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Friday, May 06, 2011

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Smoke Em If Ya Got Em

PS. If this photo offends you, fill this out, crumple it up, and toss it into the nearest trashcan. Cuz I don't care.

Mistah Kurtz...He Dead.

Damn Jerry!

So my mortgage payment just posted with the new extra principal amount and those were the first words that popped into my head. "Damn, Jerry!"

I didn't realize it would be so much and that is most definitely a good thing. It makes my "pay it down to the nearest hundred" strategy more difficult, but I don't mind.

I basically just doubled the rate at which I'm going to pay this thing off.

Inhale/Exhale

A few weeks ago, I gave a guy the cheesy advice to listen to Inhale/Exhale by Rollins Band. I say cheesy because as advice goes, "Hey, listen to this song," is lame.

But what a song.

The chorus is a bit didactic, but the inhale/exhale stuff is brilliant.
Inhale resolve, exhale ambition
Inhale all I need, exhale all I want
Inhale love of life, exhale fear of death
Inhale power, exhale force

Inhale tolerance, exhale judgment
Inhale what I am, exhale what I think I am

Inhale fact, exhale assumption
Inhale what I wanna be, exhale how I wanna be seen

Dreams of Tenochtitlan

Man, I really want to go to Mexico City. I've had dreams about it. A big sprawling metropolis, dangerous and interesting and oh so historic. I want to ride the subway, see a bullfight, climb a pyramid, go to the zoo. But I also want to stand under the tree that Cortes wept under after he limped out of Tenochtitlan on the Night of Sorrows. It's still there.

Stupid stuff, you know.

Only problem with that is that Mexico is going to hell right now.

This should chill anyone's blood:
Mass graves have become an increasingly common discovery in Mexico's brutal drug war, which has claimed more than 34,600 lives since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of federal security forces four years ago to fight traffickers.

A Bold Prediction

I've been seeing a lot of articles like this, usually from right-leaning folks, ever since Bin Laden was slabbed. And they're heartbreaking to read, embarrassing even.

You can smell the hope and desperation and it smells...sad.

Take this:
[I]t isn’t at all clear that killing Osama bin Laden is going to make any difference at all in the political battles to come over the budget, entitlements, the deficits, and the size and scope of government.
Now I'm not saying Bin Laden's death makes every issue a winner for Obama, but it seems pretty clear that Bin Laden's death makes every issue a must-win for the GOP.

Let me explain. Usually in presidential elections, the incumbent wins. There are exceptions, of course, but they're the exceptions. They're unlikely by definition, so it would be safe to assume that all things being equal, the incumbent wins.

So Obama already has the advantage. The GOP were already going to have to run an exceptional, near-perfect campaign to beat him.

If you've been observing politics as of late, you know that, well, that wasn't going to happen, what with the Tea Parties and the Birtherism and all the rest of the bullshit.

And now we have Bin Laden....

An ace in the hole? Nah. More like the drop in the bucket that finally tips it. Mark it down. Obama wins next year.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness

I almost bought this as a poster. They wanted too much for it and really, I don't think I want it hanging on my wall.

(Photo removed.)

It's damn hilarious though.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mission Finally Accomplished

I'm gonna put this one below the fold so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of a certain beloved uncle.  Don't click on this, Jim.  Especially if you've been eating spicy food, because you will shit your pants.

Just Can't Get Ahead

Looking forward to the day when I can pay off my mortgage, I recently upped my monthly payment. Not by a lot, of course --I'm not rich or anything-- but enough to strip off a year or more off my term. Win-win, I thought.

But today I get notice that my monthly escrow payment is going up. This a few days after I get notice from the county tax assessor that my property taxes have gone down.

It would seem that if my taxes go down, my escrow payment would follow. But no...taxes go down, insurance goes up. And it's not a wash either. If it was, I wouldn't mind so much.

But as it is, my extra principal payment...is now going to insurance. Ah, the wonders of rip-offism.

I'm in Yur White House, Killing Yur Terroriss

I dedicate this picture to my Aunt Terri.

Obama's Osama Moment

You don't come here for breaking news, so I'm going to assume you've already heard that Bin Laden is no longer polluting the earth with his foul breath and hateful deeds.

I was going to write a post tonight about the White House Correspondents Dinner, specifically President Obama's evisceration of Donald Trump. Oh, it was a sight to behold: Trump sitting dour-faced in the middle of the room, refusing to even blink, as the world's most powerful man played him for a fool. "You wanna see my birth video?" Obama says, then cues up the Lion King.

It was brilliant. David Frum put it better than anyone:
First the Washington Post seats Donald Trump in the middle of the vast ballroom in the Washington Hilton at the White House Correspondents dinner.

Then the President of the United States followed by the comedian for the night ridicule Trump to his face in every imaginable way, including his appearance.

The entire room explodes in laughter at his expense – all 3000 people – while the cameras are fixed on his scowling helpless face.

When the Washington village performs a ritual humiliation, this is what it looks like.
To quote Theo from Die Hard, And the quarterback is toast!

But the news from today puts a new spin on all of this. While Donald Trump was talking about birth certificates and college transcripts and stewing in bad humor, President Obama was busy being president. He'd been working this Bin Laden thing behind the scenes since August. When he was delivering zingers at the podium, he had already given the green light to Special Forces. He knew that it would be a matter of days, if not hours, until Bin Laden was dead.

Puts a different spin on things.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Ghetto Garden Update

The past couple of days, I've been working on getting my backyard in order. I decided I'm going to make it all garden. Forget the lawn. Grass, not even the ornamental variety, is no longer allowed on my property.
This is part of my grading project. As you can see, I'm taking the top couple of inches and using it as fill. Here's an example, a cheesy little planting area I established by my gazebo with a couple of concrete tree rings:
While working, I had a flash of brilliance, a eureka moment, and I ran inside and drew this sketch.
It's the design for a two-tiered raised garden bed I'm going to install. I almost built it yesterday, but the design hit me too late in the day. Shouldn't take too long. A couple cuts on the table saw, some drilling. The infill is going to be the tough part.

Another job I had to do was breaking down the big piles of sticks and branches I trimmed from the side of the house. I also nipped a huge branch from my neighbor's tree (they didn't mind; they're renters) and had to cut that down to size.

This is all I have left.
The rest, I burned. It's probably illegal, but oh well. It gets rid of my brush and provides a nice amendment for the garden.
As for how the garden that I already have is doing, here's my spring spread. Not bad for May Day. The spinach and lettuce are chugging along, but the peas and carrots have sprouted too.
And finally, spring flowers: