Tuesday, October 31, 2006
So, Let Me Get This Straight (II)
If enough people vote for Corker, the left will run more pictures of his daughter smooching on other women?
Because, if that’s the case, I wish I could vote for the guy. His daughter is freakin’ hot.
Hot, I tell you.
I’m David J and I approved this message.
Another Bit o’ Lanegan
A while back, I noted that Mark Lanegan was doing a project with the Soulsavers. It looks like the album is slowly moving forward and the first taste of it can be found (apparently only for a limited time) on the Soulsavers’ MySpace page, and, even in its demo version, it’s mighty tasty.
“Ghosts of You and Me” is groovy, messy, loud, and tense--and I’m loving it. Unfortunately, the MySpace player is a touchy little thing and you might have a difficult time getting it to play the full song. Be persistent, though, and you’ll get a taste of what might just be an awfully damn good album. The song keeps playing through my head (which, honestly, is making it easier to get through my work day).
So, Let Me Get This Straight
John Kerry wants to let us all know that if you don’t work hard and eat your Wheaties, you may well be stuck in with all the other mentally deficient men and women who serve in the military. And when that makes a person or two cranky, he wants us to know that his words are a big Republican plot and, well, damnit, he’s just not going to take it anymore.
You know, his self-righteous chest-beating and name calling would be funny if this guy weren’t the Democrat’s most recent choice to lead our country. The far-left Pelosi, the screaming Dean, and the PR disaster Kerry--the face of the modern party of the left.
Thanks for the entertainment, Mr. Kerry.
It actually reminds me of when I was dating Chris. Chris was pretty, smart, fun, and--well, she was lots of things. One thing she wasn’t, though, was particularly sensitive. One morning when we were lounging in bed, we started talking about my time in the military. She refused to believe that the military was made up of intelligent, well-adjusted people who had actively chosen a profession with little thanks, tiny paychecks, and the real potential for physical harm. Even when it came to me, she couldn’t imagine that I wanted to serve.
Which, that’s a tough concept for some people to gather in their heads. Chris persisted in believing that I had gone into the military because I had lacked direction and good counsel from my parents and peers. The truth is that I lost direction once I left the military--that I knew who I wanted to be in military terms, but I had to actively try to figure out what my life would be outside the bounds of the service in which I believed so deeply. She never understood why what she said had bothered me.
Some people join for college benefits. Some join because they do need to find direction. Some join because the believe in a particular cause (witness those who joined post-9/11 who may never have considered a military career otherwise). And some join because they believe that it is better to serve something greater than themselves--something that will live on long after they do and something that has the chance to make the world a little safer.
I met intelligent, accomplished, and “together” people in the Army. These weren’t, in the main, people with no place to go; these were people who knew precisely where they wanted to be.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Karen Elizabeth Herndon
My friend Trench has asked that bloggers post about a young lady who was killed in a hit and run recently. If you have any information about what happened to Karen Elizabeth Herndon, a friend of Trench’s family, he can help you get in touch with the proper authorities.
Michael Savage: Not Just a Jerk
The few times that I’ve listened to Michael Savage--mostly on long road trips when I ran out of CDs to listen to at odd hours--I thought that he was a borderline racist and a full on jerk. I never imagined, though, that he was a full on fraud.
This might make Savage’s supporters a little pissy, but I’m relieved. I’m relieved that this jerk isn’t on my side of the political fence, that his more-conservative-than-thou act is all some opportunistic act from a closeted leftist who realized that money was worth more than his own personal dignity or beliefs.
H/T to the American Spectator blog.
Broncos v/ Colts: Horse Wars I (Updated)
I have no idea how this game is going to go, although I imagine that it will revolve around the Broncos’ defense. But, early, one thing that I find curious is that the Broncos, in their first possession, called pass on all except one play. That might not be such a great game plan.
First, the Broncos’ offensive strength right now is in their running game. The passing games has been mediocre (and occasionally closer to bad). More, the Colts’ defense has shows serious weakness against the run so far this year.
What gives? Is the Mastermind out-thinking his opponent or out-thinking his own darned self?
For more meaningful conversation about this game, check out Darren’s site. Once again, he is blogging from the press box and giving us the benefit of his insight.
Update: And, mostly on the strength of Plummer’s arm, the Broncos take the lead 7-3. The Mastermind says, “Take that, Zomby-bonehead.”
Re-Updated: What a painful loss, what a great game. I certainly can’t say that I’m happy, and I certainly can’t celebrate, but it really was quite a game. It came down to two things (since the Broncos’ offense really did it’s part): the defense’s inability to stop Manning in the second half and Plummer’s fumble that gave the Colts their second scoring opportunity of the second half. The defense was overmatched in the second half (although the same could be said of the Colts’ defense) and, in particular, couldn’t manage to get any pressure on Manning.
Still, it was a heck of a game--exciting and a whole lot of fun. Mike Bell came out looking brilliant and Plummer, aside from that damned fumble, played more than well enough to save himself from the bench.
It’s starting to look crowded in the AFC West again.
Sharing Moments I
When moving, you have that happy packing/unpacking/re-packing/deciding what goes into storage moment where you discover goofy/wonderful/painful/intriguing bits of your past that were happily boxed up the last time you moved.
Or, if you’re me, the time before the time before the last time you moved. Mostly, my memories stay boxed away so that they never have to infringe on my thoughts. This move is different, though; the f-word (thanks, Doug!) has a place pretty full of stuff and my stuff just won’t fit. I’m having to really evaluate the things that I’m keeping out and the things that are going to be closeted away in a storage space.
Lucky you. I’m in a sharing mood.
Right now I’ve found a little box with my June 1, 1978 Roosevelt Elementary School ribbons for first place in the Hot Wheel and second place in the 75-yard dash. I’m looking at them and wondering about the kid that won those little, tattered ribbons. It’s not just that it seems so long ago, it seems like a few lifetimes ago. The army, the marriage, the divorce, the deaths, the broken bones, and the sheer amount of change that has left that little kid unrecognizable (or, full well knowing what it means, the f-word described me as FUBAR) and the world around him something like a dream.
It also has my first voter registration card (1988) a few cards from Naval Jerry (not the earlier Army version or the later Traveling Geek version) and my British Airways Junior Jet Club membership kit.
Heheh. Cool. Little memories of moments that happened to a me that no longer exists.
Note: Pictures coming later.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
On My Mind
A series of thoughts from the mind of a tired and overworked (yet reasonably paid) graphic designer:
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Comment of the Day (Because I"m Pretty Sure It Won’t Get Better Than This)
In a post about football where Rae very sweetly admits to noticing that I had changed the way I was referencing the g-phrase. Regular Blogger Basher, Commenter, and all around Brilliant Guy, Doug Sundseth, leaves this response for us to laugh about:
Love that guy.
Thanks to both of you.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Ain’t Gonna Study Playstation No More
$600 to buy the machine. $50 to buy the extra controller. Another few hundred for the games. That’s something like $750 to $800 just to play some games.
PlayStation 3 is just too damned expensive. I have a hard time imagining that PS3 will be successful when it costs a few hundred bucks more than the already pricy Xbox 360 and the only real benefit that I can see is that the online service is free. The HDTV feature is useless to me since I don’t have a hi def television.
Before I get a response telling me how amazing the graphics will be or how powerful the processor is, let me just say that sheer horsepower only gets me so far. The fact is that PS3 won’t give me much that I can’t get with the Xbox 360 aside from some games that will be PS3-only or gimmick extras in games that separate the 360 releases from the PS3 releases.
Consider me unimpressed.
The fact is that gameplay rules all. Graphics help and so does processor speed, but it’s all about how addiction. It’s all about making a game that is so fun, so easy to jump into, so compelling to explore that I don’t want to put it down. And that has nothing to do with the disk format that the manufacturer chooses.
The PS3 will never find a place in my home unless the price drops tremendously or I buy one secondhand. Ultimately, I have better things to do with that much cash.
Hardcore gamers will pony up the cash, but I doubt that many parents will find the cost palatable come Christmas and casual gamers like me won’t even give it a second thought.
I think Sony screwed up; in a year or so, we’ll know.
Update: De Doc feels the same way. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a huge misstep for Sony. New Coke-sized misstep without the relatively easy fix. I predict that after a tremendously disappointing Christmas season--both because no one wants the things and Sony can’t work their supply problems out--there will be a flurry of “Where Sony Went Wrong” articles in magazines and segments on TV. The PS3 will become yet another case study in failed business strategy.
Or I’m wrong. Which is always a possibility.
Stupid Act, Stupid Response
This morning, I watched a video that was pointed out by NRO’s Stanley Kurtz. It’s a video of a group of people from the group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) protesting, in a rather odious and intimidating way, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.
And, regardless of your stance on racial preferences or the MCRI, it should be easy to say that storming into a meeting of canvassers, overturning tables, yelling and screaming, and disrupting a legal and reasonable political process is beyond the bounds of decent opposition behavior. Voicing an opposing opinion isn’t a bad thing and neither is working passionately to defeat the MCRI; but trying to intimidate the opposition into silence is wrong.
Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the video at the MCRI site as directed by Kurtz.
The MCRI site was rolling slow--probably a little overwhelmed by the traffic its getting from hundreds of bloggers wanting to see what all the ruckus was about--and kindly included a link to the same video hosted on YouTube. YouTube seems to me to be a breeding ground for ill-informed, outrageous commentary; so far, I remain far more interested in its music videos than at stabs at political statements. I honestly wish that serious people would keep their videos off of YouTube because it invites some pretty nasty people to the party.
Some of the handful of comments on this video range from merely stupid to truly vile. Examples (including the commenter’s name and the time of the comment):
Instead of going after the reprehensible behavior of the members of BAMN, the comments make attacks about ethnicity or show a serious lack of knowledge about one of the most important figures in American history. Isn’t that great? One group of idiots brings out another and the political conversation over racially based preferences and race relations in America takes another few steps back.
For anyone who sent an email over the weekend, apologies if I haven’t returned your note. When I got back to my house yesterday after a few nights in Estes Park, I found an ocean of sexually-explicit spam hanging out in my inbox. Wading through that ocean has been a pain in the butt; I may well have accidentally discarded a note or two.
Again, apologies, and if there was anything important and you havent yet heard back from me, please do me a favor and re-send the email.
Die, Spammers! Die die die!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The Worst Team in the NFL
After a few days spent in Estes Park pondering my work life and spending a little quality, relaxed time with my future wife, I drove back today to watch a little football. The thing that most stood out to me this week--aside from Denver’s continuing odd mix of exceptional defense and subdued offense leading to wins taht aren’t exactly the height of entertainment (not that I’m complaining)--was that I was apparently wrong about the Oakland Raiders. That is, they aren’t the worst team in the league; that honor belongs to Arizona.
See, Arizona still had a chance to pull their season out of the ashes. Unfortunately for them, that chance was last week. This week the Cardinals proved that their breakdown last week is still rippling through the team. Their confidence is shot and their season is over.
The Cards are playing with a quarterback who has had his nerve severely shaken and whose backup is, very sadly, now only a reminder of how good he used to be. The offensive line is horrid, the defense inept, the special teams inconsistent. The Arizona Cardinals stepped up and snatched that “worst team in the league” label more convincingly than I would have guessed.
Congratulations to the Cards--it was a hardly fought “victory”. If you take my meaning.
Friday, October 20, 2006
A Little Graphic Complaint
So, this probably won’t interest about 95% of people who come across the front page of ResurrectionSong today, but I still need to get it off my chest.
When exporting a 52-page layout to PDF using QuarkXPress’ built-in export utility, and when that document might contain a decent number of placed images and advertisements, I have noticed one thing:
Damn, this is freakin’ slow. Like I have nothing better to do than wait for spinning beachballs to tell me that the export is complete and I can move on…
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Despair is the Only Response
There are days when the only response to the headlines is despair and confusion. Take the story of a sexual assault on a developmentally disabled man:
Where the hell does that ever sound like a good idea to 17 and 19 year old boys? Such a cruel, vicious thing to do to someone. What kind of sentence is appropriate? How do you punish people for something so vile?
Consider the kind of broken minds that would even concoct the crime because, whatever the punishment is, these two young animals (they certainly don’t deserve to be called men and probably never will) will almost certainly be back in civilization again some day. When their time is up, they’ll be released back on a world that can barely grasp the enormity of this crime much less understand how to “rehabilitate” the minds of the people who would commit the crime.
There is a certain way of thinking that refuses to blame the criminals and insists that something in their upbringing must have twisted them and that, somehow, they aren’t entirely to blame for their actions. I won’t argue that point--it’s a foolish and irrelevant argument. We can mull root causes all we want and hope that something like this never happens again, but it doesn’t change the fact that these two need to be dealt with. I don’t care where the blame goes, I care that these animals are removed so far from the rest of us that they can no longer act out in a way that hurts us.
The truth is that whether you want to blame them or not, the enormity and severity of the crime isn’t just in the action; it’s in the allowing ourselves to realize that the massively warped minds that would do this aren’t constrained by anything approximating a normal, civilized human response to the humanity in others. Now, imagine yourself ever finding a way to trust these two in your daily life as an employee or fellow worker. Or perhaps as a father and husband.
That natural repulsion that we feel when we consider one of these two being a caretaker for a child is nature’s way of letting us know just how far we should trust these two. Sometimes people step so far outside the bounds of our laws and customs that they simply can’t ever be trusted to be put back in with the rest of us. This seems to be one of those times.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It’s Only a Flesh Wound. Sort of.
If you click through and then click through again, you’ll be treated to some not-terribly-graphic photos of a 5.56mm bullet sticking out of one unlucky man’s foot. Did you catch that? The bullet is sticking, pointy bit first, half way out the bottom of the guy’s foot.
Ouch. But sort of cool, too; that’s a great bar story, right there.
Some thoughts to add to Wadcutter’s musings on the deadly nature of falling bullets.
First, I would imagine that, except in an academic situation with controlled conditions, a bullet shot in the air would be very unlikely to have been fired truly vertical. There will almost always be enough of an angle on the shot to ensure that the bullet will be unstable at apogee. But, then, what the hell do I know about ballistics?
Second, as to whether the bullet would have had enough energy to penetrate a thick skull like mine, burrowing into decidedly squishier material below: from that photo, don’t imagine that I’ll be volunteering to test your theories.
TVR: Dead or Dying
And they were cool. They were British sports cars in the best and worst of the sense; they were nimble and full of charismatic personality, but they were also mechanically suspect. They also hadn’t been seen in the US for years as safety and emissions restrictions made it impossible for the small manufacturer to play in our sandbax.
In 2004, the struggling TVR was bought by a 24 year old Russion, Nikolai Smolenski, who has overseen the further decline of the British maker. Now, Smolenski is ceasing UK manufacture of the vehicles and moving production to an as yet unannounced location.
Given the 26 year old’s previous promises and plans, this seems likely to be yet another step on the road to TVR’s oblivion. Obviously, TVR had a difficult time being competitive with larger manufacturers and its cars cost quite a premium, so non-car folks will hardly notice the loss. For car geeks, though, it represents another lost voice and little less personality in an industry that leans more toward mediocrity than we would like.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sudden (Perhaps Ridiculous) Realization
I pay over eighty bucks a month for all this crap on TV? I mean, I pay over eighty bucks a month to be this frustrated by the crap that’s on my hundreds of channels on TV?
Okay, so I’m happy that the Broncos and Avs games look good, I’m reasonably regularly happy with stuff that’s on the History Channel, and I still dig House (which I can’t watch while the freakin’ baseball playoffs continue to irritate me (because, see, I really don’t much care for baseball unless it’s me going to a day game in the middle of summer--which I’m not and it isn’t)).
But on any given night, while I’m sitting here working, I’ll be more likely to find something irritating than something worth watching.
Die, television. Die die die!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Talk About Wrong
Good Lord, I was wrong about the Arizona-Chicago game. Chicago just made this thing about as exciting as a game can get.
At one point, they were down 20 points, the Bears now lead the game 24-23 with a few minutes left in the game. The Chicago offense owes the defense and the special teams a beer or three if this score holds up.
Wowsers. I didn’t see this happening…
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