Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joe the Plumber Shrugged

Can't read this:
Union Pacific struggles to find enough electricians who have worked with diesel engines. Manufacturers in many places can't find enough machinists. Oil companies must fight for a limited supply of drilling-rig workers.

"There's a tremendous shortage of skilled workers," said Craig Giffi, a vice chairman of the consulting firm Deloitte. A recent survey it did found that 83% of manufacturers reported a moderate or severe shortage of skilled production workers to hire.

Without thinking of this:
"Give us men!" The plea began to hammer progressively louder upon the desk of the Unification Board, from all parts of a country ravaged by unemployment, and neither the pleaders nor the Board dared to add the dangerous words which the cry was implying: "Give us men of ability!" There were waiting lines years' long for the jobs of janitors, greasers, porters and bus boys; there was no one to apply for the jobs of executives, managers, superintendents, engineers.

I Die a Little Inside Every Time I See Him Rescue That Sleigh

Speaking of good mashups - Darth Vader as The Grinch:

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #31,295)

I'm not sure if this is actually as good as I think it is, or if I'm prejudiced because I just LOVE hearing Thurl Ravenscroft sing that song.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

Most YouTube video mashups seem kinda pointless, random, and not well-executed in my estimation.

Sorta like a broccoli and chocolate syrup sandwich.

A very few get it right, and work out more like a PB & J

I think this falls in that category.

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #53,187)

Honestly, I never would've thought of this combo, but the narration fits the images perfectly.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Drill a Square Hole

You just need the right drill bit:

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #32,054)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Save Us From Whiny People

Complainer complains because a California mall is using mobile phone device IDs to track pedestrian traffic to "see how people flow through the mall to help optimize retail space and merchandising."

Possible solutions:

A) Don't bring your cell phone into the mall
B) Don't shop at the mall
C) Realize you're already on camera, so it doesn't make any difference
D) Be glad that you live in a country where people who want your money get it by threatening you with a more convenient shopping experience. How awful!

First world problems just stink, don't they?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Joy of Anvil

Richmond of One for the Road mentioned this to me recently, and Magniflorious Phule had the video, so here you go:

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,852,206)

I'm So Old

Not only do I know what the "Scroll Lock" button on my keyboard is for, I've actually used it for its intended purpose.

Bad Advice

From Hot Air's Tina Korbe:
Newt has proved his positivity toward his fellow candidates - but "cheerful" is not exactly the word I'd use to characterize his clashes with a couple media personalities. If he can manage to be congenial with them from here on out, that would be the biggest triumph of all. The media - like the electorate - will be kinder to those they like than to those by whom they're merely impressed.

Tina, I'm afraid you're dead wrong. Newt has an R after his name. By definition the media won't like or be impressed by him.

Remember the "Maverick" McCain that the press adored in 2008 before Obama got the nomination? The rose got bloomless the second the Democrat convention was over.

Pandering to the liberal media is an ineffective strategy. Be confrontational. Make this like a court case and let the electorate be the jury. The media doesn't pick the winner, the voters do.

This Is New

From Politico:
The White House isn't feeling very kissy toward Benetton, after the publicity-loving clothing company photo-shopped President Obama into an ad smooching Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

"The White House has a long-standing policy disapproving of the use of the president's name and likeness for commercial purposes," deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said in a statement.

Oh, *really*, Eric?:

If there is a policy, it's obviously only against unflattering uses.

Still waiting for the recall order on 50 million Obama bobbleheads.

Or the rest of these assorted dust-gatherers.

A Bitter Joke

Having spent 4 years living on one of these, I gotta say they are weepingly inaccurate with the title "24 Hours on an Aircraft Carrier".

[Vimeo direct link]

What they show is "24 Hours with a Carrier's Air Wing".

Which is only 40% of the crew, and not even permanently attached to the ship.

They completely gloss over EVERYTHING that happens below the flight deck.

And I understand. You only have so much time, and all people know is "Top Gun", so you show what they know.

I know better. I know more. I know things that haunt me. I found this video shallow & superficial, and I resent it.

But if you keep in mind that's it's nothing but superficial fluff, it's not bad, production-wise.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What Were They Thinking?

I'm guessing the thought process was, "Hey! Let's make a mega-gigantor TV, except without the convenience of a remote control!"

Mission Accomplished!


Via Very Demotivational:

I'm thankful that I live in a country where capitalism is as all-pervasive as nematodes.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Obama on the proposed graphic warning labels for cigarette packs:
"Today some big tobacco companies are trying to block these labels because they don't want to be honest about the consequences of using their products," said Obama.

Ironic coming from a man who wants government to "spread the wealth around".

Use of THAT product has consequences, too.

By the way, I think Obama's doctor is lying about Obama being "tobacco free." You can bet he chain-smokes half a pack of cigarettes out on the golf course every weekend.

Why do you think news photographers aren't allowed?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Do Not Watch the New Thing

This came up in conversation recently, so I'm putting this out as a warning about the new "The Thing" movie:

[The Escapist direct link]

I don't always agree with MovieBob's taste in movies, but I have to say he's an honest and objective enough reviewer that when he criticizes a movie's technical aspects, he's always right.

Politically, the man's a flaming liberal, so if he gushes over a movie's theme because it panders to PC tropes, I know to avoid those, but at least he's honest and up-front (if annoyingly unapologetic) about that, too, so at least I know which grain of salt to take his reviews with.

In this case, the theme of the movie never comes up, so I'll just trust him that this thing is a miserable snore-fest.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In the Interest of Justice

I was visting Richmond of One for the Road, and while waiting for Sunday Night Football to start, we killed time watching the American Music Awards.

Nicki Manaj did some horrible thing that included gyrating her chunky bottom around in a robot costume while lip-synching some awful mouth-noise to a hypnotically boring beat.

I hear she did well.

I immediately hated her. Her "music" lacks both imagination and talent. She sounds exactly like everyone else in her genre.

And that bothers me. I prefer to watch people perform who are very good at what they do and enjoy doing it.

Like Jon Gomm:

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #255,958)

You are NOT supposed to play the guitar like this, but he does it because breaking the "rules" allows him to create something better, and more beautiful, than he could do within their constraints.

Nicki Manaj breaks rules because she's a pouty child with daddy issues who just wants to draw attention to herself. Does anyone honestly think she cares in the least about quality or beauty?

Look, everyone wants to stand out. Everyone wants to be different. Nobody wants to be normal. But there are two ways to stand out from the crowd: you can be better than everyone else, or you can be worse.

My opinion is that that would be Jon and Nicki, respectively.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scratching My Head

Saw this at Winning at Everything:

My first reaction was the same as yours: "Ha ha! Look at the tiny cop car!"

But then I noticed a few things that didn't quite make sense.

It's got one of those super-long European license plates. But the emergency number in EU countries is 112 (or 999 in the UK).

It's not crystal clear, but it looks very much like it says "In God We Trust" on the back (slightly less fuzzy version of the pic at the link above).

So, ya think this thing is real, or is it just someone who likes old 80's bands?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Need Tech Advice

Saw the Puppy Blender's review of the Kindle Fire, and since it's only $200 and I'd like something portable to read e-books on, I'm thinking about it, but there's something weird in the post that I just don't understand.

People keep complaining about the "Gmail app" and the "Netflix app". But they also say that it comes with a web browser.

If it has a web browser, why do you need an app? My desktop & laptops have browsers, and I don't need "apps" for anything.

Somebody educate me, please?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Misleading Headline of the Day

"Waitress Says She Was Fired For Tea Party Bracelet"

Her story: "a couple dining at the restaurant did not like [her "Don't Tread On Me" bracelet] and asked for the manager"

Their story: "Geller was inattentive to diners at two tables"

Outside protesters' story: "a group rallied in front of the Outback Steakhouse, waving American and Gadsden flags and accusing the restaurant of violating her free speech rights"

The real story (based on my experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry): She's 23, so she probably has a 23-year-old's "flexible" sense of punctuality. She's snotty to some of the older waitresses and is generally perceived as not pulling her weight. She's had plenty of other complaints, and the manager has "coached her up" on a number of occasions, hoping she'll finally "get" what it means to be a good waitress.

That night, the customers probably said something a little mean about her bracelet, and she decided to pay them back in spades with lousy service.

The manager decided this failure-of-a-waitress was no longer worth the trouble, and kicked her to the curb.

Morale among the waitstaff jumped 20 points.

Just my guess.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spot-On Perfect

If you've never seen the opening theme for Reading Rainbow, go ahead and prep yourself with this (it's only 48 seconds).

Now, if you're not very familiar with the music of the Doors (or at least "Back Door Man" and "Peace Frog"), this probably won't work as well for you, but trust me, Fallon gets this one right:

[The Doors Sing "Reading Rainbow" Theme (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)]

I've written my share of parodies, and the hardest part is finding that perfect balance between leaving enough of the original alone for people to enjoy the reference, and changing enough of it to make people get the joke. It's a hard thing to do. This is done about as perfectly as it gets.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Spot of Honesty

Via There, I Fixed It:

The title on this can lid is redundant. It's all waste.

And it should all be treated as waste - just thrown into a gigantic hole in the ground and then buried.

Because recycling post-consumer plastic is a huge waste of taxpayer money - there's no free-market demand for it.

Recycling post-consumer paper MAYBE breaks even, so why bother?

Recycling aluminum... well, lets be honest - it'd be more efficient to throw your cans in the gutter and let scavenging hobos make a living off collecting them. It'd not only be a decent act of charity, it's also a profitable and sustainable business model.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Popping Your Balloon

Per Transparency Revolution:
Today is 11/11/11, a day we get only once in a century.

EVERY 6-digit date is only once per century.

For My Beloved Obsessive Compulsives

If you've ever done anything meticulously and beautifully because there's this... thing... in your head that won't let you do it half-way, even though that's how most people do it - this video's for you:

[MBH direct link]

Substitute "blogging" for knife-making, and this is the story of my life since 2003.

Oh, and if you've never been possessed by an insanity for the achievement of self-chosen standards, don't bother watching this video. It will mean less than nothing to you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Got My Vote

For "Worst Person in the World"

Via FML:
"Today, I dined and dashed. Upon reaching my car, I realized I had left my seven year-old daughter in the restaurant."

Quote of the Day

From Taki's Magazine, on the topic of the attacks on Herman Cain:
"The NAACP is so quiet you can hear a mouse pee on a cotton ball"

Veterans Day 2011

To those who served: Thank you.

To those currently serving: Thank you.

To the civilians circa 1985-1991: You're welcome.

My suggestions for the best way to thank the troops?

1) Enjoy life in a free country. A gift ain't a gift unless it's enjoyed. Do something fun.

2) Be the kind of American who's worth fighting for.

[Originally posted 2006]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why College Isn't Worth It

Graham McMillan was running for student government.

To help people remember his name, he tells them "Graham, like the cracker."

On his campaign signs, he told people to vote for Graham "Cracker" McMillan.

The Neo-Naziesque campus speech/thought police "'recommended that he either remove the signs or cover the word 'cracker' with tape and he opted to cover the word,' a university spokesperson told Fox."

The story continues:
'Cracker' is sometimes used as a pejorative term for white people.

"A student affairs staff member used this as a teaching moment to help Graham understand that use of the word 'cracker' with his name could be perceived as derogatory by some," the university spokesperson said.

So who might be offended by the "Graham Cracker" campaign signs?

The university didn't say and McMillan had no idea.
Weird thing is, McMillan is white, so you'd think it'd be ok, the same way black people are allowed to call each other derogatory names.

Maybe they're just offended because he didn't spell it "cracka"?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just As Good

It's like if someone gave Joss Whedon fifty bucks instead of fifty million and said "make Avengers":

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #453,301)

I'd still see it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Could've Used This 40 Years Ago.

I don't know why dad bought us Lucky Charms cereal. I never really liked it, but I ate it because it was there. Those non-marshmallow bits were just atrocious.

What I wouldn't have given back then for a Lucky Charms Cereal Sifter.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Watching the Cain/Newt debate on C-SPAN.

First lesson, Newt doesn't make any better points than Cain, but he does use about five times as many words to make them.

Second, what they both dance around is that, in the end, we need to get the federal government out of its role as a competitor with the private sector in (among other things) the health insurance industry, the retirement savings industry, and the charity industry.

Both guys talked about ways to reduce the fed's footprint in these industries, but neither mentions complete ouster as a goal.

Guess they feel America's not ready to hear those words.


Got a professional photographer friend whose most recent assignment was photographing a Metallica concert in India.

He sent me some links, and since I assume someone, somewhere on the internet likes Metallica, I'm sharing:


Delhi (concert cancelled due to a riot, but still... pics!)

Video: Bangalore highlights.

Video: Inner Sanctum, who opened for Metallica

Video: Fans in Dehli

Video: Interview with the concert organizer - SO much work went into making this happen

Probably Not What I Was Supposed to Notice

[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #93,180)

Guy opens a can with a spoon.

Pretty cool.

But what caught my attention is this:

He is not speaking English (although he does say "brothers and sisters" like an emcee saying "ladies and gentlemen" - not sure what that's about). Yet at the 55 second mark, he pauses for thought, and fills the silence by saying "um".

Which I know is quite common for native speakers of English, but in most foreign-language videos I've seen, the silence-filler of choice is some variation of "aah".

Anyone with foreign language experience, please comment.

(Update: apparently he's from the Philippines, so I guess he's speaking Tagalog.)


Having watched this video at Third World County (I still can't believe this got shown on PBS), I realize it's WAY past time to post this quote on the insanity of the "income inequality is SO unfair" argument:


All Egalitarians are educated publicly up to the age of 21, with no opportunity at this stage to earn enough to save.

All men then work for the same wage till 65, when they retire on full pay; women work for only 20 non-childbearing years, but in those years get equal pay with the same pension rights.

Inheritance is forbidden. But all earners and all pensioners save exactly 10 percent of their incomes, which savings are invested in state bonds yielding 10% compound interest.

This rather high rate perhaps compensates for the absolute embargo on all capital appreciation. The roundness of the figure also simplifies the arithmetic, as do two further stipulations: that the net reproduction rate has been unity for the past 85 years; and that everyone dies on their 85th birthday.

So how much of the privately owned wealth in Egalitaria is owned by the richest 10% of the whole population?

The answer seems to be that the wealthiest 10% of Egalitarians (who by definition are all the men aged from 68 to 84, inclusive) must now own about 74% of the privately owned wealth."

-Antony Flew, "Thinking Straight," p.91

Thursday, November 3, 2011


So Deace FINALLY came clean with Cain's "inappropriate" comment:
"Cain said, 'Darling, do you mind doctoring my tea for me?'" Deace said.

Anyone who's offended by that has NO business working in a job that requires her to deal with the public.

Seriously, darling, put on your big-girl panties and lighten up.

I had a feeling that whatever Cain said was, at worst, one of those things people say when they think the mood is a jovial, "we're all friends here" vibe, which was followed by the sound of a phonograph needle being dragged across a record as some wet blanket snaps a 180 and makes everything go all silent and serious.

Wow. Offended by a Southern guy using a fatherly term of endearment in a casual social situation.


Well, as they say down South, "bless her heart."

Herman Cain Brutally Attacks Reporters

[NewsBusters direct link]

After being asked a simple question, and without provocation, Herman Cain grabbed a reporter by the neck and kept loudly demanding "Who are you?".

Or he might've just been jamming a finger in someone's face and snarling "don't screw around with me!"

Hard to tell, the video's kinda low-quality.

Or maybe it's the CNN news staff.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hit Piece Revenge

So a right-wing talk show host is accusing Herman Cain of saying "awkward/inappropriate things" to his staff, but refuses to say what those things were.

However, he does say:
"I put safeguards around me and hold myself accountable to my wife and other men in my life. Especially since I have very talented employees that happen to be women. I go out of my way to treat them like my sisters. For example, I wouldn't tell them or any other woman I am not married to nor related to how pretty she is."

So, if I'm taking this out of context correctly, Steve Deace is constantly telling his sister how hot she looks.

Man, that's just creepy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Disease For Your Cure

That's our President, who thinks he can fix drug shortages with a wave of his magic autopen.

And of what does this bit of abracadabra consist?:
Under the new orders, the FDA will add six people to the five who are assigned to its drug shortage program. The agency will also add two staff members to its Center for Evaluation and Research.

So, let's see if I follow this logic...

Problem: life-saving drugs not profitable to manufacture, leading to shortages.

Solution: hire more government bureaucrats.


How about the slightly more obvious solution of letting drug prices rise up to a profitable level for the drug companies?

Oh no, no, no! Can't let that happen!

Part of this executive order also aims to prevent "price gouging".

Where "gouging", presumably, means "making enough profit on a drug to make it worth producing."

So, I feel compelled to ask at this point:

Is Obama really that pig-ignorant of basic economics, or is he doing this on purpose because he's a psychopathic tyrant who just wants to watch the country burn?