Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Saturday morning autumn leaves pic


A beautiful tree one block up on my street. I stopped under it and took a quick picture with my phone. I thought the luggage rack would be out of the way. It wasn't. It's been moved to keep dogs from leaving through the sun roof, and that's not conducive to photography.

And photography takes a backseat to dog safety. Which is ironic since the dogs sit in the backseat.

Except Midge. Sometimes.

Quote of the day

"Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum — when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes."--State Department spokesman PJ Crowley

(h/t Alex Koppelman at Salon)

2 years of this


My "birthday present" from 2 years ago was Willy and Gracie. I just realized this morning that they've been here that long. And then they proceeded to wrestle with each other to prove who loves me more.

They came to live with me because they were in a private shelter in Denver (aka "Mom Lisa"). And their lives were at risk. Denver has a breed ban against "pit bulls" and both W & G would qualify under the completely arbitrary "pit bull" guidelines the city enforces. The end result is ghastly. But if you want to see what hundreds of dead dogs piled on top of each other looks like, look here. I am not kidding, it is horrific.

Denver has killed more than 2,000 dogs, most of whom were legally registered family pets. Knock knock, we're here to seize your dog, and if you can't afford to leave Denver, we're gonna kill him the next time we see him. And the great news is that Denver can't actually say that dog attacks are down. See, all that expense and pain and suffering, and no actual tangible progress. It's like the same folks who planned our invasion of Iraq also handle the Denver breed ban.

Song of the day: "Queen of the World"

Ida Maria's been cranking out the hits this year.

Happy birthday Jackie Runyon

My baby sister turns 40 today. We are all old. Ah well, beats the alternative I guess. I need to call her today since we haven't talked in a while. It's like that with me, I try to email but I rarely call (except my parents: I find calling each one weekly keeps me out of trouble with my mother; my dad's okay if we miss a week, but my mother stresses me, so weekly is better). Sorry Jackie.

Anyway, Jackie, well, here's a Motley Crue song for you:

Friday, October 9, 2009

He only won because he's not George Bush

It's being said that Obama's only achievement thus far is inheriting the motherfucking chaos that George W. Bush left behind, and trying to correct that situation. That he's not George W. Bush.

Since this is George W. Bush's idea of diplomacy, I don't really have a problem with that idea:


However, I am also not George W. Bush. How much of the prize do I get?

Contacts FedEx Courier Company

Attn: My Good Friend,
Good day, how are you today?

I am writing to inform you of your Cheque Draft confirmable bank draft the sum of $4,500.000.00. four million five hundred thousand unitted state dollars. I went to the bank to confirm if the date of expering for the cheque and i find out it geting near for the dead line date and i contacted Mr.Ahmed Zafa the Director of Financial Trust Bank told me that before the cheque will get to your hand that it will not valid anymore. So I told him to cash the $4.500,000.00 USD UNITED state dollars to cash payment to avoid losting this funds.However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $4.500,000.00 USD UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with FedEx Courier COMPANY Ltd here in Cotonou Benin Republic,Mr.Ahmed Zafa the Director of Financial Trust Bank Cotonou have to package the sum of $4.500,000.00 USD in cash for me. Then he also agreed to help me to Register the Consignment with FedEx Courier COMPANY.

Infact I thank God for all the movement I made, every thing goes normally.As for our agreement with the FedEx Courier Company they promised that your consignment will leave this Country on friday this week,But the Director of the FedEx Courier COMPANY said that they need your contacts informations to enable them meet up with you immediately the Agent arrived to your Country.Please write a letter of application to the given address below.

Mr.Ethel Obiako
Tel; +229 98853683
E-mail:(fedexshipment06@sify.com)
Website{www.fedex.com}

Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you immediately they arrive in your country with your BOXes .This is what they need from you,
Your Full Name ===============
Your Home Address=============
Your corrent Numbers==========
Your Cel Numbers==============
You personal adentification===

SHIPMENT CODE AWB 33XZS
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442.
SECURITY CODE SCTC/2001DHX/567/
TRANSACTION CODE 233/CSTC/101/33028/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE SCTC/BUN/xxiv/-78/01

Please make sure you send this needed information to the Director general of Fedex Courier COMPANY Mr.Ethel Obiako with the address given to you. Note.The Fedex Courier COMPANY don't know the contentsof the Box. I registered it as family value ables and treasure They don't know it contents money.this is to avoid delay during the delivering of the BOX. don't let them know that is money thatis in that Box. I am waiting for your urgent response. You can even call the Director of FedEx Courier COMPANY with this line: 00229 98853683.

Thanks and Remain Blessed,
Best Regards,
Hon,Agogo Sein {ESQ}

Today is National Prolife Cupcakes Day



And those fuckers are nowhere to be found. I walked all the way over to Office Depot to get a case for my iPhone and there wasn't a damn cupcake to be found on the streets of downtown Portland OR. I guess it's okay to have abortions here, since there are no cupcakes to deter them.

So in the post just below this, I copied a Feministing article about National Prolife Cupcakes Day since the official site was down. Well now it's back up. And I am a happy man. See the ideas page here.

In their "ideas for high school kids" section they offer these great suggestions:
Bring cupcakes to your homeroom or lunch table and hand them out. (Very nice.)

Then explain that for every two people in the room there is one person who was not allowed to have a birthday. (Wait, what the fuck? First, that sounds an awful lot like math. And there's no place for math in our schools... sadly. Second, what does that really mean? Assuming 30 students in a homeroom, does that mean 15 weren't allowed to have a birthday? So 15 in total? Or am I to generalize this to the population of my school district? My state? My country? The whole world ever and always? Help.)

Hand the cupcakes out with plastic baby fetus's, they normally come at the size of a 11 week baby which is the age and size of the average abortion. (Really the plural of fetus is fetuses, not the possessive fetus's... with plastic baby fetus's what?... you know what, if you're in school, why not pay attention in class and save the activism for later. Also where am I getting the plastic baby fetus? Is there a Depot for that too?)

Hand them the cupcakes and ask people if they would like to see what an abortion looks like. (Now it's a party!)

If they say yes show them a picture of an aborted baby. These can be downloaded and printed from the internet. Just put the word Abortion into google and hit "images" and you will see abortion in full color. Burn an image onto a C.D. and then take it to staples to be printed on photo paper. (Why can't I just print on my printer? Is this thing sponsored by Staples? Could I use a flash drive? And a single photo seems like an inefficient use of a CD... nevermind.)

The site has plenty of other ideas, including ideas for elementary school kids and for youth pastors. Me, I'll be passing on inviting my youth over to my house, as that's what got Mark Foley into so much trouble.

All kidding aside, no one likes abortion. Seriously. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, work to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies. Maybe through teaching the realities of contraception and sex education. Many unplanned pregnancies lead to unwanted children and a cycle of poverty. Other unplanned pregnancies lead to abortions. Can you fit that on a cupcake? It would be so fucking great if telling people not to have sex actually worked. Have you ever met a teenager? My sisters and I are great examples of abstinence-only sex education from Miami's finest Catholic high school. So I know of what I speak.

Now where's my fucking cupcake bitches?!

Unveiling the pro-choice cupcake smashing agenda

(this whole thing stolen brazenly from Feministing, here--I would write my reaction to this, but the site for Cupcakes for Life is down because it has exceeded its bandwidth limit)

Anti-choice cupcakes!

I don't know what tickles me more, cupcakes that say "Abortion Kills" in icing or this telling excerpt from the site's FAQs:


Q.) What if I run into a pro-choicer and they smash the cupcakes in my face?

A.) Wipe the cake off your face and share the rest of them with someone less angry inside. Go with courage and go with love, the unborn need you to be their voice.

Note to self: Rethink cupcake smashing agenda. They're onto us.

Colbert on Beck and sincerity

Proving once and for all, women don't belong in the military

According to a University of California at Santa Barbara researcher (here), women are kicked out of the military at a disproportionately high rate under "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT).

The gap could also be a result of "lesbian-baiting" rumors and investigations that arise when women rebuff sexual overtures from male colleagues or do not meet traditional notions of feminine beauty.

Yes, nothing says troop cohesion like the veiled threat that if you don't go out with me, I will report you as a lesbian and get you kicked out. Thank god we have DADT.

DADT, 13,000 discharges, and growing.

Stay classy Paulding county

Runner-up quote of the day

"O, yes, today will be like 9/11 x War x Twitter for the batshit section of the Internet today."--Wonkette on Obama's Nobel win

Happy birthday John Lennon

Seems fitting that the day they announced this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner is also John's birthday. He's been gone nearly 30 years. And his legacy of music and advocacy of peace continues to shine strongly. There's nothing I can add, so I'll just post this.

Quote of they day

"[The American people] understand that if Barack Obama was somehow able to cure hunger in the world, the Republicans would blame him for overpopulation... In fact, they understand that if Barack Obama has a BLT sandwich tomorrow for lunch they would try and ban bacon. But that's not what America wants."--Rep. Alan Grayson (D, FL)

He's the guy who unveiled the Republican healthcare plan as 1) don't get sick, and 2) if you do get sick, die quickly. Which was funny, but we all know that the Republicans don't have a plan for anything. They just sit and say "no." Lather, rinse, repeat.

Rock on dude!

It's worthy of this update

Remember a year ago when we were meeting Governor Sarah Palin during the McCain/Palin campaign? And she was all "qualified" and read "everything," and Obama was paling around with terrorists?

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today.

And Sarah Palin quit her job early (it's what mavericks do, they quit). Now she makes shit up on her Facebook page... and her grandbaby's daddy is posing nude for Playgirl.

At least Joe Biden and John McCain haven't changed a bit.

Song of the day: "11th Dimension"

By Julian Casablancas (the Strokes) new album Phrazes for the Young.

From the estate of Late Engr John Ferguson

WILL AND TESTAMENT

Dear beneficiary

On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Engr. John Ferguson; I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered.

I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address stated on the WILL. I wish to notify you that late Engr. John Ferguson made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Seven Million Great British Pounds (GBP £7,000.000.00 ) to you in the codicil and last testament to his WILL.

Being a widely travelled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were recommended to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Engr. John Ferguson until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic &Electrical Engineers. He was a very dedicated Christian who loved to be involved in charitable projects. His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time.

Late Engr.John Ferguson died on the 13th day of December, 2004 at the age of 80 years, and his WILL is now ready for execution. According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in our society.

Please if I reach you this time as I am hopeful, endeavour to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job.

I hope to hear from you in no distant time.

Yours in Service,

Barrister Williams Jackson .  ESQ
EMAIL:  iljackson475@googlemail.com

Obama awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Remember 6 months ago, back in April 2009, Arizona State University invited Barack HUSSEIN Obama to speak at its commencement, but would not award him an honorary doctorate because he hadn't achieved his "body of work" yet?

How do you like him now? First black President AND a Nobel Peace Prize in his first 10 months in office! (I'm sure it's still not enough--ASU's standards are enormous and unflinching.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

And another win for me!

UNITED KINGDOM NATIONAL LOTTERY E-MAIL BALLOT AWARD 2009!

Congratulation!!!!!!!!!

Your email address has won £500,000.00GBP
Contact Dr Felix Wilson your claims agent for payment:
Email: claimsagent044@yahoo.com.au
Tel.+44-7045797679

Indicate the following to your agent in his email above
1.Your names,
2.country
3.Mobile phone number.
4.Winning Number: 11-13-26-34-44-48
5.Batch Number: 8056490902/188
6.Reference Number: UK/HW47509/009

Sincerely,
Mrs Rabecca John, Financial Director.
Copyright © 2009 UK National Lottery! All rights reserved!

Remember this guy?


Whatever happened to him? American Super Cowboy George W. Bush was gonna git 'em, dead or alive! That was, what, 8 years ago?

8 fucking years ago.

Seriously.

Why did America think George Bush was keeping us safer than alternatives like John Kerry, Al Gore, or the spare tire on the back of my Pathfinder?

We have been at war in Afghanistan more than 8 years now. Happy anniversary. And thanks to the brave men and women who serve. It's not your fault you had a retarded Commander-in-Chief. I blame Barbara Bush... you just know she drinks.

Both of my Senators did this

As it stands, the health insurance market is dominated by a handful of for-profit health insurers that are exempt from the anti-trust laws that ensure robust competition in other markets across the United States.  Without a not-for-profit public insurance alternative that competes with these insurers based on premium rates and quality, insurers will have free rein to increase insurance premiums and drive up the cost of federal subsidies tied to those premiums. This is simply not fiscally sustainable.--Letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D, NV), from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D, OH)
30 Senators signed this letter, including Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden (both D, OR). These are my peeps. And this makes me happy. Which is kinda rare these days.

Flashback song: "Something to Fall Back On"

An upbeat commute mix this morning, including Cher "Believe" and Mel C's "I Turn to You" which led me to the sad realization that I can tell Mel C and Mel B apart, but I can't remember which is Type I and which is Type II statistical error.

And the cream filling to that particular Oreo of songs was Todd Rundgren. Rundgren has made some bad ass pop music in his time. "Hello It's Me" and "Can We Still be Friends" are probably his best known songs, and he's produced some big records, including Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell (with Jim Steinman) and XTC's Skylarking (an album the band hates but I love). Rundgren continues to work, 42 years into his career, so rock on dude!

In 1985 he experimented by sampling his voice and using those samples as the music for his A Capella album. "Something to Fall Back On" was the single, and all the music is Todd's voice.

And now I'm getting $7.5 million dollars... sweet

Mr. Dinther Helmut Udo
Valiant Privat Bank AG
Postfach,
3001 Bern,
Switzerland.
Confidential Tel  : +870-764107753
Confidential Fax  : +870-764107751


Hello,


I am contacting you on a business transaction of a huge sum of money from a deceased account, though I know a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I’m assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day and this is why am contacting you due to the urgency of this transaction.


We discovered an abandoned sum of (Seven million five hundred Thousand United States dollars) in an account that belongs to one of Our foreign customer who died along side with his entire family, and ever Since his death none of his next of kin or relations has come forward to lay claim for this money as his heir.


We cannot release the funds from his account unless someone applies for Claim as the next of kin to the deceased as indicated on our banking Guidelines. Upon this discovery we now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased in which all documentations Will be carefully worked out by us for the (Seven million five hundred Thousand United States dollars) to be released in your favour as the Beneficiary’s/next of kin to the deceased. And It may interest you to know that we have secured from the probate an order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiary.


Kindly acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following;


1. Beneficiary name and contact address.
2. Direct telephone, fax and Mobile numbers.
3. Date of birth and occupation.


These requirements will enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate departments and authorities for necessary approvals for the release of the funds in your favour, before the transfer can be made to you. And we will be compensating you with thirty percent of the total funds on final conclusion of this project, while the rest will be for us and for investment purposes. 


If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the trust we have bestowed in you.


NB: If you are willing to assist me, including the information's i have requested from you, call me on my confidential Tel: +870-764107753. For further details on what to do next.


I await your response and call.


Please call me and Respond to Email: dintherhelmut@terra.com.mx


Regards.


Mr. Dinther Helmut Udo.


Confidential Tel  : +870-764107753
Confidential Fax  : +870-764107751.

Happy birthday Sigourney Weaver

I found myself wondering the other day whether Sigourney or Glenn Close would win an Oscar first. They've both come close (so to speak)--Sigourney's been nominated 3 times, including 2 in 1989: Supporting Actress in Working Girl and Best Actress in Gorillas in the Mist; Close has been nominated 5 times. But neither has gotten a nomination in 20 years.

I rooted for her to win an Emmy a few weeks ago, as Best Actress in a Made for TV Movie or Miniseries, for her work in Prayers for Bobby, since it would have been nice for her to get an acceptance speech (she hasn't gotten to do that since 1989 when she accepted 2 Golden Globes for the same 2 Oscar nominations above) and since Lifetime Original Movies have never ever won an Emmy (not even for Mother May I Sleep with Danger) and this production seemed Emmy-worthy. I didn't actually watch the movie, but I did watch Grey Gardens (for which Jessica Lange won, beating Sigourney) and didn't bother to finish it (also Jessica Lange has 2 Oscars, including one from 15 years ago, so someone should cut Weaver a break). Or at least give the Emmy to Drew Barrymore, who also has never given an acceptance speech for a major film award (unless you count the MTV Movie Awards, which you shouldn't).

But whether she deserved to win or not, Prayers for Bobby is a downer (I know the story). So here's a clip from the fantastic movie Galaxy Quest. GQ is fun and funny and has a great cast including Weaver, Tony Shaloub, Sam Rockwell and the brilliant Alan Rickman. Tim Allen is also in the movie. And he's fine--as an aging egomaniac/actor from an old TV sci fi show not-so-loosely based on Star Trek, Allen is put in a role where he seems to do just fine. It also has Missi Pyle, who I love, and if you haven't seen Josie and the Pussycats from 2001, make it a GQ/JatP double-feature this weekend!


I think Weaver's funny. She's had her biggest hits in the SciFi genre, but this is among my favorite of her film moments:


She isn't given much to do in last year's Baby Mama, but she makes the most of it:


I think Gorillas in the Mist is a great movie, and it's shame that it seems to have been forgotten. I don't know how accurate Weaver's portrayal of Diane Fossey might have been, but the movie was nominated for 5 Oscars, including Best Actress for Weaver (who lost to Jodie Foster in The Accused).


I thought Weaver would win the Supporting Actress Oscar for Working Girl--she was nominated in both lead and supporting categories, and it usually fell out that those nominees won their supporting categories in years like that. She lost to Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist; Davis is very good in the movie, but really should have been in the lead category. Working Girl has a lot going for it, and it qualifies as "feel good" without getting too annoying.


She's a little over the top in 1994's Death and the Maiden, in a role that Glenn Close picked up a Tony for on Broadway... but then the movie was directed by Roman Polanski. So "over the top" might have been what was asked of her.


She appears in both Ghostbusters movies, and all 4 (so far) Alien movies, but you probably knew that already.



I have a special fondness for Alien: Resurrection. All four movies are good in their own ways, and if you consider the caliber of directors involved (Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet) that should be expected. But for some reason, the cloned Ripley/Alien hybrid was compelling to me--Weaver got to give the character a twist. And whoever decided that monotone Winona Ryder should play a monotone android was genius!


Happy birthday dude!

Song of the day: "Beds Are Burning"

The Midnight Oil hit has become a charity single to promote awareness of climate change. Here are the people I recognized in the video: Kofi Annan, Simon LeBon and Desmond Tutu. I am old. I mean, I know who Fergie is, who Marion Cotillard is, Y'ssou N'dour, Mark Ronson. But I certainly wouldn't have known it was them without their little name taggy things. The older I get, the more I like name tags. Name tags for all!



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When Willy is chill


There's a time, after breakfast, and after the after-breakfast wrestling, that the kids curl up on each side of the couch while I watch the morning news. When he's chill like this, it's easy to forget that he ate my Keen sandals. And my blood pressure wrist thingy.

Happy birthday Thom Yorke

It's Thom Yorke's birthday and I am going to equate Thom with Radiohead. If you find that morally reprehensible you should skip off to another blog. I will refund your subscription shortly.

I am a lame Radiohead fan. Fan is probably too strong a word. Enthusiast?

How lame? I didn't download In Rainbows from their website. I bought it from iTunes like 16 months after its release after I just couldn't get "House of Cards" out of my head. Of course, I hadn't even heard Rhianna's "Umbrella" until the day of the Grammy awards when it was up for Record of the Year, nearly 2 years after its release, so I am doing better with Radiohead than with Rhianna. But at least I didn't beat the shit out of her.

I didn't like "Creep," then I kinda liked "Creep" then I heard the unedited version of "Creep" and I loved "Creep." It's amazing what the use of the word "fucking" can do to my esteem for a song.


"High and Dry" live from, let's say 1995; how lame am I? I thought the title was "High":


In a healthier time of my life, I used to get up at 5:30 in the morning, walk about 2 miles to my office, check email, then use the gym in the building to do an hour of cardio. What was I thinking. Anyway, at 5:30 in the morning, I would watch music videos. That was a weird pocket of time when MTV, VH1 and CMT would all have videos on and I could switch between Toni Braxton, Kenny Chesney and Blink 182 and enjoy them all. And I kid you not when I say that, at one point, CMT had the video for "No Surprises" on (real video can't be embedded but is here)--it's a slightly trippy/unsettling video and really out of place on CMT.


See, I don't even have much interesting in the way of insight to Thom or the band. They've won 3 Grammys, all in the Alternative Album category. Here's "Karma Police":


Actually, I do think I have something interesting to say. Which is that In Rainbows will, in a major way, revolutionize that way established bands market their music. The Wall Street Journal column The Numbers Guy had an article about their direct via web sales here. By not having to pay for printing, pressing, disks, paper, sleeves and shipping, and keeping every penny, they profited more from the transaction, and they built a stronger direct relationship with their fans. I think the album is really elegant and it kills me that it lost the Album of the Year Grammy. I mean, metaphorically.




Happy birthday dude. I checked out Kid A and Amnesiac from my library and I'll get Hail to the Thief eventually. Maybe next year you'll get a more thoughtful post.

Happy birthday John Mellencamp

John gets a quick shout out today, with links to his "underappreciated" series of posts here, here, here, here, here and here.

If we didn't talk about his directorial/acting debut in Falling From Grace, written by Larry McMurtry, it's worthy of a viewing. Look for it at your library for free, because it's an indie movie and nothing blows up real good (although it's been a while).

Happy birthday dude!

Song of the day: "Satellite Heart"

Anya Marina from the New Moon soundtrack (it's a Twilight thing--adults won't understand).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nevada offering "everything but marriage"


Gay and lesbian couples can't get married, but they can get a civil union that's basically the same thing. You know, separate but equal and all. Which is totally awesome.

Just like these Colored Water Fountains! It's the same water, more or less. So thanks Nevada. A state where marriage means so much.

I guess I shouldn't complain since Oregon is worse, having voided marriages after they were performed. Fuckers.

Anyway, march in Washington DC this weekend and I am not able to go. Sigh.

Our kids are failing on Obama's watch

If you don't know that I heart Colbert, you should. What's wrong with you?

My new favorite web resource

The indignant Conservapedia. They know how to take liberals to task for their blatant lies lies lies, yeah. For example:
What Michelle Obama calls her "best memories" are proven to be yet another lie, this time trying to fool the International Olympic Committee: “Some of my best memories are sitting on my dad’s lap, cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis, and others for their brilliance and perfection.” In fact, Mrs. Obama was 20 years old when Lewis first competed in the Olympics in 1984. Unlike the liberal media, the Olympic committee was apparently not fooled; it soundly rejected Obamas' request.

True, Carl Lewis, 1984. Olga Korbut? 1972. Hmm, that would make Michelle Obama 8. Is it possible that an 8-year old girl would sit on her father's lap to watch gymnastics?

No, no it is not. Because Michelle Obama is nothing but a negro liar. And Conservapedia isn't afraid to say it.

RIP Peg Mullen

"I have no idea of your age, but I hope you never have to stand in a quiet corner of an airport and say goodbye to a son in uniform, knowing in your heart that you’ll never see him again.

I hope you never suffer the horror of a military man sitting at your kitchen table trying to tell how your son died — then wait 10 days for his body to be returned and his casket unloaded in a darkened corner of the same airport."--Peg Mullen in a message to a columnist for the Des Moines Register responding to his support for the pending invasion of Iraq (take 2)

Peg Mullen lost her son in Vietnam. She became an outspoken activist, using his death benefit to take out large ads protesting the Vietnam war in the Des Moines paper back in 1970. A pretty audacious move, you have to agree.

Her story was the basis for the TV movie Friendly Fire starring Carol Burnett.

From the New York Times obit:
Mrs. Mullen’s militancy never abated. At 74, she rode a bus for 38 hours to protest the first Persian Gulf war. In 2005, at 88, she said she was furious that she could not join Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost a son in the Iraq war, in Ms. Sheehan’s protest outside President George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas.

Details here.

Rest in peace.

(h/t to Rachel Maddow via Twitter)

Morning commute playlist

The shuffle mode served up a great selection for me on this morning's train ride, and I want to share.

Bananarama "Love in the First Degree"
Robbie Williams "We're the Pet Shop Boys"
Eurythmics "Here Comes That Sinking Feeling"
Dwight Yoakam "Ain't That Lonely Yet"
Mission of Burma "That's When I Reach for My Revolver"
Morrissey "Interesting Drug"

Happy birthday Matthew Sweet

My first experience with Matthew Sweet was back in 1989, with Earth his 2nd album. It's great, and long forgotten, and if you like Matthew at all, dig around for it at used record stores, because you'll probably find a copy for $4. Worth it.

Sadly no one has any of those songs on the youtubes. And I'm too old and curmudgeonly to make the effort myself.

He came into the mainstream (well, alternative music mainstream) a couple of years later, providing nice pop songs that gave a break from 20 minutes of grunge. After I wrote that last sentence I went to find a video clip for "Girlfriend" (the title track of his 3rd album) and the montage that leads into it seems to back me up. Also listen to the "enthusiasm" in the announcer's voice. The video is from the anime film Space Adventure Cobra.


The girl in the photo used as the cover of Girlfriend is actress Tuesday Weld, who allowed the use of her photo after they changed the title from Nothing Lasts.


Here's Matthew on MTV's 120 Minutes introducing the video for "I've Been Waiting." Interesting trivia: MTV used stand for music television and they played music videos.


Here's "Sick of Myself" from 100% Fun (the album's title is taken from Kurt Cobain's suicide note).


Sweet collaborated with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge in a supergroup called The Thorns.


Lately he's been working with Susannah Hoffs, and they recently ("recently" because it seems recent, but then my memory comes and goes, and Vol. 2 might be 4 years old by now) released a 2nd album of covers. Here are a couple:

Song of the day: "Good Girls Go Bad"

By Cobra Starship.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What should we call our new awesome straw?


So I got a sandwich at the airport for my flight back to Portland because, you know, airlines aren't supplying anything these days. And there I spied this lovely box of straws. Awesome Straws brand straws. Which required a picture.

I've worked in the corporate world long enough to know that nearly every product naming goes through an ungodly amount of discussion. Everyone has an opinion. Or their 13-year old kid does (which is why I am careful to talk about "names that need work" instead of "the crappiest names from the list" when I have done naming research); people place a little too much value on the input provided by their 13-year olds... it's that magical age when kids start to make some sense and also talk to their parents candidly. Everything goes down hill when kids hit 14.

Back to Awesome Straws. I tried to find out more information about this product. To no avail. So far, nothing, but a post at a blog apparently run by Hot Topic shoppers (here). Anyway, I'll continue to look.

In the meantime, here are a few names I'm guessing they considered but tossed:
Perfectly Adequate Straws (doesn't convey the full awesomeness)
Awesome Sticks (aren't actual sticks, needs more "straw" to it)
Straws That Have a Lot of Awesomeness (this is getting warm--can we fine tune?)

Song of the day: "Million Dollar Bill"

Another pop song, but another "gay boys put on a show" home made thing. These guys were inspired by last week's video for "Party in the U.S.A."

Hopefully regular programming will resume tomorrow.

Please let this be my mother!

$189 Million Jackpot Won in Florida

And if you don't know it, this is also a scam

As someone who has won foreign lotteries a bazillion times in the last few months alone, I've been blessed by not stressing too much about the current economy. Not everyone is that lucky, and this email might seem like an interesting option. But it's not. It's not that there aren't companies that run "secret shopper" programmers, they just don't recruit via email. If you answer an email like this, you will get burned.

WE HAVE A MYSTERY SHOPPING ASSIGNMENT IN YOUR AREA AND WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO PARTICIPATE.

Secret Shopper® is accepting applications of qualified individuals to become mystery shoppers in the USA, UK and Ireland. It is fun and rewarding. There is no charge to become a shopper and you do not need previous experience. After you sign up, you will have access to training materials via e-mail or post.

ABOUT US

Secret Shopper® is the premier mystery shopping company, The idea started in the usa serving clients across America and Canada with over 500,000 shoppers available and ready to help businesses better to serve their customers right. Now Secret Shopper® has been newly introduced to the USA, UK and Ireland with over 16 years of know-how means working with Secret Shopper® is a satisfying and rewarding experience. Stores and organizations such as The Gap, Empirestores, ASDA, Clarks, PizzaHut, Walmart, McDonalds, Halfords, French Connection, and other businesses. One amongst many others pay Secret Shoppers to shop in their establishments and report their experiences. On top of being paid for shopping you are also allowed to keep purchases for free.

Secret Shopper® NEVER charge fees to the shopper. Training, tips for improvement, and shopping opportunities are provided free to registered shoppers. Mystery shoppers are either paid a pre-arranged fee for a particular shop, a reimbursement for a purchase or a combination of both. Secret Shopper® has available for immediate assignment an inspection of the customer service of any major store in your area. You are to shop secretly and invest just a token. This fee will be sent to you upfront once you are register with us. During this shop you will visit the location and make several observations as regards the customer service.

You will be required to interact with the shop clerk.
You may conduct the assignment alone or as a couple.
This assignment pays 50 - 100.00 (? 0r $) per duty


Kindly Fill Out the application form below and we will get back to you shortly with the assignment:

PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Full Name:
Full Mailing Address (not P.O.Box please):
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Cell Phone:
Home Phone:
Gender:
Age:
Marital Status:
Best Times To Call:
Present Job Status/Position:
Email:


AVAILABILITY:

Days/Hours Available
Monday  .......................
Tuesday .......................
Wednesday ..................
Thursday  .....................
Friday ..........................
Saturday ......................
Sunday ........................
Hours Available: from _______ to ______


We look forward to working with you. Send your interests via email.

Sincerely,
Forest Mars Jr.
Secret Shopper®





"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I think this is my 7th time winning the UK lottery

My favorite part is their use of the copyright info, including an exclamation point. That SHOUTS legitimate.

UK NATIONAL LOTTERY E-MAIL BALLOT AWARD 2009!

Congratulation!!!!!!!!!

Your email address has won £500,000.00GBP
Contact Dr Felix Wilson your claims agent for payment:
claimsagent044@gmail.com
+234-8030-660611

Indicate the following to your agent in his email above
1.Your names,
2.country
3.Mobile phone number.
4.Winning Number: 11-13-26-34-44-48
5.Batch Number: 8056490902/188
6.Reference Number: UK/HW47509/009

Sincerely,
Mrs Rabecca John, Financial Director.
Copyright © 2009 UK National Lottery! All rights reserved!

The thing about having dogs (two unrelated pictures)


Even when they're not around to wake me up at 6:30, I wake up at 6:30. They don't understand "weekend" or "vacation" and even when I'm away I can sense the urgency-of-breakfast vibe. Which is why I was up at 7:00 and caught this picture. The weather dropped about 25 degrees between Friday and Sunday, in part because of serious winds.

And while I was away, Gracie got her very first squirrel. Missing that has a very Jim Croce Harry Chapin sentimentality to it.

Not really--I'm sure many of you  are a little freaked out by the picture (sorry, made it smaller just now) but Rebel (as in the title of the blog) would regularly take out squirrels and rats, so I've become immune to dead critters. (You know, that's really easy for me to say when I have Clark to do all the dirty work, I'm sure he'd be laughing at how "nonchalant" [note use of "" to signify irony] I would actually have been had I been home to deal with it--he's very supportive like that.) That being said, I've still dealt with more dead squirrels than Clark. And for the record: Rebel 2, Gracie 1, and Rich 1 (this squirrel fell in front of my car in a freak Wily Coyote-esque choreography that had me hitting the squirrel--in mid-drop--with my car's front bumper while going all of 10 mph, but tossing him [or her] with enough force to kill it when it landed a few feet away).

It should also be noted that the first squirrel of Rebel's received a somewhat honorable burial in the backyard, under a new plant purchased to honor its passing. All subsequent critters were double bagged and tossed in the garbage. Because it should ALSO also be noted that these same fucking squirrels like to nest in the weird corners of my roof line, and I have to pay $50 per squirrel to have them humanely trapped and removed.

Which is why I need a jet pack for Gracie. It would totally pay for itself.