Thursday, December 16, 2010

In Other News

Making people pay for stuff that they're taking is racist.

Unsurprisingly on the PD site:
"Comments are now closed for this entry."

As if they were ever open.

On a wholly unrelated note John Derbyshire calls out 'W' for his B.S. AIDS welfare in Africa quest.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Non Delivery Report

I'm so distressed over the looming pay-day loan bill (i.e. the grand 'tax cut' compromise which is no such thing, but rather a massive additional $900,000,000,000 charge up on the ol' Federal credit card) and the DREAM amnesty-for-law-breakers act that I left mild rant for my elected federal legislators. George Voinivich got off the lightest since so far as I know he's not a huge amnesty fan and he has the gaul to ask that government not be run as if it's budgeting were being done by a crack whore. Dennis Kucinich got off the worst since he had already voted his country down the road with his amnesty vote and I seriously doubt that he has anything against Argentinian economics. I left a mild rebuke for Sherrod Brown as well (who I recently caught lying on the radio about how unemployment insurance is funded) when I pointed out that I wouldn't mind if he helped kill the ghastly tax compromise and, maybe thought of Ohioans first and at least frowned upon the amnesty bill.

Of them all only Brown emailed me a form response back. I really rather he hadn't done so as it was 100% B.S., much like Brown himself. It said that the DREAM act was limited, bipartisan, etc., you know, everything CONgress usually says before the courts turn a travesty of law into even more of an abomination. I was so infuriated that I wrote back a rant on my phone:
Let me know when you favor laws for working Americans rather than those that favor the super rich and/or people who break our laws and I might view you more favorably.

By the way TARP and other number of congressional horrors were bipartisan as well, that buys you zero cover for your views.

Thanks for writing back though...
Since it was my phone, the e-mail reply to address wasn't properly reflected so of course my response from Brown to that e-mail was:
Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Which is pretty fitting when you think about it. A commentator over at Steve Sailer's site who goes by 'Captain Jack Aubrey' notes:
If they pass this piece of shite [DREAM amnesty] - a reward for breaking the law, at a time of 10% unemployment and $1.3 trillion deficits, and by a Congress who lost its mandate over a month ago - civil disobedience will be my mantra. ... It's clear that the government no longer gives a shit about what the people want, or what's in their best interests. They're just pillaging what's left of this country before they toss it into the trash.
And that's a good synopsis on our government today, especially our Federal government: one giant e-mail non-delivery report. Everything happens in what appears to be a bubble completely sealed off from the world; communication comes out, but nothing makes it's way in.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

THIS is what I'm worried about

Home owner refinances with a different lender, paying off their old loan, but their old mortgage is tied up in a security after it's paid off and now the servicer for the now non-existent loan (Bank of America) is foreclosing.

There's noise out there about getting a 'free' house not just a free house over the course of say, a year and a half to two years, but one stuck in legal limbo forever because the paper work concerning it is gone.

My fear is the flip side. I have a hope of one day paying off my house (to, ugh, Bank of America), but what if I sign over the last check and never hear from them because, as well, the paperwork is gone. BAC gets a crap load of money from me and I get...nothing. How do I call them out now? I'm sure if I call them they'll assure me that everything is on the up and up, but since 90% of their mortgages were 'securitized' I seriously doubt it. In fact I fear that I'm making a suckers bet. Renters are on the high side of this experiment while owners face a future of dubious legal ownership and possible liens on their property from the creditors to the bankrupt municipalities in which they live.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Cleveland Judiciary at Work

From the PD:

A Cleveland man was arraigned this week on attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and felonious assault charges for an assault on a Cleveland couple last year.

Last year being February '09, better late than never though!

Ryan Miday, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office, said DNA from a jacket found at the scene of the assault led police to charge Rodney Lomax with the crime.
Ooops! The days of Gattica are upon us, or more specifically, him. Hopefully the criminally stupid will be righteously punished.

Miday said Lomax and another man broke into a Cleveland home in the middle of the night on Feb. 14, 2009.

When the resident, a 31-year-old woman, returned home around 2:30 a.m. the two intruders confronted her.

"They forced her upstairs, duct-taped her mouth and ankles and tied her to her bed. Her 37-year-old boyfriend got home, less than an hour later, and was confronted by the men."

Miday said they put a gun to the man's head and duct-taped his hands and feet and demanded money.

"They forced him on his knees in the bathroom next to the tub," said Miday. "After filling the tub with water, they demanded more money and forced his head under water several times. When the boyfriend told them he had no more money, they struck him with a small bat. While this was going on, the female was raped."

Miday said eventually the woman was brought in the bathroom where they poured rubbing alcohol on the man and set his socks on fire. The woman doused the fire as the two men fled with the money, stealing his car, which was later recovered.
Well if it were up to me I'd say a public disemboweling would be in order, what say the Cleveland courts?

Lomax was released on $100,000 bond.
No doubt after only posting $10,000; oh well, never mind. Make your own justice for ye shall get none, apparently.


By the way, I tried to find more details for this heinous crime at the time it happened, but for whatever reason it didn't hit the wire, which is kind of odd; kind of making me jump to the usual Sandmich flavored conclusions, especially since they didn't say where in Cleveland.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

One Leads to the Other

From How I Joined Teach for America—and Got Sued for $20 Million :
It is a state of affairs that Philip K. Howard vividly describes in his recent The Collapse of the Common Good: parents sue teachers and principals for suspending their children, for allegedly meting out corporal punishment, and for giving failing marks.

No surprise then that stuff like this happens:
Florida student get pummeled while teacher sits back.

The moral of the story in short: get rid of lawyers and educrats.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paraphrasing TSA News

Quotes as I basically recollect them from NBC news last night in relation to the TSA brew-ha-ha:
Europeans are less likely to have an issue with such actions if they believe that it's for the common good
Those level headed Europeans and their deference to the powers that be: they all know they're looking out for the common good! On a completely unrelated note, I was wondering recently which reason was responsible for the development of Communism and Fascism, it obviously couldn't have been Europe....

Snideness aside, my one source for the European perspective, the British tech rag The Register, spends more time making fun of our government's backward idiocy on this issue than voicing some sort of American Elite imagined European "sheepness". Continuing...
...only 700 complaints with the new procedures thus far [so it's obviously overblown]
Only our Federal government could consider upwards of 700 complaints of sexual assault a rousing success. Imagine if their were allegations of rampant groping at Fox News, and one of their non-criminal screened employees kidnapped a woman and raped her, can you imagine the overlord being so sanguine about the situation?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Credit Where It's Due

A couple weeks ago the banking lobby got a horrible bill through Congress which would have allowed them to notarize property transfers, etc., where ever they pleased. Part of this has to do with the 'robosigning' scandal where Bank of America and others signed off on foreclosure documentation 'in bulk' and outside of the law of the municipalities where they were foreclosing. The icing on the cake is that at times they foreclosed on houses which not only weren't in foreclosure, but were houses on which the bank didn't even have a claim of any sort.

To correct this abuse, the banks sought to codify their conduct into law by allowing for 'least common denominator' notaries. For example, I could go to some easily corrupted/duped notary in South Dakota and transfer someone's property in North Carolina to myself (or so I've been led to believe), and the local court system which would clear up the mess would be crippled because the Federal law would force them to accept it.

How did the bankers get such a horrible law through Congress? Easy: voice vote in both houses. The spineless wonders couldn't get themselves to put their names down on such a wretched piece of legislation. Fortunately the blind squirrel that is our President found himself a nut and vetoed the law. I must say that I was amazed that someone (especially Obama) finally got a little bit of a clue that completely selling our nation out to the banks might not be the best idea.

Not to be completely thwarted the House decided to bring the bill up for an override attempt. There was a bit of suspense since many wondered why would the Democratic leadership bring it up for an attempt if they didn't want it passed?

Since the vote wasn't even remotely close (it wouldn't have even passed as a law, let alone overridden a veto) apparently the answer was: to cop out by not signing the law in passing it, but signing off on it's failure in a show of fake courage. The most interesting thing though was that when it came to this fake vote, one party voted to allow the banks to treat the law like a toilet while the other agreed to uphold the veto and unfortunately it came out the exact opposite as I would have hoped...

Techno Song Title of the Year

Well, Techno Song Title of Last Year, apparently:
I've Sold Your Organs On The Black Market To Finance The Purchase Of A Used Minivan
I wouldn't watch/listen to it though, the actual song is
signifigantly less amusing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Better to Not Travel

Hahaha....

Maybe if they spent more time protecting our borders and less time groping kids and nuns Homeland 'Security' might actually mean something.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Uncommentable

The Plain Dealer has a story up on some Muslim/Christian interfaith dinner and SHOCKED I was to find that a local Episcopal church was behind the scheme. This led me to brew up another (surprise) snide comment to post to their venerable website:
Why am I not surprised that the Episcopalians brewed this up. Only a matter of time before they cash their chips in with the mother church and convert their chapels into mosques and their women into camels.

However my wit and wisdom unfortunately didn't make it up onto their page as I guess they were finally on to me:


It would seem that you can't have more than a dozen or so comments deleted by their Komment Kontrol before they boot your account. What brought about many of the deleted comments brings up another story that I was intending on posting about.

Last week an honor student at a near (but not too near) west side high school in Cleveland was beset by a group of thugs after he got off of a bus and attempted to verbally defend his female friend from the sexual comments of one of the thugs. He was unfortunately viciously beaten for this 'crime' and to the best of my knowledge is still in the large hospital down the road.

Now one might be tempted to 'color' this crime with their own presumptions, and for the most part they would be correct. Backing up this line of thought is the fact that the initial Plain Dealer story by propagandist Pat Galbincea* made no mention of race and did not include mugshots of the two captured adult attackers which I know were available as a local TV station posted them that same day. Trolling through different comments it appears that the victim, Jeffrey Meadows Jr., was white while his female friend, Brandi Pritchett, was black; and thus no surprise that the attacking group was mostly black with at least one apparent Hispanic thrown in for good measure (like an evil Power Rangers squad of some sort).

Needless to say I had a couple comments to that story deleted, but they were much more innocuous than you might think since I had already had several very mild comments deleted over the past several months. I know one comment that was related to this story was along the lines of "since race isn't mentioned, is it safe to assume that it was a motivating factor, or not?". Judging from the fact that A) My comment along with many others were deleted and B) comments were closed after no doubt fighting a losing battle, I'd say that race was indeed a motivating factor even if my only source of information was the Plain Dealer's bogus story.

To be fair, the Plain Dealer did eventually post the mugshots...several days later. However the comment that broke my account was in relation to this story detailing a burglary investigation. The Plain Dealer wasted no time in posting a picture of the near-do-well, who happened to be white. I couldn't resist commenting:

Interesting that the PD posted this picture right away while it took them several days to post the mugshots from when that honor student got badly beat up...very interesting indeed. *rubs chin*

I'm not that talented of a writer and unfortunately my ability to convey my rage with the 'west side beating' story is well beyond the scope of my limited talents. There are so many factors at play here:

  • The fact that white people either have to go into hock up to their eyeballs to live in the suburbs, or live as unprotected victim group at the bottom of some bizzaro world racial caste system.

  • The fact that if white people do get an affordable enclave, that not only do they have no lawful method for keeping undesirables out, but their own government will force feed undesirables in via section 8 housing.

  • The fact that white reporters have no issue feeding their fellow whites to the savages that they have to live around.

  • Black men and white men who date black women? This story on the killing of a Polish immigrant Marine sergent and his wife at the hands of his fellow marines says it all, and you probably wouldn't have heard of it were it not for a momentary blurb on the Drudge.



* I really don't see how reporters like Michael Sangiacomo, Pat Galbincea, Donna J. Miller and others can show up to do their job. It's not just because I think they're amoral cretins for be a bunch of lying sacks, there's plenty of people who do that for a living. No it's the fact that a machine could do their job. Does one have to go to journalism school to learn how to leave information out of a story and not ask embarrassing questions and generally do as little work as possible? It's like working at an auto shop where your job is to make sure that cars are not fixed and leave broken AND the customers know this. It seems like it would (and does) make for a very boring, low paying, and unstable job; the worst of all worlds as far employment goes.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Election

As the Cuyahoga county results prove, the problem isn't the politicians, but the voters who put them there. After all the corruption from Democratic single party rule of the county, the voters chose...single party Democratic rule, BRILLIANT! And Dennis Kucinich? Sure it was the tightest race that he's had recently, but really. I wonder how the Democrats even vote for him in the primary, it's not like they could chose someone more incompetent who would lose the district.

That being said, I've brewed up a simple, fiendish that the Republicans can use to make Obamacare fold in on itself: pass a law that all waivers handed out by Health Ministry apply to every individual and business as well. It may well be the one thing that could get out of both houses and Obama could be pressed into signing, and the regulatory fiats would fill that Obamanation full of so many holes that it would become meaningless (if our poor finances don't render that, and many other things, meaningless as well first).

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Getting Clean

Not the first thing I'd think of when seeing (or smelling) a donkey:


Hecho en Meh-hee-ko!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Photo Association

Did anyone else have the same, unfortunate reaction to the MSN headline photo below?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gardening 102

Here's a sample of goodies taken from the garden this year:

Despite my garden being smaller in size I could still pick a container such as the one on the right every two or three days. Some notes from the photo:



  • At the bottom left are cherry tomatoes, and nestled in with them is a funky green pepper. This pepper was grown from the seeds of one of those small, colored sweet peppers (looks like a hot pepper but isn't) that's been turning up in the stores. Obviously I lack the magic to color mine (I'm sure they use some easy ripening technique).
  • Also in both containers are a variety of funky colored and/or sized tomatoes. We had picked up a pack of hybrid tomato seeds to spice up our tomato growing experience and unfortunately I'll have to rate the experiment as a slight failure. Output from the plants was sketchy and the hybrids were 'hybrided' even more with cross pollination between the breeds leading to giant yellow tomatoes which couldn't be visually judged for ripeness, and little red/purple ones that were a complete mystery. I also noted this year that anything smaller than a roma tomato is too prone to having their skins break. This happens due to the plant getting too much water, but I guess my patch is too wet since even not watering the plants during a drought still resulted in too much water. I've resolved that our tomatoes next year will be exclusively romas since they aren't the worisome, mold prone, small, bursting tomatoes, and not the management headache of the larger ugly ones.
  • In the middle are Japanese/Asian eggplants. Last year we grew regular globe eggplants which proved fairly bullet proof and productive even in a scant amount of dirt. I decided to grow the Asian variety this year since they're a little more flexible (their skins don't have to be removed). However the seedlings and slightly larger plants proved to be quite sensitive and required early babysitting to make sure they didn't suddenly die off. The fruits as well didn't prove as impervious as those of the globe variety and tended to wilt within days if not cooked right away. Lastly I also determined that, alas, no one at my house likes eggplant all that much.
  • In the tray on the right is an eggplant colored pepper. They taste the same as the regular green bell pepper and, interestingly enough, look pretty much the same too if you cook it long enough; but they do look pretty!
  • Not pictured:
    • My two rather unproductive zuke plants. Last year one zuke plant provided more zukes than we could possibly eat and this year an early onset of powdery mildew restricted my zuke take. Better luck next year! (I bought a spray on chemical that proved quite successful with the tomatoes that should help the zukes next year).
    • Watermelons. A little more success this year than last (maybe one OK watermelon last year, and I'll say four #3 soccer ball sized decent ones this year), and next year I plan to grow the vines onto our deck which should help production. In the future I'm staying away from the fancy dark colored ones and sticking with the regular green/white melon. Sometimes there's a reason something is the most popular.
    • Peas. Gardening tip: don't plant peas in full sun.
    • Onions. Gardening tip: rooting plants don't do well in soil that locks in too much moisture. I plan to container grow these next year along with the carrots and parsnips which didn't work out so well this year either.
    • Beans. I've all but given up on ever having a successful bean crop.
    • Non-zuke squashes. I still have leftover squashes from last year. I'll probably give the acorn squashes another shot next year.
    • Cukes. I had an early good run with these before they quickly succumbed to the dreaded squash wilt disease which is carried by my most hated bug of all time (at the moment), the striped cucumber beetle. Ooof! I hate them with the power of a thousand suns! Screw 'organic', I'm going to spray those bastards to death next year for crimping my take of spicy hot pickle fixuns!

On a related note our fine Federal Government is blowing $1,100,000 dollars getting hoodies on the East Side to engage in 'urban gardening'. My own modest gardening plot is maybe, MAYBE, a tenth of an acre; and without forced time off this year and my weekends sponged up by some side jobs that came up, much of my plot had overgrown with weeds and was rather unproductive. However, my fellow Clevelanders on the east side will be given quarter acre plots and my first thought was, "how will they do that with their regular job...oh, wait...nevermind".

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Report From the Old People Front

  • Metamucil = Tang flavored slime. If you like Tang (which I do) this can be good, if not, then that's your own fault.
  • Walmart's Equate Metamucil knock-off = Off-Tang flavored grit. Apparently making something slightly not-foul tasting is harder than it seems.
  • Sugar-free pink lemonade Metamucil = In a word, disgusting. It is somehow every way inferior to every individual piece of it's ingredient list.
  • Sugar-free pink lemonade Metamucil made with sugar free lemonade = In a word, tolerable.
  • Protein powder = Powdered milk aged in a vacuum bag
  • Protein powder + Metamucil = Slightly off tasting orange creamcicle. A winner in my book. Throw it in a blender with some milk, ice, and a banana for a great old person's breakfast.
  • Protein powder + Sugar-free pink lemonade Metamucil made with sugar free lemonade = Old person's lemon sherbet, enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Final Fantasy Does Casual

Final Fantasy VIII


Yeah, I only just played the game on the re-release on the PS3, but judging by the sales it's the first time a lot of people have played the game. With so much separation of time (the game was originally released in 1999) I figured that it would be easy to separate it from it's big brother Final Fantasy VII, a game which dominates any role playing game conversation. However, that proved not to be so easy.

One of the biggest drawbacks of Final Fantasy VII was the grouping of the skill tree: there wasn't any. Every skill a player could have (i.e., cast heal, do more damage, speed up, etc.) was a separate item that had to be equipped to the character. The system itself was monstrously flexible and I've not played a game before or since with such a flexible skill tree, but if your players skill items became unequipped as part of playing the game (which happened too frequently) you were left with a giant box of items with no recollection of who gets what items.

The team behind FF8 sought to rectify this by giving skill groupings which could be applied to any player. This got around some of the management issues with the FF7 system, but it also robbed some flexibility since I often had skills being applied to characters who didn't need them (for example, stronger magic on a fighter). Rather than leaving well enough alone, they decided to introduce their own skill tree issues by applying magic spells held by the characters to their stats. This led to me not using magic hardly at all through the whole game since casting the spell bound to the character's 'strength' would make them weaker and, especially with powerful spells, I might not be able to refill that spell anytime soon if at all.

Overall though, an enjoyable romp. This was quite possibly the best looking game put out for the PS1 (even FFIX doesn't look as good). Due to either oversights or intentional design this is also by far the easiest of any Final Fantasy game. As an example I was able to grind several of my characters up to level 100 within 70 hours of play time, the time it usually takes to get characters up into the 60s. An infinite cash trick, easy to pull off critical hits, and ridiculously overpowered overdrives made the back quarter of the game, a time typically when FF games separate casual players from hardcore, an entertaining breeze.



Final Fantasy XIII


Like FF8, FF13 follows on the heels of a Final Fantasy game that featured a very flexible system even though it was difficult to manage at times. In Final Fantasy XI, combat commands were queued up into something like a firewall table where if the first command were true (i.e., if a character was near death), then a command would be performed (i.e., cast 'healing') and if it wasn't true it would go to the next rule and so forth. This proved wonky at times when going into specialized battles as different command sets might have to be queued (there was a limit of a dozen if I recall correctly). FF13 sought to get around all that strategy and flexibility of the previous title by doing away with it entirely and giving the player six (largely undocumented) prebuilt command queues that the onscreen characters follow, making for a game that largely plays itself.

The faults with the game pile up after that. To properly follow the story at times I had to read a lot of material stored in one of the pause menus because it was never related during the game. Instead of starting at the beginning of the story, the game starts about a third of the way through and uses flashbacks to round it out. This wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that it's uber-linear game construction leaves the gamer with characters he knows and cares little about for far too long (at least the game is very pretty to look at). When the game finally gets good for one of it's thirteen chapters(!), several optional battles provide mini-cutscenes that are much more entertaining than the brooding crap that dominates the rest of the game.

The good chapter in particular led me to believe that the mediocrity of the rest of the title was a design decision instead of an unresolvable development issue, and since FFXIII has outsold FFXI despite a smaller install base, I'd say that was the case. So three sandmiches for game quality, and five sandmiches for a triumph of capitalism!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Almost an Idea

From Steve Sailer's page on 'The Pledge':
It's basically a George W Bush Redux. It advocates no useful policy on enforcing the borders. It merely advocates (buried way down on page 20) to reaffirm the right of states to enforce immigration laws - a right they already have.

And I'm gunna go out on a limb and wager that it says nothing about eliminating racial preferences or CRA.
And that's the long and short of why Republicans will be lucky to hold anything of any worth, and an even better reason why our country may well be boned. Nothing meaningful on Wall Street lawlessness or entitlement spending either (Denninger points out that every tax dollar is eaten up by Medicaid/care,unemployment/welfare, and Social Security with EVERYTHING else being financed by debt).

Two points need to be made, I think:

  1. The amount of debt being cranked out by our government(s) is sopping up every bit of private capital. This not only degrades private investment, it also gives our overseas dollars an unproductive home (foreign entities buying government debt instead of products from our private sector). The fact that debt was issued to bail out the debt collectors is disgusting to an incomprehensible degree and why the Republicans aren't making a point to try and claw that mess back is beyond me (well, not necessarily that, more like confirming my worst suspicions).
  2. Eliminating government debt would have a fairly quick beneficial impact, but a bunch of sacrifice must be sold and, at least in my mind, nothing is more caustic to selling shared sacrifice within the nation than illegal immigration (and to a large extent corporate legal immigration). It's hard to sell tax increases when everyone knows who will be paying (three words: earned income tax credit), and hard to sell spending cuts when everyone knows who will get cut first (witness Obama cutting medicare to finance his health care fiasco). At least if we had a grasp of who our fellow Americans were and who we were trapped in our boundaries with it would be easier to come to terms with what has to be done.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Upside-Down

From here:
There’s an effort underway amongst Democrats to re-brand the Bush tax cuts...as “the Obama tax cuts“.
...
Under the "Obama tax cut plan," your tax rates would either stay the same as they were before or go up
No surprise there, it sounds pretty much like anything good that might have the word "Obama" in front of it (or behind it).

Friday, September 10, 2010

No Censorship for You

Google complains that blocking Internet content is a trade barrier:
"Internet censorship is really a trade barrier, and is operating that way for US companies that are trying to do business abroad," he grumbled.
You go Google! Why, not too long ago someone tried to hide the Lincoln Memorial and Pat Buchanan, I'm glad that they're fighting...oh wait that was Google.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Undo Influence

The Parma/Parma Heights area suffers from over taxation, poor governance, sloppily run schools and an unfriendly business environment (my current workplace was threatened with not getting an occupancy permit by Parma because our water heater was set to a useful temperature that was still colder than that in most people's houses). Little surprise then that it is one of Obama's favorite places since he gave his big rally speech this past Friday at 'Tri-C west' (Cuyahoga Community College West is where Kid Sandmich is rounding out his High School education), and two and half years earlier he gave a campaign speech at Valley Forge high school (where our exchange student went last year) and it also happens to be right across the street from Tri-C west.

I wonder if he could at least send over enough government gravy to complete the road construction in the area that's been going on for more than a year so that it will be all cleaned up for his next visit.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Watching Movies

I saw more movies this past week than I think I have the rest of the year (thus far)...
  • Goldfinger (cable): the local cable co-op channel (no ads, uncut, etc) had the hi-def, remastered copy of this film on. I'm tempted to say that this film didn't even look this good when it was first released, and still so much fun!
  • Zombieland (DVD): Good to sit through once, but the 88 minute playing time felt padded.
  • Repo Men (Blu-Ray): Not good to sit through once; essentially a two hour long ad for playing video games and not watching movies.
  • The Expendables: A cheeseball plot provides a weak skeleton for copious, musclebound violence. Another fun one to see, though Mrs. Sandmich didn't care for it quite so much. Perhaps it was the 30 minutes or it took for the machine gun noise to finally leave our ears?
  • Inception: After seeing this I thought it was odd that Leonardo DiCaprio has done a pretty good job in everything that he's been in except, in my opinion, Titanic, which is probably the film that he's most known for. It's not an age thing either since he was in Quick and the Dead before Titanic and he was still better in the former than the latter. Anyway, a good head trippy movie that I'll probably pick up, though no one will watch it with me.
  • Pirana 3D: Basically an educational film where the outsides and insides of the human anatomy are presented in a 3D blow apart format (with some body parts, ahem, favored more than others). If I could have though, I would have liked to have watched the last third of the movie without 3D as I was sick of wearing the glasses.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Judging Poorly

I'd not noted it at the time, but a little while ago the victim of a dreadful crime which I had posted about commented about it on my blog and rounded out the story with this bit:
I have been trying to point the finger for over a year now and the kid who stabed me the judge let him go cause why?He was a minor and she did not want to ruin his life by putting him in jail. But what about me?
...
The judge who had the case was in trouble cause she just had a case were she let a kid go everyone said was dangerous and she said she did not want to ruin his life he got out of jail and shot someone in the face days later!
They tried to get her taken out of office.
Her name is Judge keough.

Judge Kathleen Keough as it turns out. Needless to say, you have the mind of a tree stump if you vote for Judge Keough, a Judge who herself should be jailed for gross incompetence (guess which party endorsement she has...oh come on, it's not that hard!)

I bring it up because it turns out that Cleveland has at least one other brutally incompetent judge in Judge Alison Floyd:
We want to know why a Cuyahoga County judge just released an accused 16-year-old charged with sexually assaulting an eight year old.
...
Floyd's latest decision is just another in a string of questionable ones.

In the spring of 2006, two teens accused of starting a fire at a school got a big break from Floyd. They caused $300,000 worth of damage. One was sentenced to the custody of mom and the other walked because the prosecutions' main witness never showed.

In another case, she ruled there was no evidence a teen with a loaded gun threatened to shoot a cop.

She said prosecutors failed to show probable cause. That teen later pled guilty in adult court to the charges and got 12 years in prison.

Another Floyd decision: two teens robbed and stabbed a man in downtown Cleveland. Floyd gave the main attacker probation.
All that and they even missed (at least) one!
A Juvenile Court judge has ordered three teenage girls who were victims of sexual assault to submit to polygraph tests, baffling prosecutors and upsetting the victims.

Cuyahoga Juvenile Court Judge Alison Floyd ordered victims connected with four separate cases to be examined after she had found their attackers delinquent, the Juvenile Court equivalent of guilty.
Now I'll bet there's no way that you'll be able to guess her party affiliation as well!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Salves to the Grind

Staff workers for Ohio's largest teacher Union have gone on strike, apparently protesting the slave like conditions of their job:
"OEA [the teacher's union] officers and managers need to practice what they preach. It's a pretty high form of hypocrisy for OEA officers and managers to be giving us this treatment when they expect us to protect OEA members from the same treatment out in the schools," said Norm Young, president of the Professional Staff Union.
Fair enough, maybe?
Most of the 110 striking workers - all members of the OEA's Professional Staff Union - earn more than $100,000 a year, according to reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. For instance, labor-relations consultants - who make up about 80 percent of the striking workers - were paid an average salary of $111,350 in 2009.
Ooof, maybe the teachers union should give that union a taste of what's coming down the pike for teachers in Ohio and cancel their pension, tie their raises to an arbitrary set of political goals, and drop a 10% pay cut on them. Overall, and not surprisingly, I think that the teacher's union is getting a substandard product for their dues.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Raised Eyebrow

From here:
Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo picked the sister of his longtime housemate to share supervision of the scandal-plagued county boards that decide appeals of property assessments.
Housemate?


Uh huh....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Union to Rule Them All

Mish notes that the Federalies are looking to nationalize unions over governmental safety positions, further bankrupting states that were wise enough to avoid such a trap (i.e. very few):
The act would require all states to allow police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel to collectively bargain with taxpayers. If they don't create their own system, the federal government will impose one on them.

States, I believe, are fully within their rights to ignore such a law, or come up with some kabuki method to avoid it's impact, we'll see.

In relation to this someone in the comments referred to D.C. as 'Mordor on the Potomac', and I was amazed that I had to make up the pic below:


Please be kind, it took me all of 15 minutes!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Safety First

From here:
Police were on the lookout for a nude bicyclist yesterday in the area of James Day Park.
...
Although the man was not wearing any clothes, police said he did have a helmet on.

More Econ 101 for Reporters

Mark Gillispie over at The Plain Dealer writes:
big drop in water usage led to Cleveland's Division of Water collecting $18 million less in revenue last year than in 2008, a state audit shows.

That revenue loss, from $232 million to $214 million, occurred despite an increase in rates in 2009
This ranks right up there with the 'crime drops despite crowded prisons' bit that the New York Times runs once every couple of years. Now Mr. Gillispie, if you go to a grocery store and apples are $1 a pound, how many might you buy? If you go back a couple days later and they're $5 a pound would you buy more or fewer than you did earlier?

It's true that water is an essential purchase of sorts - people will have to buy a certain amount no matter what the price. However, there's also a level of discretion in it as well. At what price is not worth it to water your lawn any more? At what price is bottled water preferable? etc. I know at the current price level I'd be at about break even for installing rain water barrels to water the garden, so it stands to reason that if it the price of water increased then even more marginal water usage would be pushed off the water department's ledger.

I'd guess at that point the water department would increase rates again and again until Northeast Ohio turns to third world water usage patterns with everyone having their own water tank on top of their house.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Not Defending Us Here or There

The Federal government's abject refusal to control illegal immigration (indeed their active efforts to keep it from happening!) is disturbing enough, but one would think that if they're spending billions in war they would get their 'i's dotted and their 't's crossed. From Andy McCarthy:

Yesterday, after three months of delay, the State Department finally issued its congressionally mandated annual terrorism report. It shows that the United States has not even designated the Taliban as a terrorist organization — not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.
...
Yet, as you can see, the State Department does not list the Taliban organizations with which we are at war, even though it continues to list the Basques, the Tamil Tigers, Kahane Chai (an Israeli group that disbanded about 16 years ago), a renegade wing of the Irish Republican Army, and several other groups that have nothing to do with anti-American terrorism.

Just further proof that at every link in the chain our government is either passively or actively incompetent.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hardcore Bento

An Indonesian entrepreneur runs a bento crafting service that features meals that have quite the level of craftsmanship:


Nothing says Dora like hunks of eel

I love how they locked down the photos of their bentos in Flickr. Does that mean that they've paid licensing fees to Disney,etc. for their food crafts? Or is that...don't ask, don't tell? I know where my money is at!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Over-engineering

Let's see if we can tag the target age group for this product:

It finally occurred to me one day while driving around that it's largely a waste of time for Toyota to spend a bunch of time and money desiging a car for whom it's drivers will not live long enough to see the end of it's warranty....not that I know anyone involced with it's American made manufacturing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Wonder Who Obama's Plan Favors?

Big, big surprise here. Hold onto your seats!
While whites disapprove of the [healthcare] law by nearly two-to-one (55% to 29%), non-whites approve of the measure by roughly the same margin (52% to 28%)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

*Chuckle*

From here:
The one-day increase for June 30 totaled $165,931,038,264.30 - bigger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007 and larger than the $140 billion in savings the new health care bill will produce over its first 10 years.
'Will' produce? Hehehehe!
Maybe there is something to that 'too much CO2' business as there's obviously a lack oxygen in the atmosphere!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Very Late to the Party

Over the weekend a friend inquired what I thought about the highly publicized comments that Roger Ebert had in regards to video games not being art. I never read his actual comments and didn't really entertain a thought that they were relevant because:
  1. Ebert strikes me as the kind of guy who has either never played a video game, or has only ever played Solitare/Tetris (no Minesweeper though, too much pressure!), and...
  2. I figured Ebert's opinions on video games weren't going to be any better than his comments on movies. We're talking about a guy whose idea of good cinema begins and ends with something being subtitled and filmed with black and white film stock.

In (very mild) fairness to Ebert, 'video games as art' adherents usually trot out the same two or three titles to defend their point of view (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, which were both made by the same team, and occasionally Flower is cited as well, though there's some debate if Flower is an actual game). There are other examples to be sure (including video games in general in my opinion), but I guess it's easiest to point out the flaws in Ebert's argument by pointing out the most obvious examples of where it fails.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not High on Jews

At the YMCA they turn on closed captioning on the TVs so that people can watch one of the four screens since there is no mechanism to listen to them. In another case of hard hitting journalism, CNN had a story on about the final days of Michael Jackson and someone was talking about an extreme amount of antiseptic, except the closed captioning translated it as:
"Such an extreme amount of antisemitism could only be administered intravenously"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Banking Commissars

From Wikipedia:
A political commissar was a high-ranking functionary at a military headquarters who held coequal rank and authority with the military commander of the unit. Political commissars were established to control the military forces by the Communist party. No military order might be issued which did not have the prior approval of both the commander and the commissar.

Although lower-level political officers never received the same military training as commanding officers, most commissars were high-ranking party bosses and never had any military training or talent.

From the WSJ on banking regs in the financial overhaul bill in CONgress:
The presence of a diversity czar is one way Congress and the White House can intimidate these regional presidents to go along with the policies they favor. No Fed bank president will want to take the risk of being hauled before Congress to answer a report that the banks under his jurisdiction aren't racially or gender sensitive enough in their lending.
It's rather dubious how independent the Fed is from these pressures as it is. It looks to me that what incompetence there is at the Fed can be tied directly to Congressional action (google 'Community Reinvestment Act' for proof), so obviously more Congressional interference will make it better!

I wonder if this Commissar will be able to stand in for lefty environmental concerns eventually as well or if that will require a completely different Commissar. I'd imagine that it would okay to do double duty since they're already doing bank work, and it doesn't matter that they know nothing about that.

Continuing from Wikipedia:
Following the disasters of 1942, the political command was abolished.
I guess the current great recession was not a bad enough disaster; I wait with baited breath for one that is!

What's that have to do with anything?

From a story on the Japanese asteroid probe returning to earth:
Local Aboriginal tribespeople were to assist in the recovery of the canister to ensure no damage is done to sites sacred to their ancient culture, which stretches back more than 40,000 years.
I think that if your people have been around for that long and the best you can do is to live off of government money from people who have only lived there a couple hundred years then your ancestors largely wasted their time. To paraphrase a line from Sea Lab: 40,000 years of stupid.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oversecuring Underproducers

A billion dollars to host the G8/G20?

Is humanity (or more importantly, Canadians) going to be a $1,000,000,000 better off because these idiots decided to get together? I would postulate that we'd probably be several times that better off if in fact they never did, but that's neither here nor there.

With this meeting I can't help but think about how the villainous group 'The Apostles of the Stars' in the manga Black Cat used their super powers to trash such an event and kill everyone involved. Perhaps the Canadians came to this same conclusion and decided to blow real money to protect themselves from cartoon characters because there's no one attending that meeting who is important enough to warrant that level of coddling and security, especially in order to isolate them from a worldwide public that largely doesn't give a rat's ass about any of these characters.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Two Police Officer Tales

One:
A simple educated guess that a motorist is speeding is all the evidence a police officer needs to write an ironclad speeding ticket, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.


Two:
Patrolmen Matthew Prince and David Muniz were assigned to investigate. Instead, they drove past Angel Bradley-Crockett's nude body without stopping or shining their spotlight and told a dispatcher to have ODOT pick up a dead deer.

Intellectual Content Lunacy

It looks like Microsoft is close to scoring Hulu for Xbox Live subscribers. I didn't think much of it at first since I had watched Hulu on occasion through the PS3 web browser, but I hadn't for a while since...well, there's nothing I want to watch on Hulu. I guess though that Hulu disabled PS3 viewing some time ago because, for reasons that don't make sense:
This is actually pretty clear cut. Content providers are uncomfortable with the concept of video streaming on the PS3, because the console is typically connected to a television. This content delivery gray area is enough to somehow screw with, or simply muddy, their licensing arrangements or somesuch, so they're exercising caution.
So distilled, you can hook a Windows or Apple computer to your TV to watch Hulu, but not a Sony computer that has 'PS3' stamped on it? Even though I'm more than free to download boots of those same products to watch them on my PS3? What am I missing?

There are various wonky workarounds on the 'net, but they require the use of a different computer.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baby Boomers Steal The Future

From here:
It also includes another $24 billion to bail out state governments and their public employee unions, and could see the last minute addition of $23 billion more targeted specifically for teachers unions.
I guess it's only fair that the lazy government workers get bailed out since the lazy steel workers and lazy autoworkers (among others) already got bailed out, but their private fiscal shortcomings are about to turn into government debt as well, debt which is probably already at a level which cannot be paid back.Their shall be little left over other than a dried out, picked over carcass by the time the boomers have moved on.

They did a pretty good job of destroying the present, but I guess that wasn't enough since the future must be destroyed as well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Language Barrier

After closing out a Microsoft support call which was brought about from a bug which was supposedly patched, but not, I was asked to fill out a survey. One of the questions concerned the communication skills of the technicians, and since one part was with some Chinese via e-mail who communicated in manner befitting operational instructions for a third rate TV and the other was on the phone in India ('nuff said), I gave a rather low rating. On the survey they wanted to know why it was low, but not really:


My guess would be, they alreay know the answer themselves if you don't answer 'too technical'.

Monday, May 10, 2010

All for One...

Denninger (among others) notes:
Since the US is "required" to contribute 17% of the IMF's funding, this means you, the taxpayer, have just been hit for $48.6 billion to cover the debts of nations who spend more than they make - and no, they're not the United States (or the states IN The United States.)

It gets better. The Fed's "swaplines" that have been reopened this evening could conceivably pay for part or all of the ECB's foreign bond buying.

What this means is that the U.S. has just saw fit loan money to Europe. On what planet does that make sense? As well the Fed is going to swap countless dollars for EU debt and Euros, ensuring that if Europe blows up so do we and, hopefully vice-versa.

The term 'punting' is usually used in reference to pushing these problems off into the future, but a better sports analogy would be extending the playing time of the game in the hopes that your team can somehow come up with a way to overcome it's seventy point deficit, never minding the fact that the other team is going to keep racking up points the longer the game goes.

Friday, May 07, 2010

You're a Winner!

Unless you're a U.S. citizen, in which case you're a loser!
The winners from the 2010 Diversity Visa Program!
WTF is a Diversity Visa, and how could it not be awful?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Liberals Screwing Over Liberals

My brother, a teacher in Colorado, points to this story about a pending law in that state to punish teachers whose students do not do good:
Senate Bill 191, which passed the Senate on Friday and was introduced into the House on Monday, seeks to tie 50 percent of teacher and principal evaluations to student growth and would change the way teachers get and keep tenure.
Now Republicans liking something like this doesn't surprise me since even outside of 'good intentions' there would certainly be a bit of a revenge motivation to get back at the unions. However, my favorite bit with this is Democrats passing this stuff onto the very unions who support them (Whoops!). The reason for this is that they figure that there must be some secret missing sauce that is causing reprobate students to fail, especially blacks and Hispanics, and that if they antagonize the teachers enough they will quit holding out and produce the desired results of turning third world immigrants into brain surgeons.

Best of luck on that boys! And if you're a teacher who gets to teach losers, then prepare to screwed by The Man (and if you're The Man, prepare for no one to want to teach your losers).

Out of Sorts

I was listening to yet more college radio, and after the seventies funk marathon ended they turned up their sweet sound of the hills with bands like 'Billy Bob and the Pig Pokers' that feature five minute air jug serenades to their moonshine destined corn patch and then...wait...is that...Natalie Merchant?!


Guess so!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Double Improper Knockoff

This post by Justin encouraged me to finally get around to posting the pic below. It's of the contents of a claw machine game located at a local dive, and I was struck as I walked by that they had what appeared to be toys of the Japanese Doraemon character. Upon further inspection these were shown to be cheap knockoffs labeled 'Care Bears':

Interesting that they also have a red one that seems to look like the knockoff Doraemon somewhat illegally used by the FCC*.

* Why the FCC (or any number of other governmental regulatory agencies for that matter) has a 'Kids Zone' is beyond me; but no matter as I believe there is 'no controlling legal authority' on the control of the Dorarmon character in the U.S.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hopefully We'll Stop at 3rd

From The Register, quoting Neil Armstrong:
For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature.

Unfortunately Mr. Armstrong, this will be just another of many such indignities I predict. This was preceded by the rot of our manufacturing ability and political system, and will probably be followed quickly by our health care and (what's left of) our education systems, and ending with a post-Soviet style rapid decay of our military. Maybe not, but we are flat friggin' broke and have been for years, and only a money printing binge by the Fed and a debt explosion at every level of government has papered it over.

It was like when Kid Sandmich asked me about how bad it was that Obama was getting rid of so many of our nukes, to which I said the number of nukes we'd like to have is more than what he would leave us with, but the number that we can actually afford is dramatically lower.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Bachelorette

My wife was watching Bones, a show I only watch on the odd occasion in the hopes that the characters on the show get some brain eating disease that makes them kill each other to get at their delicious liver juices, and they were talking about a fictional book starring a female forensic anthropologist written by the main character who is also a female forensic anthropologist. Mrs. Sandmich explained that the main character in the fictional book was named Kathy Reichs, the same name as the forensic anthropologist that wrote actual books about a fictional female forensic anthropologist on whom the fictional TV show about a female forensic anthropologist is based...yeah, something like that!

The first thought that sprang to mind was the caustic reaction that Mrs. Sandmich had to a Bjork video I showed her a month or two ago even though, apparently, Kathy Reichs is the real life Bachelorette:

Friday, March 19, 2010

How to Unsubscribe from Verisign Spam

Tell them everything about yourself and hope that they wouldn't possibly ever use it to send you spam of other sorts, or sell it others who would:

I should note that I finally decided to try to end their spam coming to me when they decided to send the same spam at the same time to two different work e-mail addresses that go to the same mailbox.

Update: It would appear that since they are now owned by Symantec that cooler heads have prevailed and the form now only requires an email address and communication preference (i.e., none).  Maybe I'll remove the ban hammer that I put on them on our spam firewall....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good Sense

Mrs. Sandmich tried to get tickets to the Overlord's local visit so that our exchange student could take in a presidential visit, but the crowds for tickets were too much. I feel like a bit of a layabout since there's a variety of issues that I care very deeply about, but none so much that I'd be willing to take a day off of work so that I could camp out in forty degree Cleveland weather on the off chance that I'd get to berate the president about it.

It's all for naught anyway. Obama is blowing what's left of his credibility on one last windmill charge, and he may yet bring it down, but alas, it's windmill and not a dragon.

Reminds me of a bit I saw in the comments section of a site in relation to the UK government, but equally applicable here. He said his government could take advantage of a program for organizations that have 'more money than good sense'; he conceded that the government was broke, but that he still stood by the statement.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ford vs Toyota

While Toyota over-grovels over a possible, yet very rarely occurring, manufacturing defect, my brother-n-law had reminded me of Ford's exploding tire issue. Toyota is paying out of pocket to fix the issue they're confronted with, even though it looks like they have grounds to fight back against it and it certainly isn't anything they did intentionally even if true; but what did Ford owners get? The owners who purchased a car which shipped with intentionally deflated tires (probably to cover up some manufacturing sloppiness) that had a tendency to blow up and send people flying off the road ? $500 to buy another of the same car. Nice job standing behind that product!

My coworker loves her Ford, but I have to admit that after looking it over it seems like they gave up making it when it was about 95% of the way done. It was almost as if once it looked like a 'car' they felt they no longer had to engineer and build any more of it (though their history shows that they have a tendency to give up even before that).

Monday, March 01, 2010

Exchange Student Notes #4

(We are hosting an exchange student from China for this school year. Sally is her phony baloney American name. Previous episodes are here, here, and here)

  • There had been a few awkward moments after Sally arrived and we would be watching something on TV with Chinese being spoken and she would get a puzzled look on her face and say that she couldn't understand them. At one point we said that perhaps they were speaking Cantonese, at which point she would get an even more puzzled look. "You know", we'd say "the other dialect spoken in China? We call it Cantonese over here, or perhaps it's Mandarine?" (us not knowing which she spoke). Upon hearing this she would shake her head 'no' and say that China only speaks Chinese. Even I felt uncomfortable asserting that I know something so obvious about a country that someone who is actually from there does not, so I left it at that and figured that I had gotten something wrong. When her more worldy sister came to visit though, she set her right and noted the two dialects. Is this something that's ignored in Chinese schools? Seems like a pretty deal to gloss over.

  • Having a firmer grasp on the diallect Sally speaks and how it sounds , I thought about asking her if she understood this bit, but upon watching the whole thing, I decided that it would probably be best if I didn't...

  • Favorite question from Sally thus far: "why is everything here made in China?". Good question.
  • A recent incident reminded me of an earlier story that I had failed to relate. We were driving home from the airport after having first picked Sally up and on the way home, with these weirdos she had just met, she sneezed. We all said "gazuntite" at the same time without thinking much about it and she looked at use liked we tried steal her soul or something. We then had to explain, etc. However just the other day I sneezed (not an infrequent event) and she said 'bless you', again, without apparently thinking about it. It will be interesting when (if?) she goes back to China and she catches herself saying that to sneezing acquintences.

  • A certain friend of mine said that he ever went to Asia he would hang out at the KFCs since he would find the rest of the food options unedible. Well I've been surprised that given a fast food choice Sally defaults to fried chicken of some sort since it is the most like some food dishes back home. Fired chicken: the lingua franca food of the planet!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tech Delusion

From this story on the cyber attacks against Google:
... the NYT story was quick to point out that even though the attacks originated in China, that doesn’t mean that the Chinese government, or any other Chinese source for that matter, launched the attacks.
Yup, you keep right on believing that.

If such behaivior is tolerated it really doesn't matter. Kind'a like when I send Amazon and e-mail when there is an abuse with their cloud service and they reply with an ad for said service ("One of the biggest advantages of Amazon EC2 is that developers are given complete control of their instances. ")

Monday, February 15, 2010

Emaciated Logic

Snow days deprive kids of food

That obviously explains why there's so many fatties in Cleveland, so many in fact that the Y gave away free short term memberships for the first couple months of this year in an effort to reduce the gravitational issues Cuyohoga county is causing the planet.

What's interesting is that those taking up the free memberships aren't the scooter bound 'Hut' that I see motoring around the mall, and more people who were in okay shape but couldn't afford a gym membership (surprise). Oh well, only a couple more months of clogged aerobic machines and classes (though the response was so overwhelming that some people get to take up a rain check in April).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti

Just...can't...work...up...concern, sorry. Here's some pictures of the devestation though:


Oh wait...sorry, those are both from before the earthquake.