Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Suspicious package arrives in Lennon

Ok, please tell me there is more to this story than what is in the article. Because from reading the article, it seems that the only thing that made this package suspicious is that it was from another country. And judging by the accompanying picture, that alone was enough to bring out people in protective suits. Are you kidding me? Why are people such pussies? And why are all the ones who are such pussies so proud of being pussies? I wonder if they blew up the letter, just in case. Everytime I see one of these stupid stories, it makes me think the War on Terror is over, and we fucking lost. Because, regardless of whether we are or aren't fighting terrorists, and regardless of where we are fighting them or why, one thing is certain, we sure are fucking terrified of them.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Name that Movie

Ok, so I can't really find the inspiration to post much of anything lately, so I'll drag this out again. There is a theme, but it's kind of loose this time. Guess them all (and the theme) and you could win a prize.*

1. Then after about 15 minutes, you're spit out into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike!
2. It's time to wake up... and get a life. We live in a 3-dimensional world. Until now, the world of computing has been a flat world, consisting of 2-dimensional imagery. Now, through the use of exclusive breakthrough technology, ARC has made it possible for you to get a life. A-Life, where we can work and play in a lifelike world of 3-dimensional reality. A-Life, the living monitor.
3. Well, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage, but on a par with a night of heavy drinking. Nothing you'll miss.
4. Wrong answer fuck bag. This is the very moment of your reckoning. In the next 30 seconds you're gonna open 1 of 2 doors. The first door will forever traumatize your own flesh and blood.
5. I'm sure you've all heard the old wives' tale that no hypnotized subject may be forced to do that which is repellent to his moral nature, whatever that may be. Nonsense of course.
6. I woke up. The pain and sickness all over me like an animal. Then I realized what it was. The music coming up from the floor was our old friend, Ludwig Van, and the dreaded Ninth Symphony.
7. Is that what your little note says? It must be hard living your life off a couple of scraps of paper. You mix your laundry list with your grocery list you'll end up eating your underwear for breakfast.
8. I wanna wake up! Tech support! It's a nightmare! Tech support! Tech support!
9. If I am not me, den who da hell am I?
10. How could I forget about you? You're the only person I know.


* There is no prize

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Broadcasters piss me off

If someone wins something, like say the NBA Championship, then say they've won it. Don't say they clinched it after it is over. Clinching something isn't the same as winning it. Clinching implies that there is still something left, but the outcome is already decided. Like a team clinching a playoff spot, or homefield advantage, even though there are still games left to play, they have clinched, and it can't be taken away regardless of what happens in the remaining games. This is a useful word, but if these idiot broadcasters succeed in making clinch just mean win, then it looses its usefulness. Of course, maybe Mike Breen just doesn't realize that they don't actually play Game 7 if one team has already won four games. That's a scenario I didn't consider.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Timeout Knocks Out Mavs in Game 5

Huh? I can't believe that after what was probably the best game of the NBA Finals so far, this is the point that the idiots in the sports media want to focus on. I think they must have been watching a different game than I was. If Dallas had taken the timeout when they wanted to, they would have had a much better oppurtunity to make a game-winning shot. But there were only 1.9 seconds left, it was still going to be a desperation shot, and the odds are they would have lost anyway.

Dallas Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson shook things up in recent days in his playbook, in the newspapers and among his players, and nearly every strategy seemed to pay off in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night...[a]nd then all that fine work was ruined by one erroneous timeout

Yeah, Dwyane Wade's 43 points had nothing to do with it, it was that one timeout that ruined everything.

Here's another point in this stupid article that I take issue with.
Johnson also successfully employed the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy late in the fourth quarter, directing his team to foul Shaquille O'Neal immediately on two possessions. On the first, with just over four minutes remaining, O'Neal hit just one free throw, bringing Miami to within 81-79. On the second, with Miami trailing 86-84 with just under two minutes left, O'Neal missed both.

Successfully seems a bit overstated to me, since they lost the game and everything. As a Laker fan, I've watched many a game where this stupid "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy has been employed, and I can't remember a single time when it has been successful to the point where the opposing team actually won the game. In my mind, once you get to the point of trying this, you've already lost. In the possessions mentioned above Shaq only made one of four free throws, which could be seen as a victory, I suppose, but had Dallas just played defense, maybe they get two stops instead, and Miami gets no points on those possessions. They did only lose by 1, after all. Also, Dallas was leading in the game when they did this crap, which I really don't get. Maybe the extra time in the game because of this stupid strategy was just enough to give Wade one more possession to make his last shot to tie the game. Anyway, if I was an NBA coach, I would never do this. Fouling Shaq in the course of the game is just smart, but doing it this way just tells your team that you don't think they can play defense. And doing it with a lead tells them that you're afraid.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Father's Day

I posted last year about my Dad. So this year, I'll just say Happy Father's Day to him. Happy Father's Day also to all the other father's in my family, my brother and blog contributor, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, various cousins and uncles, and all my friends with kids also. And Happy Father's Day to any of my readers (if there are any left these days) who are fathers as well. And if anyone wants to wish me a Happy Father's Day, you can do it in comments, but keep in mind, I'd rather you just send me cash instead.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

No wonder no one watches the NBA

So, I was watching some things I had recorded on my DVR, and thought I would finish thoseandonly miss a little bit of the gamne and avoid having to see all the pre-game crap which is really bad inthe NBA. So, I finish up and flip over and there's now some sort of circus on the court that may at some future time include player introductions. Jesus, it's 9:15 PM and not only has the game not started, it doesn't look like it will start for at least another ten minutes or so. How do they expect to get a new generation of fans if they all have to go to bed before the big games even start? It's not like they even have the excuse of the game being played in a later timezone, since it's in Miami. I will never ever understand why it's apparently so much more critically important for west coast viewers not to have to miss the beginning of the game, but it's ok if the east coast viewers miss the end, if not the entire second half.

And I love basketball. I hate to think what they're doing to the marginal fan.

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Clinton Seeks Middle Ground in Abortion Debate

I get tired of Hilary Clinton falling all over herself to find the middle ground on big issues in order to avoid alienating any voters (like anyone on the right is going to vote for her anyway). But I get even more tired of people not recognizing what the opposing sides or the middle are. I recently read a column in my local paper seemingly denouncing extremism on both sides, but it was comparing James Dobson, Ann Coulter and their sleaze to Ted Kennedy calling people who oppose gay marraige "bigots." So maybe that's a little harsh, but it's true. I have yet to see an argument made against gay marraige which isn't rooted in bigotry. Well, one that makes sense, anyway. And religous bigotry is still bigotry.

Anyway, to get back to the article, where Clinton is apparently seeking "middle ground" in the abortion debate. I'm not sure what's so centrist about the position that everyone should have access to family planning and we should try to limit the number of unwanted pregnancies, but if it is, I'm all for it. I don't know of anyone in the pro-choice camp that is encouraging abortions in the first place, so Clinton's position in this case seems to be the default progressive position as far as I can tell. But regardless of how it's viewed, I think it is very important to not only point out that being pro-choice does not mean that abortions are some great thing, and also that there are many much better ways to reduce the number of abortions than by making them illegal.

Mrs. Clinton's advisers say Republicans have long put Democrats on the defensive in the abortion debate, particularly on a procedure that critics call partial-birth abortion.

-snip-

"It's time to go on the offensive," one of Mrs. Clinton's advisers said.

Yes it is. If the "pro-life" crowd is really interested in reducing abortions, then why are they also opposed to all the things that have a good chance of doing that? Things like education, birth control, and health care. That's what we should be asking them. Make them explain how it's not about control if they don't offer any realistic alternatives and only seek to take the moral high ground.

Hopefully, Clinton will focus more on things like this than cleaning up video games or protecting the flag, and maybe by the time the election rolls around, I won't have to be sick if I'm forced to vote for her. Might help if she joined the rest of the world, and realized the war is a mistake, also.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

DVD Cases

Whose stupid ass idea was it to start making DVD cases with those two annoying little locking tabs on them? I don't know about anyone else, but before these came along, I don't ever remember having a problem with my DVD cases randomly flying open at inoppurtune moments.

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Big Spanish Castle

This is kind of neat.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

OkCupid! Politics Test

You are a

Social Liberal
(85% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(38% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Bush, senators renew fight against gay marriage

There are really only two bases for the arguments against gay marriage and one of them falls apart upon even the most cursory inspection.

First, you can argue against gay marriage because your religion says homosexuality is immoral. Hey, that's fine and dandy if your religion codifies bigotry, but this reasoning has no place in a debate about civil marriage. Nobody is trying to pass a law stating that the Catholic church, for example, will have to marry gay people. So all the churches should stay out of it, if they're trying to inject religious beliefs into a civil debate.

Second, you can try to find some non-religious basis on which to oppose gay marriage. The one that everyone seems to have settled on is that marriage is the foundation of society and that gay marriage somehow destroys traditional marriage. This, they say, leads inevitably to the downfall of society. This argument, of course, is only thinly-veiled bigotry. First, gay couples exist whether the law recognizes this or not. They will continue to exist and society will go on. A legal recognition of this fact will not devalue traditional marriage, if anything it will strengthen marriage by allowing more people to participate in the civil institution of marriage. More participation means more stability, better protection for families, and more reasons to promote marriage. Second, forget about gay people for a minute, there are many, many non-traditional families out there who are doing just fine, and are also no threat to us straight people. One of my daughters' friends down the street lives with her mother, her uncle and her grandpa. She's a good kid and they're always doing stuff together. You can tell they have a strong family relationship. But according to Bill Frist, her family doesn't provide as much "protection" as a traditional family. My older daughter's best friend lives with his mom and her grandparents. He's a good kid, in gifted, good behavior. From what I've seen they have a happy, stable family. I know that anecdotal evidence only gets you so far. But it's clear that the foundation of society is family, regardless of it's composition, not marriage.

If you take all of these people who oppose gay marriage and look at the root cause, you'll invariably find religion. They all talk in generalities about defending marriage, but they really think just think gay people are immoral. I think it's clear this federal amendment won't go anywhere, it's just a way to fire up the bigots in the base. What I would hope for is that the state amendment route has almost run its course. Then if Massachusetts can hold on, and a couple of other states can follow suit, there'll be some islands of sanity that can spread tolerance.

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Jeb Bush signs education bill

Here's a law that's all flash and no substance. It's a mishmash of a bunch of educational stuff, but the two items that are being trumpeted the most are the provision requiring high school students to declare a major and a minor, and the provision which prohibits local districts from starting the school year more than 2 weeks prior to labor day.

Making students declare a major is just typical politics, putting lipstick on a pig. Kind of like making uniforms mandatory will suddenly solve all of our school behavior problems.

It's the school start date thing that pisses me off. There were some vocal people complaining that these early start dates were taking summer away from their kids. First, kids get 10 weeks off, regardless of when school starts and ends. Second, in Florida, the weather is far nicer in May than it is in August. I would much rather plan family trips at the end of May or beginning of June than the middle of August. Not to mention the rates from cruises and hotels are cheaper in May. In Duval county our school year runs from the second week of August to the third week of May. I know that the main reason this was done was so that the kids would get more review time prior to the FCAT, but it worked out well even so. The first semester now ends when the kids get out for Christmas break. With this new law, now finals and/or mid-terms will be held when the kids get back from break. That makes a lot of sense. But, unfortunately, nobody really cared and all the politicians in Tallahassee saw was a nice feel-good law that would make it look like they were doing something. Bastards. So much for local control.

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Senate Tackles Gay Marriage Ban

Well, I'm no fan of an amendment to bad gay marraige, but I am glad to hear that Congress has apparently addressed every issue that's important to such an extent that they're now free to move on to things that aren't really even any of their fucking business. Surely they wouldn't waste time on something like this if we still had actual problems they could fix, right? Also nice to know that our President has nothing better to do either and can take time out of his busy schedule to address this as well.

An amendment to the Constitution is necessary because activist courts have left our nation with no other choice," Mr. Bush said

Let me translate that for you:

I know in the immigration debate, it didn't seem like I hated Mexicans nearly as much as I should have, but a lot of my rich buddies need those cheap workers, so I didn't want to piss them off. So, let's try and put that behind us now and focus on something we can all agree on: hating the gays. The only people who are going to have a problem with that are those angry liberals, and we all know they're helping the terrorists anyway, so who cares what they think.

That's how I took it anyway. Not that I think the people supposedly on my side of this debate are much better. Here's what Joe Biden had to say.
The world's going to Hades in a hand basket. We're going to debate the next three weeks, I'm told, gay marriage, a flag amendment and God only knows what else. I can't believe the American people can't see through this
and this
We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act. ... Nobody has violated that law. There's been no challenge to that law. Why do we need a constitutional amendment?

And I agree with all of that. But on this issue, I'm tired of people who are supposedly on the right side of it saying only that we shouldn't be wasting time on this because there are more important things to worry about, or that it's unecessary. Because what they should be saying is that we shouldn't be wasting time on this because it's wrong. It's also disgusting. It's also un-American. This isn't what our Constitution is for. Biden sites the Defense of Marraige Act to show that we don't need an amendment, but forgets to point out that the Defense of Marraige Act is just as disgusting.

It is nice to see at least one member of Congress who gets closer to the real heart of the issue.
A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple
Unfortunately, that comes from Ted Kennedy whose voice is easily dismissed as extremist.

Whenever this kind of nonesense is discussed, it gets me so angry, because I can't believe that people still think it's ok to act like bigots. However, my anger is always tempered somewhat because I know in my heart that 20 or 30 years from now, people will look back on these homophobic bigots and see them for exactly what they are. I just which it would happen faster, because it's so painfully obvious to anyone who actually cares about people what the right side of this issue is.

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