Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Comedic Irony

John Stewart's audience is more educated than Bill O'Reilly's. ha.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Hi, My Dad's a Doofus

Tonight's bit of sadness comes from Lori who sends the link (above) depicting a 3-year-old on her daddy's shoulders crying. Why is she crying? Someone tore up her Bush-Cheney sign at a rally.

Oh. It was a Kerry-Edwards rally.

Ok, so maybe Lori has a point when she asks "What, do only Democrats get to exercise the freedom of speech?"

But I also have to think that maybe her dad is a royal frigging idiot. What did he expect? People that go to rallies are pretty rabid to begin with. A torn-up sign is pretty bad, but I imagine there were some in the crowd who were saying stuff pretty inappropriate for a child to hear (and I don't mean Kerry blahing on about something) and I've heard of people getting beat up at those rallies.

Don't take your "Go Green Bay" sign to a Raiders game and think you're teaching your daughter a lesson, dude.

Are Poker Bots Ripping You Off?

Well, why are you wasting money playing poker online? If it's not computers programmed to play poker, then it's all the other people at the table telling each other what they have and all collaborating against you. If you want to lose money so bad, go ahead and just give it to me. I guarantee you have a zero percent chance of ever seeing the money again.

Pile the rocks

Parents and family members are told of a plane crash and the deaths of two Forest Service employees, only to hear the news days later that the two had walked away from the crash and walked two and a half miles to a freeway. The plane crash had been so bad that the rescuers had trouble counting bodies (they were looking for five) and when the two walked away, they left no indication that there had been anyone alive at the scene. One of the guys had a fractured spine, even. That's determination. They walked away because they stayed overnight with a third survivor but he died and they decided not to wait not knowing when someone would come looking for them.

But bottom line, if you survive a catostrophic event where people might be looking for you later, leave some indication that you survived.

Christians Have No Imagination

There, I've said it. Did I tick you off? Good. There's a chance this post will get me some new readers even. But, I'm sorry. Is there no creativity or originality in the bunch? I work at a mega-church and I try to study other churches, especially mega-churches. Everywhere you look, all people are doing is (a) ripping off popular culture or (b) ripping off other churches.

Granted, in the second case, someone somewhere had an original thought to begin with before it got ripped off, but you can collect a bunch of Christian cliches, add some Biblical references, some insight and BAM! best-seller. Doesn't help if you're at a well-known church to begin with.

But, far worse is the first case. While I don't normally watch South Park (anymore), I did see one not too long ago where Cartman and the other kids had a bet as to who could get a platinum album first. The other kids practiced and practiced while Cartman took songs that had been popular in past decades and just changed every instance of "baby" to "Jesus". Quite clever, and a great example of what I'm talking about.

I'm tired of seeing permutations and adjustments to popular slogans, skewed pop culture references and tweaked corporate logos. I mean, anyone who knows me knows I love the Warhol effect - taking an object and repeating it with changes, or in a different medium and then tiling the image to show the changes. And I'm all for a great parody (The News was the best, the Mad TV does some good ones sometime. SNL, not so much.)

But I don't think the intent of these Christians is to parody. I think the intent is to draw from what people are already familiar with, and then using the "making it relevant" argument as an excuse to shortcut the process and in the meantime, to put it as bluntly as I can, steal from companies who have invested to develop a brand, come up with a tagline and to promote and market their message.

There is a difference between being relevant and just plain theft and it's time Christians stop being lazy and either make decent and logical connections between the secular material they're drawing from or come up with an original idea of their own.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Britney, this is your life...

This is a funny look at what Britney's future will probably hold. It all seems very plausible, too. Time capsule this, quick!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Ready, Set, Diet

It's somewhat annoying that the article seems to think that only women diet. But it's interesting on why some people have such a hard time dieting. Makes me think of something I said recently... "People say 'Hey James, how come it seems like you're always on a diet.' To which I have to respond 'Because I'm so bad at it.'"

Seriously, I'd like to lose some weight. Even had a doctor recently tell me I needed to shed 20 pounds. But it seems nearly impossible. There is always snacks at work.

I've recently started to realize that if I don't have the cookie, there will be cookies again in the future. This isn't the last cookie on earth. But that usually only applies to the second or third cookie. I'm starting to be able to pass it up, but most of the time, I just don't want to. I want to have that cookie, that brownie, that piece of cake. Sadly, sometimes there's an "and" in that statement.

I may overall be making some headway, but I am always looking for an excuse to snack, and I have one of the world's sweetest tooths, teeth, whatever. But I'm not serious. I'm never serious. Perhaps that's my problem.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

And they get paid for it...

The government is employing hackers to show companies and local, state and federal governmental organizations how insecure their systems are. That seems like it'd be a pretty good job if you had the skills, er, I mean, skilz.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Yeah, but does it have a hemi?

ITEC introduces its new 9 foot tall, 8 foot wide and 21-1/2 foot long $100,000 pickup truck. Oh, and it gets 9 miles to the gallon of diesel.


Following up my previous post about how The Smoking Gun ordered and received stamps of some infamous people, Stamps.com is now only letting you do animals and kids. Maybe Smoking Gun should try Kujo or the evil Siamese cats from Lady and the Tramp.

The Sound of Irony

Turns out that loud music probably causes lung collapse. Would it be bad to hope that it happens to that jerk in the black Nissan Senta with the banged up door?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Peanut Butter, the Mob and a Comic

An interesting article about a man, a comic strip, the IRS, the mob, and more. Makes the legal battles that guy has with Coke pale in comparison. Of course, it's the family's version of events. And not that easy to follow.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A Pinch Before Death

Much of the article is devoted to talking about four men executed in China for embezzlement from major financial institutes, but almost as an afterthought the article mentions that China executes somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 people a year, more than the rest of the world, combined. Including Texas!*

Most of the time, it's a shot to the back of the head, though they're "experimenting with lethal injections" and that most are for murder, but in some cases, it's been as minor as butt-pinching.


(*Had to throw that in for my Bush hating friends.)

Monday, September 13, 2004

All Hail the Inventor of the Wipe

Wipes are great. We have baby wipes for the baby, we have dog wipes for the dog. They are, of course, used a little differently. On the dog they are used all over her coat to shampoo off dirt and leave the coat glossy. I have four different kinds of wipes for my car alone... one for windows, one for the dash, one for the leather seats and my favorite, the car wash wipe, which you can use to wipe down the outside of the car. They promise a shine as good as a carwash, but I'd need a lot of wipes as we have these sucky trees in our front yard that drip sticky stuff and drop leaves all the time. I do not recommend the Armorall brand of window wipes found with the car supplies at Target. They don't seem to work too well, or they dried out or something. I think Clorox and Windex also make brands that I intend to try next. But they are good for quickly wiping away a level or two of grime inbetween car washes.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Angry Dad

This site kinda sucks; it's about a dad going through a divorce and attempting to get custody of his children (I think). In any case, he's a really good writer.

Puppy Shoots Man

A man shooting puppies he couldn't find homes for was himself shot by one of the puppies who he was holding as it squirmed. He's now facing felony animal cruelty. The puppy is facing felony assault. Irony? The puppy's sentence would carry 7 times the penalty as the man's.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

What took them so long?

One day before the third anniversary of 9/11/2001, the insurers responsible for paying out for the destruction of the trade towers are suing the airlines for their negligence. Darn straight!

Friday, September 10, 2004


Seventy thousand dollars worth of lemons were incinerated based on an anonymous e-mail alleging that they contained chemicals planted there by terrorists. They were incinerated because they had been frozen, tested, and held on a boat off the US coast for at least a week and were no longer edible. But the lemons were coming from Argentina and bound for Montreal. If we're so worried about our ports and the difficulty securing them, why aren't we telling the lemon farmers to ship their goods directly to Canada? Would cut down on traffic, too. There's nothing quite like a truck that's lost of load of lemons all over the freeway. I've seen it. I've driven through it. It's not fun.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Neighborhood Kids

I came out tonight after doing some work in the backyard to see the neighborhood kids sweeping up all the leaves that had fallen off our giant trees into the street. Odd, I thought. So I said hi to one of them. He asked if it was ok that he was taking our leaves. He and his sister had gotten it into their heads that it would be really fun to jump into a giant pile of leaves, so they were sweeping all the leaves down the street and into their lawn. I offered him a better broom, but he declined. Sadly enough, apparently his parents got wind of it because the leaves are still in front of my house. Just now nicely swept into a large pile. Ah, the innocence of kids. Wonder if I can get them to do that every week.

Objective Offensiveness

The Smoking Gun thought it was just wrong that you could order postage stamps with pictures of your choosing on them, but moreso, they were intrigued that inappropriate stamps would be denied. So, they decided to see what was considered inappropriate. It's amusing and surprising what made it through and onto custom postage stamps.

First Bell

This is reprinted from my friend Kevin's website (link above) because I just thought it deserved as many people as possible seeing it. Not sure I can claim that many readers, but if it's another chance to get onto a search engine, or if someone visits here who doesn't visit his site and has a chance to read it, well, then that's why I reposted it.

September 1st in Russia isn't a holiday, but it is significant. It's a different way of thinking, but to them the first day of the school year holds more meaning than the last day of the previous year. Beginnings are emphasized over endings. The first day of school, known simply as "First Bell," is a day to recognize the next step in a child's development. But September, as we keep learning, might not be the best month for optimistic thoughts.

A team of Chechnyan rebels, armed with guns and wired to explosives similar to the suicide bombers of the middle east, seized control of a school. Militant separatists bent on becoming martyrs to their own cause of freedom for their people. It won't work, of course. It will end badly for many, perhaps all.

Children, teachers, and school staffers sit huddled inside the school, waiting for the fireworks to begin. Past experience teaches us much. The images of a crowded theater lined with bodies of both terrorists and their innocent victims are tough to forget. Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent, rules Russia with an iron fist, if not an iron curtain. Death looms large over the more than 350 hostages.

But the big news in the United States is not about terrorists or hostages or even the Republican National Convention. Our top story tonight is the dismissal of Kobe Bryant's rape charges. I'm sure historians will debate the outcome of Mr. Bryant's rape trial for decades, whereas a silly thing like ethnic warfare in the eastern hemisphere won't even merit a footnote.

In a situation which makes Columbine look like a Norman Rockwell painting, American media chose to lightly gloss over it, then moved on to an in depth and compelling debate about Kobe's future in the NBA. That, my friends, is why THEY hate us. That, dear people, is why America faces another painful anniversary in a week's time. Our ignorance and our lack of shame make us the most disgraced nation since WWII Germany. And to think, we don't even have to kill anybody to be despised... our apathy and ego are more than enough.

Since we claim to be fighting a war on terrorism, and we seemingly have no problem setting foot on foreign soil uninvited, why aren't we in Beslan, Russia right now? Why aren't we in Moscow, dethroning Putin and installing a regime who recognizes the rights of Chechnyans? Why aren't we in Chechnya installing a government that can contain the violent extremists of their citizenry? Why aren't we in North Korea, fighting a genuine threat of actual, proven-to-exist nuclear weapons of mass destruction? Why aren't we in Libya, capturing or even assassinating its leader who has claimed responsibility for the deaths of scores of Americans? Why aren't we in Arafat's bunker with a force of special ops. agents to muzzle that outdated son of a bitch before he opens his fat face again? Why aren't we in Israel, commanding the Israelis to heed the teachings of their most sacred religious texts which teach of love and forgiveness and charity and compassion?

But we don't go to these places and we won't do these things because we aren't fighting a war on terror. And we can't televise global tragedies which don't directly impact Joe American because it would only serve to remind us how cold and self serving the United States really is. So we hug mom, we eat apple pie, we interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you breaking news about Kobe Bryant's penis, and we go to bed feeling safe and smug. Which is all well and good as long as the victimized children aren't American so we don't have to pretend to care, because let's be honest, we only barely care when they are American children.

Foreign boys and girls, dressed in their brightest white shirts and blouses and their cleanest black pants and skirts, carrying backpacks and sack lunches, attending their first day of school, only to be threatened at gunpoint by men so desperately misguided they actually believe the murder of children might force us... westerners... Americans... to take notice... to intervene. Hell, we don't even interrupt "Fear Factor" for something that trivial.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Source of Freedom

"I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world."
The RNC was on TV tonight when I came home and they were waiting for President Bush to accept the nomination. I didn't turn it on and I expected to be bored, but I ended up thinking that it was a really well written speech. I thought it ran the gammut, from deadly serious to light-hearted and self-depreciating. I thought some stuff was wading a little deep into you know what, and some of it was really reaching to put a good spin on some stuff that fell pretty flat, but overall, I liked it. I thought it was even funny how in one instance he put himself next to President Clinton and had Kerry opposing both of them.

Who knew?

Well, let me say welcome! Now that there are ads on the side of the page, I can tell that a couple of people are actually reading. (No, I don't know who you are... feel free to post comments.)

I am amused that in my post about weight and cookies that it was cookies that it triggered into and all the ads were for cookies. I wonder how it chooses to pick that over other things on the page like Sprint PCS or drunk driving.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Legitimate Blamethrowing

I realized this morning that my struggle with my weight is not entirely my own fault. I can shift some of the blame to my parents.

I realized that growing up, we rarely had snacks, sweets or desserts. So when they were available to me, I consumed like there'd never be another cookie, never be another chocolate cake. Probably why I had that cookie eating contest with that kid during the church raising party. I lost; I stopped eating after 110 cookies. Amazing that I wasn't puking my guts out later that night. Must have been small cookies. And in retrospect, who over-estimated that much on cookies and left them in the room with the kids?

But so now, even to this day, I struggle... when I see sweets (of which there are often lots) here on campus, I must have some. There will never been sweets again.

I made a bit of a breakthrough last night... I had the option to have another brownie and I did not. I know that there will be more brownies when I get home tonight, so I didn't take any with me to work, either. And if the brownies all get eaten, I have the potential and the ability, should I so desire, to drive to the store, buy more brownies, mix up the contents, eat some raw brownie goop and then cook some more.

But I also have the power to be patient... there will be more brownies.

Small steps, right?

Now that's GOTTA hurt

Darwin by association... Lori sent me the link of two buddies who went out drinking. Well, they were pretty hammered and one guy wasn't feeling well, so they set out for home. The sick guy's got his head out the window and the driving of the other guy's not helping matters. Especially when he goes off the road, right next to a support wire for a telephone pole. Well, the support wire neatly slices off the guy's head and the side mirror of the truck. The other guys finishes the drive home, goes inside and passes out. His buddy's headless body's sitting in the truck (some poor guy walking his dog sees it the next day) and the head is 12 miles away lying next to the telephone pole. This is why it's so important to have a designated driver. Or at least why you need to pull over and stop the vehicle when someone needs to blow chunks.