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Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Hate Phones

In ten minutes, I'm going home after a long 10-hour day. There was a brief moment of angst as I considered what I was going to do when I got home and came up blank. What am I going to do?

Watch a movie? Do the dishes? I mean, you work 10 hours, get home exhausted, what can you do?

I still have no answer. But I'll tell you one thing I won't be doing.

Suffering the constant ringing of a telephone...

Updated: A couple hours without a ringing phone and some football. I'm alright.

Quote of the Day

My brain drives me mental.
-Gwyneth Paltrow

I feel like I just went through a time warp back to Sweet Valley High.

Just Let Us Smoke Pot Already

First off, let me reiterate the obvious: Medical marijuana is a gateway drug to wider legalization, nothing more. Oh, sure it may give cancer patients the munchies and take pressure off the eye for glaucoma, but it is not medicine.

It's immensely clear to anyone winking their way through Colorado's new medical marijuana regime. (Once I'm mobile again, I will be among them.) But it doesn't seem to be clear to some people who should be in the know, like Colorado's Attorney General John Suthers.

Here he writes this inane paragraph:
If anyone can obtain a medical marijuana certification in exchange for cash with no questions asked and caregivers are not required to provide any substantive medical care beyond merely selling marijuana, Colorado has de facto legalization. Nothing could be further from the intent and plain language of Amendment 20.
Um, actually, John...

Most of the people I know who supported Amendment 20 did it not out of pity for the sick, but because it would be a slippery slope towards legalization. Most pro-medical pot folks won't admit this, of course, as it would blow the whole thing, but it's true.

Suthers seems to sense this, so he writes:
If marijuana proponents want full legalization or de facto legalization through a dispensary model, they should go back to the voters again.
Um, wait a minute.

Now I'm all for going to the voters on this stuff. We have the voters to thank, after all, for putting medical marijuana in our State's Constitution, which not only makes it law, but makes it very hard to rescind.

But hold the phone. When did we have the "Let's make pot illegal" vote? Oh, that's right. We didn't!

Oh, sure, we had a presidential election and that asshole Nixon won, then he went and declared a War on Drugs. Yes, this is all vaguely democratic. But don't tell me we need to go to voters when these same democratic mechanisms can be used to overturn the ban.

Of course, relying on our elected leaders is a fool's game. They'd much rather spend billions on an ineffective law enforcement regime than err on the side of freedom. They won't admit as much (admitting one's true feelings is also a fool's game apparently) but they would prefer that violent drug gangs control the supply of marijuana rather than dispensaries with registered clients or pot enthusiasts with a grow light in their closet.

And hey, if that's what they would prefer, I just wish they would come out and say it instead of bitching about the dispensary opening up two blocks from the school. There's already a "dispensary" operating near the school...in the parking lot, out of Pothead Joe's trunk. And it's probably some Mexican tailpipe weed made who knows where with who knows what sprayed with who knows how many chemicals.

Yes, I'd much rather have that nonsense than putting these gangs out of business. (And yeah, I'm being sarcastic.)

But here's Matthew Brown, Executive Director of Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation, making some sense in comparison to AG Suthers's nonsense about capping "caregivers" with a five-patient limit.
At least you would think that John Suthers would have done the math on his own proposal. By his own admission the state has been adding roughly 600 new licensed patients a day since late July. To accommodate the roughly 60,000 patients currently covered by Amendment 20, we would need 12,000 people to secretly grow marijuana in their basements and gardens and we would need to add 120 new caregivers to that list every day. Those numbers start to make 600 or so dispensaries statewide look a lot more attractive.
That's right, Suthers. Things have changed a bit. Too many people have seen what an enforcement joke our pot laws have become and they're taking advantage.

Without the feds doing the heavy lifting, the local authorities are left to enforce the rules. And the local authorities simply cannot do it. They do not have the resources, the will, or (thanks to Amendment 20) the legal authority.

So what's the responsible course? Make it even more unenforceable by limiting caregivers to five patients? Requiring caregivers to have "personal relationships" with their patients? How exactly will this make the law more enforceable?

Short answer: It won't!

Brown also brings up an excellent point when discussing the "green" economy spurred on by our new medical marijuana regime:
Over the coming months thousands of Coloradans from every walk of life came out of the shadows to create their own medical marijuana business. In the process, we have poured millions into local economies securing and remodeling previously vacant retail space. We have leased out large amounts of previously vacant warehouses and then spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars converting those warehouses into properly equipped indoor farms. We have hired real estate agents, insurance agents, lawyers, business consultants, electricians, carpenters, and graphic designers not to mention the growers and dispensary employees receiving a paycheck, a W-2 and paying payroll taxes.
This is also no doubt true. I don't know how much the State of Colorado has collected in taxes due to these dispensaries, but I'm guessing it's a 100% increase from what they were getting off street deals.

These are legitimate businesses, taxed and regulated, with employees and owners and rights and responsibilities. If we're going to regulate anything about them, we should require robust security systems --to cut back on the robberies-- not five-patient limits. (Imagine if the government told a pharmacist that they can only serve five people! What a crock!)

Or better yet, just legalize it already.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti

On CNN today, they said they were resorting to Civil War medicine to take care of the people injured in the earthquake at Haiti.

You know what that means. It's not a hospital. It's a butcher shop.

If I'm ever in a place where they're resorting to Civil War medicine and I'm not up and walking around, just let me die.

It's Been One of Those Days

I knew I had to pee as soon as I got off the train this morning --too much coffee-- but they (wisely) don't have any bathrooms at any of the train stations.

I figured that I'd get on my bike and start peddling and the urge would go away. At least until I got to work. And if it didn't, I could ditch out and pee behind a tree if need be.

Of course, once I started peddling, the urge did go away. Only to come back with a vengeance when I got to work and was locking my bike up at the rack. I did the pee-pee dance until the lock engaged, and then I ran --at full gallop-- to the building.

I didn't care who saw me or what they thought. "Why is this guy running?" It would become obvious when they saw which direction I was headed.

I got inside, ran down the hall at a full sprint, ditched my backpack somewhere behind me, dropped my coffee cup in the drinking fountain, tore the glove off my right hand and let it flutter to he floor, then pushed through the men's room door and faced off against the urinal.

This moment, a mile in the making, was marred by the fact that once I dropped my zipper and reached in to pull out my instrument, my damn undershirt got in the way. Oh, I was a sight, let me tell you.

Snot running down my nose from the cold, chest heaving from an arduous ride, a fire hose coming out of my crotch and moans of relief coming out of my mouth. You should have seen it.

Too Many Motha'uckas 'Ucking With My Shhhhh

The dude hogging the ATM at 7-11 this morning almost sent me into a homicidal rage. He was standing there when I pulled up so in theory he should have been half done by the time I went inside.

But he was just getting started. Not only was he getting cash, but he was making a deposit. He was buying stamps. He was wiring money to his daughter in Utah and his girlfriend in Detroit. He was paying his phone bill and his electric bill.

No amount of foot tapping, sighing, or impatient pacing behind him was going to make him hurry up either. Indeed, all my not-so-subtle signals had no effect. Which is not surprising, since patiently waiting didn't invoke the "common courtesy" clause of normal inter-personal relationships. (After all, I don't want to give the impression that I didn't wait patiently for the guy. I did! I perused the magazines and checked the time on my cell phone. It wasn't until I had 10 minutes to get to the bus stop and THIS DUMBASS WAS STILL FUTZING WITH THE ATM that I started getting huffy.)

It's times like these that I wish I wasn't so mild-mannered. It's time like these that I wish I stowed the passive aggression in favor of some actual aggression.

Grab the dude by his bald spot, drag him to the door, and throw him out like the trash. Maybe give him a good kick in the ass, and a "Come back when you can figure out how to use an ATM!"

Now I know that's not the RIGHT thing to do...but I really really really wanted to do it this morning.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When I Complain About Tiger Woods

This is what I'm talking about:
General Motors Co. says an agreement with Tiger Woods that allowed the fallen golf star to have free access to its vehicles is over.
If you're a GM employee who works in the factory, you can buy a car with an employee discount.

If you're a rich professional golfer smiling in the ad campaign, you get free loaner vehicles.

Got that?

The blue collar worker who only makes a decent wage thanks to his union...employee discount.

The rich fucking sports hero who can not only afford to pay full price in cash but can afford to hire a team of drivers...free "loaners."

Ah, it pays to be king, don't it?

PS. I wonder if it was a free loaner that Tiger Woods rammed into the tree or if he bought that car with his own "hard-earned" money. I guess we'll never know...

By Request

Some modified bottles of Tiger Woods flavored-Gatorade have been making an appearance on store shelves in town lately. I have not had occasion to see one in person, mostly because I'm house-bound with no drivers license, but also because I can't stand modern Gatorade.

(I don't remember it always having that artificial sweetener taste, do you?)

Instead of reading FOCUS, the bottles now read UNFAITHFUL, you know, to account for one of Tiger's more unmarketable attributes.

The Feds have stepped in to investigate product meddling, which is understandable. If you say it's okay for a prankster to start changing labels that just opens the door for more malign forces to do the same, but I hope they don't look too hard for the culprit.

It's not like he's trying to sell us drinks poisoned with aspartame, expensive shoes made by sweat-shop wage-slaves, or unhealthy fried foods that come squashed in paper bags. That's Tiger's job.

In other Tiger news, Mel Gibson, who I still think is a talented filmmaker even if I don't like him personally, feels sorry for Tiger.

His Melness says:
"Why are we talking about this when we're sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan? ... He's being used as a diversion, and it just drives me crazy."
I'm down with empathy. I feel none for Tiger, but empathy wouldn't be empathy if I didn't allow for other people to feel differently on the matter.

But this "being used as a diversion" stuff? Where do you get that, dude? Used by who?

Now maybe Obama (or the media, or the Zionist conspiracy, or whatever) cooked up Tiger's multiple affairs to divert attention from Afghanistan, but I'm pretty sure Tiger stuck his dick in all those women for entirely different reasons.

Driving you crazy, Mel? You're already there, bud.

(In semi-related news, Mel Gibson's new movie Edge of Darkness looks fucking awesome. When I saw the trailer in the theater, I almost squealed with evil delight when he said the line, "You had better decide whether you're hangin' on the cross... or bangin' in the nails." What a great line! Even if it sounds discordant from the guy who made the Passion of the Christ.)

Talking in Circles

When someone says something like this:
"It was just a matter of time before more of that reflection of the people's uncomfortableness that they feel towards this administration is manifesting in these poll numbers."
It's an insult to my intelligence.

I'm not talking about the meaning of that sentence, which, put succinctly, is this: A drop in Obama's poll numbers in inevitable because he makes people uncomfortable.

That's neither a controversial nor stupid comment. He does make people uncomfortable, rightly or wrongly, but he does. And the longer Obama remains on the job, the more his poll numbers will drop. You piss off your opponents and disappoint your supporters. It's gonna happen.

But what's so annoying about Palin is that instead of saying something smart -even in a dumb way- she tries to make herself sound smart and just comes off looking dumb.

Look at that mangled sentence above. We're not talking about a well-oiled machine of communication here.

It starts off with a cliche:

"It was just a matter of time..."
Then zooms into a formless word-pile of mangled English:
more of that reflection of the people's uncomfortableness that they feel towards this administration
And then ends in a transitive verb with no discernible object.
"is manifesting in these poll numbers."
Um, Sarah, what exactly is manifesting? The reflection? People's uncomfortableness?

Now, I'm not trying to be the grammar police here.

There are worse crimes than leaving a transitive verb hanging without an object. And while saying "the people's uncomfortableness that they feel" isn't as good as saying "the people's discomfort" and cutting out the redundant "that they feel" part, that's hardly a crime either. (After all, it's implied within the words themselves that comfort or discomfort is something that people feel, is it not?)

I'm just saying that Sarah Palin is no Great Communicator, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say that she has trouble forming coherent thoughts, she does have trouble conveying them. Indeed, she comes of sounding like a student trying to fluff up an essay question with "big boy" words.

This skill, or lack thereof, is one of the things that doomed her as a politician. And it doesn't bode well for her new career as a talking head on Fox News.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Band Names

I was reading through the metal headlines at Blabbermouth and a band name stuck out at me.

Weedeater.

Now that's a name for a heavy metal band. You've got the stoner double-meaning and visions of power tools.

I'm not so sure about the band...not really down with the vocal style...but I love the name.

If I were in a band, I'd call it Gutbucket.

No, maybe that would just be one of my side projects.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frozen

People can laugh at me for being afraid of ski lifts, but wait until they see this movie...

Sebastian Bach Speaks

And says this:
We live in a world [where] VAN HALEN doesn't have a record deal. I mean, Eddie Van Halen doesn't have a fucking record deal. (Laughs) How can there be such a thing as rock and roll if VAN HALEN doesn't have a record deal? (Laughs)
I think there's probably very good reason that Van Halen doesn't have a record deal. They probably want a lot of money up front, and really, who wants to do business with those guys?

Flowers for Ty Burrell


You might have watched an episode or two of a new show called Modern Family.  If you have, you'll know that Ed O'Neil (aka Al Bundy) is in it, playing Jay, the retired patriarch of the family, now married to a drop-dead gorgeous Columbian MILF with a chubby, brainiac of a son.

Jay's bearded son Mitchell is married to Cameron, or Cam as everyone calls him, an overweight drama queen who cracks me up. They just adopted a Korean baby, Lily, and do the whole new parents/homo relationship thing.

And then there's Claire, a drop-dead gorgeous American MILF, with three rambunctious teenage kids, and a goofy husband named Phil. They're the "traditional family" of the group, but let's face it, there's no such thing.

But let me tell you something about Phil. He could be truly annoying in a lesser actor's hands, but Ty Burrell knows exactly how much goofiness to bring to each scene.

The episode where Phil revealed his fear of clowns at his son's birthday party was comedy of the first order. He sees Cam dressed as a clown and he just freezes, staring like a child, unable to look away. Check out this scene to see what unfolds.

Damn good show.

This is Funny

Republicans, desperate for some traction politically, are making hay over a comment Harry Reid made about Obama's lack of a "Negro dialect." (Which is true. Obama has a Magic Negro dialect. Big difference.)

Now I don't like Harry Reid. It's a little known fact, but the corrupt politician played by Dick Smothers in Casino was based on Harry Reid. In the lingo of the movie, he's been "juiced in" to Nevada politics for a long time and the longer you've been in it, the dirtier you get.

If this is the final nail in his coffin, so be it.

But it sure is funny watching Republicans go apoplectic over the use of the word "Negro." I'd say, "Well it's about damn time" if I thought it was even the slightest bit sincere.

Yes!

Wow, this article from James Fallows of the Atlantic is pretty good. I urge everyone to read the whole thing, especially those of you who are inclined to vote Republican.
America the society is in fine shape! America the polity most certainly is not. Over the past half century, both parties have helped cause this predicament—Democrats by unintentionally giving governmental efforts a bad name in the 1960s and ’70s, Republicans by deliberately doing so from the Reagan era onward. At the moment, Republicans are objectively the more nihilistic, equating public anger with the sentiment that “their” America has been taken away and defining both political and substantive success as stopping the administration’s plans. As a partisan tactic, this could make sense; for the country, it’s one more sign of dysfunction, and of the near-impossibility of addressing problems that require truly public efforts to solve.
Now don't go getting your panties in a twist because he called Republicans nihilistic. Just read the fucking thing.

It's more intelligent and thought out than anything you'll hear on the radio or get in your e-mail box from the Forwarded Right Wing Dreck Network.