Sunday, June 25, 2006

Thank a Lawyer

What a great message to put a 44 oz beer!


As I said at the game, sobriety's not an accident, it's a curse!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Suite Sister Mary

Hot on the heals of different wierdo cafes opening in Akihabara (which, to the best of my knowledge, is Japanese for 'pervert') that have their waitresses dress up as maids or cats (kinda NSFW), ANN reports that a cafe has opened up that has their waitresses dress as nuns...


click here for more, you know you wanna...

All of Northeast Ohio can't keep one Hooters open but Nerdville, Japan gets a whole line of funky themed joints!

Japan's 'knowledge' of Christianity (or in this case, Catholicism, though I doubt they know difference) has always struck me as amusing. Kind'a like the westerners (like me) whose complete knowledge of Buddhism is derived from the fat statue down at the Chinese buffet that's covered with fruit and coins.

Unitaria

In relation to the angst filled f8ggotry debate within the Episcopal church, the Bishop elect made a sermon which has been (I guess) all the rage within the communion (emphasis mine):
As I returned to my hotel, I reflected on all those meetings [of greeting strangers on the street]. There was some degree of wariness in most of them. There were small glimpses of a reconciled world in our willingness to greet each other. But the unrealized possibility of a real relationship -- whether in response of wariness, or caution, or fear -- meant that we still had a very long way to go.

Can we dream of a world where all creatures, human and not, can meet each other in a stance that is not tinged with fear?
Not while chickens and Mr. Kendall both exist on the same planet! (Or Arabs and anyone - HEY-OOOO!)*

Really now. I'm always amused by these theology debates by the Episcopalians because they proceed as if they still actually believe in something. It's like a guy who has lost his arms and is debating what kind of ring to get.

*(I'm reminded of Groundskeeper Willie's line: "Brothers and sisters are natrual enemys, just like English and Scots, or Welsh and Scots, or Japanese and Scots, or Scots and Scots, dam Scots, they ruined Scotland!". May not be exact, I couldn't find a reliable quote).

Monday, June 19, 2006

Steal Microsoft's Money

I always had a faint interest in a professional web page; something that I could point possible employers at, or others who might have some sort of professional interest in my work. I could never justify the expense though, especially for a site that I would rarely change and less frequently reference. However, Microsoft removed all my excuses by putting out an offer to host a web site to my own registered domain for free. I still got my rev 1.3b up, but it's not too bad (I'm open to suggestions).

Of course with free, there are some caveats. Firstly, and most importantly, you'll never see any code when you put your site together. This makes it easy to assemble, but nearly impossible to completely customize (i.e. when you try to keep it from looking like everyone else's page that is hosted on the site). The hosting technology is based off of Microsoft's Sharepoint services; but they've noticeably gutted the selections of functions that are available with the whole package (which itself is free, I've even seen web sites that use it as their hosting solution). They've removed the parts that might allow you to use a blogging function as well as art and customizable HTML pieces.

Still, not a bad deal considering the price; and it’s a way to get money out of a soulless corporate behemoth. Why, it’d be a sin not to sign up :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Evils of Big Corn

A couple months back The Wall Street Journal had a fawning write up on Brazil's ethanol industry. As usual I knew the story was a crock, but the paper just sat around since I didn't feel like making time to do hours worth of research to refute it. Fortunately, someone has gone and done just that! From The Wall Street Journal opinion page:
Ah, but what about the other alleged virtues of ethanol? One favorite is that every gallon of ethanol will supplant a gallon of gasoline imported from tyrannical Mideast oil regimes. Thus, a la Brazil, ethanol can help the U.S. achieve the miracle of "energy independence."

Sorry. The most widely cited research on this subject comes from Cornell's David Pimental and Berkeley's Ted Patzek. They've found that it takes more than a gallon of fossil fuel to make one gallon of ethanol--29% more. That's because it takes enormous amounts of fossil-fuel energy to grow corn (using fertilizer and irrigation), to transport the crops and then to turn that corn into ethanol. The Saudis ought to love the stuff.
Here's an issue that would seem to be made to order for the Democrats. A farm belt lobbying group (that's at least nominally a GOP leaning group) is exploiting the American people for corporate subsidies to pump up the obscene profits of big business. Add to that fact that ethanol is bad for the environment and it's expanded usage means more heavily fertilized corn farms and it would seem the environmentalists would be making noise about it instead of imaginary B.S. like global warming and the ozone layer.*

Except...they aren't. Even more disappointing is the fact that this issue has such a direct impact on the liberal urban voters that are such a solid base for the Democrats. Part of the Ethanol subsidy program is little more than a scheme to steal money from Democrat voters (urban areas use the most convoluted gas 'cocktails') and give it to (again, nominally**) GOP voters. This shows what a leash old school socialism is to the Democrats. The dinosaurs (and idiots) who still believe in that crap keep the view of the state as an end unto itself; thus if its not controlling people it is not serving its purpose.

*(The same can be said for the overly generous sugar subsidies to sugar growers. Governnment subsidized growers trashed the Florida Everglades and I never saw anything about it outside of conservative opinion pieces. Of course, if you think the sugar growers had to pay for the cleanup, you've got another thing coming).

**(Recent history says that such interests get their largess from the government and then give a slice back to whoever is in power in Washington. The growers, at least, have no ideological interest apart from their welfare check. )

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fruitball

I caught a portion of a soccer game on Univision today and made an effort (again) to find out what Americans are missing from 'metric football'. This particular thrill packed game had a total of one goal scored.

After snoozin' through the last part of the game, there was yet more dialog on the news bemoaning the fact that Americans don't like this magic game that is all the rage in the rest of the world (one local broadcast pinned it on 'peer pressure'). It's worth wondering, for about fifteen seconds, if soccer would be more popular were it not for the major AMERICAN sporting institutions sponging up our attention. It's at that point I realize that soccer is the sport that happens in the absence of any other sports worth doing. It's probably the least infrastructure intensive game, especially when compared to the fortunes that must be invested to field even a pee-wee football team. Although labeled as the most popular sport on the planet, from what I see it often plays second fiddle to other sporting events in host countries anyway.

I noticed too that the foul calling seemed arbitrary, which is something Americans accept in very, very small doses when it comes to professional sports; preferring instead sports which are highly regulated in order to make sure all players and teams are allowed to succeed or fail on the merits of their own skills.

Everytime this mess comes up, I remember that The Simpsons did soccer up right.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Unbento Watch

The local Indian grocer down the road sells Indian MREs and I've found their lunchtime preparation much easier to handle than the Japanese equivalents. Think of it like a vacu-sealed donburi that, despite the different pictures on the front of the boxes, always tastes like curry. I sought to change up this taste sameness by picking up some 'pickles' at the Indian grocer. Here's my first (and probably last) attempt at using the pickle:

Now from my experience with canned Mexican goods I naturally figured the red in my 'lime and ginger' pickle was tomato. So here's a quick quiz, what's the 'red' in the pickle?
  1. Tomato with some chili
  2. Radiation. This makes more sense since 'lime and ginger' is better translated from Indian as 'spent nuclear fuel rods' which would not only explain the heat, but also the other-worldly flavor that accompanies the condiment.

Friday, June 02, 2006

School Rage

Is there no end to this guilty, white liberal B.S.? From here:
The 54-year-old [guilty, rich, white] homeowner in San Francisco's Castro district believes it's critical that children of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds be educated together. The software designer said he has never voted against any education measure in his life.

But, he said, he believes that even the city's best public schools are overcrowded and underfunded. And despite his belief in the importance of public education, he must do what's best for his three daughters -- so he sends them to private schools.

"There's very little in life that's as important to me as my kids' education. It's a sacrifice you make, and it pays off," he said, noting he nonetheless has nagging concerns that his daughters aren't experiencing diversity in their classrooms. "I don't want my kids in an elite, privileged environment where they don't spend time with people who are different from them. ... But that's the reality, and it bothers me."
"It bothers me". Cripe. I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation personally with people. They feed me the lines like "money shouldn't be taken out of public schools" and "we should believe in our community schools" and crap like that. When confronted with the fact that either they themselves went to a private school and/or they send their kids to a private school I'd get a response which, thus far, hasn't warranted remembering. Here's an idea blockheads, how about letting the other people trapped in your 'peoples paradise' schools have a shot at attending a decent school as well?

How about another serving?
Crosley and his wife, Claudia Stern, a financial consultant, get some tuition assistance to cover the total bill of about $70,000 a year.
...
Last year, 29.3 percent of the city's [San Francisco] school-age population went to private or religious schools. About 10 percent of children nationwide and 8.7 percent of those in California attend private or parochial schools. Marin County has the second-highest rate in the state at 18.7 percent, followed by San Mateo at 15.4 percent and Napa at 13.4 percent.
The most liberal city in America has one of the highest rates of private school attendance, why am I not surprised?

Read the whole thing if you want an extra tall helping of liberal arrogance.