Proof of Life

Proof of Life, originally uploaded by Gamera33.

Footprints frozen in the ice during Christmas.

The national Republican party is apparently *desparate* for direction

If you aren't aware of political goings-ons, the Republican National Committee chairmanship is up for grabs right now and we have some real *winners* wading into the race.
Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform and has been a fixture in the D.C. GOP scene for nearly three decades, wants the candidates to appeal to a wider group of Republicans beyond the 168 members of the committee. He also wants to establish the RNC as a body independent of future elected officials.


Norquist "has a unique capability to insert himself into whatever the next big thing is," says Republican strategist Rich Galen, a former top aide to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). "It's just Grover being Grover."
Oh yah, yuk yuk, I've seen that from him.

In case you don't recognize it, that's New Orleans. Post Katrina. But, you know, I'm sure he'll help the right candidate rise to the top. Like...oh, maybe this guy.
RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show.
If you never heard the song, you can go here. I'm not embedding that disgustingly ignorant piece of trash on my blog. I don't give a rat's ass *what* it's *supposed* to be, it's gross.

And the reactions he's getting? Well....

LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Peter, Paul and Mary must be spinning around that their own song, of all people, of all groups, you know, to use their "Puff the Magic Dragon." It's tasteful parody. See, it's one thing if Rush Limbaugh wants to use it on his show. It is another thing when an official, especially one who aspires to be a Republican National Committee chairman takes it out of the Rush Limbaugh venue and puts it into a political context. So, it is -- it is not -- that is the message that he wants to send, it is impossible to think he would ever be elected RNC chairman now.

LEMON: But Lynn, I'm getting e-mails from people and notes on Facebook and Twitter saying, you know what, this was taken care of -- wasn't this taken care of during the campaign? People thought it was racist? Rush Limbaugh has been doing this for a year now. Why are you bringing it up? For the fact that your bringing it up is because people like Reid, and you guys, you uncover that someone was distributing it again.

SWEET: Well, that's what makes it different, is that it left the confines of the Rush Limbaugh show.

LEMON: Reid?

WILSON: That's absolutely right. It was sent out to all 168 members of the Republican National Committee. Some of whom -- at least one of whom I was told wanted it out of his house. He didn't want the CD anywhere near him, and he threw it away as fast as could. This is something that the Republican Party is really dealing with right now. They got somewhere between, you know, four and five percent of the African-American vote. You are not going to attract a lot of African-American voters in 2010 or 2012 if you're, well, engaging in this sort of, well, what could be a joke, doesn't really look like, though.

LEMON: Whatever you think of it. I mean, it wasn't real smart to send it out. Come on, let's be honest. I mean, I'm not going to call anyone a racist here, but these are grown men, and you have to suffer the consequences of whatever you do.

You can't have it both ways. There's an old saying, if you have to explain the joke, it ain't funny. And this isn't funny.

Alienating a whole segment of this country may be fine with Saltsman, but he's running for a position where he will be directing and *leading* the Republican Party in an attempt to *gain* votes and *gain* support. And the Republican Party---or at least the 168 people who get to vote for the RNC Chairmanship---has to decide whether they want the RNC's next slogan to be "Barack's articulate and bright and new and clean."

And don't think for a minute it hasn't already affected how people look at the RNC.

Today on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall hosted a segment discussing RNC chair candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting this year that contained a CD with the song “Barack the Magic Negro” on it. During the discussion, Kate Obenshain, vice president of Young America’s Foundation, defended the song, calling it “a parody.” But Hall, an African-American, quickly interjected, saying there is nothing “funny or amusing” about it:

HALL: Well let me tell you this — if someone referred to me as “Tamron Hall the Magic Negro Anchor Lady,” I would never see it as anything funny or amusing.

Hall later told Obenshain, “you’re not going to win a lot of people over calling them ‘Magic Negros.’”
Now, I'm not a Republican, but a functioning opposition party is a necessity. And I don't think this is how you build a party. But maybe that's just me.


My real-use review of the BlackBerry Storm

Ok, for all the people who have asked about it and read all the reviews, here's my take on the BlackBerry Storm. I'm not going into the techy stuff because that's all out there for tech geeks. I'm just gonna talk about my experiences in actually using the phone for three weeks.

I received it the day before Thanksgiving. I had to return it on Monday or keep it. This phone sells for $199. I'm getting $100 off via the New Every Two from Verizon and I get a $50 Visa card after purchasing the phone so I'll end up paying $50 for it. I usually don't pay squat for my phones, so while it's a bargain compared to the retail price, it is expensive compared to my past purchases.

I'm going to use the NYT review of the phone as a frame for my review because it's apparently widely read---people ask me about it when they hear I have a Storm. All quotes in this entry are from this NYT article.

You can put MP3s on it (and the speaker isn't half bad if low on the bass), you can run your IM clients (google, msn, yahoo, and aim), surf the internet (great---but I long for the ability to tab browse), and get email straight to your phone (I have three accounts on there right now). It has a camera which can take video and obviously you can text or make calls---it is a phone.

First off, my biggest problem with this phone is the flash. I've shown it to many people. It is *literally* blinding. It comes on while focusing if it's dark and there is a delay when taking pictures. If you dumb down the settings on the phone, speed improves. When you have it high resolution, anti-blur, flash, auto-focus, etc., there is a little delay while it chews away on all the settings. I have changed one of my side buttons to go directly to the camera to help cut into this delay so I can still snap a quick pic. And I'm trying a work-around by putting transparent tape over the flash. Janky, yes, but if it fixes my biggest problem with the phone, I can live with it.

Secondly, I had an issue with the touch screen during phone calls. I would accidentally mute myself a lot. Some friends with iPhones say they have the same issue. After looking through some third-party BlackBerry applications, I found one that fixes this problem---TalkLock from CellAvant. I downloaded it and now I now longer have this problem.

Finally, the phone occasionally gets lost. I've had to pull the battery a couple of times to get it to come back to life. I also don't tend to turn off my phone. I had my last phone for almost three years and I don't think I turned it off for more than a few minutes that entire time. Allegedly, you have to restart smartphones to "reboot" them. Since I have been doing that when it seems to get laggy, I've had no real problems other than when the networks seems sluggish. I also wasn't re-starting when I added new programs. Now that I'm restarting after downloading and installing new programs, my lags are rarer.

Ok, on to the NYT review.
Hello? Isn’t the thumb keyboard the defining feature of a BlackBerry? A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an iPod without a scroll wheel. A Prius with terrible mileage. Cracker Jack without a prize inside.
It doesn't have a button keyboard, but it does have a touchscreen keyboard. And I use my thumbs to type on it. Unlike the iPhones I've tried, I don't get as many accidental clicks since you can touch the screen without selecting and be more accurate. And the screen is pretty big---not as big as the iPhone (I checked the other day against one), but close.
It’s not a bad idea. In fact, it ought to make the on-screen keyboard feel more like actual keys. In principle, you could design a brilliant operating system where the two kinds of taps do two different things. Tap lightly to type a letter — click fully to get a pop-up menu of accented characters (é, è, ë and so on). Tap lightly to open something, click fully to open a shortcut menu of options. And so on.
Yah, the Storm does that, too. When your finger is on the "a" key, you get 7 other options for a (accents, umlauts, etc). Lightly tapping the screen twice zooms. Lightly tapping once brings up a menu at the bottom.
When you hold it horizontally, you get the full, familiar Qwerty keyboard layout. But when you turn it upright, you get the less accurate SureType keyboard, where two letters appear on each “key,” and the software tries to figure out which word you’re typing.
I don't hold my Storm that way. I prefer the whole keyboard. But, yah, trying to type "Boltini" into it upright gets me "Bolting" every time.
Incredibly, the Storm even muffs simple navigation tasks. When you open a menu, the commands are too close together; even if your finger seems to be squarely on the proper item, your click often winds up activating something else in the list.
This would be where the clicking part comes in handy. I don't actually press down until I'm sure I have the link I want---even on forums where the new post button can be *tiny* if you don't zoom in a bit. Also, if I push the wrong link, I can usually get the right one before the wrong link actually loads.
Nor is that the Storm’s only delayed reaction. It can take two full seconds for the screen image to change when you turn it 90 degrees, three seconds for a program to appear, five seconds for a button-tap to register. (Remember: To convert seconds into BlackBerry time, multiply by seven.)
It definitely doesn't change orientation as quickly as an iPhone. And some programs only work in the upright position---mostly games. Usually, however, if I restart the phone, these issues disappear.
And that’s before they discovered that the Storm doesn’t have Wi-Fi. It can’t get onto the Internet using wireless hot spots, like the iPhone or other BlackBerrys. Verizon’s high-speed (3G) cellular Internet network is now in 258 American cities, but that’s still a far cry from everywhere.
I don't think *any* of the Verizon phones have wi-fi capabilities. If there is one, let me know. They keep you locked into the Verizon data plans. The data plan is $30 unless you want unlimited and then it's $45. I'm going with the unlimited and am reducing some of the other things I pay for like unlimited pix messages, etc.

It's not perfect and it probably won't kill the iPhone, but I'm keeping this phone. Really, now that I've downloaded a bunch of third-party apps (weatherbug, youtube, google maps, and I've got a few more on my list), other than the flash on the camera, I think this is the phone for me.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


Not borrowed nor blue

Concrete Blond - Caroline

Not sure about where the pics are from in this one, but it's the best audio quality I could find.

Skream - One For The Heads Who Remember

Love this one....


I want to know who thought this was an acceptable idea

Illinois rules for drunken drivers change on Jan. 1

Come Jan. 1, first-time driving under the influence offenders who want to drive during their period of statutory summary suspension will have to take extraordinary steps.

Legislation approved in August 2007 requires the offender to install a "breath alcohol ignition interlock device" on his vehicle. The device prevents the engine from starting if the breath sample registers a blood-alcohol content of 0.025 percent or more. Anyone driving the vehicle will be required to use the device, which requires additional blows at random intervals throughout the trip.

The same legislation, Senate Bill 300, also increases the length of statutory summary suspension from three to six months for those who failed a breath alcohol test when arrested and from six months to a year for those who refused to take the breath alcohol test at time of arrest.
Make sure you remember that.

Ogden woman killed in Interstate 74 crash

An Ogden woman was killed Friday afternoon in a three-car collision on Interstate 74.


State police Master Sgt. Rory Steidl said area police agencies were notified by radio of a wrong-way driver headed west in the eastbound lanes of I-74. About 30 seconds later, the crash occurred at the Illinois Central overpass, he said.


The vehicle, driven by Elizabeth Drewes, 53, of the 1000 block of Churchill Downs Drive, Champaign, struck other vehicles and caught on fire, according to a release from the Champaign Fire Department.


Drewes refused medical treatment but was transported to the hospital; she was later arrested on preliminary charges of aggravated driving under the influence.
Make sure you remember that.

Champaign police officer pleads guilty to misdemeanor DUI

A Champaign police officer who admitted driving drunk the wrong way on an interstate highway will be spared a conviction.

Lisa Staples, 39, pleaded guilty Thursday before Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus to misdemeanor DUI and was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision. Should she successfully complete the period, she'll have no record of a conviction. She has been a Champaign police officer since 1997.

Staples will also wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet on her ankle that can tell if she consumes alcohol; perform 250 hours of public service; and pay a $750 fine and court costs.

Staples was arrested early Nov. 30 as she drove her unmarked departmental squad car west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 72 just west of Mahomet. Several people had called to report a driver going the wrong way on the highway about 2:30 a.m. At 2:47 a.m., she was stopped by a Piatt County sheriff's deputy.


Both Piraino and Lee said their goal was a resolution that might allow Staples to keep her job as a police officer, a decision that's up in the air.

"If she can't drive, she can't be a police officer," Piraino said.

Lee, a prosecutor for 20 years, said Staples made a "bad, terrible mistake" but he agreed to court supervision because no one was hurt. The DUI was her first ticket, he said.

Excuse me? Someone drives drunk the wrong-way on the interstate in a city vehicle and everyone is worried on whether she'll keep her job?

I've known people who have gotten DUIs and *never* *ever* *ever* have I heard of *anyone*---the prosecutor, the judge, the police---being worried about whether a DUI conviction would lead to job loss. When you are convicted of a DUI, you get your license suspended---I believe it's mandatory and done by the Secretary of State's office, not the courts. And frankly, if this person is getting special treatment, it's bullshit.

Plain and utter bullshit. No one is better than anyone else. And someone who would not only drive drunk but drive drunk in their work vehicle (an act that would get your ass fired if you worked for the university or state)---I doubt their judgment completely.

I knew a construction worker who had an extremely difficult time making a living after his DUI.

I knew a guy who quit college because he commuted from home to a community college.

I knew a girl who had to move back in with her parents because she needed help getting to and from meetings, community service, and work.

Why is this person better than the rest of the Champaign population that the laws don't apply to her.


It sucks to fuck up. It sucks to lose your license. It sucks to be put into poverty because of poor judgment or poor decision making. And I can sympathize with people who seem to be punished far longer than seems necessary. Now, if we want to have a discussion about how strict Champaign County is regarding DUIs, that's a completely different discussion and I'm willing to have it.

But I'm not sympathetic enough to think that *some* people get special treatment while others don't.

And I want to know who was responsible for this. Because it's wrong.

Equal treatment under the law. Or else it's just "some are more equal than others."


Sending soul-filled sounds your way....

Just bought this album. I have no idea who this guy is. I'd never heard of Gramatik before Wednesday. I found one song I liked while clicking around on the internets. After finding four, I just bought the whole stinking thing.

Best impulse buy in a while.

Here's a link to the album's last.fm page. You can listen to every single song on the album.

It just came out so no videos on the YouTubes. Sorry, but it's for the ears only today.

I'm also trying out something new---let me know if it works.


Look for some changes to the blog over the next few weeks. I have a couple weeks off and I plan on doing some renovating. If you have problems with accessing the blog, let me know via email (gameragabs@yahoo.com) or twitter or whatevers, mkay?



Apparently, some scientists have come up with a mathematical equation for procrastination and their theory is that procrastinators aren't perfectionists or lazy, they are impulsive.

The 'U' stands for utility, or the desire to complete a given task. It is equal to the product of E, the expectation of success, and V the value of completion, divided by the product of I, the immediacy of the task, and D, the personal sensitivity to delay.

Prof Steel says procrastination is becoming a bigger issue because many more jobs are "self-structured", with people setting their own schedules.

This means that people tend to postpone things with delayed rewards in favour of activities that offer immediate rewards.

"Procastinators tend to live fro today rather than tomorrow. for short term gain for long term pain" he writes.

First off, I'm going to assume either the author of this article, the Professor quoted, or the copyeditor of this article is a procrastinator considering the horrific typos in the final sentence.

Aside from the snark, I'm a procrastinator when it comes to specific things. But others, I couldn't procrastinate if I wanted to.

For example, laundry must be hung up, folded, matched, and put away immediately after coming out of the dryer. Dusting---can't be bothered with it until it gets desperate. And I'm nearing desperate. Filing at work? On top of it. Filing at home? Spilling out of the organizer onto the filing cabinet and sometimes dropping to the floor.

And it only took me 24 hours to get this gem up....


Quick spot of dreary news

I've picked up a disturbance in the force via Google Reader. And by force, I mean the publishing world. It's *so* bad that today has now been labeled "Black Wednesday" by some.

Layoffs at Simon & Schuster

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt lays off employees---and that comes *after* a "temporary" halt on acquisitions

Major reorganization at Random House---and that comes *after* a pension freeze for current employees and an elimination of pensions for any new hires

Thomas Nelson Cuts Staff By 10 Percent

And even though publishing and books are near and dear to my heart, it's not just books that are hurting. Apparently Cox newspaper group, Sports Illustrated, and even Google are cutting back, laying off, and struggling.

I think this is why the bailouts of the financial and automotive industries piss me off so much. It's not like other industries aren't going to be in trouble as well. And instead of paying executives and management *ridiculously* large salaries and bonuses, perhaps these corporations should have prepared for a rainy day.

I mean, really, why do certain industries get free money and the rest get to sink to the bottom taking their employees with them?



Recently, I've been introduced to dubstep.


Never heard of dubstep, you say? You could read wikipedia if you want wiki knowledge, but better yet, you could give it a listen. That's the only way to really know what *it* is.

Here's an internet radio station: Dubstep.fm. You can add the stream to your iTunes and listen to it whenever you get the craving.

I've heard some people are rapping over dubstep which can be *amazing.* Some people locally are making thugstep remixes---here's a thugstep mix from DJ Belly. He spins Thursday nights at Boltini. You can download it for free after a 45 second wait. It's only 12 minutes long so it doesn't take forever to download.

FYI: If you don't hear this on good speakers, you will *totally* miss the fabulousity of the bass in dubstep. Something about the bass going down to X mhz and most speakers only going to X+Y mhz. Or something. And the YouTube doesn't sound as good either---the bass is missing. But I'm sure that's because it gets compressed somehow.

Frankly, I dig it. And since I *love* some serious bass---especially with my politics---here's a 10-minute dubstep mix with photos of Banksy's work from around the world.

You are either gonna love it or hate it. I *really* like it.


Holiday Meet-Up with a Twist

So let's try this whole blogging from the phone thing. After our fantastic ongoing Thanksgiving weekend, my thoughts are drawn to holiday gatherings yet to come before the end of the year.

I would like to plan a Holiday Blogger Meet-Up in December. And I'm thinking of a couple options.

First, we could always do the familiar Happy Hour at a local watering hole. Second, we could do something different like bowling or skating or something similarly cheesy and fun. Or third, and I'm kinda partial to this idea, we could plan it to coincide with the annual Santa Rampage. Looks like Chicago's is scheduled for December 13th.


So…are you interested in a Holiday meet-up? If so, any interest in these ideas or perhaps another idea you'd like to share? And, probably most importantly, what days/times would work best for you?

I don't think we've had a Blogger meet-up in quite awhile. Anybody game?


Kanye's latest tune is stuck in my head

Love Lockdown - Kanye West

Here's a link to official video which is not embeddable.


Really like this song. It's a perfect sound for a wistful song. Plus, I love the drums. And the bass.

Love me some bass....

Some of the scuttlebutt is that it's about his mother dying or maybe about his break-up with his wife. Personally, I think it's more about him and where his head is at right now after *both* of these events.

Sometimes, you just have to wallow.


I can't even really call them tidbits today

I'm sick and I've been laying around my house doing absolutely nothing for days. Didn't even get on the internets until today, really. Thought I had bronchitis or something. I coughed so hard that I barfed Sunday night. And I really hadn't gotten any better.

I finally went to the doctor today and apparently, I have some sort of lung inflammation. I got an inhaler, some prednisone, some antibiotics, and some cough syrup with some sorta narcotic in it that will apparently allow me to sleep without waking up and coughing uncontrollably.

Oh, and I picked up some nicotine gum. I think this episode is exactly what I needed. I kinda realized that if I keep on smoking, this is going to be my life when I get old. And that would suck immensely. I mean, shit, I CAN'T BREATHE!!! Well, after a couple doses of prednisone and the breathing treatment at the doctor's office today, I can, but before that I couldn't.

So, other than The Real Housewives of Atlanta/Orange County and daytime TV (I sorta dozed through Snoop Dogg on Martha Stewart yesterday---I swear, I thought I was dreaming....), I have nothing to share.

Except this:

Boy, I sure hope this cough syrup stuff works cuz I'm freaking BORED out of my mind at home. I'm hoping to work tomorrow---if only for half a day. Now that I can actually BREATHE, that might be a real possibility.



So there is projectile regurgitation amongst the youngest members of the household and it has led to a *mountain* of laundry---sheets, comforters, rugs, etc. That and some snot-sucking from the baby's head with those little bulb thingies.

Baby girl screamed her head off while falling asleep because, as my sister texted "I want my binky but I can't breathe with it in wwwwwaaaaaaaaa :-("

And, yes, we text each other from different floors of the same house. Deal.

So...speaking of disgusting bodily fluids...

I spent the afternoon doing a bit o' laundry and dozing on the couch with the boy while watching Alien Resurrection. We've now successfully made it through the Alien series and are now going to watch the Predator series. He'd seen the Alien vs. Predator movie and asked me a million questions about it that I knew could be answered by simply forcing the child to watch the Alien movies and like it.

Sigourney is a favorite of mine and I love the whole series---Aliens being my favorite because Bill Paxton's character has great lines. Plus the action scenes are terrifically thrilling...but it's directed by James Cameron, so what else can you expect? And Aliens 3 has Charles Dutton and I'm a big fan of his as well.

I think my Sci-Fi indoctrination has taken hold. The other day when Alien vs. Predator was on TV, he realized the actor that played Bishop was in AVP.

Made my day....

Didn't realize til the other day that Joss Whedon (whom I adore) wrote Alien Resurrection. After watching it again, I can see shades of Firefly in the movie. Really like that series as well.

I think the Predator series will hold up okay. I tried to get him to watch an old Star Trek movie one time---total fail. I think he needs better graphics---though he liked Godzilla when he was a wee little boy. Course, it was Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. And he likes robots. He pointed out today that there is always a robot in every Alien movie.

He also pointed out that people shouldn't go off by themselves when Aliens are around: you're just gonna die cuz they are always behind you...drooling.


Sam the Writer?

Joe the Plumber - SecureOurDream.com

For $15 you can get a one-year Freedom Membership. However, Freedom Membership Benefits won't arrive until Version-2 of the website is up. You will get to read his blog, join his online forum, and get free shipping on Joe the Plumber merch---things most people give away.

If you pick the free membership, you can buy his book for $15 bucks *and* get a one-year Freedom Membership.

You can also donate to the "soon to be established non-profit organization SecureOurDream.org" that, as of right now, just goes back to secureourdream.com.

Oh yah, and four crawls on the home page.

Apparently, his book is set to release in December from a publishing company based out of Austin, TX that has one other fiction title with a novel-dedicated website that looks suspiciously like Joe the Plumber's website---complete with crawl.

Regardless of...everything, $15 is a good price point. You might even get a few curiosity seekers at that price. Plus, it's probably going to help keep down the level of trolling on his forum. However, if I were a betting person, I would bet he'll still find those who think $15 is a small price to pay to mess with him.

And I'm not insinuating that there won't be successful opposition groups to Obama's administration. I'm just not sure this one is gonna get much traction.

Know what I mean?

Lurking mode on

So...like 6 people on my Facebook feed have said something like tired, need sleep, resting, need a break, etc. I think exhaustion is going around. Plus, the time changed, it gets dark earlier and the moon is coming up during the day right now so not much moonlight at night either. And it's just about to get *ridiculously* cold outside. With Halloween and an astounding election behind us, people need to recharge.

I'm feeling sluggish as well. Need to do really fun stuff this weekend like put plastic up on a couple windows and change out my summer covers for my winter comforter and maybe get shit ready in the yard and car for snow.

I did say they are predicting snow for Saturday, right?

Yah, so...I think the cocooning feeling is completely justified.

But I'm still reading. And I like what I see regarding some of the potential picks that are being floated around.

RFK Jr. for EPA? Outstanding.

I'd, of course, like to see Richardson at SoS as I've said before. I also think that Lugar or Hagel will show up somewhere. I know Lugar has refused a position, but who knows.

And I think Patrick J. Fitzgerald at Justice (you know, the one who's looking into all that "Public Official A" stuff) would be a *terrific* pick.

Anyone feel like venturing out on a limb and offering some picks for positions? Or maybe just people you'd like to see in an Obama administration?

I can think of one scenario I *never* want to see....



Margin in Missouri Presidential race as I'm going to bed tonight. (Recount)

Oh, and tonight I couldn't remember the Montana Governor and it nearly drove me crazy.

Brian Schweitzer.

He just won re-election in Montana---66% to 32%. I really hope we see some more of him.

I'm exhausted, happy, and filled with hope. I heard people yelling "OBAMA" in the streets of downtown Champaign. There's photos of students on the Alma Mater. I need to sleep and ponder but I think Barack has helped show that Democrats don't need the deep south to win an election. He's helped show us that a minority *can* be elected. And he's help show us that we can come together.

Obama is a centrist and he has a history of working with the opposition to get stuff done. I don't think his new office will change *that* at all.

And I can't wait to see some of his picks. I have some people I think would be good (Schweitzer - Dept. of Energy; Richardson - SoS; etc...) but right now, I'm going to sleep and dream happy dreams....


Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go....

Yah, I'm freaking out. I relieved that the big day is finally here, and yet, I'm also freaked out that the big day is finally here.

Tomorrow is either going to the the sweetest, most exquisitely wonderful release to the longest anticipated *desire* I've ever hoped for...or I'm going *need* to be sedated.

Also, I will be quitting smoking in celebration on Wednesday.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures


Synchronized Debating

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

A friend posted this Synchronized Debating link last week and since then, I've heard the same lines from either Palin or McCain every single morning on MSNBC/CNN/etc. saying the same thing.

Every day. The same speeches. Again and again.

This is probably one reason we are all a bit burned out.

I mean, I get that they have a new crowd every time the candidates give their speeches, but really, is that news?


These are stump speeches---meant to highlight positions in a quick way. They aren't designed to make news. And I can't for the *life* of me figure out why they keep showing up as "news" in the morning on CNN and MSNBC.

I mean, I'm fairly certain there's real shit going on in the world. I read about it online everyday. I can't be the only person that flicks on the news while getting up and going in the morning. For me, it helps warm up my brain after sleeping.

But stump speeches aren't news. They just aren't. And don't get me started on the network morning shows---those stopped being news programs long ago. Britney Spears performing and being interviewed on Good Morning America isn't news either.... Entertaining, perhaps. But not news.

I've had to watch CNBC lately. I may not fully understand what these business pundits are talking about but at the very least, CNBC actually does *news* in the morning. Financial/business/economic news, but it's news. And maybe this is just the time to take an interest in financial news....


Maybe it should be starve a cold?

Or just the people with colds?

Just in time for cold and flu season, a new study shows that doorknobs and refrigerator handles are hotbeds for the rhinovirus.

For the new study, researchers started with 30 adults showing early symptoms of colds. Sixteen tested positive for rhinovirus, which causes about half of all colds. They were asked to name 10 places in their homes they had touched in the preceding 18 hours, and researchers used DNA tests to hunt for rhinovirus.

"We found that commonly touched areas like refrigerator doors and handles were positive about 40 percent of the time" for cold germs, Winther said.

All three of the salt and pepper shakers they tested were contaminated. Other spots found to harbor the germ: 6 out of 18 doorknobs; 8 of 14 refrigerator handles; 3 of 13 light switches; 6 of 10 remote controls; 8 of 10 bathroom faucets; 4 of 7 phones, and 3 of 4 dishwasher handles.

Next, the researchers deliberately contaminated surfaces with participants' mucus and then tested to see whether rhinovirus stuck to their fingers when they turned on lights, answered the phone or did other common tasks. More than half of the participants got the virus on their fingertips 48 hours after the mucus was smeared.

Once, I stuck my foot in my mouth big time. I work with a guy who is *fascinated* by viruses and sickness and bodily fluids and excrement and, well, you get the picture. Anyway, I was jokingly said one time after a particularly phlegmy illness that I was going to go down and "lick his doorknob."

Yah, everyone laughed at me. But it looks like I wasn't far off---it's the doorknobs that'll get you.



As a result, we shall celebrate with a chuckle.

Or two.

It's not as fun as some of the others

but it's more annoying, for sure.

I got this link from Facebook and I'll freely admit it. I like seeing the stories my friends post. It's great. And this one is pretty good. The New Yorker article entitled "Like, Socialism" deconstructs the *current* popular anti-Obama talking point---he's a socialist. (You should whisper that one when you tell others...it's more effective that way.)

Personally, I always preferred the "Obama eats babies" smear. It was a lot more fun to ridicule. This one just seems to *smack* of desperation.

As is many times the case on Monday mornings, I was running late this morning. As I was frantically getting ready, I had on MSNBC and they had Sarah Palin on giving a speech in Virginia, I think. And the scroll across the bottom said:


And it's not just her.

“This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing,” Todd Akin, a Republican congressman from Missouri, told a McCain rally outside St. Louis. “It’s a referendum on socialism.” “With all due respect,” Senator George Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said, “the man is a socialist.” At an airport rally in Roswell, New Mexico, a well-known landing spot for space aliens, Governor Palin warned against Obama’s tax proposals. “Friends,” she said, “now is no time to experiment with socialism.” And McCain, discussing those proposals, agreed that they sounded “a lot like socialism.” There hasn’t been so much talk of socialism in an American election since 1920, when Eugene Victor Debs, candidate of the Socialist Party, made his fifth run for President from a cell in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, where he was serving a ten-year sentence for opposing the First World War. (Debs got a million votes and was freed the following year by the new Republican President, Warren G. Harding, who immediately invited him to the White House for a friendly visit.)


The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent. The latter is what it would be under Obama’s proposal, what it was under President Clinton, and, for that matter, what it will be after 2010 if President Bush’s tax cuts expire on schedule. Obama would use some of the added revenue to give a break to pretty much everybody who nets less than a quarter of a million dollars a year. The total tax burden on the private economy would be somewhat lighter than it is now—a bit of elementary Keynesianism that renders doubly untrue the Republican claim that Obama “will raise your taxes.”

Unfortunately for McCain and Palin, they both have made similar statements in the past. Again and again, this campaign shoots themselves in the foot. If the New Yorker could dig up these quotes, why couldn't the campaign? Why is McCain's campaign so *horrendously* inept? Is anyone really in charge? Is there any real strategy left?

And most importantly, will throwing shit on the wall to see if it'll stick work?

I hope not....


Cuz the Corn Porn won't die....

From B3TA.

I still think Michael is the funnier Palin

BTW, Cleese has a blog and video podcast.

Don't care if it's shopped or not, it's still awesome

I have no idea where it came from since I got it in an email.

Tasty typeface tidbits: A variation of the original


How many typesetters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

One, but you have to specify how tight you want it.

That's what she said.

How about this one: Keming. The result of improper kerning.

What typeface will you always find in an Evil Overlord’s hideout?
Minion, naturally.

Oh, and then there's this.

On a related note, here's an *amazing* selection of posters on visual evasion. They come from the Artists for Obama gallery on Obama's website. One of my favorites is this one from typeface designer Jonathan Hoefler.

Others get *right* to the point.

Posters found via Design You Trust. Great site---I'd add it to your regular routine if I were you.

And *hopefully* we'll have pushed the Corn Porn post right off the front page. Sorry to all about the autoplay for that post.


Another Milwaukee photo

This is looking up in the Hyatt atrium. Eighteen floors, three elevators, and a frosted skylight.

Mila Kunis is a WoW fan....

Start at 3:45 if you play Wow, know what Wow is, or want to hear her talk about Wow.

Start at the beginning if you want to see her in a blue skin-tight strapless dress.

Tuesday Tunage

Dillagence (feat. Phonte of Little Brother), Cult 45 Records


Cuz I'm all *mavericky* like that....

Now on Hulu, you can get embeds where you can specify the beginning and end of the clip.

And what better subject to use that on than the debates. I'd say this one minute clip from SNL pretty much sums my opinion of the debate:

Oh, and this:

Corn Porn with Rachel Ray

*Totally* work safe.


Same as it ever was....

Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together

I had never heard of Timmy Thomas before today. It's too bad because this song is AMAZING!
Thomas called his song " Why Can' t We Live Together, " because it was a reflection of all of the hatred and hurt around the world.

"At the time I wrote the song, I couldn 't pick up the newspaper and fathom all the hurt that was going on, " he said. " It wasn't so much a racial thing as much as what was going on in places like Vietnam and in the Middle East between Israel and Egypt."


Here's an interesting article from Feministing with some discussion of terms regarding appearances. Oh, and lesbians.

I personally had a bit of a problem with (what seemed like to me, anyway) the excessive amount of make-up put on Rachel on her first night on TV. I'm happy to see that has been toned down in the past few days. I get that make-up on broadcast television is a necessity, but since I'm a no-make-up kinda gal, I prefer the make-up that simply prevents washout rather than the sparkle-bright look that some go for. Cool if you like, but I don't. And I've heard Rachel talk about hair and make-up before on her radio show and neither does she. In fact, she *specifically* asked if they were going to change her much prior to taking this gig precisely because that's not something she's comfortable doing.

I also learned a new term: futch---neither butch nor femme. That would be me---other than the whole lesbian thing....


Soccer is hard....

What does our culture value?

Looks like my upgrades are gonna have to wait for another week as I'll be out of town the next couple days. Moblogging is a distinct possibility.

Right now, I'm digesting a really long, really thought-provoking, really interesting piece on the UCIMC. I haven't been reading there much, but I added it to my Google Reader and it just popped up when I got home today. I'm not sure what I think about it yet, but I definitely think it's something more people should read---whether you agree with his premise or not.

On a related note, here's some YouTubage entitled Freestyle Rap: Translated that was on Reddit earlier this week.

http://view.break.com/569516 - Watch more free videos

Is it less of a question about what our culture values and more a question of how little we value each other?

Not sure I can even pretend to know the answers on this one.


I was scratching my head on Saturday...

...wondering where the Illinois game was. Apparently, I wasn't the only one.

When I turned to channel 66 at the radio station at gametime to see the opening of the NU-SIU game I thought it was a regular mistake that happens, you know, the wrong switch was flipped or something like that.

When the game NEVER came on, despite all the program guides saying it would, I called one of the higher-up Comcast people for an explanation around halftime of the game, right after the game was over, he called me back, and I posted this on Illiniboard:

"The explanation as I recieved it from Comcast:

The BTN chooses what game is the primary game for each state. That game goes on the main BTN channel for Comcast. BTN made their decision late enough in the week so that Comcast could not change their guides to reflect that the NW game was going to be on instead of the Illinois game.

In other words, if you had basic Comcast cable in Illinois, you were not going to get the Illinois game, and this could happen again later in the year if Illinois and NW have games scheduled at the same time.

I asked if there was any way the game could be switched locally, on a city-by-city basis, he said that could be an option in the future, but not this week.

I suggested that they should do it as this situation benefits NO ONE."

Then this showed up today on the Chambana LiveJournal.
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your email. The Big Ten Network had directed Comcast to air the Illinois-Louisiana game throughout the state, with the exception of the Chicago area, where Northwestern-Southern Illinois was to be the main game. Instead, Comcast inadvertently aired the Northwestern game on its basic service statewide, and aired the Illinois game on its digital level of service. The network contacted Comcast immediately after the game began and it was clear there was a miscommunication, but Comcast was unable to correct the problem that day. Both parties agree the snafu is unacceptable, and we have put some additional procedures in place to ensure that it does not happen again.

Best Regards,

Big Ten Network
So...which is it? Cuz I'm still scratching my head on this one.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

How long could *you* survive chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor?

I could survive for 1 minute, 13 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds Pedia

I'm thinking I could last a little longer....

By the way, this is an example of how spammers/advertising is able to worm it's way through Digg and Reddit. Look at the link: bunkbeds.net. If you go to the main website, it's all about bunkbeds...with links to where you can *buy* bunkbeds.

Cuz everyone needs a bunkbed. Almost as much as they need to be chained to one with a velociraptor, right?


Tasty Tidbits 16: More serious than not---at last....

Didn't get a chance to update the blog. Might still do it tonight, but that's mostly just wishful thinking.

And instead of a short apology blog entry, you are treated with some things I've had backed up in my queue for a while.

First, David Foster Wallace died and in one article about him, I found this nugget by him that I think puts elections and their importance quite perfectly.
If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.
Apparently, he was raised here by parents who taught at Parkland and the university. I've actually never read him before but after reading the articles about his life and work, I'm intrigued. It's just too bad that this is how I will have learned about his work.

Second, here's a mix with some awesome music in it that you can right-click-save-as right now and be listening to in 15 minutes.

Third, you should really watch the video from Saturday Night Live with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin---it's almost eerie.


Fourth, some good news on the state park closures. There was an article in the N-G saying Tim Johnson was looking into whether or not Moraine View and Weldon Springs by Clinton *could* close after receiving U.S. Park Service funds. Apparently, "terms of these grants require that any conversion or closure has to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior." One of today's N-G articles added a little extra information on this:
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, contacted the U.S. Park Service on Friday because Moraine View and Weldon Springs near Clinton are the recipients of federal and water conservation grants totaling more than $550,000.

According to Johnson, the terms of the Land and Water Conservation Act prohibit federal grant recipients from conversion or closure.

DNR spokeswoman Marcelyn Love said Friday that the state is investigating if the grant money should be sent back to the federal government.
We'll have to see what happens with that.

And finally, it took 12 days for Sarah Palin to be interviewed about her views on policy and foreign affairs and where she would take this country as a leader. Now, I could talk about how they *apparently* never got around to talking about the Bush Doctrine during her prep or how I'd like to know where she plans on finding the *troops* to launch a war on Russia for Georgia *and* Iran while still in Iraq and Afghanistan, but...instead, how about we end with a little juxtaposition.

We don't torture. Yet we end up with gems like this after FOIA requests:

Drill, Baby, Drill! If we just open things up *more,* everything will be coming up roses!

Oh, wait, is it true? Does it matter?

Apparently not.


Just the latest in a long list of stuff that gets stuck in my head

Brother Ali - Uncle Sam Goddamn (probably need headphones)

You don't give money to the bums
On a corner with a sign bleeding from their gums
Talking about you don't support a crackhead
What you think happens to the money from your taxes
Shit the governments an addict
With a billion dollar a week kill brown people habit
And even if you ain't on the front line
When massah yell crunch time you right back at it
Plain look at how you hustling backwards
At the end of the year add up what they subtracted
Three outta twelve months your salary pays for that madness
Man, that's savage
What's left get a big ass plasma
To see where they made Dan Rather point the damn camera
Only approved questions get answered
Now stand your ass up for that national anthem


The ups and downs of politics

First, the down.

It looks like political season has begun. I'm reading a lot of forums and blogs the daily onslaught has begun.

Here's what I think---Maya Angelou is right: When people show you who they are, believe them.
Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain's presidential bid, insisted that the presidential race will be decided more over personalities than issues during an interview with Post editors this morning.

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."
The upside of this? Well, I'm glad to say a new show on the tv machine *will* address the issues. If you hadn't heard, Rachel Maddow is starting her new show on Monday night on MSNBC 8pm central and she's following Countdown with Keith Olbermann. So give her a try. She's smart, she's funny, she's sorta nerdy when it comes to news and politics and current affairs and world events and she has a penchant for finding little covered yet incredibly compelling stories. I have no idea what she has planned for her first show, but I have high hopes for her show. She's a great fact-checker and a bright spot in this otherwise frustrating political season.

I hope you'll tune in or at least DVR it for later perusal. Public policy degree from Stanford. Attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and received a Ph.D. in political science. Prison AIDS activist. *Wicked* smart---I really think people are gonna love her work.

And now, a little funny:

Triumph @ the RNC

Changing it up this week

I'm going to making some changes to the bloggie this week. Some you may not notice, others you will.

Let me know if anything looks weird or you have any issues with viewing my blog over the next seven days. Make sure to let me know in the comments any problems you encounter and how you view my blog (via a feed reader, directly) and what kind of computer and browser you use.



Jon Stewart defines hypocrisy

If you haven't seen this video yet, here it is.

Oh, and I agree about Dick Morris---he is a lying sack of sh*t.


Democracy Now! crew arrested, charged with suspicion of rioting

Here's the video from her producers' camera:

Here's the video from Amy Goodman's arrest.

Here's the latest from Democracy Now!'s website:

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.”

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped.

An Ani state of mind....

Ani Difranco cycled through on my iTunes today so...now I'm in an Ani mood.

My Favorite All-Time Ani Song:

Swan Dive (Live)

but i've got a lack of inhibition
i've had a loss of perspective
i've had a little bit to drink
and it's making me think
that i can jump ship and swim
that the ocean will hold me
that there's got to be more
than this boat I'm in.

Cuz they can call me crazy if i fall
all the chance that i need
is one in a million and they can call me brilliant
if i succeed
gravity is nothing to me
i'm moving at the speed of sound
i just wanna get my feet wet
until i drown.

Here's another great one that's currently in heavier rotation. It's more overtly political and I'm digging it because I'm gearing up for the onslaught that is about to unleashed.

Your Next Bold Move (Live)

you want to track each trickle
back to its source
and then scream up the faucet
'til your face is hoarse
cuz you're surrounded by a world's worth
of things you just can't excuse

but you've got the hard cough of a chain smoker
and you're at the arctic circle playing strip poker
and it's getting colder and colder
every time you lose

so go ahead and make your next bold move
show us
what's the next thing you're gonna need to prove
to yourself

I gotta go back to watching Rachel Maddow and Uncle Pat talk about Palin.

But I'd rather be listening to Ani....


My Relaxing Sunday

Drove to my Dad's.

Watched the Cubs game.

Strolled around the yard looking at the trees the storms took down about a month ago.

The tree broke tiles on the roof so those are getting fixed. The tree on the right in this photo is the same tree as above but from a different view.

Provoked my dad's parrot a bit---his name is Turk.

Got into a discussion with the family that probably shouldn't have occurred.

Grilled out and had a few drinks and then played a few games of pool on their new pool table.

Visited my Great-Aunt Dorothy who just turned 96-years-young. Got back in time to hear the chimes.

Drove home.

Zero 7 - In the Waiting Line

Hope your weekend has been as relaxing as mine....


I'm taking requests....

I received an email the other day and apparently there was a meeting in which it was decided that I should finish my Batman post *and* I should do my Biden post. I'm waiting to see if the Biden thing is even true so that's still in limbo. I will do my Batman post next week. If there's anything else that I've forgotten to get back to, let me know and we'll play a little catch-up next week.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the weekend. Now that I've pried the broken glass out of my cel phone, I might do a little moblogging this weekend with pics.

Heard this song on WPGU on my way to the pool this morning. It's stuck in my head and I *know* I owned this CD back in the day, but apparently either I sold, lost it, or had it stolen---I had a bunch of CDs stolen out of my car long ago---cuz I don't have the mp3. So I actually purchased this music, but I just don't possess it anymore. So this YouTube link is going to have work for now.

I love how you can hear a song and it can instantly remind you of a period of time. I remember when she was controversial...for a lot of bullshit. Here's the link to the music video---it's not embeddable.


Enjoy your weekend....


A friend from Minneapolis alerted me...

...to this billboard that can be seen when entering the city on I-94 from the Minneapolis, St. Paul Airport: