Sunday, December 31, 2006

R.I.P. Misfit

On the last day of 2006 Misfit was found dead. :(

He was my favoritest cat ever and will be sorely missed.



Saturday, December 23, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Update!!!

Ok, I'm going to break this up over several posts.

First and foremost, I am now dating a wonderful woman named Margo. Her and I are a lot alike (is that a good or bad thing?) all the way to having Birthdays 26 hours from each other (I'm June 9th and she is June 10th). It's fantastic. I really click with her and things are, for the most part, very smooth and easy going. Good stuff! Totally in love! (how mushy.)

She lives northeast of Baltimore about an hour so she is about two hours from me. Totally worth the commute. :)

Second, Christmas is a coming and I need to figure out my plans. So you Hagerstownian people, what are our plans? I don't even know if you all (Kris, Ben, Jamie, Bert, Chrissy, etc) even read this thing anymore but if you do, let me know if and when you are going to be in town in the comments or email me so we can come up with a plan. It'd be cool for us all to get together again since we missed out last year.

Third, I got some stories that'll slip out over time I'm sure. They involve various things such as Haunted Forrests, camping in 17 degree weather, dropping a kid on his head (not my fault!), a close call with cat death (everyone is ok), and the Search for the Perfect X-Mas Tree. Good stuff.

Finally, anyone know where this quote comes from: 'Awesome Pink Velvety Ball of Whip Ass'? Cracks me up.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Risk Assessment and Perception

I've talked about perception before and how I am fascinated by the way people can view the same thing in such different ways. Risk assessment is something else that I find interesting, particularly the way in which small risk items are blown SOOOO out of proportion compared to everyday risks. This is a pretty good article describing exactly that.

Big update coming when I get around to writing it. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Holy Crap

Amazing what a major shake up in the power struggle of the US Congress will do to a stubborn President. Rumsfield is stepping down.

It's so fun to watch Bush squirm on his press conference. It's like a little kid getting his lollipop stolen. He suddenly figured out that the tactics aren't working and that maybe Rumsfield isn't the person who should be in charge. It's just totally amazing how unstubborn he became!

What a jackass.

You know what it is? It's nice to see that cocky bastard humbled.

Democracy Rocks

Well, Bush is going to have a BAD couple of years and it couldn't happen to a more deserving man. Not only did the Dems pick up the 15 seats they needed to take the house and thus the purse strings AND investigation power (finally), at the last count there up to almost 30 seats with 13 still undecided, and most of those leaning Dem. That is HUGE.

Additionally, they are two recounts away from taking the Senate as well and lead in both races. That is even crazier because while the House was pick-up was pretty much expected the Senate seemed pretty unlikely. Yanking boths chambers is pretty much going to shut down the Neocon experiment that has been driving the country into the ground.

The makeup of the takeover is going to be very healthy for the country. What ended up happening is a lot of the crazies that hijacked the Repubs (i.e., the religious right and neocons) were kicked out on their butts and moderate dems came in...several of whom were traditional repubs that switched parties because of how far right the repubs swung since '94. So what you end up with is a more moderate congress. Maybe finally we will get some sanity back into policy

The only downer was that Liberman won...that dudes an ass. While he is probably going to cause problems he can be mitigated as long as the dems control the dialog. The issue with that guy is he kept kissing the neocon's ass and provided 'bi-partisan' support for some of the more screwy legislation such as the torture bill and such. With the dems in control he won't even have the option to be such an ass

So, in a nutshell, regardless of if the Dems pick up the senate or not, Bush's freehand has been shut down and investigations of the more ugly things such as the energy policy and extrodinary rendition can finally be explored. Plus, we may actually start to implement some of the 9/11 Board recommendations and not just pretend to. It's going to be a good couple of years.

Just remember, Politics are a soap opera you can participate in.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Vote!

Do it or you can't bitch later.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day After - Part 2

The previous post was about the forrest, this one is about what I did afterwards. :)

So we all had back to the bonefire, do a group picture, and then start wonderering around to see what other kinds of trouble we can get into. The group of four I was in decided to head to Bethesda to find a bar and do some drinking. The group consisted of a Indian chick, a Pakistani chick, and an Indian dude. It was the same group I went through the forrest with.

We made our way to a bar in Bethesda that didn't card because someone forgot their license (no, it wasn't me). The cool thing about this little group was the diversity. We spent most of the night talking about travel places in southeast asia which was totally fascinating to me. Oh oh oh, and I learned something! We were talking about labels and how Indians and Pakinstaniens aren't really middle eastern or asian and they told that they are desis. And I learned that people just arriving in America are called FOB's (Fresh Off the Boat). :)

So we hung around for maybe a couple hours, enough time for a couple of drinks and some food, then headed out around 1 am because of work the next morning.

There you go. Good times.

The Day After

Ok! So I went to the Haunted Forrest last night. The place was just across the river in Maryland so I was able to hop the ferry and get there in 20 minutes. About 56 people showed and we hung outside of the entrance for about an hour while we waited for everyone to show up. Turns out about 8 more people showed up then payed so that took a while to get sorted out as well. At one point all 56 of us were lined up in a line, it felt like grade school again.

We are standing in this line, right, and we hear this screaming and two girls come running out of the forrest like they are afraid for their lives...then right behind them comes this chick dressed all in black on this big ass black arabian horse chasing them. One girl stumbled and the horse kinda pushed her with it's head. It was f'ing awesome!

Finally we have everyone together and our guide (an older dude in a zombie costume) gathers us all around. He starts by saying 'This is your last change to turn around...' and then his cell phone rings and he steps away to take the call. Classic.

He leads us in through the central area which is like a little town. They have about five big ass bonefires with a small fence around each one and benches to sit on for those waiting to be called to hang out at. Around the perimeter are concession stands, bathrooms, a zip line thing about 30 feet in the air, a rock climbing wall to get to the zip line, a haunted hay ride and some other stuff. You can see flames shooting off in the forrest and people screaming and the sound of chainsaws. Good times.

The dude leads us to a private bonefire we paid for back in the forrest a bit. There we hang out for about 10 minutes before our group is called, then we head over to the entrace. We have to split into groups of 4 or 5 to do the trail. I break off with one chick I met at an earlier event and two others I never met before.

The trail itself was pretty cool. It was about a 1/2 mile long and took about 20 minutes or so to work your way through it. It was lit by candle light in little buckets so that they would temporarily blind you and then crap would jump out at you. There was one area where they had all of these really cool pumpkins carved and I was looking real close at one and this dude jumped in front of me and scared the crap out of me. Good stuff.

The end of the train was by far the coolest. I mentioned chain saws? Well, the entire time you are walking the trail you hear these things going and people screaming. I figure there was one guy running around chasing people, right? We get up to this little house where the two trails merge (there were two trails so they could get people through faster) and there are zombies and crap following close behind you. Then out of nowhere like 3 people show up, including the dude right behind us, with real chainsaws minus the rotating blade, and start chasing you. Mass havoc! People running all over the place to get away. They heard you towards an overturned bus with a strobe light going. You make your way through that with people grabbing your legs and slamming on the side of the bus into this scene straight out of Mad Max's Thundedome. Blaringly loud death metal playing, smoke and strobe lights, people jumping out of the corners and crap falling from the ceiling. It was totally awesome.

And then it was over. Most of the trail was kinda blah but the end was fantastic. Definitely doing it again next year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Night

What are you all doing for Halloween Night? I'm going to Markoff's Haunted Forest. There is a menu at the top with pics and such.

This thing has me amped up. You have to sign a waiver too. A WAIVER! Wee!

I'm sure I'll have a story or two after this beast.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Opps

So I went to the Maryland vs FSU game yesterday with the Dad, my sister and her husband.

Here is our view:


Anyway, I knew it was going to be windy but it was in the low-60's when I headed out I just tossed on a pull-over windbreaker thing over my shirt. Well, that obviously wasn't enough because the temp dropped like a brick to the mid-40's and the wind was NUTS. So now I'm fighting a stupid cold, trying to kick it before Tuesday night's feastivities.

The game was awesome, though. The last five minutes are why I like football. It was intense. FSU is a hated team by Maryland and beating them has only happened twice in recent memory. Beating them was a BIG DEAL (tm) for us plus it made us Bowl Eligeable for the first time since 2003.

Here was the scene after the game:

Monday, October 23, 2006

Weekend Summary

So, here we go. After spending most of the week in a social comma I went out to Happy Hour with the Ashburn Singles Meetup group at Old Dominion brewery. Maybe 15 people showed up? If you remember, the last time I went to the Happy Hour with this group I ended up in a heated discussion with a Christian gal about religion. Anyway, the first part of the night was fun. Some people thought I was from California, partly because of the white streak thing I have going on apparently.

The group split up, some people went home and some people to a different bar to see a band and then over to a different bar afterwards. This all happened around closing time of the brewery around 10 pm. Myself and four others tried the second bar to see if we could hook up with them but there was a cover and the smoke was insane, so we headed over to this big ass bar in a steakhouse instead. We were able to snag a booth.

So it was myself with these four ladies all over 38 with kids. We had some good conversation, even if it did get out of hand a bit from time to time. The funniest thing though was this waitress that was waiting on us. So I was giving her this hard time because of the music that was playing. The music was pretty good at first but it varied widly, I mean it went from Gun's and Rose's to f'ing Paris Hilton, one after the other! So she kept coming back to tell us she put different songs on for us. This prompted the ladies I was with to be convienced that the waitress girl was into me. This also prompted me to do a LOT of blushing. Fricken women.

Ok, so that was Friday night...good 8 hours of fun. Saturday was another social coma. Sunday was the last day of the Ren Faire. I went with Les and two guys I know from various Meetup groups. We spent the entire day wondering around and drinking. It was pretty cool because of the customs that were there. A lot of gay people in drag (never seen them there before) were hanging out and lot of Star Wars outfits. It was pretty cool.

Leslie, being Leslie, got flirty after the drinking and was hanging out with one of the guys we went with. Apparently they both get flirty drinking so they kept wondering off while Kevin and I were making fun of them. Well, at one point they headed over to the bathrooms and Kevin and I were delayed because we were hungry. By the time we got over there they were no where to be seen. We hung around for a bit then gave up and headed to the bar we were ultimately going to end-up at anyway. We sat around there for about 30 minutes before Jim called and asked us where we were. Leslie wasn't with him (arg). So we head over and meet him and I slap him around for not keeping an eye on Leslie. I mean, you gotta keep an eye on that girl when she's been drinking. So I ask them to stay where they are and head out to find Leslie. I was pretty sure would eventually find her way over to the bar in the middle where we were all headed anyway so that is where I went. Low and behold there she was! She was shaken up but all was good. The rest of the day was low key except for the end. Leslie and Jim wondered over to shoot arrows and Kevin and I sat in front of the Dragon's Pub or whatever that one is by the elephants and watched the belly dancers...one of whom was a guy that was just plain scary. :)

So anyway, all in all a good weekend.

Weird Al

Finally broke the Top 10

Yay!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Unacceptable

I think this speaks for itself. Do these people know the meaning of the work irony?

Grude 2, Thursday Night, and The Satanic Verses

So I figured this will be a general catch-all post since I've been a bit remiss in posting. I've been hiting a bunch of different Meetup groups and it has kept me pretty busy.

Thursday night I went to a group in Arlington that was a happy hour. They reserved the top floor of this bar and some 100 or so people showed up. I got there about 6:30 pm and left around 1 am. In the process I had far too many glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, then we moved onto Mimosa's and shared a Hookah! I've been wanting to try that thingy, it was pretty interesting. Had a melon flavored one and shared it between 7 of us or so. The music was pretty loud but all in all it was a good time.

However, I spent most of Friday sleeping off the hangover. I went to bed about 1:30 am and slept until about 9:30 am. I got up and staggered down stairs and read some email, etc. About 30 minutes later I start to feel pretty crappy and crawled back up into my bed to sleep it off. Ended up sleeping until about 3:30 pm or so...opps.

So I get up, right...and head out to Fairfax to catch a different meetup group doing dinner and a movie. We went to Joe's Crap Shack and caught Grudge 2. Now, I've explained how much a fan of Sam Raimi I am before and he totally didn't let me down on this one. The man has a gift. Needless to say, I will be sleeping on the couch tonight with the TV on. Scared the crap out of me.

Now, one of the conversation that have come up at various meetup groups are book clubs. There are a few in Washington and it is something I've always wanted to try since I like reading and I like having conversations, so it seems like a good deal to me. I signed up for one that meets once a month around the 24th. They are reading Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses'. This book was very controversial and the author actually has a bounty on his life in a few countries. I've heard about it over the years and am pretty excited to give it a read. The thing is 550 pages and I have just over a week to read it. Crap.

Anyway, there you go, now you are up-to-date.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Public Service Announcement

As if having to deal with terrorists and a resurgent Taliban wasn't enough, now they have to deal with this. Run for you lives!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Alternate Reality: What Would You Be Doing

I was watching me some crappy Sci-Fi today, as I often do whilst I work, and this particular crappy episode involved alternate realities in alternate dimensions. The theory, as was put forth by this crappy tv show, was that there are an infinite number of alternate dimensions presenting us with an infinite number of alternate realities, some of which are close to are own and some that are very different. Got it? Sounds good to me - who am I to argue with such a theory anyway.

So I got to thinking...what would I be doing in some of these other dimensions? I could be the preznit, or I could be living in a box. I could be some famous movie star or some infamous murderer. Hell, I could be a gay pumpkin harvester in Alaska for all I know. Gee...how appealing.

All in all I like to think I wouldn't be all that much different than who I am now. If I was, I wouldn't be me, would I?

What would you be doing?

Monday, October 02, 2006

I Feel Like Rambling

So it is 1:39 am on Sunday night (not all that late by my standards on some days) and I am in a weird mood. One of those semi-surreal moods where one side of me just doesn't care and the other side is stressed and everything around me has kinda faded a bit. I have a prediciment that I guess is a good one to have but is stressing me out anyway. Ya see, I got this email late last night saying that a spot on a singles cruise opened up...not just any spot but a spot in an Oceanview cabin. It retails around $900 but since the dude dropped out but paid the deposit I can get it for about $700. Its for a week at the begining of Novemember and going through the Carribean, hitting some places I hit on a cruise several years back.

Why aren't I jumping at such a deal? Well that is the pisser of the whole thing. I was unemployeed for a few months over the summer and I'm close to having my finances back in order. One of the things I wanted to do was to build up some savings in case something comes up. I have an invoice in to my main client that should be paid in the next couple of days that will allow me to catch up on the remaining outstanding bills. I should be able to get one more in and paid before the cruise. Assuming that works out I can pay my mortgage, etc etc and maybe be able to pull off the cruise as well. The problem is I'm not totally sure. And that would be $700 that wouldn't be going to savings. And let's be honest here, it'll be another $300 or so on travel expenses to and from the boat (car pool) and the boos on the boat, which isn't included (although everything else is).

Additionally, my brother, Dad and I are trying to plan a weekend to go camping and we were talking about the first weekend in Novemember, which happens to be the weekend that the cruise starts. Now this is something I've been looking forward to but no specific date is set. Also, I'm not even sure that weekend works for my Dad or my brother...so, damn it.

So I'm vexed. Do I commit to the cruise, have a fucking awesome time, and deal with any financial issues afterwards...or do I decline the cruise, kick myself in the ass for it later, but finally get back on my feet financially.

It is now 1:50 am on Sunday night and I find myself leaning towards going again...but I've been back and forth on this about 20 times today.

Damn it.

Aww hell, there goes the TV switching to Univision again.

Damn it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kiss of the Devil

I went to the 31st Annual Wine Tasting/Show thingy on Saturday. 55 of Virginies 100-some vineyards were represented under four big ass tents. $25 gets you in the door and unlimited tastings, quite the deal. I met up with a MeetUp group (http://www.meetup.com) and proceeded to drink. The process basically was picking a tent, going to all the vineyards in there and trying their wine, then going to get something to eat and repeat for the next tent. By the time one tent was finished you had something like the equivlant of four or more glasses depending on how generous they poured. So, there was quite a bit of inebriation going on.

Anyway, I was there for something like 7 hours and towards the end of the day we found this vineyard called Peaks of Otter that didn't really have wine, just different weird stuff. One was called a Chilli Dog where they squirted some easy cheese on your hand like you would salt for a shot and you licked the cheese then slammed the wine. Tasted like a chilli dog. However, the most unique one was called 'Kiss of the Devil'. This was made out of various peppers, chief amoung them the Habernaro. This drink...it had no taste. It looked like lime juice and the smell made your eyes water. Drinking it...wow...it was just pure sensation. Lit your face on fire and felt it all the way down your throat. As much as it hurt it was so unique I tried it three times. Mmmm...so good.

Anyway, this picture has nothing to do with any of that but god is it funny:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why Are Fart Jokes So Funny?

I can't figure it out, but I always find myself laughing my butt off. One side of me is like 'Why are you laughing at this crap' but the other side is like 'Make it stop, I can't breath'!.

So, without further delay, check out around 6:11 in the follow clip...it is hysterical:

Debate! WARNING: Religion Content

So in the 'Under God = Bullshit' thread we got into a nice conversation. One poster wrote:

'Can a society define it's ethics without some association to some religion? - Nope, I don't think so.'

I think that is an awesome place to start because, as I'm sure you can guess, I disagree. I think a large amount of people gather their ethics and morals from religion but I don't think it is required to follow a religion in order to be ethical.

Before I get into why, we need to define what we are going to call religion. Obviously anything that is inspired by some intellegent greater power that told some dude to write a book is a religion. But what about some of the middle eastern philosophies? Like Taoism or Buddhism. Budda was some fat guy that sat under a tree and came up with a way to look at the world. He was hardly devine. And Taoism is a philosphy that developed over a LONG time from stories and observations. I wouldn't consider either a religion in their pure form (although some people have taken them and turned them into a religion, dorks).

So taking Taoism, someone who has read about Taoism and believes it is a pretty spiffy way to look at the world and follows its tenents would have a common set of ethics that other Taoists have, but it wouldn't be from a religion, right?

I tell you that so I can ask you this, what about atheists? Some of these people are almost militaristic in their non-belief, yet they have ethics and morals...I don't see a group of crazy atheists running around killing people because they wroke up with a sore tooth or something.

I think ethics and morals are a learned behavior and are reinforced by society. Sure, if the family you grew up in is a religious family and if the society you hang with is mostly religious you can make the arguement that your ethics were religiously based. But I think you can also learn ethics and morals if you group up in an athiestic family and an athiestic society. Afterall, religion developed as nothing more than a codifed set of what the hell made sense back in the day to control the masses...social control. Whether you believe it devinely inspired or not, in the end that is what it boils down to.

Discuss.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Good Conversation on Jesus Camp (Bill Maher)

This is good, particularly the part in the middle between Bill Maher and the Fox News Christain.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Under God = Bullshit

So I went to this Singles meetup on Friday night. I'll keep most of this short. In a nutshell, it started with 16 people, boiled down to 6 who went to a different bar, which boiled down to myself, this other guy and this chick. Ok, so we had been drinking for about the past 5 hours so we were relaxed, to be sure. I think we started to talk about immigration and that turned into a conversation about religion. It turns out the chick that was there was a Christain, which in itself isn't a problem. As I've expressed before I believe belief is very personal and I don't hold a person's personal belief against them...it's when it goes outside of the personal and starts to be pushed upon others that I have the issue.

Ok, so she was pretty cool in that she didn't shove religion down my throat, etc. However, we got into one of the biggest mythes that have been shoved down American's collective throat for a long long time: that the US was founded as a Christian nation. What a load of shit.

1) God is not mentioned in the Consitution, not once. Read it. It was on purpose.
2) The majority of the founders believed in deism and freemasonry rather than Christianity.
3) 'Under God' was not put into the Pledge of Allegence until 1954. This was done as propaganda during the Cold War since everyone knows the commies were Goddless.
4) 'In God We Trust' was not added to money until the Civil War.

So how does any of that equate into the country being founded as a Christain nation? And on top of that, if it was founded as such a nation explain the explicit separation of Church and State. This whole thing is simply an attempt to muddle the waters and it's fricken annoying.

The chick I was arguing with was adament that Under God was in the Consitituion and that is was always in the Pledge, etc. That is what pisses off, lack of critical thinking. Why would you by that shit? Hopefully she looks it up like she said she would. Can't wait to talk to her next time. :)

Anyway, here is more for your reading pleasure if you are curious about the facts.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Is Pissing Me Off Today - Part 4

The VW car commercial where two people are chatting about whatever and WHAM, someone hits them. It's too trumatizing and, more importantly, it isn't funny. Bad no funny, bad!!

White and Nerdy

Yay!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Is Pissing Me Off Today - Part 3

My Stupid Mortgage Company.

So I'm trying to make a mortgage payment. I have the money in my PayPal account because that is how my customers want to pay me. I login to the website to make a payment, but the website doesn't take credit cards, only checks. Ok, fine. So I figure I'll just call them up and pay over the phone. I can't find a customer service number. Pleanty of numbers for new loans and crap but none for existing ones. I end up having to call one of the other numbers to get the existing customer service number. Arg. When I finally get the right number I call it and I get their stupid automated teller system that wants me to talk to it. Fine. So I talk to the stupid thing and it figures out what my account number is. It wants me to confirm it by saying Yes. I say Yes. It says 'What?'. I say it again...still can't figure it out. I proceed to say it in different tones and speeds, etc and FINALLY it figures out I'm saying yes. Piece of shit. So then it says it is going to transfer me, fine. Then, like it forgot something, it goes 'Oh! By the way, blah blah blah'. What the hell? Why is it trying to be a person? Just get on with it.

So I finally get in touch with a real live human. He proceeds to tell me that they do not accept credit cards. *sigh*. I thank him for his time but before he let's me off the phone he tries to get me to refinance the loan. Come on! I just refinanced the damn thing last year and there is no way I'm getting a better rate. Turkeys.

The result of all this is I need to transfer the money from PayPal to my checking account anyway to make a payment, which is going to make the payment late. :( Punks.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rant Coming in 3...2...1...

I lurk around on a few blogs from time to time that represent the more conservative side of the aisle so I can get my blood pressure up...masochistic I guess. Anyway, one of the things that really gets me is how a certain strain of people just blames every muslim for the actions of the fundamentlist sect. The arguement goes that Islam teaches violence and hate (you don't have to go any further than the uproar about the Pope's idiotic quoting of a Byzantine King saying something similiar). They claim that followers of Islam are, by nature, violent.

What a load of shit. Sure, there are fundamentilist muslims and yea they want to kill you. Some even put the number as high as 3 million. Ok, let's take that figure and think about this some. 3 million out of 150 million followers is a very low total percentage...2% of the whole. So what 2% of the whole believes is enough to condem an entire group of people? Yikes.

But let's not stop there. Apparently, this 2% of the entire muslim population is a greater threat to America than Nazi Germany or the USSR during the Cold War. Are you kidding me? They don't even compare. The fundies, the extremists, are not an organized whole. They are not a nation. They don't have anywhere close to the industrial capacity that Germany or Russia had. So how on Earth are they compariable? If a war had started between the US and the USSR millions of people would have been dead inside of an hour. To think that a group of extremists without state sponsorship or any industrial capacity at all could even get near that sort of threat is extreme naiviety at best and purposefull insanity at it's worst.

Don't let the obvious differences distract you. Listening to some of these turkeys talk about it (and we are talking about some pretty main stream people here - see Fox News sometimes) this is the Greatest Threat To Civilization Ever. This is World War III. This is the prelude to the rapture! Yea, hardly.

Ok, I got off the topic I wanted to nail. Back to the people that believe 2% of a group is enough to condemn the entire group. I've always maintained that in any group (particularly religious groups) you have a small percentage that are totally and completely dedicated and extreme about it. Literal, even. Islam has them, Christainity has then, even Star Trek has them. There isn't a whole lot of difference between the Islamic and Christain crazies.

But dude! Christain crazies aren't blowing themselves up! I would submit that in order to be part of the crazy group you don't have to go blow yourself up. Before 9/11 the biggest terror attack on US soil was Oklahoma City. Guess what group of crazies Tim was part of?

To drive the point home, check out this link. That's write, soliders of christ right here. How is that any different then what some people accuse Islam of doing to their young? It's the same damn thing, but it is a small and extreme part of the whole...just like it is in Islam.

Get some damn perspective.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What Is Pissing Me Off Today - Part 2

Every night, around 2 am, every channel on my cable box switches to Univision, the mexican channel. Everychannel. I mean, i can flip the box to any channel on it and they are all Univision. It lasts for like 60 seconds or so. What the heck is that all about?

What Is Pissing Me Off Today - Part 1

So I had this bright idea to start this series of posts about what happens to be pissing me off on a given day or whenever something stikes me as pissworthy enough to post about. Couple of notes before the first installment:

1) By 'pissing me off' I don't necessarily mean anger or frustration. In fact, most of the stuff that I'll probably write about as 'pissing me off' are probably things I find particularly stupid or lacking sense. That doesn't mean I'm not going to write about things that for anger or frustrate me (see: Bush, Cheney, Religion, etc etc etc).

2) Ok, I lied. On one note.

So, for the first installment for What Is Pissing Me Off today...Car Commercials!

What on earth do people dancing on chairs have to do with selling cars (Superbowl commercial for the Hummer)? Or, most recently, four guys escaping from the office in the middle of the day to drive down a dirt path in their H3? The stupid car is only in like 1/6th of the commercial...the rest of it has nothing to do with anything regarding a car. Since when was artsy crap necessary to sell a car? With some of this stuff you can't even tell they are trying to sell a car until the end (the office one is a good example).

The commercial that looks like a home movie of these guys recording their friends off roading in a truck when a meteoroid whacks it IS a good car commercial because (a) it has a car in it and (b) it is funny. Which remind me...the FCC needs to pass some regulations that all commercials need to be funny, damnit.

R.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Opps!


"One of the hardest parts of my job is to try to connect Iraq to the war on terror." -- Pres. Bush, CBS Evening News, 9/6.


Maybe that's because Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Housing Boom -or- Bust?

is a graph that puts the current housing boom into a historical perspective.

That is a LONG way to fall.

I said before that the crazy lending practices such as interest only loans and the like are going to cause some serious issues with home values in the not too distant future. The signs of it happening have already started. The last new housing report showed that new purchases fell something like 6%. That is a large drop. The ramifications of such a drop are that building companies now have a large surplus of houses, which means they won't be building new ones until they can move the old ones, which means layoff's in the previously booming construction industry, which leads to people not being able to make their interest-only payments on their houses, which begets forclosures, which then starts to drop the housing values because they are over priced and require an interest-only loan for most to afford. As that happens the fed cranks up interest rates to hold off inflation which cranks up the adjustable rate on those interest only loans pricing more people out of their affordable range thus causing more forclosers. BOOM, crash.

It'll happen, the only questions are when, how fast, and how bad. It'll be ugly regardless. So hold onto that equity in your house so you can absorb the fall. And if at all possible lock that adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed rate as soon as humanely possible.

Exciting times!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Duh!

Can we say 'jumping to conclusions'? After the obsession of the media of John Mark Karr we now have what wasn't much of a surprise come out: here.

10 years after the girl's murder this guy comes forward and gets a ton of media attention and it all turns out to be a load of crap. So I guess the media can go back to speculating on if it was her mother or dad or cousin or dog or cat or whatever. Oh what I would give to get back to a straight-talking media where the anchor's don't think of themselves as TV stars. Jackasses.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How Cool Would It Be...

...to have some sort of units of measurement named after you? As in: such and so is 7 Kautzes. Awesome! Now what needs to be measured that doesn't have a name yet...hmmm....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Update

Oy!

Thought I'd post a quick update since I sorta fell off the face of the earth for a bit.

1) The boat works! Took it out last weekend while camping at Lake Anna. I thought it broke down again that Friday but it turns out that a $40 part was all it needed and it worked great the rest of the weekend. Even got a few waves up over the bow to soak people. :)

2) I picked up a second somewhat largish long-term contract so between that and the work I'm doing for my previous job (TADOnline) I should be good to go. Kautz Consulting is back, bitches! That, however, is what has kept me so busy.

3) My house has become the revolving door of roommates. The same weekend Luke moved out Leslie moved in and took over Luke's room totally unexpected. For rent, I'm making her deal with the cat fluids. Ick.

4) Today is the day I've been waiting for: Mother Fucking SNAKES on a Mother Fucking PLANE! I'm so hyped! But first, time to go fly some R/C planes around and see if we can have any more mid-air collisions. Yay!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Boat Update

To recap, the gears in the drivetrain of my boat exploded on July 3rd. I took it into the shop on July 5th. I told them I need it back by Aug 10th for a camping trip on Laka Anna on the 11th. Two weeks after dropping it off they called me with the damage assessment. It wouldn't have been so bad except that the drive shaft was suspect as well.

So, after bothering the crap out of them this week they finally completed the work yesterday (August 10th)...down to the wire. I spent 9 hours in the car yesterday driving down to pick it up, taking it to Lake Anna, then driving home. The repairs cost $2115. I guess no mechanical problems for 5 years is a pretty good run.

So I have my boat back and all is good! I fixed the anchor light last night for some night boating and I have a backup solution for my on-going radio issues.

Good times this weekend!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened...

...when I tried to make a phone call today. I received a busy signal. Why is that funny? I couldn't figure out what it was at first. Luckily, my phone was there to tell me it was busy. It occurs to me that I haven't received a busy signal in literally years. Usually it goes to voicemail now.

Anyone else notice that the busy signal has more or less gone the way of the dodo?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Political Views

I've said before that I moved pretty far to the left in response to what has happened since the BS impeachment attempt of Clinton, the election in 2000, and the BS war in Iraq. I wasn't always this far to the left and, in fact, I still linger towards some traditional conservative view points. By traditional conservative I am not talking about the conversatives that hijacked the Republican party in the 90's. I believe in stronger state governments, for example.

Anyway, this is a short post that describes what I think happened to a lot of people, myself included, that shaped our views and pushed us further left than we were before.

I agree that partisanship will be with us for the foreseeable future and while that is a sad thing we need to adapt to it. Peeps like Liberman providing politcal coverage to the GOP crap need to be challenged and made to defend their views via contested primaries. It is a fundemental excercise in democracy and one that hasn't been taken advantage of enough. Do you realize the incumbency rate of federal Senators is over 90%? The only time a senate seat changes basically boils down to when the incumbent senator retires or dies. They aren't being challenged and are not being held accountable to the voting public. Joe Liberman's reaction to his primary challenge by Lamont is a good witness to this. He was totally offended that someone would dare - DARE - challenge him. What an ass.

Opps, went off on a rant there. Sorry about that. Anyway, what shaped your views politically?

Mel Gibson

I used to like the guy, then he went nuts. Totally off his rocker.

In any case, can we stop with the play-by-play in the news about his DUI? I mean, seriously. I think there are probably more important things that could be taking up the airwaves.

Monday, July 31, 2006

30 Days

Ok, I know I'm full of glowing reviews but I believe I explained that already.

So, here is another one for you.

'30 Days' is a TV Show by the guy that made the movie 'Supersize This' in which he spent 30 days eating nothing but McDonald's food to show what happens to the human body on such a diet. It wasn't pretty. In the TV series it follows someone places in a situation outside of their normal experience. It is a social experiment and it is awesome. For example, one of the more remarkable ones was when they took an all-american god-fearing Oklahoma quarterback and stuck him with a single Gay man in the heart of San Fransico. It is an incrediable way to see how these different cultures clash and how they learn from each other.

We are now in the second season of '30 Days' and the premier was taking a Minuteman (the viglanties patrolling the border) and stick him with an illegal immigrant family in LA. I just finished watching it. In a nutshell, wow! It was a seven member family living in a house with less than 500 sq ft. Three of the kids were illegal and two were born in the US, making them citizens. The middle child was college bound. Most of the political fighting happened between the college-bound girl and the minuteman. Sharp girl..sharp dude too. The show did a GREAT job of representing both sides and showing why the problem is so complicated. I highly recommend anyone that wants to know more about the entire issue to try to catch one of the repeats.

Next weeks episode involves a guy whose job was shipped to India. It looks like they send the guy to India to do his job there. Looks pretty interesting.

Love these social experiements. :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Isn't it Ironic"

Now this is a real example of irony.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

'Good, Bad, I'm the one with the gun'

Some of you know that I have a HUGE fan of the Evil Dead series. I have all of them, collector's version as well. I even have the action figure. I've been a fan of Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell before they were super famous (Sam Rami is the Spider Man director).

'Army of Darkness' was released in theaters a while back. That movie was actually a continutation of the Evil Dead series. It was Evil Dead 3. People have been dogging Rami and Campbell for years to make a new one and they have always turned it down.

I was poking around Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) and looked up Sam Rami. Low and behold, he is the producer of an Evil Dead remake. He wants a new director and new cast to do a remake like what was done with Dawn of the Dead, etc. Evil Dead was one of the best horror movies of all time and influenced the genre quite a bit. It is fantastic to hear that it will be remade, can't wait!

However, they will be casting a new Ash since it is a remake. Oh the horror! Just won't be the same.

So I did some more poking around and I finally found what I was looking for...Evil Dead 4, bitches! There will be a new one in the series with Campbell playing Ash again. It might be called Army of Darkness 2, which would suck, but I guess it makes since because it would be a bit confusing to have The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 4 out at the same time. Who cares though, the import thing is that Ash is coming back, baby!

Oh oh oh! And a Bubba Ho-tep 2 is on the slate as well.

Anyway, here is the link with all the goods.

Some good movies are on the horizon.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Funky Movies

Ok, so from some comments in another thread I thought I'd post this.

Two movies, if you want somewhat unique experiences this year, you should see are:

A Scanner Darkly
Lady in the Water

A Scanner Darkly is like watching an acid trip, and it is meant to be that way. Apparently they filmed the movie and then went back over it and sorta cartoonized the entire thing. It is REALLY hard to describe. It does have some of the best conversations since Pulp Fiction in it though, particularly the one about the 18-speed bike. Pure gold. Here are a couple of choice paragraphs from a review that I think do a better job of summing it up that I do:

"A Scanner Darkly changes everything. Even though Phillip K. Dick wrote it, Richard adapted the screenplay perfectly. I found that the film ran like a combination of Tarantinoesque chronology(Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) and a Nolanesque confusion(Memento)."

"If you enjoy a good "mind-bender" of a film that doesn't stop resonating in your head until days after you have seen it, then A Scanner Darkly is for you. If you go to the theater simply for spoon-fed entertainment, see this film anyway and hopefully you will wake up and have an original thought some time soon."

Click on the Watch the Trailer link here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405296/


The second movie, Lady in the Water, is M. Night Shyamalan's new movie. You need to go in expecting the right sort of thing to enjoy this movie. Basically, as he explains it, it started as a bedtime story he used to tell his kids that just got longer and scarier until he decided to turn it into a movie. The movie itself has a lot of the components of a good bedtime story. Scary evil things, mystical good things, and the hero having to find companions to save the princess. The setting is in the back of a hotel. The entire movie takes place there. How cool is that?

There are a couple of parts that will scare the crap out of you. Shyamalan really builds tension well and he did it in a few places in this one as well. There is no twist like 6th Sense and Unbreakable had, instead it is just a bunch of smaller twists like Unbreakable and Signs was. All in all it was a very enjoyable movie. Good times.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Of Airplanes, Boxers and Pirates

I want to start this post with the description of a dream I had last night. For those of you who don't know, I am into remote control electric airplanes. And, I have a cat named Misfit who is kinda small and is missing a tail. Ok, with those two facts in mind, here is the dream.

In a nutshell, went to some sort of summer camp where we had to make R/C
Planes. So I put this plane together like they wanted but something
happened and the body broke on it. So I decided to use Misfit (yes, my
cat) as the body of the plane. I strapped the wings and such on to him
and took him out to the field, which was surrounded with trees and dark
out for some reason. Anyway, Misfit was fine during the wing attachment
process but once I set him down on the field he ran off. So I had to
chase him around a house that was on the field until I finally caught up
to him. :)

That's it. Thought you might find it amusing.

As for Boxers and Pirates...I saw the new Pirates movie. I enjoyed it, good flick. It ends very well and sets up the next one great. Plus, make sure you stay until after the credits for a little scene at the end wrapping up a loose end. Just like Star Trek III: The Search for Spock I believe the tag line on the Pirates III is going to be The Search for Jack.

As for Boxers...Rocky Balboa baby! This Christmas! Can't wait!

Oh...and a Transformers movie next year...yes, those Transformers.

Rock.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Desperate SIlence of the Hysteric

What does this mean? Any thoughts? Discuss. :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Why The A-Team Still Rocks

Big guy to Mr. T: "Whoa, you're a big one."
Mr. T to Big Guy: "Listen fool! I'm also a mean one!"
*THWACK* -Sound of Big guy's ass getting throw into a parked car

Dude to Murdoc: "You're nuts!"
Murdoc to dude: "No, I'm condements. I've been promoted!"

Love it!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Boat Adventures

So on the first outing this year about halfway through a faint tapping sound started to be heard while we were hauling ass between a cove I like to swim in and a sand bar we mess around on. It was faint and I wasn't even sure I heard it at first. I kept pushing on anyway.

Once we got to the sandbar I poked around and found that the sound only appears in forward gear. When in neutral in reverse the engine purred like I am used to. 'Crap' thought I, 'it is a gear issue.' We putzed around for a bit longer then headed back to dock to get gas and see if someone was on duty who could check it out for me.

No one on duty. We filled up and on a whim I lifted the engine out of the water to check out the prop. Sure enough, one of the tips had bent back at a 90 degree angle. 'Ah ha!' I thought, 'Probably hit a board or a turtle or something on the way to the sandbar that bent the prop. THAT must be causing the sound.' So out we went and spent the rest of the day without incident, just a thumping noise caused by the prop.

On the next outing a few weeks later I bent the prop back and stuck the boat in the water. The battery was dead as a door nail. When I had put the boat in after the last outing I assumed I was going to be back the next week. However, it took three weeks before I could get anyone to go out (what is up with that?) and the battery was drained by then. We were able to get a jump from someone but the engine wasn't timmed all the way down when we pulled the jump cables off. I didn't think much of it at the time because the motor would generate power, right? Wrong. Apparently the engine doesn't generate enough power to trim itself, it pulls from the battery. With the battery dead I couldn't trim the engine down which means I couldn't get the boat on plane which means I couldn't go faster than 10 mph. We putzed around the lake for about 3 hours before there was enough power in the battery to trim the engine down to get on plane. After that, good times. Just had to leave the thing running the entire time.

Anyway, back to the main plot line. After the jump I reversed out of dock. Once the bow came around I put it into forward again. Thump thump thump. 'Shit, it wasn't the prop' the voice in my head said. Knowing now at this point it was a gear issue that I couldn't do anything about it presently we just went about our way.

July 4th was the following weekend. There wasn't enough time to get it into the shop and take it down to the river, so I gambled that I could get through the July 4th weekend without anything bad happening. Afterall, it hadn't gotten any louder, had it?

To shorten this story up a bit I got down to the river on Saturday. I took the boat out everyday the next three days for several hours each day (usually 5+). During the trip on Monday on the way back the thumping turned into a knocking that got louder and started to vibrate the boat some. 'Uh oh, I better get my ass back to port before...' WHACK! *engine whining* 'Shit!' Throttle back, the full boat looking at me, so I say: 'That is the sound of an engine dieing'.

True enough, putting the boat in forward made this aweful clanking noise. Reverse didn't make any weird noises but the prop didn't engage either. We were stuck.

So we flagged down a passing boat and they were kind enough to tow us over to the nearest marina. The plan was to call someone to pick us up so I could then bring my trailer out and pull the boat out of the water. Well, this marina didn't have a ramp. The only one that did that was nearby was a private yacht club and those people are evil. So I called a tow boat service that costs a cheap $175/hour (yes, an HOUR) to come out and tow me across the river to a dock on an island on the other side for the low low price of $255. The plan was for me to meet the guy over there to pick it up.

Well, I get over there and just as the guy comes around the point and under the bridge near the dock this HUGE storm comes in. Lightning and heavy winds. He is out there in his tow boat with my boat on a string about 20 ft behind him. He points his boat up wind and just maintains position trying to keep the two boats from being blown into something. I'm standing on the dock about 150 ft away soaked to the bone watching this spectacle and hoping I don't get whacked by the lightning striking all over the place. Luckily, the storm passes after about 20 minutes and he is able to bring the boat over. I walk it to the trailer and off I go.

So now the thing is at a shop down by the river. It's going to take them up to two weeks before they can look at it. Hopefully I just stripped or broke one of the gears in the transaxel-like thing in the lower unit and it can be replaced easily. If he has to replace the entire unit the part itself costs upwards of $3000. That would be bad, but he doesn't think that is the case.

I've been lucky in that I have had the boat for about 5 years and never had a mechinical issue, always electrical ones. Electical ones are a pain in the ass to find but usually very easy and cheap to fix. The reverse is normally true for mechinical issues.

So to summarize my last three weeks:

1) The fuel pump in my truck crapped out and had to be repaired.
2) The company I work for axed the tech division and me along with it
3) The lower unit in my boat blew up

Good times.

Guess That Quote

What movie did this one come from:

"Purple lightning, that can't be good"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Seats Available this Holiday

Taking the boat out this weekend if I can get some people to go with me. It will be down at Shoansy instead of Lake Anna (Lake Anna is way too much of a zoo on the holidays). Shoansy opens up into the big part of the bay which is fricken huge. Good times. Anyway, the kicker is that is about 3 hours from DC (1 hour from Richmond). We have pleanty of room for spending the night (for free!) or you can drive back late in the evening. As far as what day goes, I don't care...whenever people can go. Send me an email or comment here if you are interested on going and we can coordinate.

And here is this for your reading enjoyment, my two faithful readers:


>>The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a warning about a new
>>virulent strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease. The disease is contracted
>>through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea
>>Lectim and pronounced "gonna re-elect him." Many victims contracted it in
>>2004, after having been screwed for the past four years...
>>
>>Cognitive characteristics of individuals infected include antisocial
>>personality disorders, delusions of grandeur with messianic overtones,
>>extreme cognitive dissonance, inability to incorporate new information,
>>pronounced xenophobia and paranoia, inability to accept responsibility for
>>own actions, cowardice masked by misplaced bravado, uncontrolled facial
>>smirking, ignorance of geography and history, tendencies towards
>>evangelical
>>theocracy, and categorical all-or-nothing behavior.
>>
>>Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this destructive disease
>>originated only a few years ago from a bush found in Texas....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Best Quote Ever

'People feel connected to him in much the same way the feel connected to a proctologist, only without the upside potential'

Whoever figures out who that quote is about gets a prize!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thank God for Tax Cuts

[Link] The tax cut reconciliation bill (H.R. 4297) provides households with income of $1 million or more an average tax break of $42,000. In gross contrast, the more than three-quarters of the nation's households with annual income of $75,000 or less will receive an average tax cut of $30 for one year - not even enough to pay for a single tank of gas. And average families will end up footing the bill for millionaire tax breaks through cuts in vital services and added national debt.


$30! Awesome! I can almost buy a tank of gas with that. Be sure to thank your congress for the awesome job they are doing for the middle class. Mmmm, $30.

Birthday On The Boat!!

June 10th. Trying to get a bunch of guys away from their girlfriends/wives/kids/whatever for the day to go out on the boat at Lake Anna. RSVP.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Why so Angry

So why am I so pissed off when it comes to this Administration? This guy does a good job of explaining where the anger is coming from on the left.

Why aren't you angry yet?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We don't want your stinking war!

This is a fricken good article. The first half is interesting, particularly the part about what Ahmadinejad (Iran's prez) actually said regarding 'wiping Israel from the face of the earth'. However, it is the second half that is really good. It starts with the paragraph just above the first picture. I highly recommend at least reading the last half at the very least.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Watch It!

Here is a teaser:

Then he turned to the president of the United States, who sat tight-lipped just a few feet away. "I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world."


All in one link.

The deadly silence sometimes in the audience is great. Apparently they do not like to be slapped.

Sad

So why does the video of Bush and his double at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner doing a comedy routine get coverage in the media but Colbert's comedy routine doesn't even get a mention?

What crap. Frustrating as hell.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gas Prices

I'm sure you all hear about the retiring CEO of Exxon getting his 400 million dollar retirement package. That breaks down to about $117,000 a DAY. A fricken DAY!! Think about that. We are paying close to $3.00/gallon and dipshits like that are getting retirement packages worth $117,000 a DAY? Doesn't that get a reaction out of you?

When the heads of the oil companies testified on Capitol Hill the chairman from Alaska refused to swear them in. About a week later the Washington Post released a report contradicting the testimony they gave. Why on Earth would you not swear people in when they testifiy before congress?

The tax cuts were full of kickbacks to the oil industry for 'R&D' and the like. Wow, that worked well! These companies are making record profits, in not small part due to those tax cuts, and we are paying up the ass for gas.

Obviously, something fishy is going on here. So what does your President do? Well, calls from the Dems last week he ignored. Yesterday the speakers of the House and Senate wrote him a letter and he finally decided to ask for an inquiry into price fixing. Not that that will go anywhere with this Administration. I mean, come on. Bush's roots are in the oil industry. It's no mistake the tax cuts were aimed at them.

And now, one of the most environmentally unfriendly administrations in history is doing this. How fricken convient. Gee, I wonder how long this rollback will last?

The environmental rules are not the problem. The problem is price fixing and kick backs to an industry that has no intention of investing in alternatives when they can make record profits with a friendly administration in place. The investigation will be stone walled just like the 9/11, wiretaping, Abu G, Gitmo, Iraq, etc etc investigations have all been stone walled and we will continue to pay up the ass so these guys can laugh all the way to the bank.

Disgusting.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Japanese Spider Man

In Japan, Spider man has his own 'bat mobile' and his own big-ass transformer.

WTF?

The Way of the Master: Kirk Cameron

I think I posted about Kirk Cameron lecturing everyone about how you are going to hell if you aren't Christian OR if you are Christian, you are going to hell because you haven't converted enough people.

If you haven't seen it, it's awesome. Get Lectured by Kirk!

Anyway, here is a new one that is even better. Some teasers:

1) Theory on how a tin can was made
2) Proof that god exists is in a banana because it fits in the human hand.
3) Taking Darwin and Einstein out of context.
4) Learn how to prove god exists!

Good times. Get lectured by Kirk again!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Photos of Iran

Not sure why I was surprised about these, but Iran looks like a nifty place to visit if everyone can just get along.

Pictures of Iran

Maybe Fitzmas Soon

Pretty Please!

This would explain the 'demotion'.

Light Reading to Start the Day

Moral Clarity

The democratic state uses violence, and terrorists use violence; but these acts are not alike.


Bullshit.

Jingoism vs Conscience Patriotism

Since no one is commenting anymore I'm just going to post for myself. Anyone that stumbles along here is welcome to read it and comment if you want.

Jingoism vs Conscience Patriotism

Crazy Canadians

Holy crap, Jen. No wonder you want to move down here:

Nuke Iran

I thought we had some crazzies down here. Yikes.

The comments are awesome, though. The one about Civ IV is classic.

Anyway, for more reasoned commentary on the whole Iran thing:

Iran and the Bomb

Attack on Iran: Can They Be Serious?

I can't believe after the fluster cluck Iraq has become anyone is even THINKING about this.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Dominate the Farket!

You know how spammers change a few letters in words to get past spam filters? Here is the best one yet:

SPAMAXIMUM PILLS - WORST SPAM VOLUME INCREASER ON THE FARKET!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

First Sign of Housing Market Grenading

This article and signs such as rates raising fast and people starting to forclose have been the signs I have been watching for to determine when to start thinking about selling.

The way housing prices have sky rocketed in Northern Virginy in the past five years, particularly since 03, I've suspected that a lot of people in the area have gotten interest-only loans. In 2000 that would have been an awesome thing to do. You basically are banking on the value of your house increasing so you can sell it since you are not paying any money towards the principal. As a result, the only way to increase equity is for the house to value up. The other gotcha is that these interest-only loans are always an ARM.

So what happens when you get an interest-only loan because it is the only way you can move into an expensive neighborhood like you find in NoVa and the interest rates start to climb? What happens when they climb to the point that you can't pay them anymore? Well, you sell your house and get out of dodge to a lower priced area. But what if you can't sell your house for more than you paid for it anymore? Ahh, that is when the foreclosures start and the housing values start to drop, creating more forclosures.

This is the first sign of that process. Hopefully it will just be a market adjustment and highly inflated areas like mine aren't going to crash. If it's an adjustment and the prices level out or even drop a bit, that's not too big of a deal. It really all depends on what happens with all those interest-only loans and the interest rates to determine how bad the cycle will be.

Holding my breath...

Deja Vu

Quotes

Not that it is surprising, but here we go again.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chuck Norris

When Chuck Norris does push-ups, he doesn't push himself up, he pushes the earth down.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chuck Norris

If Chuck Norris jumps into the water, he doesn't wet, the water gets Chuck Norrised.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"God's Senator"

Rolling Stone article.

How on earth can someone like this get elected. Hopefully the Abramoff thing will bring him down with it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

No Good News In Iraq

Yes, still butt ass early for me. This is third post so far tonight/morning. Shorter than the last so your eyes stop bleeding.

Again, a post from Digby caught my attention. Here

To summarize again, the very complaint that newspeeps must risk their lives in Iraq in order to leave the green zone so they can report on the 'good news' in Iraq that, according to the Administration, isn't being reported is a pretty damn good indication that maybe their isn't all that much good news.

In other words, if things were going so peachy why can't jourlists even leave the green zone?

Media

Its 6am. I've been up for about three hours now doing a new release. A lot of the new release involves waiting for crap to copy or database structures to be updated, etc so I've been reading. And now I'm going to share something with you all. However, don't miss the post below...good stuff.

Anyway, read this. You won't, so I will summarize for you. In a nutshell, back in 1968 after Mayor Daley in Chicago had the police beat the snot out of a bunch of protesters and newsmen at the Democratic convention in Chicago, a guy named Joseph Kraft wrote an article. That article basically addressed some of Daley's 'reasons' for beating people up from the perspective of newspeeps. In essence, what Kraft points out is that at that time the media establishment was run by the upper white middle class. If you don't read anything else here is the key paragraph:

"To get a feel of this bias it is first necessary to understand the antagonism that divides the middle class of this country. On the one hand there are highly educated upper-income whites sure of and brimming with ideas for doing things differently. On the other hand, there is Middle America, the large majority of low-income whites, traditional in their values and on the defensive against innovation."


His point is that this upper-income middle class with the ideas were running the show while you had the vast majority of Americans on the traditional fear change side. With me so far?

So the media was out of touch with the public. The larger majority of the public were the traditional conservative types (see the two time election of Nixon for all the proof you need of that) while the media peeps were the left-leaning more liberal types. That's the key concept so far.

Flash forward 40 years in the future and you have basically the opposite of the situation that was going on then. Now you have 'more conservative politics, a more liberal culture and an electorate as divided as ever'. The media, after years of calls of 'left wing biased' have internalized that notion and are super sensitive to such a charge so much that they over compensate (check out the whole Red State blog ordeal at the Washingpost.com if you want a fun example of such overcompensation).

Anyway, that article I linked to drives the point home much better than I ever could. It's a good read.

Guns

Not a big fan. In general, I don't believe the Second Amendment should be used as cover for the purhcase and sale of assault weapons and the like. The armed militia arguement made sense back in the day but things have changed, blah blah. Oh, and what on earth could having a background check at gun shows hurt? How can you seriously argue against that?

ANyway, that is not what I want to get into. What I want to get into is that while I'm not a big fan of guns, kittens with guns is another matter entirely: Cute Kitten.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Finally!

Pictures

They are on MySpace because I'm too lazy to upload them anywhere else right now.

V For Vendetta

Bestest movie ever. Domino scene rocks. Highly recommend it in the theater. Matrix-peeps, you know.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Failed Attempt

We attempted to blow up Darin's house today, but failed. Home Depot thwarted our attempts to purchase the proper 1 1/4" - 1" Copper Coupling. Damn you, Home Depot.

Fear not! We shall preval.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Curious George Zelda

WTF you ask? I'll tell you.

I had this dream last night. I have no idea where it came from or why I had it. But the gist of it was that something happened to Curious George and he shrunk down and the only thing that could keep him alive was orange juice. So the Zookeeper put him in this little contraption that he carried around on his back that had a big ass funnel on it that opened up right above Curious George. Then the Zookeeper had to go around a Zelda like world with a net and capture flying oranges and put them in the funnel thing that would squeeze them and feed Curious George and keep him alive. Only the net wasn't a net but his big ass hat on a stick.

WTF indeed.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Kitchen Drawers are Too Low

I am unable to close them by hitting them with my butt without bending my knees.

On a similar note, and you short people will think this is funny but I suspect you tall people understand, why on earth do builders of homes and hotels feel that a shower head can be placed under 6' from the ground? When I lived in the Fairfax area my shower head came up to my chin. I had to become a contortionist just to wash my hair! In fact, I came into work one day with this gash on my forehead from where I whacked my head into the stupid thing.

Now I know, the shorter amongst us will say 'If it is too high I am unable to adjust the shower head' to which I reply 'Once the shower head is adjusted it is good to go, so get a tall friend to do it for you or a ladder. However, us tall people can't shrink and have to deal with low shower heads all the time.'

And don't even get me started on why this one hotel I stayed at thought a shower head that only came up to mid-chest was a good idea.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Do Is Done

Ok, I got the Do Done, pics will be forth coming this week once I decide if I really like it or not. Might need a bit of triming on the sides. I'm also still trying to decide to leave the facial hair or go clean shaven.

Anyway, I also went out and bought a bunch of new clothes with Amy's wonderful help. Still need shoes though.

Progress.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

And The Adventure Begins

I figure I might as well keep you all updated step by step. Feel free to encourage me. :)

I made an appointment at 3pm today with the owner (I think) of Hair Attractions for a consultation. The lady asked me what I wanted to consult about and I said 'My do', so I guess that was descriptive enough.

My thoughts here are to go in there and tell him that I only have a few constraints. First, I don't want it super short. Second, I want to keep the white streak going. And third, I don't want anything that is going to keep me in front of a mirror forever to get it working. Other than that, everything is free game including the facial hair.

Two hours until it starts.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Time For a Change

It's a New Year, as we all know. I've had the same look for, well shit, a decade or something. Although the white stripe has only been there for five years or so. In any case, it's not working for me anymore. Worked fine when I had a steady relationship and she liked it. Now I'm not so sure it's giving me any love anymore.

So what am I to do? This is TOTALLY new territory for me. I mean I've never really cared about my style or look or whatever beyond brushing my hair and making sure my stripe of white is hanging over one ear and not like a skunk stripe down the middle of my head. I started reading articles on AskMen.com and About.com about men's style and fashion and I am totally overwhelmed. What the hell? They are talking about interviewing potential hairstylists...have any of you ever done that?

And the wardrobe and such...good god. How much work am I adding here.

Anyone out there have any advice?