December 30, 2004

Another Welcome!

Dantravels has been sending me a rather large portion of hits, so it's only fair that I add him to my blogroll. Although I don't know Dan personally, I like reading his blog, and we must think alike because his last two posts were on toys and breasts. Please take a minute or two and check it out.

December 29, 2004

Ooooh....I Want That!!!

How many times did you say that growing up? Let me refresh your memory with this list of the top 100 toys of all time**. It's amazing how many of these I owned/played. (Battling Tops rocked!! And if either of my sisters is reading this...Where's my Electronic Detective??) This one's for Ken:

#94 - Smoking Monkey
Aside from the fact that it was seriously politically incorrect on many, many levels at once, the Smoking Monkey was the source of much confusion for British youngsters, who could neither understand nor appreciate why anyone would actually want a toy chimpanzee dragging on a pretend cigarette nor indeed what possible use or purpose it might serve.

Purpose? Purpose? It's a smoking monkey...Who needs a purpose?

** When I say "all time," I really mean "historic time," as nowhere on that list did I see those prehistoric favorites the rock, the stick, or the ever-popular "Knock Out Grog And Steal His Fire," the first and only board game to be played with a real board.


I'm about to say something that's probably unpopular. That's all right--I'm ready to be called mean, unfeeling, etc. That comes with putting your opinions out there for all to see. Not everyone will agree with them.

In the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami, with the death rate continuing to rise (60,000+ last I checked), I'm pissed at the United Nations reaction. This was a terrible tragedy, without a doubt, but I can't tell you any more about it than what you'll see on the news. So I'm going to tell you something you may not have heard.

The U.S. offered aid to the region immediately after the incident. The response of U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland?

"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really."

The "we" technically refers to "rich nations," but it's clearly a thinly veiled jab at the U.S. Now, don't get me wrong...I think we ought to send as much aid as possible to those people. But let me also say that I'd like to bitch-slap any county that even slightly criticizes our efforts. I can't help but think of them as a bunch of ungrateful relatives who have spent the entire year doing nothing but telling us and each other how much they despise us and then complaining that we only got them a tie for Christmas. (That must be what it feels like to be an attorney--everyone hates you until they need you, at which point you become their best buddy.) And even if you give a pass to other countries...The U.N.????? Should I point out some of the obvious points?

This is the organization that facilitated the biggest scam in human history, the amount of which dwarfs our aid contribution. Just think what kind of help could be provided with those funds.

As I posted on before, the "stingy" U.S. provides the lion's share of the U.N. budget. This is because member countries pay "what they can afford." Apparently, the U.S. can afford more than all the other members of the security council combined.

I know what you're all thinking: What about the debt, the back dues that the U.S. owes to the U.N.? According to Cliff Kincaid, the debt doesn't exist. In fact, Kincaid claims, were the UN to repay all the "undocumented" aid America has provided over the years, they would likely go bankrupt. (Granted, the article is old, but it's not THAT old.)

Ultimately, we'll do everything that we can. We always do. We give more aid to the rest of the world than any other country on the planet, as well we should. But soon, this disaster will drift away in the world's memory, and there will be that lull before the next one, and once again we will be the imperialist U.S. molding the rest of the world to our desires. And people--some foreign, some domestic--will hate us. Maybe it's just the cynic in me poking through, but every time it happens, I become a little more of an isolationist.

December 28, 2004


Still busy with the grading thing, but had to take a moment to celebrate reaching 5,000 hits.

Also, check out the Ten Least Succesful Holiday Specials of All Time from the good people at National Lampoon.

December 25, 2004

And To All A Good Night

Well, it's technically Christmas already, but since I haven't gone to bed, I'll pretend it's still the night before.

As I approach the end of the year, and 5,000 hits, I just wanted to say "thank you" to you all. Those of you who pestered me to start this thing, and those who linked to it, or stopped by once in a while for a laugh, even those who came by to all make doing this worthwhile. And I feel very lucky and privileged to share this small part of me with such good people.

I hope that wherever you're going, and whatever you're doing tomorrow (today?), you are happy, safe, and content. But not too content, because you need to get your asses back here and get me past the five grand hits mark.

So until then Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukah/Merry Kwanzaa/Happy Festivus (for the rest of us) and "God Bless!"/"L'Chaim!"/"As-Salaam-Alaikum!"/"Hey, Buddy!"

...And to all a good night.

December 23, 2004

He Told You So!

I caught this article from Yahoo! news, about Senator Dick Durbin's assault on Donald Rumsfeld:
The incoming deputy leader of Senate Democrats demanded answers Saturday from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as to why U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan lack protective equipment for themselves and their vehicles.

Nothing sickens me more than when politicians use tragedy to grab a few headlines. And that's exactly what Durbin is doing here. If he really wanted to know why, he should have read this incredibly insightful opinion piece by Bruce "Nostradamus" Bartlett, from way back in 1999:
As a consequence, defense officials are scrambling to pull together the resources needed to sustain our operations there. Unfortunately, they are bumping up against severe limits resulting from the drastic deterioration of U.S. military capability during the Clinton Administration. In just fiscal year 1998 alone the Defense Department lost the following assets.

Aircraft. The number of combat aircraft fell by 434 or 4.8 percent. Sixty-two airlift planes were also retired, and 857 other aircraft. In total, 1,353 planes were taken from service, reducing the number of aircraft available by 6.6 percent.

Ships. More than 10 percent of all submarines were decommissioned, reducing the total to 123 from 137 the year before. Ten support ships were lost and 684 small boats. Overall, U.S. ship strength was reduced by 16 percent.

Combat vehicles. The number of tanks were reduced by 827 or 7.6 percent. Other combat vehicles fell by 6,360 or 14.5 percent. Overall, available combat vehicles declined by 13.1 percent.

He finishes with this:
In short, Bill Clinton's emasculation of the Defense Department is going to sandbag his successor, regardless of who it is. We can only hope that that person has the political will to do what is necessary in the face of inevitable opposition.

You may be asking yourself how the Clinton administration managed to gut our nation's defense so much. Maybe this will help. It's a few selection's from Dick Durbin's voting record. (from LexisNexis(TM))

Terminate further production of the Stealth bomber.
(CR# 167; Tally: 144-279 Date: 07/26/89)

Pass H. R. 5006, Defense Authorization.
(CR# 172; Tally: 198-168 Date: 06/05/92)

Terminate the production of B-2 bombers.
(CR# 170; Tally: 162-212 Date: 06/05/92)

Reduce the authorization for SDI by $937.5 million.
(CR# 169; Tally: 161-211 Date: 06/05/92)

Ban domestic nuclear testing for one year.
(CR# 164; Tally: 237-167 Date: 06/04/92)

Pass H.R. 1530, authorizing appropriations for DoD military
activities for 1996.
(CR# 385; Tally: 300-126 Date: 06/15/95)

Pass H.R. 7, to revitalize the national security of the United
(CR# 145; Tally: 241-181 Date: 02/16/95)

Thanks a lot, Dick.

And So Did He!

Bartlett's not the only one who saw it coming. Decorated vet Col. David Hackworth sent an open letter to President Clinton in 1998:

Hackworth raises a series of excellent questions that should be addressed not only to Clinton but to every member of Congress:

Why are there more colonels than machine gunners in the U.S. Army?

Why are there 150,000 military personnel hunkered down around Washington, DC, when infantry platoons, who close with the enemy, are uniformly 30 to 40 percent under strength?

Why does NATO have 44 U.S. Army generals in Europe when we have but four fighting brigades there? This is roughly one general per rifle/tank company.

Why do the top generals and admirals in NATO have plush villas and fat staffs which require millions of dollars per year to support, while many of our warriors live in tin trailers and can't make it without food stamps?

"Sure we have 1.4 million military personnel on the books," continues Hackworth, "but we have only 29,000 trigger pullers -- the indispensable riflemen who put holes in enemy soldiers. Your politically correct civilian defense chiefs have eviscerated our force with their constant politicking, treating the profession of arms as though it were an 8 to 5 operation like the Post Office, rather than one whose life-and-death mission is to defend America."

December 22, 2004

Was That One Lump Of Talking Spiders, Or Two?

Now...if you could combine this religion with this (previously mentioned) one...well, now you got yourself something.

Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, My Ass

I know Christmas is supposed to be a time of cheer and good will and all that, but for me it's a time of final exams, papers, and projects--all of which I have to grade. So bear with me; the pickins is gonna be slim for a while. In the meantime, have a look at the top 10 hoaxes for 2004.

December 13, 2004

Some Tech Support

I've been back and forth with blogger's tech support for some months now. The Problem? When you set your template to allow you to edit a post while signed in, you should see a little pencil at the end of each post. I couldn't see any pencil. Seeing as they're free, I can't complain about blogger too much, but their "help" consisted of several different ways of saying: "Well, we can see it so it must be something wrong at your end." I wasn't trying to blame anyone; I was merely looking for help. You know, getting it to work again? I had already guessed the problem was here somewhere, but it would have been nice if they had given me a few suggestions.

Anyway, I finally solved the problem. It was the settings on my Norton Internet Security. If any of you are having the same problem, or if you know someone who is, here's what you can try:

Open NIS and go to 'options.' Click on the 'web content' tab and add to the list of sites. I also added the address for my specific blog, but I don't know if you have to or not. Once the site is added, you can adjust the individual settings for that site using the other tabs. The one that seemed to make the difference for me was permitting the 'information about visited sites,' although I don't know why exactly. But experiment with those and you might have some success.


I was watching Ebert & Roeper this evening, as I do every Sunday. Most of the time, I find myself siding with Richard Roeper, as I think Roger Ebert has begun to let his personal views (politics) creep into his reviews. Tonight, though, he went too far. They were reviewing Beyond the Sea, and Ebert had this to say:

I think Kevin Spacey sings better than Bobby Darin.

Now, it's one thing to say that Spacey "sings like Darin," or that Spacey does a good job with the singing. It's another thing entirely to say that Spacey sings better than Darin. I've seen clips from the film, which include sections from a few of the musical numbers. I will agree that Spacey does a good job with the singing. I'll also add that those who are saying that Spacey sounds "just like" Darin probably don't know much about the music from that period. Yes, all crooners sound alike to a certain degree--often many different artists will do the same song. That's why they call the songs "standards." But it just amazes me that people will confuse Sinatra with Darin with Bennett with Harry Connick, Jr. I imagine it would be like watching a George Lucas film with Mr. Ebert and telling him that it's just like a Ridley Scott film because they both have done films about outer space and aliens. He'd laugh himself silly.

Anyway, play me a recording of the Rat Pack singing a song together, and I can tell you which lines of the song are Sinatra, which are Martin, which are Sammy, etc. Hell, I can even imitate most of them. If you run into me sometime, ask me to do Elvis singing Sinatra and Sinatra doing Elvis. (Speaking of which, Darin did a mean impression of Elvis. Find yourself a copy of "Who Takes Care of the Caretaker's Daughter" on Two of a Kind and you'll see what I mean.)

This idea that Spacey is "better," though. Yes, it's all a matter of taste, I suppose. To me, however, it's like saying that an Elvis impersonator is better than the King himself, or that Diet Dr. Pepper is better than Dr. Pepper. You see, the success of an imitation lies in the extent to which it can remind us of the original. But you must have the original as context. For example, there would be no Elvis impersonators without Elvis, no Diet Coke without Coke. In that case, it's near impossible for an imitation to be "better" than the original. Sorry, Kevin.

I realize that this is my issue, and probably means nothing to most of you. In that case, get your own blog and write about what you want to. I look forward to reading it. And I'm not against the film. Honestly, I'm glad the film's being made, and I'll be sure to see it. If, after seeing it in total, I think differently, you'll see it here. But when I see clips, I don't see Darin; I see Spacey playing Darin. And that's all right. Yeah, the lines are cool, but it's Spacey-cool, not Darin-cool. Spacey's trying too hard--it seems forced. Darin's cool, that laid-back coziness with the world, was so much a part of him, inextricable, seemingly effortless, and very tough to capture. But still, that's okay. Spacey is an actor after all. It's his job to do the best he can to capture the character. And he can sing, no doubt about it. He's even going on tour, a kind of tribute, I guess.

I just don't want people to focus so much on the imitation that they forget about the real thing.

December 12, 2004

Christmas Recycling

I sent this out in an emai to a chosen few last year, but now that I have this new, improved forum, I thought I'd share it again.

The Dead Serious Top Ten Holiday Activities

10. Contact plumber’s union about the possibility of staging a wondrous holiday musical/ballet. Title: The Buttcracker!

9. Making fruitcake for family and friends. It’s the one time a year I get to flour my nuts.

8. Making sure all the neighborhood kids know that every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings…and every time a car horn honks, a puppy is killed.

7. Recycling things around the house to create thoughtful, homemade gifts. Dried-gum lint roller keeps clothes lint-free AND minty-fresh.

6. Well, let’s just say that this Christmas, when I say “ho ho ho,”...I’ll be taking a head count.

5. Set out on a holy Christmas pilgrimage to find the land of the heat and cold misers.

4. I like to live on the edge: I’m makin’ a list, but I’m only gonna check it once.

3. Find some cantankerous old rich guy, and take him on a magical trip to view the Christmases of his past, present, and future. Then, when he’s pleading in front of his tombstone, take his wallet. It’s a cautionary tale—you gotta keep an eye on that sucker.

2. Stage a nativity scene with monkeys dressed like bellboys. When local church groups complain, tell them it’s a “Darwin Christmas.” Then throw monkey poop at them and run.

1. I really wanted to do something funny and clever for number one, but the truth is, I’ll probably just get liquored up and kick the shit out of an elf.

December 08, 2004

Square?? Square??

Do the two squares cancel each other out?

I got this link from Petitedov, who got it from Karol.



Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

It's True

I tried to downplay it, but since Ken let the cat out of the bag (really, someone ought to take that bag away from him), I'll acknowledge it--I'm another year older. Unfortunately, I have to teach all day long. But at least I'll get to spend this special day doing what I love...looking at young co-eds. (What? You thought I was gonna say teaching? C'mon, you should all know me by now.)

December 06, 2004

Friendly Fire

Here's a fairly candid and in-depth account of Pat Tillman's final hours. Just heartbreaking. I can't even bring myself to quote from it.

Think Again!

So, you've been keeping up on your science? Well, now that you've read about how soft drinks are harmful to your children, or how obesity kills 400,000 people a year, or how global warming has nearly made the polar bear should read this article, which lists the top ten most embarrassing moments in health and environmental science for 2004.
The list spotlights individuals and organizations that -- through exaggerated claims, bad judgment, and/or hidden agendas -- have most egregiously undermined public confidence in the scientific community’s capacity to conduct sound and unbiased research. has exposed and debunked flawed research and unfounded scientific claims since 1996.

Re: The polar bear "extinction":
A Canadian Press Newswire story earlier this year reported that, in three Arctic villages, polar bears "are so abundant there's a public safety issue." Local polar bears reportedly increased from about 2,100 in 1997 to as many as 2,600 in 2004. Inuits wanted to kill more bears, which are "fearsome predators."

An aerial survey of Alaskan polar bears published in Arctic (December 2003) reported a greater polar bear density than previous survey estimates dating to 1987.

If polar bears are getting skinnier as the 1999 study suggested, it may be due to greater numbers subsisting on the same level of available food. After all, harvesting Alaskan polar bears has been limited by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and international agreements since 1972.

This might become one of my new favorite sites.

Please, Mr. Postman!

I finally added an email address to my profile so those of you who wish to comment, but don't want to do it publically, can do so. You can find it under my profile, but if you just can't wait, here it is:

So, now, I hope to hear from you quiet readers out there--you have no more excuses. And to all: I'm never above getting emails that point out how wonderful I am.

December 03, 2004

Quote Of The Day

Apparently, there's a sexual theme going tonight, but the quote made me laugh, so I had to include it.

Colin Farrell, when asked if it was true that his full-frontal nude scene from A Home at the End of the World was cut because audiences found "little Colin" a little too distracting:

I don't know. I see my cock every day and I'm not distracted. But, hey, who knows?

What might be even better is the bit with Angelina Jolie later on in the article.

He was always wearing those djellaba [togas]. Where there would normally be a pocket in pants was a pocket in the djellaba. And he would go up to people, including me, and say, 'Will you help me get this out of my pocket?' And staring up at me was his penis. I got him good, though, once. I pulled and pulled, and I stretched it so much it almost was pulled off. [bold mine]

Yeah. You got him good. I'm sure he'll never do that again. Oh, and he mentioned something about not throwing him in the briar patch.

Let's Go To The Videotape!

I was just watching Sharon Reed on Letterman. Who is Sharon Reed, you ask? Well, she's the Cleveland television news reporter who stripped down to her personality to cover Spencer Tunick's latest project: photographing thousands of nude people lounging in the Cleveland streets. I originally picked up Ms. Reed's story on my radar a couple of days ago (my radar is very closely attuned to the words "naked" and "women") but decided not to write on it. "Why not, DS?" some of you may be asking. "We know if there's something you love to get behind, it's naked women." To those people, I respond: quit writing your own jokes.

While it's true that I believe a lot of the world's ills would be corrected by including more naked people on television (Are you reading this, makers of Desperate Housewives?), the reason I haven't mentioned Ms. Reed before this is simple: I'm not that impressed. Oh sure, you can say how brave it was for this reporter to strip down and mix with the subjects of her story, but I want to make a few things clear.

First of all, Sharon Reed has the face and body of a Playboy playmate. Here's a link to some of the pics from her story. (warning: semi-nudity) And after seeing her on Letterman, I can say the pics don't do her justice--the woman is sexy as hell. So, no...I'm not impressed that she got naked. If I looked like that...Well, I'd have to start using the other restroom, but also, I'd spend a good portion of my day naked. You want me to be impressed? Let's see a reporter who DOESN'T resemble a Goddess take the assignment. That'll impress me. Barbara Walters. I'll be impressed as hell. Pre-stomach-op Al Roker. I'd give him an award. In both cases, I'd probably get a little ill, and possibly lose the ability to be aroused for several weeks, but I'd be damn impressed.

That said, congratulations to Ms. Reed for the positive reaction she has received from viewers. And for those of her fellow reporters who have sniffed and sniggered and chastised...Hey...Pal...She's hot and she wants to get naked. Shut the hell up already, and make yourself useful...Hold her clothes or something.

December 02, 2004

For Old Time's Sake

Now that Ridge is stepping down from Homeland Security, that gives me a chance to revive one of my favorite posts of all time.

Go here.