Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Pussy Blog: Cat Loaf Edition

Last week I was digging through some year-old emails looking for something and stumbled upon an email from Rebecca. I was talking about my favorite cat pose and she said they call it the "cat loaf" pose. That's hilarious and I'm stealing it.

But I'll give credit by posting a picture of her Gidget who has the pose perfected:

However, the Lord of the Taters is catching on:

Our response in this house when we see him in the pose is to yell, "Tater Tot, where are your feet?"

Sissy, on the other hand, rarely gets in the cat loaf pose. I think it makes her too vulnerable having her feet tucked under. She has to be ready to jump and run at all times because the Tot is such a mean bastard.

What Sissy can do very well is the "slut sprawl." I'm saving that series for another week.

Happy Friday! Whoooo hooooo!

Evel Knievel Dead at 69

What's odd is that I just read a piece about him in the New York Times a day or so ago regarding him and Kanye West settling a lawsuit, and thought to myself, "I had no idea he was still alive."

Well, now he isn’t. And between you and me, he's damn lucky he lived to be 69.
Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills.

R.I.P. E.K.

photo credits: AP

Belief in Science: Bad for Job Security

Questioning “Intelligent Design” in Texas? You’re Fired via Crooks & Liars.

Chris Comer, guilty of misconduct and insubordination for daring to create "the appearance of bias" against teaching intelligent design. God forbid we actually teach science in our public schools instead of religious-based speculation.
The call to fire Comer came from Lizzette Reynolds, who previously worked in the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as deputy legislative director for Gov. George W. Bush. She joined the Texas Education Agency as the senior adviser on statewide initiatives in January.


Maybe Whites Need to Start Fucking More Often

One of my biggest pet peeves with racists is their incessant claim that the white race is in danger of extinction. While that could theoretically happen in a few hundred -- or more likely a thousand -- years down the road, I'm not sure why it would concern anyone who is alive now and likely to die off in 50 years or less.

It's just not something I obsess about. It's not like any one person has control over the future of a race, just as we collectively have no control over the inevitable fact that one day our sun will go supernova on all our asses and that will be the end of every race.

Some people still can't put it in perspective and prefer to wallow in it.
State Sen. Denny Altes apologized Thursday for writing an e-mail saying Arkansas is overrun with illegal aliens and that “we are being out populated by blacks also.” Altes, the Fort Smith senator who serves as Republican leader of the Arkansas Senate, tearfully apologized in an interview with The Associated Press but said he doesn’t consider what he said to be a racist remark.

Actually, what he said is true. The fact that it matters enough to him to make an issue of it is where racism creeps in. Not to mention the fact that white leaders in this country and elsewhere in the world share some responsibility for this phenomenon, most notably, the Catholic Church and their conquest of Latin America. But I digress. This post is not meant to be a rant about religious brainwashing and attempts by churches and other theocratic fanatics to control the human body.

Many colleagues of Senator Altes were less than critical of his email, claiming it was "out of character" for him.
Among black members of the Senate, those who commented publicly gave their colleague the benefit of the doubt.

Regardless of the intent, it was a foolish thing for a politician to express. And given the numbers of people in the US who genuinely believe the black and Latino rates of reproduction threaten their survival, his comment was reprehensible.

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Randomness in Action

As seen on yahoo:

Let's hope so. But I'd still like a January vacation.


And it's always nice to see this guy in the news again. One of the guys who makes me feel better about my life. I've never seen anyone who can elude the Grim Reaper quite like Rodney King.

On my way home from work today I heard this song on the radio for the first time in many years. What a flashback. Foghat: Slow Ride. Let's see, what's the song all about, anyway? It's hard to tell.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gender Identity Framed: Female Spectacles

I took the afternoon off from work to accompany txrad on his search for new glasses.

The first shop we went in had a nice selection. We spent about 20 minutes trying on different frames. I found one pair I really liked -- they had a darker tortoise shell design on the outside of the frame while the inside portion of the frame was a light incadescent blue. They were interesting and they looked very good on txrad. And he loved them.

As I was browsing for myself, the clerk went over and motioned for txrad to come to a different section. He thought she had a pair he would like. Instead, she directed him to a section and said, "these are the men's glasses here."

He asked her what's the difference? She basically said nothing really. Many of the frames are unisex, but some are designated as women's glasses. He asked if there was a difference and why. She told him there really wasn't a difference except the manufacturer chooses to categorize some frames as women's.

We still aren't sure why she felt the need to advise him of this when he didn't ask and didn't care.

Apparently, according to the clerk, there are some people who want to know. It's important to them. Because we sure wouldn't want to compromise anyone's masculinity by having them unwittingly purchase women's frames.

He probably would have bought those if we hadn't gone to another shop and found a pair, a bit more expensive, that are similar to what he has now, and look great on him. I almost wish he had -- just to buck the obnoxious system of gender idiocrity in this country.

OK, I know that's not a word.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Question of the Day: Pick a Job

I found out today. It's official: I am losing my beloved job on December 28th. That date will mark 11 months exactly since I started the job in late January. It's been the coolest 11 months of my career.

But, then what do I do? You tell me, because I'm tired of picking and choosing.

Here are some options:

1. Take a job in New York with the agency who got the account I've been working on and with which I am intimately familiar? (Not to mention the NYC factor of misery -- no offense to New Yorkers who might read this blog, but I can't have a 2,000 sq ft. house in NY on 1 acre just 20-30 minutes from work.)

2. Do nothing and wait for the new agency to fuck it up enough so that it comes back to my current agency and then go back to work for them after x amount of weeks? (A possibility.)

3. Sell everything and move to Mexico, living like a real American? (My favorite.)

4. Move back in with Mommie and start writing my memoires? (Easy & cheap.)

5. Dig my heels in and try to find another position in my rather specialized field which might require relocation and a learning curve with the subtle nuances of whatever accounts I might be working on while realizing that it too shall pass, sooner or later, and I get to have a replay of this very post down the road? (Setting myself up for another round of agony.)

There are no easy answers. I never said this QotD was going to be easy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Clinton Trailing Huckabee? No F'ing Way!

Educated Eclectic has a post up at Pam's House Blend with a link to this shit.

The new Zogby Poll has her trailing all major Republican candidates (I guess Ron Paul needs to be our guy in the GOP tent if Hillary is the DEM nominee) in a hypothetical matchup.
She also lagged behind former Arkansas Republican governor Mike Huckabee by 44 to 39 percent, and former Senator Fred Thompson by 44 to 40 percent in hypothetical general election matchups.

I left the first comment:

I flat out don't believe this.

How can she be trailing Huckabee? I swear, 2008 is it. If a nutbag from the clown car gets in, I'm outta here.

And if the Republicans get their way in California by splitting the electoral vote, we need a revolution.

And unfortunately, the Republicans are working that angle which would, if successful, amount to another stolen election, and probably make it damn near impossible for any Democrat to ever be elected under the electoral college.

I'm just sayin'. Wake up, America.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Making Cranberry Sauce

During this holiday season, obscene numbers of canned cranberry sauce will be purchased in the US, and perhaps consumed, however reluctantly, by millions. STOP!

Making cranberry sauce is not only incredibly easy, it's actually fun. I made my first batch last year using Minstrel Boy's Killer Kranberry Sauce recipe and I swear I'll never buy another can for as long as I live.

I just made a batch and thoroughly enjoyed the experience yet again.

Here's all you need. Easy.

Everything but the lovely cranberries are in the saucepan being brought to a slow boil.

To enhance the experience, open up a nice Italian Masi Campofiorin and sip while finishing the sauce. (Thanks to litbrit for that wine tip last year.) We'll get right to work on what's left in that tequila bottle shortly.

Dump in those luscious berries and away we go.

Within a few minutes those plump berries will pop, the color will begin to change, and suddenly you have the most delectable cranberry sauce imaginable. Take them off the stove, toss in the roasted pecans, and get ready to rock & roll.

In case you are unsure about how long to roast the pecans, as I was, I just put them on the tray from my toaster oven which is under the saucepan in the above photo. I put them in a 250-degree regular oven for about 15 minutes.

Now I Know Where Almaty Is

We drove down to the new Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave after lunch today and I got my atlas at the Barnes & Noble. I decided to go ahead and use my $150 gift cards for this $165 purchase rather than order from where I would have saved about $60, but couldn't use the gift cards.

It worked out OK because I was able to pay $20 to join the B&N club and immediately got 20% knocked off the atlas which more than covered the membership fee and I get discounts on future purchases. I splurged and got the 2008 World Almanac also.

Each day on the New York Times' weather page I see the temperatures for Almaty in the Asia column but never had a clue where this place was exactly. But I opened the atlas to take a picture and happened to open on the page with Almaty.

It's big. It's heavy. It's mine.

Don't You Know We're Riding On The Pushpak Express

The New York Times has a very interesting and well-written piece today about the migration of villagers from northern India into Mumbai and other large cities in search of work and a better life. Go read about the 24-hour journey on board the Pushpak Express. It's truly fascinating. After reading the article, watch the video and you'll feel as if you already know these people.
These passengers are also part of a great migration that is changing the world. Goldman Sachs, which has published projections about the Indian economy, predicts that 31 villagers will continue to show up in an Indian city every minute over the next 43 years — 700 million people in all. This exodus, with a similar one in China, helped push the world over a historic threshold this year: the planet, for the first time, is more urban than rural.

To ride the Pushpak Express from Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh State in northern India, to Mumbai is to see a snapshot of that global metamorphosis.

I really wish I'd been on the train at the moment the three transsexuals in colorful saris boarded.

Alternate link.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Have a Map Fetish

I got myself three $50 gift cards from Barnes & Noble when I cashed out my American Express points prior to cutting up the card. I wanted to splurge on a really nice large world atlas.

Today we stopped at a Borders just to check out the selection because I really haven't browsed a store for their atlas offerings in years. I'm pretty sure I want the National Geographic World Atlas because their maps have always been my favorites. The question is whether I want to pop for the larger atlas or get one that's more lap comfortable. The large one is $165.00 retail.

What sucks is that has it for a tad over $100 with no sales tax and free shipping. I'm contemplating that option and I could use the gift cards for something else. After all, by the time I pay retail plus sales tax, I'm still spending almost $40 with the gift cards!

Meanwhile, I was searching on the National Geographic web site and found this Map Machine which rekindles my map fetish on so many levels!

Check out these two images from the population density map theme. This is rather frightening.

We think of the east and west coasts of the US as being crowded. California alone has well over 30 million people. I can't even fathom the density levels of China and India.

Keep in mind these are still developing nations with a rapidly rising middle class who will increasingly develop a thirst for energy at an alarming rate.

We may soon find ourselves longing for the good old days of $100 a barrel crude oil prices.

It seems like the body heat from those folks is enough to raise the air temperature a degree or two, aside from all the usual emissions attributed to global warming.

My Nipples Are Hard

It's currently 39 at my house, and raining all day. But seriously, how can it be about the same temperature here as in North Dakota? Something ain't right.

Somewhere in Austin I'm sure some fool is walking around outside wearing shorts. As much as I'd like to, it's not happening today or tomorrow.

Florida is looking pretty damn good.

Black Friday Absurdity - Part 4: Epilogue

I really had no intention of doing a part 4 and I'm sorry in advance for inflicting another one on my readers, but something in the New York Times this morning got me wound up yet again. This is absurd.
In Columbus, Ohio, Theresa Johnston, a 47-year-old social worker, was shopping at the Big Lots discount chain — because she had to, not because she wanted to.

“It’s a little embarrassing, actually. I don’t like to be seen here,” she said, planning to buy a set of 42 knives for $35.

Like thousands of Americans, Ms. Johnston has an adjustable-rate mortgage, and her rising payments have stolen from her holiday spending budget. “Before this, I shopped mostly at Macy’s and some at J. C. Penney, so shopping at Big Lots is, like, two big steps down for me,” she said. “This is going to be a hard Christmas.”

Oh boo fucking hoo. First of all, did Bush sign a law this year that mandates shopping? She "had to?" And what kind of person is embarrassed to be seen in a Big Lots? And what kind of knife set is she getting for $35 that has FORTY-TWO knives? Does she know how to spell the word quality?

By the way, I hate Macys. I don't like to be seen there. Especially after they gobbled up Marshall Fields in Chicago. Many people in Chicago feel the same, so this little blurb comes as no surprise:
A clerk at the Macy’s in the Westfield Old Orchard shopping center outside Chicago described the number of shoppers as no greater than a normal weekend morning.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The If I Wasn't Me Meme

Either Toast is rubbing off on me with his meme creativity or else I'm already bored with the holidays (and it's only Friday). Not sure if this one has been done--it probably has--but I just was thinking of it so here we go.

Many of you know I work in advertising and have for almost 18 years. I do love it but the ups and downs get tiresome and I'm a little too old for the unstable aspects of it.

What 5 things would you rather be doing in life if you weren't doing what you do now? (Which in my case, I may not be doing what I do now much longer.)

I'd love to be a tropical jungle boy, running around in nothing but a loin cloth year-round, hunting and gathering nuts and berries and growing whatever else I need to survive. But only if there are no big snakes around.

An architect. Aside from having a genuine fascination with architectural standouts, there must be an intense satisfaction with creating a functioning work of art in which people live, work, eat, shop, etc. And if you do your job really well, your creations could outlive you by centuries. Except in Las Vegas. Architecture is an art form although most of what we see around us is shlock art. Still, a schlock artist can probably always find work in that field, and the pay is probably a lot better than other artists who struggle to survive -- even while producing far superior work. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

A landscape designer. Again, this falls into the art category if you do it right. And by doing it right you have to make it look like natural, like everything just happened to appear where nature intended. I think this job is far more difficult than people realize. You need to be in tune with nature, with plants, with soil and weather conditions. There's far more to it and that just grouping things in threes and fives, patting yourself on the back and saying, "Gee, ain't that purty."

A musician. I had talent when I was young. I started on piano and I definitely could have gone somewhere with it. But all the pieces just didn't fall into place. I was lacking motivation, probably because I think my teacher was an alcoholic who couldn't seem to explain things in a way I could understand, and I didn't know enough to ask the questions. So it was never meant to be. I'd have to settle later in life for being great with Microsoft Excel. Which brings me to....

A software engineer. Nothing frustrates me more than learning or using software and realizing the limitations of it, or constantly being aggravated by how difficult it is to perform a rather routine function. I'm usually pretty quick when it comes to learning to use most software -- especially if it's something I have an interest in using. I'll dig in and figure things out. But some of them just thwart the hell of out me. Corel Paint Shot Pro X is one such program. It should be more user-friendly than it is. But I know it's very complex so I'll just have to get in there and learn by using. That's really the best way with anything. Oh, and there's money in it for the visionaries.

Tagged: our Lady of teh Quilts, Jennifer, the tartiest tarty Tart, Pidomon, because there's got to be a brain in his head somewhere and I aim to find it, Melissa, the self-proclaimed Queen Cunt of Fuck Mountain, and Mustang Bobby, because he's the first one commenting in the Virtual Pub tonight and therefore must have a lot of time on his hands.

Who Has the Tequila Quiz?

phound phrom Phydeaux

Black Friday Absurdity - Part 3: "Shopacalypse"

This has to be in the running for best new word of the year.

From Newsweek, What Would Jesus Buy: The'Reverend' Billy Talen preaches the gospel of his Church of Stop Shopping.

Pass me the reverend's collection plate. I'll drop a couple of bucks in.
And what, exactly, is that message? Actually, he has many, and they're detailed in "What Would Jesus Buy?," a new documentary by director Rob VanAlkemade and producer Morgan "Supersize Me" Spurlock. The new film is Reverend Billy's tour de farce—a ferociously satirical and cynical take on consumer culture, pegged to America's most sacred spending season. Dolled up in High Evangelical style (equal parts Jimmy Swaggart and Reverend Lovejoy), the blond pompadoured Reverend Billy crosses the country with his Church of Stop Shopping, from New York City to Disneyland, breathing brimstone about America's impending "shopocalypse." If the messenger is charismatic and funny, his message is deadly serious.

And this is so very true:
You've targeted Disney, Starbucks, Wal-Mart. What's the common thread here?
I would say the three of them have a problematic relationship to public space. All three are claiming they're the new commons, the new place where people go when they are not working or at home. We believe Christmas is the commons. The sidewalks and streets and libraries are commons, not Barnes & Noble.

Go read the rest. I need that documentary now.

Meanwhile, let's get back to some absurdity.

Alcohol may have been involved in a Chicago fist fight. This was not a squabble over a Zune music player, or an Xbox. It was over a...... turkey.

And what's more all-American and wholesome than the family sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner? Well how about domestic abuse and suicide combo in Memphis!

It's hard to top that. Well, not really. How about five dead in a Maryland murder-suicide combo.

If your turkey day did not involve fist fights or gunfire, take a moment to give thanks.

UPDATE: Blue Gal posted video at Crooks & Liars.

Black Friday Absurdity - Part 2: Baiting the Hordes

And.... they're off!

Let's get the latest out there in the Black Friday Frenzy. From Hooterville to Bug Tussle, folks are buying anything they can get their hands on as long as it's discounted and perceived to be a bargain worth staying up all night for.
In a scene replayed again and again at stores nationwide, about 200 people stood in line outside a Target in Columbia, S.C., at 5 a.m., an hour before the store was to open.

Tracy Jenkinson, 34, arrived just after 3 a.m. to take the first spot in line.

He planned to buy a $199, 19-inch LCD television for his daughters.

3 a.m. For a 19-inch TV. Aren't those outdated already? Try Goodwill.
"If they were selling it, we were buying it," Tom Shea, 23, said as he surveyed his purchases at a midtown Manhattan Best Buy store. He said he, some friends and a cousin were the first through the doors when the store opened at 4 a.m.

Good for you, Mr. Shea. Knock yourself out. At 4 a.m. I was all warm and cozy under my down comforter which I probably ordered off the internet. Waaaayy easier.
At a Toys "R" Us store in Cherry Hill, N.J., the Torres family from Camden came for Microsoft Zune MP3 players, which were selling for less than half the usual $200.

They secured their spot in line at 1:30 a.m., then sent some family members to Kohl's to pick up toys, watches, a portable DVD player and a griddle in a frenzied 4 a.m. shopping spree that they said took all of six minutes.

My God! Speed shopping perfected! The People's Republic of China must be loving this.

Come one, let's all join hands and salute the flag of the country to which we have enslaved ourselves:

Part 1

Friday Pussy Blog: The Cold Pussy Edition

Sissy likes to climb up in my chair and get comfortable whenever I get up from my desk. Then I have to move her each time I return. It's OK though. She keeps my seat very warm.

Tater Tot spends the cold mornings on the bed and it's best not to disturb him. Unfortunately, when I took the picture I disturbed him and now he's perched on my desk between my arms as I type this.

Black Friday Absurdity, Part 1

No way in hell would I get up to be at a store for a 4:00am opening just for a $10 off coupon.

No way in hell.
The extreme hours highlight how desperate stores are to win over consumers this holiday season, which is expected to be the weakest in five years because of rising energy prices, falling home values and a tight credit market.

In another sign of retail desperation, more stores are opening on Thanksgiving night, as if one day of mayhem isn't quite enough.
At the CompUSA at Fifth Avenue and 37th Street in Manhattan, store staff handed out individual pumpkin pies, served on red paper plates, to compensate for missed Thanksgiving desserts. As the clock struck 9 p.m., the doors flung open and hundreds of shoppers dashed inside, ransacking displays and overwhelming the staff. Fifteen minutes later, the employees began delivering the bad news: the best deals had sold out.

“No more GPS, sorry,” said one manager. “Those laptops are gone,” yelled another.

Exasperated consumers left the store in anger. “They are toying with the public,” said Syed Sha, 52, who drove to the store two hours before it opened to buy a Sony laptop — regularly $800, on sale for $549 — for his college-age son.

“ I called ahead and they told me they had at least 14 in the store,” he said. “How could they sell out?”

Toying with the public? How could they sell out? Well, perhaps it has something to do with far more than 14 idiots all clamoring for the same crap at the same time.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Summer to Winter in 12 Short Hours

This is not to konagod's liking...

Yellow and orange.... good.
Blue................... bad.
Mauve................... ugly.

Spot the Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

At noon today we'll be heading out for our traditional Indian meal and listening to this on the radio.

Listen in if you aren't doing anything special. Or listen in if you are. It doesn't get much more special than Arlo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blogging Circa 1975

I honestly don't remember the exact year this happened, but I remember going to church one Sunday morning and hearing the preacher going on a rant about the rock band KISS.

He referred to them as "Knights in Satan's Service" which was a popular interpretation of their acronym at the time.

That pretty much was the turning point for me with organized religion as well as my attraction to music.

And it just struck me tonight how much those early preachers were precursors to right-wing bloggers of the 21st century.

Rock on.

Big Joe and The Polka Nuts

txrad had Big Joe on the tube and I had to come youtube it. If you think we're not really watching this, you're wrong. There's tequila involved.

What If I Wasn't Gay?

Sometimes I think about my life and how it has turned out thus far. I ponder the mistakes I've made, the people I've known, and things I wish I had changed, or never done.

The one thing about my life that is truly mind-blowing to me is simply my age. I think people who don't have children probably go through life at a different pace, and perhaps even in denial.

When I see a family with children, I almost always look at the mother and father and see them as being older than me -- more mature and parental than I am. I almost always have to make an effort to tell myself that the woman I see very well could be 20 years younger than me, and that's a jolt.

What if I wasn't gay? How different would my life be right now?

Well, for starters it's very possible I could have knocked up some girl in high school, or right after graduation, and gotten married at 18. Had I done that, I would be sitting here today with a 29-year-old son or daughter who might already have a 10-year-old child. That would make me a grandfather. And it's very likely I would have had several children and grandchildren using that scenario of early marriage.

This freaks me out. And yet it's common and normal for the vast majority of people.

The fact is that I never did start to "grow up" and "mature" and take responsibility for myself until I was about 30 when I was just embarking on my life with txrad. There's no way I would have been a responsible parent until I was at least 35. And the chances that any early marriage would have survived even until my 25th birthday seem remote.

When I ponder these things, I'm not the least bit surprised that half of all marriages fail. And when I see people with not one but four or five (or more) children, I wonder if they even have contemplated what they are facing. We have had a pretty good household income this year and I'm still flabbergasted that a large bag of IAMS cat food is now about $33+ with tax. Thank God I don't have to buy clothes for my cats.

The fact that my mother is 84 and not a grandmother really distorts things.

I'm glad things turned out the way they did. I don't think I'm grandfatherly material.

Go Stuff Yourselves (Up Your Asses)

Finally, eating contests are coming under scrutiny, but for the wrong reasons.

As Americans stuff themselves with turkey on Thursday, professional eaters will take center stage in a nationally televised competition, gobbling 20-pound birds in eight minutes.

While some shudder at the sight of contestants racing to devour food at a time when a third of Americans are obese, competitors just shrug.

"Doing it once in a while isn't bad for you, when you do it responsibly," champion eater Tim Janus said.

In my opinion, the obesity issue is a minor aspect. If these pigs discontinue their competitive consumption, that will do nothing to aleviate the obesity of others.

My issue with this idiotic practice is the unnecessary waste of food at a time when millions of Americans are not getting enough to eat. And somehow, the term "professional eaters" really grates on my one sole remaining nerve.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that in 2005:

35.1 million people lived in households considered to be food insecure.

Of those 35.1 million, 22.7 million are adults (10.4 percent of all adults) and 12.4 million are children (16.9 percent of all children).

The number of people in the worst-off households (previously called “food insecure with hunger” and now called “very low food security” households) rose in 2005, from 10.7 to 10.8 million.

In the U.S., the International Federation of Competitive Eating organizes about 80 eating contests a year, including The Turkey Bowl, scheduled to air Thursday on cable's Spike TV.

Here's a tasty sampling of the vulgar excess. It should come with a disclaimer:

if you are squeamish, hungover, or feeling gastronomically unstable, I take no responsibility for whatever happens to you after viewing this.

Another disturbing aspect of this is the IFOCE supports hunger-related charities. How ironic, not to mention grossly insensitive. This ranks right up there with the use to cigarette taxes and gambling revenue to fund education, and big tobacco companies sponsoring healthy sporting events and supporting cancer charities.

And referring to these sick fucks as "gustatory athletes" is an insult to true athletes.

This side dish is also served piping hot at Big Brass Blog

PS: Thanks, IFOCE, for trying to raise $100,000 for hunger. If you are successful, that's enough for each of the 35 million "food insecure" people to receive $0.0028571, just in case you're interested in the severity of the problem.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Brief Update and Then a Question

How's that for an original blog post title?

I left work today at 2:30 -- unable to bear another minute in the office this week. The office is closing at 11:00 tomorrow so I'm working from home in the morning and plan to make the most of a five day weekend. I've had all the heavy traffic & commuting I can stand.

I also just filled out two bankruptcy questionnaires online and hope to hear from at least one of them on Wednesday. That will either be helpful or some kind of scam. We'll soon find out.

It's imperative that I get some resolution soon regarding the personal and business debts. And after consulting with an accountant about a week ago, I was given the rather unpleasant news that I most likely am responsible for the credit card debt which was issued under the corporation name. If that's the case, then there's no alternative. $40,000 was bad enough for us personally, but an additional $110,000 of liability is not something I can absorb. Not when txrad was just laid off and I'm facing uncertainty after December.

To say that I have been depressed and unable to function is a major understatement.

So, let's get off the bad topics and move on to the holidays.

I have never been so excited at the prospect of having five days away from the office. For that reason alone, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday by virtue of the fact that it usually involves the longest continuous time off of any holiday, at least in my line of work.

We don't really celebrate any holidays. We don't do turkey & dressing. In fact, we typically go out for a nice vegetarian Indian meal on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. But if I had to pick a favorite holiday, I guess it would be Thanksgiving for the aforementioned reason: time off.

My least favorite holiday is, without a doubt, Christmas. I find the whole consumerism and commercialism to be crass beyond belief. And the concept of "Black Friday" --- the Friday after Thanksgiving being given that term because it's supposedly the first day of the year that retailers actually turn a profit, is obscene.

If this is actually true, and we need to rely on a forced and frenzied gift-giving season in order for the vast majority of retail outlets to survive, then something is seriously fucked up in our society.

And while I will claim that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (aside from the insanely stupid presidential photo-op of the pardoning of the bird), I think Black Friday has to be one of my least favorite non-holiday days of the entire year. You'll no doubt see me blogging on Friday about some insane shoppers who are lining up at Wal-Mart or Target at 3:00 in the morning to bust down the doors for all the Chinese-made "bargains." And someone will get hurt in the melee.

I'm sorry but this is vulgar and obnoxious and would make Jesus hang his head in shame.

OK, I've had my rant. What about the rest of you? What's your favorite and least-favorite holiday and why?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Office Space

Today went rather well at the office. No txrad at the office means more work for the rest of us, but heavy work is better than none at all. Plus it was nice to get home to find txrad cleaning the house.

And after a couple of meetings today it seems far more likely that my position is now safe for awhile longer, and quite possibly at least until the end of January. So, I'm feeling a little more relaxed than I have felt for weeks.

Chuck for Huck

The 2008 race is getting scarier. What the hell is up with this? Can we expect a Huck/Chuck ticket?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just Some Employment Humor

On Wednesday morning, the day the layoffs were supposed to happen, we found a bunch of these fliers floating around the office, placed in strategic locations. Later in the day I found this one under an ashtray on the smoking deck.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Poossy Galore on a Friday

This week's title for the poossy blog is not one for which I can take credit. That came from blueberry, a fellow Austin blogger who has been recently added to my blogroll. I must confess txrad found it and alerted me to the blog. Damn good stuff comes out of Austin!

Away we go:

Sissy disappeared a short time ago and that usually means she has retreated to the quiet confines of my bedroom. I caught her in the act of keeping my bed warm for me. Notice the lovely new carpet and painted walls (again).

And since no pussy post would be complete without a Tater Tot, here's a double:

And then txrad walked up and the Tot posed finally, gazing at txrad. He loves his daddies.

And Then There Was One

This morning there were two employed people in this house, and tonight there's only one.

txrad was axed this afternoon and won't be joining me on Monday when I return here:

It's OK though. They've been very good about this. Considering he's only been working there 8 months, it's quite nice that they're paying him through January with benefits, and he has more than a week of vacation which will be paid out as well.

It was a tough day for me though, seeing so many of my office buddies getting the axe throughout the day.

I left about 3:30 to bring txrad home and found out after I got home that my boss was also laid off.

Thank God it's Friday. I need a rest.

After I get rip-roaring drunk.

The Wahhabi Interpretation: Beat the Victim

A girl is Saudi Arabia, 19-years-old at the time she was raped, has been sentenced to receive 200 lashes for her "crime" of being in the same car with an unrelated man.
Lashing is a common sentence under the Saudi penal code, applied for crimes ranging from homosexuality and drinking alcohol to theft and adultery. Usually, lashes are meted out in increments because offenders could not survive hundreds of lashes at once. The administrator of the punishment is supposed to hold a
Koran under his arm so he cannot swing the whip too fiercely; lashes are not supposed to leave permanent scars. The sentence is frequently delivered in public, often at the entrance to a jail.

Wow. Nice society! I won't be vacationing there. God only knows how many lashes I'd get for being a tequila drinker AND a homosexual. But at least I'm not a woman!

I'm so glad my country buddies up to to the Saudis. Let's keep buying their oil.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't Try This At Work

Well, Courtney Love hasn't been in the news for awhile. Somebody has to take up the slack.
But Wednesday's gig at the NIA, which can hold up to 13,000 people, was slammed by angry fans as a "disgrace" after she turned up late and stumbled about the stage.

When punters started jeering, Winehouse snapped: "Let me tell you something. First of all, if you're booing, you're a mug for buying a ticket.

"Second, to all those booing, just wait till my husband gets out of incarceration -- and I mean that."

Yeah, that's gonna earn you some fans.
Winehouse, named best British female solo artist at the Brit Awards in February, has rarely been out of the newspapers in recent months due to her lifestyle issues.

Having lifestyle "issues" is perhaps worse than having a frowned-upon "lifestyle choice."

Don't these "fans" read the fucking papers? What do they expect? That's like buying a ticket to a 1977 Sex Pistols concert and expecting dinner theatre.

She's FUCKED UP. Stop buying her tickets, maybe she'll stay home and take care of herself. I have no problems with tortured artistes performing drunk or drugged out, but hell, at least Janis could belt 'em out while blacked out.

Crossposted shyly at les deux boules en laiton

Conspicuous Consumption of Water

While Atlanta has been suffering through a severe drought, as has much of the southeast, one homeowner seems to have been oblivious.

Over the past six months the address has used an average of 390,000 gallons of water. Last month it was 440,000 – up 15% from last October when there was no crisis. That one home would drain the nearby water plant’s filtration field in less than a year.

WSB Atlanta has the story and a video.

As the New York Times noted, Chris G. Carlos, the homeowner with a huge thirst, is not high on the popularity list in the Atlanta area.
By comparison, the average consumption in the United States is about 150 gallons a day per person, and in the Atlanta metropolitan area about 183 gallons.


Mr. Carlos has apparently been using the water not only to flush nine toilets and maintain a swimming pool but also to refresh nearly four acres of lush landscaping around his white-columned, red brick home.

There are people who seriously deserve to be slapped senseless, and Mr. Carlos is one such person. The problem is, how do you slap someone senseless who is already seriously lacking any?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Joke Was On Me

After having concrete confirmation that layoffs would begin today, txrad and I proceeded to get shitfaced last night. I figured I'd go in to work for a couple of hours, and at least one of us would be discharged, and we could both come home and take a nap to sleep it off.


After suffering through one of the worst days ever, the news is the layoffs have been postponed until Thursday. It's complicated and I can't go into all the details on a blog.

But I was very surprised when I walked into the kitchen this morning and saw 95% of our pizza uneaten. At least we took care of the bottle!

So tonight I'm trying this again. We have a bottle, txrad is making veggie burgers & tots and they had damn well better start laying folks off tomorrow. Because the process of getting myself into the right mindset is expensive and unhealthy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A "Billion" Has Lost a Whole Lotta Meaning

I'm old enough to remember when a billion dollars was a shitload of money. It was the stuff of corporate mergers and involved very impressive single digits.

Now we have people worth billions and a war costing trillions. At least $2 trillion before all is said and done.

A new "partisan" report by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee (pass that joint around) has estimated the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at $1.6 trillion.
The report, released Tuesday, attempted to put a price tag on the two conflicts, including "hidden" costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions.

And this is where the Republicans are getting their panties all knotted up in their ass cracks.

I'm not sure why, because I calculate my own costs of goods and services with the inclusion of interest payments and other side costs, including the cost of driving to purchase said goods.

Example: When I go out for my favorite $19 Indian meal, I accept the fact that the $19 meal is actually costing me $26 when I factor in the cost of fuel to drive 22 miles each way to get there. And that doesn't include the wear & tear on the car.

For the Iraq war only, total economic costs were estimated at $1.3 trillion for the period from 2002 to 2008. That would cost a family of four $16,500, the report said.

I don't know about the rest of you reading this blog, but I could find a better use for $16,500, or in my family of two, $8,250 could be better spent.

The White House countered that the report was politically motivated.

"This report was put out by Democrats on Capitol Hill. This committee is known for being partisan and political. They did not consult or cooperate with the Republicans on the committee. And so I think it is an attempt to muddy the waters on what has been some positive developments being reported out of Iraq," said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "I haven't seen the report, but it's obvious the motivations behind it."

But of course. It needs to be motivated by somebody for some reason because it's FUCKING INSANE!
White House Budget Director Jim Nussle accused Democrats of "trying to distort reality for political gain."

Excuse the living fuck out of me. Since when is including interest payments on borrowed money and including the cost of long-term health care for injured veterans a distortion?

This rant proudly crossposted at Big Brass Blog.

Whitey Ain't Hurtin'

I'm sure this news comes as a shocker.
While incomes have increased among both black and white families in the past three decades — mainly because more women are in the work force — the gain is greater among whites.

The study, based on data from some 2,300 families during the past three decades, shows a black family's income in 2004 was a little more than half that of a similar white family's.

Don't hold your breath waiting on this to equalize. You might just die.

In Anticipation of Wednesday

It should be an interesting day at work. It'll start off rather normal with an 8:00 AM breakfast taco. Would you like a layoff with that?

I've been mentioning the rumors off and on for the past 2 weeks. It was confirmed today that layoffs start on Wednesday.

Supposedly my name is not on "the list." We don't know about txrad. Unfortunately, not being on the list is probably just a temporary reprieve for about two weeks when the rest of the shit will inevitably hit the fan.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of being on the cusp of a new and unknown adventure, and particularly if the new adverture results in a significant loss of income.

This is starting to feel like January all over again.

More on this will be posted Wednesday evening.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shut Up!

"I'm having a rhetorical conversation."

My God, Mel Brooks is indeed a fucking genius.

Courtesy of The Producers

Job Title: Email Deleter

That's a job I'd like to have. I delete dozens a day actually and get paid for doing it. But how long would it take to delete 5 million?
U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy directed the Executive Office of the President to safeguard the material in response to two lawsuits that seek to determine whether the White House has destroyed e-mails in violation of federal law.

The White House is seeking dismissal of the lawsuits brought by two private groups — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government and the National Security Archive.

The organizations allege the disappearance of 5 million White House e-mails.

No doubt, there's some good reading lost there.

About To Have Another Blow Up

The New Frontier Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas will have its last moment as a major source of entertainment later tonight. The last remnant of what I remember as Vegas will be gone.

Thousands of onlookers are expected to crowd along the Las Vegas Strip at 2 a.m. Tuesday to watch as the Loizeauxes set off a chain reaction of explosions that will force a storied but tired property to collapse upon itself. A fireworks show is planned, too, but the main attraction is clearly the destruction of the New Frontier to make way for a splashier edifice.

I'm not sure why I'd even care considering I lost about three grand there playing slots at a time in my life when I was unemployed and living on borrowed money.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love Another Friggin' Blog

Way back in April I secured another blog with the title Black Soap. The inspiration for it came from my favorite movie of all time, Annie Hall. There's a scene in the film after Alvy and Annie break up, and Alvy is standing out of front of a theatre going on a rant about Annie, talking to total strangers about personal things such as Annie washing her face "800 times a day with black soap." And he actually pulled a bar of black soap from his pocket.

After almost 7 months of having this extra blog and not knowing what to do with it, I have finally decided to turn it into a personal photo blog -- my own version of a bar of black soap which I can use to obsessively expose total strangers to aspects of my life they probably don't give a damn about knowing, but feign interest anyway.

But you know, I'll try to make it interesting.

My Konachromatic Life

In Celebration Of Our Vetarans

(I'm moving this post back to the top with some additional links.)

Especially the homeless ones.

"I hope I'm wrong," said Tom Mitchell, who runs a 242-bed shelter in Houston serving 14 Iraq veterans, "but I think, in a few years, we're going to have a mess on our hands."

Such a mess could last for decades. A report released Thursday, in advance of today's commemoration of Veterans Day, by the National Alliance to End Homelessness concludes that one in four of the nation's homeless are veterans. Nearly half of them fought in Vietnam.

And found this piece at Jami's Not That Different. Serving your country is tough work. War is hell. If you haven't been there, it's probably inconceivable. Serving your country for 20 years while simultaneously fighting a gender identity war is, quite frankly, heroic. This takes Don't Ask Don't Tell to a new level.

Autumn Sandeen is that person. If you don't know her, you should. She also contributes frequently at Pam's House Blend.

Shaving Meme

Snagged from Toast.

At what age did you start shaving? Probably when I was 16. I'd been able to get by with just grabbing my dad's razor occasionally to trim the one or two hairs that might pop up. But I definitely remember the first razor I ever bought. My brother took his scout troop to Minnesota for a week and invited me along. I bought one on the trip.

How often do you shave? Every day.

Last time you shaved? An hour ago.

What's the longest you can go without shaving? Really about 30 hours. Can't stand it much after that.

What kind of razor do you use? Gillette Mach3

How often do you change blades? Probably about every 10-12 days. I usually rotate about 3 blades until I am sure they're done. Giving one a rest for 2 or 3 days seems to allow me to squeeze one more comfortable shave from it. Probably all in my imagination.

Ever use an electric razor? I have one but I never use it. It's nice in a pinch when I'm lazy and just don't want to shave, but I've never been completely happy with the results.

Ever use a straight razor? No way.

Do you own/use a facial hair trimmer? Yes, but it's not used on facial hair.

Do you own/use a nose hair trimmer? I bought my first one about 3 years ago and not sure how I lived so long without it. Sticking a pair of scissors in your nose is not the best solution. There's nothing worse than having a long hair tickling your upper lip.

What shaving substance do you apply? A generous lather of Dr. Bronner's soap.

And what balm, if any, do you use afterwards? None.

What do you shave? My arms are about the only thing I've never shaved.

With the grain or against? First round with the grain, then a 2nd round against.

Ever shave your genital hair? I have but I don't now. The occasional trim though.

Place you hate shaving the most? The area under my chin. It requires 3 or 4 passes and although I rarely nick myself, if it's going to happen, that's the most likely spot.

Ever use chemical hair removal treatments? I have used something once. Nair, I think. Didn't work that well.

Best part of shaving? Being smooth as a baby's butt.

Worst part of shaving? Just having to do it. If someone would give me a free laser removing session and I'd never have to shave again I'd jump at the chance.

Worst shave you've ever had? Probably the first few times I shaved, with a disposable razor and no shaving cream. Just a dry shave. Or any shave in which I acquire 2 or more nicks. That really pisses me off.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pass The हुक़्क़ा Hookah Please

Via cannablog, possibly the best blog name ever.

I long for the day when I have too much time on my hands.

No Shame In 3rd Place

The 2007 Weblog Awards were finalized a couple of days ago.

konagod finished in a strong 3rd place in the Best of the Rest 8751+ category with 11.5% of the vote. That's not bad.

But I have an even better way of looking at it. Forget about who won or in what category. Let's just look at raw numbers from a couple of other blogs which dwarf me.

Oh, this looks MUCH better. Being wedged percentage-wise (based on percentage within our own respective categories of course) between two of the best blogs out there is victory by my definition. Getting almost 30% of the total vote count as Shakesville, and almost 14% as many votes as Pam is even sweeter.

Thanks to all of you who voted for me and with any luck, maybe we'll get to do it all over again next year.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rickie Lee Jones Lets One Rip

About two weeks ago I clipped a card out of the New York Times offering 25 free music downloads from emusic.

Last weekend I registered to get my free tunes. Obviously, it required a credit card so they could route me to a fee-based program after my trial period ended. I must admit after poking around I wasn't impressed. Many albums I wanted I couldn't find. Many artists I searched only seemed to be available on some type of compilation disc. That ain't konacool.

So I decided to find 25 songs I wanted and get the hell out. I selected Rickie Lee Jones' latest, Sermon on Exposition Boulevard, and Joni Mitchell's Shine. I had 2 songs left and I picked some single or EP thing from the Arcade Fire which had 2 songs on it.

I got all this for free. And then I cancelled my account. I'd call that a bargain, the best I ever had.

Good shit!

Last weekend I uploaded all the new goods to my Zen player and at work today I decided to give ole' Rickie a listen. I really haven't heard any of her stuff since "Chuck E.'s In Love" made a splash off her 1978 self-titled LP.

Right off the bat with "Nobody Knows My Name", I was intrigued. By the time the 2nd track, "Gethsemane" began to play, I had a feeling I might be hooked.

I'm not going to publicly draw comparisons between this album and so many other artists I appreciate... at least not yet. I never like to do that because I don't want to spoil any surprises for others. Draw what you will from this.

I will not call this a flawless piece of work. I've only listened to it once, and I felt there was a lull about two-thirds of the way through the album but it soon revived itself. It's unfortunate that I was listening at the office because I had to pause a few times and maybe that lull was a result of losing the momentum.

Once I listen to this a 2nd, 3rd and 4th time I'll have a clearer assessment.
Lots of creative sparks here--plenty of them. She sounds like she's going through a transformation throughout the album in a way that's reminiscent of Van Morrison's performances on his classic album Astral Weeks." --

There's a major spiritual thread running through this music, which was one of the few things I'd heard about the album before listening to it. I wasn't sure what to expect. I sure didn't want to be subjected any kind of weird proselytizing, or hearing all about how wonderful Jesus is.

I'm very glad I didn't allow my preconceived notions to interfere with my inquisitiveness. Otherwise, I would have missed out on something I think I'm going to enjoy.

Happy Friday

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog

Friday Pussy Feline Blog

I'm keeping it clean tonight just in case this blog gets flagged as porn in Malaysia while Nicole is on a stop-over en route to Australia.

Tater Tot is always waiting for us when we get home from work and then he has to join me on my desk while I blog.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Texas Ain't Arkansas

This comes from my brother, a lifelong resident of Arkansas. And suffice it to say, he's not what you'd call a fan of George W. Bush or Republicans in general.

My brother's retort:


We have a DEMOCRATIC Governor, a DEMOCRATIC Attorney General, a DEMOCRATIC Secretary of State and Treasurer, a DEMOCRATIC auditor, THREE Democratic US Representatives, and TWO Democratic US Senators.

Not to mention one of the best presidents this country has ever had was a Democrat from Arkansas, and NOT ONE OF, but THE worst president this country has ever had IS a Republican from TEXAS!

Tell your Texas Governor to go FUCK HIMSELF!"

Amen. Class dismissed.

Hey, where did all the red go?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

2007 Weblog Awards Update

In the Best of the Rest 5001-6750 category, two of my blog buddies are finalists:

Field Negro and Simply Left Behind.

With only one day left to vote, please go help one of them with your vote. I won't tell you what to do, and I'm not making any endorsements, but take a look at the results as I'm posting this and go cast your logical vote.

And while you're at it, if you like my blog, I could sure use several dozen. I am not expecting to recapture 2nd place at this point, and while it seems I'm comfortably in 3rd place, you never know what's going to happen in the final hours.

Give it your best shot. Vote here: 2007 Weblog Awards

A friendly reminder, I'm in the Best of the Rest 8751+ category.


Jobbie The Hutt

Just a quick update on my employee-bloated place of employment and my status. All signs of a massive layoff are pointing to Friday. A big meeting with a vendor on Friday morning was abruptly cancelled today to be "rescheduled at a later date." Rumors had already been flying around since last Friday that this Friday would be the day.

Who knows? They might even get an early start tomorrow. We shall see.

One of the things I'm going to miss most are the people I've enjoyed hanging around chatting with for the past 9 months. After working from home for the past 6 or 7 years it has been a blast getting to meet a lot of new people during the short duration of my employment.

I'm not suggesting I'm one of the people getting laid off. I might be; I don't know. But I do know that many will be laid off. Change is on the horizon.