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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Short-Handed Amidst Record Unemployment and Other Strange Phenomena

The boss called me again this morning. "Hey, we're short-handed. You think you can come in early?" Normally I'd be game, because I am, at heart, a cooperative son of a bitch, but today was different.

Today I was still thinking about the four hours I worked on Sunday, which is my day off, because we were "short-handed" and the other time, not too long ago, when I worked a few 11 hour days because we were, well, "short-handed."

I guess you could say I'm a little burned out on this "short-handed" stuff.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Broken Windows and Cut Down Weeds

Law enforcement strikes again!

A Fort Lupton man was arrested and jailed, and may face felony charges, for cutting down weeds.
Plooster, a 49-year-old UPS driver, lives in Fort Lupton. He and his wife bought a two-story home next to the Coyote Creek golf course, a municipal course. While Plooster is not a golfer, he says he paid a premium for a lot with a view of the 13th green. But in recent years, undergrowth around a nearby pond began to obscure the Plooster's view of the green.

Plooster contacted golf course and city authorities requesting the growth be trimmed back. He says nobody did anything and he got the run around. So Plooster waited a year, then took matters into his own hands last summer, climbing over a 4-foot fence behind his house and snipping a pair of 5- to 7-foot tall sprouts himself.

He did it in daylight, piling the debris nearby. But when a golf course employee saw the debris, he called police to report a crime, believing someone had cut down cottonwood trees worth thousands of dollars.

Police interviewed Plooster, who admitted what he had done, saying he had just cut down "sucker growth," the equivalent of weeds. But one man's weed is another man's tree. Fort Lupton police arrested Plooster for felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor criminal trespass. He spent the night in the Weld County jail and had to post $20,000 bond the next day to gain his freedom.
Reminds me of the time I got charged for theft for throwing trash in the wrong dumpster, although this guy definitely got the worse deal. At least I didn't go to jail or have to come up with 20 grand to get out on bond.

The Fort Lupton police response is classic, too.
Fort Lupton Police Chief Ron Grannis concedes "there's other things of more importance that may be occurring in the city," but he said when the police department received the complaint alleging thousands of dollars in city trees had been cut down, a felony crime, his department had no choice but to act.

"If you call us we come. We will come and take care of what they're complaining about. They pay our salary so I have to respond," Grannis said.
Yeah, sounds like when the Aurora cops told me, "It is not the officer's place, when there is a victim wishing prosecution, to decide what laws to enforce and not enforce depending upon the severity of the alleged criminal conduct."

Bullshit. But apparently that's how cops roll. The complainant says jump, and the cops say how high. And if the courts have to sort the matter out, at great cost to the taxpayer (not to mention to the guy getting railroaded), so be it.

On the Win Last Night

It was great watching the Broncos mount one of their 4th quarter comebacks last night to beat the Browns. I didn't think they had it in them, not because the Browns are so good, but because the Broncos are so bad.

And it was nice to see Brady Quinn lose his first start, mostly because I don't like the guy. He played well, but in my mind, he's still an overrated pretty boy who has more commercials than NFL starts. (And he is pretty, although I do have some unkind words for his dentist. Yes, great work. But couldn't you have made his perfect teeth a little less fake? I mean, the dude can barely talk around his retainer.)

Oh! And Brandon Marshall, who scored the game-winning touchdown then tried to make some kind of political statement with a glove before being stopped by Brandon Stokely, pull your head out of your ass. Your team needed that touchdown, not a personal foul, which you no doubt would have gotten. Stop show-boating and do your job, man.

If you want to celebrate Obama's ascension to the presidency, start a blog.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Final Word on the Election (Maybe)

So I talked to Uncle Jim today and I could have been smug, I guess, but I wasn't. Not really.

He took me to task for mentioning the boos during McCain's concession speech, but not the little wave of his arms he did to quiet them. Yes, it's true. McCain did put the kibosh on the hecklers.

And no, it's not like booing the Raiders when they come to town. You boo them because they're the opposing sports team. In this case, they booed the very mention of the new president's name, who even before he was elected president, was a US Senator and a guy of some accomplishment.

John McCain deserves credit for silencing the haters, but in my book: too little, too late.

There had been such an effort, and John McCain bought into it, to tar Barack Obama in all kinds of stupid dehumanizing ways. He's a terrorist, wants to destroy Israel, turn half the country over to Mexican settlers.* He's a Muslim, or a Black Nationalist Christian, or maybe both. He had affairs, including gay ones, and threw his dead grandma under a bus. A bus! Oh, and did you hear that he was born in Indonesia?

Yeah, I've heard it all and seen it all, a lot of it documented here. And I still have all the e-mails.

What could a true believer do but boo? The country was given to a guy who might not just change the political direction we were going in, but he might doom us all.

So John, pat on the back for stepping up and showing some of that well-earned integrity. But you know what the Bible says: You reap what you sow.

(*Mexican settlers. I think that's what I'll call them from now on. It's as accurate a description as "illegal immigrants," more sociological, less judicial.)

Yikes

Wow, America. We dodged a bullet last night.

When I read about this, I was shocked.
Cameron relates how McCain aides were terrified of Palin's lack of knowledge of international and national issues, and even basic civics. Cameron reports that Palin was unfamiliar with the concept of "American exceptionalism," and that not only did she not understand that Africa was a continent rather than a single country but also that during debate prep Palin was unable to name all the nations in North America.

Say what?

But here's the thing: Consider the source.

Fox News, and Carl Cameron specifically, are not known for being straight shooters. It's always a good idea to use the "Trust but verify" metric when you're getting any information from these guys.

Cameron also does not name his sources for this information, so this could be rumors and innuendo or it could be the truth. How do we know? We don't. Not for sure.

It certainly sounds like rumors and innuendo, though...I mean, she didn't know Africa was a continent? Didn't know what three countries were in North America? That's just not credible. Even kids in grade school know that!

But let's assume for a second that there's some truth to this report. (And this is a big assumption...)

Am I to believe that insiders in the McCain campaign knew their VP candidate was (literally) an idiot and still tried to get her elected?

Nooooo. No way.

If untrue, this proves that Fox News are the sleazebags so many people think they are. If true, it proves that the Republican party nominated a stuffed shirt that doesn't even have the basic skills to play Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

Either way, it doesn't look good for somebody.

On Tax Liability and High Paid Sportsmen

I'd have more sympathy for rich people bitching about taxes if they spent less time trying to avoid paying them.

Case in point:
DANA POINT, Calif. – Looking ahead to an Obama administration, some baseball agents already are thinking about trying to beat a possible tax increase for their well-paid clients.

It's useful to remember that the lowest no-name outfielder at the bottom of the roster makes at least 400K a year on even the lowliest of MLB franchises. In other words, they're all rich motherfuckers making ten times the average salary in the US. By default, they're all going to get hit with any tax increase Obama may yet implement.

(That also goes for any professional sport, except for the unpopular ones. Professional lacrosse players, for instance, have day jobs.)

On a certain level, I can understand the reluctance for rich people to pay their taxes. "Hey, I earned this money, not Uncle Sam." (Yeah, you caught a ball. There's a skill that's real useful in the real world. You know, the one that's not propped up by high ticket prices, television revenue, and merchandising licenses.)

But on the other hand, I think paying a little more to Uncle Sam is a small price to pay for being a millionaire. After all, the system which allows ball-players to become multi-millionares isn't going to fund itself!

I Love Heidi Klum

In the last week or so, I've developed this sudden, and very intense, crush on Heidi Klum.

In all honesty, it was her Halloween costume, as the goddess Kali, that piqued my interest.

It's not sexy at all, but, oh-nam-shee-bah, it's creative and ballsy and dark and funny and very well done. Like, woah, girl. It's not the body in all that blue make-up, but the mind behind it.

And then I saw this, an ad for Guitar Hero.

Ignore for a second that it's a beautiful woman dancing around in her underwear. Yes, that's nice. But I also see a woman with a healthy sense of humor, with passion and heart, and she's fearless.

Add to that, she's married to a genuinely ugly man. (Yes, talented singer...still ugly.) As hot super-models go, she's a character, and that to me is even more attractive than her curves.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

He Did It

I was outside smoking a cigarette when I heard a spontaneous (and very distant) roar of crowd noise bouncing off the quiet buildings in the office park here.

That's when I knew they called it.

In other election news, Colorado went Blue this year.
Democrats largely followed on his coattails. Betsy Markey defeated incumbent U.S. Representative Marilyn Musgrave in the 4th Congressional District. Mark Udall is the winner in the hotly contested race for the state's next U.S. Senator. His rival, Bob Schaffer, is losing his own home county of Larimer by 9 percentage points. U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, from the 7th district, has been re-elected, as has Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette. Jared Polis becomes the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
I'm so glad Polis made it. Right on, bro.

And I'm so glad Marilyn Musgrave lost. That gay-hating bitch can go focus on her own damn family now and leave mine the fuck alone.

Side note: Watching John McCain's concession speech. McCain offers kind words for Obama...and the crowd boos. Lame.

May the Republican minority continue to shrink.

The Maestro

So stuck at work...watching the election returns on BBC(!). Obama is handling things beautifully. Right now, he's got 200 projected electoral votes. 70 more and he's got this.

I think a Beastie Boys quote is appropriate.
"Yeah, mothafuckas, I'm above that.
I see ya lookin at me sayin
How can he be so skinny
And yet so phat?"

An Election Day Message From James

As the nation gets out the vote, the Supreme Court talks profanity on TV and the authority of the FCC.

And so I bring you this message, courtesy of a band called Snot.

Well, it's just another song
Talkin' about how you let them take your rights
Another redundant verse about how you refused to fight & lost
What cost? Your cause has got no champion
How could you hope to win? By just complaining
Now it's raining on your parade
Decisions made could cost you dearly
Not just your money but your freedom
Are you wealthy? Improper choices could be deadly
They took your so-called rights
You didn't even fight
Well, here's your motherfuckin' wake up call
& there just ain't no way around it
Caught you asleep once again & we ain't havin' it
Got freedumb for you to do just what they tell you
You missed that train of thought
You refuse to be taught a lesson
Now this is what I'm guessing
You'll be held accountable
The things you didn't want to know
You're stressin'
Now with your mind they keep messin'
They took your so-called rights, you didn't even fight

While you were busy fuckin' sleepin'
You know your government was creepin'
Somebody left the door unlocked while you were asleep
Your life was bought & sold, yes, to the highest bidder
Left you in sitcom hell
So convinced you're doing well
You sit back synapses are attacked
American gladiators are the only thing they're given' back
You're dying & in your mind, while they keep lying,
They took your so-called rights
You didn't even fight
Now that we've given you this message you've got a mess
But you can salvage, continue to grow
& soon you'll know that little things in life can make a difference
You don't got to be some politician
Take back those given rights
Stand up & join the fight

Monday, November 03, 2008

And it was Awesome and it was Special

A video of people doing mundane things in super-slow motion. About half-way through, it ceases to be "mundane" and instead becomes sublime. Watch it and you'll know what I mean.

Whut?!

I saw this headline and that was my first impression. Whut?!

Nuggets trading Iverson

I half-expected him to be traded for draft picks, like Marcus Camby was, but I was heartened to see that we're getting Chauncey Billups back. Billups is from Denver, and one of the NBA's bonafide greats, so it does seem a bit more equitable than the Camby trade.

But I'm not sure if it brings us closer to being a contender or closer to being the goat. I mean, we were awfully goaty before we traded one of our star players away...

12 Rushing Yards

The Dolphins held the Broncos to a total of 12 rushing yards for the entire game on Sunday.

It should be no surprise that Jay Cutler got three interceptions and the Broncos lost the game. Watching this travesty in action yesterday, I don't have any insights into the root cause. The offensive line isn't very good at run-blocking or creating holes, and no one, especially an aging wash-out like Michael Pittman, can run through unencumbered defenses. A running back with more speed, vision, and power might be able to bust a big play here and there, but those chances will be few and far between. John Madden will tell you, Luck has never consistently beaten skill on a football field.

So now the Broncos look every bit the pretenders everyone said they were, with a rotten defense, no running game to speak of, and a coach who can't seem to do anything about it.

Oh well. I'll always have Elway.

Midnight Meat Train

I'm one of the few people who have actually watched Vinnie Jones's new movie, Midnight Meat Train, based on the Clive Barker short story.

It was supposed to be in theaters some time ago, but never quite made it. It's theatrical first run ended up being on about 100 screens at discount theaters, which begs the question: Why even make theatrical prints? 35mm prints are expensive. Save yourself some dough and just go straight-to-DVD. So you won't get an Oscar nomination. Did you really think a movie called "The Midnight Meat Train" is going to be in contention anyway?

At any rate, you can watch the movie for free at Fear.net. Fair warning: The audio/visual quality is slightly better than Youtube quality and the movie was interrupted with a commercial about fifteen minutes in...but you can't beat free.

Check it out, if you have the stomach for it.