Archive for August, 2009

I wrote this (ED NOTE: right, I made the “its”/”it’s” mistake immediately AND I appear to not know the definition of “ironic”. Although, I remember being struck by irony when I wrote that but I can’t remember for the life of me what it was I was thinking…dang it…this is what you get when you try to turn something around in a day…learning, learning…) for another online publication but they didn’t use it (perhaps it’s factually inaccurate although it’s more likely that it’s just incendiary as hell. Sometimes I wish I could just get on board. Things would be so much easier…) so I’m recycling it here. Because I’ve got the mean reds something awful lately (the first definition, not the second) and that tends to dry up the creative juices. I will say this though: when you start to hate everything around you it generally means it’s time for a change. I’m not feeling a whole lot of love…

These, however, have been helping. Make fun of me for it. Don’t care. I was fairly obsessed as an itty-bitty with these guys (really, I was like six and would come home from first grade and rush inside to watch the episodes in syndication. I was a weird kid…).

What am I Doing Hanging Round?

Goin’ Down

Randy Scouse Git

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I’m taking the advice of a friend who said I needed to “get my sh*t together.” True words those. So, I have nothing to say because I feel like part of that process might be reserving a few things for myself.

But here’s this to make you laugh.

Yeah, it’s Friday.

UPDATE: oh yeah, I came across this version of why the late Teddy Kennedy may have acted casually and not reported his accident for nine hours after the Chappaquiddick car wreck 40 years ago. Here’s the first story I came across — obviously, take it with a grain of salt — but then Associated Content mentions it a month ago as a plausible theory. Does explain some things…but, as Pops said when I told him about it, doesn’t really change things much. Bad behavior has a way of catching up with you, one way or another he says. If true, I feel slightly more sorry for TK. But, as Henry Rollins calls it, the whole thing is still “negligent homicide” and an effrontery to all women. And Rollins gave us this, so he appears to know what he’s talking about:

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I’m with Michelle Malkin on the passing of Ted Kennedy. My heart is with those who truly loved him and will mourn his loss from their lives. It’s strange but I was watching Lonesome Dove the other day and there’s a heart wrenching scene where the two main characters (masterfully played by Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones — whom I met once but that’s another story) are forced, on principle and out of a sense of Texas Ranger responsibility, to hang one of their oldest friends who had fallen in with a band of horse thieves and murderers. Jake (played by Robert Urich), as he sits astride his horse, noose around his neck waiting to be hung (ED NOTE: happens just prior to the saddling up of the thieves. Sorry…), has the following exchange with Gus (Duvall):

Gus McRae: You know how it works Jake, you ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw. I’m sorry you crossed the line.
Jake Spoon: I didn’t see no line Gus. I was just trying to get through the territory without getting scalped, that’s all.

It’s incredibly sad. Because , ya know, you like old Jake Spoon and you hoped better for him. Kennedy’s passing feels a bit like that for me.

So, that said, here’s some levity from my Mom. She has a dear friend she’s known since their days as Catholic School Girls in Virginia and she recently received the following from her in an email. We had a good little laugh over the phone and she thinks I should tell The Little Rock this one. So, consider yourself officially owned by my Mom Little Rock.

The phone rings and the lady of the house answers.


“Mrs. Sanders, please.”


“Mrs. Sanders, this is Dr. Jones at St. Agnes Laboratory. When your husband’s doctor sent his biopsy to the lab last week, a biopsy from another Mr. Sanders arrived as well. We are now uncertain which one belongs to your husband. Frankly, either way the results are not too good.”

“What do you mean?” Mrs. Sanders asks nervously.

“Well, one of the specimens tested positive for Alzheimer’s and the other one tested positive for HIV. We can’t tell which is which.”

“That’s dreadful! Can you do the test again?” questioned Mrs. Sanders.

“Normally we can, but the new health care system will only pay for these expensive tests just one time.”

”Well, what am I supposed to do now? ”

“The folks at Obama health care recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town. If he finds his way home, don’t sleep with him.”

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These are the beautiful kids I got to hang out with this weekend. Both are incredible athletes, very bright, interesting, with an appreciation for life and generous and kind spirits. I love them. So much. The girl’s team, by the way, won their tournament. Watching them play hard and compete all weekend had me thinking quite a bit about the notion of competition and where it’s appropriate. I’ve been told that all of life is a competition and the suggestion was none too subtly made to me that perhaps I should begin to think that way if I want certain things out of life. But here’s the thing — I have always been a fierce competitor — on the field, in the pool, at play, at work and through school. But I do believe there are rules of etiquette and I don’t break them. And I don’t compete with loved ones. Nor do I adhere to the strategy that tearing someone else down somehow gives you an advantage. The reality is that it does — but who wants to win that way? Pretty dubious success if you ask me. Nor do I compete with people on my own team. My niece reminded me of why this last is so important. Rachel had had a rough game and these girls were all tired by Sunday afternoon. One of her teammates took a shot at the goal and missed and Rachel — who had been loudly scolded by the ref for an innocent mistake and really wasn’t playing her best — yelled out the girl’s name — a few times until she got her attention — so she could tell her the following: “That was really close Leah.” She made it a point to let her teammate know that it was a good shot and that Rachel was pulling for her. Small gesture but it really affected me, no doubt meant something to Leah and pretty much cast a lovely cloud over the rest of the experience. I fell in love with my niece even more for that.

I wish more people had the strength of character to give credit where it’s due and realize that competition — and winning — only really means something if it’s done honestly and with good sportsmanship. Part of what that means is that in some small way, you have to almost hope your opponent wins — and do everything you can to facilitate them playing their best — or your success in beating them will ring pretty hollow. It’s a paradox but it’s also true.

And now, meet Chicken Little, who will no doubt have a fever for Walken. I’m thinking of making a cowbell mobile to hang over his crib…

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Redefining terms


Just a follow-up to the “please stop your whining Apple” post. I can’t guarantee the accuracy of this chart — and it’s Friday and I’m busy so I don’t really want to do the research to determine said accuracy, but you totally can! — but if it’s true then I would like to strongly reiterate my annoyance at the whole “but if you don’t buy applications through the Apple store the terrorists have won!” squeak from Apple’s corporate office. Immersing yourself in really good advertising — and Apple has some of the best — seems to be warping the brains of the communications professionals over at Apple Corporate because it appears they believe their own hype as regards why they prefer you not hack the iPhone and install “unapproved” apps. You don’t want to lose revenue Apple. Simple. It doesn’t make you evil. When did earning a good living through the free exchange of goods and services in a free and open market become synonymous with all that is unholy and dark? Can we scale that back a bit please? For the record, I dig my iMac at work.

Also, Juje and I were talking about Obama’s investment in the Brazilian company for offshore drilling and, setting aside the irony of investing in another country’s ability to generate their own oil while supporting a moratorium on the same thing here at home, it’s exceptionally interesting that he’s allowing this information to get out right now. Invoking the name of Grandpa Soros just might get those Dems. who are questioning the wisdom of ObamaCare back into line…Just a thought…

I’ll be spending the weekend with the little redhead in this picture (he’s about five years older than this now but I just love this photo) and his father, my favorite little brother, watching little redhead kick some tail in a soccer tournament about two miles from my house. You’re probably not jealous but you probably should be because these people are truly awesome to be around.


Support the family this weekend.

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Just had lunch with the folks (here. Tasty!) and, of course, we talked about economic concerns (primarily because they came to town to visit one of their financial advisers) and they’re reaching a point where they’ve got to make sure they’re covered in their old age. Although it’s weird for me to think of them as old — neither is infirm and they’ve just always been strong, robust people. But they are, indeed, past the age of retirement. Pops made an interesting statement about why so many of the people showing up to the townhall protests are older — and the reason is more complicated than just how Medicare is affected by the proposed changes to health care. Pops believes people of my generation and younger have been living under this creeping nanny state our whole lives so we’re just not as likely to be offended by or frightened of the repercussions that come with socializing some of these things as people of his generation (he’s in his early 70s for context). He’s probably right — I tend to be a little more optimistic (which rankles him to no end because I think he believes that optimism can interfere with realism to disastrous effect if left unchecked), preferring to think that people will catch on — are catching on — and there’s hope for humanity. He thinks I just better tuck in, work hard, put my money somewhere where I “can easily grab it,” and keep my eyes open.

I have never been good at negotiating the divide between carefree optimism and the scary specter that really bad things can happen if you wear rose colored glasses.

So, because my tendency is to retreat into music/art/entertainment/other diversions when I find myself at an impasse, here’s some music I’ve recently discovered. The video is from Steph — new British ska. Very nice. Then this from the WSJ music writer. Totally diggin’ “On the Fence.” Also, want.

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Because one of my job duties for the past year or so has been to deal with DMCA notices — um, yeah, college campus. Lots of downloading. –, and because Juje and I were on the phone last night and she was lamenting that her AT&T service has been spottier and spottier (one theory, she was told, has to do with the iPhone because it’s always on and AT&T is the only provider), I did a little research and discovered this little gem. It’s almost a month old but what fascinates me about this is not so much that Apple feels the need to protect their ability to sell pre-approved software through the iPhone App Store — of course they want to. That affects their bottom line. — but that they won’t just come out and say that, preferring instead to make it about terrorism and drug dealing and whatever other God-awful tragedy could result from people circumventing Apple’s products by installing open-source applications. I mean, they couldn’t just admit that they are just as hungry to turn a profit as every other business owner out there. That would go against the carefully-created propaganda they’ve built for themselves as the computer company that loves you as opposed to the giant corporate monster that just wants to rule the world. Here’s a tip to Apple — no one really ever believed you were creating your products from the goodness of your own heart — even your most loyal customers. So, um, stop with the bullsh*t and scare tactics. They’re annoying. But….you know, in a way, thanks. Because seeing this stuff is a useful lesson to the young people out there trying to make sense of how the world works and this kind of shufflestep is edifying when trying to make sense of the real motivations behind the debate over healthcare and anything else done in the political realm. Which, speaking of, the old hometown represented this weekend. And I find the above picture just fascinating on so many levels…

And, I’m listening to this track. It’s Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” reworked with some DJ sound effects and, while I would normally be horrified…I really kind of like it…

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I got nothing today because I just now made it into work because my air conditioner decided to give me the finger last night. In August. In Georgia. So, first priority this morning was getting it fixed and my repairman — very nice — was a chatterer who took two hours to determine that one of the wires on the breaker attached to the actual outside unit was burnt. Yes, let’s contextualize that: he took two hours to replace a wire. And charged me $154. Soooooo, kinda over it and I have to play catch up now so I can be ready to hit the highway immediately following work for the short trip to the ATL for a little salsa dancing with the dinosaurs.

That said, here are some links to amuse you. The first because I just liked the pictures. They made me happy after a stressful morning. But you should really check out the August 13th entry — which I’m dedicating to Baby D and my sister Lou because I know if either of them reads that entry while drinking anything it’s coming out of their noses immediately. Also, this because we get so mired in the negative and this sort of turns that whole entropy idea on its head — which also plays into my spiritual beliefs but I’ll save that for another time.

Get prehistoric this weekend.

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The irony of shill


(Before reading please be advised that the author does not truly believe there are only two types of people in the world and that often people can like one thing without hating the other. Sometimes.)

I’m advancing a theory — you know those “two types of people” memes? There are two types of people in the world: those who like The Who and those who like Led Zepplin; those who like Charlie Chaplin and those who like Buster Keaton; PC/Mac; Beethoven/Mozart; original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Neil Gaiman/Alan Moore; lager/stout; Interview with the Vampire/Twilight; Shaun of the Dead/Fido; Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston…you get the idea. I have another one in mind — inspired by watching Rachel Maddow last night talking about the Obama town hall meeting (and town hall meetings in general) — that goes like this: there are two types of people in the world: those who are on the receiving end of a power trip and all the requisite behaviors spawned by such a thing (condescension, a certain flexibility of thought regarding concepts like truth and integrity, the propensity for bullying and the unmitigated need to win) who figure that’s just the way the world works so they’d better learn and adopt those tactics if they want to survive — and those who are on the receiving end of a power trip with all the requisite behaviors who take the lesson and vow never to behave the way they’ve just been treated.

Let me say at this point that I watch Maddow because I can stand her slightly more than Olbermann (she’s less histrionic and whiny) and I think it’s important to know where people are coming from so you can address their difference of opinion intelligently. But after watching her last night, I must say, she clearly learned how to survive in a way that does not impress me. There’s a reason these people don’t want one-on-one meetings, preferring the town hall forum instead Ms. Maddow — ever had a difference of opinion with someone willing to lie about you? Meeting with them one-on-one, behind closed doors, no else watching is just stupid. I suspect you know this. But you learned how to survive by being in that first group I guess. Pretty sharp of those people you clearly think are yokels if you ask me. And brave. So maybe you could lay off the condescension a bit cause hon, they have you beat there.

Here’s a clip. Tell me I’m wrong.

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Burnt and busy, that’s the kid today. So I have other people for you to read. First, Jr., who always keeps it interesting. I like his thoughts on the need some folks have to fight what scares them by behaving like it. I get the fear — I do. But unless you poll every burqua-wearing member of society and determine that it is universally against their will, banning it is pretty much an assault on choice. And assimilation to new — in this case, Western — traditions takes time. The post article Jr. points to does a good job pointing that out with the paradoxical mention that the older Muslims in the French region in question are much more lax about the way Islamic women dress. How strange that the younger immigrants — the radicals who “question everything” — are the ones who seem more intent on squashing choice in their female counterparts. Seems like a contradiction doesn’t it?

And then this because holy cow I wish I’d written it.

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