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observations from the hellbound handbasket

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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
10:12 am - Massive apologies
I'm really sorry if I worried anybody by not posting for so long.  I totally haven't meant to ignore you guys who asked about me, but circumstances have kind of conspired against me.  I've been out of town, dealing with a changed work/life situation and fighting a losing battle with my home computer (its for all intents and purposes dead and I don't know why).  All of which has meant I haven't been updating here or even able to check my email except sporadically. 

Long story short:  I'm not dead and I'm really sorry if I worried anybody.

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Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
9:33 am - Scourge of the seas

With the world's economy looking grim, its nice to know that all of us could still fulfill a common childhood dream and run off to be a pirate.  Apparently, piracy isn't just for the Carribean anymore, and in addition to all the booty you sieze raiding vessels off the coast of Somalia, you get even more cash by ransoming the scurvy landlubbing dogs you capture. 


So I've already bought the mandatory parrot and a wooden leg.  Plus I'm already really good at saying "Arrggh".  With any luck,  next week I'll be somewhere in the Gulf of Aden looking to sign on with an interepid crew of pirates.   I'm sure once they see I was committed enough to provide my own parrot, plenty of crews will welcome me with open arms and not kill me at all.

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Friday, November 7th, 2008
12:35 pm - Our wonderful new laws

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
3:23 pm - Did you know?

Defenestration is the act of throwing someone out of a window.  Try it today!

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1:31 pm - Shields!

British researches have developed a low-power, compact system capable of shielding a spacecraft from radiation and solar storms.


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9:53 am - Oh well...any way the wind blows

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
9:49 pm - Bittersweet...maybe

I'm very happy that Obama won.  Its wonderful, historic and a great opportunity to finally confront some of the major issues facing this country.

However, I'm more than a little upset that as of right now it looks like as of tomorrow I will officially be a second-class citizen in my home state of California.  Proposition 8 has over 50% of the vote right now....more like almost 56% of the vote the last time I checked.  I'm going to stop paying attention now and find out which way if finally ends up tomorrow.

For the record, one of the founding principles of this nation was the protection of the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority.  We are guaranteed equal protection under the law.  The idea that my basic civil rights and that fundametal guarantee of equal protection  were subject to a general election vote flies in the face of everything this country is supposed to stand for.  And if the worst happens and this state does amend its constitution to enshrine inequality, I only hope the people who have pushed this through stop and think for a minute about what they've done.  What can be done to one group can be done to another, and when you start singling out who is and who is not worthy of equal rights, you could easily be next in line.

With luck tomorrow morning this post will be irrelevant...but its not looking good.

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9:09 am - Civic duty!

Well, alea jacta est as it were.  The ballot is in the box, and I was really encouraged to see a line at my polling place.  I've been voting there for years and I've never had to wait in line once, but this morning people were wrapped around the building waiting for their turn.

We'll see what happens, but I'm hoping the polls will have been right for once.  I considered voting the opposite of how I actually want things to go to try and fake out my electoral curse.  I've never voted for the winning candidate ever in a Presidential election.  But in the end I figured if I tried that fate would probably punish me ironically by having my one vote be the one that sent McCain over the top (of course here in California that's not going to be a problem).

So, if you haven't voted yet, get out and cast your ballot (unless you're either voting for McCain or Yes on Prop H8...then stay home).

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Thursday, October 30th, 2008
2:28 pm - The kerfuffle over equal protection and icky gay people
An ad supporting Prop H8, largely typical of the flawed logic and idiocy underlying the "yes" camp.

Their moronic argument deconstructed.

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10:05 am - Surprise, surprise, surprise
I think we all saw this coming.

"U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years."


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9:44 am - Socialism! *gasp*

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Friday, October 24th, 2008
10:04 am - David Sedaris on the undecided voter

"To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. 'Can I interest you in the chicken?' she asks. 'Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?' To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.  I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?"


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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
10:42 am - Eternal sunshine of the spotless mouse

Scientists have learned to selectively erase memories in mice.


No word on exactly how long until a human version is ready and we can all erase horrible memories, like the Bush Administration for instance.

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9:56 am - Emit x-rays right at your desk

Peeling scotch tape produces x-ray bursts strong enough for x-ray photography.  The x-ray photo below was made by peeling tape off the roll.  How weird is that?  The article says the x-ray burst emitted are powerful enough to generate nuclear fusion under the right circumstances.

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9:43 am - Joes

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
7:03 pm - Freudian slip

So the rumor is that McCain is basically giving up in several states (Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico).  With the electoral college math being what it is, that means he's going to have to somehow peel away one of the bigger states now trending toward Obama, and his target is apparently Pennsylvania.  Obama has a pretty serious lead there, but the rural parts of the state are pretty red, and the talk is he's rolling the dice.  The video below shows him unwittingly revealing the exact reason he thinks this strategy could work, and I think its both telling and hilarious.


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Monday, October 20th, 2008
11:38 pm - Damn the back of my head
I've been cutting my own hair for the past several years, and in that time I've gotten pretty good at it.  I mean, lets face it, I don't have the most complicated haircut to begin with.  As long as its short and somewhat manly, I'm a happy camper.  But no matter how I try, I can't seem to get the back right, largely because I can't see it. 

But I won't give up.  Eventually, the clippers and scissors will guide themselves, sort of like Luke in that Star Wars movie, except instead of using the Force I'll be using natural hair cutting instincts..  Hopefully. 

Until then, I will be forced to wander the world with a hair cut that looks great from the front, but has "gouges", as my Mother put it, in the back..

Fuck Supercuts!

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9:49 am - In 1957 we apparently tried to kill E.T.

Some of the UFO files released by the Brits contained info about an order to shoot down an unidentified object over the English countryside.

"'I had a lock-on that had the proportions of a flying aircraft carrier,' he [the American fighter pilot]  added. 'The larger the airplane, the easier the lock-on. This blip almost locked itself.'  At the last moment, the object disappeared from the radar screen and the high-speed chase was called off.  He returned to base and was debriefed the next day by an unnamed man who 'looked like a well-dressed IBM salesman'. 'He threatened me with a national security breach if I breathed a word about it to anyone,' he said."


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Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
8:26 pm - The final debate

Did you see it?  If so, what did you think.

My two cents:  McCain just lost this the same way Al Gore lost it in 2000, despite giving a better performance than in any other debate.  The reaction shots of him were simply unbelievable.  He showed himself to be angry, cantankerous and all around unpleasant.  He looked like the nasty uncle you dread seeing at family gatherings.  It made Obama look all the more Presidential.  Plus, in general I think Obama gave better specifics about his policies and plans, but really anyone vaguely interested in the race already knew the gist of both candidates proposals.  Tonight was about image, and McCain went down in flames.

The snap polls and those moronic "undecided voter" focus groups seem to agree.  Even on Fox when they asked the panel if any of them had been persuaded, the only movement was toward Obama.  Barring some incredible last minute scandal or horrendous gaffe, Obama will be the next President.

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Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
2:28 pm - Mac vs. PC goes political


Only a complete douchebag would vote yes on Prop 8.   Don't be a douchebag.  Vote No on 8. 

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