Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Satan's Chips



I think most of those wierd flavored Doritos are crap, but these were quite drool-worthy. I knew they would be since they're "limited time only".

Monday, December 20, 2004

Technical Woes

I had to help a user a couple weeks back who was putting documents through the network scanner and trying to open them. She reported that they weren't there even though I saw the PDF files fine on my end. I went over and discovered that she was trying to open them in Word, which not only will no display the files (apart from "*.* All Files") but it won't even open the PDF files anyway (at least not in any readable format). This in and of itself is forgivable, but conversations like this are not (keep in mind, the user is trying to do something that's impossible!):
User1: I don't understand what's wrong, this was working just last week!
Me: So you're opening up the files that same way you always have?
User1:Yes.
Me: You're sure you didn't open the files in some other way?
User1: YES.
Me: [contemplates a 'liquid lunch']

I thought this was a freak accident, until I went through the exact same conversation with a different user who was experiencing the exact same "problem" not more than three days later. Of course today I had a user who went one up on that when she was trying to open an Excel spreadsheet in Word (must be lead in the water here). It shouldn't be any mystery as to how that conversation went:
User2: I don't understand what's wrong, this was working just last week!
Me: So you're opening up the files that same way you always have?
User2: Yes.
Me: Are you sure you weren't, like, opening those Excel files in like...Excel?
User2: YES.
Me: [contemplates an Irish Coffee...hold the coffee]
Of course the one that always takes the cake is this:
User3: You have to check this out because everything is down!
Me: Huh? My e-mail looks like it's working, is yours?
User3: Yes, but everything else is out, trust me.
Me: [Oh yeah, I trust you. You're a regular Bill Gates.]

Sunday, December 19, 2004

What The World Needs Now

From the discription of a Japanese anime movie on JBOX.com:
A wonderful story from Japanese novelist Saeko Himuro and Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, this is the painful story of growing up in a rural high school in Kochi Prefecture, on the Japanese island of Shikoku. In the summer of his 17th year, Taku Morisaki is making preparations for college when Rikako Muto transfers into his class. A mysterious and sometimes difficult city girl who has trouble getting along with others in the school, Rikako nevertheless slowly captures the interest of Taku. A beautiful movie based on a Japanese novel that captures a painful and melancholy moment in the lives of two people growing up in modern Japan.
Hmm, an anime about TEEN ANGST! Why, there's hardly any of those, eh?

But truth be told, the teen angst in anime ranges from mildly tolerable to gut wrenching crap. I can well imagine at what end of the spectrum that film resides at.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Time Waster

180.05 is the best I could do before lunch ended, thanks Jonah from The Corner:
CatQuart.com - Cat A Pult

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lake Effect

My patio furniture tells the tale of how much snow we received in the past 24 hours:

My thick coated pooch has no respect for the elements:

One more:

Monday, December 13, 2004

Bitter Pill

Looks like I misjudged the weather up here again. I always think I have "one more week" to do yard work, but my yard inevitably freezes before I get to it, which doesn't really matter since it's just muddy slop come May. I've seen many an unpleasant snow fall in my five years here and the one we're having now definitely rakes up there with the worst of them. Of course where's Mr.Kendall now that I could really use some help shoveling out the two tons of snow I have in my driveway? Well that guy had the audacity to go visit his folks for Christmas...in Florida!

May his Pina Colada be made from that gut eating pre-mix crap!

Oh well, here's some Cleveland winter cheer!


Sunday, December 12, 2004

Rock Hall


The Rock Hall is the odd building front left.

I was debating whether to go the lewd or crude route for my next blog post when I noted a comment from Jill about whether or not I had any Rock Hall pics. Interesting she should ask. I'd been in front of the Rock Hall several times, but this past summer I went in for the first time when the troop I was with developed a desperate hankering' for some restroom facilities. You can actually see a good deal for free by just stopping by. I can't recall how much it costs to get in to see the actual exhibits, but I know it's exorbitant and the hall is generally attended by out-of-towners (or 'marks') who don't know any better (In my whole time living here, I've only met one Clevelander who'd been to the place, as opposed to several in Cincy that I know have been there).

As for photos, well the problem with the Rock Hall is that it's content has no real worth apart from the fact that you may not have seen it before. More music industry commercial than actual museum, you see signs like this all over the place:


UH OH!

Before finding this out, my buddy had his camera mooched by goons who gladly gave it back to him on the way out. While he distracted them, I took the following discrete shots:


A jukebox ATM.



Phish concert stage props. The hotdog appears to be a bobsled or something.

Sorry, that's all I got, but it's three more than I should have, so there!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

CBS Control freaks

If someone didn't know any better, one would think CBS is bitter about something, from Blogs: New Medium, Old Politics:
"People are free to say whatever they want to say and not reveal any financial inducements and not reveal in whose pay they are," Volokh added. "Now there is an exception for speech that urges the election or defeat of a particular candidate." But where this exception relates to Internet blogs is unclear.

Beginning next year, the F.E.C. will institute new rules on the restricted uses of the Internet as it relates to political speech.
It seems this would terrify bloggers on the left and right. Now where are those Democrats that are always bragging about how they're the paragons of liberty? Hmmmmmm.....

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Sinners in the Hands of a Benevolent Dictator

NPR had a story on the other morning where they were talking about how gay marriage will one day be accepted as normal, blah, blah blah. I couldn't help but think that this gay guy spouting this crap has an extreme hatred for society. I don't mean in a vague Marxist way, I mean a very personal disdain for anything that doesn't meet his 'standards' for how society is supposed to operate. (okay, maybe that's Marxist as well, moving on...). To him, gay marriage was less a right that he was striving for, than it was a club with which to beat the rest of society. It goes without saying that if this club isn't around anymore, the malcontents that dislike western civilization will find another club with which to beat it.

I didn't listen to the whole story, but I can fill in the blanks. I know these lefty activist types have no interest in what other people actually think and feel about their cause, so they're obliged to use activist courts to shove this drivel down people's throats. Of course to oppose such moves will get you labeled as a bigot, a 'homophobe' (which isn't even a real word. I mean, what's it supposed to 'mean'?), or a religious nutjob.

It's that last bit I had in mind while reading Dr. Kwanda's post where he said (and I paraphrase) that the labeling of the Democrats as Godless religion haters is a bum rap. I was of course taken aback by this since, much like left wing bias on college campuses, I figured the anti-religious bent of the Democratic party is a fact to all parties involved. To back up the proposition that the Democrats are pro-values, and pro-American values at that, Dr. Kwanda says that (and I paraphrase again) the fact that irreligious people hang out in the Democratic party is shear coincidence and that the Democrats carry the true values for individual liberty, and it's incorrect in his view to disparage them as inherently anti-religion. Of course facts like the one below give the impression that hatred of religion has become a way of life for the Democratic party:


According to the 2000 ANES data, the hatred of religious conservatives long apparent among Democratic convention delegates has found a home among a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. Twenty-five percent of white respondents in the ANES survey expressed serious hostility towards religious conservatives, as opposed to only one percent who felt this strongly against Jews, and 2.5 percent who disliked blacks and Catholics to a strong degree. (Ironically, these are people who say they "'strongly agree' that one should be tolerant of persons whose moral standards are different from one's own.")
Okay, so the Democratic party has an anti-religion streak after all, but is this a coincidence of shared political views among those in the party? Hardly. Besides the fact that tax payer funded partial birth abortion and gay marriage are hardly things even the non-religious can get behind, the left's vision is by it's very nature disdainful of religion, and by extension, people of faith. The fact that those that hate religion hang out in the Democratic party isn't some sort of coincidence, or some failing in modern religions, but because those on the left cannot accept there's a higher power than that of the state. As Karl Marx said:

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Karl Marx never went around saying "communism is great...and oh yeah, I don't like religion". He saw the elimination of religion and making man the final arbiter of right and wrong as a prerequisite to the creation of his dream state.

One might think I'm being a lazy 'red baiter', but while the Democrats anti-religious streak might not exist for the purposes of implementing Marx's dream; it does have as it's basis, the belief that man, meaning themselves, has the final say in what is right and wrong. Of course with the American left, it isn't 'right and wrong' as much as it is 'fair and unfair'. Rights and wrongs would entail a definitive definition which is often housed in religious values, while fair and unfair are antithetical to this and are based on the subjective judgment of those whole feel they are most able to make it.

This mind-set comes up in another post by Dr. Kwanda which demonstrates the world view of the American left. In this post on his site Dr. Kwanda knocks an executive compensation package given by the pharmaceutical firm Merck where the executive staff will get paid three years salary and bonuses if the company gets taken over. On it's face one may consider this 'unfair', but what isn't considered is the fact that if the company were to get taken over the executives would get sacked. In this situation, if the executives suspect a takeover attempt they may well leave (as any of us would) in order to get the drop on a different job. As anyone who has worked in a corporation before would know, when you see the executive staff leave, that's your cue to find yourself a new job as well. So while it's not 'fair' on the face of it, the board (i.e. the owners of the company) made a decision that, while not equally advantageous to everyone, was none the less in the best interests of the company and thus everyone who works there.

This issue shows just a slight hint of the disdain many of the left have for the decisions other people make about their own personal decisions. While espousing all manner of left wing causes in the name of liberty, the left actively seeks to limit all manner of liberty by banning that which they personally deem 'unfair'. Since there are no absolute rights and wrongs in this mindset, it is impossible for those in the modern left to weigh the 'pros' against the 'cons' in any situation.

This opposes with religion where individuals do their best to make the best decisions that they can given whatever situation they may be in. These individual decisions are shaped not only by doctrine and traditions, but also by the knowledge that the unobtainable perfection of God provides a benchmark for their behavior. However, in the social justice, i.e. fairness, worldview the state determines what it feels to be right or wrong. Since liberal views on fairness are completely arbitrary and are often formed with unspecific knowledge about the subject on which they are passing judgment, 'fairness' will always be a moving target because it is a preference and not a value of any sort. 'Fairness' is thus completely unlike 'rights' and 'wrongs' which can weighed in different situations, but not changed.

As well, in order for the left to intellectually justify this mindset, moral relativism, the mortal enemy of strong religious values, seeps into their decision making process. The failure of a policy can thus easily be shrugged off as "well x was as bad as y, so it makes no never mind". The end point of this line of thought not only inevitably leads to a resentment of the those who abhor moral relativism (i.e. people of faith), but also to bizarre comparisons, such as when Democratic senators say that Osama is okay because of his mythical child care program, or American nudie pictures of prisoners are as bad as the abuses wreaked by Saddam.

For instance, the fact that homosexuality might be wrong (from even a non-religious point of view) would mean that at some level the prohibition of homosexual marriage, while 'unfair', is none the less correct. The idea of unfairness, such as the fact that some people make more money than others, that some races do better in school than others, or that some people don't have the health problems of others, is completely intolerable to the modern political left. Their quest to implement their own personal view of fairness and social justice, by judicial fiat if necessary, runs counter to everything a strong religion stands for. After all this, it's ironic then that the left's strong desire to implement their view of perfection from the top down has the stink of extreme religious zealotry.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Linker

After handing out what I'm sure is a record number of 'F's to the people who call themselves students over at Case, Mr. Kendall has takent the time to post a number of good articles. How about a taste!
But consider this—for Roosevelt to have refrained from opposing Japanese imperialism at the time would have made the United States an accomplice in its savagery. Moreover, the idea that the United States literally forced Japan into attacking under these circumstances only holds up as long as you presume the blinkered point of view of the Japanese militarists. From their peculiar perspective, there truly was no other option. Japan needed to have an Asian empire and if that meant a war with the United States, so be it. And the result, needless to say, was absolute ruin. But did Japan really need an overseas empire in order to prosper, as the militarists thought? The remarkable success of post-1945 Japan speaks for itself.
Of course if you're not up for intellectual content there's Something Awful on pets:
Besides, dogs don't chew just for the sake of chewing, they do it for the emotional payoff of seeing you approach in the distance, squinting your eyes and asking, "what are you chewing on?" shortly before realizing a majority of the new stereo system you just purchased is passing through the digestive system of an animal who just finished dining on an all-you-can-eat buffet of his own feces.
There you go, something for everyone!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Bombs Away

Justin touches upon some common views that the Japanese hold towards Pearl Harbor (as well as an example of good, old fashion, U.S. bigotry). Although I also think these views give an incorrect assessment of the cause of Japan's entry into WW2, it is at least, partially excusable. A similar analogy in feelings can be made to the U.S. Civil War. In the South after the Civil War, people had to convince themselves that they had suffered horrible casualties in a losing war for some reason other than owning slaves. It must have been...oh..."States Rights", yeah that's it. It was simply unacceptable to have suffered so greatly for such a perverted cause.

In Japan, they likewise suffered greatly for a losing cause; and it's simply unacceptable for many people to accept that the losing cause was the rape and plunder of Greater Asia. So, it must have been...oh..."Those Nasty Americans"!

What about Germany? Why aren't they afflicted with this mindset? Well follow my drowsy logic here. What was Germany's "losing cause" in the war? Why, it was taking over the planet. That's certainly a worthy cause for any power mad kraut. The fact that they gave better than they got and almost succeeded is icing on the cake!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Another evil sandmich.



I got this bad boy in downtown Cleveland before an Indians game. It has two quarter pound beef patties, about a pound of fries, a tub of cole slaw, and ketchup and hot sauce. Oooooooh Yeaaaaah!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Underground

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal. When I was in Cincinnati I happened to take a picture of it and I feel obliged to post it since it is so rare for something to be mentioned about Cincinnati that doesn't involve mediocre sports franchises:


Did I mention it cost $100 million? I mean, geez! Of course it when it comes to pork barrel social value it definitely has the rock hall beat!

Chinese bullet torture

I thought I read the headline incorrectly when I saw this, Bank Fraud Brings Executions:
BEIJING - China executed four people, including employees of two of its Big Four state banks, for fraud totaling $15 million, the Xinhua state news agency said on Tuesday, amidst a high-profile campaign against financial crime.

Of course the shame of it is, is that this fraud was more than likely perpetuated by Chinese government officials; which means it has the stink of eliminating political opponents.