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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sick of Projectionists

The most aggravating thing about my job, aside from the schedule, is dealing with the low-paid, intelligence-challenged high school kids running the projection booths on Friday and Saturday nights.

Most of them can't be trusted to tear tickets, much less powercycle* a computer.




* Powercycle is the technical term for "Unplug it and plug it back in." You would be surprised at how many dummies struggle with that one...

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Ticking Time Bomb

John Cornyn (a Republican, of course) accidentally exposes the "Ticking Time Bomb Scenario" as load of horse puckey built upon asinine assumption after asinine assumption.
Seven Assumptions for the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario

1) A terrorist group must have WMD. They could have got it from some sponsor state or maybe they just cooked it up in their cave. Doesn't matter. They must have a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon.

2) The WMD terror attack must be imminent. Not just some vague "if I ever got a nuke" planning between prayers or anything, but the bomb is set, the clock is ticking.

3) We must know about this attack somehow in advance. Either through some CIA back channel or maybe a tape from masked goons saying, "Some American city is going to get it tomorrow." It doesn't matter. We just have to know that the clock is ticking.

4) We must have in our possession, either at Gitmo or any of the other black sites strewn across the world, a terrorist who also knows about this imminent attack. Maybe he helped plan it. Maybe he just read about it on jihad.com. That doesn't matter either. He just knows.

5) The only way to get him to tell us what he knows is to torture him. Maybe there could be barking dogs, digital camera flashes, laughter, that wet rag over his face. Meanwhile, he's coughing, thinking he's going to drown. And he breaks. "Alright!" he cries. "I'll tell you where the bomb is!"

6) He tells the truth. If he says, "It's on the moon! Fuck you, American pigs! Allah-uh--blurggle," you know you're in trouble. If he says something like "It's in Philadelphia," and it turns out to be in Pittsburgh, then you're really in trouble. So he must tell the truth.

7) The terrorist attack can be averted, defused, or otherwise prevented. This is a big if. You know, we're talking about a tick time bomb here. That never ends well. Maybe you can evacuate in time. Maybe you can arrest the dicks planning it. Maybe you can defuse the bomb, inoculate the population, do whatever you have to do to stop an imminent WMD attack. And maybe you can't.

But in order to get from "Ticking Time Bomb" to "Torture," you have to go through those seven hoops, and that's a lot of hoops.

Make of This What You Will

I saw a pregnant lady today and it made me feel depressed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coffee Talk

Mitch Hedburg has this joke. "I like refried beans, man. That's why I want to try fried beans. Because maybe they're just as good and weren't wasting time."

I bring this up because the guys at work insist on buying whole bean coffee.

I like coffee, man. That's why I like preground coffee, because maybe it's just as good and wasn't wasting time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Buy This Magazine

One of the best things I did with my bonus money so far is to subscribe to Archaelogy Magazine.

In the Jan/Feb issue that just arrived today, there are two articles about two subjects I've been studying with relish the past few months:

One about the Chaco Meridian, the imaginary line that links several Anasazi Great Houses, including the ones I visited in November at Chaco Canyon.

The other is about "The Secrets of Maya Beauty." And both are absolutely fascinating.

A Global Warming Rant

I was reading this post when a thought occurred to me. Josh Marshall writes:
Real change almost always comes in the face of crisis. So if you believe that Global Warming is real and that sometime soon will have to be confronted in a big way ... and if you believe that our reliance on oil is not only an environmental threat but a threat to our economic security and national security as well ... and if you believe that we need to start manufacturing that people in other countries want to buy, when else do you expect real change to come on these issues -- a real start on the big changes -- if not now?
If not now, when? If not me, who?

That's my Mom's personal philosophy and it's served her quite well in life. However, the thing that stuck out for me was this:
...if you believe that Global Warming is real and that sometime soon will have to be confronted in a big way...
Woah, hold on, doggie. Let's not talk about beliefs.

To quote the liner notes of a Tool album, "Beliefs are dangerous. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. A non-functioning mind is clinically dead. Believe in nothing."

Talking about it in terms of belief takes you out of the realm of reality and into the realm of perception. One doesn't have to believe in gravity to avoid spinning off into space, and likewise, one doesn't have to believe in Global Warming for it to occur.

There are those who don't believe in Global Warming, and they have their reasons, of course, but they are misguided by their beliefs.

Global Warming exists. It's obvious to anyone who studies natural history, geology, human migration, biology, anthropology and any other "ology" that you can think of. The history of the earth is written in varying cooling and heating periods. You know, things they call "ice ages."

To me, the question isn't whether I believe in Global Warming, it's whether I believe that Global Warming should be the rallying call for responsible stewardship of the environment. And I don't.

Responsible stewardship of the environment should be a priority anyway, and we don't need some boogeyman catastrophe to goad us in that direction.

Humans are the smartest species on the planet, and we have the capacity (although not always the incentive) to understand our surroundings and to comport ourselves accordingly.

This is what appeals to me about environmentalism, not the save the planet nonsense, but intelligent rational beings choosing to live in a sustainable way. Not because we're scared, not because we want to be in tune with nature, not because it's cool and hip to be green. But because we can.

The Moon

I'm glad that I'm not the only who sees a beautiful, bright moon and decides to take pictures of it. Originally intended for posting, they didn't come out as I intended. I blame the camera equipment more than my artistic vision.

Taken from my driveway, here is the moon. With my eye, it was so clear I could see the geographic features on the surface. With my camera, all it captured is a blob of light.

And the other one:

Click the link above and you'll see that it looked better in Minnesota.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Birdman

Man, I should slag on Chris Andersen more often. Against Dallas tonight, he scored 15 points and had 2 blocked shots. (I think he had 7 offensive rebounds, too, but don't quote me on that.)

Three of those points came from a buzzer-beater thrown from half-court at the end of the third. It'll make the highlight reel for sure.

The Bird was on a roll!

Updated: The highlights are in. As predicted, Andersen's two blocks, both impressive, and his half court 3-pointer made the reel.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sports Stuff

You know you're getting old when the new head coach of your favorite NFL team is only a few months older than you.

In other sports news, I got a Nuggets calendar yesterday that features both Marcus Camby and Allen Iverson. Neither of them play for the Nuggets anymore.

Speaking of basketball, the tattoos are out of control. Props to the NBA players who don't have double sleeves all the way up to their neck.

When Rodman had tats, it was weird and interesting and unique. Now that everybody has them, even David Beckham, it's just played out.

For instance, Marcus Camby has Marcus tatted across his left shoulder. His first name! Like a permanent "Hi, my name is" sticker or something. Why would someone do that? In case they find his body somewhere? "That John Doe we found in the ditch? We're still waiting on dental, but we're pretty sure one of his names is Marcus."

And then there's Kenyon Martin with his red lips on his neck, like he's been ditching third period to make out with a chola under the bleachers of the field house.

And what the hell is up with Chris Andersen? Not to take away from his skills, but this guy can't decide whether he wants to look like Ace Ventura or Vince Neil. The goofy hair, the sweat band, the socks pulled all the way up to his knees.

And of course, the sleeve tat.