Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween Mr. Hackles, Happy Halloween!

How fitting my first post arrives on Halloween -- honestly wasn't planned that way, but had to share my Halloween experience today. I thought it would be a nice respite from election talk.

I live in a small town where I'm happy to say they haven't caved in to political correctness when it comes to celebrating holidays, and Halloween is no exception. Unlike other towns which do not have any Halloween events at school because it offends 2 parents out of 5,0000, we have a Monster Walk every year. I went to see my daughter in it today and the joy on her face (as well as the other kids) really showed what this holiday is all about. Kids get to be someone else for the day, their favorite hero or princess, or even a rubik's cube.

So if you're so inclined on this Halloween, sit back and check out these pics of the Monster Walk and maybe relive some of your old memories -- check out the Hulk stomping around, Iron Man and Batman strutting confidently along, fairy princesses waving to the camera.

And not one Obama or McCain costume in the bunch!

P.S. My favorite costume of all? Check out the kid with the very cool homemade costume of Dr. Who's all time biggest villain....

P.P.S. I wanted upload the actual movies I took but they were too big so all you'll get are these crappy screenshots-- they still tell the story though..

Monday, October 27, 2008

youtube musings

In today's youtube world....

is SNL relevant? Is any television program relevant for that matter? Why watch a 90 min program when you can view highlights and bypass the whole?

if everyone posting their own reel is famous (i.e. getting their "15 mins"), is noone famous?

if all those youtube posters are exposing their hearts and guts and secrets, where's the mystery that makes humans so interesting?

if youtube viewers are only watching that which interests them or highlights of things that interest them, then how are they exposed to differing views/opinions/experiences that are other than those they have? (Yes, they could read a newspaper or book but recent stats say the majority of today's U.S. population is relying on the Internet for news, no longer reads a newspaper, and can't recall the last book they read or haven't read a book in the last year.)

How can we grow and evolve if we only ever cling to that which we know and are comfortable with?

Maybe "youtube" should be renamed to "mytube" since it's an exericise in self-centeredness?

Facebook. What's the point? I didn't stay in touch with you after high school for a reason. After we send the initial "I married/divorced/remarried/redivorced had kids/pets/a sportcar, I found religion/yoga/youtube/Facebook and realized that I am old and lonely so I'm trying to relive my glory years by reaching out to people that I was forced to spend 4 years with"
email.....then what? I'm not going to maintain contact with you just the same exact way I didn't maintain contact with you after graduation. Get lost.

I resent how much time I spend online. My occupation demands it. Blogging is a great productivity killer. I'd read a book, I'd rather be reading a book in fact, but I'd get fired for sitting here and reading a book (I've no easy way to hide a book beneath my keyboard or in my lap sadly). Has anyone else read John Crowley's Ægypt series? I read Little, Big each Autumn and find something new each time. I'm reading Lord Byron now and love it. I want to start Ægypt next and am looking for others comments.

sressot oaic

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Musings - 10/24/08

The global economy is collapsing. Now, here's sports!

Beyonce now wants to be known as "Sasha Fierce". No wonder the world is in a panic. I don't even know how to feel about this...I'm kinda dismayed and a little worried about the future.

The American Space Tourist and video game designer, Richard Garriott, returned to Earth today. Imagine spending $30 million to be able to fly into space. You'd think he'd just design a flight simulation game and keep the money. Then again, if he had invested any, it'd probably be gone by now...thanks to the global panic over Beyonce's name change. has a little photo gallery of famous gravestones (hopefully this is because Halloween is near...). One of the "famous" grave sites belongs to Barney Hill, Jr. No relation to Benny. Mr. & Mrs. Hill made national news by claiming they were abducted by aliens in NH's White Mountains in 1961. Had nothing to do with the fact they were an interracial couple in the 60's. Also, Ed Warren, the investigator of the Amityville Horror case is buried in CT. That's kinda cool.

Tom Cruise will roast Matt Lauer at the Friar's Club. Another jaw-breaking yawn.

Sarah Palin denies receiving approximately $150k in the form of designer clothes. Seriously. I mean, even though I'm all for bashing deserving politicians...this is ridiculous. I hope she did receive the clothing. I hope she comes around and confirms she did. And I hope she models them for Joe O. Really, though: leave...Sarah...ALONE!! ::sob sob::

Oil prices are (finally) tumbling. But OPEC really liked having amazingly huge profits, so they cut oil production by 1.5 million barrels. Prices dropped by 5% regardless. HA! Take THAT, OPEC. We'll show you.


Sony delays the release of a new videogame due to offensive soundtrack music. The offensive track in "Little Big Planet" contains passages from the Qur'an. That'll learn ya not to make this game available for the Xbox360. Instant Karma's gonna git choo.

The Rays have tied up the World Series with Philly, 1-1. All I want to know is why they're no longer called the Devil Rays. Other than that, my interest ends there.

Have a weekend,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bugatti. Poor Sarah Palin. Clinton. Impeachment.

Cynicism is in paragraph 2 so skip ahead if ur not into cars.

Has anyone seen the Bugatti Veyron?

Another supercar that will blow your mind and make your foot itch for the pedal. The Bugatti should be called something other than "car", as the word "car" just doesn't begin to cover what it is. "Car" reduces it to its many parts - seats, wheels, engine, etc. We need another word that really captures the pants-wetting, mouth-watering, hair-raising, knuckle-gripping, G-force inducing experience that this conveyance/experience/i'm struggling for a word here/supercar/steroidalcrazyspeedoflighteatmydustlosemylicense/fill in your own word will cause you to have.

As much FUN as it's been to poke at Sarah "wink wink nudge nudge" Palin.....she really isn't all that bad. Sad, but not bad. Yeah, she's not the best or most qualified candidate for VP, but what. Reagan and Bush Jr weren't all that qualified to be President and yet, one turned out to be great. The other, not so much. It's always a crap shoot when we elect an official.

But here's my point....this AM a newscaster was editorializing and he said "Sarah Palin is the most controversial politician of our era." And I thought, "Really? Aww c'mon. No Way." There have been so many others. Elliot Spritzer. The guy who went gay and dumped his wife. Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton - he lied under oath. He was impeached. He was a huge tool. HUGE. TOOL.

I really dislike Bill Clinton. I would nominate him for most controversial politician of our era (era starting somewhere around 1980, let's say for the sake of our argument). I think he's an unethical, lying, cheating, scum. I resent his abuse of power when he was Pres. I detest his whoring out the Lincoln bedroom and his wooing and kissing of Hollywood tush. He made me become a hard-core conservative (economonically speaking) and you could conceivably blame him for the reason that the rest of the country took a hard turn right as well. I could go on but I'm out of time.

Who would you nominate for "Most controverial politician" of our era (starting in 1980). Doesn't have to be a nat'l politico...could be state or local. Go for it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An unapologetic, self-serving post

Yup, you guessed it, they all link to ITwhirled...

Teen changes her name to URL for animal rights
Prince set the standard for bizarre name changes, but the former Jennifer Thornburg has done pretty well in her own right, changing her name to Cutout

Pyramid of morons: Hoaxee makes eBay cash off of own stupidity
Say, remember the poor fellow was was duped into buying a Bigfoot corpse for $50,000, only to discover it was an empty ape costume?

Quiz: In their own words
Who aspires to have the conversational ease of a bot? Who finds it difficult to be inspirational year in and year out? Who thinks the difference between major and minor isn't about features but about time? Who is a master of understatement on the state of the economy? Take the quiz and test your knowledge.

Top 10s
10 brilliant gadgets; 10 MacBook secrets; 10 ways to waste your time

100 funny and unusual 404 messages
Most commercial sites have figured out that their Page Not Found error pages shouldn't just be bare black text on a white background. But these messages go above and beyond.

Mom e-harasses boy who spurned her daughter
13-year-old sweethearts in Illinois went separate ways earlier this year -- but the young girl's mom seemed grimly determined that love would keep them together. She launched a barrage of cyberharassment at her daughter's erstwhile paramour and found herself in a mess of trouble.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

To Repeal or Not To Repeal: That is the Question #1 on the Ballot.

Being a Massachusetts resident, I was very interested in this year's ballot questions. Specifically, numbers 1 & 2:

1) This proposed law would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% for all categories of taxable income for the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

2) This proposed law would replace the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties, to be enforced by issuing citations, and would exclude information regarding this civil offense from the state's criminal record information system.

Question #1 is fascinating. Every where you go, you see ads, testimonials, interviews with 'experts' and a lot of political hand-wringing over the possibility of this ballot passing. The opposition has very deep pockets and is very much aware of how much money will be lost if this passes. Some theorists have speculated that all of the preliminary budget cuts and government job losses are merely rattling sabres, trying to show Mr./Ms. Average Voter that this is completely irresponsible and will plunge the state into dire straits.

Meanwhile, the proponents of the question basically want to make the State government more accountable for the millions of wasted dollars every quarter. Seems reasonable, and I like the idea of not paying 5% taxes.

But you know there's no way this will pass. The voters chose to have the automobile excise tax repealed back in 2003 and the house overturned that vote. About 2 decades ago, voters decided to not have to wear seat belts, which was overturned. Question 1, should it pass, will be overturned. So much for majority vote.

Okay, but what if it does pass, and makes it through? Then you can be sure that many state programs will be cut, including Medicare, education, arts...the usual victims. And I'm sure they'll boost the property tax just to pour lemon juice in the wound.

But does that mean you shouldn't vote #1? Don't look at me. I just think it's hard for this bill not to pass with the economy in the crapper.

Question #2 sounds like hippy liberals took a big toke and wrote a ballot question. But in actuality, it's not a bad idea. The concept is not to make pot legal...just to have the ramifications for having a joint not be so dire.

Check out Bill Hicks' point of view (strong warned).

I'm not a big drinker nor do I use drugs. But I'd much rather be on a subway train with a car full of high people than with drunk people. Anyone coming home from a Red Sox game will know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I thought the ballot was very interesting this year. Hope you did too.

PS...Question #3: This proposed law would prohibit any dog racing or racing meeting in Massachusetts where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs.

Dog racing? We're occupying Iraq and people are worried about Dog Racing?! Sheesh.

Actually, I hope this bill doesn't pass. I would like to see the State's income increase through casino revenues, and passing this law would be a step in the wrong direction. Or not. What do I know.

Friday, October 17, 2008

televised sports and a bit o'eye candy

Why is watching sports so much work? Am I the only one who thinks that the televising of sports makes it so much worse - long and drawn out, terrible color commentary - Madden - u mk me nuts), awful commercials, even the Superbowl ads were bad last year.
MLB: Nat'l league. American league. 9 innings. 162 games in a season. Best of 7 to win the series
NFL: AFC. NFC. 17 weeks of games each of which could run from 1hr45m to 3 hours. 16 games and then playoffs and then the big one.
Hockey: I'm tired just thinking of how many games and quarters then semi-finals until you see that beautiful shiny Cup lofted over the heads of the victors.

I really like sports. I do. Playing them and sometimes watching them but I think the Olympics with the endless heats, semisemisemi finals, etc left me a bit cynical about sports and the televising of sports. I am tired just thinking about writing the rest of my post on i'll just cut to the summary and (u can thank me for not going into NASCAR - don't post yer bs hate comments about the it or hate it, it's huge and it's here to stay as mucho marketing bucks have been sunk into it. European football - ditto.)

It's easier to play a sport than to be a sports fan.

Especially if you're a New England sports fan. Comments? Amy - can you get Eric to weigh in?

ok...this week's eye candy..... I can't find the Top Gear - Tokyo sliders piece I wanted so this will have to do. It's great on so many levels. It speaks to me on so many levels. These guys have mad skills but then I think...what a waste of natural resources and then I think...these guys are hilarious. My Dad raced cars. He intensely dislikes these guys and guys like them, with that bg, I have a deep respect for cars, what they can do, drivers and what they can do. But back to being entertained and cynical.....Can you imagine what they spend on tires? What's even more amazing... these guys all have HUGE sponsors. It's like "Wacky NASCAR" or NASCAR w/o laps.

seacrest out

no wait....some real eye candy...
Have you
SEEN this?? Of course not....but you should. The Lamborghini-Reventon. sigh. said to be inspired by the F-22 Raptor. Daytime running lights....7 LEDs per side. That's a crazy amount of illumination, but you'll need it as you're doing breakneck speeds on the way to your villa. Oh, and Kevin will like has a G-Force Meter. Damn.

Sarah Palin is a redneck. And this is a lame postscript cuz writing an inflammatory statement that you don't have any feeling about one way or the other (she might not be a redneck, frankly, yaaaaaaawn. who cares. she's as interesting as the wart on my dog's tush.) is like shooting fish in a barrel. c'mere little fishy.....

Friday Musings - 10/17/08

- Per Cheryl's suggestion, here's the last question from the last blog with a bright and shiny new blog post:

"Do you think if an atheist or deist or some other "ist" was running for office...would they be electable?" I'm curious about your thoughts.

- "Joe the Plumber" seems to be getting more press than either candidate. what a culture of reality television gets you.

- The Natural History Museum notes the discovery of the world's longest bug. If I found that thing in my house it certainly would be the world's flattest bug. (I went for the cheap joke there. Most of you know I wouldn't kill the buggy. I always wanted to be an entomologist).

- There's now a shortage of bananas thanks to a new diet fad in Japan. I have a banana right here on my desk which I will now be posting on eBay. :: fingers crossed ::

- Warren Buffet claims to be buying American stocks. If I had his disposable income, I would too.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Religion in Politics, Politics on Religion

I was commenting on Cheryl's comment in the "oasis" blog post below, and I decided to write some more about one of the points.

No, not about cars. Although I could. Maybe later.

The phrase "separation between church and state" is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, in reference to the first amendment of the Constitution. This amendment is often paraphrased as "freedom of religion". This means that the government should not draft any legislature that prohibits the recognition of a national religion, the government's preference of one religion over another or irreligion (a word, by the way, I needed to look up to make sure it was a word). I liked "non-religion" better, though. Less weird looking. But I digress.

The point being that the United States Government should not pick a religion over one or the other. Doesn't mean that a politician should be religious or practice a preferable religion. Basically, they can believe what they want as long as they have their constituency's values well represented. And the Government will not get involved with their faith. But the masses will hold this over the heads of electable candidates.

God is a very, very important criteria for a potential leader. I often wonder if an atheist or deist or some other "ist" was running for office...would they be electable?

I see Christian fundamentalists who scoff at having evolved from primates and that the literal word of the Bible is the true science in the news all the time. I read one article recently that stated that the Creationist Museum was drawing record numbers. They failed to mention that a lot of the people going there were expecting what I'd expect...a really funny place to be.

Listen, my beliefs are my own, but I would hope that if there is a God in Heaven, that he would hope that His most beloved creation, human beings, would be curious about their world and themselves and discover the origins of all. After all, God put a tremendous amount of thought in designing the laws of physics, biochemistry, macro and would be a shame to let that beauty go unrecognized due to blind adherence to the literal translation of a parabolic doctrine.

Perhaps that makes me unelectable. Oh well, there's always hope that people will evolve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Well, fix it dear Henry, dear Henry

John McCain's concept of the government bailing out financial institutions is fascinating. The homeowners who have defaulted on loans will be able to refinance with a fixed-rate mortgage through the government.

While I'm impressed with McCain's desire to help registered voters out of their variable rate mess, I'm a little ticked off, too. I have a mortgage which I pay faithfully. So should I default on my loan so I can be helped? I mean, is this all part of the "everyone's a winner" philosophy? Oh my, you were duped by the evil mortgage company...well, we'll help you out because it wasn't your fault you didn't read the fine print. It's never your fault. Everyone gets a gold star. When we're all winners, no one will be.

So back to me. I work very hard to be able to afford my home. Believe me, it's no palatial estate. It's a tiny Cape. Would I like to be able to buy a bigger home? Of course...who wouldn't? But I need to live within my means.

I wish I wasn't this aware. If I went out and bought my dream house with a variable rate mortgage, I'd be so damned happy right now. Mr. McCain, there a lot of us, the majority of us...we the dutiful citizens trying our best to keep our heads above water. Show us that what we've worked for isn't trivial.

Obama's position is that banks who are being helped by the bailout plan should refrain from foreclosing on a homeowner for 90 days on "good faith" to let the homeowner repay. I'm not sure what to think about this. I agree that if the institutions receiving billions shouldn't immediately re-cripple the economy. But again, what message does all this send? Of course, I'm still unconvinced that the bailout plan was a good idea.

Anyway, writing about this is keeping my mind off the Red Sox & Patriots losses. Well, at least until now. Sigh.

Friday, October 10, 2008

an oasis in the desert

Tom Brady injured.
Dow in the cellar.
State budget in crisis.
Propery tax is up, again.
A large % of our population admires Sarah Palin - a woman whose grandchild will be just a scant few months younger than her own newborn (on the "ICK, EWW" scale...that's like, ohhhh, say a "75". The Ick, Eww scale runs from 1 to 100 with 1 being "not at all icky" to 100 "ickiness of the supremest measure".
Oh, and as Joe noted, she says "nu-cu-ler". There is NO SUCH WORD. Don't believe me >

So, I'd like to provide a brief respite for anyone who is burnt out on all this bad news.

Some eye candy for the car afficianado:

check this out. Cool looking, isn't it? Can you see yourself zooming down the hiway in this? Here's the killer.... it's a Hyundai. Can you BELIEVE that? HYUNDAI
Their line gets sexier each year.

It's a rear-drive sports car that is TOTALLY affordable. $22K to $29K. Features are cool. Engine rocks. Ahh, some good news. I feel my blood pressure dropping.

Some eye/ear candy for the music/BBC/comedy afficianado:'s the cynical part in case you thought I'd gone soft....this little youtube tidbit should have some appeal for all the rednecks (aka uber conservatives) that loooooooooove S. Palin. And if after viewing this, you scratch your head and say "I love Sarah Palin but why should this appeal to me?" Well, what can I say? The rest of us get the joke.

Friday Musings

I have heard that you can only get really good bagels in NYC. I live in Boston, and have just eaten a bagel that was perfectly yummy. Are the bagels in NYC really that much better than anywhere else? Or is it just PR for a city that is basically a waking nightmare?

There were a number of movies that I missed this year that I really, really wanted to see on the big screen. I asked my good friend HorrorU if Hellboy 2 had been released yet. He looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

I am addicted to caffeine. If I don't have coffee in the morning I get a headache that even an overdose of Advil won't cure. A co-worker said that after a couple of days of headaches they go away and you're over the addiction. And the funny part? I resisted the caffeine-fueled urge to maul him. Hippy.

Speaking of hippies, remember when the Democrats were kinda like hippies? Yeah, good times.

Simon Pegg should be in every movie. And most TV shows. (He starred in a BBC comedy called "Hippies". Not as non-sequitor as you might have thought, there).

HorrorU and I were also talking about one of our favorite TV shows, "Angel". I realized the other day that the show really did jump the shark when the Connor character was introduced. I was in denial about this for many years...until I saw a few episodes on the morning rerun on TNT. I actually changed the channel to the news. Now I'm wondering what other favorite shows of mine are actually crap...

Every Friday I eat a bagel (see above) and pop over to for their Friday Sale. They have a Gold Box sale every few hours which posts a good deal on a particular item. The Friday sale is kinda the same thing, just a lot more of it. Kinda like with my revelation of "Angel" and my caffeine monkey, I realized that I'm also addicted to online shopping. I began to put things like wooden laptop tables, ground coffee and turbo nose hair clippers in my shopping cart when that revelation struck. I can actually save more money by NOT buying these on-sale items. Besides, my nose hair keeps me warm on cold winter nights.

Not too long ago, the aforementioned hippy and another save-the-mother-earth type were trying to out-vegetarian each other in our workplace kitchen. Nothing drives me crazier than two PETA members bragging about how you don't eat meat and how evil people who do, are. Of course, I jumped right into the conversation, saying that veal is so good that I think we should cage all baby animals and eat 'em that way. The look of abject horror was enough to make me smile for the rest of the afternoon. Smiling now, as a matter of fact.

Another workplace pet-peeve: you are NOT a hero if you fix something you broke.

Nuff said.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sometimes an elephant is just an elephant.

Recently, a bill was passed to help keep the country out of another Great Depression. The amount? A measly $700 billion.

Oddly enough, this will roughly be the amount spent on the Iraq war by the time Bush leaves office.

Can that be coincidence? Maybe. But I have my doubts.

Today, the National Debt Clock shown over Times Square literally ran out of digits. They had to replace the dollar sign with a "1" to represent the 10 trillion dollar debt this country has.

May I just go on record as saying how utterly thrilled I am with our current administration?

HorrorU (Joe O) and I were talking about this last night. When 9/11 happened, the entire planet raised their voices in support in going after the Taliban. There were no partisan politics. Everyone was on board. Let's go get Bin Laden and everyone who ever spoke to him. The whole world basically said, "Go get 'em. Sh*t, you know what? We'll even help you."

And then, what happened? Idiot Bush wanted to finish his father's war and get Saddam. Suddenly the war on terror became a farce and our country went from being universally supported to scorned. And we still have not exacted revenge for the NYC attacks.

So here we are at the tail end of the worst administration in history. The country is in financial ruins, we have made a mess of the Middle East (and, btw...Joe O is right: while we're freeing your country, Mr. about opening up those oil wells in gratitude?), and Bin Laden is probably playing with his Playstation 3 while scores of concubines tend to his every whim.

While the country is concerned with what Sarah Palin is going to say next, or if Obama is experienced enough to be Commander-In-Chief....and that Angelina Jolie has lost the baby weight, everything else is going down the toilet. Even Iceland is considering declaring bankruptcy.

The last thing I want to say is stop blaming congress, the senate. The buck stops at the president. Ultimately, he's responsible for everyone underneath him, and he's where you point the finger (your choice of finger, naturally).

Monday, October 6, 2008

well that worked

looks like the bailout plan worked well.

"hey...anyone notice the hole in the bottom of the bucket?"


Friday, October 3, 2008

So Who Won the Palin vs. Biden debate?

Sarah Palin pronounced "nuclear" as "nucular". The same way that idiot Bush does.

End of story, end of election.

A warm toilet seat

I was going to write a list of things that are acceptable, maybe even kinda nice at home but pretty gross anywhere else, but I could really only come up with one ... a warm toilet seat.

Anyone got another?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Am no longer interested in Palin or what's his face

I'm sure you're all aware of the debate that is taking place tonight, for non-presidential candidates (aka the slightly less popular kids). Tell me why it is tonight...please! Why did the Presidential debate happen on a Friday but the slightly less popular kid debates are tonight!?

Tonight is supposed to go as follows:

1. Pick Ava up, receive hugs and make her give me kisses.
2. Drive home singing Twinkle Twinkle or Green Frog Song.
3. Feed sudden monster who used to be my child food before she eats part of the table.
4. Watch the Wonder Pets.
5. Bath time, Jammies, Singing of lullaby and prayers.
6. Talk to Larry on phone.
7. At 8pm sharp The Office starts and we watch together over phone.

But no! No #7 for me tonight instead I will have to listen to Palin and what's his face bicker about who is better, and who can actually see Russia!!

I am not happy.