Monday, December 12, 2005
MEN NEED SOME EXCUSES TOO
There are thousands of male scientists in the world, most of whom do their jobs quite well. But they've failed to fulfill their duty to fellow men. They haven't come up with scientific reasons for certain types of male behavior. They haven't given us adequate excuses for habits like leaving
the toilet seat up, refusing to ask for directions and getting too intimate with the remote control.
Women, it seems, have a monopoly on the excuses. An example of this occurred some years ago in Brookfield, Wisconsin. As reported by the Associated Press, Jaclyn Netzel, 19, was trying to turn her car right when a male driver behind honked and finally drove around her. Netzel and the man exchanged obscene gestures. When they met again at a nearby gas station, Netzel called the man a vulgar name and then slapped him after they argued. Police cited her for
disorderly conduct. Netzel pleaded that she was pregnant. Her pregnancy had evidently caused her body to produce a surplus of a hormone called SMH (Slap Men Hormone).
Netzel told a police officer that "when a female is pregnant, they are more emotional than normal." This is why it's always a good idea to wear body armor when visiting the maternity ward. You could get attacked from all directions. Pregnant women are eager to slap men, because men never have to go through labor. This resentment probably goes back to the Garden of Eden: Adam was too busy inventing rules for football to attend the meeting where God handed out childbirth duties. Even the feminists haven't figured out a way to share this burden with men.
But women have turned pregnancy into an advantage of sorts. A pregnant women can get away with just about anything: turning her husband into an errand boy, consuming pizza for breakfast and ice cream for lunch, eating as if she's giving birth to a whale.
Women who aren't pregnant can also get away with pretty much anything, as long as the timing is right. Picture this courtroom exchange:
Judge: "Miss. Fisher, the jury has found you guilty of hijacking 10 planes, bombing five federal buildings and destroying three Hollywood marriages, all in one day. Do you have anything to say?"
Defendant: "Your Honor, it was that time of the month."
Judge: "Case dismissed!"
If the insanity defense works, it won't be long before women invoke the PMS defense. There's nothing that can't be explained by PMS, which stands for either Perilous Mood Swings or Potential Male Slap. PMS usually lasts just a few days, but like a football game, can go into overtime. Of course, there's a lot of scientific evidence to confirm the effects of PMS. Men can't understand it all, but as with religion, we just have to believe.
If male scientists would get their act together, maybe they'd discover a few afflictions for men. This would help us get some much-needed sympathy and ease all that guilt we feel.
Men who hate to ask for directions probably suffer from something like GCM (Going in Circles Mania). When pestered by his wife to stop at a gas station, a man could say, "Sorry honey, that darned GCM is acting up again."
Men who forget to lower the toilet seat suffer from TED (Toilet Etiquette Deficiency). "Sorry honey, the doctor says it's incurable."
Men who skip church to watch football suffer from PDS (Priority Disorder Syndrome). "You wouldn't understand it, honey. It's a guy thing."
Men who scratch themselves in public suffer from PMI (Primitive Male Itch). "Sorry honey, I can't help it. It's genetic."
Men who caress the remote more than their wives suffer from BPO (Button Pushing Obsession). "Sorry honey, I don't know which buttons to push with you. Do you have one for 'mute'?"
Come on scientists, we need this a lot more than we need cloned sheep.
Friday, December 09, 2005
As for Kris Benson and the ever-mouthy Anna Benson, well, Kris is still a Met for the time being. Anna caused a stink earlier in the week by blasting the Mets' organization for even offering Kris as trade bait (hey, Omar, Benson for Abreu -- how's that sound??). She claims that published reports that she's planning to pose naked in Playboy drove the team to offer Kris, which the team denies. But Anna, by wagging that tongue just a bit too much and too publicly, may force the issue. The team may not be driven to trade players because of their spouses' extracurricular activities, but a spouse with a runny mouth can poison a clubhouse, and no team wants that. Shut up, Anna, and let the Mets' people do their jobs.
Here's the ESPN story on the winners and losers at the winter meetings: ESPN.com - Mannyfest doesn't materialize
Saturday, November 26, 2005
The funny and sad part is where the writer says Selig needs a committee "to help him decide if he wants fries with that."
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Baseball Owes Canseco for Steroids Crackdown
And I see that the Marlins want to leave Miami, since the city won't commit to a baseball-only stadium (they now share a stadium with the football Miami Dolphins, a stadium owned by the Marlins' original team owner). I don't think I'll ever understand why multimillionaires team owners insist that public money should be spent to build a place where multimillionaire athletes play games. I know they want some kind of commitment from the city where they play, but let's face it, the owners are rich -- they have to be, these days, with baseball salaries the way they are. So why not spend their own money? Ted Turner did it, and I didn't hear him crying. Of course, by that point it wasn't really his team anymore, and it was probably Time Warner's money he was spending. Anyway, I just hope the deals the Marlins are working on now aren't going to be anything like the total dismantling of the 1997 World Series Championship team that Wayne Huizenga pulled with the Marlins when he owned the team... Oh, wait, the current owner is the guy who abandoned Montreal in order to buy the Marlins. I s'pose all bets are off, then...
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Despair in Louisiana - Americas - International Herald Tribune
Bud Selig, an actual baseball commissioner?
It looks like I may have to take back some of my comments about Bud Selig being only a caretaker commissioner. The new steroids rule isn't something a caretaker would come up with. I'm glad to see that, if the rule is enforced, there won't be any more situations like Steve Howe, who seemed to be in trouble over cocaine or some other drug every other week, only to wind up back in uniform for somebody or other the very next week. (Of course cocaine is NOT a performance-enhancing drug, it's only illegal.) Let's see what they do with the players whose names keep popping up now, like Barry Bonds, who was the subject of a back-page feature articel in the sports section of this past Sunday's New York Daily News.
I still think Selig would look more like a real commissioner, though, if he (or his so-called "blind trust") would just sell the Brewers once and for all. I don't care how "commissionerly" Selig turns out to be, having his old team run by his daughter creates a very real appearance of conflict of interest. Maybe after they finish clearing up the Washington Nationals mess, Selig will finally decide to be a commissioner and not an owner. But will he be free to act without restraints, or will he make real fans fondly remember the days of Giamatti and Vincent? Because if he's restrained by the (other) owners, then Congress should think seriously about investigating baseball's antitrust exemption. One of the conditions for granting the exemption in the first place was that baseball had a strong and independent commissioner. He worked for the owners, but they had to grant him a measure of authority over them and their investments (their teams) in order to keep the exemption. So, though they grumbled when Bowie Kuhn started fining teams for excessive amounts of money changing hands in trades, they went along with it. But when Fay Vincent came along, they did their best to make him uncomfortable. He took the hint and left, and baseball has been rudderless ever since. Losing that exemption and having to answer to some degree of federal oversight would wake up the owners for real. Time will tell...
Pakistan vs. the Gulf Coast
There were reports in the news lately that, while Pakistan receives billions in aid from the US Government, Louisiana is having serious financial problems because of the cost of rebuilding in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A few weeks ago, there was a political cartoon in the NY Daily News, showing a road sign somewhere near the southern Mississippi coast, giving directions to "Biloxiraq," "PersianGulfport," and "Bay St. Baghdad." Also pictured were two locals, one saying to the other, "That's one way to get the government's attention."
Isn't it odd that the man who had been famously portrayed as turning his back on the rest of the world to "take care of his own" is quicker to send aid to Indonesia (which didn't really want it) and the Persian Gulf area (which definitely didn't want it) than to his own countrymen? Hotels around the country are telling Louisiana refugees that they have to get out, largely because FEMA has informed the hotels that they won't pay for the refugees' stay past December 1, and yet more and more money and resources are being dropped into the bottomless pit of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
- But I do take heart in a couple of things. First, the Yankees and their $200 million payroll are without a title for the fifth year in a row. That sentiment won't be popular in New York, but after so many titles in so short a period it was time to let some other kids on the playground for awhile... Finally, this World Series proved again that good management and good chemistry can be more important to success than payroll.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
There really isn't a single thing I can disagree with in the article. After all, even though this particular blog of mine is set up to highlight silliness, stupidity, and shortsightedness in all its forms, I publish it under an account I created specifically for publishing fiction. Why? I didn't really give it a lot of thought before I set up the account or the blog, but I guess I did it so I can remain anonymous. But my wanting to be anonymous doesn't give me, even in my own mind, free rein to engage in what Edwards calls "intellectual hooliganism." After all, even though I publish here under a pseudonym, I still see it it as an extension of myself, which means I see a responsibility to myself, at least, to present a truthful argument.
And there is Edwards' comment about how ideas are presented in a blog: "Strong opinion often equals an agenda, however hard to discern for either the author or the reader." Anyone who has read my Baseball Thoughts post here (or my Bush bash) can see I have some strong opinions. Do I have an axe to grind? I guess I do. I mean, I won't be tapped to replace Bud Selig as commissioner of Major League Baseball anytime soon -- neither will anyone else until the owners get tired of spending themselves into the poorhouse and/or someone forces the owners' hand -- but I would like to see a real commissioner in place. It just makes sense to me. I can't really say I have an idea of who should replace Selig (though Bob Watson comes to mind) but I can't help thinking that owners would be more responsible about how they spend their money if they were being policed by someone outside their own ranks. (As for Bush, that's a subject for another post...)
But even with my presenting my own opinions of what I would like to see done, I won't be presenting anything that's plainly untrue. That is, I won't be presenting untruths as facts. When I post something here that's not actually true, I'll make sure it's obvious. Not that I have to worry about Google shutting me down for bandwidth use or anything, but I wouldn't want my blog to be shunned for being untrustworthy, nor do I want anyone's lawyers contacting me for anything other than perhaps an employment opportunity (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Friday, October 21, 2005
I'd like to see the White Sox win the Series, just to hopefully rub it in George Steinbrenner's face that the most expensive, most home-run-reliant team does not guarantee anything. Complete teams generally go much further than those as one-dimensional as the Yankees.
I hope "General Von Steingrabber," as NY Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo calls his Steinbrenner caricature, doesn't overreact and fire Joe Torre (neither does Gallo). Torre wasn't responsible for signing all these home-run hitters who can't or won't steal bases or go all out for the team (*cough*Gary Sheffield*cough*). It wasn't Torre's fault that all these expensive players broke down at some point in the season, making them reliant on the likes of Robinson Cano (destined to be a fine player, just the kind a small-ball team needs) rather than the multimillionaires the fans paid to see. But Steinbrenner has hired former Philadelphia Phillies manager Larry Bowa as a coach, and is pursuing ex-Met and ex-Yankee (and ex-manager of the Baltimore Orioles) Lee Mazzilli for another coaching job. Maybe hiring these men as coaches means that Torre is safe as manager for the time being, but having two newly fired managers around on the coaching staff during the last year of his contract can't make Torre feel too secure in his job.
It'll be interesting to see what happens, especially if the Yankees stumble early in the season.
I'm hoping that the door is not closed to the possibility of bringing Jason Phillips and/or Vance Wilson back to the Mets. I'm assuming and hoping, of course, that the Mets let aging, bad-fielding Mike Piazza go in favor of someone who can actually play the position. Rumors are swirling that the Mets are interested in Bengie Molina; as long as he can throw baserunners out, he'll be fine with me. I s'pose the first few weeks of the season, whoever the Mets use will have his throwing arm tested just to see if he's another Piazza or if he can throw. Let's see what happens.
Sometime in 2001 there was an article in... I think it may have been Yahoo Internet Life, but I'm not sure... profiling Jerry Yang, cofounder of Yahoo. One point that was made in the article was that Yang and his partner in Yahoo, David Filo, are more or less prisoners of their own success.
*On paper,* they are both multibillionaires. But they really can't touch too much of their supposed wealth for fear of toppling the house of cards that is Yahoo.
Yang mentioned that he'd love to unload a few million shares of Yahoo and take advantage of the apparent goodwill that so many people have in his company. But, just to show how lopsided the thinking of stock investors is, if he does unload some shares, instead of thinking, "OK, the man wants a piece of the pie, and why not? It *is* his pie," the effect would be just the opposite. "Did you hear? Yang just sold. Yahoo is tanking... sell!" Then the stock takes a dive.
Why am I writing about this? Well, I don't know about Jerry Yang, but I'd have trouble eating stock certificates. I don't know how to make clothing out of them, I can't run my car on them, I can't pay my rent with them (though in Sillycon Valley and Sillycon Alley things might be different), I can't make a house out of them (though I suppose I could wallpaper an apartment with them if I was pushed)... all those things takes money, directly or indirectly, and he has a potential source of BILLIONS of dollars that he can't touch for fear of devaluing the whole thing. Crazy, isn't it?
But this whole Internet thing was crazy to begin with...
I don't mean the technology, or its usefulness, but the idea that ANYTHING can be the basis of a successful business and create a cash cow for the business owner. Not that the Internet is impossible to make money with, just the opposite. It's just that all these wannabe millionaires were counting on stock prices to fatten their pockets, and forgetting all about whatever it is their businesses were supposed to be doing.
Trying to finance a business by worrying only about the price of the stock, rather than making widgets or doohickeys or whatchamacallits, is this: Say I have a box. I concede right up front that the box is empty. But the box COULD wind up having all kinds of strange and wonderful things in it that could make millionaires out of anyone foolish... oops, I meant visionary enough to invest in shares of ownership of that empty box.
So, investors are lining up, begging me to take their money in exchange for part ownership of the empty box. What do I do with the money? Smart thing would be to find some doohickeys to fill the box with, right? Well, say instead, I spend all that money on a fancy office, a big house, expensive car, the best designer clothes, and a splashy advertising campaign (complete with banner ads on Yahoo, of course) touting the *existence* of my empty box. Not the objects the box will contain, or the service the box may offer, just that the box exists.
If you were one of those investors in the empty box, wouldn't you want to see something in return for your investment *sometime*? Other than a TV commercial for the empty box every five minutes, or print ads in magazines every other page, wouldn't you like to know that I'm selling or making doohickeys or whatchamacallits or gizmos better than (or more cheaply than, or more exclusive than, or more *something* than) the competition?
So would millions of other investors. THAT's why the so-called Internet bubble burst. And this was never a big secret. Anybody see the movie "Wall Street"? When the young stockbroker loses his shirt trying to be just like Gordon Gekko, the broker's father lectures him that he forgot that his company was supposed to be *doing* something with the money stockholders were *lending* the company. Yes, *lending.*
A stock purchase is nothing more or less than a loan based on the premise that the borrower (the company) will use that loan to make more money. When *all* of the money is instead used to entice more people to invest, you're stealing from Peter to pay Paul.
Like Forrest Gump says, "And that's all I have to say about that."
Since then things have changed, but not enough. There's still too much emphasis on stock price rather than how much money a company is making or will continue to make.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Naturally, any fan wants to see their team finish better than that, but considering that this was their manager's first time managing anywhere in the big leagues, I'd say they did fine. Next year, though, "new manager" won't work as an excuse for a finish two games over .500. They have to work on not being so streaky -- if they had been more consistent this year, they might have had a better overall record. Let's see what happens in the off-season...
Yankees: I was kind of hoping that the Red Sox would kill off the Yankees' postseason hopes during the season, but that didn't happen. I don't particularly dislike the Yankees, but I don't like the hype that surrounds the team. On the other hand, a payroll of $208 million naturally creates certain expectations, which in a sense pinpoints the problem with the Yankees, and with major-league baseball as a whole.
As long as the position of commissioner is occupied by an owner -- and don't pay any attention to the so-called "blind trust" that represents the Milwaukee Brewers' ownership, since the team president is "Commissioner" Bud Selig's daughter -- there will be very few (if any) proactive moves like what Bowie Kuhn tried to do back in the 70's to prevent George Steinbrenner from pummeling other teams with his money, or what Bart Giamatti and Fay Vincent did to remind owners that as long as they had their antitrust exemption, there had to be an independent commissioner. In fact, I don't understand how they still have that exemption when Major League Baseball is basically rudderless. And as long as there is no real commissioner with any power, Steinbrenner and the other more-moneyed owners are free to throw their money around and bully the financially weaker teams with it. And as long as the rich owners are flexing their wallets, the fans will be induced to unrealistic expectations, as if the teams who spend the most money should automatically rule the postseason. As the Yankees have proved this year and last, it doesn't -- and shouldn't -- work that way.
And I wonder how owners can stomach the idea of the Washington Nationals being "owned by Major League Baseball." That means that they are all financing this team, because when the owners of the Expos couldn't find a buyer, the other owners had to buy them out. I imagine there must have been a lot of urgent phone calls among the front office people in the National League East early this season when the Nationals were making noise; at one point there were atop their division. I didn't think they would prevail precisely because of their ownership situation. How free is the team to compete on the field with other teams whose owners have much more of a vested interest in their own teams, the ones they chose to buy, rather than the one that was forced on them? What about the general manager? How free are other teams to deal with them, knowing that the player or players they're sending could be the missing piece of the puzzle that would send the ownerless Nationals into the postseason? I imagine that it will take a Nationals wild-card berth -- they will not win their division, mark my words -- to make baseball move on getting someone to buy the team, because until then there is always one team that the National League teams, at least, can beat up on.
And I imagine that anyone who would otherwise be interested in buying a major league team is probably asking himself or herself these same questions, and whether they really want to buy into this mess called Major League Baseball in the first place.
As for the teams that did make the playoffs, I think I'd like to see an Astros-White Sox matchup in the World Series. The White Sox' official MLB site mentions that the team has no longstanding traditions, not even the lovable-loser tradition of the Cubs (and it belongs to them now that the Bosox won it all last year). The Cardinals are OK, I guess, and so are the Angels, but I want to see the Astros and White Sox in there. At least if the Chisox make it, I can finally get myself a black Sox uniform top without anyone asking me what gang I'm in...
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except Auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.
P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
And the best one for last.................
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget
(a reply posted on a message board where "Gripe Sheet" was posted)
Used to be a crewchief on Army helicopters. Had a pilot once write up "Seat cushion excessively crushed." My corrective action? "Removed fat-ass pilot." The QC officer was not amused at all...
Thursday, September 29, 2005
When I first came online back in 98, the Web was in the process of becoming AOLified, and the collegiate snobs for which the Web had been something of a private playground were having fits. I know the Web was first made available to the military, other government agencies, and academia, but many of the academic types were snobby about "having" to share their sandbox with the Great AOL Unwashed.
Not knowing just what the rules were (I was part of the Great AOL Unwashed at the time, but I had no desire to look like one) I looked up Netiquette and found out that anything that seemed the least bit commercial was frowned upon, and usually resulted in flaming, and sometimes emailbombing. I wasn't interested in experiencing either, so I kept my idea to myself. Unfortunately, it seems I took too long. Not only has Alex Tew achieved 15% of his five-year goal within 30 days, but there are already dozens of copycat sites up, though most of them crow about their copycat status. (That page was posted almost two weeks ago, so the numbers there are a little off.)
I may still come up with some variant of the idea, but not for comedy value. I'd love to sit down and put it all together right now, but if I tried to go live with it now I'd have to use a free webhost, which means bandwidth problems, and I wouldn't be able to do a thing about it until next Thursday, 10/6, when the eagle flies again, hopefully without having its wings clipped again by the finance department like the last few times.
Lingering illness, lingering lingering-ness on the part of doctors I depended on to fill out paperwork so I could get paid while I was at home recuperating from the lingering illness, and some non-medical issues have depleted my finances to the point that, though I expect to get a nice fat check next Thursday, I'll be scraping the barrel until then. My car's registration expires on Saturday, but before I can do that I have to pay parking tickets that total almost as much as my last (skimpy) check. On Thursday I'll be like the guy who rolls up at the lottery office to pick up his multimillion-dollar winnings in raggedy clothes, in a car which ran out of gas just as he coasted into a parking space in front of the building, with a tow-truck tailing him because the car was in that bad shape. (Thankfully the car part isn't true in my case, though the car does need brakes and an oil-change, neither of which I have the funds for right now.)
Million Dollar Homepage. That coulda been me...
I don't know if it will make any difference (probably not) but I'm going to start posting the email addresses and "stories" of the perpetrators of the Nigerian-style scam emails that I get so many of. I hate to call them that, because I hate to paint a whole country with a brush like that, especially since, as these emails make plain, the perps are fanning out to other countries (or scammers in other countries are catching on).
Here are some of the ones I've gotten lately:
- Email: email@example.com
Claim: ANDREW NDAZI, the first son of late chief JOSEPH OKOYE NDAZI, from mende District in Sierra Leone
- Email: JUSTICE_OKUTE@terra.es
Claim: I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those fundstransferred under the cooperation of my new partner from Nepal. Presently i'm in Nepal for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Claim: My name is Mr Ashi Chukwu, I am the credit manager of Queen Premier Bank. here in the United Kingdom. I am contacting you of a business transfer,of a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that everything has been taken care off, and all will be well at the end of the day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.
- Email: email@example.com
Claim: Am the director of bills and Exchange in a First Generation Bank in Nigeria.
REPORTED TO YAHOO, which is taking the appropriate measures, whatever those may be.
Friday, September 23, 2005
This hasn't been a good year for people whose ideas have sparked my own creativity. This past May, Dennard Summers, who produced a public access TV show in Pittsburth called The House of Yes (which later morphed into Steel City Video Mix) passed away suddenly in his sleep at 38. Dennard used video effects to make the hostesses and models on his show invisible, while their clothing remained visible. I had always especially enjoyed movies which depicted invisible characters, especially when the character was female. Occasionally I would fantasize about meeting and )getting involved with) an invisible woman. Seeing Dennard's site told me that I wasn't the only one that had such thoughts, and that got me started writing stories and editing photos, and also got me started looking around online for other expressions of creativity.
Among other sites and ideas, I found Subreality, which is depicted as a kind of way station for story characters between stories or even between chapters of a single story. That also got ideas flowing, including a kind of Subreality fanfic I'm in the middle of now. Kielle wrote comic-book-inspired fanfics, and came up with an idea of an interdimensional place where different versions of the same character could interact with one another. The stories set in and around Subreality also depended heavily on character muses (muses "created" by the writer, rather than the classical muses of Greek myth, though they're also included), who inspire(d) the creativity of those who added stories and/or artwork to the sprawling online complex that makes up Subreality.com.
I guess hearing of the passing of these people who played a part in unlocking my own creativity are reminders of my own mortiality. I had no idea that Kielle had been sick until I saw a post last night from Kielle's husband, stating that she probably had only days to live. And as far as I know, Dennard hadn't been sick at all, though I don't really have much info to back that up. I, on the other hand, have been battling with illness of one kind or another for about eleven years now -- kidney and heart problems, leading to dialysis and a kidney transplant in 2004, and a hip operation in 2005 -- though the evidence suggests that I've always had a hampered immune system.
I guess what I'm trying to say here, though I've been rambling, is that we have to treasure each day as it comes and make the most of it, since we don't know what's waiting around the corner. Reach out to other people and let them know how much they mean to you (and let them show you what you mean to them). Friends and loved ones will do and say things to get on your nerves -- they meay even cause you great pain -- but do what you can to make and keep peace, since no one knows when those loved ones may be taken away, or when we may meet with our own demise.
Natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita underscore the point I'm trying to make. When Katrina clipped Florida, no one knew what devastation was to come. In fact, they still don't know the total scope and may not know for months. Rita is a category 5 and may remain one when it comes ashore in Texas or Louisiana tonight or tomorrow, causing untold destruction and loss of life in the impact zone, and adding to the problems in the New Orleans area and southern Mississippi. Imagine some poor soul who hadn't spoken to a parent, child, or sibling for many years, only to find out that the person you should have treasured is no longer there. Suddenly the argument that seemed so important no longer matters, and the opportunity to apologize and make peace is taken away.
Again, I know I'm rambling, so I'll cut this short. But treasure every day as the gift it is, and treasure family and friends as the gifts they are.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Zap2it.com reports, as has just about every entertainment website in creation, that Britney Spears has given birth this past weekend. Zap2it, though, went tacky by calling their story "Britney Gives Birth to PMS," supposedly because her son's name is reported to be Prescott Michael Spears. Tacky, or as Phylicia Rashad might have said it back in the day, "T-(pause)-acky!"
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
By the way, I can't say that I agree fully with Kanye West's claim that Bush doesn't care about black people. I don't think it's a matter of race so much as poverty. Bush doesn't care about poor people, supposedly because he can't relate to them. I don't see how not having been poor can stop a person from having empathy and acting on it, but that's because I have a brain in my head. Apparently, in more ways than one, I'm in the minority.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.
- is also known as hydroxl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
- contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
- may cause severe burns.
- contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
- accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
- may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
- has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions!
Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest, and recently California.
Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
- as an industrial solvent and coolant.
- in nuclear power plants.
- in the production of styrofoam.
- as a fire retardant.
- in many forms of cruel animal research.
- in the distribution of pesticides.
- as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.
Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!
The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.
BTW, dihydrogen monoxide=H2O, or Water... LOL
Thursday, August 25, 2005
- As I let go of my shoulds and feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my Inner Sociopath.
- I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.
- I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault.
- I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself. Unless, of course, I want to stay employed.
- In some cultures what I do would be considered normal.
- Having control over myself is nearly as good as having control over others.
- My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgment.
- I can change any thought that hurts into a reality that hurts even more.
- I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality at all.
- Joan of Arc heard voices too.
- I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.
- I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.
- As I learn the innermost secrets of the people around me, they reward me in many ways to keep me quiet.
- When someone hurts me, forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit. But not nearly as gratifying.
- The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice things.
- As I learn to trust the universe, I no longer need to carry a gun.
- All of me is beautiful and valuable, even the ugly, stupid, and disgusting parts.
- I am at one with my duality.
- Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves into knots.
- I will strive to live each day as if it were my 50th birthday.
- Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears.
- Does my quiet self-pity get to me? Or should I move up to incessant nagging?
- Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."
- False hope is nicer than no hope at all.
- A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem.
- Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day watching TV. Instead I will move my TV into the bedroom.
- Who can I blame for my own problems? Give me just a minute... I'll find someone.
- Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying about the future?
- The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working.
- I am learning that criticism is not nearly as effective as sabotage.
- Becoming aware of my character defects leads me to the next step - blaming my parents.
- To understand all is to fear all.
- I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I can laugh at.
- The next time the universe knocks on my door, I will pretend I am not home.
- To have a successful relationship I must learn to make it look like I'm giving as much as I'm getting.
- I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.
Subject: Plays Shakespeare Didn't Publish
16) Christopher Marlowe Can Kiss My Elizabethan Ass
15) Henry VIII, I Am, I Am
14) Fast Times at Verona High
13) A Midsummer Night's Nocturnal Emission
11) Love's Fing'r Pulled
10) Romeo & Steve
9) Twelfth Night, Children Stay Free
7) Henry VIII was a Big Fat Idiot
6) Six Degrees of Francis Bacon
5) Stratford-upon-Avon 90210
4) Hamlet II - Where the hell is everybody?
3) Romeo & Michelle's High School Reunion
2) King Gump
...and the Number 1 Play Shakespeare Chose Not to Publish...
1) Booty Calleth
When professors say this . . . They really mean this . . .
Subject: Reading between the Lines
* This needs some minor revision.
I never actually got around to reading this.
* My office hours are by appointment only.
I like to get out of here early.
* Ten percent of your grade is based on class participation.
I'll be fudging your grades.
* This won't be on the test.
* Bring the text to class.
I don't have a clue how to lecture -- we'll just kill time with group read-alongs.
* He's not fully up to speed on that.
He's got his head up his butt.
* I don't have the latest department guidelines. . .
I've got my head up my butt.
* Let's check with Dr. So-and-so on that before we proceed. . .
I've got my head up HIS butt.
* Talk to me in my office after class.
Get out of my face.
* The tests will all be multiple-choice.
I take questions directly from the study guide and have grad students do all my grading.
* Don't come in late during my lecture.
I have the attention span of a fruit fly.
* Save your questions until the end.
* The final will be comprehensive.
I'll expect you to recapitulate in two hours everything I couldn't fully cover myself in 15 weeks.
* Everyone will prepare in-class oral presentations.
This course is outside my specialty -- I'll just bluff it and let YOU teach.
* There are two TA's available to help you.
I can't be bothered.
* This year I'll be scaling the grades.
I just passed tenure review.
* Let's break up into quiet discussion groups.
I have a hangover.
* Let's have class outdoors today!
I had beans for lunch.
* You won't be able to sell back the text to the bookstore.
My contract wasn't picked up.
* Please note the last day to withdraw.
The midterm's gonna suck.
* The answer to number 4 is "b," and just skip number 17.
I only got around to making up the test last night.
* The second list is optional reading.
I have a rich fantasy life.
* I haven't had a chance to make up the syllabus for this course yet.
The asshole department chair stuck me with teaching this course at the last possible minute.
* Well, it was on the syllabus.
I'll hold you responsible for this even though I forgot about it myself.
* We'll just skip the term paper this semester.
There wasn't enough in the budget for a TA.
* Bring a number 2 pencil to the exam.
* Attendance is required and will be counted in your grade.
I'm so boring that no one would show up otherwise
* Read chapters 5 through 10.
I'm not coming in at all next week
* We'll have to cover this chapter quickly.
I messed up the lecture schedule.
* Let's go over the exam.
Half of you failed.
* It was in the textbook.
I pulled it out of my butt.
* Extra credit is available
I need some shit work done
* I'm postponing today's exam.
There's stuff on the exam I forgot to cover.
* Don't write on the question sheet.
I'm so lazy I just use the same exams every semester.
Lament for Finals
Sung to the tune of Beauty and the Beast's "Be our guest"
S1, S2, S3: Distinct students
S: Students in unison
TA: Teaching assistant
P: Mes chers tuition-payers, it is with deepest sadism and greatest power that we welcome you this morning. And now, we require you to get tense, let us pull up a chair, as the faculty proudly presents - your final!
P: Take your test
Take your test
Are you nervous? Are you stressed?
Summer's just around the corner now
We love this time the best
Why, you'll never want to quit
What's the formula for vinyl?
Don't you love to take a final!
All the kings and queens of France
You'll be writing with such energy and zest
Go on and take some blue books
You'll at least need two books
Take your test
Fake your test
Take your test
World War I
World War II
You'll be chugging Mountain Dew
As you scram back home to cram
And stay awake the whole night through
If you're here
And you're scared
Then you're prob'ly unprepared
Don't tell me about your party
You should study, Mr. Smarty
Let us run you through our maze.
S1: Did you ever get the feeling we're oppressed?
P: Don't question our regime
How could you dare blaspheme?
Now take your test
But you'd rather say you've "guessed")
Take your test
Take your test
Take your test
Life's all smiles and smirking
For a student who's not working
It's a gas without a class to load him down
Ah, those good old days way back in grade school
Suddenly he wants his cap and gown
While he's been busy learning
Curiosity's been burning
What's it like to have a minute to himself?
He won't know 'til after graduation
They came here so lazy
Now we're driving them all crazy!
S1: It's a test!
S2: It's a test
S3: This can't be! I still need rest!
P: You want sleep, you little creep?
That's very good. That's quite a jest
And we won't withhold our wrath
Yes, we'll give you quite a beating
If we catch you while you're cheating
S3: Help me please! I'm having cardiac arrest!
S1: Somebody check his heart!
P: Then label every part!
It's on your test
S: That's our test?
P: That's your test
S: What a pest!
TA: Here's a test
There's a test
I'm so very much depressed
Have to grade each one of these in just a day
And I'm hard-pressed!
Why our "quarters" come in threes
While the deadline still is looming
I'll keep grading
I'll keep fuming
P: Course by course
One by one
'Til you shout, "This isn't fun!"
Then we'll laugh at every place that you digressed
We've done our best to pester
See you next semester!
Take your test
Take your test
Take your test
Now, take your test
Things one learns from children (honest and no kidding)
- There is no such thing as childproofing your house.
- If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
- Baseballs make marks on ceilings.
- You should not throw a baseball up when the ceiling fan is on.
- A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
- The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
- When you hear the toilet flush and the words Uh oh, it's already too late.
- Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
- If you use a waterbed as home plate while wearing baseball shoes it does not leak -- it explodes.
- A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 200 sq. foot house 4 inches deep.
- Legos will pass through the digestive system of a 4-year old.
- Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence.
- Super Glue is forever.
- McGyver can teach us many things we don't want to know.
- Ditto Tarzan.
- No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
- Pool filters do not like Jello.
- VCR's do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
- Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
- Marbles in the gas tank make a lot of noise when driving.
- You probably do not want to know what that odor is.
- Always look in the oven before you turn it on.
- The fire department in San Diego has at least a 5 minute response time.
- The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
- It will however make cats dizzy.
- Cats can throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
- Quiet does not necessarily mean don't worry.
- A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life (unfortunately, mostly in retrospect).
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Personally, I think it's plain stupid and greedy to sue over a contest prize not being what you had expected it to be. It's a PRIZE. It's not like it was paid by her employer in lieu of salary, in which case there would be definite grounds for a lawsuit. If she had paid careful attention to what was said in the contest promotion, she could have at least prepared herself for the possibility that she wouldn't win a car she could actually drive. (On the radio today, a man said the judge should force the radio station to award the woman a Hummer so she can go bankrupt trying to keep gas in it.)
Now today I heard on the same station that a former Hooters waitress in Florida is suing because of the results of a contest run at her old job. The employee who sold the most beer was offered what she took to be a Toyota. The fact that no mention was made of an actual model, like a Corolla or a Matrix or whatever, should have been a tipoff. Anyway, when the winner was announced, she was blindfolded, led out to the parking lot, and presented -- in full view of her coworkers and restaurant patrons -- with a TOY YODA DOLL!
In spite of what I just said about the prize being a gift, in this particular case I'd say that she should sue. It seems that in this case there was an intent, not only to mislead, but also to humiliate the winner. Why else blindfold her and lead her to the parking lot where everybody inside could see that there was no car there waiting for her? And as the woman herself said in a statement, employees should expect and receive better treatment from their employers than such deception. I don't know if she should get the cost of a new car, though, but she should definitely get something more than just a stupid doll.
Monday, July 18, 2005
This past week I bought another, that in my own mind didn't work as well: "Verve Remixed 3," from the same parent company, NBC Universal, which owns both Motown and Verve. Maybe because I associate remixes with R&B and dance music, some of the mixes on the Verve CD didn't click with me, though I have to say that Sarah Vaughan's voice sounds like it was made for this kind of project. I couldn't help thinking that if she were still alive she might lend her voice to some producer's side dance-music project, or maybe even put out a CD of contemporary dance stuff on her own.
I didn't pay much attention to the first two volumes, so now I have to go online and see if I can find snippets somewhere to give me an idea of what they were about. Maybe I'll find them at J&R Music World, or one of the Tower Records shops downtown (NYC, that is; the former site of the Yonkers store is now Westchester Toyota -- looks odd to see cars in what used to be my favorite place to buy music).
I like this because it's a reminder to those fat cats that corporations are not their personal piggy banks for them to raid at their leisure. When WorldCom was a small company (I'm assuming it was once a sole proprietorship) Ebbers could take what he wanted to his heart's content, as long as he could explain his actions to the IRS, if called upon to do so, in a way that would keep him from landing in jail. What these guys don't seem to get (or not care about) is that once these companies go public, they're just that: PUBLIC. The old head honcho can't do whatever he wants without fear of repercussions.
Sad thing is, even though Ebbers is facing the music, though the 80-year-old founder of Adelphia has already faced the music, even though Ken Lay will face the music, overpaid idiots with dollar signs in their eyes will continue to do the same things, hoping against hope that the IRS, the SEC, and everybody else looks the other way, then acting shocked when they don't.
Reminds me of the title of one of Brand Nubian's old raps: "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down." It may seem odd to refer to these "gentlemen" as punks, but when they keep doing these "stupid human tricks" knowing what the penalties are, what else is there to call them?
Monday, July 11, 2005
I haven't been able to find anything about a Gigli game. And what would it be about, anyway? From what I've read, much of the movie seemed improvised; one review said it was about nothing, like "a bad Seinfeld episode stretched out to feature length, and then stretched some more." There's nothing there to base a videogame on, though I'm sure that wouldn't stop someone with enough dollar signs flashing in his eyes.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
As for the Metsies, they keep doing that one step up, two steps back, two steps up, one step back thing. While they dance in place, Atlanta's been creeping up on Washington the same way the Skankees have been creeping up on Boston. Washington will probably not do anything -- to the great relief of every general manager in baseball, since the team does not have an actual owner at the moment ("owned by Major League Baseball" is a sham) -- but I'm hoping the Mets will wake up and remember that if Atlanta makes it to the top, they will NOT go down easily. They have won 13 straight division titles, but some of the most recent ones were squeakers, since the team's stars aren't getting any younger.
Maybe the All-Star break is what the Mets need to turn things around...
He says that, since country music's core fans tend to like women with some meat on their bones (me too), this could mean that contestants may actually get to... EAT!
Some time ago I saw a manipulated photo of a Miss New York from either the Miss America or Miss USA Pagent, and she had been given some ample curves by whoever had edited the photo. The caption said, "Too bad beauty pageant contestants don't look like this anymore." Maybe they will again someday...
Friday, July 08, 2005
I'm the last person in the world to make disparaging remarks about any racial or ethnic group, but it has seemed to me for quite a long time now that the British and Australians will gamble on just about anything. At least, British and Australian bookies will take bets on almost anything. There's an article on page 16 of today's NY Daily News that details the odds British bookies are giving on which major character will die in the next Harry Potter book. The odds favor(?) Dumbledore, who is a 1-5 pick to die, while Harry himself gets the longest odds (of course) at 16-1. And I've read where, in an Australian bar, people were seriously betting on which of two flies crawling up a wall would fly off first.
But then I guess that has nothing to do with ethnicity; given enough beer, and enough money burning a hole in their pocket, anybody anywhere can and will make stupid bets.
I don't even know how I'd react if I found out that my pet, dog or whatever, had been eaten by a fish. Especially a fish species that I could eat for dinner.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
CNN Money - World's most expensive cities
We shall see what we shall see...
Monday, June 27, 2005
Today's NY Daily News notes how, even though the teams have identical records, the managers' takes on their teams' prospects are markedly different. Mets manager Willie Randolph and his players are quite optimistic about the possibilities for the rest of this season, since they're in the basement with a .500 record. Most teams in the basement are way below .500, but the Mets, and just about every other team in the National League, are beneficiaries of the Colorado Rockies and their horrible record (25 wins -- the Mets' 1962 record of 40-120 may be in danger), as well as the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants, who aren't doing much better.
I am glad to see, though, how George Steinbrenner isn't micromanaging the team the way he did back before Joe Torre came to town. I don't know if backing off was his reaction to the way Torre turned things around, or just a change in outlook, but even with this lackluster season his $200 million-plus team is having, he's holding his tongue surprisingly well, at least where popping off to the press is concerned.
As for Fred Wilpon, ranting to reporters about what his team isn't doing just isn't his style. Even before he bought out ex-partner Nelson Doubleday, he let Doubleday do all the talking while he [Wilpon] stayed in the background and let the front office people do what they get paid to do. Let's see how much longer George Steinbrenner continues doing the same...
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
This makes twice in a few years that a favorite station has dumped the format that made me a listener. I absolutely loved Jammin' 105 (105.1), which played a mix of current and classic R&B; then one Thursday morning I'm awakened by the unwelcome sounds of Ice Cube. I don't dislike Cube, but hearing his voice on what was supposed to be a classic soul station wasn't a good sign. I thought it was a commercial at first, until I heard all the censoring beeps.
I was mad; I wanted to call and let them have TWO pieces of my mind. Then I remembered that the station is a Clear Channel station; complaining is like screaming at a wall; you make a lot of noise without any effect on your intended subject.
Oh well, the world will keep turning...
OK, so maybe the Jack format isn't so bad. I've been listening off and on, and I have to admit that, all in all, I've been hearing more music I like than I did with the old format. But I still miss some of those oldies; there's now one less station to hear them on. Then again, as has been pointed out elsewhere, WBLS and WRKS have been playing more older R&B; the dance music stations have been playing more 70's and 80's music; and the newest rock station, 107.1 (don't know the call letters) plays a mix of rock from the 70's up to today. And there's always Kool 96.7 from Connecticut, which plays oldies from the 60's and 70's. I guess the old WCBS-FM market is being served; it's just too bad it's not all on one station anymore.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
The jurors decided that there wasn't enough evidence to reach a guilty verdict, but that doesn't mean that he's innocent. Yet, the fact that he liked to have young boys sleep in the same bed with him doesn't mean he's guilty, either. He made the repeated mistake of putting himself in situations where shady business is presumed, whether it happens or not. When a grown man sleeps in the same bed with children (not his own), isn't the first thing that comes to mind that somebody is doing something wrong? Hopefully Michael will learn from this and not leave himself open to such accusations.
At the same time, the prosecutor was like a shark. He smelled blood and wanted to rip into Michael Jackson. Like President W acting against Saddam Hussein to avenge his father after a failed assassination attempt, Sneddon tried to clean up "unfinished business" from 1993 by finding witnesses willing to testify against Jackson just so he could finally put him in jail, or so Sneddon hoped. But Sneddon was so intent to find bodies to put on the witness stand that he apparently didn't do much of a background check. He couldn't have, considering all the things that came out about the accuser's family during the trial. As I said earlier, Jackson may very
well be guilty, but who would believe that coming from someone with a long history of scams and fraud?
This trial was a circus from the very beginning, and the jury acted correctly in not jailing a man just because he's a clown.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
This observational editorial was originally penned in September of 2003. It’s been hit at and edited a time or two over the last couple of years. I’ve knocked the cobwebs and dust off of it, and posted it here for old time’s sake. Here it is, in all it’s decrepit glory:
CraniumAbuse Rant of the Day: X Rated Rant
Not that I want to get off on a rant here, But…
Acronyms, labels, and all of these X’s…
What is it with all of these X’s ?Just what is the fixation with “X” ?
Ever since Y2K (Another stupid acronym), it seems that every version of anything produced has to be labeled somethingX, or Xsomething.
The century turns,and all of a sudden, we’ve broken out in X.
First we had Gen X,as if any generation wanted to be known as X…
Then came X everything. X-Files, X-treme sports, Xtreme Games, X Box, X Men, X-this and X-that.
Car names, all kinds of stuff…Everything is X !What do I drive? I drive a 300ZX !
I used to be married, guess what? Yep, she is now my X.
Back in the day (in the 20th century), way back when…XXX meant strippers or porn. Or the label on a moonshine jar. Or an X in the eyes of deceased cartoon characters.
Back in the day, back when TV was TV…Brand X was always the rival sample that faired poorly against the “New and Improved” version of a show’s sponsor. Brand X was not what you wanted to be in the eyes of American consumers. Now it seems, we are being spoon fed X…Ok, another one, FedEx… Where will it end?
Now, all of a sudden, it’s the fashionable label for anything that has been created post Y2K.
Wazzup wid all dat?
Even things that were going in order,and were only at like 6.xxx --- Arrrggh! See? Even generic notations are .x ! Cpanel went from 7.xxx to Cpanel X. Why?
At least in the case of XML and XHTML, the x stands for Extensible……or was that just by design too ?
Even the operating systems decided that numbers were passé. OS X, XP, or X-anything that goes with those…
Microsoft went from 95 to 98, fixed a bit it became 98SE. Then they lost their freakin’ minds and puked out ME. Which supposedly meant Millennium Edition…Not to be confused with 2000, which is the actual millennium.
They top that all off with, you know it, “X”P.Which at first wouldn’t run anything but the junk that came on it. Well, that proprietary diet and any other OEM spam disguised as HP or Compaq “services”… Including links and helpful little items like AOL.(which by the way, is the antichrist)
Mac’s OS, went from 9.xxx to OS X…
Ok, so you might say…“You Moron, X is the next character after 9 in the Roman numeral system. OS 9 naturally went to OS X, like Duh.”
To which I would reply…Yeah, how many buttons came on your iMouse? Like iDuh.
And like 9 is a Roman Numeral?As were I suppose, OS 8, OS 7, OS 6, etc…Would not then, those be OS VIII and OS VII, OS VI, etc. ?
And, don’t even get me started on the iDumb iDea of iUsing “i” before everything Mac.
Not to be outdone, other software wannabe monopolies followed suit… DreamWeaver and Flash became “MX”…I suppose their own branded version of X, the “M” for Macromedia.
I suppose that if I’m to hold my head up high and become politically correct, I should change my favorite moniker to CranX. Or even better yet, how about iCranX ?Has a certain contemporary ring to it, does it not?
I’m sure there are other Xamples, Xemplary Xtensions and Xplanations…… but I see no Xcuse for it all.
Alright kind and patient folks, I’ve abused your, and my, craniums just about long enough I think.
Sorry, that I got off on a rant…
Well Xcuse me !
That Folks, was your Cranium Abuse of the day.My little rant, for this month anyway.Stay tuned for more senseless babble, inane ramble, and maybe even some occasional useful content.No promises though, on the useful part.
Thanks, and Have A Great Day !
Sunday, May 22, 2005
See, talking to yourself has some benefits, even if it is by computer rather than out loud.
A few weeks ago I picked up Time Out New York magazine, which I do from time to time, just to see what's going on around the area. On the cover was a shapely woman in a lounge chair, reading a book called "Everything Bad Is Good for You." I laughed at the title and assumed that it was just something mocked up for the photo shoot. Lo and behold, it's a real book. The author contends that things like junk food, "bad" TV, and all the elements of pop culture that critics tend to moan about actually make better people of those who participate in them. He calls it the Sleeper Effect, after the premise of the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper," where scientists are amazed that 20th century doctors scoffed at the nutritional value of junk food while promoting vegetables.
I got a nice little chuckle out of that, especially since the review I read indicated that the book was written in a style that suggests the author doesn't want to be taken too seriously.
Then a few days ago I read where prosecutors and judges are beginning to discuss among themselves what is called the "CSI effect." People serving on juries have watched the various CSI shows, heard all about forensic evidence and have begun asking for forensic testing (and getting exasperated when the results don't come back as quickly as they do on the shows). Also, more colleges are offering forensic science courses apart from law enforcement or medical coursework.
So, everything "bad" isn't good for us, but some of it is...
Today I heard a song on the radio about Aunt Jemima, of all people. It was on a show featuring folk musicians (When I'm in my car I hit the seek button until I hear something interesting, whatever and whoever that may be), and the song was lamenting the changing of Aunt Jemima's picture on the pancake box from the traditional pic to "Oprah." I had no idea that the original pic was of a real woman named Nancy Green, who had befriended the originators of the Aunt Jemima pancake recipe.
It seems a bit paradoxical that those folks who protested that the image was derogatory either didn't know or didn't care that it was an image of a real person, one of the first well-known advertising spokespersons in fact, who happened to be a not-necessarily-photogenic black woman who could cook.
The song's chorus pointed out that unlike a few advertising icons, including "Mr. Clean, this was a real live mama, by the name of Nancy Green." I was trying to find the lyrics online but so far without success. I went to the Fairleigh Dickinson University website and email the hosts of the show (it was on WFDU, the school's station) and asked them for info. I could probably not contact the host without the aid of the Internet, which is both a playground of the perverted and a playground for those who think. "Everything bad is good for you"? Hmm...
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
The surgery is called "core decompression," or basically sucking out decayed tissue from my thighbones with a loooong needle. Prescription medication, anemia, and who knows what else led to the ball of the thighbone not getting enough oxygen. I say "who knows what" because I'm told it could be caused by almost anything, and sometimes there IS no traceable cause.
The doctor had told me before surgery that I would be on crutches for six weeks afterward. In the hospital, already "dressed" for surgery, I find out that he prefers that I use a walker. A WALKER! I'm only 40!
I was in quite a bit of pain when I left the hospital Friday night, but nothing unbearable. I went to bed but was unable to get more than an hour of sleep. I just couldn't get comfortable in any position. I couldn't sleep on my sides, since that's where the incisions were (and fortunately, that's where the pain was centered -- if it was closer to the groin, there could have been something wrong at the surgical site), and I never could sleep on my back. The next night (and following nights) I slept sitting up on a couch in the living room. The pain is almost gone but lying in any position is still very uncomfortable, so I'm still sleeping sitting on the couch for the near future.
At the followup visit Monday, "walker or crutches" came up again when the doctor tapped the walker twice and told me to "be good." I asked him again if that meant I HAD to use a walker and he repeated his earlier answer. No sooner did I get home than I pulled out that family member's old crutches and began doing a four-legged walk, because I thought that was the best way to keep the weight off my legs. Everybody else seemed convinced that that was wrong -- they'd all been on crutches, but that was for a one-leg injury. I'd just had surgery on both legs... and I didn't even think to call the doctor today to see if I'm doing it right. For that matter, why didn't they show me how to use both a walker AND crutches, so I'd be prepared no matter which one I wound up using?
And OH JOY, as soon as I'm off the crutches, I'll have to start looking around for someplace to move to, partly because of a bunch of STUPID "mistakes" apparently made by another family member, mistakes I had nothing to do with. Though in truth, if not for the surgery, I'd probably be already gone or in the process of moving. I'm not happy about the circumstances of course, but then I AM 40 years old -- I should have been out of here a LONG time ago.
I've been doing a lot of praying, both over the health situation and for what comes after. I know it will all work out.
Well, that's about it for now. Time to go play some Collapse...
Reposted comments from the old BraveJournal:
Posted by Cor:
It will all work out. Somehow. It's like the Heisenberg Principle or something - believing in the likelihood of an outcome skews the results.Not to say it will occur quickly (as I have rediscovered)...Thanks for the description of the surgery (and I have never been good at sleeping on my back either, but for different reasons).Where one residence-door closes, another opens, et and cetera.Heal well (again)
Tuesday, May 17th 2005 @ 10:27 PM
Posted by Cor:
"Be good" - what a jerkoff.Use the crutches to simulate the effects of the walker. Ta-da.
Tuesday, May 17th 2005 @ 10:30 PM
Posted by Bryan Doe:
Oh, I'm not *too* worried about where I'm going. I may have a place or two lined up. A friend with an apartment available actually told me that he was in no hurry, and didn't want me to even think about trying to move in while I was on crutches, and I haven't even seen the place yet.
Wednesday, May 18th 2005 @ 9:23 AM
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Reposted comments from the old BraveJournal:
Posted by Cor:
That story attributed to CNN sounds like an urban legend. I can't find it on cnn.com ...Oh, wait - it is an urban legend!
Thursday, May 12th 2005 @ 1:55 PM
Posted by Bryan Doe:
I'm sure there's more than a little bit of urban legend in the whole thing (like the roach trapped in the woman's tongue), but I have no doubt about things like dead rats in the glue tub, or dirty water used to ungunk stuck machinery. Keep a sponge nearby... ;-) :-P
Thursday, May 12th 2005 @ 2:08 PM
Posted by Cor:
Touché.If you want to miss out on extra protein, OK. Mmmmmmm.
Sunday, May 15th 2005 @ 12:27 AM
I Googled "radiation 'ceramic tile' " and found this link from the Health Physics Society. I can't say that it really did that much to set my mind at ease, because it doesn't say if there are some kinds of tile that are more radioactive than others, or if there are actually types that could be dangerous.
Googling "radiation 'cat litter' " came up with some interesting stuff, including a link from Snopes.com in which the source of radioactivity was, to paraphrase the article, 'the cat's leavings, not what the kitty left them in.'
But contradicting Snopes is this link on cat litter from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (the link's from ORAU, not the litter). It says that some cat litter has been known to trip radiation sensors.
I used to think it was just the smell that was radioactive...
Reposted comments from the old BraveJournal:
Posted by Cor:
"Uranium hunter follows trail of tiles"
(Despite the evil-monopolist influence [of the MSN link], there could accidentially be some accurate information there)
(There was a longer article a few years back, probably profiling the same guy, more skeptical, in an alt-press weekly... can't find it now... apparently it wasn't in SF Weekly, LA Weekly (now owned by Village Voice)... ) Worrisome quote from the end of the article: "Everything is measurably radioactive." Swell.
Wednesday, May 11th 2005 @ 11:25 AM
Posted by Bryan Doe:
Apparently it's radioactivity that maintains life. Everything organic (or of organic origin) has some radioactivity in it.
Ceramics and cat litter are both made from clay -- for some reason I had always thought cat litter was made from tree bark.
Wednesday, May 11th 2005 @ 12:20 PM
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
As for tea, I've never understood how people find enjoyment in the sweet, syrupy, extremely weak concoction that usually passes for homemade iced tea. I like my iced tea strong, so strong that people start to wonder how much it can bench-press.
Reposted comments from the old BraveJournal:
Posted by Cor:
A much better script, of course, would have included the pitcher inexplicably levitating off the table and emptying itself over some dude's head.(Tea should be strong, trying to be like coffee. No sugar. Yuck.)
Tuesday, May 10th 2005 @ 3:42 PM
Posted by Bryan Doe:
Tea with no sugar? I don't like the pale weak stuff but I need the sugar in mine. :P
Tuesday, May 10th 2005 @ 9:58 PM
Posted by Cor:
Yeah. well, [insert Damnyankee joke here - with extra irony, as it would be coming from an L.A.-native lowlife]...Some might wonder what the point of ingesting bitter, often apathetically prepared stimulants + sugar would be, but they would likely be younger and livelier (and less unemployed) than, uh, me...
Tuesday, May 10th 2005 @ 11:30 PM
Friday, May 06, 2005
Reposted comments from the old BraveJournal:
Posted by Cor:
Yessir. And appropriately enough, it's on "Brave"net...You can be sure I bookmarked this, and will be checking in (and out). Y! Groups in general seem to be quieter, lately.Work week's almost over - soon you will be less tired. That's my prediction.- Cor -
Friday, May 6th 2005 @ 11:35 AM
Posted by CraniumAbuse:
Hey Bryan, post this at Southern Accent... You'll get more visitors than from just sending out a few emails. Luckily, I caught your message before my Spam Assasin did undoable things to it. ;) Good luck, - Cran
Friday, May 6th 2005 @ 12:11 PM
Posted by CraniumAbuse:
Sorry, my bad. You already did. I just now approved the meassge. Well, now you'll be exposed. Almost 5,000 members strong, that group is nowadays. Again, Good Luck, - Cran
Friday, May 6th 2005 @ 12:17 PM