Friday, October 31, 2008

More Early Voting

Early voting is now completely out of control. The line stretches around the front of the building as you can see below and then curves around into the parking lot on the side of the building which you can see in the following pictures. Craziness. The wait is at least two hours.
From Drop Box


IMG_3169

IMG_3170

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Palin Nonsense

I really don't know how she can step in front of people and lie like this. It's shocking.

Thanks again to the valuable Talking Points Memo for the link. Talking Points Memo: It's the Drudge Report with Facts and Real Reporters.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NFL Website

Walt, who is a member of this sports website, told me recently that, the National Football League's website, NFL.com, has really improved. I checked it out today and he ain't kidding. There are oodles and oodles of current highlight videos and some of the more important historical players have video alongside their career stats. For example here is a big hit from Ray Lewis in week 3 of the season and here you can see Charlie Sanders' statistics and a short video appreciation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Batgirl

This is the Silver Age Batgirl. I love the purse. The purse may seem sexist but inside that purse she has important crime fighting tools like bat lipstick and bat tampons.
Silver Age Batgirl from DC Direct

Saturday, October 25, 2008

London in 1904

The video below is amazing. The street scenes with the trains and horse-pulled streetcars are stunning. What surprises me is that most film footage I have scene that is this old is choppy because of a low frame rate. This is smooth and clear. I'm in awe.


I found this on Metafilter. You can read more about the film here.
This kid does a better job, really

This is one of the funniest things I have seen this week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My New Batgirl

I saw this in my local comic book store and couldn't resist. Batgirl from DC Direct Justice

Drudge Tries a Recovery


ScreenShot002
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

Earlier today he linked to a story about a girl injured in a politically motivated attack. Now he's trying to cover his ass. Nice try, Drudge, but it was obvious from the start it was fake and you treated it like a real story. What a hack.

Ron Howard Stumps for Obama and Gives us a Present
See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Guns 'n' Roses

From David Rhodes to Axl Rose. From the sublime to the silly. New Guns 'n' Roses song below.
Chinese Democracy - Guns N Roses
Driftless by David Rhodes

I just finished an incredible novel by David Rhodes. You can read about him on his publihsher's website. He's an interesting story and just made for booktalks and I was intrigued by what I heard so I had two good reasons to give his new novel a shot. It's a poetic, character-driven novel that in the wrong hands could come off as pretentious and too self consciously literary. You know, the kind of English major novel that Garrison Keillor parodies occasionally on Prairie Home Companion. Instead, "Driftless" is full of varsity level writing with characters that could be your neighbors. I think I'll give you a taste below. It's taken from a funeral scene at the end of the book and I have omitted the name of the character that is being eulogized in case anyone that reads this decides to read this lovely novel:

"'So we're united today not in belief but in grief--staring into the past, Where _____ died alone. But though the world has cast him out, we never will. So long as we refuse to be separated from the love of God, which holds us all together, we will never lose _____. We will never let him die. How we feel about him can never be taken from us. Nothing,' she said, turning and looking straight at her uncle and smiling, 'nothing can ever, against our will separate us from the love of God, and we will do the best we can.'

Pulling on the pew in front of him, Rusty stood up. He looked directly at Winnie and said, 'amen,' in a manner that suggested he had never spoken the word before and was unlikely ever to speak it again, and sat down."
Desperation

Wow, Obama must be really scaring the right because Drudge has resorted to pointing out that Obama is having construction done in preparation for election night and has also linked to a video of Obama sneezing with a headline that says "Obama sneeze on reporter". As you can clearly see below he sneezes into his hand. I've always thought Drudge was a hack. All he does is attach misleading headlines to stories written by working reporters. His only redeeming value since the Monica Lewinsky scandal has been his talent for finding embarrassing pictures of Hillary Clinton. I've wondered many times how many hours a day he scans the internet in search of unflattering pictures of Hillary Clinton.

Obama Sneezes into his own Hand, the Right Goes Crazy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Outside it's America

It seems like the cops can bust down your door for just about any reason nowadays. I wish it was harder to believe that these kids are being charged with such a trumped up charge but that's the current American legal system. Five years for planning on disrupting a convention? If you ask me these conventions need a little disruption.

Monday, October 20, 2008

God Bless us, Everyone

Holy cow. Please don't pray for me, Tracy, I don't want to go to your heaven. Yours is the heaven full of harps, streets paved with gold, naked sexless cherubs and flying monkeys that poop frankincense.

Link via Warren Ellis.
Fun with the Lightbox

It's been a while since I attempted to take some pictures using the lightbox. I think I am starting to get the hang of it. I bought some poster board to use as a background and that made a world of difference.

The Indiana Jones Mighty Muggs version that Mel grabbed for me yesterday during her mad orgy of solo shopping.
 

DC Direct Batman from the Justice Series.
 

History shows again and again how nature points out the follies man. Godzilla! I never noticed until just now after I wrote them here that those lyrics are redundant. Or are they circular?
From Pictures


What would a lightbox experiment be if you didn't put the dachshund inside the box?
Isaac in the Lightbox
Thank you, Colin Powell

Colin Powell, after endorsing Obama, lays into McCain and Palin and the rest of the rights shameful tactics.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mad Genius

Found this on John Scalzi's website. How do you attach a mandolin neck to a toy piano and have it stay in tune?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sports Talk Radio

Sports talk radio, in general, is not where you go for the most sophisticated conversation on your radio dial. I'm sure we all know that. Like all radio some of it is better than others. ESPN has some syndicated shows and some of them provide some nice analysis of what's going on in the sports world. It's similar to what you see on your television before each Sunday's NFL games. On ESPN you get some real good analysis by knowledgeable hosts. If you flip over to Fox you get Terry Bradshaw and the gang yelling at each and acting like a cage full of monkeys. I imagine it won't be that long before they start throwing poo at each other.

Yesterday, during the nine o'clock hour, I tuned into AM station 610, WFNZ. Get it? FNZ? Fans! Fans of what? Sports! Why did I tune into WFNZ? Because my local NPR station was having a show about something I wasn't all that interested in so I figured why not see what is happening on the local sports talk station.

Holy crap, what a bunch of crap. First of all I have never heard such a liberal use of soundbites. Every comment a host made was accompanied by a sound effect or a piece of dialog from Homer Simpson, Arnold or the Seinfeld television show. They did actually spend five minutes discussing the amazing coincidence of one of them referring to a specific Seinfeld episode the day before and watching seeing it in syndication that evening.

They laughed at their own jokes constantly. It was like combining John Boy and Billy with the Car Guys on NPR and then taking that monster and hitting it over the head with a baseball for an hour before allowing it on the air. At one point one of the hosts said that Charlotte Bobcat player, Adam Morrison looks like Paul Poundstone with a mustache. Boy, did the monkey cage shake with hilarity when that bomb was dropped.

Following the Seinfeld segment they went into an analysis of the upcoming New Orleans Saints/Carolina Panthers football. This analysis consisted of the listing of the Saints' third down conversion statistics so far this year. It was implied that these stats were scary if you were a Panthers fan and, of course, this was accompanied by a soundbite of a horror movie type scream.

Sometimes you need to be reminded why you never turn your radio away from your local NPR station.

Tomorrow Never Knows

"Individual human beings, by virtue of their evolved cognitive architecture, had trouble conceptualizing their own psychological inexistence from the start."

Or how about this one: "The end product can be as ornate or austere as you like, from the headache-inducing reincarnation beliefs of Theravada Buddhists to the man on the street’s “I believe there’s something” brand of philosophy—but it’s made of the same brick and mortar just the same."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Early Voting

It's that time of the year again. The time of the year when people stand in line all day so they can vote early. There are campaign signs all over the place, our parking lot is full and there are campaigners waving signs and handing out literature out front. It's a regular hootenanny. Early voting locations, dates and times can be viewed here.

The line is actually forming in the back of the building. You can walk around the outside of the library or you can cut through. This is the front of the line around noon today. This line you see here is not that bad. It was longer earlier, from what I have been told. I think the wait in this line is about 30 minutes. That's not too bad.
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This is a view from the end of the line.
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Here are the faithful with their signs and literature. It's easier if you just take what they want to give you and move on rather than so "no, thanks." Believe me.
Photobucket

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Light Rail


Light Rail
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

I am testing some photo hosting websites for a class next week. This is how Flickr does it.

This is regarding Kevin's response today to a post I wrote yesterday.

Granted, I'm not a Buddhist scholar but the Buddha I'm most comfortable with never claimed to be a god. He was just a man who was the first to reach enlightenment through meditation. I reckon I am simplifying that and there are many legends and beliefs around this figure. Plus, this guy lived about 2,500 years ago. People have trouble agreeing on what happened 25 years ago so we know less than squat about the "historical Gautama."

Sure, Christianity is a philosophy and I said that Buddhism is "more of a philosophy than a religion" and I stand by that. I'm sure if I said that Christianity is more of a religion than a philosophy anyone with with any kind of a religious education could screw me into the ground on that one. Religion at its most scary is practiced as more of a religion than as a philosophy. That is what I saw in that video I posted. I doubt this guy misspoke. Anyone with the nerve to stoke religious competition in today's world doubtlessly knows or cares little or nothing of which he was speaking.

My main handicap when it comes to discussing religion is that I have no emotional or philosophical investment in any kind of religion. I do find religion fascinating in how it used by others. For some it provides a focus and true passion in their lives that creates much good in the world; and for others it alleviates that fear of death we all have and it assures they will live on forever; and, for my favorite people in the world, it's a way to control others and make boatloads of money. I do not doubt Kevin practices a life through his god that is an example for all to follow. I also do not doubt that for some all three of those aspects of religion are on the table.

What is a religion other than its followers? All religions are man made and it is the people that create and change their religion. Look at the Catholics. Their rulebook is thicker than the bible. Look at all the sects of Christianity, all man made. A religion is inseparable from its believers.

If a belief is about pursuing the truth then what I have said on this blog about the religion I see everyday as presented by our leaders, on both the right and the left, feels OK to me. I see a religion as displayed by our leaders as devoid of any meaning. Very few of these people ever present to us any real pursuit of truth. They have bastardized religion and turned it into just another way to control the masses. There was nothing out of the norm with that video I posted yesterday. It is the modern political machine displaying perfectly their view of religion as just another tool.

I reckon what saddens me most about religion in this country is that true devotees of any religion are the ones you don't hear about. Those truly doing god's work don't show up on television imploring their god to put a politician in office. They are the ones sitting in their living room on a mat trying reach the source of light within. They are the ones bringing clean underwear to those so obese that they can't get out of bed. They are the ones taking food and love to the elderly. You know, stuff I don't do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Win one for god

This is priceless. I found this video at the always valuable Talking Points Memo. This guy is saying a prayer at the opening of a McCain rally. Did I hear him refer to the Hindu religion as a single god? And also, isn't Buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion. I think someone should let him know that Buddhists don't pray to Buddha. Hey buddy, if you are going to declare your religion more important than other religions perhaps you should know what the hell you are talking about. Of course, this is George Bush's America right now and it's not about what you know, it's about how you feel. At least on the side of aisle where it's OK to call a sitting United States Senator a traitor to his country.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Early Cosby
This is from the old Jack Parr Tonight Show. I'd really like to find a video of him doing his classic old routines in the clubs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pets will make you hurl

I think the grossest thing that happens in our household is when one of the cats pukes and another cat rushes over to eat it before it gets cold.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ralph Stanley Says Vote for Obama
Betty White on Palin

Rallies or Lynch Mobs?

There is an excellent column here about the horrible risk McCain and Palin are taking with our country with their extreme rhetoric.
My New Hero

Melanie a food network junkie. Sometimes I get suckered into watching it too. There is some good programming on there. That show about the kooks that make fancy cakes is pretty good. Recently I have watched full episodes of the show called "Good Eats" hosted by the very funny and knowledgeable Alton Brown. I like how he does his show, he focuses on one aspect of cookery and shows all the variations of it. He's done a show on how to use pepper and a full show on different ways you can prepare steak. The reason he is now my hero is because of the show he did on popcorn. He has a recipe called "Perfect Popcorn" and it's the first recipe I have ever attempted that I saw on television. It works, it works great. I recommend, and so does Alton, that you don't use butter on your popcorn. There is a video on the Food Network website of Alton Brown making his perfect popcorn. You can view that here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

This is what demonizing political opponents creates

Holy cow, pretty soon these people are going to start wearing uniforms.


I've seen other videos of these rallies and, as my friend Walt mentioned to me earlier, McCain looks a little uncomfortable by the rage and anger of these crowds. It's a little frightening, maybe, to be in the middle of such a whirlpool of rage. I'm curious as to what these people are so angry about. Their party has been in the majority in Washington for most of the last 8 years. There is a brainless fundamentalist right wing puppet in the White House, evolution is on defense, funding for science is way down, over fifty percent of Americans believe in angels and there are giant evangelical churches all over the damn place. What could they possibly be all riled up about? Oh yeah, McCain and his supporters are portraying their political opponents as enemies of our country. If anything ugly or violent happens in the next year or so it will all come back to people like Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin and their reckless rhetoric. It's really time for those in charge of the Republican's propaganda to step back and look at what they are creating.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paul McCartney's awesome new song

I had never heard of a project of electronic dance music by Paul and Youth called Fireman but you have got to hear this new song. Wow, every now and then Paul can still knock my socks off.

Panorama, 8th Hole at Revolution Golf Course


Panorama, 8th Hole at Revolution Golf Course
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

Today I golfed alone for the first time. You know, it was fun. I think I golf better when no one is watching. I was playing well, hitting nice iron shots and this guy told me to play through. While he was watching I drove a ball into a creek and then topped the next one about twenty yards. I picked my balls up and just passed him by and went on to the next hole.

While waiting for a foursome in front of me to finish putting I took this panorama of the 8th hole at Revolution. Revolution is closing on November 1st for renovations so go now if you want to play there before 2009. I was told by the guy at the front desk they are going to redo five holes and add a new clubhouse. That's pretty exciting. A little extra work and Revolution could be an awesome place to play golf rather than just a really nice place to play golf. In fact, it would be perfect right now if a few holes were a little longer and the grounds were better taken care of.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

More Fun with Picasa

From Pictures
Fun with Picasa

I just downloaded the Google picture viewing/manipulating program Picasa for the first time today. I had a few minutes before beddy bye to mess with it just now. It's a pretty powerful tool for no charge. I increased the red in this sunset with the graduated tint tool.
From Pictures

Monday, October 06, 2008

Poison

If you listen below you will hear someone in the crowd shout out "terrorist!" when McCain asks who the real Barack Obama is. This is the poison I was talking about in my post yesterday. It is amazing that such irresponsibility is given a pass.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Honky! Honky!

One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits
Palin says dishonest shitty things

I'm sorry, I've kept the language under control here recently but after what Palin said recently she is a liar and fear mongerer and not worthy to serve this country as a member of the federal government. Politics is a dirty business but the McCain people right now are really slingin' the shit.

Watch this video below if you can stand it. Some right winger whackos compare Obama's popularity to that of fascist dictators but if you listen to the simplistic and dishonest steaming pile of shit that Palin dishes up here you can see who uses the language of the fascists. Mind you, I'm not calling her a fascist but she is using fascist rhetoric. Country first and mindless chants.

Another thing the right wing is doing is calling Obama "the Chosen One" and deriding the passion that some have for him. I know he's just another politician and he doesn't rile up any kind of great passion or give me the "audacity of hope" but I'll never vote for a politician or a political party whose main strategy is attack, attack, attack with little thought for how it poisons the country's political discussions. I'm not a strict liberal Democratic voter but I'll vote Democrat until the Republicans stop nuzzling the nuts of the nutjobs.

She is supposed to be a leader. She could be one heartbeat, as they say, from the presidency of the United States. She, in so many words, called Obama an enemy of the United States. That is not statesmanship, that is not the what I look for in a leader. We've already had an administration that vilifies political opponents. You don't treat or portray political opponents like enemies. It's shockingly irresponsible.

Those that do close readings of this blog will notice that I changed some of the wording of this post. A friend pointed out that I had stooped to name calling and was behaving no better than the person using the politics of fear. I understand now what he means. He is my sensei, my moral compass, the Skipper to my Gilligan. What I should have originally said was not that Palin was a piece of shit but that everything that comes out of her mouth is shit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Noisy bastards

If there isn't a city ordinance that says you may not mow your lawn before 9 am on a Saturday then there should as hell should be. Of course this takes place at the house a few down where a certain someone spends way too much time on his lawn. Dude, go watch Fox News before I break out my BB gun.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another link to XKCD?

Heck yeah! Especially if it involves a nod to science fiction and fantasy. You can view the newest comic here.
Push and Toss

I noticed that my cell phone's camera pauses for about a second after I hit the "take" button before it captures an image. I decided that was enough time to toss it in the air. The results of this experiment are below.

The Parking Lot at Work


Library Interior


Mel's Melon (not really a toss but herky jerky movement was involved)


Me, From Above


Morrocroft Shopping Center Parking Lot


I had thought that maybe I was on to something unique and original but a quick Google search showed that there is nothing new under the sun.