7.30.2007

While looking up Tom Snyder on YouTube

I found this interview with Ken Kesey and Jerry Garcia.

This is about 8.5 minutes long.



And here is Tom interviewing Jerry with the Dead after they played---I think it's the same show.

This is 10 minutes long.

doo dah doo doo



Cracks my shit up....

Coming to a barstool near you

Pornogami

Amaze your friends by making one of these out of a dollar:











I know there's a joke there somewhere, but I'll leave that to Don.

7.29.2007

Blogger meet-up this Tuesday 5:30--? @ Esquire

Matt and IP have posted notices.

I think I'll be attending.

If you have a blog, cross-post it. Maybe we get a nice turnout.

See you there?

Why I try to stay *mostly* anonymous online....

Man burns down trailer after online feud
A Navy man who got mad when someone mocked him as a "nerd" over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.
or

I'M IN UR TRAILER, BURNIN UR COMPUTER
Tavares apparently really, really hates being called a nerd, as he drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas, snapping pictures at each state line and posting them online to prove that he was insane and on his way. Even after he was sentenced to seven years in prison, he wouldn't let the flame war (pardon the pun) go.
Dude...step *away* from the keyboard every once in a while. Course, I guess seven years in prison is gonna take care of that.

7.25.2007

Boy, I couldn't agree more...

...though in my opinion, it should be for more than just a day or year...

Narciblog and IlliniPundit both have posts up about it as well.

Both left and right blogs are trashing his argument.

Too bad he didn't stick with the whole "syphilis buffet" thing---just as stupid but at least it was entertaining....

Second-most influential psychotherapist in history passes away

If you've *ever* been in *any* kind of therapy, you've been touched by Ellis. Albert Ellis is the developer of behavioral therapy---a therapy which doesn't delve into your past, but rather forces you to confront reality and deal with it.
As a therapist, Ellis was not merely active: He was confrontational.

No matter what the trauma — a terminal illness, an abusive past, the murder of a loved one — his response was essentially: Stop complaining and deal with it.

One of Ellis' favorite words was "awfulize," as in don't awfulize an upsetting situation. He taught people to view their problems rationally and separate their sense of identity or self-fulfillment from the source of their unhappiness. He delivered this message in language that was often unprintable and always blunt.

"Why can't you understand that some people are crazy and violent and do all kinds of terrible things?" he once told a woman whose sister had been killed by a drug dealer. "Until you accept it, you're going to be angry, angry, angry."

When something bad happens, "you can easily upset yourself, but you always have a choice to feel sorry, regretful, frustrated, annoyed and not depressed, anxious and despairing," he told National Public Radio in 2004.
Behavioral therapy saved my life at one time. I'm sure it's saved many others. Ellis began in a time when psychotherapy was all the rage---you know, sitting around and talking about all the bad shit that's happened to you. Ellis thought it was too time consuming to wait for patients to come to conclusions on their own. He sought to be more proactive.

I remember when I was going to therapy, about 4 months in, I was sitting there one day and I wasn't attending to the situation and I wasn't really present in mind or spirit and all my answers were "I don't know."

My therapist said, "Don't pull that crap with me. You are the *only* person that knows. Just because it's difficult to talk about doesn't mean you can use it to hide yourself with. Either answer my questions and talk with me or get out."

I was shocked---but that kick in the ass made me realize that I was there for a reason and why in the *hell* should I waste my and her time with my...reluctance. That was the whole stinking problem in the first place---that I was wallowing and not confronting.

Six months of one-on-one and six months of group therapy later, and I was kicked to the curb---the problems that drove me into therapy resolved. I have yet to feel like I need to go to therapy again---though if I had problems, I wouldn't hesitate. It's not that I expect to be able to cope with everything that life throws at you, it's that I haven't wallowed unhealthily in anger and depression and whatnot since then. Once I dealt with all my shit, my physical problems that drove me into therapy in the first place disappeared---insomnia gone, panic attacks gone, social anxiety gone, depression gone.

For me, behavioral therapy was a way to look at my unhealthy behavior without all the attendant guilt, and then work to replace those behaviors with ones that were healthy and beneficial. And by doing that, I was able to fix my problems and move in the direction I had so desperately wanted to for some time.

What Ellis has done for me and for countless others will be his legacy. He *truly* helped people.

And I, for one, am grateful.

7.24.2007

Sometimes it's funny, sometimes not so much....

In researching for a topic in a discussion on theory, evolution, polling, and statistics, I found this graphic.
















Sometimes I think we are *barely* hairless apes.

Today is one of those days.

Hat Tip: Narciblog---go check out her post Why are Americans so darned stupid?

7.19.2007

O'Reilly steps in it

Illinipundit and I agree:

Bill O'Reilly is clueless.

People in the media and in office need to spend at least a *little* time on the internet so they don't sound like complete morons when they talk about the series of tubes....

O'Reilly's attack of DailyKos---when he calls it a hate website and compares it to David Duke, the Klu Klux Klan, and Nazis---is *so* proposterous, it would be laughable. Except that it's obvious that O'Reilly has viewers that have as much experience as O'Reilly when it comes to the internets....

And, just in case you are a blog reader but you *don't* know what Kos is, DailyKos is a group blog. There are contributing editors and thousands of members that post to and comment on online diaries. The blog name comes from the founder, Markos Moulitsas. Members on the blog are sometimes called Kossacks. Some call it a liberal blog, others call it a Democratic blog (big D) because they feel its mission is to support the party rather than liberal ideals, though, I must say, this is a common complaint regardless of entity.

7.16.2007

The Body Shop is open at the mall...

...running some *great* specials.

Ladies---if you like Body Shop products, get your booty-butt out to the mall now.

I picked up some yummy Satsuma Body Polish and Body Butter (which were buy one, get one half off) priced at $17.50 each. And then I enrolled in their Love Your Body Club which gave me 10% off my purchase. Normally it's $10/year to be in their club, but it was free for some reason---maybe because the store just opened on Saturday.

Plus...since I bought $20 worth of stuff, I got a free gift. I got a cute little black cosmetic bag with Hi-Shine Lip Treatment, White Musk Eau de Toilette, Super Volume Mascara, and Vitamin E Nourishing Night Creme.

And I ended up spending only $23 for all my yummy new treats.

Fabulous....

7.14.2007

Wonder how long before they try this here....

Here's an interesting proposal....
A major condom brand said Friday it expected thousands of applicants for a new unpaid job on offer---condom tester.

Durex said 200 adult Australians---men and women---are wanted to test a range of its condoms.

While the successful applicants will not be paid, each will receive a pack of Durex sex products, a chance to win 1,000 Australian dollars ($857 U.S.), plus professional prestige, the company said in a statement.

...

Hopefuls must explain in their applications why they would make "expert" condom testers.

How they test the condoms is not specified, but testers must provide honest feedback about how they find the products.

Kathy Griffin is psychic

First, a tidbit from her stand-up. NSFW, by the way.



Then read the allegations from this recent scandal.
Impeccable DWT sources tell me he exposed himself in front of a female employee and chased her around the room yelling "Suck it, baby, suck it." It is unclear whether or not there was physical contact. She filed a personnel complaint.
Almost eerie....

Seems like a lot of these stories have been popping up lately....

I'm thinking there might be more. A *lot* more....
For months, alleged "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey has promised that her voluminous phone records — all 46 pounds of them — contained some powerful secrets....

...

The records, covering the years 1993 through 2006, were posted Monday on the Web site for Palfrey's legal defense fund for anyone to look at, Sibley said. "Once more analysis is done, more names will come out," Sibley said Tuesday.
Forty-six *pounds* of phone records. Hold on to your seats, folks. Looks like we're gonna be cleaning house---and Senate and who *knows* what else.....

7.12.2007

My *favorite* show....

So I'm a *huge* Angel geek. Love the show. Caught when it was on prime time in the 3rd season. It was cancelled in 2004, I believe, and now TNT runs the show twice a day at 5 and 6am weekdays.

For those of you with a DVR, it's worth checking out. Today, they showed the first two episodes of Season 1, and since they whip through 10 shows a week, you can see the whole series in a couple of months.

Basically, the show is about Angel, one of the most evil vampires of all time who was cursed with a soul by Gypsies so that he would have to feel remorse for his acts. Several other characters help him "help the innocent" in LA---a task that is not always black and white. It's got great characters, storylines, writing, and sets. I've watched the series from start to finish now about 3 or 4 times since I got my DVR and every time through I appreciate something new.

It's really a comic book---or graphic novel---about redemption in a world of gray. There is action, there is comedy, there is suspense, there is some *really* hot actors and actresses.

One of the things I noticed this last time through is how all the characters go through *several* transformations from start to finish in the series. These aren't characters that are static---they are learning and changing from their actions and experiences. And sometimes that can be dark....

The other thing I noticed this time around is how, other than a few quips here and there to timely events, this series *could* stand the test of time. Hair, makeup, and clothing are about the only things that could date this series, and I'm not sure how much people would pick up on that.

Now...let me say this. The first season is shot in some sort of film---it has a similar look as Buffy (which I never watched, by the way). But after Season 1, the show changes and that vibe carries through to the end of Season 5.

I just learned recently that Joss Whedon plans to continue Angel with a 12 volume miniseries in comic book form. Whedon is scheduled to discuss it at the upcoming Comic-Con.

I've never read comic books before, but I would seek this one out. The story and the characters are *that* good. I *still* want to see this story continue.

If you like sci-fi/action/good writing/hot actors and actresses/good stories/crazy monster costumes---this show is worth a look.

I'd have to say it's one of my favorite all-time shows.

FYI: I let my nephew watch a few episodes, but I've seen the series a couple of times so I know which ones are appropriate for children. The costumes and stuff would probably scare small children. There's at least *one* Halloween episode which *still* creeps the hell out of me, so you might want to save this show for when the kids aren't awake.

But that's how it ends up sometimes

So, prior to reading this post, you should get a refresher of my other online activity. Please read this post from---holy crap *2 and 1/2 years ago*.... I just realized how dreadfully long this has been going on.

Ugh.

Anyway, here's a little tidbit of why I've been away from *this* online home for a while.

The situation I vented about in my earlier post, Venting Extemporaneously, well, I found out later that yes, a few individuals conspired to purposefully push someone out of the group. Found it out last summer, actually, and I talked it all out with those people. I thought all was settled and we had moved forward.

A little more background is: no, I'm not talking about my "day job" or anything---as many people originally thought. I'm talking about a message board I helped create with several other individuals. We created the board, its rules, its flavor, its goal, its tone, and so on. There has been a core group of mods that have come and gone over the years, but over the last two and a half years, there has been dissension. And not upfront dissension. A lot of behind-the-scenes scheming, secret PMs, and another concerted effort to run off another moderator.

About 6 months ago, I was promoted to admin on the board. I had been a moderator since the beginning---I'm member #9 out of 7000. Unfortunately, the poisonous atmosphere at the board was driving away moderators and members alike. I stopped going to the board as much because I was working more, but also because I tired of showing up and reading reported post messages from members who felt they were being trolled by moderators and PMs from moderators complaining about other moderators with whom they couldn't agree. But mostly I stayed away because I couldn't do a damned thing about it.

We tried to mediate this about 6 months ago---with me attempting to moderate a chat with 8 other people. I thought we made some progress. I thought we split up some of the problem areas---forums in which the two "factions" could not agree were divided up so that conflict would be minimized. I thought we agreed to a truce. I thought everyone was on the same page.

I was wrong. The long-festering problem finally spilled out onto the floor and we were all disgusted by the carnage. Three moderators resigned---claiming everyone else only cared about power, everyone else was only interested in saving face and saving cliques, everyone only cared about themselves.

They then proceed to lament on the board and the related blog and another message board about how they had resigned and that they didn't want to air any dirty laundry. Because, you know, they don't care about *power* so it's important to declare they gave theirs away.

Now, the whispering campaign has begun. And I refuse to stoop to that level. I'm not going to rise to their bait. I'm not going to point out their admitted efforts at driving people away from the board when they didn't like them or couldn't agree with them. One of the resigned-from-power actually used to black-ball proposed new mods with *outrageous* claims that this person or that person was "obsessed" with her or---my personal favorite---he watches too much Simpsons and doesn't really know how to relate.... Course, she has gotten this very person who "can't relate" to leave the board with the "faction."

Who was it that was supposed to only care about power?

So...at this point, I'm not so frustrated anymore. More like pissed off. Pissed off that I let these people agitate me for one minute. Pissed off that I didn't take an adversarial stance with them earlier. Pissed off that I tried to mediate a situation in which the only solution they would have found acceptable was the pushing out of other people they didn't agree with.

And doubly maddening is the fact that it's indicative of where we are in the world. Trolls, whether in real life or on the internets, drain resources and time away from bigger and better goals.

And sometimes it's hard to realize that someone you believed to be an ally is really nothing more than a troll.

7.02.2007

Bush commutes Libby's prison sentence

The appeals court turned down Libby's attempt to stay out of prison while he appeals his verdict.

As a result, Bush commuted Libby's sentence and issued this statement:
President Bush's released a statement Monday sparing former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term. The following is the full text of the document.

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Lewis Libby's request to remain free on bail while pursuing his appeals for the serious convictions of perjury and obstruction of justice. As a result, Mr. Libby will be required to turn himself over to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.

I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby's appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision.

From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame's name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.

After the investigation was under way, the Justice Department appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald as a Special Counsel in charge of the case. Mr. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified, professional prosecutor who carried out his responsibilities as charged.

This case has generated significant commentary and debate. Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.

Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.

Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.

Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.

I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.

The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby's case is an appropriate exercise of this power.
Now, I just want this to be crystal clear.

Clinton lies about a blowjob and he is impeached.

Libby lies during an investigation into the outing of a covert CIA agent working on WMD and he is fined and gets probation.

The Decider has shown us all his true face. He knows better than everyone what is best and he will act accordingly.

I'm actually *very* interested in what excuses the law and order conservatives will trot out. And I don't want to hear "he's within his rights to commute sentences."

The questions isn't whether he *can* do it, it's whether he *should* do it.