Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pretty Flower

Pretty Flower
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

I took a picture of a flower today. Love that macro setting on the digital camera.

How is that?

You gotta love this quote: "In debate on the House floor, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said the legislation could prompt lenders to restrict credit in an already tight market to compensate for the new requirements. That would choke off credit for consumers relying on it to meet needs in tough economic straits "and small businesses that count on this credit," Sessions said.""

How does stopping predatory credit card practices hurt the credit industry? Hey, if we can't work as a legal loanshark and harass Americans at home and at work then how will we, as an industry, survive? If that's what it takes then they can go blow. It's not an industry this economy needs.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Garrison Keillor is a Treasure

"The widespread waterboarding and other acts of torture carried out in secret CIA prisons are no small matter. The free play of sadism on the helpless in the name of national service is not to be ignored. What's needed is a fair and thorough congressional investigation. Subpoena witnesses and lay the whole wretched business out on the public record. Look into the heart of darkness and meditate on it. But don't round up a few symbolic suspects and throw the book at them and let all the others go free. Which is what would happen if we launch a criminal prosecution."

Thanks to Jim for the link.
A svelte John Daly

Man, if this guy could get his act together and get another tour win it would be almost as big as that U.S. Open Nicklaus won when he was in his early 40s. It looks like the big guy is playing in Europe this week in the Spanish Open.
Become friends with the White House

This is pretty cool. The White House has a Flickr page. Just like me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Is the Swine Flu in your Town?

You can find out below.

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map
Hangin' on a Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday a few people came by for a leisurely afternoon of socializing and horse shoes. I'm really pleased with how the horse shoe pits are working out. It was a little confusing at times because we had two Mikes and two guys named Chris. We even had a little excitement when a car almost flew into the grandstands at Talladega. All of us outside thought Barry, Chris and Katie were messing with the rest of us when they started screaming like maniacs but it turned out they were not fooling around. I know I've mentioned it before but NASCAR could easily fix the restrictor place mess but they won't because plate racing is perfect for television. You can pretty much have the whole field on the screen at once because they are so bunched together. All they would have to do is lower the banking in turns 1 and 2 or put a chicane in the backstretch and your problem is solved. All of this noise from those in power at NASCAR saying that there is not much more they can do is complete bullshit. Don't lie to me, NASCAR, just go ahead and say you like restrictor plate racing because it creates big packs and wrecks and looks great on TV. Don't insult my intelligence by telling me you don't have the ability to fix it. I think it's time for the drivers to take a stand because the governing body isn't going to do anything about this.

Here's a few shots from yesterday

Wendell and Melanie's brother, Mike

Barry sitting by the second Mike's old record player. He played old 78s for us for a couple of hours. That was really fun.

Chris and Katie

Melanie chuckles quietly to herself

Mike and his record player

A closeup of the record player

Wendell surveys the horse shot arena

Brigham Hurls

Eye of the tiger

Wendell Hurls

Melanie and Mom

Debbie Hurls, Mike Observes

A Cobweb in the Sun

Isaac not long after barking at something

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Carolina Panthers draft FSU's Everette Brown

Since I don't really follow college football the draft is always a surprise to me. The Panthers pick somebody and I read about that player afterward. Yesterday they had a mid round second round pick and traded away next year's first round pick to get the Florida State defensive end, Everette Brown. There is a story about the pick by the Charlotte Observer. Sounds like a good play by the Panthers. As the story mentioned they did the same thing last year and drafted the offensive lineman Otah and he was a great addition to the team. Check out video below and if you are a Panther fan you might find yourself agreeing with this choice.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Horse Shoe Impact!

Horse Shoe Impact!
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

Surprisingly violent.

Lenny Federal and the Comet Grill

Because I am lame I haven't been out to the Comet Grill in months to see Lenny Federal and the band play. Last night Mel and I went. Today...I consider myself...the most hungover man...on the face of the earth. It was fun though. How about a video?

Friday, April 24, 2009


I think it's pronounced "The New Number Two." It's a band that features Dhani Harrison. He's George's son and, to be honest, the reason I first listened to this band is because it featured George Harrison's son. After hearing the song below that was the last reason I continued listening to this band. It's just good stuff. Their new album was just released on CD and it's been available online for a few months. It's also pretty darn good and appears to be making some waves.

TheNewNo2 - Say
More Flickr Finds

I've been trying to do this on Thursdays but I'm sure no one noticed I didn't do it yesterday. You know, I'm still not sure about how this works with copyright. I figure a photographer would be happy to have his picture linked to from someone's blog. Or they could get all pissy because their content is on your page. It's a gray area.

A nice panorama from California.

A panorama from southern Turkey

Some Charlotte area sports picture takin'

The Mackinac Bridge

A different way to travel

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life Before the Internet

Life Before the Internet
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

These three men are an example of an early Facebook. They are discussing which fruit best represents their personality.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wow, what a scam

Even though costs are going down and speeds and capacity are going up our internet providers want charge us more. I tell you what, once the 50 gigabytes per second services start and Timewarner wants to jack up the price and/or charge more for usage I am going to shop around. I have really enjoyed my Roadrunner over the years and have recommended it to many people during that time. If they repay me by trying to artificially inflate my rates I will go elsewhere. And people wonder why corporate America drives me crazy? This is the same business model that brought us our impotent car industry and the financial meltdown. Profit now and screw whatever the customer thinks and where they may go later. It's retarded.
Today We Walked

I am currently slowly getting rid of the cold that has been kicking everyone's ass around here for the last month. I've never had a cold hang on for so long. Super bugs! It's the future. Soon we will all just be sick from October until June. Like the bold print above says, we went for a walk today. I took the new camera of course. I love the spring light in Charlotte. It's so warm and cuddly.

Lichen on a tree!

The mighty oak to which the lichen clings

A mockingbird perched on a streetlamp

The statue of the lady that had the industrial accident and lost the top of her head which these people use as a planter

The dog with the deep scary bark

The most handsome dog in our neighborhood

The giant oak in our front yard

Melanie inspecting our recently installed raised bed garden. We're going to fill it full of plants this weekend

Monday, April 20, 2009


Tom Tomorrow displays my favorite teabagger picture so far here.
News Skillz

Learnin' new stuff is important. Because of Tom Cole, who works in the Carolina Room of the Main Library, I now know how to personalize a Google map. Now I'm sorry I made fun of his fanny pack.

View Pictures in Charlotte in a larger map
Neil Young Covers "A Day in a Life

This is from a show in Auburn Hills, MI from December of 2008. It's not the best audience recording I have heard but this performance of "A Day in a Life" is just amazing.

Neil Young - A Day in a Life

Tom just sent me the Youtube video below. I haven't had a chance to watch it but I'm sure it's the bomb.
The Old House Down the Road

Last fall during a walk Melanie and I discovered this beautiful old abandoned house right down the road. It was a single story white ranch style house with black trim and it was built in 1948. It was on a spacious wooded lot and had a pond. We walked up and looked at it. It was run down but still had charm. We called it the Rat Pack house. It looked like someplace James Bond would stay and drink martinis in the early 60s. It was sitting abandoned because it was purchased by an entity called First Group Properties. Naturally they couldn't allow a beautiful old house surrounded by a couple of undeveloped acres go to waste so this winter they started tearing the house down and ripping out the trees. I went by today to take some pictures of what is left of my dream Rat Pack house. I took Isaac and it was muddy down there and he didn't like it one bit.

Here you can see what is left of the wrap around balcony on the side of the house. Dig the big ole chimney.

Look! Pink walls! How cool was this place? You can see some of what's left of the fireplace.


Some debris and a big ole truck.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Adult Will Join our Government

Ah, a sane person with an open mind will join our justice department's legal department. I'll sleep better knowing someone who respects the ideas of others will be giving legal advice to our current administration. I'm am thankful to the crazy reactionary right who brought Koh to my attention. Naturally, since he's not a xenophobe, the far right thinks he's going to further the imaginary Obama socialist agenda.
My College Basketball Fix

I think I should be in charge sometimes. I'm sure we all feel that way several times a day. I have a idea to make the NASCAR all star race better and I have a fix for college basketball.

I think any player should be allowed to play college ball even if he's been drafted by an NBA team. What you do is work out a rookie/college contract. So much money of that contract would be guaranteed if the player hurt himself in college. Players that are space aliens like Lebron James can still go straight to the NBA if they so wish. I'm thinking of players like Marvin Williams that could have used another year in of college ball and had the potential to be a great college player. If you wanted to deal with this realistically you could even allow a drafted college player to receive a small salary from his NBA contract. Something like $50,000 a year. Enough money to live on but not enough to live large. With this system in place I think you would see more teams like this year's UNC Tarheel team. A team of upper classmen playing together for more than one season. Everyone would win with this system. Players would get a longer college experience, college fans would have a better game and the NBA would receive more mature and better seasoned players for their league.
New Camera

Last night I spent a good chunk of my tax return on a new camera. I bought a Canon Powershot SX10 IS. It's a big step up from my last camera and it came highly rated. I'm pretty excited about the higher megapixels and the 20X zoom lens. It even has an option to shoot at an ISO rating of 3200 for low light concert shots. I took a few trial shots and they are below.

Wendell on the phone in his bathroom

Riding along with Michael Waltrip last night. Mark Martin won, by the way. Yee doggy!

A bird at the bird feeder

A tree rat

The tree rat drinks from the bird bath. It's the only thing he does that doesn't piss me off.

It's got a pretty kick ass macro setting

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Ten Most Offensive Signs from the Tea Baggers

Courtesy of the Huffington Post. You can view the magic here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Talking Points Memo Nails it

Josh Marshall sums up perfectly the idiocy of all this fake right wing outrage.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Email tips

I found a nice tip sheet on writing efficient emails on the mighty Lifehacker website just now. You can read the article here. The main tip, pointed out in the Lifehacker entry, is to always revise. I try to remember to do that myself as much as possible. My favorite trick for proof reading is read what I wrote backwards. Start with the last sentence and move up the document. When you take what you wrote out of context it's easier to find errors. When you read a document from start to finish your brain edits and puts in words that aren't there because you expect them to be there.
McBurger World Grossness

If you ever have the urge to eat at a fast food joint be sure to check out this website first. It does side by side comparisons of advertisements for fast food and the reality that comes out of the wrapper.

Our Neighborhood

Originally uploaded by zzazazz

It was really pretty out today when I was on my way to work.

Thursday Flickr Goodness

A batter from FSU

A vintage aerial view of Cedar, MI

A giant Buddha carved directly out of cliffside in Leshan, China. On his next vacation Geoff is going to climb it.

A kick ass panorama of pyramid point in Leelanau County, MI by Kevin. I recommend clicking on the view you see below and view it large.

A giant, giant, giant statue in Russia that commemorates the sacrifice of the people during World War II.

The 1977 National League All Stars

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Charlotte Tea Baggers

Originally uploaded by neilcar

Today there was one of them anti-Obama, uuuh, I mean, anti-big government demonstrations in Charlotte. I missed it, I had to work and, from what I understand, my taxes will be going to down in the next month or so (just like probably all of those at today's tea bag ceremony). I will say one thing, you have to hand it to the Republicans. it's pretty amazing that they were able to convince a bunch of laid off middle class workers to spend their afternoon protesting tax increases for the wealthy. Tax increases, from what I understand, still won't approach the rates that were paid during the Reagan years. Who knew that Reagan was a closet socialist?

Testing the blogging from the cell phone thing.
Who's That Guy?

I bet you are wondering if I have purchased any more slides off eBay? Yes, I have. I received a few boxes in the mail yesterday. I have no idea where they were taken but they are dated 1966. The eBay seller is from Texas so maybe they were taken by a family in Texas?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Originally uploaded by superbomba

I have nothing funny so say about this picture. That would be redundant.