Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Best Ever Death Metal Band Outta Denton

Today I spent a few hours making calls in the local Democratic Party phonebank. This is something that always sounded like a good idea but really only in theory until I found out that a friend of mine is working for the Party here and took me seriously when I said I would be willing to do that. My mistake.

Actually, it wasn't so bad considering I was calling Republicans and Independents in Western Kansas. It's so much easier calling people up and asking for their opinion than it is to ask them for money plus I knew it was for a good cause. The only people that really pissed me off were people that said they were Democrats but refused to vote for Obama. One woman told me that she would NEVER vote for Obama because she was a Hillary supporter. Then she proceeded to tell me a sad story about her struggles to get money for her disability and her inability to get insurance. I told her Obama would make sure all Americans are insured but she said she didn't think he would ever do anything about it and once again said she would NEVER vote for him. What can you tell a person like that who is so focused on Hillary or something that she wouldn't even vote for her own self-interests?

There were the usual people that told me they needed to have Christian values in the White House, blah, blah, blah. Another guy went on a rant about how I shouldn't try to give him that "change" crap because it's meaningless. Overall, I was somewhat pleased with the response that the Democrats were getting from the group so that's something, I guess. I mean, this is a state where I saw this flying in the K-State parking lot.

Which brings me to my next adventure, the K-State vs. North Texas football game. I was scared to get too close to it in case they were vampires or something but in case you couldn't tell that's the GOP elephant flying over someone's tailgate. I had a great time at the game and found that some stereotypes about K-State are true and others weren't.

Stereotypes confirmed? Band people tend to gravitate to the dorky side...but maybe not their fault.

For some reason they decided it would be a good idea to dress their band in white t-shirts tucked into purple mesh shorts. Given that many of the members were kind of overweight this was a horrible look. Band people have a hard enough time without you dressing them like they're on Celebrity Fit Club or something. Granted it's not like the regular uniforms are the height of fashion but they can hide some flaws and at least it looks somewhat professional. Plus many of these band members chose to accentuate the look with a canvas fanny pack because they didn't have any pockets. Great, now you look like you're selling tickets to a high school football game too.

Stereotype confirmed: K-State fans love jorts. I mean, I saw a shocking number of these things on people of every age. Not that there's really anything too horribly wrong with them it's just that you don't see them around much so I felt like it was 1995 all over again.

Other fashion faux pas: The purple camo pants on the guy in front of me and me for being the only person not wearing a K-State shirt.

Other interesting sights: The woman in front of me had a purple foot stool that she sat on so she could see over the people in front of her and block people behind her.

K-State's coach has such obvious tan lines where he usually wears his sunglasses that I could see them from the stands and it was confirmed on the video board later.

Middle-aged men hate people that wear iPods. My uncle and his friends bitched a lot about the guys on the team that had them on for their walk into the stadium. I tried to defend the younger generation but it did admit that it could cause a perception problem for the team.

WWJD? Bulldoze everything!

I was flipping through the channels this morning and came across a show about the environment on the Jesus channel. I figure it would be good for a laugh and I was pretty much right.

First, they put up a graph of sunspot activity that pretty corresponded perfectly to the rise in temperature. Then they showed increasing levels of carbon dioxide and, oh noes! The curve looks different! It reminded me of the correlation between increasing temperature and decreasing pirates. Now I don't know what to believe.

Then they went into this thing about how many evangelical Christians have gotten into the environmental movement to be good stewards of God's creation. The announcer intoned in a grave voice, "but...does the modern environmental movement agree with the view laid out...in the Bible?"

The answer, not surprisingly, was no. One guy said something like, "I've actually talked to people who think that humans are BAD for the environment. That the Earth would be better off without them. But that's so dangerous. If you look at the Bible it says that humans are at the top of creation. So, if you try to stop our development (cut to shot of oil well) you're going against what God wants."
What? God wants us to drill everything and develop unchecked?

Then the next guy comes on posed in front of an oscilloscope so you know he's a scientician of some sort. He says "if we try to control carbon dioxide emissions people will die! If we signed the Kyoto treaty our heating oil prices will skyrocket. What that happens poor people turn down their heat and every year people die because of that. Are we willing to sacrifice those people just to do something that MIGHT work?"
So, couldn't you just subsidize heating oil for the poor? Or is there something in the Bible about not helping poor people because it's their own fault? I couldn't help but wonder how dumb people could be if they were actually convinced by that argument. Then, the really ridiculous part was that they cut to a clip of starving Africans while he was saying that. First, dying from lack of heating oil is probably not a major concern of theirs. Second, they're the ones that face a greater likelihood of dying from the effects of global warming.

I can't stand these assholes because the right wing of the political spectrum and this brand of Christianity have become so intertwined they that twist their ideologies to fit each other no matter what is actually written in the scriptures or what makes sense for the world.

That's, umm, pretty creepy

There's something really disturbing about hearing a 16 year-old gymnast talking about "making my taco pop!"

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

Too much good stuff not to quote. Most of this is coming from DailyKos.
This from Politico
In an interview just a month ago, she dissed the job, saying it didn’t seem “productive.”

In fact, she said she doesn’t know what the vice president does.

Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain ticket mate.
Palin replied: “[A]s for that V.P. talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that V.P .slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”
Umm, I hope she figures out what exactly the Veep is supposed to do before she takes office. Actually, I hope that isn't a problem.

Here are what the conservatives on MSNBC had to say.
Pat Buchanan:
Biggest political gamble I believe just about in American political history...that is not hyberbole. I can think of no choice of VP that approaches this.

Joe Scarborough:
I can't imagine a woman that's been a governor for a year and a half, but to debate Joe Biden on Georgia, a remerging Russia, an emerging China and India, on the Middle East, my God, how does she do that?

Winnar.

Update: I meant to mention this and just plain forgot but she is currently facing an ethics investigation over some weird scandal involving a bitter divorce and pressuring someone to fire her ex-brother-in-law from his state trooper job. She'll fit right in.

Wings, Football, Obama

As I mentioned earlier I was facing a tough choice about where my viewing attention would be focused. After some consideration I decided to watch the ISU game live and then catch Obama's speech online.

Since the game was on a channel with a somewhat unwieldy name (Fox College Sports Central) and only available to those wealthy and obsessed enough to buy sports packages on their cable it seemed that I would be watching from a sports bar. Being that there are probably a dozen or so people in this town that would possibly actively seek out a game between Iowa State and South Dakota State (Fear the Jackrabbit!) I was going to have to convince somebody to show it. I thought that Buffalo Wild Wings would be among the most likely to have the channel and be receptive to someone requesting an off-the-wall game. I mean, that is kind of a large part of their business model. Oh, how wrong I was.

There was a group of five of us planning to watch the game and one of my friends, John, was going early to do some work on his computer. At about 5:30 he calls me.
"They don't have the game."
"What do you mean they don't have the game?"
"They say they don't have the game."
"I know they have the game. Do they have DirecTV?"
"No, they have Sunflower Cable."
"Just a sec." I find Sunflower's website and see the channel located in their Sports Package. "They have it tell them it's on FCS Central, channel 145."
"They say they don't have it. They only have the Baylor game on Fox Sports."
"OK, see what you can do and I'll be down there in a few minutes."

I go down there, find him, and he immediately says, "let's go. Screw them."
It turns out that this bitter, mean bartender and him had been arguing about what channel this game was on and whether they had it. Now, we've had problems with this bartender before refusing to turn to an NBA game they wanted to watch even though no one else was watching that TV. According to him he tried explaining that this channel was available on Sunflower (channel 145) and DirecTV (channel 617), both of which they subscribed to. He asked her if she would just check if they had channel 145 and she copped an attitude again.
"Look...we don't have it" and walked off.

So, we went to Jefferson's, a local wing place, who has fewer TV's but apparently a little more awareness of good customer service. We asked our waitress about the chances of getting that game on a small TV in the corner. She talked to the bartender and said, "oh yeah, he already knows about it and has it on countdown." Once the game started they put the game on every TV in the place (Chiefs game was in storm delay) including the big screen so our table could see it. After the first quarter they changed to some other games but left it on the 2 TVs closest to us. We bought a lot of food, a lot of drinks, and everyone was happy. Now I know where to go the next time ISU is on TV.

So, after all that trouble I found a good place to watch the game and the Cyclones dominated. It's hard to make judgments about a team when you're in a noisy bar with a lot of distractions but I saw some positive things. True, it was an ugly, ugly game. I think each team had 2 turnovers in the first quarter. ISU fumbled through the endzone which is always a killer but they also got a turnover deep in their own territory. Both lines dominated which is exactly what you'd hope to see. I felt like Arnaud was the better of the two QBs but Bates is a playmaker as he showed in the 2nd half. I hope that if they do go with Arnaud they find a place for Bates on the field because is always capable of the big play (see Iowa game from last year).

The best part was seeing so many freshman and sophomores making plays. Johnson and Darks both caught TDs and the kicker was perfect from everywhere. The young running backs showed some promise too. Overall they dominated a shitty team which is exactly what we needed. In the years that ISU has sucked royally they either have nailbiters or lose to their I-AA team and in the years they've gone to a bowl game they've dominated them. It will be nice to see them play some better teams and eliminate some of the mistakes but all of that will come around.

Breaking news, McCain selects Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Umm, ok. So, since experience and age are so important to McCain he decides to go with the woman whose only political experience has been the Wasilla, Alaska city council and 2 years as governor of Alaska??? Hahaha, ok. Nice work. This is such a desperation pick and Biden is going to eat her alive in their debate. I love it! After the Democrats owned this week McCain knows that he's way behind and is resorting to the "chuck threes" offense.

So, that brings me to Obama's speech last night. With the game safely in hand I left after the third quarter to catch the last half of Obama's speech live. I haven't seen the whole thing yet but, wow, did he rock the part I did see. It was fantastic to see him so passionate and fired up. He was absolutely hammering Bush/McCain and showing just what kind of experience and judgment McCain has. My favorite part of the speech and really Obama himself is that he wants to work with Republicans but he isn't willing to give in on core Democratic principles. Too often compromise has meant giving the Republicans whatever they want but I don't feel like that will happen with Obama. He was unabashed in his support of these principles and didn't run from controversial topics like abortion, gay marriage, and guns but stated his positions which are ones that the majority of Americans agree with.

By the end of the speech I was fired up and I'd only seen half of it. The pundits on TV were gushing which says a lot considering many of them had tried to pooh pooh the earlier speeches. From what I read even Fox News couldn't find much wrong with it. I'm hopeful that they'll get a good bounce out of this and have set the agenda for the Republicans next week. I'm sure they'll have a good week but how good can it be when Bush AND Cheney are speaking?

If you read all of that you have too much time on your hands.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I agree with John

In the race for Senate in Kansas Democrat Jim Slattery has an uphill fight against Pat Roberts who has been Senator since '97 and in the House for 18 years before that. He's your run-of-the-mill Republican but has been pretty involved in carrying Bush's water when it comes to wiretapping, etc.

Slattery's done a decent job of raising money and has had quite a few commercials on but has been hammered by Roberts' commercials leading to a nosedive in the polls. It seems pretty unlikely he'll be able to gain any traction.

Anyway, yesterday they sent out an email asking Kansans to give their reasons for why they want change. They gave a few examples like:
Katie from Topeka tells us, "Pat Roberts has done nothing to bring down the cost of presciption drugs"
OK, probably true, but boring. As I've heard the last few nights from the pundits, "where's the red meat?" as if we're ravenous dogs just waiting to tear McCain/Bush/Republicans to shreds. Well, we are. Let's look at the next one from the email.
John from Dodge City shared this, "Pat Roberts...is an asshole"
Ha, that's much better.

Of course, instead of sticking to their guns the campaign sent out another revised email and apologized to Roberts. Seems like that's the price you pay for telling the truth sometimes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wake up, America

How to smear when you have nothing to smear with

Faux News is great. Here's what Faux reporter Megyn Kelly had to say about Michelle Obama's excellent speech last night:
Do you think that, you know, her saying that she loves America, that she loves this country, is going to do it for those who questioned her patriotism? Because she said something -- what she said was, and I wrote it down, was, "The world as it is just won't do." If you replace "world" with "country," you're back to the same debate, arguably, that you have been having about Michelle Obama's feelings about this country. Did she give her critics any fodder with that comment?
So, you're asking if she gave her critics any fodder by saying something she didn't actually say? Awesome. Well played.

Here's what McCain had to say in California yesterday:
"I also want to look you in the eye -- and I appreciate your generosity -- but I also want to tell you we will compete in the state of California."
If you replace "compete" with "take a shit in all of the bathtubs" you've got an entirely different feeling about the quote. Did he hurt his already slim chances in California by saying this?

Of course, McCain will inevitably come back with, "well, I couldn't take a shit in any bathtubs for five and a half years when I was a POW" and all will be forgiven.

As I mentioned before I watched some of the convention last night and am watching some tonight while I work on some stuff. Michelle Obama's speech was really, really good. I thought she nailed it and kind of surprised me a little bit. The girls at the end were cute. Ted Kennedy coming on stage and sucking it up to give a nice speech was a good moment too.

What's really bugging me the most is this dumb constant coverage of Hillary Clinton supporters who can't let it go. The vast, vast majority of Clinton voters are already fully on board with Obama but they keep finding these crazies that actually say they are undecided or have already gone over to McCain. Are you insane? He's the exact opposite of everything that Hillary Clinton stands for. How could you possibly consider voting for McCain if you are truly a Democrat.

These people honestly seem a touch insane. One woman said something to the effect of "I just don't feel that the Democratic party is participating in democracy anymore." What? The whole point of this is that there was a democratic process and your candidate lost. What exactly do you think should have been done differently? What an asinine comment.

Other women they show on TV have this slightly crazed look in their eyes like they're trying to sew a pantsuit out of hair they stole from Hillary's hairbrush. They go on and on about how wonderful she is but never quite explain why they can't support Obama which is what Hillary has done. It's not healthy to hold a grudge like that.

I'm not buying the idea that there are that many of these people out there but the ones that are get WAAAYY too much play from the media. Then there's McCain running those ads with Hillary giving him love while dismissing Obama. Who knew THAT would come back to bite us? Well, except everyone. I really hope Hillary rips into him tonight and makes him look like a fool but a small part of me is still a little worried it will all be about stroking her ego. I'm fine with a little of that but she better hammer him hard.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reason enough why Joe Biden is a pretty solid choice


Biden seems like a pretty good choice. I'm a huge Sebelius fan but I'd rather have her stay as Governor for a few more years and then take Brownback's Senate seat in '10. Biden says some dumb thing once in a while but examples like the clip above are why he will do great in debates against whatever choad (chode?) McLame picks and can take him apart. McSame has a dumb ad wondering why, oh why, didn't Obama take Hillary after she got millions of votes. So, by that logic we can expect him to take Huckabee? Prolly not. Being the nerd I am I'm looking forward to the convention but my only problem is on Thursday night. Should I watch Obama speak in Invesco or go to a bar that gets the Cyclones vs. South Dakota State on the satellite dish? If ISU doesn't blow out these fools it's going to be a long season again. I might not have very many opportunities to watch ISU win but I feel like Obama's going to give a hell of a speech. Would B-Dub's show it with sound???

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless

In an attempt to snuff the "how many houses do I own again?" flap McCain is apparently getting "help" from Robin Leach, the former host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." I shit you not.
In an early morning phone call Friday from his fabulous crib in Las Vegas, Leach told The Times that he isn’t really surprised at McCain's odd memory lapse given the complex lives that the super-rich lead.

"He probably was confused as to which homes are in his name, his wife's name, or corporate names," Leach explained in his familiar, deep British baritone. "In his attempt to be honest, he put his foot in his mouth."

Indeed, McCain’s four homes and at least four other residential properties are held in the name of his wife, Cindy, and her dependent children through a series of partnerships and trusts. Their combined value is nearly $14 million.

Leach said McCain "tends to answer questions very rapidly without thinking of the correct answers. ... I would call it honest confusion."
That is hilarious. See? Do we count the ones in the trust or just the ones in my name or the ones my wife bought without telling me? Very common problem...could happen to anyone. Robin freaking Leach. Hysterical.

Poor Scrooge McCain and his campaign wishes and caviar dreams.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

I could never vote for an elitist like that

With all the talk about how "elitist" Obama supposedly it's nice to see a regular guy like John McCain. You know, a guy who does regular things like say he doesn't know exactly how many houses he owns. Man, I have that same problem all the time.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."
Actually, it's kind of legitimate problem because it turns out it's actually 10 houses but on 7 different properties. See? Easy mistake to make.

In typical McCain fashion he's only digging himself deeper. In an attempt to point out "hey, Obama's rich too!" McCain's people said this:
"Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people "cling" to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?

"The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans."
Obama made $4 million last year? Wait, didn't McCain just say at that dumb thing with Rick Warren that his definition of rich was making $5 million a year? Whoops.

So, then they pulled the old POW card. It's not the first time they've played that card. In fact, that's pretty much what they do anytime there's something they don't want to talk about.
"This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington Post.
Ha, what a great line and I'm pretty sure he could apply that to anything.
McCain Accused Of Taking Bribes From Abramoff: "This is a guy who didn't touch hard currency for five and a half years -- in prison," spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington Post.

2003 McCain Arrest for DWI Uncovered: "This is a guy who didn't have a sip of booze for five and a half years -- in prison," spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington Post.

McCain Caught Cheating With 22 Year-Old ASU Intern: "This is a guy who didn't get laid at all for five and a half years -- in prison," spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington Post.

Here is a video where Feist helps McCain count his houses and here's Obama's commercial on the subject.

Really, I don't give a shit if a candidate is rich or elitist or whatever. Being rich seems to be a prerequisite in this country and you'd better think you're better than everybody if you want to be president. What matters is what these people do with their leadership. McCain wants to reward his rich buddies while Obama wants to expand health care for everybody. Unfortunately the race seems to be tightening up but Obama should get a nice boost from his VP announcement (still waiting on that text) and the convention. Things seem to have stagnated for him a little bit so hopefully this will shake them up.

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Hey, Sorority Girl

Perhaps a conversation with your mom about your possible issues with anorexia might be more appropriate somewhere other than over a cell phone as you're walking around in public.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Iowa State returning to Arrowhead?

Breaking news out of KC:
A "major college football announcement" with Kansas State and Iowa State officials is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, fueling speculation that the teams will meet in a game or games at the neutral site.

There were no specific details about what the announcement would be, but the news release did say that Chiefs president Carl Peterson, Kansas State University athletic director Bob Krause and Iowa State University athletic director Jamie Pollard would attend.

For years, the Chiefs have pursued playing host to college football games. Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State have played their regular-season showdown at Arrowhead for several years. Last year, Kansas and Missouri played at Arrowhead and will again for at least one more season.

Kansas State has played regular season games at Arrowhead twice before, once in 2000 against Iowa and 2003 against California.

I was already planning on going to the game in Manhattan but this would be pretty awesome. I'm not a huge fan of giving up a home game if that's indeed what ISU would end up doing next year but the last time ISU played at Arrowhead was a blast and if it brings in more money for the Clones that's a good thing. ISU and K-State have the two best tailgating scenes I've ever been to so the parking lot will definitely be rocking before the game and I'd think they'd both bring a decent number of fans. It will be interesting to see if this is for this year's game or starting next year. I think if they waited next year they'd get a lot more fans just so it gives people time to plan and save $ for a trip like this.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Meet my new wacky neighbor

I haven't had much interaction with any of my new neighbors so far which is pretty much fine with me. The contact I have had with one girl has exclusively been sometime between the hours of 2 and 5 AM and with me half asleep.

A few days ago I woke up about 3 AM or so to this girl somewhere outside screaming at somebody.
"No one wants to hear you! Go to bed! What the hell is wrong with you. If you're not going to go inside and sleep on the floor than just go home. No one wants to hear you!"
Ironically, she was the only thing I heard but I'm guessing that was lost on her.

Then last night a little after 4 I woke up to the same shrieking voice. I couldn't figure out what was going on at all and probably missed a few good lines (it was, after all 4 AM) but these are the ones I can remember after I figured out what was going on.
"What are you doing?!? Are you calling to see if she'll pick you up?"
The guy says something I can't hear.
"Bullshit! Then let me see the text message."
Guy says something else.
"If you walk away now...don't ever turn around!" Ha. Good one.
And then finally, the one that really got me was a very sarcastic "Good luck with the railroad!"
Umm, what? Is this guy like a train engineer? Is he a drifter that rides the rails? Is this other mystery girl the daughter of a railroad magnate? I suppose we'll never know but I can't wait to see what other kind of drama she'll whip up early in the morning. If she does keep it up I'm definitely dropping a "shut up, skank" on her.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ames = Party Town

AMES, Iowa - A sidewalk project means there may be a little bounce to the beer kegs instead of dings in the pavement when delivery trucks unload.

The city is installing a rubber sidewalk at a spot near the Iowa State University campus where beer distributors unload hundreds of kegs from trucks for bars in the area.

All those heavy kegs hitting the ground have been cracking the concrete pavement.

This story has been picked up by everybody from the Chicago Trib to CBS News. Hilarious.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hell yes, ya'll can!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Honestly, I feel a little embarrassed right now

I actually DID come here to make friends.

Yolympics

Gymnast Alicia Sacramone knocks a dude the fuck out. I liked her because she must be pretty smart as she goes to Brown and she's actually 20 so you don't feel like Chris Hanson is going to pop out of your bedroom any second just for watching. "Why don't you have a seat..."

Shawn Johnson is pretty cool too since she's from Iowa and since I spent a few years there I'm definitely allowed to jump on that bandwagon. And as everyone knows if there's anything Iowans love it's a hometown bandwagon.

I'm a huge fan of the controversy over the Chinese using 13 year olds on their Olympic team. Personally, I think they should have an exemption just because it's different over there. Hell, that's practically mandatory retirement age at the sweatshops!

Bela has to be the most unintentionally humorous analyst since Emmit Smith. He's up there ranting and raving in his thick accent about losing baby teeth and grand conspiracies against the US. Maybe if they didn't fall all the time they would have won. Anyone consider that? I actually heard people make the claim that the Chinese gymnasts are too young to understand the pressure. Umm, what? Isn't that the exact opposite of every argument ever made about pressure and younger athletes? Besides, performing in front of your home nation of a billion people and a government that wouldn't let any of their athletes retire before these games and will probably ship your family off to the reeducation camps if you choke might be a little more pressure. But, whatever.

So, I've watched a couple of nights of swimming and I'm pretty sure they've broken the world record in 95% of the races. Granted Michael Phelps is a beast and has most of those but when they're talking about someone cruising through a semifinal to save energy and they still crush the record? Well, those new suits must be pretty badass. Plus, they were partially created in an Iowa State lab so there's another bandwagon! I like how they pose that guy in front of the crappy pool in Forker after they cut men's swimming and have a terrible women's team (I think, who really follows swimming?). How about tossing a few of those wonder suits this way?

There have been a lot of dumb controversies in this game. Like the girl that actually sang the song at the opening ceremonies was lip syncing while the girl that wasn't as cute sang offstage. That led to every news reporter showing a picture of the girl while saying some variation of "not cute enough." Damn, that's going to hurt the old self-esteem. I think I'd rather nobody knew. To be honest, the girl they showed was cuter but it's not like the actual singer was a monster or anything. Pretty lame, China.

Anybody see the weightlifter turn his elbow inside out? It looks pretty gross and then you realize that what looks the bony part of his elbow is actually supposed to be his arm and then you just want to throw up. It reminds me of that SNL sketch with the All-Drug Olympics. Kevin Nealon's commentary at the end is perfect. Those guys love a good disappointment where they can shove a camera three inches from the person's face while they realize that years of incredibly hard work won't be paying off in the form of a medal. Too bad...nowhere to cry in private here. Let America bathe in your tears...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Newspeak is alive and well

NEW YORK — No criminal prosecutions are planned for former Justice Department officials accused of allowing politics to influence the hiring of prosecutors, immigration judges and other career government lawyers, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Tuesday.

Mukasey used his sharpest words yet to criticize the senior leaders who took part in or failed to stop illegal hiring practices during the tenure of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales.

But, he told delegates to the American Bar Association annual meeting, "Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime. In this instance, the two joint reports found only violations of the civil service laws."
Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. Just because it's against the law doesn't make it a crime. I have a feeling that this won't be the last time that rationale is used for not prosecuting a crime committed by this administration.

What really pissed me off about this is that these types of hirings are meant to go to the best person available regardless of their political beliefs but the Bushies would only hire the most right wing candidates. So, basically, many of the civil servants hired to career positions tasked with making sure the Justice Department runs smoothly were hired because they supported Bush. Makes you really fell good, huh?
He also ruled out firing or reassigning those who were hired under the now-discarded evaluation process.

"Two wrongs do not make a right," he said. "People who were hired in an improper way didn't themselves do anything wrong."
Unfortunately, even if Obama is elected, it's going to take a long, long time to fix things.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

If you're into that type of thing

Another candidate for dumbest comment ever (updated)

ABC's Cokie Roberts discussing Obama's vacation plans:
...and going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii does not make any sense whatsoever. I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time.
Give me a break. There's so much dumb in that short little comment that it's hard to know where to start. He grew up there and went to visit his grandmother and you're going to rip him for that? Seriously? Because he should have thought how visiting his family should play with voters?

And isn't Hawaii like a traditional American vacation? It's not like he's going to surf in Lebanon or something. Hmm, I just think the beaches in South Carolina have fewer brown people. You know, connect to real Americans instead of those fake states way out there.

"I know Hawaii is a state." Really, brilliant. It's too bad your command of analyzing politics can't quite match your grasp of geography. Ugh. I can't wait for this election to be over so I can stop being outraged at this idiocy on display.

Update:
You can see her ABC performance here and her repeat the comments on NPR's Morning Edition here where she said "He makes such a point of being the boy from Kansas and Kenya." Boy? That's, umm, probably not a good choice of words, Cokie. And when did he ever say he was from Kenya or even Kansas for that matter? It's hilarious to me to watch these videos and know that she was actually trying to make a serious point.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dumbass-in-Chief

Here are some good videos of Bush acting like a some sort of ADD suffering 5 year old sitting through church.

"Jeez, is this thing over yet? How many countries are there, anyway?"

"America...fuck yeah!"

"So bored so bored so bored. My wife is a robot. So bored so bored so bored."

Nice job, jackass. Yeah, it probably is boring watching everybody walk in a circle but at least act like you give half a shit about the rest of the world.

Anyway, I've definitely gotten sucked into watching the Olympics like I usually do but I'm definitely ready for Bush to go home so I don't have to see him popping up at all these events I'm trying to watch. It's really ruining my enjoyment of some of these events. Isn't there, like, a country to run or something? Uh, on second thought maybe you should just stay there.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

The Olympics are here....meh

So, I guess the Olympics officially kick off today. On the one hand, hey, I get to see some sports that I never get to see. On the other hand, schmaltzy human interest stories galore, rampant commercialism and hypocrisy, nationalism on full display, and endless stories on China and their reaction to the Olympics. Ugh.

As important as all of these stories on China's human rights violations are it's hard for me to get too worked up about considering that these seem to be pretty standard for the rest of the world as well. One could argue that the first event of any Olympics is the rounding up of the homeless and other "undesirables" in order to present the best face to the world. In Atlanta they actually loaded them on busses and shipped them to New Jersey or somewhere while in Beijing they probably have somewhere similar to send them too. Yeah, China is causing some serious problems when it comes to Tibet and their role in the Darfur conflict but it's a lot easier to point fingers at them than address issues like Guantanamo or the war in Iraq.

However, it does annoy me that the Olympic committees or countries like the US or Great Britain bend over backwards to keep from offending the hosts of the games. Britain told their athletes that their free speech rights were suspended if they wanted to compete. Meanwhile the USOC has hypocritically decided to take "see no evil" approach to pollution after the forced members of the cycling team to apologize for wearing masks that the committee designed and gave to the athletes. In other words, "yeah, the pollution here is shockingly bad but don't actually say anything about it. We've got to pretend that Beijing isn't the most polluted city in the world because we don't want to offend the people that have to live here breathing this crap 365 days a year. That might actually force them to clean it up instead of just shutting down the factories and half the cars for a few weeks in order to pretend that things aren't that bad." Whoops, guess that whole thing isn't working out too well.

Anyway, I'll probably watch what I can and try to ignore all of this negative stuff which is pretty much what they want us all to do anyway. It would be nice to just have the games without it having to be a vehicle to sell credit cards and soda or a major coming out party to show off to the rest of the world but that's probably too much to ask for.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Things are different in the South

Although some of my family has some roots there I never really understood the South. Take this incident for example.
An Irvington cage fighter accused of inciting a brawl at an Auburn University fraternity house by yelling "Roll Tide" admitted Wednesday to bribing a retarded man to claim responsibility for injuries suffered by the brothers in the melee.
Apparently this amateur MMA fighter went into an Auburn frathouse, yelled "Roll Tide", then started stabbing people in the ensuring melee. That didn't go over well with "the law" so he attempted to bribe a 40 year old developmentally disabled man named Louie Holtz (I shit you not) by promising him a car to take the rap for the stabbing. The judge told Louie, "umm, maybe you should get a lawyer" and declared a mistrial. Classy and probably totally worth it to this dude. I mean, he got to stab those Auburn dudes!

The latest in athletic doping

The author of 'Blood Sports: The inside dope on drugs in sport' said cheating athletes are also combining the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra with doses of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Both drugs increase the flow of oxygen in the blood stream and therefore boost sporting performance.
Who knew doping could be so much fun?

Adventures in Douchebaggery

I found this story on Deadspin about two New York Giants fans who traveled to Nicaragua in order to find one of those "Patriots 19-0" shirts. Pretty much everything about this story made me despise them.

Anyway, the gist of the story is that they make up championship shirts and hats for both teams before the game and then send the losing team's gear to developing countries. There was the old joke about people in Africa thinking the Buffalo Bills were the greatest team of the 90's. Anyway, that actually happens and there were some pictures that came out of some kids wearing these shirts which inspired these guys to go down there and try to find them. I'll quote the main parts but really the whole article should be read just to get the full flavor of their condescending attitudes.
IN A PERFECT WORLD, the hat would be sitting on Tom Brady's mantle and the woman holding the hat in an impoverished and remote village in Central America would still have her teeth.

But there is perfect and there is near perfect, and the slightest difference explains how I came to be standing in a puddle of mud, carefully balancing a 75-pound purple backpack on my shoulders in San Gregorio, Nicaragua, urging my new best friend Hannibal to assure the toothless woman that we were serious about giving her actual money for this hat.
Yep, in a perfect world this woman wouldn't be living in crushing poverty but, well, what're ya gonna do? So, they're on their way to Costa Rica and decide they're going to swing by Nicaragua to see if they can find the village that was supposedly rocking these shirts. Turns out it's actually a village 8 km away so they catch another bus.
San Gregorio's mud-soaked road farted underneath our sinking feet as a flock of teenage boys descended upon us like vultures encircling a carcass. We were scouring the area trying to find someone -- anyone -- who spoke English when we met Jose Samuels.
Nice prose. Overwrite much? So, after searching for a while and finding a few English speakers they eventually find what they're looking for.
Hannibal quickly led us to a row of one-room hovels, where we met a wrinkled woman sitting outside in a mint-green dress and a white apron. Her warm smile revealed a mouth lacking teeth. Hannibal and the woman talked for a few minutes. I reminded Hannibal that we were willing to pay money for a hat or shirt. The woman entered her shack and returned with a black plastic bag.

My fingers curled with anticipation as Ilan removed a fresh, clean shirt and a never-worn hat. This could have been Brady's. This should have been Brady's.

The woman couldn't believe we were willing to pay money for these things. We gave her $5, a sizable amount in the area, and handed Hannibal an equal finder's fee before sprinting down the road as the bus began to gain speed out of town. The driver slowed to let us on.
Five bucks? Seriously? Yeah, I'm sure it was a "sizable amount in the area" but that still seems pretty cheap to go all that way and then leave her with five freaking bucks.
On the bus, I studied the "19-0 Perfect Season" hat and pointed out to Ilan the line etched into the red and blue Velcro strap: "WE WANTED IT MORE."

Not as much as we did.
Douche. Bag.

I mean, it's a good story, I guess, but it just seems more than a little exploitative to travel all the way to this remote incredibly poor village to pay $5 for a shirt and a hat given by a charity just so you can talk some smack back home. Get a life.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The McCains getting down and dirty in Sturgis

McCain is campaigning at the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis this week and said this to the crowd:
I was looking at the Sturgis schedule and noticed that you have a beauty pageant and so I encouraged Cindy to compete. I told her, with a little luck, she could be the only woman ever to serve as both the First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip.

Hmm, ok, she was kind of hot back in the day. So what exactly is this Miss Buffalo Chip contest?
Buffalo Chip has a reputation for that sort of thing. It holds a Miss Buffalo Chip contest every night, which is essentially a topless beauty pageant. And occasionally bottomless, too. During a drenching rain Wednesday night, the contest broke up into smaller groups and one woman wound up dancing naked on a bar top. Her boyfriend/husband saw her and angrily dragged her away as she struggled to put her pants back on and muttered something about how, "It's only this one week a year."

Heh, umm, that would be entertaining.

Update: Here's the best response I've seen to this yet.
All I’m saying is that if Barack Obama had gone to an event with 20,000 people wasting gas to talk about energy and said that his wife should have simulated sucking a banana dick between another woman’s legs, this race would be fucking over.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Yeah, brah, party!

A house fire broke out here in town early Friday morning and was apparently caused by fireworks smoldering in a couch on the porch. One of the occupants of the house is still in the hospital but that didn't stop two of his housemates from giving this interview. I love the guy in the red who doesn't do anything except look like he's going to fall over until he breaks in with "party!" Yeah, hospitals, all your possessions destroyed, nowhere to live...party on!

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Who are the ad wizards that came up with that one?

McCain keeps coming out with McLamer and lamer ads but I'm kind of noticing a trend. One that plays all the time out here is seriously something like "who can we blame for high gas prices?" and then it cuts to a crowd chanting "Obama! Obama!" The first time I saw it I thought it was kind of an odd soundbite to put in the ad. It's distorted to make it sound evil and imposing and I'm wondering if it's supposed to evoke terrorists chanting "death to America" or something like that.

Anyway, his latest two ads use to the same sound so they must think it's working. First is the uber-lame Britney/Paris/Obama ad and now the laughable one that splices images of Charlton Heston as Moses with Obama claiming that he "anointed himself" and blah blah blah.

There's been a lot of talk that is meant to be a dog whistle to the fundies indicating that Obama is the anti-Christ. That would explain all of the religious language and I'm sure there are lots of references that fly right over my head since you couldn't get me near one of those Left Behind books under threat of death. I'm sure it's mere coincidence that on the same day McCain releases this ad Hal Lindsay writes a column on World Nut Daily entitled "How Obama prepped world for the Antichrist", right?

Personally, I'm not sure that reminding the sane ones among us how popular the other guy is will be McCain's best bet but I guess when you're this desperate you'll turn anywhere. There are actually signs that maybe the media is starting to see through McCain's phony "maverick" act. His entire career he's been willing to throw anything he believes in under the bus if he thinks it will get him elected to a higher office. Then his typical MO is to apologize for abandoning his principles while the media laps it all up. Sorry, but you only get to pull that move a couple of times before people begin to see through it.

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The life of a sales rep

I often feel bad for the sales rep. They have to spend their day pestering people that don't really want to talk to them. They're probably working on commission so they kind of need to put up with a bunch of shit in order to make a living and then when something goes wrong they're the people that get yelled at.

We get a lot of these people coming in and out of the lab even though we order pretty much exclusively off the internet and based on price for most things. I can tell that most of these people do a pretty good job and know their shit so I respect them for that but we all kind of turn away when they come in so we don't get stuck bantering with them in order to "build rapport." I really felt bad for the other guy when he tried a couple of times to talk to our lab tech about KU football and basketball and our tech was completely clueless about any of it.

Anyway, one of these guys came in the other day and kind of reminded me of how pathetic these guys can be. He was talking with another one of our techs about free umbrellas or something completely inane. Apparently one of our techs wanted some more umbrellas to keep in the lab because she felt bad for the undergrads in our lab who come to work and then have to walk to class in the rain if the weather changes. They were laughing about undergrads being dumb because apparently that's still a really funny joke to some people in my lab. Then the conversation got interesting so I'll try to retell it as best I can remember.

Sales rep: "Yeah, but, they'll never learn to remember their umbrella if they don't get wet a few times. I mean, I'm 40 and I still haven't learned. But, that's like a couple of weeks ago I was doing a pub crawl for cancer..."
Lab tech: "As long as it's for a good cause..."
Rep: "Exactly. So, I'm talking to this girl at one of the bars and we were kind of hitting it off but she was probably in her 20's. Eventually, I say, 'well, it was nice to meet you but I'm going to go now' and she says, "don't you want to meet at the next bar?' I say, 'aren't I a little old for you?' She says, 'how old are you?', I say, 'I'm 40.' She says, 'that's ok, my mom's in her 40's." I say, 'exactly!' I mean, me and her mom can sit there and enjoy the same music and this girl will be clueless. But, yeah, it's like your boss said, 'that's when you should tell her you're only 32.'"

Now, I thought this story was pretty pathetic to begin with but when I realized that this was the 2nd time in a row he'd come into our lab and told this same lame story I decided that it went beyond pathetic. Dude, whether you want to hook up with 20-somethings or not is your choice but it's incredibly lame to continuously tell pseudo-strangers this story that makes it sound like you could have but didn't. We don't care. Now get us a deal on pipet tips.