Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Age and Football

I've noted before how the NFL and football in general has been doing it's darnedest to bring in other demographics because of it's fear of it's current viewers...dieing. However I've begun to suspect that it's not that the audience for the NFL is growing older, but that their natural constituency is older and that there's just more old people around now-a-days to watch football. Anyway these PA comics confirm my suspicion:
From early 2006: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/2/8/
From late 2009: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/9/25/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Exchange Student Notes #2

(We are hosting an exchange student from China for this school year. Sally is her phony baloney American name)
  • Sally related a tale of being in the hall at school and having a girl walk up to her and tell her that she's "cute". Sandmich's first thought: "at least it wasn't a guy"
  • We went to a pioneer day type of thing at a local park and they had the typical 'ye old America' type of stuff of pressing apple cider, playing obscure instruments, churning butter, and making fabric of various kinds. In addition to those they had something there that I wouldn't have thought much of before without Sally in tow: hunters and trappers. The semi-role players had a couple tables set up with their recreations which included knives and several flint lock muskets. For the first time it stuck out at me that here were people (at least one of whom had made his own musket) that packed up their weapons, transported them here, and put them on display without giving a thought as to what the man would think (beyond the obvious safety regs). One of the people there was even kind enough to demonstrate his musket for the crowd. I had to wonder what a government would be worth if it carried an undying fear of a self organized group of citizens carrying a dozen muskets around; answer: not much. (I found out later that was the first time Sally had seen a firearm that wasn't a toy).
  • When we were down at the Asian market Sally said that she couldn't understand what the people in the grocery store were saying to one another. It was then that I noticed (after all these years) that the language they were speaking didn't sound like Chinese Mandarin* (that features lots of 'sh' type sounds). Out in the car she referred to them as being from 'Thailand' which I knew wasn't the case, but she later corrected herself when she saw an Asian father chasing his sons down the street and she said exclaimed "you sure have a lot of Taiwanese here" in the same tone of breath that someone else might say "you sure have a lot of negros here"**.
  • Along those lines I guess there was an awkward moment between Sally and Mrs. Sandmich at the local fish shop which has a world atlas on their wall. Sally asked why Taiwan was displayed as a separate country. Not being as much into international intrigue as yours truly, Mrs. Sandmich said "because it is". I advised that it might be best to avoid that subject.
  • This note is from the "don't eat your own poo" department. Sally went over her rigorous school life back in China(7 am-12 pm, lunch at home, 1 pm-5 pm, and then half days on Saturday followed by paid extra tutoring from the teachers). She said that everyone in China takes a lot of math and science and mildly wondered why it was different here. Me being me I said "because not everyone can do it", which got me a puzzled look. I went, in the vaguest possible way, into how groups in America are different and I got another puzzled look. I then decided to relate it more locally and used as an example some of the tribes in western China like those out towards Afghanistan or Tibet***, and how those people might not have the same amount on the ball as the rest of China. More puzzled looks. She then went in to say that they were poorly educated because of infrastructure and poverty issues, not because of any inherit group differences. I gave up at that point; I thought that insanity was strictly an American (and to a lessor extent, Soviet) invention.

*Wikipedia notes that the Taiwanese apparently have their own language in addition to Mandarin
**equally applicable to that part of town
***Based partly on what John Derbyshire related about how although it's okay to feel bad about the plight of the Tibetans we probably wouldn't want much to do with them besides.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama Semantics

Why didn't Obama believe he was lying when he was lying about how his medical plan wouldn't cover illegal immigrants? At first I thought it was because he intends to 'make legal' all illegal immigrants, but it turns out that was giving him too much credit. The real reason is because he doesn't believe that there is such a thing as an illegal immigrant.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

House Discipline

House Democrats look to issue some mild punishment against Joe 'You Lie!' Wilson. No word yet if any action will be taken against Representative Barney Frank who worked to single handily bankrupt the country through his dealings with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or if any action will be taken against William 'Freezer Money' Jefferson.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alter Ego

A friend posted this song over at Facebook, and while cute it seems to lack any 'edge'. I wanted to post the song I was jonsin' for over the weekend, but then thought better of it and decided to post it here (lyrics NOT safe for work or those who feel they have good taste):

The hook in this song is irresistible and I'll guarantee that you'll find yourself singing it inappropriate situations (i.e. any situation), and some of the well written lyrics are sticky too. None the less, it's nothing appropriate for the general viewing audiences on Facebook (the owner of said locomotive having a label that rhymes with 'switch').

The song itself is off of Use your Illusion II, an album that should have been edited down and crammed together with Use your Illusion I to create one dynamite album instead of two mediocre albums.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Profiles in Cluelessness

From here (thx Drudge):
Other signs did not focus on Mr. Obama, but rather on the government at large, promoting gun rights, tallying the national deficit and deploring illegal immigrants living in the United States.
...
Republican officials said privately that they were pleased by the turnout but wary of the anger directed at all politicians.
Why is it directed at 'all politicians'? Could it be because such Republican idiots are perfectly happy to have the malcontents vote for them, so long as they go away after the election?

The Republicans are going to continue to be completely worthless unless they grow up and get a clue.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Oligarchs

I've Dropped Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs as a site of interest after he came out in favor of crap like this:
Fox News Network LLC on Wednesday appealed a U.S. judge's decision not to force the U.S. Federal Reserve to reveal the names of participants in its emergency lending programs.
....
The Fed argued in both cases that disclosure could cause "competitive and reputational harm" to participants, potentially triggering bank runs and hurting the economy if information or rumors were allowed to spread.

The taxpayers don't have an interest in why they are being saddled with hundreds of billions of dollars of debt? The Fed's total backstops are actually up over a trillion dollars and by some counts several multiples of that, but we don't know since the Fed won't say. Their reasoning is that too much information will cause runs on the financial institutions they're helping out; of course the whole reason there would be a run is because these institutions are BROKE, so the logic actually goes something like this:

  • Under the table the Fed has backstopped some mystery parties. Who it is and why they found special grace in the Fed's favor is unknown. It could be entirely on the up and up, or it could be because Ben Bernanke went to school with the CEOs. Mr. Johnson believes that our trust should be put entirely into Mr. Bernanke, a man who has done nothing to earn anyone's trust, especially with saddling the taxpayers with untold hundreds of billions in order to back up the poor decision making of his buddies. The only problem is...
  • If the institutions are backstopped by the Fed, then why worry about a run since they're protected? The horrible truth is that the Fed can't afford to be called on those backstops. It's one thing to say that you'll back FOB's (Friend Of Ben's) 300 billion in bad mortgage securities, it's quite another to actually do it. That's why there's a move in Congress to audit the Fed BEFORE these liabilities come to light. Tools like Charles Johnson would rather find out AFTER the fact that the Fed star chamber single handily bankrupted the country by making sure that their friends didn't have to go without their yacht.

Charles Johnson and others like him claim to be defending our economic system, but if our whole economic system is based on shadows and lies there's really nothing there to defend.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Spend Money to Make Money

Pretty typical for Ohio:
CLEVELAND (AP) -- A state lawmaker is complaining about signs that let passing motorists know when Ohio road work is courtesy of federal stimulus money.

The state has ordered that markers identify Ohio's 365 stimulus projects at both ends of construction zones, at a cost estimated at more than $1 million.
....
ODOT spokesman Scott Varner says the state felt it was important to show taxpayers how stimulus money is being used.
Back when thee company I work for had a graphite processing operation, I convinced myself that the horrific level of filthiness associated with processing powered graphite was actually the color of money: that filth helped pay my paycheck. However, I was under no delusions that any other person would think that such a place was only good for filming horror movies.

Such it is with these stupid signs. When motorists are stuck for hours on end in construction, or writing $100 checks for going three miles over the incredibly torqued down speed limit, or taking a painful detour, the last thing that springs to their mind is 'gratitude' when some arrogant ass like Scott Varner slaps his name on an overpriced sign to proclaim that he is responsible for the mess. Only someone with an ego as inflated as his could think that the work responsible for his paycheck is anything other than pain and misery for those outside of his profession.

Good Citizens

(Yet another) Black mob nearly beats a white person to death in northeast Ohio:
CLEVELAND- The St. Rocco's Festival on Cleveland's west side is generally considered family friendly.

But Cleveland Police say around 10 o'clock Saturday night, a 17-year-old boy was kicked and beaten by 20 teenagers as he was leaving the festival.

Justin Winemiller says it appears the motive for the attack was the thrill of beating him unconscious and capturing it on tape.

The high school senior tells Fox 8 News "they threw me up against the wall and while they were kicking me, someone was recording the whole attack, someone was spinning around, making sure they got every angle of me getting kicked and me getting thrown to the ground."
I anxiously await all those black parents who are concerned about their neighborhood to call the culprits into the police.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Better Man

Seems like this abused lady in Parma Heights, where I live, could do better:
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CHEYENNE TRAIL: A 26-year-old woman called police Sunday to report that she had gotten into a physical altercation with her 30-year-old live-in boyfriend over her Sony PlayStation. He wanted to go fishing, and she wanted her PlayStation back. When she tried to take back the PlayStation, they got into a fight.
Really? She's having trouble finding a guy to play PlayStation with all day? In that case she should just stop by the local GameStop around midnight on the day that Modern Warfare 2 is released, she'll have her choice of potential suitors.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Pallet Swap Too Far?

Check out this picture from Getty Images:

Ahh the legend of the attractive woman in the data center. This picture gets a lot of play, for reasons I figure have to do with playing on tech nerd fantasies (with said tech nerds associating themselves with one of the guys in the back)*. However, the picture gets SO much play that it's lost whatever effectiveness it may have once had. Here's just the woman on the banner for one of Microsoft's virtualization sites:

Here she is shilling something on CDW's page:

IBM also used the photo with their Director product, but they pallet swapped the shirt to change it up:

And here's the picture being used in a print ad for PC Connection where they pallet swapped...uh oh:

For reasons unknown to me they also sloppily threw on a dress shirt and tie on the guy in the back. I guess they figured he was disrepectin' da honies by wearing just that white shirt.

* Though to be fair, the pictures use may have more to do with price than anything. Use of the photo can be had for a couple bucks, while similar pictures (like this one)require negotiating a price for their commercial use.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Unoriginal, Wanna-Be Tyrant

I've always thought that Obama was smart, but I've also always thought that he's about as creative as a cinder block. He's proven the point again by attempting to pull some cheap propaganda lesson. Drudge links to Obama's bit of addressing kids in public schools:
  • Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and [Glorious Leader] Barack Obama [who apparently would never cast his lot in with the other 'presidents'] and motivate students by asking the following questions: Who is the President of the United States? [good question, bad answer]
  • Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? [here's an F'n idea, how about those idiots listening to us, you know, the people who elected them?]
  • Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? What would you like to tell the President? [I'd like to tell the president to shove that wagging finger of his down is pie hole]
  • Teachers can extend learning by having students ... Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. [work to vote him out of office so that he can work full time to try to be the planetary overlord since being 'president' just isn't enough]

What an a$$hole. At least it doesn't extend up into high school, because then I'd have to have an awkward conversation with our exchange student along the lines of "you know those 'history' classes you take over in China? Same thing."