Monday, December 31, 2012

Cartoon of the Day - Addict


[Source: Michael Ramirez - GoComics]

I have a friend who says liberalism is a disease. He's not wrong.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cartoon of the Day - Open Season


[Source: Lisa Benson - GoComics]

Words

Every year, at the end of the year, there are always lists. I haven't seen a list of lists yet, but I'm sure someone has one.

Time has a list. It's about words:
If we could put a piece of culture in a steel vault and sink it into the blackest depths of the deepest ocean? In a special editon of Wednesday Words, TIME asks you to give it a try, by voting on which word or phrase people need to delete from their vocabulary in 2013.
What words does Time suggest?
  • 47%
  • 99%
  • 110%
  • adorkable
  • amazeballs
  • artisanal
  • cray
  • fiscal cliff
  • gangnam style
  • jelly
  • literally
  • meh
  • mommy porn
  • teehee
  • totes
  • YOLO
  • zombie apocalypse
Now, I could certainly do without lots of these words. In fact, I've managed to not utter nearly half of them at all, and of the others that I have said, most were my quoting others, often to make fun of them.

Except "jelly." Of course, I used it, not to mean "jealous" but to mean the stuff that goes in a sandwich next to the peanut butter. And "cray?" It was capitalized when I used it; I was talking about the supercomputer.

While some of these words are indeed words we do not need to hear again, ever, I'm thinking there are some other words we could do without. "Obama" tops the list. "Harry Reid" is another, although I realize that's two words. But then, so is "zombie apocalypse," but there I go repeating myself.

What words would you like to never hear again?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roach, Democrat, but I repeat myself

Technology is amazing. Sure, they come up with silly things, but the genius of technology isn't just developing the new tech, but the applications for the tech.

For instance, there's a technology that controls roaches. It's called RoboRoach. Well, now there's been an advancement in robotic roach technology. Seems someone figured out how to control RoboRoaches through the Twitterz.

During certain time periods, according to the article, they allowed tweets to control roaches, using hashtags like #TweetRoachLeft and #TweetRoachRight.

The next step? I suggest using Democrats. Shouldn't be a big jump in technology to control a slightly (but only slightly) more complex life form than roaches. Democrats would be perfect.

Only, anyone who sends #TweetObamaLeft needs to be beat with a stick.

Cartoon of the Day - Roots


[Source: Michael Rameriz - GoComics]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is there an app for that?

© iThinQware, Inc.
There's now an app where you can report crimes in Marion, Virginia. It's called iWatchMarion.

Now, don't go being all silly and downloading it and then reporting a bunch of crazy stuff. First, that's the wrong thing to do. And, if that's not a good enough reason, keep in mind that it knows where you are. Yes, it tracks the person that submits the report!
Because iWatch Marion uses global positioning technology, the system intelligently forwards information to the Howard County Police Department based on where the handheld device is physically located at any given moment.
Yeah, this whole "See Something, Say Something" thing kinda bothers me. Oh, sure, I have no problem with neighborhood watch programs. One got Trayvon Martin off the streets, after all. But anything from the Department of Homeland Security -- one of the most useless government departments, if not the most useless -- can't be all good. Or any good.

In fact, the maker of this app has a whole series of similar apps for different areas. And, like I said, something about it bothers me.

But, having said that, I do like the idea of reporting criminal activity. Where's the iWatchObama app?

Cartoon of the Day - Kick the Can


[Source: Michael Rameriz - GoComics]

Remember that problem about which it was decided that we'd deal with on another day? Those days are numbered.

Did you get everything you wanted?

© 2003 Warner Bros.
Remember the scene from "A Christmas Story," after all the opening of the presents, where the Old Man and Ralphie's Mom are sitting on the couch with Ralphie between them while Randy is passed out amid the trash next to the Frankenstein's Monster mask with the zeppelin under his arm?

The Old Man asks Ralphie "Did you get everything you wanted?" Turns out Ralphie didn't. After all, for the previous 1:19:47, Ralphie has been scheming to get an official Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle. And there wasn't one.

Only, the Old Man pointed out to Ralphie that there was one other thing behind the desk, which turned out to be that very gift.

Well, I didn't get what I wanted for Christmas. We have the same old president. And no one has pointed out a brand new president boxed up behind the desk.

How about you? Did you get what you wanted? Or were you disappointed by not getting that one special thing?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Luke 2:1-14
  1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
  2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
  3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
  4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David
  5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
  6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
  7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
  8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
  9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
  10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
  11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
  12. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
  13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
  14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Visit From St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled down for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, so up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook, when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, Laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

-- Clement Clarke Moore

Cartoon of the Day - The Children


[Source: Michael Ramirez - GoComics]

Cutting the Cord, Part 2: Devices

When it comes to dropping cable (or satellite), you must find ways to replace the content. To do that, you need content providers, and a device to get the content to your TV.

Last time, we talked about content providers. This time, we’ll look at ways to view the content.

There are many ways to watch the content. I’ve used several, including:
There is also just watching on the TV directly. I haven’t done that in a while, but there are two reasons to use that method.

One is you go with over the air (OTA) antenna only. If that’s the only method you want to use to watch TV, you don’t need anything more than a TV. Now, if you’re helping someone on a fixed income, or have an older TV you just can’t bear to part with, you need a digital-to-analog TV converter box.

The other reason a TV might be enough is that some TVs come with apps built in. Usually, you’ll find Netflix, but you may also find Hulu Plus, Vudu, Amazon, or other apps for other providers.

HTPC

I’ve tried two HTPC setups. Setting up one using a Mac is more trouble than it’s worth. While Macs are great computers -- I made the switch in 2007, after using MS-DOS and Windows computers for over 20 years -- they are inferior to Windows computers when it comes to operating as an HTPC.

There is no Apple interface for HTPC. The third-party options for a Mac are decent, but inferior compared to Windows Media Center. Microsoft got that right.

If you want to go the HTPC route, I suggest using Windows, but you get the whole Windows slate of problems, such as needing to make security updates on a regular basis. Oh, and don’t forget to run anti-virus software. That’s true for Mac, too, despite what some Mac fanboys say. But, attacks against Windows are much more likely.

The main downside is cost. If you want a dedicated HTPC, you’re going to need to put up some serious bucks. If you simply want to be able to watch and record TV, a TiVo gets you that for a lot less, even with the TiVo subscription.

An HTPC does get you Hulu standard, as well as ESPN3 content (if your ISP is on their list; many are), but you usually have to use a keyboard, which is more than I want to deal with. Remember, my goal is to sit down, pick up a remote, and watch TV. An HTPC is a little more complicated than that. And, if you’re setting it up for someone else -- say, someone who is a bit less technical -- you’ll be on call for support more than you’ll like, and more than they’ll like.

While I don’t recommend an HTPC, I do agree it may be the correct solution for some people. I tried it and didn’t stick with it, but I had a different reason for taking it down.

TiVo

For $15/month, you get a lot of functionality with a TiVo box. TiVo will, of course, record programs from an OTA antenna. But, you get more. TiVo has added Internet capabilities to their box. You can watch Netflix content (with an $8/month subscription), Hulu Plus content (with an $8/month subscription), and Amazon Instant Video (PAYGO; Amazon Prime isn’t available through TiVo).

The downside? A couple of things, actually. There is the $15/month subscription. If you already have a TiVo, though, you’re already used to that. If it’s an older TiVo (prior to the Premiere line) you won’t get Hulu Plus capability, but you still get Amazon and Netflix capability.

The other downside is that Amazon content must be downloaded to watch. You can’t stream Amazon content on a TiVo.

The upside? It’s pretty good DVR service, and the box allows you can record two shows at once, or watch one live while you record another. TiVo also offers subscriptions to lots of video podcasts.

This may be all you need. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it is one of the easiest to use. I really like TiVo as an option.

Xbox 360

Although it began primarily as a gaming system, Xbox has, in recent years, become more of an entertainment system. For example, I own one Xbox game; it came with the system, and I’m not even certain of the name of the game.

As a set top box, Xbox is pretty good. If you have a Live Gold subscription ($50-60/year, depending on where you buy it), you get access to the movie and TV apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon. It doesn’t get you any of the content, just access to the content. You still need a subscription to Netflix or Hulu Plus to watch their content.

Vudu and Crackle apps are also available, as well as Microsoft’s own Xbox Video library (formerly Zune library). The big exclusive for Xbox is ESPN3. It’s the only set top box with that channel.

Xbox doesn’t have as many apps as Roku, but it has more than Apple TV or TiVo. And, like I said, ESPN3.

The biggest downside of Xbox is the cost. It’s $200, plus you need a $50/year subscription to Xbox Live Gold get access to the content.

Another downside is that it works just like something from Microsoft. You have to download updates. A lot. Apple TV and Roku send up updates during downtime. With Xbox, you don’t get an update for an installed channel until you try to watch the channel. That’s a little aggravating.

The upside? Well, the interface is nice. The selection of apps is pretty good. But the biggest thing for me as a college football fan is the ESPN app.

If you have an Xbox 360 for gaming, you really don’t need much more for watching TV. If you are thinking about a set top box only, this is one of the more expensive options, but it’s a good one. A very good one.

Roku

There are four varieties of Roku boxes, and they’re all pretty good. The $50 LT and $60 HD versions are very similar. They’re 720p output. The cheaper one uses more power, and weights a fraction of an ounce more, but for just watching content, they’re the same.

The $80 XD version supports 1080p, and includes a microSD card slot for additional channels.

The $100 XS version also includes a USB port for playing local content as well as a LAN port for wired connectivity.

The main channels, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon are supported, as well as Vudu and Crackle. Roku also had a large channel store with a few hundred channels available. There are many free channels, including many with public domain content. There are also ways to play other local content, but they can get pretty involved.

I recommend Roku for people who don’t have TiVo, and aren’t locked into the Apple ecosystem. Even then, it’s a good add-on.

Apple TV

If you’re big into iTunes content or the Apple ecosystem, Apple TV is an excellent option. The $99 box supports Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as iTunes, of course. You can stream content from iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac computers to Apple TV. Newer Macs (2011 and later) can mirror the desktop to Apple TV, which allows for Hulu standard content, as well as ESPN3 content on your TV.

I recommend Apple TV for those big into Apple products, and think it’s a close second to Roku for those that aren’t big into Apple.

Other Devices

While there are other set top box devices besides the ones I mentioned, Apple TV and Roku are the best of the pure STB lines. Yes, one of the others may be all you need. If so, great. But, those two were here a 2 years ago and will be here 2 years from now. There's not such certainty about other devices.

Conclusion

Which solution is the best? Actually, any of them could work.

If ESPN3 is important to you, get an Xbox. Costs a little more up front, and there's a yearly $50 subscription, but it’s a very good option for replacing cable. Costs more than some other solutions, but it works well.

If ESPN3 doesn’t enter into the picture, the simplest one-box solution is TiVo. Again, costs a little more, because you’ll need either the $15/month subscription or the $500 lifetime plan (and that’s for the life of the box, not the account holder). But, as a DVR, it’s top-notch. It also gets the main Internet services, Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as Amazon.

If you want to forego a DVR service such as TiVo and go with a standard set top box, either Apple TV or Roku would be great choices. Both are great devices. If you’re big into iTunes video (TV or movies) for the Apple ecosystem (you own Macs), then Apple TV makes sense. Otherwise, Roku is a great choice.

Which do I have?

I have an Xbox. And a TiVo. And an Apple TV. And a Roku. They all bring something a little bit different. Do I need them all? No. Which do I use the most? That depends. For ESPN3, it's Xbox. For over the air TV content, it's TiVo. For iTunes content, it's Apple TV. For Amazon content, it's Roku. For Netflix or Hulu Plus, it's whichever device I watched last.

I got rid of the HTPC, though it worked well. My son needed a replacement for his, and it’s better suited for his needs than for mine.

No matter which you choose, you’ll save money over cable or satellite. You won’t get all the same content. In particular, you won’t get HBO or Showtime or even C-SPAN.

If cable/satellite-only content is important to you, stick with that. If not, there are lots of good options available.

Cutting the Cord, Part 1: Content

An unhappy Cable Guy.
Photo: Crown Publishing
For a couple of years now, I dropped cable and have gone to watching TV over the Internet. Oh, not on my laptop or on a desktop, but on my TV. But, I’m getting content from the Internet. Almost all of it. Some I’m watching from an antenna.

About three years ago, I wondered if there was a way to save money on cable. We already had the basic service, but that was kind of expensive still.

Cable TV runs a lot. And satellite packages do, too. More than I want to pay. So, I took a year, noted every show we watched, then looked up the various ways it was available, and how much each way cost.

What I looked at were:
Yes, there are other methods available to get content, but these sources allowed me to easily watch content on my TV. Hulu (not Hulu Plus, but Hulu; there is a difference) was a little more involved, as you’ll see.

Simplicity

My goal was to watch content for less money, and with not a lot of work. Simple and cheap, that was my goal. For that reason, I didn’t include watching CBS content from CBS.com, watching TNT content from TNT.com, and the like. I wanted to be able to sit down, pick up a remote, point it at the TV, and watch away. You can’t do that with watching content from most Websites.

Another reason why simplicity is key would be for people that aren’t as technical savvy. I consider myself that way, but if I want a solution that might save money for someone on a fixed income, simpler is usually better.

Each of the sources I listed above had drawbacks, and none of the alternate methods got me everything I wanted. But, having moved from one city to another in the past, I found that cable services in cities all varied somewhat in the content they offered, and varied in price. So, I accepted up front that I would lose some content, and gain some other.

Cable and satellite are pretty much the same thing: lots of content, much of which I won’t watch, and at a great cost. Here are what I concluded about the other methods.

Over The Air Antenna

For watching content from ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, or NBC, an antenna works just fine. That’s how we used to watch TV years ago, before cable caught on, and before satellite TV took off.

The only drawbacks were distance and having to watch live. Distance may not be an issue for you. For me, though, some channels don’t come in quite as clear, and a large outdoor antenna was necessary. That’s an expense of around $100 or more.

My son had an even worse situation. He used to live in an area where a large outdoor antenna wasn’t feasible. He lived in a city that was isolated from powerful TV signals, and in a location where outdoor antennae were not allowed.

Another drawback about watching TV from an antenna is you have to adjust your schedule around it, unless you take the time and money to set up a DVR. Now, that might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I bought a TiVo about seven years ago, and was quite used to a DVR.

The final drawback is the content of OTA. All the shows I was used to watching from networks like USA or TNT and such? Not available over the air.

The upside? After the expense of an antenna, and possibly a DVR, it’s free content. We also had a situation around here were some of the local channels were broadcasting a secondary channel that the local cable company didn’t carry. That might not apply in your case, but you might want to look into that if you’re considering dropping cable.

Hulu and Hulu Plus

Hulu actually comes in two flavors: Hulu standard, and Hulu Plus. Think about it like this: Hulu is free, but you can only watch that content on a computer. Hulu Plus costs $8/month, but you can watch it on your TV, if you have a set top box (STB) that contains the channel. More on set top boxes (STBs) in a bit.

Most shows that Hulu carry fall into one of two libraries: Hulu standard, or Hulu Plus. For example, The Simpons is available on Hulu, which means you can watch it for free, but you can only watch it on a computer. Family Guy, though, is available on Hulu Plus, which means you can watch it on a computer, on a STB, or on a mobile device.

To watch Hulu standard (free) content on your TV, though, you need a computer connected to your TV. That brings a level of complexity that might not be ideal. We’ll cover more about that when we talk about an HTPC.

Hulu Plus, on the other hand, is much simpler. It works on most set top boxes, and is fairly easy to use.

Hulu Plus, at $8/month is a good deal. You get a lot of current TV content (but none from CBS), plus some older TV content, as well as movies (mostly older). Some people bitch and complain about the fact there are commercials in most of the content, particularly TV content. However, they seem to lose sight of the fact that cable carries more commercials and costs a heckuva lot more per month.

I prefer Hulu Plus for watching TV content, though Netlfix is a good second choice, if you only want one subscription service.

Netflix

The $8/month subscription service is much stronger than Hulu Plus for movie content, but has practically no current TV content. The TV content on Netflix is for older shows, or past seasons of current shows. Think about it like this: if it hasn't been released on DVD, you probably won't find it on Netflix.

Although the streaming content is only a fraction of what is available via DVD, it’s still a huckuva lot of content. You can always find something to watch, though not last night's hit TV show.

I prefer Netflix for watching movies, though Hulu Plus is a good second choice, if you only want one subscription service.

iTunes

Apple’s iTunes store works well, and has a lot of content. However, the content is pay as you go (PAYGO). You buy the content and can download it or stream it to a compatible device. The downside is that it only works well on Apple devices. To watch it on your TV, you need an Apple TV device. We’ll cover the pluses and minuses of that device in a bit.

I like iTunes and Amazon equally for PAYGO content.

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon is newer to the streaming game, and is a cross between iTunes and Netflix. You can subscribe to content via a $79/year Amazon Prime plan, but the plan includes about 20% of the total streaming library, most older content. For the other 80%, it’s PAYGO.

If you already have Amazon Prime for the shipping benefits, it’s a great deal. I like iTunes and Amazon equally for PAYGO content.

Other Services

These aren’t the only services that are available, but these are the biggest. There are also services like Vudu and Crackle. Vudu is similar to iTunes or Amazon in that it’s PAYGO. Crackle is similar to Netflix, except it’s free, and the content is bargain bin quality; you’ll find the occasional gem, but most of the content is so-so.

Next, we’ll cover devices.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cartoon of the day - Myth of the Year


[Source: Lisa Benson - GoComics]

Maybe Obama is Santa Claus. Let's see.

Parents tell children that Santa will bring them stuff. But the parents actually take their hard-earned money and buy the stuff for the children. And the children thank Santa Claus.

Okay, I see the difference. Obama tells his followers that he's giving them stuff, but we're paying for it. Santa doesn't do that, because, well, he's not real. With Santa, we make up the myth. Obama and his supporters make their myth.

In the whole Santa Claus mythology, we give the stuff one day a year. In the Obama mythology, he gives our stuff every day of the year.

In both cases, people that work for a living pay for the stuff.

I do have one suggestion on how he could even be more like Santa: he could move to the North Pole. I'll even help him pack.

Icebox Fruitcake

Ever get tired of getting (or giving) fruitcake at Christmas? Try this variation. It's called an icebox fruitcake because you must keep it refrigerated. Or, as older generations would say, "in the icebox." Exactly what an icebox is, we'll talk about another time. Maybe.

Anyway, here's a recipe you might enjoy. Seriously.

Ingredients:
  • One box (approx. 12 oz.) of vanilla wafers.
  • One pound of candied cherries (red and/or green)
  • One can (approx. 14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk. (Not evaporated milk; there is a difference. Don't find out the hard way.)
  • One cup raisins.
  • One cup coconut.
  • One cup chopped pecans.
Directions:
  1. Finely crush vanilla wafers. (A food processor works great for this.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the crushed vanilla wafers and sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Hand mix until wafers are moistened.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Mix well by hand.
  6. Press mixture into a buttered tube pan.
  7. Cover
  8. Refrigerate overnight, until firm.
Keep it refrigerated, if it lasts that long.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cartoon of the day - gun control


[Source: Mike Lester - GoComics]

Anyone got any better analogies?

Should've built a B-Ark

Just in case you hadn't heard, the world is ending tomorrow.

No, really. I read it on the Internet somewhere, so it's true. And, so have a lot of other people, it seems.

NASA is getting a bunch of calls from people who want to know about the world ending. It's taking up so much of NASA's time that they can't go about their primary mission of Muslim outreach. Well, that, and not being able to send people into space anymore.

NASA has even made a movie to help stop the calls. It's titled "Why the world didn't end yesterday" and is supposed to be shown on Saturday. Which really doesn't stop the calls leading up to Friday. Maybe that backwards line of thinking is why they can't go into space. Of course, it should help with Muslim outreach. At least, with Muslims in other countries. The ones in this country kinda shake their head at other countries, too.

Anyway, NASA is answering the phone and telling people that it's all okay and the world won't end. I think that's a mistake. They should tell them that the world is going to end.
Caller: "Hello, NASA? I saw that the world will end Friday. Is that right?"

NASA: "Yes, ma'am, that's correct. We're doomed. That's why we're not sending people into space anymore. There's no reason. We're just sitting back, waiting for the world to end. Have a nice day."
Or
Caller: "Hey, what's the truth about the Mayan apocalypse?

NASA: "Yes, sir. The planets are all going to line up with the stars and that will cause the earth to capsize just like Guam did. A lot of people will fall off. The lucky ones will land on Mars or the moon, but most of us will just fall away into space. Thank you for calling."
See what fun that could be? All the stupid people will panic and, oh, I don't know, do something stupid, but if we all just kinda let them, we'll weed out all the idiots, and the rest of us will be able to make a go of things.

If only the Mayans had predicted this would happen before the November election.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cartoon of the day - no guns


[Source: Mike Lester - GoComics]

Liberals and other defective thinkers seem to think that if we just pass enough laws and regulations, things will magically get better.

I'm not sure whose brains are more defective. Is it the person that decides to shoot up a school or a mall or, well, just anything? Or is it the person who thinks that someone who would shoot up a school or a mall would not dare break a law that bans guns?

Make no mistake: both types of brains are defective. Neither should be involved in making decisions for others.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cartoon of the day - spending


[Source: Lisa Benson - GoComics]

Taxes aren't the major problem. They're a problem, to be sure, not in the way liberals, Democrats, and others with defective thinking think.

Taxes don't need to be raised. Spending needs to be cut. Drastically.

Obama and his crew, though, aren't serious about cutting spending. Because it will cut "entitlements."

Here's a secret: people are not entitled to entitlements. The name itself is a lie. It's a "feel-good" kind of thing that makes the economy feel bad. Heck, not just feel bad, but be in intensive care.

If we don't cut spending, and cut it drastically, the patient won't make it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cartoon of the day - taxpayers


[Source: Glenn McCoy - GoComics]

Glenn McCoy's cartoon kinda reminds me of the Road Runner cartoon Zip Zip Hooray where the Coyote explains to the two kids watching TV why he craves the Road Runner so much.



I don't mind Democrats looking at us as the Coyote looks at the Road Runner, as long as we can allow them to fall off the cliff ... and we don't make the fall with them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cartoon of the day - unions


[Source: Lisa Benson - GoComics]

When I think unions and automakers, I think Michigan. And Michigan -- particularly Detroit, home of the automakers -- has had some serious troubles.

But, Detroit -- and Michigan -- aren't the only places vehicles are made. Just up the road from Columbus, in West Point, Georgia, Kia makes vehicles.

There are other vehicles made in other states, of course, but I bring up Kia for a reason. Georgia is a right-to-work state. That is, you don't have to belong to a union. You can be, but if you're not, you aren't denied the right to work.

Earlier this year, I was heading to work, and got behind a vehicle with a Michigan tag that had an Obama sticker on it. I ended up behind that vehicle all the way to the company parking garage.

That's when I realized that someone from Michigan, where the policies of the left have made it so difficult to get or keep a job, had moved down south to work in Georgia. And, had brought their politics with them.

Those same politics that made unions so powerful and government so big and had brought the economy up there down? Yeah, they wanted to spread that around here.

Some people just don't get it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cartoon of the day


[Source: Mike Lester - GoComics]

I know some people -- otherwise pretty good people, but with no sense whatsoever when it comes to things like economic reality -- that support higher taxes for "the rich."

Talking with them goes something like this:

Me: So, if someone makes the same amount of money as you, should they pay the same amount of taxes as you?

Them: Of course.

Me: So, what about someone who makes twice as much as you? Should they pay twice as much as you?

Them: Yes, it's only fair.

Me: What about someone who makes 1,000 as much as you? 1,000 times as much in taxes?

Them: Yes, they should.

They truly have no clue about taxes, and that they just said that higher incomes should get a tax break, not a tax increase. It's times like those that I wish I had my cluebat with me.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cartoon of the day


[Source: Lisa Benson - GoComics]

By the way, I wanted to note that lately, a lot of people have been referring to Obama as Santa Claus. We're not jumping on that bandwagon. You see, we've been doing that for some time now.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cartoon of the day

No politics with this one. It's for the MST3K fans in all of us. Or that should be there in all of us.


[Source: Francesco Marciuliano, Craig Macintosh - King Features]

You're so vain, you probably think the civil rights movement was about you

Remember when Neil Armstrong died, and Barack Obama honored the astronaut with ... a picture of Obama looking at the moon?

Well, Saturday was Rosa Parks day, so what does the president do? Honors Rosa Parks with ... a picture of Obama sitting on the bus, looking out the window.

Civil rights doesn't mean this:



It means this:



It's all about Obama.

Now, I'm not wanting to get off track and have a discussion about why Rosa Parks got all the attention and not the others who preceded here by being arrested for refusing to give up their seats. If you want some info about that, this link mentions a couple of instances.

Rather, I want to stay on target with Obama making everything about him.

I'm not sure if that's the problem, or if the idiots that support him are the problem. A little of both actually.

Speaking of the Rosa Parks debate (which I didn't want to get into), if they ever remake Barbershop, I'd like to see them change the script around just a little. Replace "Jesse Jackson" with "Barack Obama" (NSFW link).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Trying to be one of the cool kids

Photo: Jim Edwards/Business Insider
Those aren't Macs.
The white sheep of the NBC family, CNBC, can't escape the family DNA.

Recently, Business Insider made a visit to the CNBC news set and discovered that those MacBooks the anchors have in front of them ... aren't MacBooks. They're Dell computers disguised as MacBooks.

Dell Latitude 2120s to be exact. Those come with an Atom processor and are around $500 for the Windows version (the Linux version is about $100 cheaper).

Is it that CNBC wants to be one of the cool kids and make people think they're using Macs? Are they ashamed of their Dells? Can they not afford the $1199 MacBook Pro? Or the $999 MacBook Air?

Maybe it's that since they're part of the NBC family, they aren't honest about reality. Just like NBC will spin news stories to look good to the left, maybe CNBC is trying to look good to their crowd.

A lot of the left loves Macs. To be fair, there are those on the right that love Macs, too; me included. But, generally, a lot of people associate Macs with the left.

Maybe that's why they're using fake Macs. Or, maybe it just fits in with NBC's track record of fake news.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cartoon of the day


[Source: Lisa Benson - GoComics]

The Colonel and the Obama Voter visit the dentist

The Colonel went to the dentist yesterday morning. He occasionally -- not always, just sometimes -- thinks of himself as "The Colonel," because it does sound kinda old-school cool. He's not a full-bird colonel. He has the leaf, which means he's actually a lieutenant colonel. Still, in the military, LTC (or, since he's Air Force Reserve, Lt. Col.) is addressed as "colonel." So, yeah, he's The Colonel.

Anyway, The Colonel went to the dentist yesterday morning. In the parking lot was a vehicle belonging to an Obama Voter, who was visiting the same dentist.

Cut now to the checking out part of the visit, after all the tooth and mouth stuff is done.

Obama Voter was ahead of The Colonel. And it seems Obama Voter wasn't happy with the amount he had to pay.

It had to do with how the work was classified by Obama Voter's insurance. Seems there had been a change to how certain dental work was classified. And that made a difference with the bill. Some dental work is considered emergency or required. Then there's situations where they'll pay for one type of something but not another type of the same something.

Bunch of insurance talk, basically. But, the bottom line was, because of changes Obama Voter's insurance made to how stuff was classified and how much they paid for different stuff, the bill was quite a bit larger than than Obama Voter expected.

And Obama Voter wanted to know why.

When the lady behind the desk explained that the insurance provider in question had changed a bunch of stuff around because of ... wait for it ... Obamacare.

Yep, the new regulations had the effect of changing how those being regulated acted. And, what with the insurance provider wanting to stay in business and all, that meant a change in benefits.

Obama Voter's mouth kinda dropped when he heard why the change was made.

The Colonel kinda shook his head and smiled a little smile.

I saw The Colonel at lunch, and he told me the story of his visit to the dentist.

I took no pleasure in the fact that the Obama Voter had experienced the effect of the very policies put in place by those he helped put in office.

Okay, I lied. I took great pleasure in it. And I want to see more of it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Obama sticker of the day

Saw this one in Valdosta yesterday.



My son just had to get a picture, and I just had to share.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The beatings will continue until morale improves

You've heard that phrase -- "the beatings will continue until morale improves" -- in comics or on signs or in statements made by coworkers.

Well, you're about to live it. Or, if you already are, others are, too.

Government regulations are the beatings on the economy. And when the government regulations cause the economy to falter, the government will simply issue more beatings, in the form of regulations.

Obamacare is one of the major problems. It's causing business expenses to increase, and businesses are cutting where they can. That includes wages.

Some businesses are reorganizing internally and reclassifying some positions so that jobs that were salaried are now hourly. Businesses are also cutting back on hours for some employees; some cuts to simply reduce wages, others to exempt those employees from full-time status and the requirement to cover them under Obamacare. Those employees get to pay the Obamacare tax -- they call it a fee or a penalty, but it only passed Constitutional muster because it's actually a tax -- so they are covered, as required by law.

When this impacts people, particularly people who voted for Obama, two things will happen.
  1. Karma
  2. More regulations
What will the new regulations do? Make it worse. And then more regulations. And more problems with the economy.

Now, everyone on the left will say how great the economy is because of all the number of people with jobs, even though more of those jobs will be part-time, and even though more and more will stop looking for work because it's not worth it.

The numbers, because of the way they arrange them, will look good. Well, not all numbers. The numbers on people's paychecks and in their bank accounts won't look so good.

But rest assured, the government has a plan to deal with the economy: the beatings will continue until morale improves.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

It was a veteran, not a reporter,
Who guaranteed freedom of the press.

It was a veteran, not a poet,
Who guaranteed freedom of speech.

It was a veteran, not a campus organizer,
Who guaranteed freedom to demonstrate.

It was a veteran, not a minister,
Who guaranteed freedom to worship.

It was a veteran, not a salesman,
Who guaranteed freedom to own property.

It was a veteran, not a travel agent,
Who guaranteed freedom to travel.

It was a veteran, not a politician,
Who guaranteed freedom to vote.

It is a veteran who salutes the Flag,
Risks it all for the Flag,
And who is buried beneath the Flag.
— J. L. Sager *