"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Klaatu Barada Nikto Carbon Footprint

And you thought An Inconvenient Truth was science fiction:
OTTAWA (AFP) - A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday.

"I would like to see what (alien) technology there might be that could eliminate the burning of fossil fuels within a generation ... that could be a way to save our planet," Paul Hellyer, 83, told the Ottawa Citizen.
More HERE. Via NRO.

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Once Upon a Time in Lodi

The Lodi (California) News-Sentinel reports:
A jazz musician was injured Friday after jumping from a burning motor home driven by a one-time roller skating stripper from Lodi.

Francis Courtney, 60, a guitarist and singer for Stockton-based "Cradle of Sound," leaped from the motor home on the Highway 99 overpass at Peltier Road shortly before noon.

Courtney, whose band opened for BB King on New Year's Eve in Stockton, was taken by ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, said California Highway Patrol Officer Roberto Iniguez.

Luccketta, who is still known for his roller skating stripper gig but now focuses on playing music, was not injured. There was no sign of alcohol involvement, Iniguez said, and the Coors Light beer can on the motorhome's dashboard appeared to be a decoration.


What About Chips?

Robotic Beer Launching Refrigerator

Discovered by the Hired Hand while doing research for his a friend's patent application.


Monday, February 26, 2007

The Fabulous Johnny Cash

Born February 26, 1932.

Only 27, a live show in 1959:

And 43 years later:


Al Sharpton

So it turns out that the egregious Al Sharpton's great-grandfather not only was a slave (something Big Al somehow didn't know), but was owned by some sort of collateral ancestor of the late Strom Thurmond. The Washington Post reports that this revelation "gave him a new perspective on his life."

(We are put in mind of the claim by Madeleine Albright, three of whose grandparents were killed in Nazi death camps, that she didn't know she was Jewish until 1996, when she was 60 years old. Just between you and me, I think she was lying.)

It's hard to know what to make of this, aside from remaining in awe of Reverend Al's ability to generate publicity. It does lead inevitably to the observation that Thurmond, who died three years ago, was born only 37 years after ratification of the 13th Amendment.

Of course, those mischievous malcontents at PowerLine couldn't help but wonder about Big Al, "Was he hoping for John Edwards or Jimmy Carter?"


From the Front


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Yogi Berra & Don Larsen: October 8, 1956

From Sports Illustrated:
LITTLE FALLS, N.J. (AP) -- More than 50 years after etching his name in baseball's record books, Don Larsen finally got to see himself do it.

Along with a crowd of about 100 people Friday night that included former teammate Yogi Berra, the pitcher who owns the only perfect game in World Series history watched the television broadcast of the Oct. 8, 1956, game, courtesy of Illinois collector Doak Ewing.

Neither Larsen nor Berra had ever watched the original broadcast of the game . . . .


Larsen recalled how his teammates, cleaving to baseball superstition, refused to sit near him or talk to him in the final few innings.

"I didn't believe in superstition," he said. "I was more uncomfortable the last few innings because no one would talk to me or sit next to me. The only time I was happy was when I was on the mound."


Other members of Friday's audience had their own stories. Paul Lioy's father got him out of school that day to go to the game but nearly caused him to miss the ending because he wanted to beat the traffic home.

"In the bottom of the seventh inning he looked at me and said, 'OK, it's time to leave,"' said Lioy, a professor at New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "I said, 'But it's a perfect game! It's part of history!' Then two guys who were sitting in the row in front of us turned around and said to him, 'Hey, listen to the kid.' So we stayed."

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Frat Party Gets Out of Hand

[Ed. Note: Some language almost certainly not appropriate for your boss.]


"And The Oscar for Best Science Fiction Film Goes to . . ."

This Sunday, Al Gore will probably win an Academy Award for his global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a riveting work of science fiction.

The main point of the movie is that, unless we do something very serious, very soon about carbon dioxide emissions, much of Greenland’s 630,000 cubic miles of ice is going to fall into the ocean, raising sea levels over twenty feet by the year 2100.

Where’s the scientific support for this claim? Certainly not in the recent Policymaker’s Summary from the United Nations’ much anticipated compendium on climate change. Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100. Gore’s film exaggerates the rise by about 2,000 percent.

Read the whole thing.

[UPDATE] Who says there's nothing good you can say about al Gore? Not Extreme Mortman!

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Come With Me Into the Future . . . .

. . . . and bring a bathing suit. At long last, a cheap PowerPoint Presentation about global warming that I can get behind:

H/T to relapsed catholic.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

I Want One

Finally, something we can all agree on:You may get one for me HERE.


Friday, February 23, 2007

I Live In the Bay Area. And You Probably Don't (Part II)

So, there we were, sitting smugly at our desk (as we often do), thinking about how to survive the last hour and a half or so of our work week. The perpetually annoying construction noise below us seemed to intensify a bit (that's nothing new). Then things shook. Not wildly, but a little bit. A little side-to-side. A little office building mambo, if you will.

It was a quake. Only 3.4 on the Richter scale, mind you, but when it's right across the Bay, you're going to feel it. And we did. Heh. Cool.

Check out the USGS report, or the Google Map for by-the-hair-of-my-chinny-chin-chin precision.

We're just glad it wasn't the Big One.

Or even the Big O.C. One:

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I Live In the Bay Area. And You Probably Don't.

Which is why you should probably be jealous of this picture, taken on my way to Napa last weekend:

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Gollum & Smeagol Sing Barry White


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A World Without America


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Duke Rape Case

I know you think you know what I'm talking about, but actually I'm talking about THIS.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

You Think?

You don't read every news story to the end. You know you don't. With some, you don't even get past the headline. But some we read all the way through. Sometimes it's because they sort of scare us, and we can easily imagine ourselves in the same situation. Accidents, floods, that sort of thing. Others we read because they're reassuring. We know we're way smarter than those folks who signed up for the mortgage with an interest rate that started at 1%, but went to 25% in the third month. Those stories make us feel better: We're at least a little bit in control.

But some stories we read all the way to the end because we can't imagine how they can be true (we couldn't ever be in that position, and we don't even know anyone who could ever be there). The people involved seem to be from another planet, or at least a different species.

Which brings us to today's cautionary tale, brought to you by the letter P (for "pick ax") from beautiful Arizona:
Tempe police arrested a woman Tuesday night on suspicion that she tied up a man during sex, then stabbed him repeatedly with a knife and told him she likes to drink blood.

Tiffany Sutton, 23, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault at 11:55 p.m. in the 1000 block of South Lola Lane, where she and the victim were living, police said.

The man told police he had consented to being tied up but became scared when the woman attacked him with a knife. He eventually freed himself and ran away, but Sutton chased him with a pickax, police said.

The man was taken in an ambulance to a local hospital, where he was treated for injuries.

Police were unsure if the pair were friends, but Sgt. Mike Horn said the man and woman were not in a relationship.

Both admitted to authorities that they had consumed alcohol and drugs prior to the attack, Horn said.

The man called his friend, who found him passed out and then called police. Sutton initially acted like she was the victim, Horn said.

Sutton later told police the entire encounter was consensual.
My personal favorite is "Police were unsure if the pair were friends." Do you suppose they mean to wonder of the two remain close after this unfortunate misunderstanding?

From the East Valley Tribune.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More Breaking News

The Hired Hand writes to point out that Christopher Buckley has disclosed a new test that NASA will be using to screen astronaut candidates. It seems like a good idea to us.


Tailor Made

My physique has changed rather considerably over the years, and as a consequence a pair of pants that fit me when I was in college won't fit me now, 35 years later. One might say that I've grown, and need my old clothes to be tailored to fit my new self. We also grow in knowledge and wisdom, of course. Our ideas change. But they should change in the sense that we gain a better understanding of that which is. The world is out there, and it is what it is.

When you were a child you might have thought, for example, that a heavy object surely would fall faster than a light object. A baseball, after all, certainly falls more quickly than a feather. But you grew in knowledge and came to understand that the truth was otherwise. Your view was tailored to your new knowledge.

And so it seems to many with respect to rather more important truths. When they were young, impressionable, naive, perhaps a bit romantic, they believed all this God stuff. There was baby Jesus and Mary the always consoling Mother. There were engaging stories about boats and storms and walking on water and a couple of fish becoming a filet-o-fish feast for thousands. Cool. But as they learned more, and grew in knowledge, they wondered if these things could possibly be true, let alone The Truth. All the most sophisticated and attractive and with-it folks seemed to think it was all bunk. And they learned about science and Darwin and quarks and chemistry, and came to think that all that Jesus stuff was pretty unlikely, and way strange, and (most of all) ever so embarrassing and inconvenient. How uncool is it to have to pass up doing all those things that all the way-cool girls are doing because of . . . . Jesus? Gross.

Now don't mistake me here. This God-as-Man, rise from the dead, virgin birth stuff is pretty strange. And modern, sophisticated people, with the benefit of science, have come up with any number of new arguments against that sort of thing. (Well, maybe not so much new, but they're good arguments nonetheless.) There are lots of reasons you might tailor your beliefs to fit better with new knowledge, new understanding, new friends, new books, new television shows, new drugs, new freedom, new liberation, new access, new wealth.

I am put in mind of this by the Current Unpleasantness in the Episcopal Church. This is not the place, and I am not the person, to attempt an explanation and explication of those sad events. But I was struck by this quotation from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:
There is a desire to say "Well, I have the fullness of the truth, and there can’t possibly be any truth anywhere else." And if that’s our understanding of God, it’s too small.
To a modern sophisticated person, that sort of statement seems rather ordinary. It's the sort of feel-good stuff that Dr. Phil dispenses. Pick a god, any god, and make her in your own image. We're reminded perhaps of those great philosophical debates in the lounge of the freshman dorm. It's eminently sensible and with-it, but really ought not to be confused with Christianity.

This is Christianity:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
You're free to believe what you want, of course. But let's be clear. What Bishop Schori says may be true, but it's not Christianity. And those passages quoted just now may not be true, but they are Christianity.

Hat tip to Midwest Conservative Journal, the gateway to more than you ever thought you wanted to know about The Episcopal Church.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Is This Your Car?

Everyone has a friend whose car is filled with trash: McDonald's wrappers, coffee cups, dead maps, dirty clothes, rags, tissues, Chinese food boxes, soda cans, empty cigarette packs, and so on and so on. But maybe not quite so trash filled as Ann Biglan's Ford Focus, pictured at right, after the crash.
Biglan told police several old coffee cups and pieces of trash fell onto the gas and brake pedal, which caused her to lose control while backing out of a parking space near the West Yarmouth Post Office.

Police said the trash that fell on the pedal caused the Focus to pick up speed, drive over a curb, across Route 28, hit a Ford Explorer and back over a sidewalk. Biglan's car finally came to a rest after crashing into a flowerpot in the parking lot of the West Yarmouth Mobil gas station.

No one was injured during the crash. Bigan is charged with impeded operation of a motor vehicle, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to use care in backing, operating with a rejected safety inspection sticker
Story HERE. No word on Dunkin' Donut boxes.

February 12


We Love Legos

Watch the whole thing. A tiny Lego car made by an automated assembly line constructed entirely of . . . You guessed it:

Like Dr. Johnson's dog walking on its hind legs: it is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Word Problems

I always hated those darned word problems from algebra. About half the time I was sure the answer was going to be, "The bus driver's shirt is yellow." Here's a pretty good one, though:
Smoky J. sells meth. Smoky's source says he has to sell a G's worth of meth by the end of the month. If Smoky sold 240 dollars the first week and 532 dollars the second week, how much money must Smoky make if he wants to avoid the beat down from his connection?
You know I'm not making this one up, don't you? You're right.



If you're having trouble figuring out just exactly what you're looking at, go HERE and HERE.

Hat tip to Uncle Michael.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Just In

New York Times Reports: Overwhelming Consensus of Scientists Agree on New Cosmology: Earth Revolves Around Al Gore's Head.

Former Vice-President looks on as Evil Demons cause manifestation of disembodied hands, floating globe.

Winner of 2006 Reuters Award as "Best Non-Photoshopped Pic Incorporating Hands, Earth, and at least one of the Un-Dead."

"Hi! I'm Al Gore! I used to be the next President of the United States, but now I get paid to be a prop in third-rate magic acts."

Life comes at you fast, whether you're K-Fed or an unemployed tobacco farmer.

New York Post reports: Al Gore's head not yet as large as planet earth. But almost.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mean Girls

When you can't figure out what else to do, put up the damned picture, and post a poll.

PollPub.com VoteWhy did the lady astronaut do that?
Getting that close to the moon gave her permanent PMS
Found out the other lady is a Cylon
Just likes pooping her pants
Thought NASA stood for Nobody's Allowed to Steal my Amour
Got replaced by evil twin from that mirror universe where Spock has a beard
Bitch crazy

View Results

Poll powered by PollPub.com Free Polls


The Good Old Days

Service guarantees citizenship! Would you like to know more?


Did You Ever Wonder . . . . .

Something called "The Green Scene" reports:
A recent study showed that more than half of the food and beverage products that clearly have fruit pictured on their packaging contain little to no actual fruit in the ingredients list.

The study was conducted by the Prevention Institute, a Californian non-profit community health advocacy group. It found that in a survey of 37 heavily marketed foods with fruit on the packaging, 51 percent did not contain any fruit at all.

Another 16 percent contained minimal amounts of fruit 10 percent or less while the other 33 percent had an acceptable amount of fruit, but also high amounts of sugar.

Products like Juicy Fruit Gum and Froot Loops cereal both were found to have no fruit in them raise questions about product packaging that is misleading to consumers.
This got us thinking . . . . .

It was only a thought. Probably nothing to it. Never mind.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Because They're Too Good

I am Orso'Grande.

Some idiots think the NBA is boring. Just a bunch of guys running up and down shootin' some hoops. Heck, with a little practice anybody can do that. Well, maybe not quite so good, but something like.


I'll tell you the problem with the NBA: The players -- and particularly the best players -- are simply way too good. Most fans simply have no idea what they're looking at.

A very good NBA player can stand at the college three-point line and, if you leave him unguarded, can make more than 70 of a hundred baskets, throwing them up one-handed. Any time. Any night. Ain't no big thing. The only reason you don't see such a thing in a game is because that very good NBA player is being guarded by one (or two) NBA players who are darned near as good.

Gilbert Arenas, for example, can walk on to any college floor tonight anywhere in the country and, if he wants to, can score 80 points. Give him 4 competent college players to play around him, and he'll score 80 points against Florida, he'll score 80 points against UCLA, he'll score 90 points against North Carolina. These guys -- and guys like Arenas -- are simply that good.

Don't believe me?

Well, as you can read for yourself at the D.C. Sports Blog:
Gil [Gilbert Arenas] blogged some smack about DeShawn [Stevenson] yesterday, to wit:
I told him that I'd shoot with one-hand from college three better than he can shoot with both hands from NBA three. He really doesn't want to make that bet. He keeps brushing it off.
[snip]Anyhow, today after practice, Gil took 100 one-handed college three-pointers, and DeShawn took 100 two-handed NBA three-pointers. Oh, and they bet $20,000. Brendan Haywood and Antonio Daniels kept score. Caron Butler rebounded. Cal Booth was the voice of justice and fair play. Virtually everyone else on the team sat and watched.

Gil started out on fire, and finished up making 73 out of 100, with DeShawn attempting to distract him by spinning maniacally while dribbling a ball in the background. By the end, Gil was launching one-handed shots from out of bounds. "You think he's going to make 70 three-pointers?" he asked teammates, who questioned this strategy. "Get the [heck] out of here."

In any case, Gil was making em one-handed from out of bounds, too.
Still don't believe me? So watch the video for yourself:


Seems Like Old Times

I didn't know other employers gave out those pens.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Only in America

What do these folks have in common:

Pope Benedict
Genghis Khan
Al Capone
Simon Wiesenthal
Mohammed ibn Abdel-Wahhab
Joseph Stalin

Click HERE to find out.


Super Bowl Ads: Blame Bush

The ads during yesterday's Super Bowl weren't up to their usual standards. Most of those for Bud Lite were pretty good, and I think this might be my favorite:

I like it. Guys. Beer. Rock/Paper/Scissors. But the fellows at the New York Times are smarter than you, and they're way smarter than me, and so -- to them -- this isn't just amusingly silly. Oh no. It has DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE. Indeed, if the editors could, they'd no doubt want to ask you to imagine that you're the rock, and explain to them how you feel. Whatever.

But since The War That We Must Lose is never far from their tiny little hearts, it all has to do with the war. It's not about beer. It's not about guys. It's not even about selling stuff. It's All About The War:
Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War
No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.

More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.

For instance, in a commercial for Bud Light beer, sold by Anheuser-Busch, one man beat the other at a game of rock, paper, scissors by throwing a rock at his opponent’s head.
Yeah, man. Far out. Violence is, like, real bad and war isn't healthy for people and other living creatures and war is not the answer and bush lied and peace, love and Woodstock. Power to the People. Right on!

[A long time ago, and far, far away, a fellow who was a member of the Black Panther Party told me that he'd know he was becoming irrelevant when white guys started saying, "Right On!" I also distinctly remember the first time my mother said, "Right On!"]

There is an obsession among some with what they think the anti-Viet-Nam-war days were like. They think it was clean and bright, and clear what was right and what was wrong. And wannabes now think they missed something, and they think they can recreate something that didn't, of course, really exist. It must be like someone not quite old enough to have gone off to World War II, but so desperately wanting the respect and the shared experiences that gave to the fellows who were just a little older. Of course, those guys felt they'd missed out on Victory, while our present generation of poseurs think they missed out on showing how much they despise their country.

James Lileks decided to take the NYT column and run with the "war ads" angle:
Anyway, ads in WW2 did not appeal to a yearning for peace. They appealed to a yearning for victory, after which peace would follow. The ads of World War Two were mostly martial, with sweaty stubbed dogfaces, cigars screwed in the corners of their grim-set mouths, dealt the lead. The ad was usually an encouragement to keep fighting so the war could be over and we could have refrigerators again. Towards the end of the war, the ads hinted at the day when Johnny came home – plans would be made, houses bought, appliances ordered, insurance purchased, girls turned into wives with the application of woo, and children produced to populate the new era of peace. But the ads were as cautionary as they were hopeful. Johnny couldn’t come home until the war was won, of course.
Exactly. What has happened to the United States in the last 60 years that has so changed us that we can no longer imagine Victory?


Friday, February 02, 2007

Better Living Through Advertising

You've probably already seen the news story about the morons in Boston who, to promote a cartoon series on Adult Swim, put light boards up all over the city. As CNN reported it:
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Authorities have arrested two men in connection with electronic light boards depicting a middle-finger-waving moon man that triggered repeated bomb scares around Boston on Wednesday and prompted the closure of bridges and a stretch of the Charles River.

Meanwhile, police and prosecutors vented their anger at Turner Broadcasting System Inc., the parent company of CNN, which said the battery-operated light boards were aimed at promoting the late-night Adult Swim cartoon "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."
Well, it turns out that Turner Broadcasting is not so easily intimidated. As reported by Scott Ott, the same fellows have come up with these clever ad gimmicks:
– Renting a 747 painted with the show’s name and flying it past skyscrapers in major cities

– Hiring young men to show up in malls, on buses and other heavily-trafficked areas who would suddenly whip open their coats to reveal a special vest with blinking lights, and begin shouting the theme song of the show.

– “Abducting” strangers, blindfolding them, forcing them to their knees and then broadcasting their videotaped “confessions” that they love the cartoon.

– Hiring young men to suddenly stand up on buses and airliners and loudly declare that the new cartoon is “da bomb.”

– Planting hundreds of improvised advertising devices (IAD) that would suddenly flash, make a loud noise and scatter thousands of promotional fliers all over the road or sidewalk.

– Mounting a “viral” marketing campaign in which dozens of journalists would each receive an envelope containing a white powder along with a note daring the recipient to hold his breath until the debut of the new cartoon.

–Calling the White House, Pentagon, Supreme Court and other famous places and claiming to have planted a “dirty bomb” on the front steps, which turns out to be a paper bag full of dog droppings with the show’s logo stamped on the bag.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Summer Vacation Planning Reminder


Just the Facts, Ma'm

Opening paragraph of AP news story, objectively setting out the important events of the day:
WASHINGTON - The House passed a $463.5 billion spending bill Wednesday that covers about one-sixth of the federal budget as Democrats cleared away the financial mess they inherited from Republicans.