Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Krauthammer - Swing and a Miss

Charles makes the painful error of believing that the world of normal human beings revolves around the chicanery occurring inside the Beltway:
if health care [reform] collapses, or if it becomes utterly unworkable, the Democrats will have a way of saying, well, it was all these injuries inflicted by the Republicans that made it not work.

I think the smarter approach it to simply expose to the American people what’s in the bill, all the arbitrariness, all the incredibly increased expenses, all the contradictions in it, also the inherent corruption in it, the favoritism, the waivers

Dude, nobody in the real world cares about contradictions or corruption. People have lives. People have bills to pay. All they care about is "did my premiums go up or down?".

So yeah, Republicans DO need to do something de-fundifying to mess up Obamacare. They need to mess up the parts that make things more expensive - like the pre-existing conditions coverage - and take credit for it every time they open up their yaps in front of a microphone.

And open up across markets across state lines. You know... like the the GOP's been promising for years and not doing?

Coulda done this anytime between 2002 & 2006. Thanks for waiting until it was too late, guys.

The Paris Hilton of Global Warming Skeptics

That would be British meteorologist Piers Corbyn:
Predicting in November that winter in Europe would be "exceptionally cold and snowy, like Hell frozen over at times," Corbyn suggested we should sooner prepare for another Ice Age than worry about global warming. Corbyn believed global warming "is complete nonsense, it's fiction, it comes from a cult ideology. There's no science in there, no facts to back [it] up."
I don't buy AGWT either, but this guy's just spewing hyperbole to get attention. A dimestore weather-psychic with a good agent.

And let's think about his prediction objectively for a minute. There's 120 days in the "winter season" months, December through March. Each of those days has a "record" high and low temperature (240 numbers), and weather records go back about 130 years.

In any given year, it would be shocking NOT to have one single "record-breaking" temperature.

If you want a REAL crazy prediction, try this one:

"The average weather this winter will be perfectly average, right down to the degree and inch of snow.

If I make it enough times, I'll eventually be right, and I'll be a weather genius who can get some face time on Fox News.

Scruffy Hipsters With Bad Jobs - Like The Force, They Will Be With Us, Always

While thoroughly delighting in the magnificent visual effects in this video, somewhere in the back of my mind was a nagging voice, saying to the characters, "Dudes!... You're living in the FUTURE! How can you be so singularly unimpressed with your surroundings?".

Then I looked around my room, noticed how many objects there technically qualify under Arthur C. Clarke's definition of "magic", and punched my naggy voice square in the nose out of reflexive guilt.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Walmart Story

Gerard of American Digest has the tale of how he visited New England last winter, and was shocked to discover that at Wal-Mart, you can buy a good winter coat for $7. Something you can't do in Seattle, because the local hippies have banned Wal-Marts.

On my end, Wal-Mart saved me a few years back, when I had to drive 5 hours to attend a funeral, and realized around hour 4 that I did NOT remember to pack dress shoes to go with my suit o' mourning.

So I pulled off a more-or-less random exit, on the assumption that most small-ish towns in northern Wisconsin have a Wal-Mart on the outskirts of town, somewhere on the main drag.

I was right. Wal-Mart was there, and I had a pair of suitable shoes for $25 within 15 minutes of hitting the exit ramp.

God bless capitalism.

God bless Wal-Mart.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Like A Mule With A Spinning Wheel

Headline from the UK Daily Mail:
6,000 passengers in SEVEN-HOUR queue stretching 1.2 miles as snow and ice cripples Eurostar

See, this is what I think about whenever Obama starts whining about how badly America needs to spend umpteen bazillion dollars on high-speed trains.

Stuff your monorail, Lyle Lanley.

I Pity The People In Illinois...

...who are represented by this ignoramus

[YouTube direct link]

Yes, she's seriously arguing that the government should raise the estate tax because Paris Hilton is a stupid spoiled brat.

Well, At Least They're Not Sparkly Vampires

Saw this picture:

In this post, where - at the bottom - I was informed that it's from the movie "Never Let Me Go".


Without looking, I would've guessed the movie was "Dude, Where's My Comb?".

Seriously, when did having a bad hair day become a lifestyle choice?

That's Pretty Much The Attitude

Via Hope n' Change:

I believe this attitude is best described by the phrase, "a handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged".

Tangentially, I'm wondering about the orgin of that phrase, and Google is being pointedly unhelpful in that matter.

The first part makes sense. Moochers (of government-brand dole, and otherwise) are obviously big on the "gimme". I'm kinda puzzled by the second part, though. Saying "much obliged" is a minimal verbal courtesy when you're given something. Moochie types aren't usually big on gratitude (see the above comic), so why isn't the expression something like "a handful of gimme and a mouthful of gimme more"?

Or is the point of the expression that moochers want stuff but only want to give words in return for it?

The Curse Of Cursive

So, does anyone young enough to get carded at the liquor store know how to read and write cursive anymore?

I ask, because this FML post makes me think the answer is "no":
Today, I was told by my history teacher our finals had to be written in cursive. I should have paid attention in 3rd grade. FML
I can't fathom the poster's attitude.

Growing up, cursive was what grown-ups used to write. I assumed it was the graphical equivalent of car-keys - learning how to handle it is a rite of passage into adulthood.

Apparently it's not taught in school any more. Or if it is, it's not a requirement after its introduction.

And I can understand that to a point. Very rarely as an adult do you need to write more than a brief note, and printing is adequate to that task. Plus 90% of the time, you can keyboard & print out, so cursive really is of limited practical use.

Still, to not be ABLE to do cursive? To never progress beyond the communications method of a bumbling 5-year old?

Never-Never-Land is for Peter Pan. I'd rather live like a grown-up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Check Out My New iPhone App!

I call it the "iGravity"

It lets you turn your iPhone into an inertial stabilizing tool for printed documents.

Winter Driving Safety Tip

At Blackfive, Laughing Wolf has this to say about winter driving:
If you don't do that, and have little or no experience driving in snow, keep it simple. Slow down, slow down further before turns and curves, and remember that you do have gears 3, 2, & 1 that will help you when traction is bad. Don't panic, just think slow and graceful, and make your way carefully home watching out for the idiots who don't do that.

But I'd like to add one more thing:

Safe following distance.

The rule of thumb for clean, dry pavement is that you should follow 2 seconds behind the car in front of you, to give yourself time to both react and stop if Mr. In-Front slams on his brakes.

If the roads are bad, make it 4. Or 8. Or 10.

Seriously, if Mr. In-Front hits a patch of ice and spins out in front of you, you don't want to have to stop on a dime, because just about the time you hit your brakes, you'll be crossing over the same stretch of road that did him in.

Best case scenario, leave so much room in front of you that you could roll to a stop just by taking your foot off the gas, and still not play bumper-tag.

The bad news is, some idiot in a 4x4 is going to see the huge gap ahead of you, and change lanes to fill that gap. And he'll probably do so 10 feet in front of you.

Just back off again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Your Smart Phone is Trying To Kill You

I apologize for linking a pdf file, but this document explains why MY cell phone is "just a phone" (with no camera or web browser), and why I avoid social networking sites.

Obama, You're Freaking Me Out Again

I've mentioned before that Obama seems to have a slight case of misusing idioms, like English isn't his first language, America isn't his first culture, and Christianity isn't his first religion.

He's at it again with this description of the meaning of Christmas:
A child was born far from home to spread a simple message of love and redemption to every human being around the world.
"far from home"? Huh?

I infer two things from this bizarrely-constructed sentence:

1) Obama's talking about himself, and

2) He just admitted he was born in Kenya.

Yay! Bubbles and Cigarettes!

Honestly, I thought this was going to be stupid, but I ended up on the edge of my seat until the very end.

I mean, I've fiddled with soap bubbles before, and usually end up getting bored & frustrated. This guy figured out how to make them entertaining.

[YouTube direct link]

Warped Perspective

I keep hearing these liberals talk about how much tax cuts "cost" the government.


If I get a tax cut, the government's not spending the money, it's just not taking it from me.

An analogy: let's say I habitually submit fake expense reports to my employer, since I know Accounting will never question me. And let's say I make a tidy sum doing that every year.

If I were to stop doing that, would Democrats say that "cutting my fake expense reports" was "costing me money"?

Because I would describe it more as "doing the right thing by not abusing the trust of those who pay my salary".

Oh, and the "generous cuts to the estate tax" garbage? Yeah, it's going from 0 to 35%. How in heaven's name is that a "cut"?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

White Lies

Tangential thought inspired by question #9 at Violins & Starships.

A bad lie is deception for personal gain.

A white lie is deception to prevent minor harm to a person you care about.

For example, "I didn't steal your money" vs. "No, honey, that dress doesn't make you look fat."