Monday, October 31, 2005

Candy Watch

Here's Kid Sandmich's git up for Halloween:

Here's the pail of candy, and the offering for the angry Smartie god that's known to stop by the house after Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

That Funky Beat

Okay dad, I surrendered and bought it off the Russians:

Not to date myself too much, this music is just slightly before my time. I'm old enough, though, to have developed a deep hatred of much of what the seventies produced. I remember when I was little, my mom gave a little radio to me to listen to; oh the sounds that came out! The Bee-Gees and the two dozen other losers that produced a sick, syrupy sound that's not totally unlike the taste of third rate Mexican candy. I more than readily threw ABBA into the same group, along with leisure suits, puke green and orange colored furniture and ugly politics (Jimmy Carter? Worst president of the modern era, sorry).

However, my Launch radio played ABBA along with my other dance tunes, and I was pretty amazed at how well they'd held up, especially compared to their contemporaries of the era. Overall, it's some of the best produced music to come out of decade.

This brings me around to one of the ugliest parts of the radio dial - 'Classic Rock'. (Time to make some enemies, yes?)
What absolute crap. I hate to break it to fans of the era, but Led Zepplin and a handful of Stones tunes are the only meaningful additions to the 'rock' genre from that decade.
  • Pink Floyd? They were making overproduced crap before the proper technology existed to make overproduced crap sound like something other than fingernails on chalkboard (modern Pink Floyd? Much better).

  • The Who? Yuck, caterwalling at its worst; I lost heart seeing 'Who's Best' on Matty D's (now deleted) site (to say nothing of CSI). I harbored a secret hope that the fascination with The Who would die out with the passing on of those who remember them.

  • AC-DC? The band that repeatedly puts out the same (crappy) song with different lyrics?

  • Kiss? Being a pioneer in 'big hair- glam rock' is like being the first person to go to the local Chinese restaurant - just because you came back alive, doesn't make it a worthwhile pursuit. The money that chased this group eventually begot such horror as Firehouse and Winger.

  • And one of the worst, that god-awful ZZ-top sunglasses song; I'd rather listen to a cat getting an enema.
If other people can listen to that stuff without shame, I've nothing to feel bad about (I think...).

Friday, October 28, 2005


I've had this rotting in my drafts for a couple months, from OpinionJournal - Taste:
Mr. Levine singled out the 'inadequate to appalling' graduate programs in educational leadership and called for the abolition of the Ed.D. degree. These programs, he asserted, suffer under the weight of lax admissions standards, weak faculties and inappropriate degree requirements and are often cynically used by their host universities as 'cash cows.'
Universities around the country can't seem to get enough of B.S. degrees (Hah! I'm sooo funny), like 'Educational Leadership and Management'.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Kill a lawyer, be 32% liable.

A jury decided that the port authority was responsible for 1993 WTC bombing?!? On what planet does THAT make sense (answer: planet New York):
A jury concluded yesterday that the Port Authority was liable for the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center that killed six and wounded nearly 1,000 people.
And we DON'T need tort reform? How about a guess as to which party in congress is holding up legislation that would prevent this?
As part of the verdict, the jury was asked to assign a percentage value to the liability of both the Port Authority and the terrorists responsible for the blast. They concluded that the Port Authority was 68% liable and the terrorists 32% liable.
These jury members are idiots. I guess it's possible to be completely 'passively' negligent? It's not like the port authority hung signs up welcoming terrorists. If they were 68% liable, then the Federal Government is like 1500% liable (sure such a thing isn't possible, but this jury obviously isn't swayed by facts! ) How did this abomination even make it to trial?
A spokesman for the Port Authority, Pasquale DiFulco, said yesterday it plans to appeal the verdict. "The 1993 World Trade Center bombing was the direct result of a terrorist act, and those terrorists should be found liable. The Port Authority plans to appeal today's decision, and we are confident that the facts and the law will support our positions," he said. "To have a verdict where the Port Authority is held 68% responsible as opposed to 32% for the terrorists - it's an obviously irrational, incorrect conclusion."
Ahh, but terrorists don't have any cash, and it's much easier to blame someone law abiding that the courts can get their hands on.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Mr. Kendall thought I was mad, MAD to use a bit from a little recalled Faith No More song as a tagline for my blog a while back, but apparently it's good enough for an Ebay marketing campaign! Check out the Japan vid, hilarity ensues.

Monday, October 24, 2005

U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote

It should have been bigger news than it was (to the extent that it was news at all), but a bill made it to the floor of the senate that would have unfunded the 'bridge to nowhere', and used the resulting funds to rebuild a bridge which had been destroyed in Louisiana. Many doubted that it would pass, but it was a fight that needs to be fought. Needless to say, it went down 82-15. Of course, for all their talk about fiscal discipline, only 3 of the 15 were Democrats (and they wonder why no one believes them?) and one of them is a Louisiana Senator, so she doesn't really count. Russ Feinglod was one of the three, and interestingly enough Evan Bayh from Indiana, who many think could be a possible upset challenger in the Democratic presidential primary. Anyway, here's the roll of the YEAs (interesting as well that Mike DeWine from Ohio voted for it - has he discovered that he might actually need support from his base to make it through the primary?), from U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home:
YEAs ---15
Allard (R-CO) Allen (R-VA) Bayh (D-IN)
Burr (R-NC) Coburn (R-OK) Conrad (D-ND)
DeMint (R-SC) DeWine (R-OH) Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (R-SC) Kyl (R-AZ) Landrieu (D-LA)
Sessions (R-AL) Sununu (R-NH) Vitter (R-LA)
Also from Poltical Diary:
Mr. Coburn proposed to block $453 million in federal funds earmarked in the new highway bill for two dubious bridges in Alaska, including the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," which will connect the Alaskan mainland to an island with 50 residents. Mr. Coburn proposed sending the money instead to repair the Interstate 10 Bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The response from senior senators was instantaneous and hostile. Washington Democrat Patty Murray stood up and warned that any senator supporting the Coburn idea would find projects in his or her own state jeopardized. Log-rolling ("I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine") is a way of life on Capitol Hill, even at a time when federal spending is out of control.

Carnack Gates

From David Coursey :
This week's most interesting quote comes from Bill Gates, who told a college newspaper that Blu-ray, Sony's HD DVD format, 'is the last physical format there will ever be.'
'Everything's going to be streamed directly or on a hard disk,' Gates added. 'So, in this way, it's even unclear how much [Blu-ray] counts.'
Gates has been a bit of bomb in the tech prognostication department, otherwise his name would be Steve Jobs and he would run Apple. I'm especially surprised anyone would lead this credence since it was Gates who figured PCs would NEVER need more than 640K of RAM (which is especially ironic since my work PC needs more than 640MB of RAM to run Gate's latest incarnation).

Sunday, October 23, 2005

My Ohio

I'm finally getting around to posting the pic I took of my congressional representative, Dennis Kucinich, my personal hero (not):

The best congressman Northeast Ohio money can buy

This brings me around to the raft of issues on the Ohio ballot this November:
  • Issue 1: the state's $2 billion bond package to fund infrastructure and high-tech development.
  • Sandmich Sez: A repeat to the corporate welfare bill floated by Bob Taft a year or two ago. If you're given to write checks to old Gov. Taft so that he can take a cut and give the rest to his cronies, you might want to support this measure, otherwise if you are not an idiot, this measure is a loser. (Although this issue failed the last time it was floated, it passed in Northeast Ohio, which certainly says something about the residents, no?)
  • Issue 2:Issues 2-5 are part of the 'Reform Ohio Now' campaign. This one Makes it easier to vote by allowing all Ohioans to vote by mail.
  • Sandmich Sez: How an initiative that increases fraud and that makes our already lazy civic participation even lazier is 'reform' I have no idea. Bad idea, but it probably passes.
  • Issue 3:Helps stop the influence of big money in elections by greatly reducing campaign contributions.
  • Sandmich Sez:Waste of time and money. It will no doubt create another failed bureaucracy to (not) enforce more pointless laws. Takes a dump of on the first amendment as well. It probably passes too.
  • Issue 4:Stops the politicians from drawing their own legislative districts and puts an Independent Commission in charge of this process.
  • Sandmich Sez:I'm leaning towards supporting this one. I think the RON people may have done better pushing one or two of these issues to better stress their importance rather than making a shotgun blast of issues as this one is a bit more important than the other crap they're floating. Anyway, the only people who will support this are people who don't like their reps (i.e. Dennis Kucinich). Since those people are by definition, in the minority, this issue probably goes down.
  • Issue 5:Places a bi-partisan Board of Supervisors in charge of Ohio's elections, instead of a partisan official who backs candidates and takes sides in elections.
  • Sandmich Sez: I've no idea what this is supposed to accomplish. Ken Blackwell takes Nader off the ballot and this is the thanks he gets from Ohio Dems? I think this one is up in the air to the extent that no one cares, but since it creates more bureaucrats, I can't say as I care for it

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dream a Dream

He was a left wing freak, but he could bust a beat...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Daft Punk Lava Lamp

This shows how hard it is to entertain me: a six frame animated gif that's set to Daft Punk's 'Technologic'.

The trick is to wait until the beat kicks in, then you'll either be hooked...or sick.
(I might put this one in my blogroll!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sandmich Talks About 'THAT'

From Culpepper Log on the Toledo riot:
You've really got to be a major jackass to make self-described Nazis start to look good, but these Toledo residents have managed to do it. Rioting is just far, far worse than a few idiots with swastikas talking some trash. As riots unfolded before the Nazis even started, the city cancelled their march for them, and sent them packing. They apparently left peacefully and without any incident on their part.
As you can probably tell from some previous posts of mine, I'm royally sick of this "can't talk about that" bit. Beating the truth out of a story like this is damn near impossible. Friggin' Jerry Springer was on the radio this morning already doing his best to direct blame towards the Nazis, though local radio said, as one might expect, that it was an occasion for the gangs to congregate and cause trouble - the Nazis were merely an excuse. It could have just as well been free ham night at the local Walmart or something. Continuing...
Not to put too fine a point on this, but the local Negroes here did about a thousand times more to make their point for them than some handful of Nazi idiots could ever possibly have done. If they had simply ignored them, these dozen odd schmucks with police escort would have simply looked like pathetic museum pieces. Or if the locals unstrategically but understandably had lined the streets and cussed the Nazis, the Nazis would have still just looked like fools.

But the first sign of someone merely even planning to say things they didn't like became an excuse to go burning and looting. What? This is just exactly the kind of behavior that Nazis or Klansmen would accuse them of.
Of course, 'community actions' like this begets more crap like this:
David Lewis, 35, a Wal-Mart employee who has been living on Bronson since 1979, said frustrations have been mounting for years because of a lack of city services in North Toledo.

"My question is: What do we do tomorrow?" he asked. "The source of the problem is you have not put something in the neighborhood to help kids. Nobody's addressing the real situation."
The REAL SITUATION? My God, no one would dare address the REAL SITUATION! Not if they wanted to maintain employment and not have to have 24 hour protection services.

That reminds of another story. Cleveland recently had a police shooting and of course there was community uproar over a drug dealing felon getting shot while he was trying to take a police officers weapon. By this point, we can all do the paint-by-numbers as to how this is going down. However, they were interviewing a local woman who had gone to a meeting on the shooting and she stated that they (the local authorities, not the criminals) are not telling the "whole truth". THE TRUTH? I'll lay the REAL SITUATION on ya': you'd rather die by the hands of your own ethnic group than live free under the auspices of another. You'd rather raise a generation of criminal, spoiled brats than actually implement some self discipline. You'd rather blame someone else for your problems and ask for a check (or "government services") than do some self reflection on the real root causes.

On this news I was reflecting again on the derisive term of 'oreo' used by American Blacks. It, of course, refers to someone that is black who is making the lack of effort being put forth by the others in their ethnic group look bad. I found it amusing to read that Chinese (and no doubt Japanese and Korean) immigrants call their kids who don't work hard enough 'twinkies'. Interesting contrast that. Now....I wonder which ethnic group is more successful.....

(Cox & Forkum put up a good cartoon on this subject)
(Drudge recently had a post about the crime stats in America; the money chart (which had to be scoured for) is here).
(As a mild update, it turns our the black youths torched a white owned business (surprise). What's curious though, is that the Nazi's choose to march in an area that's an old Polish neighborhood - i.e. immigrants AND Roman Catholic; two big bugaboos for the old racists (as a fair disclosure, the Sandmich is half Polish and Roman Catholic). I have to think that there were very few locals who had any sympathy what-so-ever for the Nazis).

Monday, October 17, 2005

Soylent Pink

I saw something rather disturbing in the doctor's office today: soy contains a simple estrogen, aka phytoestrogen. Disturbed I was! However, I then thought that this might explain the rampant f8gg0try in the far east (link not safe for work or non-soy addicted Asians). From Phytoestrogens for Menopause:
The food that is richest by far in phytoestrogens is soybeans. A typical three-ounce serving of tofu, for example, contains about 23 milligrams of isoflavones (the major group of phytoestrogens). About a half-cup of shelled peanuts, on the other hand, has less than a tenth of a milligram.
"Japanese person who eats a traditional fish, rice, and soy-based diet probably consumes an average of 20 to 40 mg of isoflavones a day from soybeans," says soy expert Mark Messina of Nutrition Matters, a consulting firm in Port Townsend, Washington. People in the Western industrialized countries, on the other hand, get only about five milligrams a day from their food.

Well that explains a lot! (this link is safe)
Guess I'll have to give up padding out my stir frys with tofu.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Total Gas

From HERE:
The world could run out of time to develop cleaner alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels before depletion drives prices through the roof, a leading Dutch energy researcher said on Thursday.
Oh no!
Ton Hoff, manager of the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, said it could take decades to make alternatives affordable to the point where they can be used widely, although high oil prices were already stimulating such research.
Oh well okay! Even he sees that as the price of oil rises, it brings alternative products to market. Makes sense.
That's why we need to use fossil fuels in a more efficient way to have some more time to develop these alternatives up to a level where the robustness is guaranteed and their price has come down ... This could take decades for some technologies.
Umm, okay. Won't the high prices do that anyway. Or are you looking to lower the price so that these new products won't make it to market?
ECN, one of Europe's leading energy research institutes, is working to improve or develop new technologies to boost efficiency and lower the costs of power production from wind, solar and biomass, he said.
I've got an idea, ECN can mail me their money, and I'll flush it down the john, and I'll save them a bunch of time and effort!

I figured this article is as good a place as any to stress the fact that, for the last time, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PRICE GOUGING ON FUEL. It seems that this ranks right up there with little green men, black helicopters and homeopathic medicine - stuff that people will believe in no matter what the evidence is to the contrary. As well, with lefties lurking about looking to get a piece of energy company profits (I guess once the government gets a piece, THEN the prices will go down; and I dine on smoked dodo bird every night!); but I wonder if they'll be as anxious to send them in a check when there's a loss. I guess that's what's going down since the hurricanes tore up a bunch of platforms. BP in particular is forecasting a cut in revenue, are lefties gonna break out there check book to help them out?

New Japan Is Rising

I've never given Japan's Koizumi the kudos he deserves for his recent election win. Across the planet, countries are retrenching their corrupt, kleptomaniac socialist states. One has only to look at a place like Germany or France where there are riots in the streets every time a benefit is threatened to be cut, and shortly before the reformers are being voted out of office - the insane truly run the asylum. We all hope that this will not be the course being charted for America, but Koizumi proves that a reversal in course can be sold, AND can be performed (hopefully). This puts him as on the right side (in every way) of just about every other leader on the planet, with the possible exception of Australia's John Howard.

From TCS: Tech Central Station - New Japan Is Rising:

Koizumi provided some more detail about his acceleration of reform in his first address to the new parliament, on September 26. As well as pushing through the post office sell-off as a priority, he said he would privatise the remaining eight government banks, cut public service numbers and salaries, and overhaul the relationships between central and local governments.
It's good to know at least someone is carrying the torch!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Wandering Eye

Why is this the first I'm hearing of this?

Of course, the trick is to be drunk enough not to care, from what I hear....

The 'R' is for 'Fun'

I guess Mr. Kendall is a big fan of the word 'Absolutely', so I used my grade C graphics artist skills to whip this up with the easiest one I could find:


Monday, October 10, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Death of the Net

Every totalitarian regime on the planet has been itching to get there fingers on the net, and it looks like they're about to get their way.
Imagine having to go to the U.N. do get a domain name.
Imagine Red China contesting the content of your web page.
Imagine having to pay a tax so that the king of Botswannaville can get his kiddie porn for free.
Well you won't have to imagine for much longer because that day is at hand; let's hope the U.S. creates a new net that the last truly free countries can use. From The Guardian (emphasis mine):
A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting 'was going nowhere', Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a 'cooperation model' comprising governments that would be in overall charge.
Screw the EU, UN and all their buddies; can we move our country to a different planet?
Get ready for more of this sort of nonsense:
I live in the UK, where the highly unfortunate Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act has made monitoring of Internet access tricky in cases where you own or administer any telecommunications equipment (such as your local area network). Conversely, it allows any government jack-in-office to monitor Internet activity under a wide range of circumstances, in a way which makes a mockery of privacy and the supposed provisions of the UK's Human Rights Act.
Human rights are never an issue for the zealous bureaucrat or evil dictator! Human rights are only to be applied in how the little people treat those in power and the cronies that support them!


I saw this picture on the back of a bus, it's part of an ad for the The American Sickle Cell Association...

Of course what's inferred is that all these babies have a chance to have Sickle Cell Anemia. I myself would say the chances (of there being a chance) are one in five, no? (It's the Asian baby, right?)

(File Under: Further proof that I'm a jerk. Though it's interesting that if you were trapped in a malaria invested jungle, this would be the one genetic disease that you might want.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


At the local Asian market, the candy selection seems to break down along two lines:

  1. Rather attractive, though pricey, products from the Land of the Rising Sun
  2. Barely edible, though cheap, crap from the Philippines and other third world Asian countries (i.e., the rest, though Thai and domestic Asiatic experiments seemed to be the other big groups)
This past time out I noticed there were several Japanese candies that appeared to be new products (to that store) and I decided to pick up few...

Super Lemon

I got this one because I particularly enjoyed the pic on the back...


So it might be 'powerful', but how 'bout the taste? I figured it'd taste like those Warhead candies and wasn't disappointed - incredibly sour coating with regular lemon candy inside. Unlike a Warhead though, it doesn't have that 'revenge center' despite the efforts of a diagram on the back of the package to convince you otherwise.


Milk Candy

I thought this one might be good on it's face, but it had an intriguing line on the back...

The milk candy with the chewy meat center!

Do the people at these places have absolutely* no English speaking friends? Or friends who have English speaking friends? Or friends of friends who own some sort of dictionary? Or is this candy actually 'flesh' flavored? Hmmmm.....

I figured they'd taste like caramels, but they were quite unique. The were mostly hard, yet very, very slightly chewy. I couldn't pinpoint the taste, but my wife later pinned it when she said they tasted like sweetened condensed milk that had been turned into hard candies. So fans of sweetened-condensed (which should be everyone) shouldn't be disappointed to have these bad boys rolling around in your mouth, rehydrating into their native form.


Cone of Mystery!

I came by this while I was unsuccessfully hunting down some more Ultimate Muscle gum. From the picture on the front, I figured it'd be like a dehydrated ice cream cone of some sort, which I'm cool with. However, it turned out to be a bit more bizarre than that. I unwrapped it and found that someone took it upon themselves to try and recreate the taste and texture of an ice cream cone at room temperature - the 'day walker ice cream cone' if you would. Weirdly enough, they largely succeeded. The missus didn't care for the taste, but me and boy-sandmich liked it. The strawberry was every bit as bad as regular strawberry ice cream and the chocolate interior more than made up for it. It was a bit scary though, my brain didn't want to accept the fact that such a thing could exist.

*(I'll use this opportunity to get a story off my chest. At the beginning of the year I was at some function with my buddy and his wife who happens to be from a far-east country that I mention on occasion. During conversation, she would exclaim every now and then "ABsulROOTly!". I thought this was quite endearing and took to pronouncing it this way myself (along with our dog, 'Fruffy').

As many of you know (or could guess at this point), insofar as 'L' and 'R' exist in Asian languages, they're the same letter/sound, and it's damn near impossible for many a native of the region to differentiate the two, the 'L' obviously being the rough spot. Though the opposite also occurs; one of the more egregious examples of this that I've seen was an anime character toy that had been labeled 'Polno Diane'.

Anyway from what my buddy had said, his wife was, as could be expected, having a rough time with this. However, when I met up with them less than six months later, the opportune word came up and I was about knocked over when I heard "Absolutely!". Although happy and impressed that she had mastered a rather difficult pronunciation, I was disappointed that I'd probably never hear the more characteristic way again. Except from myself of course, but that's hardly 'endearing'!

Oh yeah, you can find a pic of 'Polno Diane' here.)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Face for Radio

They had that Lyndie England character on Dateline. Talk about a face that could stop a clock; I couldn't imagine how long I'd have to be trapped in the desert before she'd become attractive (hopefully I'd meet up with the bad end of a IED before that point). I dug around on the net and found this...

Dateline didn't have any shots of her from the show on their site (I wonder why?...) and this picture just doesn't do it justice. You can picture the show handlers working her over for hours in a desperate attempt to make her presentable. It makes it all the more grueling to see her moving and speaking her 'case'. An ugly person in every way.

(Update: Okay, so they did have a photo or two (but not from the show). NOT worth checking out.)


I think Bush has truly retreated into the bunker. Why on earth would he make a pick like that? From The Corner, John Podhoretz:
As he [Bush] speaks it looks like the president is already angry at the criticism that this nomination is going to generate. This may be the strangest fight he's ever decided to wage, because he's entirely out on his own on this one.
Or how about this zinger from Ramesh Ponnuru:
It's an inspiring testament to the diversity of the president's cronies. Wearing heels is not an impediment to being a presidential crony in this administration! I can only assume that the president felt that his support was slipping in this important bloc, and he had to do something to shore it up.
These picks have had less to do with conservatism and more to do with Big Government Republicanism. In this light, Sandra Day O'Connor was much in the same mold, voting to uphold the horrific McCain-Feingold and voting in favor of government land snatches and against in-state drug regulations. What makes it all the worse that W. Bush decided to put up one of his cronies. Makes me wonder which justice was actually the 'mistake' of the papa Bush administration.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bento Watch #27

Wings and carrots that I had to compress to fit in the bowl; rice with ume, miso soup, grapes. I guess I could be a little more adventurous with the miso soup, but it's not bad like it is.

More rolls. I have trouble with the consistency on these. I used the fake crab sticks that make rolls easier to 'roll', but I couldn't get them compressed enough to keep my smartly cut carrots in, despite the fact that I've made them several times before with no issues. Most sushi directions are long on ingredients and short on technique, mostly because I think an effective technique is so difficult to learn.

On a semi-related note, I splurged and picked myself up a goat yogurt at an organic foods store. Much like goat cheese, the texture is much smoother than the bovine equivalent; but it also has that 'sweaty goat' taste that makes it rough going down.

Death Watch

From OpinionJournal's Political Diary (subscription):
Longer term, the [flu virus] problem can be described in two syllables -- China. Weirdly stuck in a halfway world between peasant agriculture and agribusiness, it still has millions of peasant farmers living in close proximity to billions of ducks, chickens and pigs, forming a genetic hothouse that speeds up virus evolution. The number of pigs alone in China has grown from five million to 500 million in 35 years. Missing, though, are the rural land reforms that would aid the emergence of efficient agribusinesses whose systematic, controlled practices could more easily be harnessed to reduce the risk of deadly flu mutations and recombinations.
With our government controlling access to the vaccine, we'd best hope that nothing nasty breaks out over there. That bit PBS had on the Spanish Flu epidemic made it clear that what you need for a nasty strain of the flu is people living with livestock, as they do in much of China. Idiotic governance may yet be the death of us all....