Saturday, February 20, 2010

Poor Bobby Jindal

Last year, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who at the time was a rising young star in the GOP, took second place in the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) straw poll.

One awkward speech and a year later, he doesn't even place.

His "Kenneth the Page" moment must have really damaged his political aspirations.

On a side note, a couple of years ago, I went down to Texas to visit my terminally ill grandma. In a political discussion with my Uncle Bill, we had a conversation that kind of went like this.

Bill, a conservative: "You know who I like? That guy from Illinois, Barack Obama. I liked what he had to say in that speech."

Me, a liberal: "Yeah, I've heard about that guy. Great speech, but he's too young, too inexperienced. Hillary's got it all sewn up anyway."

I've thought about that conversation a couple times over the last two years, and how today you probably wouldn't catch Bill saying "I like this Obama guy" or me saying, "Obama who?"

Pumped Up

I was going to say that I probably pumped too much iron yesterday, but based on the sweet soreness in my muscles, I'd say I pumped the proper amount.


You might not like this movie. It doesn't really have anything resembling a redeeming quality, but it does have a strange sense of humor, a great performance from Tom Hardy, and some male frontal nudity (and lots and lots of fist fights).

In fact, you might see a penis in this video, so you should watch it at home.

The Joys of Technology

Sometimes when I'm walking to the bus stop or home from the bus stop, I feel like I'm transported back to my high school days. Walking a mile to school, listening to my Walkman. Only now I'm walking to work, listening to an iPod.

The main difference, besides the years and the circumstances, are what happens when your battery is low. With the Walkman, a completely mechanical contraption, a low battery just slooooooows everything down. Singers sound like they're underwater, drum hits come too late. And slooooowly, the reels of the tape grind to a halt.

Need new batteries!

But with the iPod, when your battery is low, the rocking continues unabated. It probably just shuts off, but it was still playing when I got home. And it had enough juice to give me a message demanding that I charge the battery.

Alright, alright. I'll charge the damn battery.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Moan

Alright, so this is how it happened. I had 4 more credits on my eMusic account. Usually when that happens, I'll pick a song I like and find various cool versions of it by different artists. But I was lazy. I didn't feel like searching for a bunch of songs.

So I just went looking through the 4 credit albums and found the Black Keys' The Moan EP. Remembering that they were at the Mile High Music Festival, I snagged it.

Then one day I put my music player on random as I was cleaning up the house and it came up. I dug it immediately, but I totally misheard some of the lyrics.

The first song, The Moan, which is a straight up blues song, I heard as:
Oh boy, I'm a long way from home.
The line is actually:
Oh boy, I'm alone with the moan.
The moan being blues slang for depression.

Then in the song No Fun, which is a Stooges cover, I heard:
It's no fun in Vietnam.
But nope, the line is actually:
It's no fun being alone
Of course, all of the songs are great, misheard lyrics or not.

Oh, a Pirate's Life For Me

I saw this on Boing Boing and it's too good not to post.
There are reams of scholarly papers making arguments about how the government suffers from certain inefficiencies. Someone should write a paper about how the profit motive does something similar.

Not a Good Idea Part 2

Remember when John Avarosis was contemplating whether "the GOP was a viable alternative for gay Americans seeking their civil rights" because a few prominent Republicans came out in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Yeah. It was only within the last week.

James Joyner highlights why such thoughts are foolish:
Virginia’s new Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, reversed his predecessor’s order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Smell that? That's progress.

Granted, it's progress in the wrong direction...especially if you're for gay rights, but if Republicans can help repeal DADT, I guess we can overlook their otherwise anti-gay agenda, right?


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Acting a Fool

Denver's gangs are a weak bunch. Oh, sure they do have their moments, with occasional bursts of world class murder and mayhem, but for the most part, they haven't figured out what it really means to be hard.

Until recently, they were picking on innocent looking white people, not going for the guy with the most flash but the guy that looked like the easiest stooge. You run up behind him, knock him in the head, and you whole crew cracks up and gives you high fives.

Random white guy, meanwhile, is face down in a puddle of his own blood. Gang thug gets his merit badge. Gang thug junior gets ideas. Whitey gets scared.

And with enough luck and police work, gang thugs get arrested.

The murder of Andrew Graham, if the truth must be told, scared me. He got off the light rail one stop from where I normally get off, and back in November, when he was murdered, I was traveling at about the same time he was the night he was killed. I was off that night, but the thought of running into some random gang members and becoming their initiation rite kept me on my toes.

Hell, it still keeps me on my toes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Shhhedule

Today was the first day back on the 2-10 shift. It wasn't bad, not too busy, with lots of joking around.

It didn't stop me from getting up at 4:30 in the morning. I tried to take a nap later, but before I dozed off I was reading a book about the conquest of Mexico and started dreaming about Hernan Cortes.

Of all of history's scoundrels, Cortes has to take the cake. I find his story endlessly fascinating, if only because it's so amazing it doesn't even seem real. He ships off for Mexico against his captain's orders. Just, "See ya, suckers," and vamos.

When he gets to Mexico, he fears a mutiny of his men, so he has his ships destroyed. There's no going back. You're either going to die here by my side, or you're going to die here by yourself. Let's go kick some ass.

He finds a couple Spaniards living amongst the Maya on the Yucatan. They suck at being interpreters. So he finds Malinche, an Indian girl who speaks Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. She accompanies him, translating and acting as his emissary, and eventually bears him a child. Lots of dramatic baggage with Malinche...

Then he goes to Tenochtitlan, the sacred city of the Aztecs. Coming over the mountains from Tlaxcala, Cortes must have looked at Tenochtitlan and felt a tightness in his chest. Conquest was in his blood --he'd already had a taste at Cholula-- but Tenochtitlan wasn't the most conquerable of cities.

It sat in the middle of a lake, for one. It had a few causeways that led to the city, but they could be easily defended by a relatively small force. And the lake was choked with boats. The city, choked with people.

Cortes didn't find scatterings of villages of nomadic hunters. He found cities, metropolises that were as big as some European capitals. And he had a few hundred ragged Spaniards and some vengeful native volunteers. There was no way he could win.

But he didn't let the odds stop him. He rode into Tenochtitlan and seized the king, Moctezuma. It wasn't that hard. At first. Moctezuma didn't seem to have very many friends, because another king was picked and he was killed shortly thereafter.

But then the Aztecs started getting squirrelly, wondering why these strangers were pushing them around. Cortes had to flee. They loaded up all the gold, grabbed the horses, and took off in the dead of night, trying to sneak out of the city they had come to conquer, the city that could destroy them if only it hadn't been sleeping.

But someone raised the alarm, and the city woke up. Cortes and his men fought their way across the lake, fighting off Aztec warriors in boats. Many of them didn't survive.

But Cortes wasn't finished, not yet. He went off and built ships. He made alliances with enemies of the Aztecs. He made plans, man.

And he came back to Tenochtitlan, this time armed to the teeth and ready for war. With his little navy, which he had built from scratch and carried overland to water, he set siege. A city built on a lake has certain strategic advantages, unless your enemies have ships.

He cut them off, isolated them, starved them out, and then he came in and he crushed them. Life in Mexico would never be the same. For Hernan Cortes, it kind of made up for disobeying his overlords and almost getting his butt kicked. It's why we remember him as a conquistador, and not some Spanish dummy who got lost in the jungle and was never heard from again.

My Prediction

Was totally wrong.

The Feds are charging Chris Bartkowicz with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Updated: I thought for sure the Feds would flinch, if only because Bartkowicz does have caregiver papers, which in theory, would make him in compliance with state law.

But apparently, he had more plants than allowed under state law, which, in theory, would NOT make him in compliance with state law.

The question becomes, if a caregiver is not in compliance with state law (too many plants, too many patients) should that open you up for federal drug charges?? Or, rather, some kind of sanction from the state?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to my World

This is what my commute looked like this morning.

Three buses.

Four trains.

At least two miles on foot.

About four hours total.

But I did see a coyote this morning. He was as big as a German Shepherd, just sauntering along a fence. Monday through Friday during business hours, the little area where I work is corporateheadquarterville. Nothing but suites, suites, suites and they're all filled with cube farms.

But the rest of the time it belongs to the coyotes and the rabbits and the geese that hang out at the pond.

Not a Good Idea

John Avarosis, making a HUGE mistake when it comes to Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
We now have Colin Powell (Republican), SecDef Gates (Republican appointee), Chairman Mullen (Republican appointee), Dick Cheney (Republican), Ted Olson (Republican), and the torture twins (Republicans), better than the Democratic party on this paramount gay civil rights issue. For years, we've been able to laugh in the face of gay Republicans who claimed the GOP was a viable alternative for gay Americans seeking their civil rights. No one is laughing any more. The Democratic party needs to wake up and realize that its political homophobia is losing it a constituency.

What makes them "better than the Democratic party on this paramount gay civil rights issue?" That they told someone in an interview that they support it? So what? Let's not be so gullible here.

No doubt there are some who genuinely support ending DADT, but I think most of this new-found Republican support for gay rights has more to do with making Obama look bad. "See, gay people? Obama said he'd end DADT, but he didn't. How's that hopey-changey stuff working out for ya?"

Don't be fooled, John! If you become a log-cabin Republican, they are going to fuck you in the ass with a baseball bat covered in barbed wire. And I don't care how gay you are, that's got to be unpleasant.


Chris Bartkowicz, whose grow operation was raided by the DEA after being featured in the Denver Post, will NOT be charged with anything.

They will release him on Tuesday, keep all his weed, and send him on his way. Anyone care to bet on it?

Now He Gets It

“McCain was trying to use me. I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy.”

- Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, slowest learner ever.