Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Get Naive

Sometimes things you have seen a thousand times jump out.
Anagrams are an interest of mine. The idea is that you take the letters of a word to create a new word. Sometimes the two phrases have a, um, poetic connection. Not that it adds up in two plus two fashion, but there is a vague connection.
So I read this thing by Kiko, where he is discussing the New York N.O.W., Barack Obama, and Ted Kennedy. It seems like the libbers are upset with swimming Teddy because he endorsed the hope and change guy.
So the commentary said something about negative feminist stereotypes, when I looked at the “N word” again, and saw something. Negative is an anagram for get naïve.
And get naïve…or negative…is a good phrase N.O.W. or Ted Kennedy.
This reminds me of my favorite quote about Dick Williams. Once he wrote for the fishwrapper, comparing gay people to Richard Speck, Sirhan Sirhan, and Adolph Hitler. This was in addition to the predictable right wing nonsense, a good bit of which revolved around Ted Kennedy bashing. In the pre Clinton era, saying something rude about Ted Kennedy was required for “conservative” writers who wanted right wing street cred.
One day a letter writer gently admonished Mr. Williams about this. He said that Mr. Williams and Mr. Kennedy should get to know each other, maybe go for a drive in the country some afternoon. Do bow ties float?

These are difficult days in the blogosphere. Google is not letting me connect at home, and any blogging I do needs to be done at work. The picture collection is not here, so the text will have to stand alone.
While I am hoping to resolve the issues with Blogger, I do need to look at other alternatives. Does anyone reading this have any suggestions as to typepad, wordpress, live journal, or the host of other options?
Spell check suggestions for this feature:

Kiko- kilo, kike, kino, kook, kick.
Google- goggles, gouge
Blogger- logger, flogger
Blogosphere- photosphere
Sirhan- Syrian, siphon, iran, saran
Cred- credo, crud, cried, cored, creed

Friday, January 25, 2008

eight candidates in twelve words or less

The original idea was to put the candidates in first name order, regardless of party affiliation. However, when you do this, you have a demo-repub split. This is using last names as a tie breaker, which puts Edwards ahead of McCain.

Barack Obama- Do we really want another coke head in the White (Line) House?
Hillary Clinton- Yuk.
John Edwards- How are we going to pay for all the cool ideas?
John McCain- Angers "conservatives". Would be 79 when his second term ends.
Mike Huckabee- Eats fried squirrel. Wants a theocracy.
Mitt Romney- What do you want to hear today?
Ron Paul -He didn't read those white supremacist newsletters.
Rudy Guliani- Please don't take this personally.
Spell check suggestions
repub- repel, repay, repot, republic, brewpub, rape, ripe
Huckabee- chickadee, checkable, hoecake, huskies, huskier, hotcake

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We're not Worthy

A few weeks ago, I posted something called "heavy metal blunder". There was a quote from a band called Steppenwolf, whose first hit was "Born to be Wild". This song was featured on the soundtrack to Easy Rider, which made Jack Nicholson a star.
Steppenwolf was a painfully relevant group, given to political ranting. They later devolved into a front band for whoever owned the name. As the attached handbill indicates, they once played at the Great Southeast Music Hall. On the next Monday, I was on a Trailways bus for San Francisco. I spent a week in a moonie camp and came back.
"Steppenwolf" was also a novel by Herman Hesse, which I am reading for the second time now. I did a bit of research on it while putting together the earlier post, and was surprised at how little of it I remembered from 1978. I decided it was time for another go through.
There was a girl at my high school, a very pretty cheerleader a couple of years older than I. One day after she graduated, she went downtown, and took an elevator to the 22nd floor of the Regency Hyatt House. She left a copy of "Steppenwolf" on the atrium balcony and jumped into the lobby.
Later in high school, I noticed some of the hippie crowd reading this same book. I said something about "Hess" and was corrected " That is hess-uh, illiterate".
A few more years down the path, I was at the I-85 flea market one sunday morning. A Drive In theatre would rent out space to people selling stuff on sunday morning, and this sabbath I got a copy of "Steppenwolf". A dear john letter and a copy of a birth certificate were inside the book. The introduction was written in 1963 by a professor at Berkeley. The band Steppenwolf was from Berkeley.
The book is about a man named Harry Haller, who is probably a stand in for Herman Hesse. It is set in 1920s Germany. Mr. Haller had been a critic of World War One, which probably had a different name in 1920s Germany. He was not well liked as a result.
Mr. Haller feels himself to be half man half wolf, and does not fit in well with society. He is set to go home and kill himself when he meets Hermine, who breathes life into his putrid existence. There is more to the story, which may or may not be a future post. Maybe the war will end and a candidate I can tolerate will emerge, and I won't have anything else to write about.
The book is full of episodes of synchronicity. I am certain the French have a good phrase for this, but I couldn't pronounce it. I was casting about for an english phrase, which could be applied to these incidents of "fantastic realism". I thought of "yowza". It was used by the Gig Young in a movie, and was repeated in a disco song. So the book has yowzas in it.
The one that got me was the death of Herman Hesse's father. This was in March of 1916, and was two weeks after my father was born. Now, dad was in neutral North Carolina, which Mr. Hesse was in war torn Germany. This struck me as profound, as did other similarities between Mr. Hesse/Haller and your reporter.
There is an episode in the book where Haller meets Goethe in a dream. (And why is Goethe pronounced Gert-tuh?) Mr. Goethe says something uncomplimentary about the times Haller lives in, and Haller immediately tells Goethe that he is correct, that the oldies were great and the moderns are garbage. When I read that, I flashed to the scene in "Wayne's World" where Wayne and Garth bow in front of Alice Cooper, saying “We’re not worthy”.
hesse- Hess, hose, hassle, Jesse, these, hiss
sunday- sundae, sundry, sunray
hermine- heroine, ermine, herman, hormone
yowza- yews, yaws, Iowa, dowse, ooze, doze
Gert-tuh- get up

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

298 Starry

Being inspired by Vincent Van Gogh is a dangerous matter. He did not enjoy good mental health.
Friday, the picture finished itself. Saturday, a bit of finishing, and then the image was put in the studio window. While this is not the best picture, it is not horrible. Keep the machine running, keep in practice, and before long inspiration will strike and better product will result. I still have both ears.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

go braves

So the Richmond Braves are going to move to Gwinnett County. I have appointed myself the asker of rude questions.
How much water is this going to use? A baseball diamond does not grow naturally, and needs to be watered. Where is this water going to come from? The Atlanta area is in a long term water crunch, and this is not going to get any better. We are acting like heroin addicts’, scrambling to get our next fix while tomorrow is left to take care of itself. We are not out of this drought yet, and the governments are already binging.
The next question is arguably none of my business, since I live in Dekalb County. Why is Gwinnett County spending 45 million dollars on a minor league baseball stadium? Do none of their schools need improvement? Are the roads in perfect condition? Of course, with Fulton and Dekalb counties providing the region with a trauma center, maybe it is my business.
Do the people of Gwinnett County have a say so in this? These are the same folks who rejected MARTA a few years ago. Do they really want to spend this money, or sit in the traffic jams?
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
Gwinnett- ginned, grinned, Genet, twinjet, gimlet, gained, guinness, wined
Dekalb- decal, deals, dealt
And now for something completely different. Here is a video about an international man of importance.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Darwin Awards

"Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it."
They are not named for the husband on the TV show "Bewitched".

This years leading vote getter is "coitus interruptus". In South Carolina, a young man and young woman decided to make love at the edge of a pyramid shaped metal roof. They were found on the ground the next day. The man was reported to be smiling.
In Texas, a man named Michael consumed 3 liters of sherry utilizing an enema. The coroner reported a blood alcohol content of 0.47%. This is nearly five times what is suggested for a DUI.
In Guadalajara, Mexico, Jessica was working out in the hotel gym when she realized she needed something from downstairs. She decided to shout down an empty elevator shaft. The elevator was coming down the shaft at the same time.
Something similar to this happened at the Downtown Davisons at 180 Peachtree Street a few years ago.

A popular theme for this years Darwin’s is the importance of support beams. Several thieves were stealing scrap metal, when the support devices for the tank gave way and crushed the thieves. A careless demolition man at a Barn in West Virginia suffered the same crushing fate.
Some teenagers in Colorado decided to dance on top of an oil tank. They believed the tank to be empty, and lit some cigarettes and bong hits. The tank was not empty.
In a move that Frank Sinatra would appreciate, elephants in India attacked some journalists who were photographing them.
A young man in the Netherlands was a bit careless while lighting fireworks.
A witness told reporters,
"His face disappeared. If someone has no face left, you know it's serious."

A man in Yuba City California crossed the centerline of a highway, and ran head on into a hummer. He was working on his laptop while driving.
This is from the "he didn't come to Chambodia " department.

(19 April 2007, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) Unwanted amorous advances on a heifer resulted in a man's death at the hooves of the violated bovine. Sounds of a scuffle culminated in the discovery of his naked body lying beneath the frightened family cow. Injuries to his head and genital area were consistent with being kicked to death.
Why did he do it?
The man's divorce had become final a mere 10 days prior to his fateful final fling. In the divorce, and also a previous divorce, his ex-wives cited his insatiable desire as the cause of the dissolution.
Police concluded that the man died in a rape gone wrong. They do not plan to take action against the cow, which appeared to have been acting in self-defense.

HT on this goes to Feast of Fools.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Open Letter to the Lady in a S.U.V.

This is an open letter to the lady in the SUV.
You were behind me on Johnson Ferry Road, between Peachtree Industrial and Ashford Dunwoody. You were following too close, and wandering from side to side of the lane, as if to tell me to drive faster. I was going the speed limit and was not in the mood to violate the law. It was a two lane road, and there was no need to go faster.
After the first red light, there was about two hundred feet of an extra lane. You sped around me, and got in front to turn left onto the next segment of Johnson Ferry.
You had an SUV, and bumper stickers from Emory, William and Mary, and the Human Rights Campaign Fund. Me, I choose not to advertise on my vehicle. The sponsor of this show is behind the wheel.
If I donated money to a lame outfit like the HRCF, I would be quiet about it.
Both of us finance terrorism when we buy gasoline. I dare say that your SUV pays more than my Honda Accord.
The next section of Johnson Ferry was a two lane road with a 35 mph speed limit. This road was built before the subdivisions and apartments, back in an era when 35 mph was moving pretty fast. There is a bridge at the bottom of the hill over Nancy Creek, which is kinda rough and broken up. I like to slow down a bit before crossing it.
I looked ahead, and you had driven fast until you came to a car ahead. You seemed to be following it a bit too close. If there had been a need for a sudden stop, you might not have been able to stop your SUV in time.
The light at the top of the hill was green, and we went on through to the light at Peachtree Dunwoody, across from the hospitals. You were in the middle lane, and I was in the right lane. I was next to you at the light.
All that type A driving had done you no good. The tailgating, the unsafe passing, the weaving from side to side.... all that did
was make your fellow drivers nervous. You still wound up in the same place. You put the lives of others in danger, and you did not gain a thing.
If you need to be somewhere earlier, leave your residence earlier.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Legacy of Ronald Reagan

First, this was going to be an open letter to a crazy driver I saw this morning. Then, I learn that Gary Hilton (no relation to Paris) used to walk his dog in Murphy Candler Park. Daddy's Sunday school class had picnics there. (HT to Recovering Baptist)
Selfish drivers are a dime a dozen. Just one comment today...if I gave money to a useless organization like the Human Rights Campaign Fund, I would not boast about it on my vehicle.
I don't like to use my ride as an ad medium anyway. You never know when the next Jay Grodner will see you.

I had a realization this morning. Like many lightbulb over the head moments, it is amazing that no one else has realized this. Or maybe someone has, but just wasn't talking loud enough.
It is about the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Some whiner was asking "what would Reagan do" and bemoaning the lack of a Reagan in this years race.
And then, as if by magic, the answer hit me.

The heir to the legacy of Ronald Reagan is Barack Obama.

Reagan made America feel good about itself. He was a cheerleader, an optimist, and a speaker of happy thoughts. This is essentially what Mr. Obama is doing today.

It is a triumph of style over substance.

Mr. Obama's message is one of unity. We should unite as Americans, and work past our differences. Exactly how he intends to do this is a bit of a mystery.
I can hear the bedwetters already..."Reagan was a conservative, Obama is a Liberal". Now, on the surface that is true. But lets look at the record.
Reagan was essentially a secular man who courted the religious vote. The "true believers" didn't seem to mind.
He talked tough on defense, but didn't start any wars. When the marine barracks in Lebanon were bombed, our troops were out of there before you could say Morning in America.
He made arms deals with Iran.
He was an ally of Saddam Hussein.
The budget deficit went over 200 billion dollars a year while he was in office.
We used drug runners to deliver weapons to Nicaragua. The planes were not empty when they returned.
That doesn't sound very conservative. This did not seem to bother his fans. He presented the image of a conservative leader, and that was good enough. He was an actor, who knew his lines and didn’t trip over the scenery.

It was a triumph of style over substance.

On the other hand, the "Liberal" Obama is courting the Jesus Worship crowd. He did a campaign tour with the pathetic Donnie McClurkin.
Who is pulling the strings on this puppet?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Religion or Faith

Reports on the presidential debacle refer to Mitt Romney and his Mormon Faith. A few years ago this would have been religion. The word seems to have spread that people don't like religion, so we need to call it something else.
Is Faith a good word to use? Faith is an intangible, similar to trust, respect, believe and like. It is a confidence that something will happen, or that someone has your best interests at heart. While its use indicating a system of religious belief is valid, one wonders whether another intangible would do just as well. Maybe we should speak of someone's Catholic Trust, or Jewish Respect. Or maybe just accept that we are all the children of G-d and not exploit Religion for selfish gain.
If this continues, will Faith become a dirty word the way Religion is now?


Monday, January 07, 2008

The Foul Tax and Mr. Obama

The original concept was for this post to be about either the fair tax or Barack Obama. The more I think, the more similarities I see between the two.
I can start with Mr. O. With his rock star looks and charisma, and the fact that he is not Hillary, his train seems unstoppable. It would be a symbolic moment if a dark skinned man were elected President, even if he is not the descendent of slaves. Yes, he has always been opposed to the War in Babylon.
Maybe he is just a photogenic front man, without any substance. The same could be said of Ronald Reagan, and America really didn't do too badly under him. Just who is pulling the strings on this puppet with star quality?
My main question with the man is how is he going to deal with the military machine. We now have an agreement with the Iraqi Government. This treaty that isn't a treaty has our troops supporting the Iraqi Government, in exchange for first access to the vast oil riches in Mesopotamia. What is the Junior Senator from Illinois going to do about that?
There is also the matter of this video. Do women really dance out of his mouth?

An Obama Presidency is a great idea, with some serious questions about the implementation. Which brings us to the Fair Tax. (We are awaiting a call from the Umpire whether it is fair or foul, or maybe a sacrifice bunt).
Nobody likes the I.R.S. Calls to do away with it will always find an audience. Maybe the Fair Tax will be enacted, and maybe it will do all that it's supporters claim.
I suspect it is a good idea, with serious questions about the implementation. And no, I have not read the book.

1- I only have so much time to read, and I prefer to read fiction. OK, some of you say the Fair Tax book is fiction.
2- I don't trust the men who wrote it. One of them is a radio whiner who says every day, in effect, Don't believe anything I say unless your own experience goes along with it. The other is a Republican congressman. I suspect that neither of them really believes in the Fair Tax, but know a good gimmick when they see one.
3- I am aware of the power of rhetoric, sophistry, and the clever word processor. (See Mr. Obama above). You can make grand arguments in favor of a lot of things that are not completely true.

I hear a lot about the Fair Tax on the Whiners radio show. It seems like the more I hear, the more I don't like.
Here is an example from today. The concept of the Foul Tax is that a thirty percent sales tax would replace the income tax, and other Federal Taxes. (I know there is more than that, before you start to say, "Read the Book". For today’s illustration, that nutshell is sufficient)
As our example, lets say that we have a book selling for Ten Dollars. The book was written by a bald headed radio whiner, and says rude things about Liberals. Now, on the surface, with the Fair Tax, the book would cost thirteen dollars, that is, the cost of the book plus the thirty percent tax.
Today’s whine was about embedded taxes. According to the whiner, there are embedded taxes in the ten dollars. These are the corporate taxes paid by the publisher, and other taxes that are passed along to the consumer as part of the ten dollar price. I understand this concept, and realize that this is a big reason why many American goods are not competitive in the marketplace.
But then the whiner said something that I simply don't believe. He said that once the embedded taxes were removed, the cost of the book would go down. This cost would go down so far that the book would still sell for ten dollars, even with a thirty percent tax markup.
One, who is to say the publisher would not just keep a bit of those taxes in the form of added profits? Are the embedded taxes enough to lower the price so that a thirty percent markup wouldn't matter?
I am not an economist. Maybe the book has answers to this, and maybe they are not just clever words.
Chanting "Read the Book" only goes so far.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fair Tax Follies

NON1-and Hillary came in 3rd
JWD-that was suprising to me
LITE-yeah. .i was surprised how well mr. edwards did
NON1-Im gonna go with Huckabee, he supports the fair tax
LITE-never trust a baPtist minister with anything. .
LITE-unless they are black
PTO--i am going to go with the one who lies the most upfront, at least that way you'll know what
LITE-oh then Gulianai is your man
TND--Downy, do you like ANYONE who's running?
NON1-Im gonna go with anyone that supports the Fair tax
TND--good luck with that.
NON1-Abolish the IRS
PTO--how much can they tax a fair? you don't make much with those games of chance and selling funnel cakes PTO--or so this one carnie told me
NON1-Have you read john linders book OTP?
PG--its like the flat tax, why should we tax women with small breasts

PTO--i am too pretty to read
NON1-its nothing like the flat tax
PTO--lol, piers
PG--i don't believe anything neil boortz says, and i dont think he really believes in the fair tax
NON1-piers its not his book, or purposel, its John Linders
PG--neeyull has hitched his wagon to the star of the fair tax
PG--john linder is a f---wad
NON1-and what dont you like about it Piers????????
PG--i am nuetral on the fair tax, i just dont trust neil boortz
NON1-thats not what I asked?
JWD-well there are other involvend in it besides boortz
NON1-just because he supports it, does not make it wrong
JWD-right down
PG--i wrote a thing about this at my blog, and i am going to find the link
NON1-its a tax based on what you spend not what you make
PG-- have expressed myself, and dont feel like typing all that again
NON1-and I dont feel like reading your blog, as I really think you are miss informed
JWD-just think no income tax forms to do
PG--well, my observations are there...the fair tax is like communism, a great idea in theory,but i have issues about the
JWD-well if we had the fair tax he could keep it all
NON1-you make no sense, whats not to like????????
PG--the more i hear about the f tax the more suspicious i am
JWD-why ?
JWD-causr it will hurt the POOR
NON1-read the f---ing book, before you say that, Ithink your dislike of Bortz is what reflects in your opinion
PG--read my f---ing blog, it has better pictures
TND--does this have to be the topic of conversation every night??????
JWD-no income tax, no SS tax, what wrong with that
JWD- how is it communisitc
NON1-if you spend 25,000 a year you pay 23%, if you spend 1.000.000 a year you pay 23%
NON1-I doubt that 10 % of the people in this room even have a clue about
what is stated in the fairtax
JWD-it would not eliminate property tax


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Heavy Metal Blunder

Finally, that tech rep found what he needed, and I have the computer again. I still have 32 minutes to go, so there is plenty of time.
But first, open the tupperware rectangle and get to the steamed spinach. I suppose Popeye found it easier to squeeze a can open, but for my money the way to eat spinach is to steam it while you eat breakfast, take it to work, and then eat the cold blob for lunch. It tastes good, and unlike many other tasty foods, it makes you feel good when you are finished.
I see that one of my internet heroes has had a life changing experience. Like fleeing your home at 17 to live in Jordan is not intense enough, you have to realize that heavy metal music is not the only thing that matters in life.
I suppose I should read his feature before making my commentary, but why bother. This is heavy metal, and if I wanted to read then I would listen to classical music. There is a DJ on our local NPR station that sounds like she is about to keel over from old age. This does add a bit of suspense to the daily broadcasts, and could certainly liven up a pledge drive it was properly marketed.

The first heavy metal band I heard growing up was Black Sabbath. No, it was not Alvin and The Chipmunks or Neil Diamond. It was Ozzie and his buddies. The role models I was assigned to did not think they were very cool.
But life was there to be lived. As I got older, I saw that my role models did not know everything. I found myself outside a football stadium in Seattle listening to Black Sabbath (without Ozzie) playing inside. Another time, I got home and saw a pair of longhairs working in the downstairs apartment. I turned the stereo up to 8 and put on "Paranoid". Ah, memories.
The story of the Iraqi Konfused Kid is a good one, and has many lessons for the heathens. Meanwhile, I finished my spinach, and went to the break room to find some leftover dessert from the Christmas Potluck. As I was carving out a chunk of Death by Chocolate Ice Cream, Bosslady came in with two pieces of bread, one of which was anointed with peanut butter. She looked in the canister with the fast food condiments, hoping to find a container of jelly to compliment the peanut butter. I suggested chocolate ice cream. She found something else.
Before sending this feature into the boogasphere, I consulted Wikipedia. This awaited:

“The origin of the term heavy metal in a musical context is uncertain. The phrase has been used for centuries in chemistry and metallurgy. An early use of the term in modern popular culture was by countercultural writer William S. Burroughs. His 1962 novel The Soft Machine includes a character known as "Uranian Willy, the Heavy Metal Kid”…The first recorded use of heavy metal in a song lyric is in Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild," also released that year:

"I like smoke and lightning/Heavy metal thunder/Racin' with the wind/And the feelin' that I'm under."

Spell Check suggestions for this feature:
Ozzie-Ooze, Oozy, Ox,Uzi
Konfused- confused, confessed, confides

Labels: ,