Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Desert, a parable

You're in the desert.

It's hot, the sun's glare on the sand is blinding. When the wind whips up, the sand stings.

You're in the desert.

You weren't always in the desert. And you want to find your way out. But for the moment, you've accepted that you're in the desert.

You were thirsty earlier. You still are, but now, you're also hungry.

Up ahead, you see a figure in the distance. You blink, wipe the sand from your eyes to make sure you are seeing something, and not experiencing a mirage.

It's real.

You pick up the pace and head towards the figure.

Now, you see that it's not one figure, but two.

You're nearer now, clearly making out the two figures. Each is sitting at a table, with an assortment of items in front.

As you approach, each person smiles and rises, beckoning you closer.

You walk up, and with a parched voice, say the only two words you can manage to utter: "Water. Food."

The person on the right nods, and offers you two items from his table: dry white toast, and a cup of water.

The person on the left offers you a rock.

You look back at the dry white toast and cup of water, then at the rock.

You make your decision, drinking half the cup of water immediately, then devouring the toast, washing it down with the rest of the water.

"I've got more of the same," the person on the right says.

"I got rocks," the person on the left says.

You continue your trek through the desert, accompanied now by the person on the right with more dry white toast and water, and the person on the left with rocks.

As your thirst and hunger return, you accept the dry white toast and drink the water, ignoring the rocks.

But you keep looking. Somewhere, you know you'll find someone with better food ... and a map out of the desert.

And that is why I will vote for a Republican that I really don't want. That Republican is still a huckuva lot better than the Democrat, but not what I'm looking for. And, yes, I will keep looking.

Yay! An Angry Birds update! Oh, wait...

Went to the App Store for the iPad today ... and found this:

Yes, that's a announcement that an Angry Birds update.

So, I fired up iTunes, download the updates (two other apps had updates, too), and connected the iPad.

When the update synced, I fired up Angry Birds. Only to find it was a bug fix. The new levels mentioned were the levels I already had on the previous release.

I went from cloud nine to the ninth circle.

Okay, maybe it wasn't that big of an emotional swing. But I did start working on a sequel game: Angry Basil.

So now he'll tell Obama to go to Heck?

Paul LePage is the Republican candidate for governor of Maine. And, he's been leading in the polls. Most of them, anyway.

He made the news this week by saying he'd tell Barack Obama to "go to hell."
LePage said, "As your governor, you're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page, saying 'Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell.'"
But, apparently, that's a problem. Telling a socialist who is doing everything he can (whether through malevolence or incompetence) to damage the United States, I mean.

I suppose that, ignoring the person in the office and considering the office itself, then, yes, it's very disrespectful to say that about the president.

But, it certainly would be hard for me to decide who is most disrespectful the office of president:
  • LePage, who would tell the president to "go to hell"
  • Obama, who is the most unqualified, and has now passed Jimmy Carter as the most incompetent, person to hold the office
  • The people that actually voted to elect Barack Obama
I'm torn between the last two. LePage, I suspect, was directing his comments to the person, not the office.

But, LePage screwed up. Not by saying he'd tell Obama to go to hell. I'd do that.

No, LePage has apologized for saying he'd say that.
He told The Associated Press that he regretted the words he chose Sunday but wasn't backing down from his criticism of the administration for what he described as free-spending, antibusiness policies.
I suppose he's saying he should have told Obama to go to Heck?

And that's a little disappointing to me. Because he's backing down.

If he didn't mean what he said, then, yes, he should apologize. But, I think he meant it. And he should man up and say "Yes, I meant exactly what I said. Anyone, even the president, that pushes such dangerous and destructive policies, can go to hell."

But, no, he didn't say that. He regretted his choice of words.

Which means he can be pushed around. He wouldn't fall in line with the Democrats like Libby Mitchell, the Democrat nominee for governor. She's the worse choice of the two.

But, while LePage is the better of the two, he's not what he could be. And that makes me mad as heck.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hillary's picture

AP ran an unusual picture of Hillary Clinton yesterday.

The caption?
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pictured through a video viewfinder as she speaks during a news conference in Amman September 16, 2010.

But, I'm wondering about that viewfinder. I've seen something like that before. If I could just remember where.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The SEC East has turned upside down

In the Southeast Conference, each team's goal is to win its division. You got to do that to make it to the conference championship game. And, if you win that, you are pretty much guaranteed a spot in the faux National Championship game.

When the college football season starts, every team (theoretically) controls its own destiny. Essentially, as long as you win your games, you'll play in the conference championship game.

When the season started, all six teams in the SEC East controlled their destiny. Now, after four weeks of play, that number is down to three.

My team, the University of Georgia, isn't one of those three. If UGA wins out, they still aren't guaranteed the SEC East title. Tennessee is in the same boat. If Tennessee wins out, they could still be left out, if, for instance, Florida also wins out.

Kentucky, too, can win out and still not take the SEC East.

So, guess what three teams in the SEC East are in the situation of controlling their own destiny?

Well, one is the University of Florida. If the Gators win the rest of their games, they'll be the only unbeaten team in the SEC East, and win the division.

South Carolina is another team that would win the East if they win out. They have a conference loss, but if the Gamecocks win out, the worst they could do would be tied with Florida, but would win the tie-breaker because they would have beaten the Gators.

The last of the Final Three? Vanderbilt.

Yes, Vanderbilt University would win the SEC East if they win out. They have one conference loss, but if the Commodores win out, the worst they could do would be tie Florida, and would win the head-to-head tiebreaker.

If I had told you before the season started that, going into Week Five, Florida, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt would be the only teams that control their own destiny, you'd think I was nuts.

Turns out that 2010 college football is nuts, instead.

Gonna be an interesting rest of the season.

How 'bout them dogs

For many, many years, fans of the Georgia Bulldogs have cried "How 'Bout Them Dawgs!"

No so much this year. And, when it's said, it'd be more appropriate to say "How 'bout them dogs" instead.

The difference is that "Dawgs" is an affectionate way to refer to the Georgia Bulldogs. But, in this instance, "dogs" refers to the performance of this year's team.

Georgia's problems this year are a delight to many who don't care for UGA. And, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran the most obvious headline of the season: "Fans upset about Bulldogs' losses." Well, duh.

This year has been a rough one. And, it began before the season started, when they had so many players arrested for ... well, you name it. Misdemeanors, sure, but crimes nonetheless. And, it hasn't stopped. This week, another player was arrested. That's 10 this year. One more, and they can film "Longest Yard II" in Athens.

Why have so many UGA players been arrested? Because that's a place that's out of control.

Who is to blame?
  • The players, for being old enough to know better, but not doing better.
  • And they players' parents, for not raising them better.
  • And the coaches, for not making the players have to face consequences all along.
  • And the UGA administration, for making some really stupid decisions in hiring. 
  • And the fans, for putting up with it ... as long as UGA won.
Just so you know, I was not in favor of UGA hiring Mark Richt to begin with. I would have preferred that Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech's current coach, been hired instead. But, that was a pipe dream.

Think back. It was after the 2000 season, and Jim Donnan was the UGA coach, and Vince Dooley was the Athletic Director. UGA president Michael Adams wanted Donnan gone, and Dooley didn't. So, Adams fired Donnan.

If Donnan had stayed, as Dooley had wished, would Donnan have reached the levels of success that UGA fans wanted? Maybe not. But, while Donnan's Bulldogs teams never reached the success of Richt's, his never reached the lows that Richt's are experiencing right now.

Anyway, after Donnan's Division 1-AA background, there's no way they'd replace him with another 1-AA coach, as was Johnson at the time (he was Georgia Southern's coach).

But, hiring Richt? Whose coaching career of 14 of 15 years as an assistant was at Florida State? Or Tallahassee State Prison, as it might more properly be known. FSU has been out of control for years, but the fans there didn't care, because they won.

Sounds a lot like what I was worried about with Richt coming to UGA.

And, much like FSU, UGA's football team has no discipline.

Now, as a person, I suspect that Mark Richt is a fine man. I've heard nothing bad about him. But, learning how to coach college by learning at FSU isn't how you learn to run a disciplined program. And now UGA is an undisciplined program.

But, this last arrest has led to a dismissal from the team. Of course, that player had never played a down for UGA. So, the net impact to the team is zero. It's not like Richt stepped up and kicked a star player off the team. And I'm not sure he would.

And that's the problem.

If you are a star at UGA, you can do whatever you want and nothing bad will happen. And, when the team is winning, the whole team is a star. When you're 0-3 in the SEC, players that don't start will get kicked off the team.

Should UGA fire Richt? No. Not right now, anyway.

UGA isn't a very good football team right now. If, by the end of the season, they are a good team, then perhaps that means that Richt finally has things under control. After 10 years.

If not, though, I fully expect to see the state's unemployment rate go up more -- by an amount that's equal to the UGA coaching staff -- at the end of this season.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh, look! Another idiot has a computer. Isn't that cute!

Every so often, you run across total nutcases on them Internets. Then, every so often, a nutcase runs across you.

Friday night, a little before 9 o'clock, a new comment appeared in the moderation queue. I was at a football game, so I gave it a quick look when the notification arrived. It was a long rambling thing that appeared to be from someone who was mixing his medications again. I decided it could wait until I got back from the game.

When I got back, a little after midnight (it was an away game), I looked in detail at the comment. And I discovered that my first impression was probably correct.

Probably. But not definitely. Because he might not have been mixing his meds. He may have never been properly diagnosed and never was taking the meds he so desperately needs.

Here is the post he left a comment on. The comment isn't there, but that's the post he wanted to leave me a message about. Go ahead and click it if you like. It's the one I wrote about a new spam feature that Google added to their Blogger platform. Let me sum up: Google added spam filters to Blogger, and it's about time. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Only, this clown seems to think that I'm running Google. Or their Blogger division. Or maybe the Spam Filter division. Or something. Who knows what he thinks.

Here's what he wrote:
You know, this is a lie. The spam filter is a farce. I'm usually a nice guy and easy to get along with, but this is a joke, an absolute joke.

Here's a link to what you claim isn't supposed to be happening:

Only Blogger can access this because it's my spam box. In in there are basically 365 spam comments from the same nutcase since Augusts 26th.

Some of them threaten my life.

It is NOT that much trouble to allow me to block IP addresses. I am an adult. I demand the capability to do this with idiots like this just as newspaper editors have the right not to publish a letter to the editor.

I am so very pissed about this. I received over 50 of these comments today alone!

I will hound you about this. I am nobody to you but I will run a campaign about this if you do not do something about this immediately.

Apply the golden rule,. What would YOU do if this were you?

I am so thoropughly frustrated about this.

Get with it.
Here's his Google/Blogger user profile page.

He's been blogging since July 2005 (that's almost as long as I have). And he still thinks it's a good idea to call someone a liar in the first sentence.

Then, he says the spam filter isn't working ... then tries to prove it by pointing to 365 items in his spam filter! Seems it worked 365 times, based on the information he provided.

Then, he says he's going to hound me unless I do something about the situation. Like I'm in charge of the spam filter, which, by the way, sucks because it works or something.

Anyway, you read what he wrote. And you have a link to his profile page. Which contains his email address, if you want to write him and offer encouragement or something.

Me? I'm going to grant his request. I will do something about the situation. I just posted his comment (which is in the spam queue) so everyone could see it. And see what an idiot he is. That ought to make him happy.

One final thought: based on what he wrote in the comment and the information on his profile page, I'm guessing that he voted for Obama. Because that's what idiots do. That and leave idiotic comments that the spam filters catch.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dear Delaware: Choose Wisely

Republican Christine O'Donnell says that, in high school, she "dabbled in witchcraft."

Democrat Chris Coons called himself a "bearded Marxist."

Let's review:

Dabbled in witchcraft

Bearded Marxists

Hey, Delaware: Choose wisely

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Whatever you do, don't call your wife a purple blob

I've worn glasses most of my life. I'm near-sighted. Very, very near-sighted. Without my glasses, everything over a distance of 3-5 feet away looks like blobs of color.

So, this morning, right after I stepped into the shower, I realized something I needed to ask The Wife.

Although we will often car-pool, today she was planning to drive separate. And, when I thought of what I needed to ask, I was concerned that she might leave before I finished the shower. And, since it would impact her route to work, depending on her answer, I stepped out of the shower, grabbed my robe, walked through the bedroom, and opened the door to the living room.

Notice that I did not say that I picked up my eyeglasses.

So, when I opened the door, I was pretty much blind. I could see shapes and colors, and that's about all. She was sitting in a dark rocker-recliner, wearing dark pants, and a purple top.

I asked her what I needed, and she agreed. Only, she agreed by nodding her head. I think. I saw some movement of a shape and color, but couldn't be sure if it was a nod yes or shake no.

"I can't tell if you nodding your head or shaking your head. All I see is a purple blob," I said.

I couldn't see the look on her face, but I could hear it in her voice when she said "Yes."

I had never known that "yes" could be such a terrifying word.

If you wear glasses, wear them. Avoids all kinds of unpleasantness. Trust me on this.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't ask, I'll tell

The current fake issue of the day is... Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).

Yes, it's a fake issue.

If it was a real issue, the Democrats would have approached yesterday's vote in another manner. More on how the Democrats could repeal DADT in a moment. For now, we should all be honest and recognize that throwing issues like this into appropriations bills are intended to make political capital, nothing more.

Yesterday, 40 Republican Senators joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and two other Democrat Senators in voting against DATA attachments to a defense authorizations bill. Who says the GOP won't work with the Senate leadership?

What does the vote mean for Republicans? Nothing. Not a single Republican lost a November vote and not a single Democrat picked up a November vote.

Now, if the Senate wants to take on DADT, then the Senate should take on DADT, not back door it. So to speak.

But should the Senate address DADT?

The solution seems simple to me: if the Commander-in-Chief directs military personnel to ignore the current restrictions and to drop all DADT prosecutions. And he can promise (and -- this is key -- deliver) pardons to anyone who is prosecuted in defiance of his orders. At least, that's what I would do. And it would work.

Why won't Obama do it?

He has nothing to gain by doing it.

If he did, the whole issue would go away. No Republican president would revoke the decision after January 20, 2013. DADT would effectively be dead. And, eventually, DADT would come off the books.

But, like I said, Obama won't do it. Because it would take away a cudgel the Democrats use against Republicans.

Obama and the Democrats don't want to win the issue. They had large enough majorities to make it happen for a year and a half.

So, what do they want? They want to argue the issue.

Because if they have something to point at and say "Look how unfair this is!" then they have a distraction from the real issues. Like the socialist policies they believe in, and how they are damaging this country.

And that's damage that no army -- no matter how many heterosexuals or homosexuals make up that army -- can defend against.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One of these things is not like the other ... except where they are

So, Republican Christine O'Donnell is a crackpot because she said that masturbation is lust outside of marriage, and that is equivalent to adultery?

What she actually said was:
"Lust in your heart is committing adultery, and you can't masturbate without lust."
Ever heard that part about lust and adultery before?

Sure you have. There is this little book called The Bible. Maybe you're familiar with it?
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
-- Matthew 5:27-28
Then again, if you only know what you read in the newspapers or hear on the TV, you might have missed that.

Jimmy Carter in Playboy Magazine
Unless you remember the 1976 presidential election, when the Democrat nominee, Jimmy Carter, told Playboy magazine the same thing about lust and adultery:
"The Bible says, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' Christ said, I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery. I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times..."
Now, Carter did catch a lot of crap about that interview. Part was because he gave the interview to Playboy. Part because of what he said about lust and adultery.

He was the butt of jokes at the time. But, it didn't cost him the election. It actually helped him in the Bible Belt. The Playboy part didn't; the Bible quote did.

Will O'Donnell be hurt by the talk about masturbation, lust, and adultery? I don't know.

Is the media treating her fairly over it?

Well, I haven't seen any media outlet approach Jimmy Carter for a comment on O'Donnell. That silence says a lot.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How to make them stop sending you to the store for stuff

Went to Sam's Club the other day. Bought like 3000 straws and other way-too-big volumes of things.

Of course, the 3000-count box of straws was the smallest they had. Unlike, say, Wal-mart, where you can get a bag of 50 or 100. So, we got as much as we got because it's the smallest it came.

Not so for this guy in line ahead of us.

He had milk, cigarettes, Cokes, and bottled water.

Now, I'm sure that's for some business he's running. Or something.

But, I'd like to imagine it's someone who does things just a little bit different. I'd like to think it went like this:
She: Why don't you get your lazy butt off the couch and go pick me up some cigarettes.

He: Yes, dear.

She: And get some milk. Somebody drank the last of it and put the empty milk jug back in the 'fridge. And I bet that someone was you.

He: Milk. Yes, dear.

She: And I want some bottled water. And don't be spending a lot of money by getting that expensive Dasani or that Aquafina. Deer Park is fine.

He: Water. Yes, dear.

She: Oh, and Mother is coming over for supper. She likes Coca-Cola. Don't get any Shasta or some brand like that. And don't you dare get Pepsi. Mother wants Coke. Okay?

He: Cigarettes, milk, water, Coke. Yes, dear. Anything else?

She: Don't waste any money on lottery tickets. It's not up to $100 million yet. Don't waste a dollar, you hear me.

He: Yes, dear. I'll be back shortly.
I'd like to imagine he decided he'd not have to be sent to the store again the next day, so he got enough to make sure.

I'm certain that's not how it happened. But it would have been so awesome if it was.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Now Democrats are saying don't elect someone who supports Democrats

In Alabama's State Senate district 27, there's an interesting battle going on.

The Democrat Party nominee is 8-term incumbent, Ted Little.

The Republican Party nominee is Tom Whatley.

What makes this so interesting is that the Democrat is criticizing the Republican by saying he's really a Democrat.

[Direct link]
Tip: Doc's Political Parlor and Home of Lawn Mower Repair

It's not that Ted Little's ad is making any false claims. As far as I can tell, the ad is true.

But it's funny to see a Democrat criticizing an opponent ... by calling him a Democrat.

Little, the Democrat, is saying don't vote for the Republican because the Republican supports Democrats and you don't want someone who supports Democrats winning this election!

This is certainly an interesting political year.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mythbusters: Republicans

Tonight ... on "Mythbusters" ... we'll look at myths about today's Republican Party.

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will look at what's right ... and what's not right ... about the party of the right.

With recent election results ... and even more recent primary results ... there has been a lot of discussion about what actions the Republicans should take.

The conventional wisdom ...

Is that the Republican National Convention?

Ha ha. Very funny. The conventional wisdom is that if the Republican Party swings hard to the right, they'll alienate most Americans and ensure that Democrats will retain power.

We're going to build a Republican Party that's a Big Tent Republican Party. Then we'll test how well it works.

We'll start with the base. There's the gun owners. You know, the Second Amendment crowd.

Over here, we have some who are proud of their country. Typical conservatives.

Okay, that's a start. This sounds a lot like the TEA Party or the Sarah Palin crowd. But aren't we going to include more than just stereotypical conservatives?

How about some independents, like those that helped elect Obama? You can't win without them.

Let's throw in some Charles Johnson types. That'll keep the religious right in check.

We can't leave out the Ron Paul group. Ron Paul! Ron Paul!!! Ron Paul!!1!!!11!!

There are the old guard. The establishment. They used to be called "Rockefeller Republicans." And they crap themselves every time a candidate supported by the TEA Party is successful.

Those scared of Sarah Palin? Got them covered, too. Can't let her take charge of things, can we?

What about those moderates that try to balance conservative principals with cooperating with liberals? Everyone knows that compromise is the way to go. As long as by "compromise with" we mean "give in to" liberals.

What do you think? Do we have enough of a big tent crowd? We have those scared of Palin and the TEA Party, moderates, Ron Paul supporters, Obama voters, the Charles Johnson crowd...

Let's try this group out and see how it does. Tory? Go run an election with this crowd?



Tory's election day performance with a Republican Party that compromised true conservative beliefs and included nutcases from all over the spectrum ... didn't go so well.

Well, there's your problem!

This Republican Party we put together doesn't stand true to conservative principals. Instead, it's a large group of a bunch of small groups.

Since they don't share the same principals, they are always fighting each other.

This Republican Party looks like Democrats Lite. That's why the GOP lost the White House in 2008. Sure, the Republican candidate had some good qualities, is a war hero, and is an honorable man and a fine American. But he isn't true to the conservative principals of Goldwater or Reagan. And he got his clock cleaned.

Jamie and I have been exposed to this Big Tent Republican Party for too long. We need to scrub ourselves clean.

While Adam and Jamie remove the stench of moderates, we'll leave you with this reminder: conservatives will be attacked by Democrats, and by some Republicans. And, you won't win every battle. But, you'll come out stronger for it.

Maybe they really meant it...

I saw a vehicle with two bumper stickers today that seemed to be in conflict.

Then again, maybe they weren't.

I got a photo, but it's hard to see one of the bumper stickers. You see, it's really hard to take a photo on your BlackBerry while you're driving over a bridge in traffic.

The little bumper sticker -- the one that's actually on the bumper -- said "Work Harder. Millions On Welfare Depend On You!"

Then there are those two stickers that are higher on the back of the vehicle, just inside the tail lights. They are supporting Ron Sparks, the Democrat nominee for Governor of Alabama.

So, they're supporting a Democrat. Then wanting you to work harder for the people on welfare.

Normally, that welfare bumper sticker would be an ironic statement, since it usually is intended as a slap at people who are supported by others.

But, since they're supporting the Democrat, I'm thinking they really meant it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I can go back to blogging now

I said the other day that I've been busy. Busy at work ... working. And busy at home ... playing Angry Birds.

I'm not playing Angry Birds anymore. Because I've beaten the darn thing. At least, as far as there is to go right now: three stars on levels one through ten, plus all 15 golden eggs (and stars).

Three stars on Angry Birds level one.

Three stars on Angry Birds level two.

Three stars on Angry Birds level three.

Three stars on Angry Birds level four.

Three stars on Angry Birds level five.

Three stars on Angry Birds level six.

Three stars on Angry Birds level seven.

Three stars on Angry Birds level eight.

Three stars on Angry Birds level nine.

Three stars on Angry Birds level ten.

Angry Birds level eleven isn't available yet.

Fifteen Golden eggs (and stars).

Yes, I totally rule.