Saturday, June 05, 2010

Things You Forget Over the Winter

To keep your swamp cooler on during the day, so you come home to a cool house instead of one that gradually cools down as the night wears on.

No There There

My brother insists that Craig Silverman, one half of a talk radio team here in Denver, is reasonable. Of course, I have my doubts. He is on AM radio, after all.

But let's put this to the test. Here's Silverman, talking about the Romanoff scandal. (Short summary...Romanoff, a Democrat, is running for Colorado's open Senate seat. Obama wants Michael Bennet, also a Democrat in the spot. Obama also offered Romanoff a job at the White House to get him out of the race.)
Andrew Romanoff's brand, as a different kind of Democrat and a politician who can't be bought, remains solid.

The rest of the Dems are screwed. This Romanoff-Sestak Situation stinks to high heaven and all over the White House. Team Obama was handing out taxpayer funded jobs to deprive Democratic citizens of electoral choices. The game changer was last week's realization that 18 USC, Section 600, a criminal statute, seems to fit like a glove around these facts. If the glove fits, you can't acquit. No acquittal will be forthcoming this November for Team Obama in the Court of Public Opinion.
So there you go, the talk radio view.

Contrast that with Marc Ambinder's take. Ambinder, it should be said, is not a talk radio pundit; he's a political journalist. The distinction is crucial. Talk show pundits must fill hours of showtime. A political journalist must cut to the heart of the matter.

Ambinder says:
I will grant that the statutes themselves can be interpreted in such a way as to prohibit virtually all political activity by anyone remotely connected with the executive branch. But practice -- and not simply underhanded practice, but open, above-board practice, since the time those laws were written suggests that the law's authors intended them as a bulwark against official corruption, not against the mixing of politics and policy. In other words, if you apply an originalist reading of these statutes, you will not end up with anything remotely resembling an indictable offense. What keeps this story alive is the media's feeding off the energy that can be generated from deliberately misconstruing the law and its intent.
Craig Silverman couldn't be deliberately misconstruing the law, could he? Why would he do that? Ambinder points out:
Making this distinction is critical, because the moment these claims are treated as valid claims, rather than politically-motivated cant, is the moment that they become legitimate facts worthy of a debate, and of news coverage.
Not to mention, a great way to fill the air time on your lame ass talk radio show on KHOW.

Just Saying...

It's kind of hard to take someone criticizing Philip K. Dick's writing style seriously when they use the phrase "a turgid, laborious leviathan."

Granted, the writer isn't calling Dick's writing turgid, laborious, or leviathan-like, but he did slam Dick for writing "[h]ammy dialogue, amateurish narrative pacing, some truly terrible descriptive prose."

Um, "turgid, laborious leviathan" counts as "truly terrible descriptive prose."

To me, good writing is about using the right word. Not about digging through the nether regions of the dictionary for words that make you sound smart. This isn't a game show. You don't get extra points for working "turgid" and "laborious" into the same sentence. If anything, you lose points for using overly-academic words not in common usage.

Turgid? Laborious? Like your dumb "Philip K Dick needed a co-author" piece?

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Bad Investment

Trying to clear some space on my bookshelves and earn a little dough, I listed some books on Amazon for sale. This week, I've sold 9 of them.

And after spending $26.03 in postage, and earning $31.06 from the sales, I have made $5.13.

I've got some auctions up on Ebay too, and I suspect they'll do much, much better, profit-wise. You have to pay a listing fee, but the listing fee is much, much smaller than Amazon's cut.

For instance, I sold a book for $.45, plus $3.99 shipping and handling. Amazon took $2.41.

They gave me $2.06. It cost more than that to ship the damn thing. I sold a book...and it cost me money!

No one ever got rich doing that.

Modern Family

If you were to ask me what my favorite show on TV is, I'd have to say Modern Family. It's sweet and heartwarming but not cheesy. And most of all, it's funny.

Check this clip, featuring Ty Burrell acting like a kid again. "Be cool, be cool!"

The Least Interesting Man in the World

On Fridays and Saturdays I work with the world's least interesting man.

He's quitting smoking...with the help of Chantix.

His blood clot may have dissolved...or it may have gone through his heart and into his head.

Now that it's summer, he's going to remove the sandbags from his trunk.

His ex-wife's boyfriend's daughter let his kids watch a bloody movie.

I'm sure I'll hear many more interesting and endless stories today. It's still early, and despite trying to keep eyes forward and my reactions to mere grunts, they're still coming!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cynthia Nixon's on a Camel

The last minute of this video had me crying tears last night. You know when you're laughing so hard you're not really laughing. You're just kind of sitting there, mouth open, the laugh stuck in your throat. That was me. I'm not saying you're going to have the same reaction, but I think this gay dude running around freaking out about Sex and the City 2 is comedy gold. Especially the reactions.

I love his reaction to the girl who says her wedding is next weekend.

Proof that Birds are Bird-Brained

On the way into work this morning, I saw a dead squirrel splattered in the middle of the road. There were these two crows pecking at it, but whenever a car rolled by they had to flutter off to the sidewalk to prevent from getting splattered themselves.

And of course, I'm thinking, "C'mon, Heckle and Jeckle, drag it over to the sidewalk and feast in peace!"

That's what I'd do...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I can't believe the IDF dropped commandos onto that Turkish flotilla to Hamas...I mean, Gaza. Not because the IDF dropped commandos, but because they dropped commandos armed with paintball guns loaded with pepper spray. Like Dog the Bounty Hunter, only without the mullet.

And of course, it got ugly, which definitely falls in the "Well, what'd ya think would happen?" category.

If they wanted to stop this flotilla so bad, why not send armed commandos? I'm not sure paintball guns are very effective as a crowd-control method, but I'm very sure they're not appropriate for what is essentially a combat mission.

Go hard, or go home. Once you commit, use overwhelming force. Don't half-ass it with paintball guns.

It's Back


Look what I got. Another one!
Thankfully, there's just one this time and though it was pretty swollen yesterday, the swelling has gone down to almost nil today. I've been painting it with tea tree oil and keeping it under wraps with a bandage loaded with epsom salt paste. So far, my homeopathic remedies seem to be doing the job.

But what the hell, man? Why do I keep getting these? I'm starting to wonder if I'm being attacked by something. Do I have a spider that lives under my desk? Does my dog have fleas?

And more importantly, when will it end?

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Hobbit Loses a Director, But Moviedom Gets One Back

Guillermo Del Toro says no more to this Hobbit business. MGM's situation is still in limbo, delaying the Hobbit, James Bond, and who knows what else...indefinitely. And as much I want to see Guillermo Del Toro's Hobbit movie, I want to see Guillermo Del Toro's next movie even more.

John Doe!

Also in the rotation, this great metal song by Testament from their Demonic record. It's a fairly simple riff, but listen to those drums! You're listening to a master at work. That's Gene "The Atomic Clock" Hoglan, and you can guess where he got that nickname. He just does not let up on this song.

Great Moments in Guitar Solos

Pantera's song The Great Southern Trendkill played in the iPod rotation as I was working the garden today. I've heard the song a million times over the last fifteen years or so. It's got a certain power, but it's not one of Pantera's best songs.

Although, as I noticed today in a way that I never had before, it closes with one hell of a guitar solo courtesy of Dimebag Darrell. I mean, listen to this thing.

It's a multi-tracked, dive-bombing, finger-tapping two minutes of smoking hot riffage.