Wednesday, November 28, 2007

File Under: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Is it any wonder that I think the way I do about people, when these are the kinds of things that I find on the Internet?

Get Your Learnin' On...

What is the cost of an education? If you are reading this, then you are online, and therefore the cost is zero. Have a look here

The cost of ignorance:


Monday, November 26, 2007

Why Do I Mix These Two Up?

And why can't Hollywood follow my lead, and mix them up, naked?

Exhibit A: Keira Knightley

Exhibit B: Natalie Portman

If these two could add about 20-30 pounds, and advance in years a bit, I could probably add them to my perverted fantasies.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Low IQ + Micropenis = Utah Highway Patrol

I guess they've never heard of that bitch Miranda out in bumfuck Utah. Being a guy with electrical problems with his heart, I hope to never be tazed, as in my case it's all but assuredly lethal. Some retarded mouth breathing head case with a badge wants to play with his new boom-stick and I'm pushing up the daisies.

Mick and the Stones are going to have to re-record Heartbreaker to say "Heartbreaker with your tazer- I wanna tear your world apart"...


Monday, November 19, 2007

The Disco Tent Challenge!

After some reflection, and factoring in some recent events in our world, I've arrived upon the framework of my contest. It's not the sort of contest where you simply throw your name in a hat and draw a winner- I'm rudely insisting on a modicum of effort on your end (yes, what a dick!). My daughter just won a reasonably prestigious local contest (I won't say which, as it'd disrupt the blogger anonymity continuum, but she won a $1000 savings bond, and some other perks), and after channeling the majesty of the long lost Spy Magazine, I'm officially announcing the first Disco Tent Challenge!

This challenge will include many of my favorite things- messing with "The Man", absurdity, and frequently something-for-nothing type treats. There is no actual cost to participate, unless you are old school and prefer letters over email, in which case you are spending a stamp (and keeping Cheesy off the streets- er, no wait- you'd be keeping her ON the streets. Never mind). Here's the contest: write a funny/outrageous/inexplicable/unbelievable letter/email to a business of your choosing, complaining/inquiring/singing praises/whatever- but garnering a completely serious response from a person (not a form reply) that clearly address your initial message. In other words, if you write to GM about why they can't make a car that runs on septic tank pumpings, and they send you a "thank you" note- that does not qualify. If you get a response from someone at GM that addresses your suggestion in (apparent) earnestness, then that counts. So, to restate the rules:

* Write an absurd, alarming, or unbelievable message to a business/organization of your choice (unrelated to you).
* Real names or false names are both acceptable
* Retain a copy of the sent message for submission
* Receive a serious response from an actual person from said business/organization.
* Forward a copy of original message and response as an entry

Entries will be judged on humor and on how unlikely they were to get a reply. One lucky winner will win more than bragging rights, although prizes are to be determined. This clearly will take time, and I'm drawing the line for submissions 12/23 and a winner (or winners) announced 12/25.

Reasons why you should participate:

* It can be really fun and funny
* Many times, companies will send coupons and perks as a response to positive, negative, or confusing feedback.
* There are people who work in consumer relations who need your noodle bending attention. Seriously.
* A prize. Yes, I'll pony up actual winnings.
* You can add this half-assed button to your button collection

The more the merrier in this little endeavor, so please help circulate this contest.

Below is an example I crafted to the S.C. Johnson company (makers of Drano) asking if they have ever considered marketing Drano as a treatment for toenail fungus.

It's impossible to read the comments in their form, but in full, it reads:

"Have you ever considered marketing Drano as a treatment for toenail fungus? It kind of burns if you soak for too long, and you should really be outside for fresh air concerns, but wow is it effective! I never really was impressed with Coca Cola as a rust remover, but your product is more than an "urban legend". They never mentioned that the hair on my feet and toes would go away, but who cares about that? I expect you'd have to clearly state that people shouldn't drink it, because some people will try anything and I'm sure drinking Drano would really mess you up."

Oh- and Leggy Mountbatten is a name from the Rutles.

Now have fun and good luck to all!

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Why Do You Only Ever Hear About The Whacko's?

And not a whisper about the cool people here on the deal? My Reflecting Pool (I know her human name, but I'm not telling- neener neener neener) is one such cool doobie. She had a wee photo captioning contest and I won. Woohoohoo* and hooray, yes? Bragging rights and all the ego-spoils yes? No! There was an ACTUAL prize. Observe:

That's right- bona fide refrigerator art! Written across the bottom in a hand too light to be easily scanned, it says "NOT ALL OF US ARE PLESENT", and ain't that the truth! I try to be pleasant in all of my vile, off color, vulgar, and inappropriate doings, and it's nice to know that it matters.

MRP- you and your artist rawk. Many thanks!

* "Woohoohoo" gratefully used with permission and guidance from Scott from Oregon. All rights reserved. U.S. Reg. Pat. Off.

I'm feeling inspired- I think I'll have a contest here. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm An IT Guy And I'm Not Allowed To Operate A Toilet

In the high tech building where I spend my days, I periodically heed the call of nature in the Restroom Of The Future. This disease-impeding vision of hygiene has toilets and faucets that use infra-red sensors to figure out when flush. They look like this:

These idiotic battery operated menacing control freaks are gawdawful. The urinal only senses your presence if your close enough to dangle your nuts on the piss puck. As a result, it's often sotted with kidney juice, except that it tends to flush arbitrarily, sometimes in rapid fire fashion, presumably to help you with your movement efforts. The commodes are all too willing to flush, and sometimes will flush as you are standing, and do so with such fury that you're well advised to stand clear. A woman I work with had her keys and cell phone fall out of her pants pockets into the bowl as she stood up and the toilet flushed immediately, and neither were ever heard from again. No joke- these toilets will take off your fucking arm.

The sink and soap dispenser are the same fucking disaster- they don't necessarily react in response to living human flesh. Water will run and soap will ejaculate sadly into the bowl throughout the day. Except when the batteries die. Water is wasted all damned day, and I routinely swear at the technology that I normally hold so near and dear. So, I ask you- why can't I, a grown man capable of dressing and feeding myself, can't be trusted with a simple mechanical faucet? Because The Man wants to interfere with our sacred bodily functions! Once you can constipate and infect the population, you can redeploy the pay toilets, with new credit card reading timers. Mark my words...


Monday, November 12, 2007

Why Don't We Send Cops To Iraq, And Bring The Troops Home?



Thursday, November 08, 2007

News Of Note

Two things in the news caught my eye recently. First, meet DeAuntie Farrow (DeAuntie? Seriously?) This 12 year old lived in a less-than-ideal neighborhood in West Memphis. Two white undercover cops on an apparently unrelated stakeout, saw him running outside at night with a toy gun. The cops, who were not in uniform, ordered him to not move, which always works well with 12 year olds, shot and killed him when he moved. Queue Al Sharpton. It was decided this week that the cops did not violate DeAuntie's civil rights by killing him.

No, I wasn't there. I don't know any of these people. I'll even admit that when I saw the name "DeAuntie" my reaction was to bet this was a black kid (I really don't understand this naming deal). But- and it's a big "but", I've dealt with enough cops to also react on the side of the kid. Should he have been outside after dark playing with a toy gun in a bad neighborhood? Of course not. Were his parents sorely lacking in judgement and oversight? Possibly the former and certainly the latter. Should the cops have shot him? Who knows? Should the cops go to jail? I don't know.

They should be prohibited from being cops anymore.

That's the part of this story that no one is mentioning. People make mistakes and bad things happen to good people and all the nuances of life are happening somewhere. It's part of living that sometimes tragedies (or apparent tragedies) will happen, but to fail to address them is laziness or negligence. Am I calling for more laws? Nope. I'm saying that cops are afforded greater than average trust and responsibility, and as a result they should be held to a higher standard of scrutiny. These cops could be assholes, or they could be saints, but they really screwed up here (and so did DeAuntie). That they will still be cops after all of this is why things never get better in places like West Memphis.

If you get into enough car accidents- regardless of cause, you will eventually lose your license to drive. It doesn't mean that you are a good or a bad person- only that you are not suited for driving a car. Why the hell isn't this same concept used for cops? Lawyers and doctors do. An inept cop can fuck up your world just as much as a bad lawyer or doctor.

My condolences to DeAuntie's family, friends, and neighbors.

The other bit of news is not new per se, but Olbermann covered it, so it's back at the periphery of the noticeable news world. AT&T are some serious motherfuckers. Schmoopie and I don't have iPhones because there is no way in hell we'd do business with these Orwellian cocksuckers. Let them all rot in hell. Here's why

That's supposed to be an eye in the "deathstar" logo (taken from the article linked), but it's not too clear.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"No Mr. [Savings] Bond, I expect you to die!"

So about a month ago I bought some gold coins. I believed that they would appreciate, but expected it to go slowly. My thinking was (and remains) that it's silly to save dollars in the bank, when the value of the dollar is in decline. From purely a measure of spending power, the money that you put in the bank- even if it accrues interest- is less each day. If you put $1000 in an account earning 5% last year and didn't touch it, the interest you earned would not offset the decline that the $1000 has seen. That completely sucks ass. So how can you at least preserve the spending value of your savings? Well, there is the market, which is volatile as all hell, despite insane infusions of artificial cash. Then there is gold (or other precious metals, but gold is the most liquid in a financial sense).

Now, a large tip of the hat is owed to O here. He's the lesser half of Pants and doesn't blog himself. He's been a fount of wisdom in this area for me, and for the most part underscored what I was suspecting. The best thing he told me was to avoid these folks that hawk numismatic gold coins, and just deal in spot gold pricing. The short story here is that once upon a time during the depression, FDR called in all privately owned gold, and it became illegal to own gold. Really. The only exceptions that were made were done for numismatic reasons (collectable coins). Therefore, the Gold coins minted before 1933 were fair game. These are the same coins that are pushed by the likes of ITM Trading. They will say "Hey! They made owning gold unlawful once before- it could happen again" as if somehow if there is a next time the government would honor the same Pre-1933 clauses. Feh. In exchange for this so-called assurance, you'll pay 2 to 3 times spot gold pricing. Yea!

So put that nonsense aside, the core arguments in favor of gold are solid, whether it's in the form of ingots, coins, or (holy cow) bars. Ingots are available in the same weights as most gold coins, but may people don't understand or recognize them. From a liquidity point of view, they are more difficult to buy and sell, and therefore less attractive. Coins are available in a variety of sizes and from various nations, and of various purities. The Kruggerand, for example is something like 90% pure gold, but weighs more than one troy ounce, because they contain an ounce of gold, plus copper (I think that's the deal).

The gold American Eagle coin is .916 fineness (purity), and is commonly traded.

Alternatively the Canadian gold Maple Leaf is .9999 fineness gold, and is similarly available, but is of the highest available purity.

Before you go feeling like we can't even compete in the minting of gold coins, there is an American gold coin of .9999 purity and it's the gold Buffalo.

I'm sticking with this and the Maple leaves. The Austrians and Australians also make .9999 fine coins, and the Chinese have a .999 fineness coin, and maybe if I get a wild hair one day, I'll add these to the mix, but it's not my goal. My only goal is to try to preserve the VALUE of what I'm earning. Schmoopie and I talk about this in terms of cash on hand (well, you know- in the bank) versus gold, which is less liquid, but WAY more stable, and sometimes vacillate on what is the right balance for us. Here's where things get "interesting". That graph at the top, is a 30 day chart. Thirty freaking days! That's 13+% in 30 days. If you loaned money at that rate, your local I-Team Action News Consumer Advocate reporters would be banging down your door asking you to justify the unlawful usury you perform. Well perhaps not, but that's a crazy return over 30 days. And there is a corollary here too- gold tends to behave contrary to the dollar. In other words, when the dollar sinks, gold rises, and vice versa. Whoa. Somebody call in the crash cart for the dollar! Stat!

Now I'm wondering if I should continue to buy as savings allow, and while I certainly wish I had purchased more a month ago, I don't think this is the top. He's my prediction for the next 24 months: The Republicans will lose the elections- possibly on purpose. When you look at their candidates you'll see what I mean (and Scott from Oregon, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I think Ron Paul is a bad choice too). In any event, the Dems will win big and then proceed to a.) implode due to infighting and the complete inability to organize anything, and b.) be framed economically by the Repubs so that it appears that the Dems are responsible for the unavoidable impending economic disaster. The Fed (which I have disdainfully mentioned before) will continue to lower rates and inject fiat currency into the market as necessary to forestall the upcoming "correction" until after next November. Once the election is decided, they'll stop and let the chips fall where they may, and the talking heads (including that woofer Bartiromo) will say that the market "lacks confidence" in the Dems, blah blah blah. You can imagine the script, and it's all so stupid. Fox News will feed the proles the Fact-Free-FUD that they know so well, and in four short years it'll all be business as usual, and they Dems will again be impotent and distractible.

In about 12 months the economy of this country will seriously buckle, and a lot of good folks will be hurt. A lot of rich people will still be rich, and they will not panic. Foreign investment in property will soar. Housing prices will fall. The rich will get richer. The decline of the economy will last for at least 12 months once it begins, and will not start to climb until the Repubs can take some credit for the improvement. If I'm even close to being right about this, the dollar will sink further necessarily. When that condition is true, buy gold. One ounce damn near hit $850 today. A barrel of oil broke records too. I'll be buying fewer coins (not being a rich fellow), but I'm still going to buy.

A note from Safety Sam: If you decide to buy gold coins, be advised that the coin dealers only accept cash, and that in this post-PATRIOT ACT era, safety deposit boxes may now be examined by the authorities. You'll want to find some other place to keep your gold.

Also, if anyone has any experience in establishing bank accounts overseas, and in foreign currencies, I'm all ears.

Links: - Live spot gold prices - Images and descriptions of gold coins.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just When I Thought I Was Well Versed In Fetishes...

Along comes this:

I wonder how that'd feel with Hot Fries? Or Tabasco...


Monday, November 05, 2007

Geek Post- Leopard Weirdness

So, I'd upgraded my iMac to Leopard a little while back, and apart from iChat periodically dropping my connection to Gtalk/Jabber, everything seemed fine. No blue screen timeout after the upgrade, or noticeable problems. That is until this weekend, when I tried to plug in my Panasonic camcorder (via Firewire), and it wouldn't show up. I also tried my old Firewire iSight camera- no go. I have an external hard drive that is USB/Firewire, and it worked via USB, but not via Firewire.

Not sure if it was a hardware or software problem, I backed everything up and reloaded Leopard using the erase/reload method, and the problem remained. Uh oh. Then, primarily because I'm lazy, I grabbed the Tiger install disks that came with my recently purchased Mini. Turns out, they won't load on the iMac. They don't say why- just "cannot be installed". Ugh? The Leopard upgrade disk that I used on the iMac was from the up-to-date Apple program (which I qualified for due to the Mini) and I'm now wondering if it is the same Mini-specific deal. It never errored or complained, but who is to say it wasn't the wrong tool for the job.

So then, I lumbered downstairs to get the iMac's (re)install media and loaded it, and hey presto! The firewire worked again. I know now that it's not a hardware error, as all devices are humming along at present. I figure later tonight, I'll upgrade to Leopard again using my non-upgrade family pack media and see what happens. At minimum, it appears that the up-to-date "upgrade" disk that was intended for a Mini has issues with the iMac. Perhaps more alarming, there may be an issue with the Firewire on Aluminium* iMacs.

All media are not apparently, created equal(ly).

* No, sorry. You're wrong on this one. "Aluminum" is NOT the correct spelling of element #13. I don't care what the Blogger spell check thinks. "Aluminum" is a bullshit American bastardization of the word (and you can correctly infer from my spelling of "bastardization" that I am an American). It's not "Ah-loom-ih-numb", it's "Ah-loo-min-ee-um", or "Al-you-min-ee-um" if you are in the UK. Yes, I realize that it's the product of debate between the Brits and Yanks, but they happen to be arguing in favor of consistency (see CesIUM, PotassIUM, MagnesIUM, CalcIUM...), a quality often lacking from this language. You say you prefer the "-um"? Well, you're in great company, there with Molybdenum... *snicker*


After considerable testing of various permutations/formats/reloads, I have isolated the core issue. If you have an Aluminium iMac (and potentially others) and boot up the system WITHOUT any Firewire devices attached and powered on, then the Firewire 400 port will be either disabled, or hard set to the Firewire 800 interface (nothing to test the FW800 with). However, if you power up with a Firewire device at the ready, then once it's booted, you can mount and unmount at will. This does not happen with Tiger- only with Leopard. Weird.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

In Case You Missed It...

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve (the not-a-branch-of-government assortment of private banks that manipulate this economy for fun and profit) "injected" a fucking shitload of money into the market yesterday and it STILL dropped >250 points. Whoa. It was the biggest one day infusion of not-real currency since the day after the markets opened, following 9/11. When the dumbass-in-chief asks for $46B, it makes news for days or weeks. When the Fed decides to cook the books of the economy to the tune of $41B, no one even notices. From Reuters:

A Fed spokesman would not comment on the total size of the operations, but did say it was the largest single day of operations since a total of $50.35 billion was injected on Sept. 19, 2001, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

You like that? "...would not comment..." Wow, imagine if they were accountable or required to be transparent. No- that's just crazy talk. Anyone still buying that "land of the free" stuff? Just asking...