londoner in Addison (on Midway, a bit south of Beltline, SE corner). It was mostly a day to sit in sunny 75F weather and plan our Turkey Day feast (my motion for turkey bologna on a Ritz died, for lack of a second).

When I returned home, I noticed that one wall plug, one light switch, and the cable TV were out. I could understand if it were just the cable, or just the light switch, but to have them fail simultaneously is odd. I suppose a squirrel in the attic could've gnawed through the cable, then fried her/himself on the power. I checked the circuit breaker and none had been tripped. Hmm .. a mystery.

What was not a mystery is how Beta (the Wonder Dog) reacted to her new Apple Banana Bark Bars from Petropolitan. Yee haa .. I've seldom seen her as giddy as when she was munching on one. Then she came over, laid her head in my lap and wagged her tail. What is it, Lassie? Did Timmy fall down a well?

* no relation to the Carpenters' "Rainy Days and Mondays"

Saturday, November 6

Gene Bob at GeBo's

After hearing that fox urine can be used to chase away squirrels, I decided to seek out this wonderful stuff. First stop was at Gebo's Farm Supply in McKinney (25 minutes northeast). Jill-Bob says she's been there many times.

Once I explained that I was The Gene Bob, a crowd of people gathered for autographs, and I was able to snarf a gimme cap in the process. I promised to send some business their way, so .. ya'll get yer butts out to Gebo's in McKinney, on the northwest corner of 380 and 75! 

Now, it turns out that Gebo's didn't have any fox urine (I know, I know .. hard to believe .. but hey! - they seemed to stock everything else you'd need for your ranch), but one of their very helpful employees pointed me to Collin County Feed & Seed (downtown McKinney, on Chestnut Street - near the water tower). Indeed, they had a fresh batch, from Leg Up Enterprises which sells a full line of Predator Urine Products (coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, wolf). Talk about a specialty business!

Friday, November 5

defining "mandate" - for 2nd graders

When I heard President Quagmire saying that he received a mandate on Tuesday, I had to shake my head with amazement. Then again, it's obvious that someone who thought there would be ZERO of our soldiers killed in Iraq is also incapable of doing basic arithmetic. Perhaps he needs help from that class of 2nd graders in Florida, when the World Trade Center was being attacked?
7 Nov update: Here's a realistic view of how the country voted (versus all those silly red state-blue state maps that Fox "News" likes): Southpaw: Just How Red is America?
If anyone has "someone on the inside" at the White House, and can sneak this message to President Quagmire, let's try this oversimplification:
The popular vote went for President Quagmire, 51-48%. That means that a swing of 1.5% would have tied the vote (49.5 each - the remainder went to 3rd party candidates).

To put this into perspective, let's assume you have a room with 50 voters, and you convince one (1) of them to change her mind. When someone changes their mind ("flip-flops" in Karl Rove-speak) that takes votes away from one side, and gives it to the other. A 1% change (equal to 1/2 of a person in that room of 50) would have changed the percentages from 51-48 to 50-49) and President Quagmire wins. But a 2% change [1/50 = 2/100 = 2%] means the vote would have changed the outcome to 49-50% and Kerry wins.
See? That wasn't too hard to understand, was it?

Now, does anyone in their right mind (no relation to the political right - aka conservatives - aka CFRP) see that small difference (1 person out of 50 changing their mind) as a "mandate"? Good; I didn't think so.

Before I dismiss class, here's something to think about for tomorrow's lesson:
Basic Propaganda Theory says that for distortions of fact to take place, you must first render the press ineffective. To do that, get on your radio program (think "Limbaugh" or Fox "News") and say "and everybody knows the media is liberal" (be sure to enunciate LIBB-ER-ULL, like a baby-eating monster), then simply repeat that claim. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Eventually, the mainstream media will be acknowledged as having an agenda (and a liberal agenda, at that!), and they're neutered. Voila!
If you haven't watched the film "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" to see this "everyone knows" tactic .. well, you owe it to yourself.

Thursday, November 4

swaying the viewers, one boycott at a time

I hadn't even heard of ABC's LIFE as we know it until one of my neighbors sent me .. not one .. not two .. but three (3!) emails suggesting I boycott it because the show is all about teenage sex Sex SEX (and we know there's no sex in real life).

Since I hadn't heard of it, I didn't have any plans to watch this until that email, and now I must watch it (ABC, Thursday night at 8), to see what all the fuss is about. I hope it's not as boring as Desperate Housewives; I watched that for all of 8 minutes before clicking to something more entertaining: the Grass Growing Channel.

Unrelated #1: I have updated the Sundry on Thursday blog. Please put away the pitchfork.

Unrelated #2: (a very good cause:) Petropolitan's Howl at Hunger! sale ends Saturday, November 6th. Gotta place my order (for Beta the Wonder Dog) before I forget!

Wednesday, November 3

oh my ... what a pretty cloud!

I heard about a woman at my former employer (the one who "liberated me" several months ago) .. gloating about the (quote) wonderful Christian man being re-elected (unquote).

I replied: "I wonder if she'll change her tune when the North Korean mushroom cloud appears over downtown Dallas. Let's hope the explosion doesn't damage her good china! Nah ... she'd think the nuke was Biblical prophesy fulfilled." You can't argue with that line of thinking; it's probably even more effective than Godwin's Law!

Good Dog! Posted by Hello

Speaking of insanity, I briefly nosed around the web, trying to find out how much Rush Limbaugh (aka The Spewer Of Hate) makes, but I couldn't find anything more recent than 10 years old. I'm sure it's just me, but I have trouble relating to someone who makes $20,000,000 (that's Million) more than I do did.

I'm guessing Limbaugh had a personal interest in re-electing President Quagmire, since He's undoubtedly one of the 1% highest paid, and got a huge windfall with President Quagmire's Buddies Tax Cut. It's a pity that He's not required to disclaim that conflict of interest, huh?

Tuesday, November 2

ahead of the curve

I sometimes wondered how the assassination of one (1) man sparked World War I, eventually resulting in the deaths of 12.5 million [e].

[e] = estimated

Then I think about 9/11, and how 19 terrorists sparked 3,023 US civilian deaths (9/11 directly); (at latest count) 1,123 US soldiers in Iraq; 30,000 Iraqi soldiers [e]; 14,000-100,000 [e] Iraqi civilians; 12,000 [e] dead in Afghanistan.
World War I - one death sparks           12,500,000 deaths 

(8.5 million soldiers, 4 million civilians)

9/11 3,023 deaths result in to 143,000 deaths
Conclusion: we're way ahead of the curve, and shouldn't worry ourselves with the body count. The ratios are still very positive! And after all, they're just Iraqis (certainly not humans) and not worth as much as any ONE of the 3,023 that they killed in 2001.

As of this writing, it looks like GWB's corrupt regime will be in power for another 4 years (and thus responsible for anywhere from 100,000 - 20 million more dead [once Iran perfects their nukes]).

It'll be interesting to hear the inevitable anecdotes of voter fraud in the coming days, but it would be foolish to expect those to change the outcome. We've obviously concluded (after the 2004 Bush Mandate) that we're quite comfortable in the role of World Bully, and everyone should just move aside.

This stature will make visits to Euro Disney; Harrod's Department Store; the Coliseum; the Parthenon; the Australian Outback; the Great Wall of China; Mount Kilimanjaro etc. much more pleasant, as we can now shove our way to the front of every line, saying "we're Americans - get out of our way!" and all those stupid foreigners will cower in fear!

I wonder how the Canadian Real Estate market will weather the millions of Democrats who want to move north?


Q- what do the following have in common?
CES Votomatic; Datavote; PBC Counter; Pollstar; Punch Card; Vote Recorder.

A- They are makers of punch card ballots (to be rendered obsolete under HAVA - the Help America Vote Act of 2002).

Monday, November 1

The Politics of Fear

Tonight, I watched Hijacking Catastrophe on Link-TV (DirecTV channel 375, Dish Network 9410) and notice it'll be replayed 3 more times before the polls close. Link TV is one of those channels that most people never watch, but I think it's a hidden jewel among the fluff.

Hijacking Catastrophe is a powerful piece, significantly more so than Fahrenheit 9/11 which was (after all) vintage Michael Moore.

Tomorrow may be an interesting day: more Americans may vote than ever before. We'll see if the Bush regime has succeeded with their "Politics of Fear" propaganda campaign, and secures another 4 years in power. If you didn't vote early, get out there and vote! (don't forget to Bring Your Identification).

The Dallas Managed News said that all major polls predict GWB will win the popular vote (49-48%) but there's a huge wild card: a large number of first-time voters. And, as we all know, it's Electoral College votes that count. As I predicted before, the weather is also a huge factor in getting people to the polls (example: lots of snow hit Colorado yesterday).

I saved the graphic on electoral-vote.com to see how close it was to reality. Maybe (just maybe) we'll know in 24 hours. Then again, maybe the US Supreme Court will get to decide another election, 5-4?

Lost In Translation (Osama Style)

I'm commonly fascinated about translation; eons ago, I blogged about an experiment where I used the Multi-Babel Translator to translate a common American phrase into a 2nd language, then back to English, then to a 3rd language, and so forth until 5 iterations were complete. The final result was incomprehensible gibberish (much like GWB during the recent debates).

So, you shouldn't be surprised to know that I was spellbound, reading A Tale of Two Osamas which shows Osama bin Laden's recent monologue .. side by side (compare the translations by CNN and al Jazeera).

Unrelated ...

I see that GWB is going to speak at a rally at SMU at 10pm tonight, as he makes his way to Crawford to vote tomorrow. Guess he didn't know he could've voted via absentee ballot, unless he knows something about those ballots (think: voter fraud) that we don't know. Then again, maybe he's looking forward to another photo op (you know, like the one at that grade school on 9/11). I hope they have some children's books for him to read, while he stands in line.

What do you bet that he'll be seen chopping wood on his ranch Tuesday afternoon? One thing he certainly will not be doing is taking Jenna and Barbara to the draft board to sign up for service.