Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My favorite user

We have this lady who comes in almost every day. Her name is A____. I always hated when Edgar Allan Poe did that. A____ is from somewhere in eastern Europe, I believe. She is in her late fifties and messes around on dating sites looking for her one true love. I never have understood how people like her can ask a librarian to proofread what is essential a love note to another stranger. Maybe people look on us like they do doctors. They think we are as incurious and unemotional about their personal correspondence as a doctor is about a patient's body and its peculiarities. We are but we still can laugh on the inside just like your doctor does when he sees you without your pants.

The best thing about A____ is her inability to read a computer screen. When she wants to add a picture to her profile on one of the dating sites will she will call one of us over and say, "I want to add picture. How do you do that?" We will then point to her screen and say "click here where it says 'add photo.'" For a while she was trying to sell a fur jacket on Ebay and that was even worse. Do you know how hard it is to walk someone through the Ebay sale form when they have no desire to read it?

At least she is polite. That goes a long way. I will spend a lot of time with her during one of her internet sessions because she is thankful and polite after you walk her through a process you did the week before.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Funny Dick

I wasn't one to really jump all over the Dick Cheney shooting an old man in face thing. I thought it was funny and I thought that it was nice that for a week the Bush people had to concentrate on that rather than their sick agenda. However, I did find the following picture and it's just damn funny.
A tragedy

I just learned a few minutes ago that one of my favorite writers, Octavia Butler, died Friday from a fall at her home. She was one of the best. I don't know what to say other than the world of fiction has been robbed of some classic books.

I remember that Orson Scott Card in his book on how to write science fiction and fantasy said that the opening paragraph to Octavia's book Wildseed was one of the best opening paragraphs of a novel he had ever read. At least there are a few books of hers I have yet to still read. That is now my only option, I reckon.

Here's more on what happened from USA Today.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rock and roll goodness

Last night I went to Asheville with...someone. I'll write more about how awesome the show was and how nice the trip was later. I'll just include a cool picture I took of one of the guitar player/singers from the Drive by Truckers (the band I went to Asheville to see).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Get him outta here

Anyone that is capable of looking this goddamn dumb while participating in a serious policy discussion should not be allowed to be our president.
Tom of Tomorrow

Excellent write up by Tom Tomorrow concerning the most recent debacle in Iraq. May god continue to bless our fucking idiotic president.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Gorilla get the 'pause

Stole this link from John Hawks but I had to share it since it's so interesting.

"Many biologists believe menopause evolved because it gave human grandmothers more time to help care for their grandchildren, said Steve Austad, a researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio who was not involved in the study.

The new findings argue against the so-called "grandmother hypothesis," because female gorillas in the wild migrate away from their family groups and don't hang around to care for the grandkids.

Instead of an evolutionary adaptation, menopause could result merely from humans — and captive gorillas — living longer, Austad said.

"It's going to make evolutionary biologists think long and hard about what this suggests for humans," Austad said. "Right now, they're saying humans are unique. It may turn out you can get gorillas to live 75 years, and 25 years of that is post-menopausal.""

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bit Torrent

Allow me to rave (once again? I'm not sure) about bit torrent. If you haven't delved into the magic of bit torrent, give it a shot. You can read up on how to get started on Wikipedia and, if you are into bootlegs like me, then jump on over to Dime a Dozen and bask in the glory of what is offered by the websites's users. I have downloaded mad Led Zeppelin, especially early stuff. It may sound rough due to the limitations of audience recording back then but the shows are always amazing. I just can't say enough about how you can fill every little niche of your musical taste. Until I started messing around with bit torrent I could never find a Georgia Satellites bootleg. Now I have two. I never have been able to find a Was (Not Was) bootleg until tonight. You can find jazz on this site, obscure metal and blues bootlegs you never knew might even exist. It's a revelation.

There are bit torrent tracking sites out there where you can find illegal music and movies but don't waste your time with that. All you usually find there is mainstream stuff you can get anywhere and it's illegal and immoral to download that material according to our government and they know all about what is illegal and immoral, believe me. That's what is beautiful about Dime a Dozen, all the music indexed on that site consists of unreleased live shows and demo recordings so on one is losing any money. We all know that if you care enough about an artist to download their live bootlegs and takes 5, 6 and 7 of Strawberry Fields then you probably have all their albums anyway, so enjoy.

Other collecting goodness

I found a group on Yahoo! of guys that trade old NASCAR races. I just received in the mail today a copy of the race at Talladega in 1987 where Bobby Allison flew his car into the catch fence on the front stretch. The car takes out about 100 feet of the fence and came within a hair of going into the crowd. If that fence hadn't been reinforced shortly before that race his car would have gone into the crowd and NASCAR may have ended right then and there.

I watched a chunk of the race tonight after work and it's amazing how great the racing was when the cars were unrestricted. The pure speed and side by side racing is amazing. Much better than the big pack racing that takes place these days. For my feelings on today's superspeedway racing see my rant below. If NASCAR could find some way to stage a race at those big tracks that even remotely resembles what they were doing there in the 80's they would have a TV cash cow that would knock their socks off. You would think that alone would cause them to figure a way to fix the problem.
The agony

Last night Chris, who from now on will be known as the video game savant (VGS), and I played a fierce and bloody game of Madden 05 on the Xbox. The savant has been pissing me off lately by throwing 20-yard prayers with the accuracy of a laser sight and by playing a preternaturally good defense with the player he is controlling. Not that there aren't holes in his game. He lives and dies by the pass even when he is playing with the 1985 Bears and has Walter Payton at his disposal. If 80 percent of your offense is the pass you will get intercepted now and then. After the bastard took an early lead I was able to rally back after he threw a couple of interceptions. I tied the game up and was starting to discover my running game again during the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter I was in his territory and moving the ball pretty good. The third quarter ends and the Xbox locks up. I swear we both almost started crying. Playing a video game is pretty much a waste of time but when you put almost an hour into an intense football game with all the requisite swearing and hollering and then the damn thing crashes on you every wasted moment in your life fills the room.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Another boring Daytona

You know, if it wasn't the first race of every new season and if it wasn't the Daytona 500 I would have paid as much attention to yesterday's race as I do to the other three restrictor plate races NASCAR stages each. How much is that? None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Why is that? Because restrictor plate racing sucks ass. It's not a race when half the field sandbags for the first half of the race so they can avoid the wrecks this situation brings on. It's not a race when cars can't pass the leader, at all. It's not a race when cars have to slam into the car in front of them in order to move ahead because all the cars are equal. It's not a race when the field takes 1 1/2 laps to hit top speed because of the loss of horsepower due to a metal plate over the carbeurator. It's not a race when the only reason to watch is for the big wreck because the competition has been hogtied by the rules. Drivers still get excited when they win this race because of where it is held. They no longer get excited because of the quality of race. It's sad that NASCAR has taken their biggest venue and turned it into a Disneyish obscenity that now only hosts boring follow-the-leader type events that occasionally turn into car-destroying freak shows.

Personally, I'm done. No longer will I give these races any attention. I'll check in on Mondays and see who won and who got hurt in the big wreck but I refuse to get suckered in by this sorry excuse for racing. I will watch no more until they knock those walls down and take the plates off.

If you have visited this page more than once I know you are thinking "why do I have to read another anti-restrictor plate rant?" Becasue it drives me crazy. If they would modify the track so that the cars had to lift in the turns then you would see some awesome big track racing. If the cars can hit 200 mph going into the turns at Atlanta there is no reason you couldn't drop a few degrees off the banking and allow these guys to run around 200-210 mph at Daytona and Talladega. Instead of dumb luck you could now count on your driver and your equipment to get you win. What a concept, I know.

An upbeat ending

Did you hear the story about Kirk Shelmerdine? He made the Daytona 500 by a miracle. He had no sponsor, no pit crew and no money for tires. He borrowed a pit crew and a collection was taken to buy him tires in the garage area and some old Earnhardt fans helped him out. He used to be Earnhardt's crew chief. This is from a USA Today article: "Left without a sponsor and relying on volunteer crewmembers, Shelmerdine received financial help from a family of Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans to pay for his tires, which enabled him to grab the last available qualifying spot for the Daytona 500.

"They paid our entire tire bill. It was a substantial chunk of change," Shelmerdine said. "Dale Sr. fans — there's still a lot of them out of there — some of them old enough to remember me.""

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "In a visit with the media on Friday, Kirk Shelmerdine wondered aloud whether, as an independent driver, he'd be able to find the funding to buy the tires he needed to run 500 miles. A friend picked up the tire bill. His old boss, Richard Childress, bought the quarter-panel spot on Shelmerdine's car to advertise the Childress Vineyard and provided family members a flight to Daytona for the race. Shelmerdine's $272,008 payday should cover any other costs incurred during the weekend."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Now, that's racin'

Saturday, February 18, 2006

George Will sides with the freedom haters

This is an interesting column. Will this disloyalty be allowed to continue?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What if machine

What if Fox News existed 40 years ago?

Here come the Jews

Some guys in Israel decided the best way to combat the backlash of the Danish cartoons (which was a call from Iran for cartoonists to create antisemitic cartoons) was to create their own cartoons that were antisemitic. I guess it's like growing up in a Polish community like I did and hearing Polack jokes all the time. It's a crazy mixed up world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mystery Girl

Yesterday I started reading my first P.D. James novel, "The Lighthouse." I heard her on Diane Rehm the other day and that was the second time I had heard her on that show. Each time I was impressed by how she expressed herself. She was well-spoken and very witty. You know how sometimes you hear an author speak and you immediatley are interested in reading their writing? That's how she was with me. She is the anti-Patricia Cornwell.

I haven't read that many mystery novels over the years. I've read "The Hound of Baserkvilles," one of Agatha Christie's Ms. Marple novels and a couple of Isaac Asimov's SF/mystery novels when I was much younger. Recently I've been reading a lot of nonfiction and I've been having a hard time taking time to read. Maybe a nicely paced murder mystery will get me rolling. So far I've enjoyed the book. I'm still at the point where Ms. James is introducing all the characters and each one has been interesting to me so that's a good sign. I sure hope none of them get hurt.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Back from the shadows again

I'd like to thank Tom for including me in his metafilter link about Herman Melville and Mobious Dick. I think ten whole people came to my blog because of that. That pushed me up over thirty for the day. That may be the first time I had over thirty hits since 42short took a dirt nap.

Also, I was wondering that, since there are stupid neologisms like 'blogosphere' and 'bleg,' is there one for when a blog dies? I guess we could say that 42short 'blied' or 'blent ablay.' Maybe it 'blassed blon' or was 'blut blo bleep?'

Monday, February 13, 2006

Let's pause for a moment and think about books

Is OK to write in a book? Herman Melville says yes. It's interesting, a large and usually unnamed source for this blog is Beale's Natural History of the Sperm Whale. Perhaps, like Melville, my greatness won't be realized until long after I am dead. Take that, Dad. You son of a bitch.

First one of the season

Hey, this is my first NASCAR post of the year. Oh yeah. A friend forwarded me a story about Tony Stewart speaking out about the dangerous driving that exists at the Daytona and Talladega tracks. If you notice in the article almost no one mentions removing the restrictor plates that are the real cause of the dangerous conditions. Now so many drivers have never experienced these tracks unrestricted that the plates are now considered normal. That's too bad since removing the plates and altering the tracks is the only solution to this problem.


A while back I did a post where I lamented the lack of choices you see in most online polls. Most polls will say something along the line of "Is the NBA season too long? Yes or no." There is hardly ever the option to voice an opinion such as "I hate the NBA, it sucks." Today I noticed that the newspaper that covers the area I grew up in in Northern Michigan has given us a option much like what I have been craving.
Today is Monday

I see that vice president/prime minister Dick Cheney put some buckshot into a hunting buddy over the weekend. Am I the only one that had a mental picture of Mr. Cheney doing all he can to resist running over to the injured person to suck his blood? Think Dracula when Keanu Reeves cuts himself.

Last night I watched the downhill, short track speed skating and the snowboard half pipe. Shaun White A.K.A the Flying Tomato won the gold in the snowboard half pipe. You have to think that last night as he was walking through the streets of Torino that two hot Italian babes came up to him and offered to help him make a tomato sandwich. KnowwhatImean?

Also, I thought the outfits that were worn by the USA snowboard team looked great. They were baggy pin-striped snow suits that looked like old New York Yankee uniforms. What could be more American than that?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Whoa, nelly

The ingredients: Regional branch down the road has its computers go down, cold rainy Sundays are the busiest day of the week and there are only two of us working instead of three. Outcome: Urge to kill...rising.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Minor Miracle

I did not have to work yesterday so I had a chance to catch up on some personal business. I needed to pay my county vehicle tax and then run by the DMV and renew my license tag. For the first time in my life I spent more time driving while taking care of these two tasks than I did standing in line. I was in and out of each office in less than fifteen minutes. When I walked out of the DMV office I was in a daze. I had the whole afternoon in front of me. It was like free bonus time. It was like my life had been extended by three hours.

Whenever this time of the year rolls around I always have to run by the county tax office to pay my vehicle tax before I head to the DMV. I never pay my vehicle tax until I absolutely have to and you absolutely have to have that paid before you can renew your tag now. I guess that's good because if it wasn't set up like that I probably wouldn't pay my vehicle tax until they came to my door.

A Short Dialogue

Me: Wow, the wait here gets shorter each time.
DMV Lady: We're trying!
Me: I barely had time to read any of my book. I used to bring two books but you have been getting faster so this time I only brought one.
DMV Lady: Hopefully soon you won't have to bring any book at all.

Wow, imagine that. That would be pretty close to heaven on earth if the DMV ever got to the point where you could just walk up and get what you need without having any line to wait in at all. Jesus, to dream is to dream.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A cat picture

It's been a while since I've posted a picture of one of my cats being cute. So here is Pippin sleeping on my bed.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Comedy never stops

I see our hilarious president has put a notice out that it is wrong to resort to violence over an offense to one's religion. Man, that's funny stuff. Who writes his material?


Often when I recommend that someone go to the main library to do some research they claim that parking downtown is a nightmare or that it costs too much to park or there is too much crime there. I usually poo poo their claims and tell them that parking is much easier now because there is a ten-story parking deck near the library where you can park free for ninety minutes and it's only two dollars every half hour after that. Not a bad deal, right? I aslo tell them that the crime that was a problem downtown has been pretty much cleared up since the mid-nineties.

I had to be at the main library at 11 today for a big meeting. I left home at 10:30. I figured I would be able to park at the parking deck and get inside to the conference room with time to spare. Naturally the parking deck was full and the parking lot at Spirit Square was full also. I had to drive around, find a pay lot and stick four bucks into one of those metal self service boxes. By the time I got to the meeting room I was ten minutes late and the web seminar had already started. The second in command of the library and the head librarian were at this meeting. Man, did I feel like a tool walking in there late. Oh, and the manager of my branch was there also. It was a glorious moment, I tell you.

At least I didn't see any crime while I was down there. I'm still right about that.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Look

A friend recommended I gets an RSS feed. I gots one now. I figured it wouldn't hurt if I found out how to do this since I am going to teach the general public a class on blogging next month. My old template had some HTML in it that blocked the news feed so I had to change. Nothing is permanent, even on the rock solid internet. If you have an irrational desire to have All You Need is Blog show up in your news reader you can do it with the link available to the right of this here text.
My new phrase

After reading about and watching some of the steaming bowl of bull shit served up by the torture legitimizing attorney general yesterday my favorite new phrase is "constitutional, necessary and legal." I think if the Bunker Brothers ever make a new album that should be what we call it. That title kinda reminds me of Illegal, Immoral and Fattening by Flo and Eddie.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Killing for god, Part 5,565,323

How can religous people expect me to take them seriously when they riot because some guy in the Netherlands draws a cartoon? God, I love fundamentalism. If you insult the prophet of the true one god of love we will burn your fucking house down.

Obscenity of obscenities

I was reading about the federal budget today. This year we are going to spend $489.5 billion on killing people and/or preparing to kill folks (that figure includes the $50 billion budgeted for Iraq). If you figure we have roughly 300 million people living in this country that comes out to $1631.67 per person. We could buy every person in this country a 1990 Honda Civic for that much money. We could probably feed the world also but that's commie talk.

Of course that money isn't really set aside just for killing. That money is needed for a strong armed force that can protect mine and your'n freedoms. Freedoms that our un-named and mostly invisible enemy hate hate hate. An enemy that could hit us again at any second. Of course, if that enemy hit us with every they had once a week for six months still couldn't kill as many people as Americans do every year with their legally purchased firearms. That's commie talk also.

If I budgeted I could probably feed myself for a whole year with a little more than $1631.67. I could probably eat pretty well. How many families could you feed in Honduras with $1631? You could give that much money to a school teacher and she wouldn't have to spend her own money for supplies this year. How about a single mother? How much would that chunk of cash help her with day care? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard all that shit before. Nothing will be done about it. Bush will get that serious look on his face and start talking about 9/11 and protecting uneducated fat Americans and the military budget will just get bigger and bigger and people will go hungry in the richest country in the world and change will not be considered let alone debated.
Color me confused

I see attorney general Santa Anna, I mean, Gonzalez is being questioned by the senate judiciary committee yet he was not required to be sworn in. What is up with that? Those oil company execs don't have to be sworn in and now Gonzalez isn't either. My quesion is, if you aren't sworn in is it legal to lie your ass off?

Friday, February 03, 2006

For the man who has everything

If you are every wondering what to buy me on some special occasion may I suggest this. It would be most appreciated.

Quick Quiz

One of the men in the following photograph is a cool rock star trying to do good in the world. The other is a joke of president doing all he can to further the cause of the big business and the rich. Can you tell which is which?
Whoring out the grand old dame

I see that Tiger Stadium is being used to house a temporary night club sponsored by Buttwiper beer. First of all, if you don't think marketing works how is it possible that swill like Budweiser sells so much product? Secondly, something needs to be done about Tiger Stadium. Either blow the place up or maintain it and use it for high school baseball playoffs, college games or whatever else you can think of. It drives me crazy that the place is sitting there rotting and used every couple of years for a movie or some silly promotion like this one.