Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nice Racks

I saw these really cool bike racks in downtown, today. Get it? They're bike racks. I wish I had come up with that. I hate it when other people are more original than me.

Catch a Tiger by the Toe

--A bunch of you people out there think that he got drunk--or stoned--and is trying to cover it up.


---Others think he got into an argument with his wife, the Swedish Barbie Doll, and was so pissed off, that he crashed the car.


Here's what happened:

1) FACT: Tiger Woods is half Thai. The sports world make a big deal out of the fact that he's African-American, and good at golf. They conveniently ignore his mom, who his dad met during the Vietnam War.

2) FACT: There are lots of Thai restaurants in the U.S.

----CONCLUSION: Tiger wasn't drunk, and he didn't have an argument with his wife. He was delivering Thai take-out.

-----THINK ABOUT IT: Yeah, he's rich, but where does all that money come from? Golf? Come on. Golf pays okay, but Tiger's a smart guy. He did what the other smart sports guys do. They know that the career will last only so long, so they invest their money into restaurants, car dealerships, and laundromats. The Mercedes? The TAG-Heuer watch? The Germans and the Swiss give him those things for free, so that they can get some product placement. Next time you watch NCIS, note that all of the men wear Omega dive watches, and everybody drinks Maker's Mark. Last year they all drank Wild Turkey.


------THE ANSWER: Tiger got a frantic call from one of the Thai restaurants that he owns. The driver, Hihetetlenulhosszuthaifoldinevemvan, called in sick, and nobody was available to deliver Shaq's order of Pad-See-Yew (Shaquille O'Neil lives in Tiger's gated community). Sleepy, Tiger backed into the fire hydrant, knocking over the food, causing that flimsy little plastic lid to pop off the Rooster Hot Sauce, instantly filling the Escalade with noxious fumes, rendering him unconscious. This explains his incoherent state when the cops arrived.

Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Obama's "Dreams for My Father" attacked by hateful nutjobs

^I just finished Reading Barack Obama's "Dreams for My Father". I will write my own review of it, later. My take on the book will be from a unique perspective--that of a reader who discovers that he has a lot of history in common with the President.
^^I posted the following at AmericanThinker, Jack Cashill's right-wing blog. Let's see if he allows it to appear on his website:

-As a writer, I certainly enjoy reading Mr Cashill's pseudoscientific musings and speculations. He almost gets away with it, until he shoots himself in the foot with the following statement: "But I did notice something else. The book was much too well written. I had seen enough of Obama's interviews to know that he did not speak with anywhere near the verbal sophistication on display in Dreams."
-- A patently ridiculous statement, if I ever heard one. Mr. Obama is articulate and highly intelligent, with a clear vision. It is precisely these attributes after 8 years of the Madness of King George that energizes unfortunate souls like Mr. Cashill to sail off in search of El Dorado, unaware that there is only pyrite waiting for them on the distant shore. We are asked to believe that somebody was able to graduate from Harvard Law, pass a state bar exam, become president of the law review, and yet he is actually an unsophisticated, incoherent speaker? This, interspersed with complaints that he's not really an oppressed minority, because he grew up among financially secure white folks? Well, which is he: an inarticulate ghetto dude, or the scion of privelage? You can't have it both ways, Mr. Cashill. I don't believe in conspiracy theories--be they of the leftist or right wing variety. Trying to organize a large number of people to carry out some misdeed without some of them spilling the beans is like trying to herd cats (how's that for a mixed metaphor?).
---Having Ayers ghost write Obama's book(s) requires collusion from a good number of people. All of these grand machinations had to be accomplished to publish a book about a guy who is president of the Harvard Law Review? Given the choice between believing in such a conspiracy of this required level complexity, or believing that maybe the guy is really smart, the less complex answer is far more plausible.
----A few comments on the "discovery" of all of the (allegedly) suspicous parallels between Ayers' book and Obama's: It it is plausible (and acceptable) that Obama may have gotten input & advice from Ayers (or anybody else) while writing the book. This is normal practice. Usually, the writer gives credit to all of those who contributed, proof-read, critqued, etc. I just returned "Dreams" to the library, so I can't check.
-----The real point of Mr. Cashill's multiple essays on this topic is that he wants to prove that Obama is some sort of a dangerous commie lunatic imbecile whose strings are being pulled by people who hate America. Please.
------As far as parallels and in-depth analysis, I giggled with glee recently while watching a 'documentary' on the History Channel (or maybe it was the Discovery Channel: either way, it was one of those cable TV channels that used to be good 20 years ago) about The Bible Code. An orthodox rabbi nodded solemnly while explaining all of the hidden mathematical codes that predicted events in our times. When confronted with the results of a mathematics professor's work in which using the rabbi's methodology he found references to Tom Sawyer, the rabbi rolled his eyes, and explained it away with wishful thinking.
-------I guess that Mark Twain was right about Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

H1N1 Baloney, or Really, It's Okay for Kids to Die

This person's blog answers the conspracy theories and misinformation about H1N1 swine flu vaccination shots and the swine flu epidemic so well that I'm just going to provide a link to it.
People who think this is a conspiracy between governments and Big Pharma are welcome to sputter such drivel to the parents of Joey Holt, who bore an uncanny resembance to my boy (seen here, with his sister on a camping trip this summer).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Now Do You Believe Me?

-Well, if you ever doubted that right-wing, religious nutjobs hate Obama, here it is: T-shirts and bumper stickers that refer to Psalm 109:8.
--The premise here, boys and girls, is that only true christians have the bible memorized, so they will be able to quote the verse, and catch the meaning i.e. the true intent of the wearer of said offending t-shirt, that suggests making a widow out of Michelle, and orphans out of Sasha and Malia. Apparently, a lot of others agree with me, as you can see on the t-shirt company's blog.

---I have a friend who is christian, who would be deeply offended by these t-shirts. The first thing he would do is point out that the anti-Obama quote is from the Old Testament, when the whole idea of christianity is that Jesus brought a new gospel. In case you're wondering, he is a well-to-do whiteboy who lives in a big house in a nice neighborhood. Thanks for asking.
----Has anybody complained about this to the Secret Service? This doesn't look like protected free speech to me; it looks like a clear threat against the President of the United States.
----If you see someone wearing a t-shirt like that, exercise your own free speech, and cuss him out. Before you do, yank the white hood off his head, so that you can look'em in his beady little in-bred eyes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Day at the Office

Some people installed a special x-ray machine in their department, and asked me to measure the x-ray scatter off the patient while the tech is shooting the x-rays. In plain English, they want to know if the employee is getting nailed by x-rays. The only way to do it was to have a "patient" getting their skull x-rayed. Now I know what improvements they have to make to the room's shielding.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why Do You Hate America?

My favorite republican slogan--the anti-intellectual sledgehammer used to stifle lack of agreement with their closed-minded little ideas--is "Why do you hate America?" When the French refused to help us invade Iraq, we resorted to the World War I era tactic of renaming our food. Instead of insulting the rat-bastard Germans by re-naming sauerkraut "liberty cabbage"...oh, wait...the Germans are helping us in Afghanistan: cancel the insults...we re-named French fries "freedom fries". My friend X the Vicious Republican (hiding his name by calling him "X" is tons of fun: it puts him into the same category as Malcolm X--someone he wouldn't be caught dead with) who is still pissed at the French for not helping us invade Iraq (needless to say, he still won't admit that we had no basis for invading, in the first place) loves to use buzzwords like "European" and "socialism" and--shudder--"European socialism". The venom with which he pronounces either word sounds like if Europeans and/or socialists are known child molesters. Ooh...a chill just went up and down my spine. Did someone turn up the air-conditioning?
Forbes Magazine--of all people--has an interesting essay by Bruce Bartlett titled "The Europeanization of America". It's so well-written, that I'll just suggest you click on the link, and read it, yourself .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Good Movies, and One Bad

1) Leatherheads
George Clooney, Renee Zellweger in a screwball comedy set in the Midwest in 1925. Ostensibly the story is about the birth of professional football, but it's really a romantic love triangle comedy. Plus benefit is that despite the themes, the archaic 1920s era language hides references to naughty behavior, so you can watch it in front of kids. No nudity or foul language.
2) Appaloosa
Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are sheriffs for hire, and they are fast draws. The blow into a dusty cowboy town, clean it up, and discover Renee Zellweger (the fact that the last 2 movies I got from Netflix have Renee Zellweger is random coincidence). In this film, Zellweger plays the complete opposite of her Leatherheads character. I don't want to say more. Tight dialogue. Mortensen is especially strong as the assistant sheriff--a man of few words, but when he talks, it's serious. Even if westerns (cowboy movies) are not your thing, rent this movie, anyway. It's that good.
Oh, and parts of it were filmed in those mountains in southeast Arizona where I go birding.
Somebody--actually, I think 2 different people--said that they can't stand Rene Zellweger. I don't have strong opinion about her either way, but she was the right choice for both of these movies.
AND NOW A MOVIE THAT I CANNOT RECOMMEND: "A Serious Man", the Cohen Brothers' latest, has its moments, I get it, but I would only recommend it to bipolar patients currently in their manic phase, to help bring them back down. Way down.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Goodbye FaceBook, Hello Kosher Ham, and a Bra That Men Could Really Use

Okay, so here's a guy who doesn't know how to park. I mean, really? He was delivering pork to the local Chinese restaurant, there were open parking spaces all over the place, and he says to himself, "Hm...I'll park in front of the synagogue: won't need to worry about them swiping my stuff."
Posted a newspaper article on FaceBook about this crazy Ukranian doctor/Chernobyl survivor who invented a bra that pulls apart into 2 gas masks. A male friend made a humorous comment, a female friend took insult, and elevated the comments up into insult territory, so I went for the nuclear option: I closed my FaceBook account.
==A Confession: the tempest in a teapot over womens' undergarments (somebody needs to invent a ladies' underwear that doubles as a coffee filter. Now that would be practical.) was a convenient excuse to close my FaceBook account. I had been contemplating closing it for a month, or so, for two different reasons:
1) FaceBook is a wonderful way to get into fights with your friends and relatives. Why wait until Thanksgiving Dinner at Uncle Bob's house, when you can do it from the convenience of your home computer? Pick a topic that gives your cousin's husband the chance to let you know what an idiot you are, and all hell breaks loose. Next thing you know, you see a post on your best friend's mailman's gynecologist's FaceBook page about what a moron you are. All of this can be easily accomplished with all involved parties still in their underwear.
2) I can't think of a polite way to put it, so I'll be blunt: 99% of the people on FaceBook only post stuff about themselves, or things that they are interested in, and they are absolutely uninterested in others' postings i.e. thoughts. It's like a theater where 10 actors are on the stage, all talking at once, reciting lines from different plays. Instead of the Tower of Babel, Facebook is the Website of Babble. They literally only read their own postings. Wouldn't it be easier to stand in front of the bathroom mirror, and admire yourself?
==An interesting manifestation of FaceBook is that I wound up being FB Friends with a bunch of people that I share the same political ideologies with. BORING! I recently got friended by a libertarian birder. Finally, somebody I can argue with! What a breath of fresh air. Actually, the conversations with her and her friends were great because we didn't throw slogans and insults at each other, we actually made arguments based on ideas and theories. I agree with 25% of what the libertarians say, but I totally disagree with their desire to minimize/dismantle government: it's a shell game designed to let big corprations i.e. the rich get richer. This is much better than my years-long fight with another friend who is a religious fundamentalist, and conservative republican. All he does is quote Ann Coulter, or somebody on Faux News Channel with expensive hair.
==So because I am one of those "all-or-nothing" type of extreme guys, I decided that constantly checking my FB account 4 or 5 times a day, and getting frustrated that clearly nobody was reading, or putting comments under my postings was just making me mad.
==There are really laid-back, mellow people out there who don't have the emotional investment. They check their FaceBook account once a month--if that often--and don't post anything. I have friends who have that same casual attitude towards birding: Hey, maybe we'll see that bird we're looking for, today. Maybe not. No big deal. I'm the opposite: if we don't see some bird that we went after, I'll actually get depressed about it, like some hard-core Boston Red Sox fan after losing to the Yankees.
==Oh, and another thing: Friend Requests from people you don't know. One kid sent me a Friend Request, so I asked him if he was a birder, or if he was a student at the university. He said no, he just wants to make friends. That kind of creeped me out, but I thought to myself, "See the fact that you think it's weird for some kid you don't know to want to be FB Friends with you is proof that you're an old geezer."
==Then I got a Friend Request from some girl who's 12 years younger than me. Same question: does she work in my department? Is she a student in the university? Is she a birder? Why would a she want to Friend me, when it says right there on my FB page that I'm married, and have kids? So I figured, "You're an old guy, that's what people do today."
==Well, she posted on her FB page that she had posted a link to her personal website. I'm thinking, "Ah ha! Now I'll find out that you do go to the university" or I'll see bird pictures.
==Boy am I sorry I accepted her Friend Request. It turned out that she's a shell for something called . I'd tell you more, but I closed the link, and immediately unFriended her. The thing that really freaked me out was that had naked pictures of girls that absolutely looked like they were way the hell under 18 years old. I'm thinking about asking the local police department if they're interested in the details. I hear that police departments have people who go on-line, and pretend to be interested in child pornography.
==Well, the good thing about closing my FaceBook account is that I'll have more time to blog. Nobody reads my blog. Just ask Uncle Bob, or the mailman's gynecologist.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Siberian Visitor, Idiot Republicans, and the Real Pink Mafia

Sunday, November 1st, 2009. We changed the clocks last night (finally), but I'm not convinced it's fall. It's warm, and we have been sleeping with the windows open. I ask the wife's permission to cross the Orange Curtain into Orange County to chase the Bar-tailed Godwit. She says, "Yes, do as you please."

Okay, any guys out there who just got married, or are planning (ever) on getting married, pay attention. Let me explain it to you: What that really means is you can go out and play as long as you get back in time to do other family stuff. In this case, there is a 3 year old the size of Mishu whose birthday party she and the kids are going to. I have been told that I don't have to go. The birthday girl's name is Tabby, like the cat. No, wait--I think it's short for Tabitha. Not being a member of the anglo-saxon races I am not to be trusted with such topics. As an aside, I also found out this week that I am not to be trusted when it comes to birds, either. Apparently, a Golden-crowned Kinglet (they are annoyingly rare in Southern California) that I found, pointed out to 3 other people, and got someone to photograph was dismissed by 2 "gentlemen" who choose to remain anonymous, who informed the keeper of the park list (the dude who keeps a list of every bird ever seen at that particular park, along with the dates) that any such claims oin my part should be met with healthy skepticism.

Now, other than Ruby-crowned Kinglet, what the bloody hell could I confuse a Golden-crowned Kinglet with? Silly children. They must be Republicans, like the idiot I saw driving a pickup truck in Newport Beach, with a bumper sticker that said When Will You Admit That Electing Obama Was a Mistake? In order to write that many letters on one bumper sticker, you have to use a small font i.e. tiny letters. Little ones, like the undersized cognitive organ of the guy driving the pickup truck.

But I digress.

Of far more interest was Off-Road Corvette Dude. I have forgotten his name. I met him in Claremont, one night, during a Corvette rally in The Village. He turned a regular Corvette into an off-road monster. I saw him on the 57 Freeway while driving to Reagan Country (the next idiot who tells me that Ronald Reagan caused the Soviet Union to collapse is going to get a knuckle sandwhich from me: Harry Truman declared the policy, and set the course for constraining Soviet expansion when Ronald Reagan was sleeping with a chimpanzee), so I whipped out the Blackberry and took his picture. He waved, but I have no idea if he recognized me, or just smiled at another of his legion admirers.

Long story short: got to Upper Newport Bay, chased Steve Sosensky and Jim Abernathy up and down the street while limping and coughing. Well, okay, my toe feels better, as long as my 3 year-old doesn't step on it: she has stepped on my pinky toe (and no other toes!) with shoes on four times in the last two weeks, since I broke it. We got great looks at the bird. My 35mm camera is acting weird, so I only digiscoped the godwit. Her rump looked white, but I didn't see the underwings. But then again, she was around the same size as the Marbled Godwits. I mention all of this because the Bar-tailed Godwits in Europe of the race lapponicus have a white rump, but they are a lot smaller than the Siberan/Alaskan baueri birds. Interesting.

Limped back to the car, coughed, hacked and wheezed while turning the key in the ignition (I have not slept through the night in a week, because of this stupid cough), and got home in time to wash the car, load the wife and kids, and meet the Pink Mafia. My 3 year-old is a member of the Gang of Pink. Without any prior training or experience, she slipped on a pair of high heels in her size last year, and took off running. If we stay in the house, she changes clothes every two hours. Complete wardrobe change. Shoes, dress, tiara or whatever she's going to put into her hair. Where did this kid come from? I am going to ask the wife to get a DNA test, to prove that she is the mother. The very reason that the wife and I met was because we were both Sierra Club types out hiking in the mountains during the weekends. How did we produce this child who wears lipstick, wants her nails done, and wants all of her clothes, shoes, and accessories to be pink?

Does anyone know where I can get a bumper sticker that says "Have You Slept with Your Republican Congressman Today?" ?