31 May 2008

Yea, They're Down in Pittsburgh

The Wings beat the Pens in the igloo tonight to go up three games to one. It's a tough hole to dig out of, but Pittsburgh still has Mike Lange. After a goal, hit or otherwise nifty move, Lange has the punctuation:
Scratch my back with a hacksaw!
Get in the fast lane Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll!
Buy Sam a drink and get his dog one too!
Lord Stanley, get me the brandy!
Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Creek!
He just lost his liquor license!
He's handing out checks like it's the first of the month!
The turkey is on the table!
I'll be cow-kicked!
It's time to buy new shoes!
He hasn't scored since the eighth-grade picnic!
Let's go hunt moose on a Harley!
Donna needs a donut!
How much fried chicken can you eat?
And the kitchen is closed!
Never sit on a bald man's hat!
She wants to sell my monkey!
He's smilin' like a butcher's dog!
He put it in the top shelf where grandma keeps the cookies!
Hop in the Cordoba baby, we're going bowling!

28 May 2008

Is it Safe to Exit the Aircraft?

via GlyphJockey (click to make more funny).

Sit Down and Shut Up

It seems pretty inevitable that the billion-dollar boondoggle and politician legacy builder is going to go forward. In spite of no demonstrated need nor any promise to alleviate traffic congestion, we're going to spend mountains of our money to remove the only bus route in the cities that comes close to paying for itself and replace it with a money-losing plastic train that offers zero flexibility as route need evolves. Shit; why not build several?

There was great strife a few weeks ago when Governor Pawlenty held up the state portion of the choo-choo funding as a bargaining chip as the legislative session was wrapping up and he was really raked over the coals for it. That cloud passed with no rain, it turns out, and the state portion of the funding has been restored.

Now, the largess that is the University of Minnesota is dictating that the route goes the way they want as opposed to where the alleged transit professionals say it's supposed to go. The cost to accommodate the U is a deal breaker and puts the whole thing in far greater jeopardy that the governor's tactics ever did:

(Met Council President Peter) Bell, however, maintains the timeline must be followed if the 11-mile line is to open in 2014, and he's frustrated by the university's position insisting on a northern alignment, especially in light of the compromises made on the St. Paul end of the project, where the line was shortened and neighborhoods aren't getting all the stations they wanted. The U's opposition "has the potential to kill" the project, Bell said.

"They don't have a dime in this. ... The U is playing with everyone else's resources," he said. He was referring not only to construction costs -- estimated to rise $45 million a year for each year of delay -- but also operating costs, which he said would be $4 million more per year if the northern alignment were built.

The bottom line is that the University of Minnesota is a publicly funded land-grant institution. It is not a private entity and exists to serve the citizens of Minnesota. Why they are given such an influential seat at this table and why we tolerate their demand for extravagance is beyond me.

Hey, U of M; sit down, shut up and stop raising the ante with our tax money.

27 May 2008

The Wrong Pork

This ain't ribs or shoulder, it's pure tripe:
Politicians have two ways of responing when they are caught doing something that outrages voters: They can stop the behavior or they can find a way to continue it in a manner that's difficult for voters to observe. On wasteful spending, the Democrats have chosen the latter course, and in so doing, have revealed indefensible and fundamental biases in the methods Congress asks the Congressional Budget Office to employ.

Notice how sharply the treatment of spending differs from the treatment of tax cuts. President George W. Bush's tax cuts are set to expire, and any attempt to renew them looks like it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars relative to the baseline. Because of that ppearance, Democrats regularly wail about the horrible deficit effects of extending the cuts.

But according to the CBO, there is approximately $1.3 trillion worth of mandatory spending that is also set to expire. If you add the discretionary spending that is also built into the CBO baseline, then there are spending extensions that cost about as much as the tax-cut extensions. But since the spending is in the baseline, Democrats get to pretend that its extension costs nothing extra.
Read it all. Then puke.

26 May 2008

Before the Door Closed

I missed out on seeing Elvis. Missed out on the Beatles. Missed Ellington, Hendrix, Charles, Monroe, Tormé, Wills and the mighty Led Zeppelin.

But I got to see the Dave Brubeck Quartet last night.

Dave Brubeck is 87. He walked slowly onto the stage, took some time to stand up from his seat and spoke with a weary voice. But he then did things that on-stage grand piano had never experienced from anyone else. I don't know enough about arrangement to know where his age forces compromises, but I heard no shortage of complexity, subtlety, improvisation, touch and presentation that can only come from a long life of work.

The other members of the DBQ, Bobby Militello on alto and flute, Michael Moore on bass and Randy Jones on drums, each had ample time to shine, both while soloing and while collaborating. The set went from the eclectic blues to Walleresque boogie woogie to the cool West Coast sound that Brubeck defined. Brubeck fought under Patton at the Battle of the Bulge and the fact that it's Memorial Day was not lost on his performance as he pulled out a 1945 composition, written after he witnessed the brutality of war, that his veteran accompanists were heretofore unfamiliar.

Always with a brief and to-the-point story, always choosing songs that fit the scene and always with obvious reverence for the other three men on stage, Brubeck reminds music fans what it is to be simultaneously passionate and professional; two things not lost on the audience.

Four old men, gray hair, in tuxedos, with simple lighting blew the doors off every rock concert I've ever seen.

25 May 2008

Don't Know Much About History

Don't know much geography:

SUNRISE, Fla. -- At first, it seemed as if Barack Obama might just be speaking figuratively, as is his wont sometimes. "How's it going, Sunshine? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you everybody. It's good to be in Sunshine!" Obama declared on taking the stage this afternoon for a rally at the BankAtlantic Arena in Broward County, Fla., just west of Ft. Lauderdale.

But then he said it again, and again -- "When we are unified sunshine, nobody can stop us!" -- and it became clear: Obama thought he was in Sunshine, Fla. But he was not. He was in Sunrise, the name given to this particular swath of South Florida palm trees, bungalows and outlet stores. If the 16,000 in attendance noticed, they didn't make it known. There was no dropoff in applause as Obama experienced recently when he opened a speech in Sioux Falls, S.D. by declaring, "Thank you, Sioux City!" before realizing that he had named the Iowa city by mistake.

Even in it's faux criticisms, the Washington Post kid-gloves Obama by laughing it off.

If John McCain (however unlikely) utters the proper noun 'Minneapolis' whilst in St. Paul for the convention, I'll write in Barry Goldwater on my ballot in November.

Not For Me

I get so sick of sharing htis planet with subhumans:

Morsal was 16, a young girl with joie de vivre. She laughed a lot and she was a go-getter. She was a good student, had ambition and a lot ahead of her in life. But she was murdered on Friday, May 9. Her 23-year-old brother Ahmad, with the help of a cousin, lured her to a parking lot near a subway station in the German port city of Hamburg under a false pretense and stabbed her 20 times with a knife.

Ahmad stabbed his sister more than 20 times because the 16-year-old girl didn't live her life according to his values. Women's rights advocate Seyran Ates is now calling for German society to intensify its efforts to stop honor killings.

Pretty creepy use of the word 'honor' if you ask me.


Starting to fade a bit. Not enough to go unnoticed.

24 May 2008

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

The Swedish national team vs. the Penguins, tonight begins what looks like a great Stanley Cup Final series.

Saturday Raccoon

23 May 2008

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Friday morning - who knew raccoons were German/Irish?

Don't You Know What School I Went to?

A look inside our nation with an unlikely anthropologist:
I invited the applicants for interviews. These PMI wannabes came off as slick and somewhat rude. I noted something among my subjects, a sense of entitlement, they all, to varying degrees, emitted a message along the lines of "Why are you bothering me with this silly interview? I am obviously brilliant. I have a degree from Columbia. I am not going to spend my whole life as you have in this stupid bureaucracy. I just need this to add to my resume. I am in a hurry."

None, zero, zip of the rest got even ONE right. Not a single one. A very irritated applicant asked me, "Do we really need to know this old stuff?" I noted that we worked with NATO and Europe, hence, it was important to know the background that led to the creation of NATO and the then just-concluded Cold War. She stared at me and said, "What does World War II have to do with NATO, the Cold War and Europe?"
This is the result of a generation that grew up on Kurt Loder and never heard of John Kenneth Galbraith.

So Much For the Facts

Donald Sensing has heard the drum beat and is playing along:

As Honda's TV ads point out, the only exhaust from the Clarity is water vapor. The Clarity is obviously designed to capture the market of car buyers who think that gasoline engines are bad things for the environment because they emit carbon dioxide. So the Clarity, emitting only simple water vapor, must be magnitudes better at rolling back global warming, yes?Problem is, when it comes to global warming, water vapor is enemy number one: "Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect."

So buy a Clarity and kill the polar bears!

UPDATE: But wait; there's more on bears:

The green left preaches pessimism: Ineluctable scarcities (of energy, food, animal habitats, humans' living space) will require a perpetual regime of comprehensive rationing. The green left understands that the direct route to government control of almost everything is to stigmatize, as a planetary menace, something involved in almost everything -- carbon.

Environmentalism is, as Lawson writes, an unlimited "license to intrude." "Eco-fundamentalism," which is "the quasi-religion of green alarmism," promises "global salvationism." Onward, green soldiers, into preventive war on behalf of some bears who are simultaneously flourishing and "threatened."

22 May 2008

Trauma Plus Twelve Hours

Coolnurse sez:

A black eye is bruising or blood leaking into the tissues surrounding your eye and bone if you get hit there. Most bruises start off as a kind of dark reddish–purple, and as the bruise gets older, it may turn a yellowish, caused by the blood breaking down into its different components.

Bruises gradually disappear over a number of days without needing to do anything. (The leaked blood gets digested by other cells in your body and it is kind of absorbed).

However ugly and painful at the time, bruises will all disappear in a few days or a week.

21 May 2008

That's Why I'm Here in Right Field, Just Watching the Dandelions Grow.

Off in the distance, the game's dragging on,
There's strikes on the batter, some runners are on,
I don't know the inning, I've forgotten the score,
The whole team is yelling and I don't know what for.

Then suddenly everyone's looking at me,
My mind has been wandering; what could it be?
They point at the sky and I look up above . . .
And a softball his me in the nose.

How utterly embarrassing . . . wonder if urgent care is still open.

The Next Looming Crisis?

You remember Enron? That might be nothing if this beocomes a trend, my fellow taxpayer.
All across the country, states and local governments are promising benefits to public workers on the basis of numbers that make little economic sense.

Two big problems are being laid on actuarial doorsteps: overly aggressive investing and overly rich benefits. Benefits can go off the scale because widely used actuarial methods tend to make them look inexpensive. And this tends to encourage aggressive investing, because the greater the risk in the portfolio, the less costly it can seem to provide the benefits.

“Actuarial assumptions based on misinformation are a recipe for disaster,” said the Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott.
Oh, what the hell; it's only our money mismanaged - we'll just bail them all out one day. It would be so easy to take this into a foaming rant about public employees' unions . . .


Something wicked this way comes.

The Acrimony of Strangers

It there anything less pleasant than sanctimonious bipedals?
When Shannon de Rubens, a stay-at-home mom, wears her Hillary Rodham Clinton button, she expects to be harassed. A woman in Bellevue even pretended to spit on her once. That's all part of the game, when you're a Clinton backer in a land of Obama bumper stickers. "I hate to say it, but that sort of acrimony between strangers has been standard in this campaign, especially locally," said de Rubens, who lives in Issaquah and co-founded two grass-roots campaign groups, the Hillraisers, in the region with more than 100 members total.

"They'll call (Clinton)her a bitch. Or say she's evil incarnate. They come up with these horrible names that you just don't hear men getting called," he said. "With Hillary, everything's personal." Shaun Shaffer, 29, a Web developer from White Center, said Seattle Democrats have accused him of being a racist for not supporting Obama. "In this campaign, you couldn't just be for or against a candidate," he said.

16 May 2008

Stomping and Eating Their Own

Short and to the point from Jennifer Rubin:
I understand as well as the next person that politics is tough business, but let’s do some thought experiments. First, had Clinton or McCain or their teams used phrases which could be seen as disparaging African Americans, they’d have been vilified. Second, had a Republican done the “sweetie” and “claws” routine, every NOW representative worth her salt would be on the air calling for heads to roll. You want double standards? Got ‘em right here. In this wonderful post-partisan, post-racial era, someone forgot to tell the liberal media establishment and their beloved candidate that sexism is passé.

As the Wheel Turns

Motorsport is always the best drama. First, the human-form disease that is Bernie Ecclestone is dinking around with F1 again:
(T)his year's French Grand Prix will be the last held at Magny-Cours. Ecclestone has long argued that the Circuit de Nevers, 155 miles (250km) south of Paris, is inaccessible and not up to modern F1 standards. He said in an interview with French sports daily L'Equipe: "The concern is the location - 2008 will be the last time we continue like this.
This is the guy who's thrown Estoril, Brand's Hatch, Buenos Aires and even the glorious Spa-Francorchamps under the bus in the last decadde. F1 in China? In Bahrain? Stop being an self-important ass, you self-important ass.

Meanwhile, it's a sad day in Northern Ireland:
Motorcyclist Robert Dunlop has died at the age of 47 after suffering severe chest injuries in a crash in Thursday's practice session at the North West 200.

"Robert was one of our greatest sportsmen and will be sadly missed." (Deputy First Minister Martin) McGuinness said: "Robert, like his brother Joey before him, was a tremendous ambassador for his sport.

11 May 2008

Mothers' Day Feast

These went over very well.

Smarts Easlily Defeats Stupids

While technology may set some free, it results in the incarceration of others:

One of the laptops was a Macintosh belonging to Kait Duplaga, who works at the Apple store in the Westchester mall and thus knows how to use all its bells and whistles. While the police were coming up dry, Ms. Duplaga exploited the latest software applications installed on her laptop to track down the culprits and even get their photographs.

He said that Ms. Duplaga immediately signed on to another Macintosh computer and, using a feature called “Back to My Mac,” was able to gain access to her missing laptop remotely. She could see that that the person who had her computer was shopping for beds, Mr. Jackson said. Then it occurred to her that she could activate a camera on her laptop and watch the thief live.

At first, the photo application revealed only a smoky room and an empty chair, Mr. Jackson said, but then a man sat down. Ms. Duplaga, again using remote technology, typed in the command to snap a photo. “When you take a picture with that computer, it shows a countdown, and when it does, this guy figures out what’s going on,” Mr. Jackson said. “It all clicks for him, and he puts his hand up to cover the lens, but it was too late. She had already taken the picture.”

This reminds me of the great scene in Wrath of Khan, where Kirk used the Enterprise to disable the Reliant right under Khan's feet.

Putting One Over on Authority

Hey, it's their rules - the kids in Manchester are just playing by them.

Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from the city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets.

With an estimated 13 million CCTV cameras in Britain, suitable locations were not hard to come by. They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras.

Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act.

Uncommon Lucre

I think Andrew Johnson gets the worst of it.

10 May 2008

Blame the Marijuana?

Reynoldsism Right Here in River City

Channeling Instapundit with a local angle: "They told me is George Bush were re-elected, politicians would call for the firing of truth seeking journalists, and they were right!
(Katherine) Kersten's reckless journalistic standards have diminished this paper's credibility. Worse, they have threatened the safety of the children and staff at the school, which has been forced to take extra security measures in the wake of recent death threats. While I value a broad range of opinions from a variety of perspectives, I value the facts even more. Kersten's gross distortion of the facts in this case should compel Star Tribune management to ask for her resignation.

Mindy suffers from the delusion so common among her ilk; she's so convinved she's right that she can't even detect her own use of Stalin tactics. Oh, for the shoe be on the other foot.

There is and excellent vivisection of the clearly brain-damaged Grieling at Powerline:

In short, Rep. Greiling has failed to cite a single fact in her letter to support her claim that Kersten grossly violated journalistic standards or that she should be asked to resign. Under the circumstances, her letter is an abuse of her legislative position. Rep. Greiling should demonstrate Kersten's "gross distortion of facts" or should resign herself.

About the Price of Gas

Kevin O'Brien nails it:

We, and our political representatives, have let ourselves get talked out of drilling for our own oil because doing so might scare the fish and inconvenience the caribou. Sitting under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 10 billion barrels of oil. That's about 15 years worth of imports from Saudi Arabia. And it will continue to sit until we begin to prize our freedom of movement more than the caribou's.

We've let ourselves get talked out of a lot of oil refining capacity, because refineries are yucky. We've let ourselves get talked into producing all kinds of exotic mixtures of gasoline, sold according to season, that drive up prices of both food and fuel. And while we feed corn to our gas tanks, food riots break out elsewhere. (Caribou steaks, anyone?) Now the eco-warriors and the big corporations (aren't we supposed to hate them?) that stand to profit (aren't we supposed to hate people who make money?) from getting picked by government as winners in the "renewable" energy sweepstakes want to talk us into raising consumer costs even more - a lot more.
Read it all and then glance in the mirror.

Reflections on Anaheim

Just back from 4 days in Anaheim and I'm chock-full of observations. The sun never came out. I'm not sure the temperature ever made it over 70. The 105 freeway really, really needs some felons out there picking up garbage. Even in the shadow of The Mouse, where you are surrounded by the hell that is Denny's, Chili's and Tony Roma's, there are actually some good places to eat. The Anaheim Convention Center is probably viewable from space. You'd never have any idea you were 30 minutes from the ocean. From ingress/egress, food and accommodation and architecture/feng shui issues, there's are to many things wrong with LAX to list here. Their NHL team is a goon squad. The average piece of fruit and glass of juice are much better than average.

04 May 2008

A Case For Winfall Profits Taxes

On health care, publishing, software and equities - what, you want to stick it to Big Oil like the flunkies running for president?

Not Authentic Without Big Brother's Approval

These are 100% authentic, imported from Europe, and feature the official European Union pint seal etched in the glass. The CE mark – which, in French, stands for ‘European Conformity’.
European conformity - someone wake George Orwell. Glasses for sale here. Backstory here.

Ever since 1699, successive governments have found it necessary to measure and certify the pint and half-pint glasses made and used in this country. The rules, which were intended to assure suspicious beer drinkers that they were not being given short measures, meant a crown and certification number was printed on each glass.

However, the EU is introducing a standard European-wide system for guaranteeing the size and safety of glasses. Consequently, the new glasses now appearing in British pubs and bars carry a CE mark - which, in French, stands for ‘European Conformity'.

Could You Please Get Your Story Straight?

Is there any wonder why Cops is among the best things on television:
At 4:02 p.m. April 10, two women went into the Federal Way police station claiming that over the past two years, a paranormal person has been placing sensors on their bodies and visiting them in their house at 28600 block of 25th Place South. They said that the ghost has been having sexual intercourse with them. One woman said that these incidents started in Kent and continued when she moved here. The other woman said that this just started now.
Well, which is it?

Cats That Look Like Wilford Brimley

Who knew that they were so common?