Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guitar Hero Xmas

Guitar Hero

This Christmas was, as it always is, an endeavor. Two xmas eves, two xmas days, xmas on Saturday. Joy.

But I did receive, from my parents, Guitar Hero World Tour with a dual guitar setup: 2 Les Paul wireless guitars for my 360.

Tasty. Love it.

Questionable news is that because I'm functionally tied to the computer trying to build my business, Little Shambles has seriously become a rock star. She's unlocked like 20 songs on career mode on medium.

And I still can't hit 100% on easy on any song I've tried.

I guess I'll get good next week when I still don't have enough work to keep rolling and need some distraction other than worrying about the mortgage.

For those of you who haven't heard: I'm running a professional web development and web marketing company. And I'm awesome. Contact me. Reasonable pricing includes search engine friendly design. Best practices.

Yay xmas!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Miller's Gospel

And the Angels heralded me. And they herded me. And one named Camael came forward from the masses and ushered me through the door of the Kingdom, held the door open and slammed it shut behind me.

I looked back, then forward. The hall was dark and dank and smelled of frankincense, like Catholic church as a boy. At the end of the close hall, I followed a set of musty, stone stairs. Downward.

At the end of the stairs, a small daemon pushed me forward towards another door. I pushed it open. I walked through. Candles lit the enormous chamber. As I turned around, the door behind me was slammed shut.

The chamber was wide. Open. I knew inherently that it was God's home. At the back of the chamber was a throne. It was empty. I wept.

"Why is God, my only hope of salvation, gone?" I cried.
The throne was empty.
"Oh, I'm here."
"Huh? But where -"
"Why do you -"
"Why can't I see you?!" I shouted
"Why do you need to think I would sit in a throne?"
"I didn't. I was brought here."
"Listen to yourself," said the voice. "This is your place, not mine. Your idea, not mine. Your throne, not mine.
"Which is why I am not in it."

I wandered the room, wondered about the spectacle that was not a spectacle. Pillars of stone surrounded the throne and I wondered, for the first time, where reality was sitting as the throne itself disappeared, the pillars turning to dust.
The room disappeared.
I wept.

Again, the voice, in the darkness:
"There is no church. There is no steeple. There is no room. There is no God."
I paused at the last.
"What do you mean, 'There is no God?' I'm here. You're here. I'm speaking to you, I'm..."
"There are no words for me. God. Allah. El. Jehovah.
"All naming the nameless."

"But I have no reference," I shouted to the nothing.
"But you do," it said.
"You love.
"So you know.
"You don't need a throne and you don't need domination and you - and the world - don't need anything more than it desires or wants or can make due with.
"You already have everything.
"Make it good."

"But that isn't an answer," I shouted to the nothing.
"Then what is?"
And silence.

And it was done. And I realized it myself, sitting in front of a computer, typing words, and I hoped it was enough for me and prayed it was something for someone else.

Stream of What?

I just spent 4 hours driving from Cleveland to Cincinnati and as soon as I got back it was unload, unload, unload, and when we got that done it was unpack, unpack, unpack, and the cats seemed okay despite 5 days alone, so that was good, changed their box, but Mrs. Shambles is sick and I can't do anything directly to help her except perhaps some reiki but that's about energy not viruses and some pills and that's what I just gave her and I'm on the computer looking up unemployment benefits instead of sitting with her and watching tee vee, she's sniffling, and sneezing, and coughing but I keep on with the computer thinking that if I just keep going, keep moving, keep looking up information on the internets, then perhaps, just perhaps, everything will be clear, clear as the glass of our front window.

But the glass of our front window is smeared with dog slobber. And even with crystal clarity, all you see is "outside." And that is reality. And that can be scary. And maybe, just tonight, we'll pretend it's just blackness outside, turn on the tree, and make ourselves comfortable. Just comfortable. And then, maybe, we'll finally be back home.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ann Coulter's Christian Failings

From the inane mind of the bigot Coulter comes a lovely Christmastime email entitled "My Triumph Over Kwanzaa!" It begins:
Is it just me, or does Kwanzaa seem to come earlier and earlier each year?

This year, I believe my triumph over this synthetic holiday is nearly complete. The only mentions of Kwanzaa I’ve seen are humorous ones. Most important, for the first time in eight years, President George Bush appears not to have issued "Kwanzaa greetings" to honor this phony non-Christian holiday that is younger than I am.

It is a fact that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge, Ron Karenga, aka Dr. Maulana Karenga. Karenga was a founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers and a dupe of the FBI.

First, I'd like to set something into context for Ann:

It is a fact that Christmas was invented by the Catholic Church, a holiday to celebrate the birth of a man for whom proof of existence is entirely lacking except in ancient manuscripts that attribute him with otherworldly powers of creating matter out of nothing, raising the dead, and his own resurrection, as well as a following that eats flesh and drinks blood. This season, originally pagan nature celebrations and Roman holidays, was usurped by said Church in order to exert its power over all of Europe and, eventually, the world.

Sanctimonious pseudo-zealotry over supposed Christian ideals as a supplement and bolster to supposed American ideals with a basis in the derision of another person's belief and culture serves only to eliminate the validity of those Christian ideals. It is not sexy, intelligent, or work as any form of humor.

In other words, Ann Coulter has proven in three paragraphs that she is a Christian in name only.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Greta Van Susteren: Sucker

Greta Van Susteren - Sucker

In one of my Yahoo groups, someone sent me this link to Fox News's Greta Van Susteren's blog. It is entitled "Did you know this?" and begins like this:
** LIFE IN THE 1500′S ***

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

For those of you who have been visiting the internets for more than fifteen minutes, you might recognize this bit of misinformation, almost 10 years old now, that has been circulating through uninformed emails and blog posts.

To be clear: here is the Snopes page declaring this to be foolishness.

This tells me two things:
  1. Greta Van Susteren is gullible and does not put much faith in even basic research.
  2. If it wasn't for the remedial modicum of fact-checking and integrity that does exist in the bowels of Fox News, it would be an even more absurd network and viewing experience.

Hidden gem: check out Greta's blog comment by RU4REAL a little ways down. Seems retired teachers who are fans of Fox News are also susceptible to repeating emails.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting Laid Off

It couldn't happen to me - not right at Christmas - until it did.

It wasn't a surprise except that it lasted this long. The owner of the business had been running it into the ground for years. That's what happens when you continually fail to deliver and consistently late to meetings (him, of course, not me). People left and weren't replaced, including sales and - for now - they're going into hibernation mode.

The good news is that I run my own web design and marketing company and have a couple clients to lean on with that. So we're not dead, just bleeding. Yeah. Not drowning, but waving.

So if you enjoy this blog and know anyone looking to build or redesign or market their website, go ahead and click that profile and send me an email. Mrs. Shambles and I will appreciate it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holy Fucking See Popehat! The UN?!


Some nuances of international relations do escape my grasp, that "good handle" I feel I have from time to time. I was skimming over the Vatican News Release thing I get every couple days and came across this:
VATICAN CITY, 19 DEC 2008 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon was made public the declaration of the delegation of the Holy See to the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly on the theme: "Human Rights Questions, Including Alternative Approaches for Improving the Effective Enjoyment of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms".
"In particular, the categories 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity', used in the text, find no recognition or clear and agreed definition in international law. If they had to be taken into consideration in the proclaiming and implementing of fundamental rights, these would create serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of States to enter into and enforce new and existing human rights conventions and standards".

My first question, having just grasped the gravity of this, is: What the hell is the Vatican doing at the United Nations?

The short answer is that the Vatican has held a non-member Permanent Observer position at the United Nations since 1964. However, as evidenced above, "Observer" apparently also means speaker and commentator on just about anything that concerns them.

Let me put this another way: The United Nations has given Celestino Migliore, Titular Archbishop of Canosa, a representative of a single religion - Catholicism - that just happens to be mildly organized and sick fucking rich, a chair with a placard and room to speak on any items of concern to the Catholic Church. And while the Holy See has stood up for some great humanitarian causes, it also has a history of degrading every other religion in the world, disempowerment of women, and, as above, the slighting of equal rights for GLBT communities.

How exactly does that work? Celestino Migliore writes his name on a list and gets to bitch slap all the gays in the world? This is a man who represents a religion and has an unflappable conviction that homosexuals are sinning against God and will spend all of eternity burning in hell for their transgressions because if they were just steered in the right direction they could make the right "choice" and not be gay. And the UN offers him a few minutes to address representatives to the countries of the world on how this human rights issue should be handled?


And where's the Permanent Observer for all the other sects of Christianity? Hindu religion? Or Islam, Buddhism, Judiasm, Zoroastrianism, and all their respective sects? I'm sure they'd all have some interesting things to say about things that happen at the UN.

...but I guess those folks don't have as fat a wallet as the Pope.

Yes, his is the one that says...

Bad Mother Fucker Wallet

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Phillips Daylight Window

This isn't brand spanking new, but it made me happy today:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daddy Makes Good Pictures: Buckethead Deer

Bucket Head Deer

Yes, my father took this picture. No, I don't have an appropriate caption yet.

Story here.

Initial thoughts:
  • Deer in Space!
  • Generic Twizzlers = Delicious
  • The vet didn't want me to lick my hoo-hoo...or eat...or drink...

Throw me a bone here. Captions in the comments. Please!

Sometimes Twitter Works

Read bottom-up. This is not a trick, but an existing page of my followed tweets.

Twitter Swears

I Love ShamWoW!

I have an unhealthy fascination, appreciation, and elation with that damn 2-minute ShamWoW commercial. I could watch it over and over and over again. I love every second from "Are you following me camera guy?" to "We can't do this all day" including the woman in the middle who looks like she doesn't "even use paper towels anymore" because she found herself eating them.

My worst sin about the whole thing? I don't own one. I know! It's only $20. What am I waiting for?!

On the other side of the coin, -- damn! My whole plan was to end this on how much I despise - and will change the channel reflexively - if I see the commercial for the car search engine put together by Time Warner: BeepBeep.com, but I cannot come up with one example of someone who has converted this video poison for consumption on the internets. Drat!

If anyone has a link to the diabolical video, pleas pass it on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Don't Even Know How to Categorize This

i made this

Play this game. It is called "i made this. you play this. we are enemies."

And I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to make sense.

h/t to Brent sans blog.

Cragslist and the Mysterious Hunger

I've been pulling some extra stress this holiday season with the job situation, both with me and the Missus (doesn't that suck - Merry Christmas!), so it was good to find something to cheer me up for the day. Trolling for misery has that effect.

Under Missed Connections:

Golden Corral around 5-6PM - w4m

did anyone see the guy with the red sweater and tight jeans?

Golden Corral, lovingly referred to as The Hog Trough, was apparently the scene of an oogling. This is wrong on so many levels, but let's hit the logic end:

At one of the 8 Golden Corrals in the Greater Cincinnati area, on some day around 5-6PM, a magnificent butter troll, while pausing for a rhythmic gasp from her feed bag, eyed a man, clad in tight blue jeans and a stunning red sweater. She felt a deeper, different hunger that drove her, at some later date, to make a vague plea to the internets to reveal the identity of the dashing stranger by the mashed potatoes.

Was it you?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Launch

When I saw this in a news break yesterday during the finale of Survivor (Yay Bob!), it made my evening. Then it made my day today. Over and over and over again.

Finally, we get someone who wants to disagree with Bush, hand him what he deserves, and it's not some politician who has to play nice and not offend. Unfortunately, Bush probably didn't understand until someone explained it to him what a tremendous insult the sole of the shoe represents in the Arab world.

UPDATE: Al-Zaidi charged for throwing shoes in presence of Maliki, not for aiming at Bush

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Playboy Virgin Mary, Bearing More than a Child

Just when you stop thinking about something, just as it loses pop culture and post-modern significance and relevance, it pops back into the world's waking state.

Playboy. Who woulda thunk?

Playboy Virgin Mary
LOS ANGELES, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A nude model resembling the Virgin Mary on the cover of the Mexican edition of Playboy magazine, published only days before a major Mexican festival dedicated to the mother of Jesus, prompted the company's U.S. headquarters on Friday to apologize.

The magazine, which hit newsstands on Dec. 1 as ceremonies began leading to Friday's pilgrimage to the Mexico City shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, showed a model wearing nothing but a white cloth over her head and breasts.

She is standing in front of a stained glass window with the cover line, "We Love You, Maria" in Spanish. The model's name is Maria Florencia Onori.

I have to say: Good show, Playboy! Marketing gold.

Here's probably how it played out:

Marketing Guy's Boss: But the Virgin Mary? In Mexico? Before the Guadalupe thing?
Marketing Guy: We will probably have to publicly apologize, but we will sell every copy we print, re-assert our relevance to an internet-porn-addicted public in both spirit and print, and offend the sensibilities of people who have never and will never buy our magazine. Except now, because it's naughty, they might.
Marketing Guy's Boss: We totally have to kiss now. Then raises for everyone!
Marketing Guy: Just remember that lotsa saliva is never sexy.

Good for you, Playboy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Dress Up Jesus!

Can't quite get into that holiday spirit? Looking for some Xmas cheer? Christmas Jesus Dress Up is here to help!

Christmas Jesus Dress Up

This is your palette for a fabulous Flash app that allows you to build your very own Jesus in your image, adding features like a corn-cob pipe, snowman belly, and even a Christmas dress. I did not include all the costumes because the discovery of all the bits and pieces is more exciting in person.

Wait a minute?! Where's the Freddy Kreuger claw? you ask. How come no ball gag?

Simmer down, there, folks. Those buttons on the left will lead you to the Original, Celebrity, Holiday, Halloween, Villains, Oz, and BDSM Dress Up Jesus. No, I'm not fucking kidding.

Wait, there's more?

Yes. After you have your fun playing on the computer, you can kick over to this site and, as an answer to your prayers, make this joy manifest as fridge magnets. I know! Just in time for Xmas!

Thank you Normal Bob Smith; you have brought joy to this day and holiday season.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Music! Booth and the Bad Angel

What happens when you mix Tim Booth of James and Angelo Badalamenti, famed for composing the Twin Peaks music? Fabulousness. Enjoy.

Han Solo for Wildlife Preservation

Joking aside (just for a second), this Wild Aid / CAWT PSA with Harrison Ford is meaningful and striking for a very good cause. Take a look:

So who saw the alligator frozen in carbonite?

Han Solo Carbonite Alligator

Han Solo rules.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time for Jesus (or Hamsters): Walk on Water!

Again, from DVICE:

Indiana Jones Bracelet

Ever get in a fix where a 20 foot 550lb cable would save your life? Think that might happen in the future? Buy this.
The Survival Bracelet is made up of 15 to 20 feet of 550-pound test paracord. If you ever need it, simply unravel it and use the hook that's on one end. When you're done, you can send it back in to the manufacturer and they're rewind it back into a bracelet for you. Not a bad accessory for the adventurer on the go.

Survival Bracelet


Blagojevich Blowjob

Look at it one more time:


Anyone else see "blowjob?" Every time?

Maybe it's just me.

Yes, Virginia, there are idiot douchebags on both sides of the aisle.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Building Christmas

The Super-Luminary

This is my Christmas Tree. Every year, Mrs. Shambles - who spent a couple years decorating the trees in Cleveland's Galleria - wraps our five foot tree to the hilt, and every year it gets a little more intense and I have to run to the store to buy more lights. This year, we're up to around 1300 lights.

It is a wonder to behold. None of that half-assed couple strings to hit the ends of the branches. Mrs. Shambles digs deep and illuminates the entire tree.

Problem we had this year was we actually found a topper - a lovely star that actually shows up in the Home Depot commercial. It's something we've been looking for for years. This year, the topper and the end table we usually use are in conflict, as the 20 inch table pushes our lovely star into the ceiling. The table is necessary to make sure the entire tree is not lost by the 15 inches under the sill.

Result? Ricky Shambles, who is relatively handy, owns power tools, and measures everything twice before cutting has built a table. It couldn't have worked out better.

We had no time for a lumber trip, as I declared the build as soon as we ran into the problem. Measurements put our three-footed tree at a little less than 21 inches between toes and around that from the center of that point to the toe of the third.

By some miracle, I went into the basement to measure the only plank we had for the base of the table and it was 11" wide by 31" long. I almost peed myself. That means that if I cut 10" off the end, the resulting piece will be 21" and wide enough for the 2-toe support. Center the 10" piece and join it to the back and I've got another 21" to support the back toe.

I'm not going to go into more detail, but I've got a 5-leg table, built from leftovers from the last owner that, with a box of wood screws and some Gorilla Glue made the whole thing happen.

The Stand of the Xmas Tree

The slight bend in the front of the stand you see there is actually the warp in the board I was using. And, yes, I did compensate for that in the front legs so that all five are solidly on the ground.

Best building evar. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 08, 2008

I Am Not Dead - Just Took a Geek Vacation

Robot Chicken Nerd

I'm sorry - I disappeared for a while.

Last week was a kind of hell I have not yet known and I let the blogging slack.

You see: I'm a member of Mensa (I know, I know). We had a regional gathering this past weekend. I was on the board. I was speaking about the internets.

The lead-up was devilish and punishing, the work was ever-present, but damn I had a good time while I was there.

Sorry. Won't slack like that again.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cincinnati: Zoo + Creationism = Angry

Flying Foxes

We've got a pretty good Zoo facility here in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, they recently made a relatively horrible PR decision in attempting to hook up with the Creation Museum across the river. Fortunately, the locals here handed out an earful.
The Cincinnati Zoo and the Creation Museum launched a joint promotional deal last week to draw attention to their holiday attractions.

It worked, but not the way zoo and museum officials had hoped.

The zoo pulled out of the deal Monday after receiving dozens of angry calls and e-mails about the partnership, which offered reduced prices to anyone who bought tickets to the zoo’s Festival of Lights and the museum’s Christmas celebration, Bethlehem’s Blessing.

Most of the protests echoed the same theme: the Creation Museum promotes a religious point of view that conflicts with the zoo’s scientific mission.

Some complained that the zoo, which receives public support through a tax levy, should not become involved with a private museum dedicated to the teachings of the Bible’s Book of Genesis. Others said a scientific institution shouldn’t link itself to a place that argues man once lived side by side with dinosaurs.

“They seem like diametrically opposed institutions,” said Dr. James Leach, a Cincinnati radiologist who e-mailed zoo officials about his concerns. “The Cincinnati Zoo is one of this city’s treasures. The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock.”

The Creation Museum is still on my list of places I must visit and blog about.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Winks: Enamored with Canada

For those of you who have been following, I'm a crackhead but for Sirius instead of crack. Politics aside (yes, it happens!), I get my joy from CBC Radio 3 (Sirius 86), which is wonderful Canadian independent music station with a very low "tired" rating. Today I heard the Winks sing about my state.

This is a visual mash-up, but the audio is clean. Drink it in.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


This is Peter Orszag, this Tuesday, graduating from director of the Congressional Budget Office to Obama's choice as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Peter Orszag and his Wig

Perhaps with the pay increase, he can splurge on something that is not the epitome of the phrase "wig helmet." I don't know that I've seen a more obvious hairpiece, and I spent many years in community theatre.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Moment for Our Brave Canines

I get my share of email glurge, but this one showed up today, sans title, and hit me before I had my morning coffee.

Guam doberman memorial

It's a doberman dogs of war memorial in Guam: "In the battle of Guam, a Doberman named Kurt saved the lives of 250 Marines when he warned them of Japanese troops ahead. Kurt is honored by a life-sized bronze and granite memorial on Guam. Carved into the stone are names of 25 other Dobermans who gave their lives there."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fear of Death? Good News!

Alphabet Skull
(image found at ELITALICE)

I like to think I have a pretty solid grasp on reality. Unfortunately, part of that, from a spiritual perspective, means having some level of acceptance - or at least understanding - of mortality, that we all, one day, will be dead.

What happens after is, for everyone, a level of subjective conjecture. Nobody "knows" and the best chance at peace comes with faith that your flavor of afterlife is the right one.

But I don't have a real firm hold of my own mortality, although it edges closer at times like my grandfather's recent death. And while I have what I would consider a level of a conviction of the afterlife, I don't think there is anything that I'm 100% about; I always have questions, doubts. My current condition stems from a mix of leaving the Catholic Church at 16, mind-expanding drugs, and that vampire fascination I had so many years ago (um, Anne Rice, not that Twilight tripe), along with not believing all things fiction are necessarily fiction (remember, not 100%).

So, basically, it's fear of the unknown, that over-encompassing catch-all that causes so many problems in the world. I kid myself that I may not have to worry about it, that by the time I get old enough to worry, technology will have created a cure for just about everything. And then this story comes out, basically saying that:
Researchers believe boosting the amount of a naturally forming enzyme in the body could prevent cells dying and so lead to extended, healthier, lifespans.

The protein telomerase helps maintain the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes which act like the ends of shoelaces and stop them unravelling.

As we age, and our cells divide, these caps become frayed and shorter and eventually are so damaged that the cell dies. Scientists believe boosting our natural levels of telomerase could rejuvenate them.

A team at the Spanish National Cancer Centre in Madrid tested the theory on mice and found that those genetically engineered to produce 10 times the normal levels of telomerase lived 50 per cent longer than normal.

And my middle finger cranks towards that big guy in the black cloak because if we can kick that average up to 120, by the time we get there, we'll have mastered 160, etc.

Don't get me wrong; my vision of what happens after we die is much more fun and liberating than everyday life. But what if it all just goes away? "Death is part of life" or "Renew! Renew!" Sometimes they sound the same to me. That's why Logan ran.

(Yes, this entire post was a buildup to a mid-70's sci-fi movie reference. Snap!)

Ricky's Wisdom Today - 11/21/08

If we live our lives continually motivated by anger and hatred, even our physical health deteriorates.

      - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bush as Anathema

Think Progress had this vid up:

This is so sad, I don't know if I can even muster any schadenfreude. But it does show one thing: either every world leader is a douchebag who doesn't understand us or this lame duck POTUS has damaged the way the world looks at us and, specifically, him.

I have friends in different countries and have always heard that they love Americans and all things American - except our leadership. Our leadership sucks. I have to agree, and the past 8 years and this video bears that out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Annual Turkey Cruelty

This is undercover footage of an enormous turkey breeding operation in West Virginia, Avigen. Their website says "The spirit of innovation lives on." And by innovation they mean stomping on turkey heads and slamming them into other objects to kill them.

No boobs or swearing or human suffering, so I guess it's safe for work. Not safe for your mental health or Thanksgiving plans.

I had to turn it off after about a minute.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Funny-Sad in Cincinnati

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Homearama seeks less-pricey site

The Greater Cincinnati Home Builders Association has called off plans to hold its 2009 Homearama home show in the upscale neighborhood of Long Cove in Deerfield Township.
Hendricks said the lingering credit crunch and sluggish economy made it difficult for some builders and would-be home buyers to get financing at higher prices.

I would also guess that looking at very large, absurdly expensive homes in this economy might prove depressing:

"Hey, honey, let's go look at these homes we can't afford."

"We can't afford our home."


Ricky's Wisdom Today - 11/18/08

I almost just typed "09" in the year. Oh, it's coming.

Subhuti said: "If I understand correctly, one who wishes to reach perfect wisdom should study the way things are in the world and should practice the perfections fully and in depth but should not believe them to be ultimately real, nor should he make concepts and doctrines out of them."

The Buddha replied: "Just so, Subhuti. The one who contemplates existence in this way knows the nature of the conditioned and of the unconditioned and makes himself an expert in pointing out the truth to others, both with words and without words."

Subhuti asked: "But is this just for the wise and the intelligent?"

"No, indeed," replied the Buddha. "This is open to all, even to the dull witted and to those who can't pay attention. The door is open to anyone who wants to tread this path--but not to the person who is lazy and indifferent."


Monday, November 17, 2008

Staying Sane

Times Online have something to be said about staying sane and becoming happy:
Steps to happiness

Developing relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will enrich your life and bring you support

Be active
Sports, hobbies such as gardening or dancing, or just a daily stroll will make you feel good and maintain mobility and fitness

Be curious
Noting the beauty of everyday moments as well as the unusual and reflecting on them helps you to appreciate what matters to you

Fixing a bike, learning an instrument, cooking – the challenge and satisfaction brings fun and confidence

Helping friends and strangers links your happiness to a wider community and is very rewarding

Do you have time to do each of these every day?

Personally and recently, I'm finding myself a mess. I have a theory that if I just meditate every morning, do some sort of exercising or weight training, and smoke a cigarette, I'd be a much happier person.

Daily regimens requested from my readers: how do you stay sane/alive/in-the-moment (am I reaching too far?)?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jesus Jokes II

A crowd is gathering. A woman is screaming. They are pulling her to a post in the middle of the square, all of them collecting stones.

As they bind her to the post in the middle of the town, Jesus steps up, saying "You without sin cast the first stone."


Then, out of the back of the crowd, a stone whirs forward and strikes the woman dead.

Jesus looks around and says "Damn it, Ma, sometimes you really piss me off!"

Jesus Jokes

Jesus walks into an inn, slaps down three spikes and says "Hey, can you put me up for the night?"

The Living Room Paint Parade

As noted on a previous post, here's the process and results of our living room.

Shambles Wall Painting 1
We did our best to get the right color

Shambles Wall Painting 2
Seriously, we did our best

Shambles Painting Priming
We had to prime first

Avocado Delight
Of course, this picture doesn't do justice to the green

Obviously, it started as some sort of golden ideal, but manifested in what we found as "Sour Lime" but after looking at it like to refer to it as "Avocado Delight."

The problem with painting any room is that you have to deal with the light that reflects off that paint and defines that color to your eye. Our living room is not exactly bright, except when the front door is opened. So we have "bright closed," "bright opened," "cloudy closed," and "cloudy opened." For the evening hours - as this was going all the way down the hall - we have incandescent and compact fluorescent bulb light. This, should you ever have a similar experience, creates 6 different versions of what you put on the wall.

I think we hit it right.


Marian Call - Get This!

Marian Call is a favorite find of mine, a brilliant artist. I purchased her first album online.

And now she's got another album coming out, just for the nerds. That's right: NEEERRRRRRRDDDS!

And by nerds, I mean - or she means - songs that indirectly relate to Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. Totally hot.

You can hear a good example of what she does on her MySpace page. Check out the info on her new album here.

I Got This at IKEA

Not really, just a cute photo of my niece.

Ricky Shambles Niece

This Is Why Organized Religion is Defunct

Jesus painting
I swear my grandparents had this print in their apartment

Primarily, Catholicism is an absurd anachronism, a bloated, dying whale, flailing on the beach, an organization that promises the way to God but is, in fact, deterrent in its nature by the inherent structure of hoops and hypocrisy.

Let's look at South Carolina today:
A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

"Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.
What a fucking douche.

This priest is saying that if you support a guy who has an idea that is against the human-fabricated doctrine of the church, then you're just as bad as him.

Lest we forget that Jesus congregated with liars and thieves. His mission was one of love and compassion, not of structure and pomp, circumstance and silk robes. The Catholic church is running a show where very few take seriously their stance on birth control, many support the pro-choice movement, and just about everyone wonders why the phallocentric mastery doesn't whither a little and allow women to be priests. The last pope invoked infallibility, basically saying that God doesn't want women to be priests.

The Catholic church has lost Jesus, and God only lives in the churches because God lives everywhere. If God could put a sign on the Vatican, it would read: "Under Old Management - Salvation now found elsewhere."

Fielding Oral Sex

Today (names have been changed to protect the absurdly under age):

Little Shambles: There's a rumor going around about Bob and Sally, but I don't think it's true.

Me: Yeah?

LS: Yeah, everyone's talking about it.

Me (throwing out the inevitable): Is it that they're having sex?

LS: No, people are saying Sally gave Bob a blow job and I totally don't think it's true.

Me: Wow. Well remember that if you ever have any questions....

LS: I know, Dad.

Synopsis: My daughter is in 7th grade and today was the first time I've ever heard her say "blow job."


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Favorite Painting in Cincinnati

Earlier this year, I visited the Cincinnati Art Museum for the first time in my life. And I fell in love. With this:

The Midnight Mass by Edward Timothy Hurley
The Midnight Mass by Edward Timothy Hurley

Much more impressive in person, this painting struck me. Done all in deep blues with white highlights, a town in silence, covered in snow. That night quiet, every echo and word and scream muffled by the coating of Winter, I felt peace. And quiet. And sadness. Sadness because the only color aside from the blue/white wash was that church window. The only warmth was the parish.

And I didn't want to be there.

I identified myself with the observer, because - obviously - someone had to paint it. Late, alone, in the cold, and outside. I am that guy. Not because I don't like gatherings or don't like church (not that I do), but because I know inherently that I am not one of those people, in the cold, gathered in the church, at midnight. There is much more important work to do.

I just hope Hurley had a friend or two to drink a late glass of wine with while painting this.


A friend to see it afterwords. The painting was created alone. Quietly. With aid of a heavy coat and the padding of snow.

This is not the Grinch hearing the song of the Whos, but reality: no malice, no anger, but a somber realization that sometimes, just sometimes, it's okay to be alone, to be quiet, and to enjoy it.

Love it.

Disagreeing with Dems - Fairness Takeover

Lest anyone - gods forbid - think I am a left wing mouthpiece, allow me to hit on two things that have been mentioned in the media in the past couple days.

Dems Target Private Retirement Accounts
Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts — including 401(k)s and IRAs — and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.

Triggered by the financial crisis the past two months, the hearings reportedly were meant to stem losses incurred by many workers and retirees whose 401(k) and IRA balances have been shrinking rapidly.

Holy box of fuck, NO! Stop! I'm the furthest thing from right wing, jizz-clappy, Reagan-idol-worship, but this is not right. Ever. Even if all the money drains from every 401(k): wrong.

You see, when you take the initiative to invest in a retirement plan, you are given all the tools you need to make your choices. If you choose to NOT study up or take more risk than you should, then you're at a loss. If you invest in a low-yield, low risk funds that will weather this storm, you're in luck (honestly, if you're not retiring in the next 10 years, leave everything alone - you'll be back on your feet before you know it, or lose everything when the world ends in 2012).

But the Government does not have the right to take private funds and control them. Does anyone else have any other information on this? I'd like to hear it because the story scares the hell out of me.

The Fairness Doctrine

The right's chattering, the left has mentioned bringing it back. Stop. For the love of the hairy balls of Jesus H. Christ, stop this madness.

The fairness doctrine, for those who do not know, was abolished in 1987 as a way to present controversial issues in a "balanced" manner for anyone who has a broadcast license. After it was gone? Hundreds - nay, thousands - of political talk radio shows have been spawned, most of them polarized.

Right now, the right wingnutters hold the scepter of broadcast talk radio. And that's fine. Why? Two reasons:
  1. Would you prefer that political douchebags like Limbaugh and Hannity mask their abject disgust towards democrats and gays and, occasionally, colored folk or allow them to dump their bigotry for all to see?
  2. Liberals, for the most part, already own the internet. Why? I'm not sure, but it appears that the ingenuity and learning required to become tech-savvy beyond logging onto your AOL email or typing "www.google.com" into MSN's search box eludes these folks. TV is going to go digital and lose millions of viewers to confusion in about 2 months. If that ever happened to radio, goodbye Rush.

So note to democrats: Stop. During this election cycle, the Nazi right pulled a lot of shit to make us sound like government-takeover nutjobs.

Don't prove them right.

Blogging Pause Unpaused - Fam Painting

Looks like I've been out for a couple days here. Time just melts away.

Spent the weekend with my folks who were in town with one of my sisters and my niece. We went across the river to Newport, did some window shopping at the levee, spent way too much at GameWorks - for the kids, of course. Shooting zombies had nothing to do with it. It's like a Dave & Busters, if you're familiar with that franchise, although not as big. But you can still pay $50, convert your credits to tokens, receive tickets as a prize, and purchase $8 of crap for those tickets.

We also spent some time visiting some local restaurants because - seriously - Cincinnati has some damn good eats. We hit the Dilly Cafe (formerly Dilly Deli) and Bella Luna, which will show up on that other blog I manage if I can get my ass in gear to actually write something on it. I've also got to put Seny out there because - damn - that's some maxed-out quality on all levels.

Then the 'rents left and we were left with the big plan: paint. So after a Sunday of prep and Monday and Tuesday of painting, we're done. Painting at least. The saddest part was turning the OMG-My-Parents-Are-Coming pristine cleanliness into a dismantling so we can put it all back together again.

Before/After pictures updated here later today.

[UPDATE: See here for pictures.]

So that's my story. I know. I know. I missed you too.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Mountain Goats

You ever find out about something - a show or a band - and wonder how it was that you missed this and begin to question your level of competence when it comes to your understanding of popular culture? (Yes, that would include my post on Little Britain.)

I counter that feeling of complete despair and shame by - instead of burying it deep inside and hiding in the corner of my room in the dark - tearing it wide open for the whole internet to see.

The Mountain Goats - This Year

I would like to thank Dino Stamatopoulos and 44 days of Moral Orel for bringing me to the light.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We Did It!

Barack Obama

Our 44th President of the United States

I'm elated. Excited. Floating. Tired. Still on the tail end of a mild hangover. After the thrill of yesterday, after an emotional draining, today is a little low, held up by the "pinch me" reality that we got out the word we got involved and for some, they simply got out and voted. America has spoken. And I am proud.

And the rest of the world breathes a sigh of relief that in January, the USA will stop being such a dick.

Speaking of which, Bush had some interesting words of congratulations for Obama:
What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters.

You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself.

Yes, one of those great journeys of life that we all --wait. I guess it's one of those great journeys of life that only 43 people in the history of the world have gone on? Really; what the hell is he talking about? I will miss that big lug, if only for the comic relief.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008


h/t C&L

Election Day: Spot the Dirty Tricks

From the Obama Campaign:

Keep your eyes open. Ask questions. Don't accept fleecing. And look out for everyone. Just because it's someone else getting harassed by questionable people doesn't mean you don't need to speak up. Hell, even though I'm not expecting a lot of shenanigans in my polling place, I'm taking a camera and anything odd will get flash-photography. Protect your right and the rights of others.

Ignore the polls and make your voice heard. Vote. If it takes four hours, vote. If you have to get up at 5:30am, vote. If you have to argue or question then get in there, do your battle, and vote!

And, no, I don't care who you are voting for, though I'd hope you'd vote for Obama. But everyone has that right. Every citizen over 18 who is not a felon: VOTE!

Republicans and Blocking the Vote - a Couple Days Early

From this weekend:
Another day, another Republican attempt at suppressing the vote.

Because of the incredible interest and enthusiasm for early voting we're experiencing here in Ohio, Democrats called an official meeting yesterday to extend the hours for early voting in Franklin County [Columbus Area]. But two Republican members of the board -- Doug Preisse and Michael Colley -- refused to show up for the meeting, blocking the effort to help people vote.
Listen to the right wing on the radio, on the television, and they're constantly dismissing any idea that Republicans have any desire to suppress the vote. And then you look at their fucking deplorable actions. They laugh when we say they can be racist and wonder why all the African Americans aren't flocking to the right, yet the voting changes and restrictions and caging and scare tactics overwhelmingly disenfranchise minorities.

To the Republicans: this election is not about partisanship but about facilitating the largest voter turnout in a generation, allowing people to have a voice in unprecedented numbers. Putting up the wall now and on Election Day is exactly the behavior that will knock your ass out of the political arena. This time, there are a lot more people to piss off. And we will notice.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Real Life Parenting - Trannies

Little Shambles: You know X's mom is a lesbian?
Me: Yeah, you kind of told me that twenty times ago.
LS: Her mom's got a boyfriend.
Me: Hu-huh?
LS: He's one of those trans-genders, so he's really a lady.
Me: Uh-huh.

It only hit me later: is he really a male transing to female or a female transing to male?

Either way, it doesn't matter, and I'm kind of proud; my daughter didn't freak the hell out and raise an alarm. She just mentioned it casually. And I guess that makes me proud not just of her but of myself and Mrs. Shambles; we've fostered a open comfort level that allows our daughter to talk about trans-sex individuals without freakout "they're the devil" or other hate language.

Whew! I need a beer. Oh, there you are!

To: Obama and Democrat Fools

From Flickr via Brent-who-still-refuses-to-start-a-blog:

Obama Truck Sign Notice
Joe the Plumber Envy
Click for whole 4x4 experience

Even some of the pickup truck crew for McCain are already conceding the election - but not without unfounded fear and a little pout!

Pouty Time

Friday, October 31, 2008

Libby Dole: Hatin' n Lyin' on Kay Hagan

Having spent a few years in North Carolina, I almost puked when I saw this video:

Even if I had not spent any time in North Carolina, I would have almost puked.

The implication, obviously, is that Kay Hagan is an atheist and that is her voice at the end of the commercial.

So Hagan asked Dole to pull the offensive ad and Libby said "go pound salt." And now Kay Hagan is filing suit to have the ad forcibly removed: defamation of character, et. al. And good for her. Perhaps she could ad "socking Libby Dole in the kisser" to the resolution of the suit.

When conservatives conflate stories and imply false charges, it's "everything is factual," but if liberals skew the smallest detail: "Absurdist fabulist socialist Marxist Communist Nazi tofu-eating propaganda!"

I cannot wait to see the egg on the face of every Fox News troll next Wednesday.

[Side note: maybe it's the visual or a consistency issue, but the phrase "egg on the face" always reminded me of blowjob aftermath in a cheap porno. Anyone else?]

[Side note 2: did I just only now add hypocrisy as a label? Think it would come up more often...]

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obamercial = Obama-tastic!

If you missed it or chose not to watch it, do yourself a favor and hit that embedded video below.

It was well-produced, well-balanced, and well-spoken. I'm guessing it brought some folks down off the fence last night. I cannot imagine even the staunchest McCain supporter being at least temporarily aback by the video. Unless they were only half-watching while plotting to kill black people. Then maybe not so much.

Cindy McCain Claims She’s ‘Just Like Any Other Female Human’

Cindy McCain Claims She2019s 2018Just Like Any Other Female Human2019

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ricky's Wisdom Today, 10/29/08

If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die.

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Harvard Address

Palin Horror Pumpkin Show

Holy shit!

Palin Pumpkin

Political Pumpkins via C&L.

Did anyone ever see Pumpkin with Christian Ricci? Good damn movie.

6 Days to GO

I think that during the next six days, everyone better hold onto their colostomy bags.

Every bit of filth and fear and fakery will be flowing down the McCain pike as the desperation and desertion set in. McCain/Palin infighting, polls flying in Obama's favor, and this morning: McCain struggling in his home state of Arizona.

Election night will probably require a bottle of Jameson.

I'm already succumbing to a giddy nervousness, an excitement of anticipatory success mixed with a fear that the excitement of anticipatory success will turn to assumption and keep people home next Tuesday.

"I got that 'excited/scared' feeling. Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it's more - It could be two - it could be 98% scared, 2% excited but that's what makes it so intense, it's so - confused. I can't really figure it out."

Straight Talk Express

I saw a clip yesterday with a large bus pulling into an arena with McCain waving, the "Straight Talk Express" sign taped to the front, lest you forget. The bus was moving more slowly than the Popemobile, slower than a man using a walker.

Is this interpretation of the word "express" helping him?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Michelle Obama, Pat Buchanan, SNL

Pat Buchanan, getting all sanctimonious, spews forth drivel in asking What if 'SNL' mocked Michelle Obama?

Oh noes! They're making fun of teh Palin!

And then Sarah Palin shows up on SNL and in doing so, validates them, invalidating Buchanan's whiny argument before it was even made.

Lucky for Pat Buchanan, an answer to his question started making its rounds today:

Maya Rudolph
A "Saturday Night Live" alum could be coming back to spoof Michelle Obama!

The hilarious Maya Rudolph is said to be working on her impersonation of America's potential First Lady.

The SNL folks tell ET there's "no official confirmation" but her appearance is "likely."

So there ya go, Pat. Quit yer bitchin'.

In Short: Palin's Makeup Artist

From Huffington:
If Palin's $150,000 shopping spree had Republicans disgusted, then the report that her makeup stylist cost $22,800 for the first two weeks of October should have them livid. The stylist, Amy Strozzi, was apparently paid more than any other McCain staffer during that period.
What the hell are they doing over there?

Ashley Todd is a Damned Liar

Yesterday, if you missed it, brought us news of Ashley Todd, originally from Texas, who was volunteering for McCain in Pittsburgh. Something about getting money from an ATM, a 6'4" black man, her McCain bumper sticker, him taking her money and carving a B on her face for "Barack" and I guess he grabbed her tit too.

This is Ashley Todd after the "incident:"

Ashley Todd

As soon as I heard this story, my initial reaction was Fuckin' morons on both sides. And then, after about 30 seconds of stewing: This is a total hoax.

First off, if you have not noticed, Ashley's B is backwards, as though she scratched up her face in the mirror without the requisite intelligence pertaining to the magical properties of mirrors. And why "B" when "O" is the graphic symbol associated with Obama and his campaign?

Then the police noted she was inconsistent in her story. Then they noticed she was absent from the ATM security tape. Then they gave her a polygraph test.

AP, you're up:
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh police say a McCain campaign volunteer made up a story of being robbed, pinned to the ground and having the letter "B" scratched on her face in a politically inspired attack.

Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department's investigations division, says 20-year-old Ashley Todd is being charged with making a false report to police.

Todd, of College Station, Texas, initially said a black man robbed her at knifepoint Wednesday night and then cut her cheek after seeing a McCain sticker on her car.
Because the McCain camp needs a little more negative press about race. Schadenfreude is yummy.

McCain Backer > Craigslist > Creative Services

It has since been removed, but thanks to Jen, I captured it in time:

McCain Backer on Craigslist

It reads:

Ill be the first in line in a fight socialism melitia go usa

Why are the loudest voices the most ignorant?

Another nod to Idiots For McCain. Or for Obama. Or whatever the fuck he's saying.


Good morning. Ready for hate?

This is a link to ACORN's answering machine messages.

These are McCain's Supporters.

Click and do not drink any liquids while listening. You may just spit through your nose and then vomit and then punch the vomit telephone and then tear out to scream at your local RNC office, flinging fist/phone vomit on the person you speak with.

And, sadly, I keep hearing Cincinnati and the 513 area code. I only do what I can here; ignorance permeates the air in Southwestern Ohio. But I must also say that the Obama lawn signs are almost as prevalent as McCain. There is hope.

I fear for Barack Obama when he's elected in 12 days.

I fear for America.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sheep Go to Heaven, Goats Go to Hell

Rep. Virgina Foxx spoke about anti-American energy. "We're gonna pretty soon separate the sheep and the goats." Huh?

One of my favorite bands, Cake, has a lovely song about just this:

The Hackabilly Vote

DVICE has a great article/app that allows you to click on your state and see exactly how susceptible to hacking those voting machines that you'll be seeing on November 4th are.

DVICE link above: article. Click picture for app.

Ohio Voting Machine Ranking

Ohio? Not so good.

How does your state fare?

Wednesday's McCain, Republican Hate

Marcia Stirman
Angry, stifled woman afraid of teh blacks

From Alamogordo:
ALBUQUERQUE The chairwoman of an Otero County Republican women's group on Tuesday defended a letter to the editor in which she wrote, "I believe Muslims are our enemies."

Marcia Stirman, a 56-year-old interior decorator, also called Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama "a Muslim socialist."

A national Islamic group expressed outrage over Stirman's letter and called on state and national Republican Party officials to repudiate the publication of "anti-Muslim comments."

"Because these hate-filled remarks were made by a prominent Republican, it is incumbent on state and national GOP officials to repudiate her divisive and intolerant views," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Officials with the Republican Party of New Mexico had no immediate comment.

The letter ran Tuesday in the Alamogordo Daily News. It was titled "Why I'm a Republican" and listed 16 reasons for her party affiliation.

The list ends with Stirman saying Obama is "a Muslim socialist." She also wrote, "I believe war is a fact of life and we should always win."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain and the Lollipop Guild

I promised a Photoshop.

McCain Lollipop Guild

More Terrorism? How Low can John Go?

From last week, but caught this at Huffington (hard to keep up with all the RNC's desperate measures). This mailer went out last week from the RNC:

RNC Terrorist Front Image

RNC Terrorist Inside Image

In case you skimmed that first image, it is a photograph of a plane in front of an airport terminal (luggage gives it away, presents plausible deniability), so framed to appear as though it is about to crash into a building, viewed from inside, people in silhouette, imagery obviously composed to evoke 9/11 and - paired with the inside - imply that Obama supports the 9/11 terrorists.

What the fuck?

John McCain's response when asked if he agreed with this mailer?


John McCain has gone from respectable but un-electable to not-so-respectable adulterer to angry, hateful war-monger to today's new low rating of sad, sorry, desperate, despicable human being. Can we get worse? Is the next step killing Americans and framing Obama?

Would you be okay with this if you'd just given the RNC some cash?

The upside, of course, is that it proves McCain is a liar about running a respectable campaign while wasting time and money on hate which, according to all his own polling, is not what anyone wants to hear. Pull up the boots and keep digging, asshole.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wilkow Arguments

Yes, still more on Andrew Wilkow.

I originally wrote, after getting Sirius Radio, about someone I'd never heard about before: Andrew Wilkow. Why? He's a right-wing nutter and drives me insane some days. What do I mean by "some days?" I listen to him as long as I can stand because he's got a unique perspective, bases his many arguments in the founding documents of our country, and I respect his opinion even if I don't agree with it. Most of the time.

I'm still getting comments on my original post (most anonymous right-wing cowards with bad grammar skills), and one came through the other day that needed notice:

"How can you say Rush or Wilkow make things up?"

Rush Limbaugh makes shit up all the damned time, misappropriates stats to bounce his opinions, and cherry-picks quotes with inferences designed to fire up his ignorant, worshipful base. Talk about messianic. There are dozens of sites that'll give you a rundown; this isn't one of them.

But I figured Andrew deserved a little more. So I specifically listened to see if anything didn't quite jive. And, damn, shit just didn't jive.

It started with Andrew stating that the top three leading causes of death in America were smoking-related cancer, obesity, and promiscuous sex ("AIDS-related death" is what he said). While I have no reason to argue with the smoking-related cancer (and other problems associated with it) and obesity (and problems associated with it), but promiscuous sex?

I looked at the primary avoidable causes of death in America and compiled a list of references from the CDC, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and The Mayo Clinic.

They all list things like heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, flu, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and septicemia.

Where does that gay AIDS sex come in? It doesn't. If he was citing something, I could not find it, and everything that could be found wasn't even close. This would be one of those "made up" things, skewered truth to twist his argument.

But what was the argument? It was an argument against Universal, socialized medicine. Unfortunately for Andrew, Barack Obama's health care plan is not "Universal health care" as he repeatedly claimed.

The argument itself centered around how wrong the socialism aspect of health care is if someone who smokes or is obese or has promiscuous sex and taxes the system unfairly because everyone is paying into the same system but some people are getting more out of it. That, encapsulated, makes a bit of sense.

But where does the argument end when it comes to practical applications in a "perfect," capitalist-driven medical society? Well, kind of in the suck state it's in now: controlled by an insurance collusion where competition is not defined by gaining the most customers, but by cutting costs, dropping risk, and leaving even those with insurance unable to get the treatment they may need. We've got differences in cost for people who smoke and some creeping up for obesity. Next comes labs - high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. Then DNA. And then the insurance companies raise and raise and raise rates at will, cite whatever they want, and are unaccountable to anyone. Why? The Great Right Wing Deregulation Machine.

That's no way to keep people healthy. Our form of health care in America is a collapsing disaster. And socializing it could only be a good thing.

Why not? Every government employee is currently receiving socialized, government-controlled health care. Personally, I pay property taxes based on the value of my home and have equal access to services such as fire and police. Do they take into account whether or not I don't lock my doors or have a gas stove or an open fireplace or smoke in my house, all things that increase the chances of me requiring those services? Nope. Why? We live in a society where parts of it are already socialized. And those parts work pretty damned well.

And as for socialism, The Republican Vice Presidential candidate is governor of a state that holds socialized, collective control of the oil in the state and every resident gets a check cut by the state. Now that's socialism.

One final note on the show. Andrew Wilkow, railing against the red herring that is conservative ACORN scare tactics, asked "Why would you have to file one fake ballot?" What follows are actual facts:
- No one is committing voting fraud. That happens when you vote. Hence the name.
- No one is submitting fake ballots. See above.
- Employees of ACORN are not perpetuating an organized attack at the heart of democracy; they are idiots trying to pad their pockets, making this employee fraud.
- ACORN is the victim of this fraud.
- Not one fictional person, including Mickey Mouse, will show up to vote on November 4th because they do not exist in this reality, nor would they have a valid ID to match their fictional address.
- Federal law states that every voter registration collected must be submitted, even if it appears fraudulent.

This is a non-issue, and the fact that Andrew Wilkow took this tack, wielded the purposefully-confused righty rhetoric designed to grow fear, well that makes him nothing more than a tool on this topic, an appendage of the Republican Terror Machine. And while this example - mixing up the language, turning a non-issue into a scare tactic - is not him making things up, if he's as smart and "intellectual" as he says he is, he should know better. And if he does, then he's purposefully lying. And that's even worse.

Obama to be Tested. No Shit.

So Biden says something not just reasonable, but completely and utterly true: Barack Obama will be tested as President of the United States.

Why is that true? Because every POTUS is challenged. W was challenged by September 11, 2001 (and unlocking the oval office). If McCain were to be elected, he, too, would face challenges.

But McCain, struggling so hard, tugs at the hem of America's dress like a little dandy in a sailor suit, holding a lollipop, shouting "Mom, Maaaaam! Barack's not ready. Did you see that; even Joe said so, that he'll be tested. See Mom, I tolja so. I tolja. Barack's not ready. Mom! Are you listening? And Colin only likes black people too, Mom."

What an ass. Photoshop coming on this one.

Linktastica! Returns! Yay!

I finally took the three minutes to put together my famous blogroll, Linktastica! with the addition of Jennyfur's Sketchbook & Oddities, a delicious compliment of original art and photography from a friend and amazingly talented woman.

Sorry it's not the fancy blog-following list Blogger has that we can set up; when I've got an hour to load each URL individually, I'll get right on that, or: Hey Blogger! How about a bulk upload?!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama Bucks

Happy Monday; here's your daily taste of Republican racism.

Diane Fedele, the president of the Republican women's club in San Bernardino County, came up with "Obama Bucks," a representation of what food stamps would look like if Obama was elected:

Obama Bucks

LA Times got some surprising words from Diane:
"If I was racist, I would have looked at it through racist eyes," she said. "I am not racist, which is why it probably didn't register."

Club member Kristina Sandoval agreed.

"None of us are racists," she said.

The use of watermelon, ribs and fried chicken was innocent, she said.

"Everyone eats those foods, it's not a racial thing."
Diane and Kristina are either lying or stupid. I suspect they are lying. And stupid.

Luckily, the result of this stunt is only to fire up Democrats and destabilize any argument from the Republicans that "hey, we're not racists."

It's regression like this - oh, and Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama (YAY!)- that will keep the momentum up in these last two weeks and could win us the election.

Note I said "could." This is not over until November 5th. Don't get complacent; don't get comfortable; if you haven't voted early, get off your ass on the 4th and make a couple marks on a piece of paper for yourself, for America.

It will matter.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Palin Wrap-Up

Go here:Not My Gal. Follow every link, especially the Palin as President one, and watch every video.

It will make your day, probably your weekend.

Quick Note on the New Header

A great heap of thanks to those who have commented on the header - all with support.

Just in case anyone thinks I'm a little boy drinking a beer, I grabbed the image on the left of the header from Francesco Mazzola (Parmigianino), an Italian mannerist painter. This is called Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror(c.1524). (Thanks again Jen!)

I Photoshopped in the beer and flag.

Ironically, I knew none of this when I grabbed the image - I just liked it - and it turns out that Parmigianino means "the little one from Parma." I am 5'7" and grew up in Parma, OH.

Sometimes synchronicity is frightening.


Because after all the sad and all the bullshit and all the stress this week, a giant pink bunny is exactly what we all need. Rock it out Daily Mail.

Giant Bunny from the sky

Hey, that bunny looks pretty big.

How big is it?

Giant Bunny from Google Earth

Wow, that looks pretty big. Seriously; I'm not an albatross. How big is the damn thing?

Giant Bunny foot and creative team

Oh, so that's the bottom of one of the feet with the creators.

Holy shit.
A giant pink rabbit has been created in the Alps that can be seen from space.

Visitors are encouraged by those who made it to climb all over the 200ft toy sculpture and even sleep on it.

But the Austrian art collective who created the bunny were amazed to find that it is so large the rabbit can be seen from space via the Google Earth programme.

It is made of soft, waterproof, materials and stuffed with straw to make it comfortable to rest on.
Wolfgang Gantner of the Vienna-based art group, Gelitin, said: 'It's supposed to make you feel small, like Gulliver. You walk around it and you can't help but smile.

'We like to see hikers climb up the bunny's 20ft sides and relax on his belly.'
[The sign next to it] reads: 'Behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy.'

I wanna nap on the big bunny too.

Kentucky Locks Up Kid for "Terroristic" Short Story

You're just going to get a straight story on this one. I've read this story 3 times and I think I get angrier every time. Fire it up in the comments. Thanks Jen!

From LEX-18:
A George Rogers Clark High School junior arrested Tuesday for making terrorist threats told LEX 18 News Thursday that the "writings" that got him arrested are being taken out of context.

Winchester police say William Poole, 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police.

Poole told LEX 18 that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding. He claims that what his grandparents found in his journal and turned into police was a short story he wrote for English class.

"My story is based on fiction," said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge. "It's a fake story. I made it up. I've been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school over ran by zombies."

Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. "Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it's a felony in the state of Kentucky," said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

Poole disputes that he was threatening anyone.

"It didn't mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn't mention (George Rogers Clark High School), didn't mention no principal or cops, nothing,"
said Poole. "Half the people at high school know me. They know I'm not that stupid, that crazy."

On Thursday, a judge raised Poole's bond from one to five thousand dollars after prosecutors requested it, citing the seriousness of the charge.

Poole is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

Joe the Plumber Collapses McCain's Good Leg

If you watched the last debate, you are more than aware of St. Joe the Plumber, the Hail Mary that John McCain just tossed out there.

It was intercepted.

McCain could've gained some points on this if Joe buried himself after lying to Obama. But he wanted his 15 minutes.
He owes back taxes. He is not a licensed plumber. And it turns out that Wurzelbacher makes less than $250,000 a year, which means he would receive a tax cut if Obama were elected president.
As radio talk show host Ed Schultz just said, Joe is the "poster child for a low-information voter."

To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, Joe didn't realize that during your 15 minutes of fame, 12 of that is a media anal probe.

UPDATE: Joe's also apparently a cousin of Charles Keating’s son-in-law.

Al Jazeera in Ohio - More Hate

At a Palin rally in St. Clairsville, Ohio, Raw Story reports, Al-Jazeera, arguably one of the best news organizations in the world, got some very open footage of what many people think of as stereotypical Ohio: Obama, Muslim, negro, etc.

In defense of educated, civilized Ohioans everywhere, St. Clairsville is out in the sticks. But it's still embarrassing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time to Get Some Head

Hey, y'all. New header here. Critiques and/or compliments are welcome.

And how about that "follow" bit to the right? If you read regularly, or occasionally, hit me up. I love you all.

McCain Obama Futzfest, a.k.a. The Debate

I have already posted this at All Things Democrat, but it was so delicious, I had to post it here too. Please visit ATD and add your own wonderful feelings about, well, everything.

Here we go:

  • At the start, you could tell McCain was trying so damn hard to look at Obama, but succeeded only in mildly twitching while glancing at his chin and blinking like it was breathing. No MIB reference here. Seriously.

  • McCain's grip on the pen in the beginning was for dear life, succeeding in an apparent homage to Bob Dole.

  • Yes, John, Ireland only has 11% income tax, but they also have what's called a Value Added Tax or VAT, that shimmies just North of 20%, and added into the cost of the purchase of almost all goods. I swear he's getting his economic talking points from the cardboard side of a Happy Meal Box.

  • McCain has a close tie to Palin's minister's hunted witch in Kenya, because his plan is to magically increase home values while keeping people who seriously can't afford them in them. No, no, no. Do not ask how.

  • McCain's "If you wanted to run against Bush..." moment: Awwww! No you din'n, oh no you din'n! Obama, you jus got served!

  • Obama's reply: Sorry - I get Bush all confused wit his Toadie up in here. Damn.

  • Obama on McCain's claim on Obama's tax plan: "even Fox news disputes it." Cue the McCain O face. Wha-what?

  • Obama referenced a "vigorous debate like we're having tonight." Was he watching the same snoozer I was? The only thing keeping me awake was the residual meth McCain smoked before going on stage.

  • Obama takes issue with people yelling "Kill him!" and McCain retorts that he greatly respects his supporters. Ooh...sna...p?

  • In particular, I would like to hear more about the t-shirt that John McCain finds so offensive. Really, I do.

  • And he wasn't going to do it - you could tell. Hesitation galore. Then McCain pulled that nervous, knot-in-the-stomach, I've got to ask out my Jr. High sweetheart or they'll all make fun of me energy out of his pristine bowels and whipped out his Ayers and ACORNs.

  • Obama promptly cut them off, successfully nailing the issues, dead, to the floor for anyone who isn't a right wing nut job still suckling the Hannity/Limbaugh teat.

  • Obama went all subtly presumptive on us, talking about the connections and people who "will surround me in the White House." I kinda liked it.

  • Did McCain just call Palin a "bresh of flesh air?" That's kinda sexy in an old man / MILF low-budget internet porno kind of way. Wait. No. It's not.

  • McCain: "Iraq is united."
    Ricky: What planet does he live on?
    Mrs. Shambles: He lives on Planet Goiter.

  • McCain, unprompted, shouted "Climate change!" and after the question was asked, discussed Obama's unilateral renegotiation of NAFTA with Canada. I'm like a chocoholic but with politics (and booze), but this one: WTF?

  • Love aside for a moment, Obama has gotten much better at knocking out the "um"s but still has this mental work pause going on sometimes, where you move with the flow and (pause, hold your breath) there it is and pause again and okay. He'll have 8 years to work on it, I guess.

  • Dear John: don't push the "drill now" line when oil closed just over $70 a barrel because even at lowered prices no one can afford the sh*t.

  • McCain to Obama on south of the border: "Maybe you oughta travel down there." Dick.

  • McCain should've known better from back in the day when Giuliani was openly laughing at Ron Paul: all mics all the time. At least twice there was an impromptu, minor disruption of Obama's voice by some sort of Snuffleupagus half-snore, an attempt to clean out something obviously old and clogged and - dude, gross!

  • This wasn't necessarily related directly to the debate, but I love how conservatives are simultaneously shouting "Buy American" and touting that WalMart is the pinnacle of capitalism. Palin creating a(n obviously staged) hullabaloo buying diapers from China does not bode well for America or American jobs.

  • After seeing McCain's stiff thumbs repeatedly, noting McCain was a POW and saying a little prayer for his family, Mrs. Shambles noted "You know Cindy loves his thumb."

  • I liked how Obama kept talking into the camera, talking to the people. That was nice.

  • I didn't like how when McCain attempted to talk into the camera, his gaze was shifty and he didn't stick with it. I'm glad Little Shambles wasn't up; she would've had nightmares.

  • Leave Britney - I mean: leave Joe the Plumber ALONE!

  • McCain: How much you gonna charge Joe the plumber, heh, heh?
    Obama: Fee is zero.
    Cue second McCain O face, frantic scribbling: Beat Shmooby's ASS for not saying anything.

  • I made up Shmooby.

  • McCain: "except for those people who have the gold-plated Cadillac insurance policies that have to do with cosmetic surgery and transplants and all of those kinds of things." Gold? Cadillac? I do believe we're race-baiting again. Again.

  • Paraphrase of McCain's response to a SCOTUS litmus test: I would not impose any litmus test, but do not believe anyone qualified would agree with Roe vs. Wade. Perhaps he hasn't gotten to McDonald's this week to get the Established Law Happy Meal.

  • McCain, for the first time I've ever heard, proposed "Troops to Teachers." Really? Bring someone from a war theatre and plant them in the classroom, uncertified? Aren't we discussing the hard-line qualifications that teachers must meet?

  • Note for both candidates: Neither one of you f*c*ers has ever been a teacher. Bad teachers can be fixed if they want it. Why? Bad teachers aren't bad teachers on purpose (although I suspect some may have gotten lazy and some people are just retarded). In NC, you get into the biz at $25K a year and dump about 10% of that back into your students, 7% into a mandatory state retirement plan. Add extra college classes, conferences, continuing education, National Board Certification. Nobody gets into teaching because of the money, but because they believe they can help the future of America. So it's the teachers and the military: Help change the future and get paid sh*t. I'm sure I'm missing a few vocations - replies welcome. Okay, I'm done.

  • John McCain referenced Autism twice when talking about Sarah Palin's son, Trig. Was he afraid to say the word "retarded" or "handicapped?"

  • In closing, McCain said to Barack "Good to be with you...again." Can you not even say his name? Was "you negro" lingering in your brain so strongly that you couldn't continue the sentence? Might as well have reprised "That One."

  • Post-Coitus: McCain's "blah" moment in trying to journey to the other side of the table. This was my favorite moment of the debate and reminded me of that one relative at a family reunion - let's call him Uncle John - who is always just a dick. Then one day, either by Aunt Cindy's nagging or a spontaneous, genuine effort to not be a dick, Uncle John shows up and he's smiling, and he chuckles, and he even sticks out his tongue in this goofy show of exasperation. But something's off. He twitches a little. See, Uncle John has spent so much of his life being a dick that when he tries to to be genuinely good-natured, it just comes across as a socially awkward, fabricated facade that, ultimately, only serves to amplify the fact that Uncle John will never be anything but a dick.