...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...
I live in the Soviet Union.
For the record, I stopped using incandescent bulbs years ago. In my case, the free market worked. But what about photographers, who can't use flourescent bulbs? Does every single thing in the universe need to be legislated?
An original composition, by Fly Guy. Freak y'all, into the beat y'all.
A hat tip to some blonde chick.
I got Google TV, and they're paying me 40 large just to watch it.
Here's a screencap:
The only program available is some weird show with two aliens stacking boxes. It hurts my eyes a little, but it is kind of addicting. And anyways who cares, I'm getting paid 40 big ones to watch.
[I realize that by combining two extremely obscure references in the same post, the population of readers who will get it is basically nil.]
While campaigning in Iowa today, Hillary said:
The president has said [the Iraq War] is going to be left to his successor. . . . I think it's the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it. . . . This was his decision to go to war, he went with an ill-conceived plan, an incompetently executed strategy and we should expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office.It sounds as though she doesn't feel she's up to the task. One might add that Bush should resent her husband for having left Osama Bin Laden to deal with.
But in a way, I do agree with Hillary's statement, at least as far as the poorly executed strategy goes. We should expect President Bush to extricate our country from the Iraq War before he leaves office. My only qualification is that we should leave through the "victory" door, not the "abandonment" door the Democrats keep pushing us towards.
Finally, despite all the talk about the new "Rules of Engagement," I'm sick and tired of hearing about shit like this. Keep your ears open for more stories about the ROE's and whether or not they really have changed (I'm skeptical). That will tell you whether our leaders are serious about winning or whether they're just playing out the clock for Hillary.
It doesn't seem like a year since I completed the First Annual Annika's Journal Film Festival, but it has been. If you recall, last year the honoree was Oscar winner Goldie Hawn, who has yet to send me a thank you note. I had a lot of fun watching and writing about those movies, even if I only got three comments the whole month.
I racked my brain to figure out whom to honor during this year's festival. It's quite an investment of my time: ordering the movies on Netflix, setting up my archaic screen capture procedure (don't ask, it involves lots of cable, 3½ inch floppies, my early '90's crappy laptop, and lots of running back and forth), finding and editing the pictures and then figuring out what to say about each movie.
Under consideration were fellow blonde favorites Steve McQueen and Ryan O'Neal. However, since the Oscars inspired this whole boondoggle in the first place, I decided that I should limit my choices to Oscar winners. I also wanted to pick someone whom I'm not that familiar with, because I really had a lot of fun discovering new movies during last year's Goldie Hawn event.
I reviewed eight movies last year, and so I've picked eight again for this year. That's two a week, if I want to get it done before the Oscars on February 25th; a tall order so if any of you want to help me out, let me know.
And this year's Second Annual Annika's Journal Film Festival honoree is: Elizabeth Taylor, the Sixties movies.
You may have heard recently that the United States is the world's unfriendliest nation for international travellers. I'm calling bullshit on this bogus study.
The United States is the world's most unfriendly country for international travellers, a survey suggests.What is the premise of the survey's results? That travellers to the United States encounter more unpleasantness than in any other country in the world.
The global survey showed the US was ranked "the worst" because of rude immigration officials and long delays in processing visas.
More than half of the travellers surveyed said US immigration officials were rude and two-thirds said they feared they would be detained on arriving in the US for a simple mistake in their paper work or for saying the wrong thing to an immigration official.
Twice the percentage of travellers nominated the US as unfriendly, compared with the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent.
The survey, of 2,011 international travellers in 16 countries, was conducted by the polling firm RT Strategies for the Discover America Partnership, a business-backed group launched in September to promote travel to the US and improve the country's image abroad.
"The entry process has created a climate of fear and frustration that is keeping foreign visitors away," said Geoff Freeman, executive director of the Discover America Partnership.
"The survey shows there is more fear of our immigration officials than of terrorism or crime."
Just look at the U.S. State Department's travel advisory for Saudi Arabia, just to pull one example of a worse country from the many that come to mind.
American citizens who choose to visit or remain in Saudi Arabia despite this Travel Warning are strongly urged to avoid staying in hotels or housing compounds that do not apply stringent security measures including, but not limited to, the presence of an armed guard force . . .Not just a security guard, but an armed guard force!
. . . inspection of all vehicles, and a hardened security perimeter to prevent unauthorized vehicles from approaching the facility. American citizens are further advised to exercise caution and maintain good situational awareness when visiting commercial establishments frequented by Westerners or in primarily Western environments. Keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel, and ensure that travel documents and visas are valid. American citizens are also advised to exercise caution while driving, entering or exiting vehicles.And that's not just paranoid advice from a xenophobic American agency. If you want to talk about unfriendly to tourists, here's some advice from Saudi Arabia's own government website:
Important Instructions:Here's more anecdotal info about the hassles one may encounter in the Saudi Kingdom, from the Lonely Planet's website:
If a woman is arriving in the Kingdom alone, the sponsor or her husband must receive her at the airport.
Every woman must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of her stay in the Kingdom.
A woman is not allowed to drive a car and can therefore travel by car only if she is accompanied by her husband, a male relative, or a driver.
All visitors to the Kingdom must have a return ticket.
There are NO visitor visas. It's not even possible to have a Saudi sponsor apply for the visa on my behalf. Visitors can ONLY visit to work, or for a religious visit.One thing Anon from Canada didn't mention is that only those of the Islamic faith are allowed to set foot in Mecca or Medina. The rest of us are unclean or something, I guess. Not that I have any desire to get trampled to death in their crappy holy city anyway.
Speaking of religious visits, people who do this who are muslims, can ONLY visit Mecca and Medina, and that's it. Travel to other Saudi cities is not allowed.
Anon, Canada (Mar 03)
Back to the Lonely Planet:
WOMEN: We wear the abeyya so we get left alone. But even this doesn't work. We get stared at constantly and sometimes things are said. More so now after the September 11 disaster. I have never been barred from any establishment or had to leave because of prayer. Stealing wallets or purses out of expats handbags or backpacks as they walk around is common. We are not allowed to use the public transport.It gets worse. Here's what the British Embassy in Riyadh says about travel to Saudi Arabia.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sure, film and cameras are everywhere. But, go and try to do a shoot around Jeddah. You will stop traffic, draw untold attention to yourself and if you are really lucky, the police will stop you and then the Matawwa [Saudi religious police] maybe will turn up which is what happened to me. You cannot take photos of people, any Palace or any government building. Now, as all three are everywhere, photography is difficult and not a delight.
. . .
MATAWWA: If they are around, they will ask all women to cover their hair and generally have the police with them, so this is enforced. I have friends who did not have their scarf with them one night in Balad and the Matawwa made them go to a shop, buy one and put it on while they waited outside until the girls did. Jeddah is not as strict as Riyadh.
Alanna Lee, Saudi Arabia (Jan 02)
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is strictly enforced.Bunch of backwards-ass dickwads. On any type of objective scale you'd want to use, Saudi Arabia has to be among the world's most unfriendly places for international travellers. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather deal with a rude customs guy than risk getting my head chopped off because I was wearing a sleeveless tee.
The public practice of any form of religion other than Islam, or proselytising, is not permitted.
Islamic codes of behaviour and dress are also enforced rigorously. You should respect them fully.
Homosexual behaviour and adultery are illegal and can carry the death penalty.
The penalties for the possession of, or trade in, alcohol are severe. Both result in prison sentences. The punishment for importing drugs includes the death penalty. You should not arrive in Saudi Arabia under the influence of alcohol: the consequences could be serious. You should carry with you a doctor’s prescription for any medication you have with you. The importation of pork products is also forbidden.
While the Saudi authorities say they accept the private practice of religious other than Islam, religious books (apart from the Qu’ran) and artefacts imported for personal use may be confiscated. Also, importing larger quantities can carry severe penalties as it will be viewed that it is your intention to convert (proselytise) others.
The possession of pornographic material, or of illustrations of scantily dressed people, especially women, is prohibited.
The Saudi legal system differs in many ways from the UK. Suspects can be held without charge and those detained have in the past not been allowed legal representation. The Saudi authorities have detained witnesses and victims of crimes. If you require consular assistance our staff will seek to visit you as soon as they are aware of the case. However, in some instances they have not been permitted to do so immediately or have had limits applied to access once granted. We have raised our concern about reports of mistreatment of some suspects during their detention.
Photography of government buildings, military installations and palaces is not allowed. You should avoid photographing local people. It is illegal for women to drive.
Anyone involved in a commercial dispute with a Saudi company or individual may be prevented from leaving the country pending resolution of the dispute.
Passports are often retained by sponsors or government bodies for official purposes. You should carry a photocopy of your passport. Make sure you have included in your passport details of those who should be contacted in an emergency.
It is illegal to hold two passports in Saudi Arabia: second passports will be confiscated by the immigration authorities if they are discovered.
. . .
On occasion, Saudi visas have been refused when passports have reflected travel to Israel or indicated an Israeli birthplace.
Women visitors and residents are required to be met by their sponsor upon arrival. Women travelling alone, who are not met by sponsors, have experienced delays before being allowed to enter the country or to continue on other flights.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country, or in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. . . .
Foreign women married to Saudi nationals require permission from their husbands for themselves and their children to leave Saudi Arabia.
So how did the Discover America Partnership get it so wrong, when they decided that the United States is the most unfriendly nation for tourism? Simple, they didn't survey any visitors to Saudi Arabia.
Here's the list of Middle Eastern countries their survey compared to the United States:
1. United Arab EmiratesThat's right, they only included one Middle Eastern country in their study. So when the above linked article claims "Twice the percentage of travellers nominated the US as unfriendly, compared with the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent," that's a bit misleading. Besides the fact that the U.A.E. might be the most westernized of any Middle Eastern nation besides Israel, how many respondents traveled there, compared with the the United States? Poor methodology, but you wouldn't know it from reading the headlines.
Oh, yeah! More Flirts!
(I wouldn't have done this if one of annika's 6MB readers hadn't mentioned 80's music. Blame him.)
UPDATE: A different video of this song (with the same lip-synching) can be found here and it's worth watching just for the way the male VJ totally checks out the girl sitting next to him.
Gotta love the FFAR.
I'll just send you over there.
From the Bee:
A reserve Placer County sheriff's deputy was among five U.S. security contractors killed after their company's helicopter crashed in central Baghdad this week.
Art Laguna, 52, was working for the private security firm Blackwater USA when he was killed Tuesday.
Two Sunni insurgent groups claimed responsibility. One posted several identity cards on a Web site, including two belonging to Laguna.
Sell It Yourself
Laguna lived in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova and was a reserve deputy with the Placer County Sheriff's Department.
He helped establish the department's air wing in 1995 and spent hundreds of hours volunteering to train the department's pilots. He also assisted with rescues in the Sierra Nevada, said Capt. David Harris, who commands the air unit.
"We'll definitely miss his expertise, we'll miss his flying abilities, and of course we'll miss him as a friend," Harris told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "He was a wonderful guy."
Laguna began assisting the sheriff's department while he was flying Black Hawk helicopters on medical evacuation missions with the California National Guard out of Sacramento's Mather Field. He worked with the department for nine years and visited when he was in the U.S, Harris said.
The circumstances of the helicopter crash in Baghdad remained unclear Wednesday. The Black Hawk was headed to help a U.S. Embassy ground convoy and was flying over a raging gunfight in a Sunni neighborhood at the time it went down.
An Iraqi military official said it was downed by a machine gun, but a U.S. military official in Washington said there was no indication of that. A U.S. defense official said four of the five people on board the helicopter were shot execution-style, in the back of the head.
... I think she deserves a thank you from all of us, for this.
Reading a Sharon Olds poem is like drinking a very fine brandy. It'll go down like pink lemonaide, then knock you on your butt when you don't expect it. I once mentioned Sharon Olds to a poet friend, and she remarked Ms. Olds, "...doesn't waste a word." Nope, not a bit, even when most of them are given to her. In The Father, Ms. Olds learned something new about her father.
The doctor said to my father, “You asked me
to tell you when nothing more could be done.
That’s what I’m telling you now.” My father
sat quite still, as he always did,
especially not moving his eyes. I had thought
he would rave if he understood he would die,
wave his arms and cry out. He sat up,
thin, and clean, in his clean gown,
like a holy man. The doctor said,
“There are things we can do which might give you time,
but we cannot cure you.” My father said,
“Thank you.” And he sat, motionless, alone,
with the dignity of a foreign leader.
I sat beside him. This was my father.
He had known he was mortal. I had feared they would have to
tie him down. I had not remembered
he had always held still and kept quiet to bear things,
the liquor a way to keep still. I had not
known him. My father had dignity. At the
end of his life his life began
to wake in me.
Wouldn't it be funny if the Sergeant at Arms announced the president with a Sling Blade voice? I think that would be really funny.
Pelosi really looked good tonight, and even though I don't like her, I was touched by the recognition she received.
When Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo was honored, my boyfriend and I looked at each other and simultaneously exclaimed: "Who wants to sex Mutombo!" It was a very hilarious moment.
In closing, I didn't expect much from President Bush tonight. I was pleasantly surprised. The speech was one of his most enjoyable. I sensed some genuine good feeling in the House, though I know it's only a temporary thing, but I liked it. I also thought he did as good a job of explaining his foreign policy as he's ever done. Of course, as a lame duck, there's no pressure for him to persuade anyone anymore. He either succeeds or he doesn't.
And now that's over, it's time for the biggest tv event of the night: American Idol.
P.S. Oh I forgot to mention Nancy's non-stop blinking towards the end of the speech. What was up with that?
But, as we all have learned, the trick is not in the capture. It's in resisting the inevitable chorus of idiots demanding that we release the bad guys.
In a major crackdown launched in the past few weeks against the Mahdi Army -- the militia headed by Sadr and now considered the biggest security threat to Iraq by the Pentagon -- more than 600 fighters and 16 militia leaders have been detained, the military said.h/t Bluto at Jawa.
"There are currently over 600 illegal Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) militia in detention awaiting prosecution from the government of Iraq," a statement said.
It said Iraqi and US forces had also detained 16 high-level militiamen and killed one commander in a series of operations against the Mahdi Army, known for its fierce anti-US stance.
"The detainees are responsible for attacks against the government of Iraq, Iraqi citizens and coalition forces," the military said.
Combined Iraqi and US forces have carried out 52 operations in the past 45 days focused on the Mahdi Army as well as 42 operations that targetted Sunni extremists, it said.
The operations against Sunni extremists led to the capture of 33 cell leaders in Baghdad, the statement said, charging that the detainees were mainly involved in facilitating the entry of foreign fighters into Iraq.
The US military has accused the Mahdi Army, which is believed to have up to 60,000 fighters, of being heavily involved in the sectarian killing of Sunni Arabs in Baghdad and other regions of the country.
US and Iraqi forces aim to take down these fighters as part of a Baghdad security plan announced by US President George W. Bush earlier this month to crush the sectarian fighting that killed tens of thousands of people last year.
As if there isn't enough to worry about these days. Now this.
I so wanted Jack's dad to be played by Donald Sutherland, but no. They got the guy from L.A. Confidential.
Actually, tonight's episode was pretty lackluster. Jack's HK didn't even make an appearance. Other than revealing that Rocket Romano is Jack's brother, the storyline wasn't advanced very far. I nodded off near the end a couple of times. If you had to pick one episode to miss, so you could watch Heroes, this would be the one. Fortunately, I have DVR now, so I don't have to miss either.
Oh, and I think tonight's helicopter crash brings the series total for downed aircraft to about 73.
I never did trust that guy.
I am going to take this conversation directly to the people of America, and I'm starting by inviting all of you to join me in a series of web chats over the next few days. . . . I need you to be a part of this campaign, and I hope you'll start by joining me in this national conversation.Okeydoke. I imagine when I log on Monday, the conversation might go a little bit like this:
hillary2008 joined the room
annikagyrl joined the room
annikagyrl: hi hillary, i mean mrs. clinton
hillary2008: Hillary is fine. How are you annikagyrl?
annikagyrl: i am fine. i cant believe im chatting with you
hillary2008: I want to start a dialogue with America about the challenges that face us after six years of failed policies. I'm glad you could join me.
annikagyrl: cool beans
hillary2008: Did you have a question for me?
hillary2008: Go ahead.
annikagyrl: okay, who killed vince foster?
hillary2008 left the room
vernonjordan69 joined the room
vernonjordan69: It has come to my attention that you have made an unsubstantiated, outrageous and untrue accusation against Senator Clinton, which is defamatory and libelous and was made with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity thereof. Further, you have published and disseminated said untrue accusation over the public internet. Your IP address has been recorded and a copy of your defamatory communication is being preserved. Your untrue accusations are actionable. I demand that you immediately cease all defamatory and derogatory remarks directed at Senator Clinton, including all statements made, written, distributed, disseminated, or otherwise published to any and all persons and/or entities either now, or in the future. I further demand that you immediately deliver to me, in care of my law firm, any and all copies of said defamatory statements, including handwritten, typewritten, or electronically digitized either magnetically or by means of any other method or data storage system for general storage and transfer of data between computers and/or electronic copies of same, and any and all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other defamatory, libelous, slanderous or otherwise tortious statements made about, concerning or in reference to Senator Clinton and/or any and all members of her family whether immediate or extended, including any of her successors, assigns, heirs and/or personal representatives, to wit, forthwith, and in perpetuity thereof. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by end of business, January 23, 2007, indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, and each of them, I shall take further action against you.
annikagyrl: holy cow, you mean me?
vernonjordan69: yeeeah you bitch
annikagyrl left the room
This was unexpected.
Hillary says, "me too."
Notice that the video shot is not wide enough for you to see the rug? That's because Bronco Bomber pulled it out from under her on Tuesday.
The real Bronco Bomber, for you aviation enthusiasts. Apparently, not a reliable piece of equipment.
Or, if you prefer, here's the most famous Bronco, bombing.
I know Mark Steyn says our population is aging, but this is ridiculous.
For the last week, the big news here in Sacramento has been the stupid "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest at KDND FM, in which one of the participants died. Now, the case has been taken by Sacramento's pre-eminent plaintiff's firm. I know these guys and trust me when I say they mean big money. But it's a perfect plaintiff's case too. Just look at these facts:
Nearly 40 minutes before kicking off the contest, the "Morning Rave" hosts discussed the dangers of water poisoning. One DJ mentioned he had once drunk two gallons of water.I know what you're thinking. Hey, she signed a release. But with that fact pattern, I don't think the assumption of the risk defense will hold water.
"Can't you get water poisoning and, like, die?" asked another host.
"Your body is 98 percent water," a co-host responded. "Why can't you take in as much water as you want?"
Someone in the background was heard asking about "that poor kid in college," apparently referring to Matthew Carrington, who died in 2005 after an all-night fraternity hazing.
"That's what I was thinking," a host responded.
"Yeah, well, he was doing other things," someone else said.
About two hours into the contest, a woman who identified herself as Eva called the show. She warned the hosts that "those people that are drinking all that water can get sick and possibly die from water intoxication."
One host replied that "we're aware of that." Another said the contestants had signed releases, "so we're not responsible."
"And if they get to the point where they have to throw up, then they're going to throw up and they're out of the contest before they die, so that's good, right?" one host said. One of the hosts then asked a DJ stationed in the kitchen with the contestants, "Is anybody dying in there?"
"We got a guy who's just about to die," he said.
"Make sure he signs the release," the host replied.
So to speak.
Anyways dude, if I just had a referral fee on that lawsuit, I could probably retire now.
My first exposure to Shakespeare was in the soundtrack to Hair when I was but a wee lad. The liner notes to one song said it was, "...absolutely beautiful. It was written by Shakespeare," if I recall correctly and at the time I thought it was just poetic license, that Misters Rado, Ragni, and MacDermot were comparing their work to Shakespeare. Boy, was I surprised when I found out they weren't kidding.
Of course, they farted around with the Bard's words, splitting Hamlet's speech and putting the last half first. Can't quite figure out why, but they did and it's fucked me up ever since. Whenever I see it performed, I think the speech is backwards.
I still think it's a beautiful speech, even if it does take place as Hamlet is deep into (faking) his madness. And while it technically may be prose, it reads as poetry.
What a Piece of Work is Man (Hamlet, Act II, Scene II)
...I have of late—but wherefore I know not—lost all my
mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so
heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the
air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical
roof fretted with golden fire,—why, it appears no other thing
to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a
piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in
faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in
action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the
beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what
is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman
neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.
(On a related note, the British Library has put it's collection of Shakespeare on line...or, as the Library puts it, "On this site you will find the British Library’s 93 copies of the 21 plays by William Shakespeare printed in quarto before the theatres were closed in 1642." Cool, eh? You can find them here.)
I find it interesting that so many MSM web stories celebrating Bronco Bomber's formation of an exploratory committee contain a hyperlink to his campaign website. It's interesting because a cursory check of old web stories about other candidates who have formed exploratory committees in the last few months (e.g. Giuliani, Vilsack, Romney, Tancredo) do not contain such thinly disguised endorsements.
But the media is not biased.
Last night we saw the first application this season of Annika's 24 maxim:
A hostile with key information is a hostile down.When they revealed that this season's MacGuffin would be a suitcase bomb, I thought, "season two again." But this time, they exploded it inside the city, so does that mean we're in for a post-apocalyptic L.A. scenario? If so, I hope Snake Plisskin makes an appearance, what a team he and Jack would make. Snake & Jake, the two whispering heroes.
Resist the Beckham hype!
Soccer is like communism. All true Americans shun and despise it. Now, MLS has managed to pluck has-been soccer megastar David Beckham in their latest attempt to force feed soccer to US sports fans.
Well let me be the first to say I won't stand for it. Americans gave the world baseball, football and basketball, and this is how the rest of the world repays us? With eurotrash David and Victoria Beckham?
Just say no to the hype that is sure to surround Beckham's Coming to America tour. I'm already feeling nauseated by the inevitable oh-so-serious Nike ads featuring Beckham bicycle kicking a soccer ball at supersonic speed through the back of a net fifty miles away — in grainy black and white with a techno soundtrack. Puleeeze, spare me. Soccer will always remain just notch between chess and tetherball on the excitometer, no matter how many spice girls you dress it up with.
Just say no to the Beckham hype!
Soccerus est communismus!
The President has now outlined his new approach for Iraq. Do I think it will work? Really, who cares what I think? I don't care what anybody else thinks. The time for punditry has long passed. This is the time for results. I sense that the President finally understands this.
As I've said before, arguing about whether we should set a timetable for withdrawal is stupid. We already have one, and the deadline is January 20th, 2009. No amount of wishful thinking by war hawks can change the fact that unless there is significant and obvious improvement in Iraq, and soon, the next president of the United States will be elected on a platform of withdrawal.
Therefore, we who long for success should know that this is our last chance to succeed. We have less than two years. Those who oppose us know that this is the endgame for Iraq too. Our foreign enemies will do everything they can to embarrass U.S. forces by creating atrocities or inventing them wherever possible. Our domestic enemies will then do all they can to portray these atrocities as evidence of the failure, futility and immorality of our purpose.
Whether we succeed or not depends very little on what you or I say here at home, given those facts. Our men and women at arms will accomplish everything that is asked of them, as they always have. The question is whether the President and his generals will have the guts to keep fighting when the inevitable criticism hits fever pitch. Based on past experience, I need convincing.
This country is anti-war; our domestic enemies have already won that battle (with the unwitting help, I might add, of Mr. Rumsfeld and the commander-in-chief himself). The President's speech tonight will not magically transform the public's fatigue any more than it can change the Washington press corps into a group of people who love their country. If success is possible at this late hour, Mr. Bush will have to do it without the support of Congress, the media, or the majority of the American people.
But as President Bush explained less than half an hour ago, failure in Iraq would be a disaster. And therefore, I hope he understands above all that now is the time for results.
The Rattlesnake and Scorpion
by Ruth Yoshiko Okimoto
Said the Scorpion to the Rattlesnake,
"What manner of commotion is happening here?
The sawing of lumber and pounding of nails,
black tarpaper falls and covers my trail.
Tall fence posts pierce deep into the ground
securing chainlink fences and barbed wire from town."
Said the Rattlesnake to the Scorpion,
"Indeed, huge pipes obstruct and crisscross my path,
and loud swishing noises disturb my sleep.
Why, I went foraging for food and found
my favorite hunting ground vanished today
and more will dwindle, I've heard them say."
Said the Scorpion to the Rattlesnake,
"And worse even yet, small human fingers foolishly grab
my sisters, brothers, cousins, and all,
and drown them in jars filled with alcohol."
"How foolish, indeed," replied the Rattlesnake,
"Don't they know of your sting, my venomous bite?"
Said the Scorpion to the Rattlesnake,
"What kind of human would dare intrude into our sacred place?
We've lived on this land for centuries, I'm told,
so, why do they come here to ravage and destroy?
We've lived in peace, both you and I,
with no intent to hurt or annoy."
Said the Rattlesnake to the Scorpion,
"Some humans, I'm told, regard those who differ in skin
or thought with what they call 'justifiable' hate."
"As you know," continued the Rattlesnake,
"humans are the most dangerous animal of all;
they kill with lethal weapons ten feet tall."
Asked the Scorpion of the Rattlesnake,
"So what do you think they are building here,
in the midst of our desert home?"
Answered the Rattlesnake with a somber voice,
"It's something menacing, and I fear
portend of dangers yet unclear."
In case you hadn't heard this story:
Sullivan, a 46-year-old builder from Stowe, was aboard the United Airlines flight on the second leg of his trip home from San Francisco, where he and his wife Helena had been visiting their sons. He awoke from a nap shortly before landing and noticed something strange.That's right, scorpions on a muhfukkin plane!
"My right leg felt like it was asleep, but that was isolated to one spot, and it felt like it was being jabbed with a sharp piece of plastic or something."
The second sting came after the plane had landed and the Sullivans were waiting for their bags at the luggage carousel. Sullivan rolled up his cuff to investigate, and the scorpion fell out.
"It felt like a shock, a tingly thing. Someone screamed, 'It's a scorpion,'" Sullivan recalled. Another passenger stepped on the two-inch arachnid, and someone suggested Sullivan seek medical help.
He scooped up the scorpion and headed to the hospital in Burlington. His wife stopped at the United counter and was told the plane they were on had flown from Houston to Chicago. The Sullivans surmised the scorpion boarded in Texas.
"The airlines tell you can't bring water or shampoo on a plane," Helena Sullivan said. But the scorpion did make it aboard, she said.
In other Samuel L. Jackson related news, check out this awesome t-shirt.
t-shirt recommendation via Dawn.
The "big stink" yesterday in New York reminds me of a go-around I had with a snotty PG&E representative a few years ago. I had just moved into a new apartment.
Me: "Yes, I'm calling to report a gas leak."
PG&E rep: "How do you know there's a gas leak?"
Me: "I can smell it."
PG&E rep: "Okay, what do you smell?"
PG&E rep: "Describe the smell for me."
Me: "It smells like gas. Are you going to send someone out or not?"
PG&E rep: "I need to first verify if there's a problem."
Me: "There is. I have a gas leak."
PG&E rep: "Does it smell like rotten eggs?"
Me: "I... I've never smelled rotten eggs. I don't know. It smells like gas."
PG&E rep: "Natural gas is odorless."
Me: "But I've smelled gas before and this is what it smells like."
PG&E rep: "You can't smell natural gas. It's odorless."
Me: "But I smell gas."
PG&E rep: "For safety reasons, we put a chemical in the gas in order to make it detectable."
Me: "Alright, then I smell the chemical you put in the gas in order to make it detectable."
PG&E rep: "Okay, does it smell like rotten eggs?"
Me: "Look, I have no idea what a rotten egg smells like. I don't know what kind of home you grew up in, but in my family we didn't keep a lot of rotten eggs around the house."
PG&E rep: "I'm sorry ma'am, but we get a lot of false alarms and I can't send anyone over to your house unless I can verify whether there's a gas leak."
Me: "Well, how else would I know I have a gas leak other than by smelling gas? What is it about 'I smell gas' that you don't understand..."
This went on for a few minutes longer and finally the a-hole relented and sent a repairman out. Turns out that the guy next door had died and his stove was leaking gas like crazy. In all honesty, I might have been smelling gas odor mixed with dead guy. But I suppose if I had said that, my call would have been transferred to the coroner's office instead.
In the battle of strength vs. strength, Florida's defense is beating Ohio State's offense, like a freakin' drum.
I thought it would be a low scoring game. It's halftime and they've already gone over the over.
I actually like that Tressel went for it on 4th from their own 29, but they should have converted.
I thought FL's kicker sucked. Who's that dude?
I don't think the game is over though. If it was the NFL, yes. But this is college, and that's what I love about NCAAF. Anything can happen. (Such as sucky Florida whooping OSU, I guess.)
The OSU band is playing "My Heart Will Go On?!" Ouch, the irony!
Third Quarter Update: FL's on the 2 yard line. That's it, I'm done. This game's too boring to sit through the rest. OSU did not show up tonight. Congrats to Florida. I guess the BCS worked, though I still would rather have seen SC play for the title.
This weekend I realized something, and I wanted to share it with you. Despite being bombarded with dire warnings from every corner, I've never felt afraid about global warming. Not even once since all the hysteria began. Al Gore needs to work harder.
Okay, I think it's safe to say everyone was surprised by the Colts' defense today.
On to game two: Dallas at Seattle.
Both teams are well coached, yet have stumbled lately.
Romo has played poorly in his last couple of games, but Seattle's secondary may be vulnerable from injuries sustained last weekend.
Hasselbeck throws more interceptions, but Romo fumbles more.
Tough game to pick, but I'm going with the superior quarterback, at least on paper, Tony Romo. Plus, he makes great ribs.
Seattle is the favorite and the spreads range from one to three points. Take the three points, bet Dallas, and laugh at the suckers later. This time for real.
Update: My advice to Tony Romo is this: from now on, be wary of any lady cops named Einhorn.
Update 2: My final record for the year, with 16 games, is 8-6-2. The two pushes tell you exactly how good I am!
The first game today is KC at Indy. The favorite is Indy, by 7 points. Interesting twists include the following:
Indy's run defense is ranked last.
KC's RB Larry Johnson is the league's second best rusher, and having a career year.
Dungy and Edwards are great friends, but Dungy will be looking to avenge Indy's 41-0 loss to Edwards the last time they met in the playoffs.
Manning needs to prove he can win in the playoffs.
I think Indy will win, but LJ and the Colts crappy defense make it too tempting not to take KC plus the 7 points. Go with KC+7 and laugh at the suckers later.
Result: Indianapolis kills the Chiefs, 23 to 8. I lose.
Cinnamon Dolce latte has returned to Starbucks!
Check out the Concourse of Hypocrisy.
Full disclosure: my old car gets at least 35 mpg without the benefit of a single bumper sticker.
This is a slightly unusual poem by Ogden Nash. Not because it's humorous; most of Nash's poetry was humorous. No, what I find unusual about it is it seems to be a mish-mash of styles. Note how the last five lines are *almost* a limerick (the rhyming scheme is off a bit-ABCCB). I suspect, though, that was accidental.
But that's not important; what I think is important is he's right about what that something about a martini is.
Tanqueray, in my case.
A Drink With Something In It
There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth--
I think that perhaps it's the gin.
The Louisville Parrots are beating the Lake Forest uhhh Whittakers. I should continue to watch, but I am hungry. What should I eat? El Pollo Loco is close, but so is In-n-Out.
Okay, the NFL regular season is over and my MNF pick record was 7-5-2, which is not bad. That's a .571 winning percentage, which would get me in the playoffs if I was a football team. I made predictions in 14 games, but I really should pick two more to make it a 16 game season. I don't know where I lost track of those two games.
To make it totally fair, I will predict the next two upcoming games, which happen to be KC-Indy and Dallas-Seattle.