Monday, February 28, 2011

What I've been doing

I've been surfing around looking at other people's old pictures. There's just a ton of stuff out there. The web is making history much more detailed. That is, if our new robot overlords don't delete everything.

Whatever else they might have learned from the
disaster preparedness drill; everyone agreed that it
was best to avoid getting hurt when Larry was on duty.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Get Off the Road

Don't know if they still do it these days, but when I was a teenager in France, (100 years ago) you didn't dare honk to get someone to move out of your way because the honked-at guy would stop completely and get out of his car to discuss it. Not to fight; just to hold you up even further by arguing about the honk. It seems that the old guy in the tractor is doing that here.

It's just so much more entertaining with light sabers.

Indiana Wants Me

OK forget that the song's story is: I can't go back to Indiana because I shot the guy because of what he said about you.

But regarding fugitive legislators, and making them come back to pick up their checks, why not change the rules and enact legislation that they can't come back? Call it the We Never Liked You Anyway Act.

But hey, they're Democrat politicians, Indiana will be kicking them out once they notice the liquor cabinet's empty and the dog is missing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Toolbox

I was listening to the White House new guy at the press briefing as I drove into Virginia today. They were going on about possible actions against Gaddafi.

Q: What about sanctions?
A: it's in our toolbox
Q: How about a move to have them kicked off the UN Human Rights committee?
A: yup, it's in our toolbox
Q: And how about a no fly zone?
A: toolbox...

And then one of the reporters with a foreign accent asks "Yes, yes, you've got all these things in your tool box. But when are you going to use anything from your toolbox?" (with a touch of exasperation in his voice)

What a great question. I wish I had tivo for the radio so I could save this sort of thing.

On and on it went, toolboxing everything, and vowing to do what George Bush didn't do: to wait for a consensus of nations. I can translate that: we're not going to do anything Obama could be criticized for. And I can break that down: we aren't going to do anything of substance. The toolbox will get well dusty before this president opens it. All he's going to do is make symbolic gestures.


Hypocracy, Thy Name is Capuano

This is the same Capuano who joined the tea-party-rhetoric-is-dangerous bandwagon and said, on the day after the Tucson shootings: "What the hell is going on? There's always some degree of tension in politics; everybody knows the last couple of years there's been an intentional increase in the degree of heat in political discourse. . . . If nothing else good comes out of this, I'm hoping it causes people to reconsider how they deal with things."

BTW, he's really butching it up, isn't he? I'll bet in his real life he gets manicures and hires others to peel his oranges.

h/t: JT

When life was like a story,

holding neither sob nor sigh,
In the golden olden glory
of the days gone by.

The Obama face is the 'staring off in the distance gloriously' one, btw. I had so much fun oldening it up, I went on far longer than needed. (clickabiggen)

Those Were the Days

"Everyone quiet! Shhhhh, I'm about to become fabulous."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Top 45

I have to get out of here so I don't have time to go through them, but here's the 45 sexiest First Ladies of the United States.

I'm not exactly a math guy but I'm mathish enough that there have only been 44 US Presidents so something isn't scanning. I think Tyler, Cleveland and Wilson got married while in office, but did their wives die during their presidencies?

Anyway, what matters: Were there 46 First Ladies and this is just a way of getting around naming the ugly one? Or were there only 45, and this is a way of saying they were all knock-outs? Maybe the point is that guys will click on any link that contains the word "sexiest".

(BTW, Above is Margret Taylor, who was one of the pretty ones in her day)

Only Evil When You're Not Looking

I generally get the salt shaker out when privacy advocates start complaining about Google. Do I care if Google knows that someone from this IP shops for bulk hydraulic fluid? Nope, I don't give it a second thought. But this is a little creepy:

"Doodle-4-Google" is so much more than an art contest. Sure, the game, which received 33,000 entries last year, celebrates "the creativity of young people" by having them send in a drawing under the theme "What I’d like to do someday …" But, there's another component, as well. It also helps Google collect some very personal data on students K through 12. Along with the submission, the contest's initial Parent Consent Form asked for the child's city of birth (not current city, mind you), date of birth, the last four digits of the child's social security number, as well as complete contact info for the parents. Bob Bowdon, who directed The Cartel, a documentary about corruption in the public-school system explained the significance:
You see what Google knows and many parents don't know is that a person's city of birth and year of birth can be used to make a statistical guess about the first five digits of his/her social security number. Then, if you can somehow obtain those last four SSN digits explicitly — voila, you've unlocked countless troves of personal information from someone who didn't even understand that such a disclosure was happening.

If the information Google culled from the contest was linked with other databases to target ads, it could prove lucrative for the company, which enlists promotional help from schools by offering prize money. But Bowdon says he has no evidence that Google has used what it learned for marketing purposes.

OK so looks like Google overstepped in their information gathering. So they'll apologize and never do it again, right? Well no; Google responds:

This year we started accepting doodles from kids even if their school hadn't registered for the contest. To help us keep entries distinct and remove duplicate entries from any particular student, we asked parents for limited information, including the last 4 digits of a student's social security number. We later updated our forms when we recognized that we could sufficiently separate legitimate contest entries while requesting less information. To be clear, these last 4 digits were not entered into our records and will be safely discarded.

The city of birth helps us identify whether contestants are eligible for the contest, as winners must be either U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents of the U.S. The information isn't used for any other purpose.

What? an e-mail address wouldn't be identification enough? And wouldn't it be easier to check your winner for citizenship after they win, rather than check every contestant? No, Google, it's obvious you were gathering data, and "Oh, we gathered that by accident" won't cut it this time. Stop being creepy and evil guys.

(I post this with some trepidation, because
AWL has a pretty good Google page rank. Would they downgrade me because of criticism? I wouldn't think so, but up until today I wouldn't have expected them to be data mining children.)

Not So Smart After All


Union Story from Last Year

James Taranto :

The Wisconsin government unions' war on the taxpayer reminded us of this story, which appeared last August in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
The Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association has filed a civil suit claiming that MPS' [Milwaukee Public Schools] exclusion of Viagra and other drugs that treat erectile dysfunction from its health insurance plans constitutes sexual discrimination against male employees.

In retrospect, this was the first clear sign that unions aren't as potent as they used to be.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shaun in Wisconsin

Remember Shaun of the Dead? Isn't this guy a dead (har) ringer for Shaun?:

I only photoshopped the zombies. Shaun was already dead (har) on.

Goat Dancing

Don't try this at home. I jumped for half an hour before I remembered that we don't have a goat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Doctor's Notes

Know where my devious mind went when I heard about the doctor's-note-factories at the Wisconsin protests? I immediately thought of the people who have noticed a medical problem but haven't yet been to the doctor to have it checked out. Why not show up for a free screening on the street corner? If the problem turns out to be serious down the road, and the street doctor didn't follow through on your care, you've got a dandy lawsuit against a doctor who has no records of what care was given, what was said, or even who was treated.

No, I never would do such a thing. Not even condone it. But that's where my mind went when I heard about the note givers.

And here's the thing about doctor's notes. In my days in the IAM union I was required to do the doctor's note kabuki every time I missed work. And it was a total sham; you showed up at the union favored doctor, waited an hour to see the doctor or nurse for five minutes, and picked up your note. No great deception was required to abuse this system. In fact, I would spend my hour's waiting period to imagine conversations with the doctor that could possibly end with me not getting a note.

Really, the process was a gigantic waste of time and resources. And I feel for anyone who has to get a doctor's note in order to take a sick day. But doing pretend consults on the street corner and lying about your symptoms (wink wink nudge nudge) just shines a spotlight on a broken system that does nothing to stop people from going fishing when they should be doing their job.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Planet Chant

This is one of my first videos, reposted years later.

And oh what the heck, since it's short, one more:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good Clean Fun

Good exercise, and you don't have to rent special shoes.

Photoshop Unneeded

I picked this picture because it had space for two signs, though I suppose it could have been done on one large placard. "You can't balance the budget on our backs; we need our backs to carry your money." I decided to use this one.

But anyway, better than the photoshop is what I noticed while fiddling with the original. Notice anything?:

That's right, "Our only dispute is with ____________________"

It makes me wonder how many different people and places have shared that blank space. The "only dispute" space. Somewhere there's a utility room with thousands of this protest form letter. Get honest boys, your lowest common denominator works in all of your disputes: "We want more money and power"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Broken Away

Ahmadinejad, pumping up his supporters in uncertain times:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked Barack Obama on Friday, saying the American president "doesn't even know how to spell his own name properly."

During a visit to Bushehr ahead of a scheduled rally in support of his regime, the Iranian leader said, "Obama wants to rule the world, but he can't even control his own emotions."

So once again, Ahmadinejad flips off the president who has been olive branching him since the election. Then it struck me: Obama is like Dave in Breaking Away:

Although he has no job and doesn't know what to do with his life, he is a champion bicycle racer. He idolizes the Italian cycling team so much he pretends to be Italian, much to the chagrin of his parents, especially his used car salesman father, Ray Stoller, who just doesn't understand his son....

...Dave's main immediate focus is that the Italian cycling team have announced that they will be in Indianapolis for an upcoming race, which he intends to enter to be able to race his idols. After an incident at the race, Dave, with a little help from his parents and unwittingly by actions of his friends, has to reexamine his life, what he really wants to get out of it and how best to start achieving it.

The "incident" at the race was the derision he got from the Italians, culminating in one of them jamming his spokes and making him crash. In the movie, Dave has an epiphany and no longer wants to be Italian.

Obama still wants to be the Euro-Sino-Muslim messiah no matter how many times they jam up his spokes. He needs to quit wearing berets and start respecting America's allies, because he's never going to be an Italian, or a Mullah, or a Chinese philosopher.

Two Things

First, from the Google cache, because the page is unreachable right now:

[Milwaukee, Wisconsin] MacIver News Service – For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000.

That staggering figure was revealed last night at a meeting of the MPS School Board.

OK, so that's what the Wisconsin kerfuffle is about. You want to argue that you're a victim, fine; but it needs to be noted that you're a particularly well paid victim.

And second, this:
Civil Rights activist Jesse Jackson led protesters Friday at the Capitol in civil rights-era chants and called the protest over Gov. Scott Walker's union cuts "a real Martin Luther King moment."

Good grief Jesse. MLK fought against real oppression. Your claim that this is "a real Martin Luther King moment" is a pejoration of what he stood for.

Save the Starving Teachers' (unions)

I guess they still have trouble with the concept of being broke:

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor, of unleashing an "assault" on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would nullify collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

Somehow the United Auto Workers created a perfect storm:
They sucked GM dry and killed it. They should have suffered the fate of any parasite that kills its host, but this president stepped in (with our borrowed money) and they wound up owning part of the company. We couldn't afford GM, and we can't afford to bail out every state once their public employee unions have sent them the way of GM.

If the state of Wisconsin is going broke, it's no "assault" to try to get the budget under control.

Wisconsin teachers salaries happen to be available online. A random sampling, by age, because teachers' pay is done by seniority, not merit:
32 year old, total compensation: $79,000
57 year old, total compensation: $89,500
61 year old, total compensation: $103,000
57 year old, total compensation: $118,000
58 year old, total compensation: $110,000
41 year old, total compensation: $103,000
42 year old, total compensation: $105,000
I'm not saying that these teachers are overpaid. I'm not saying they should take pay cuts. I'm just saying that they're not going to starve if they temporarily give up the right to coerce more out of a budget that everyone can agree is under water already.

Here's a question for Wisconsin teachers to ask themselves: Do I need a raise so badly that I'm willing to raise taxes on neighbors earning less than I do?

(full disclosure: Lumberkid is planning on going into teaching)

One Too Many

Kids. Har!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good, Bad, and Good News

If you guys don't take this thing seriously, you're
going to ruin the whole caliphate. Now knock it off.

The good news is that Egypt seems to be cooling off. Bad news: a key Iranian protest organizer was reported missing today. Also good: the Administration has quit arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood is the equivalent of the YMCA, only without the Village People's song.

photo via

Misc. Found

Because on the internet, nobody can hear you stealing images (from several places):

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For No Particular Reason

The Sailor

Meanwhile, in Iran

What are the chances the President will speak out in support of Iranian citizen protests? Actually, I'm impressed that he let Hillary comment on it.

How silly, but how predictable, letting your (hoped for) reputation in the Middle East dictate your stand on Middle Eastern issues.

One Thing the President Said That Was Right

If the greater Middle East joins the democratic revolution that has reached much of the world, the lives of millions in that region will be bettered, and a trend of conflict and fear will be ended at its source.

The movement of history will not come about quickly. Because of our own democratic development -- the fact that it was gradual and, at times, turbulent -- we must be patient with others. And the Middle East countries have some distance to travel.


Sorry, there was an image mix-up on the above post. This is the image that was supposed to be included with the quote:

If the greater Middle East joins the democratic revolution that has reached much of the world, the lives of millions in that region will be bettered, and a trend of conflict and fear will be ended at its source.

The movement of history will not come about quickly. Because of our own democratic development -- the fact that it was gradual and, at times, turbulent -- we must be patient with others. And the Middle East countries have some distance to travel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Say What You Mean Niall

Niall Ferguson schools Morning Joe:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I'm not going to pretend that I knew much about Egypt before this latest kerfuffle, but it seemed obvious that we should have been working behind the scenes if at all.

Mubarak was our guy, and when it became obvious that he was going to face civil war if he didn't step down, we were right to urge him out. Mainly because it wouldn't help our cause to have "our guy" murdering civilians in the street. But our urging should have been over telephone lines and through diplomats.

Obama looks for all the world like a guy who picks sides once he's sure who's going to win. In Iran two years ago, an oppressed citizenry got no support or encouragement at all. And the Iranian regime was many times more brutal than Mubarak.

(best bit: at the end when the cameras pan across the sad faces of the Joe-panel)

Happy Valentine's Day Everybody

My gift to you. I call it What the Heck is Wrong with My DNA?
also, there's:

My leg, he's a tingle.

oh why not...

Berry Berry Tareson

Watch it while you can


h/t: Lumberbrudi

Monday, February 14, 2011

Found Stuff

That last one looks like a fun one to use to personalize family photos.


Saturday, February 12, 2011


John Boehner needs a PR expert ASAP. Compare these stark trees to the halos that still get manipulated into Obama shots. These photos were taken outside the White House, so I'm sure the Speaker had no choice in location. But he could have said, "You know what, it's cold and miserable out there in the Forest of Despair, why don't we speak to the press when we get back to our offices." Then set something something up with good lighting and dark wood paneling in the background.

In fact, it wouldn't hurt to set up accidental halos along the walls. Put so many in the background that the press has to contort themselves and stand on their heads to get Boehner in a shot where he doesn't have a halo behind him.

"Come with us into the Forest of No Return."

photos via Daylife

True Dat

“The problem with Internet quotations is that many are not genuine.” - Abraham Lincoln


A Fine Departing Gift

It's true, all great men have a copy of this photo. I should have known it couldn't remain 'my thing' forever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Magic Trick

Doctors say that it was the President's fierce determination
to continue the illusion that caused all the damage. "I will,
now, attempt to, just a second here, ugh, ouch, ok... fiddle dog
pie monkey car find sunny gumbo Charlie sliding muster."

Let"s Move

I knew Michelle Obama and I would eventually agree on something:

In fact, I'm way ahead of you on this one:

Let's get-er-done.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood

Well, this is a confidence builder. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that the Muslim Brotherhood is "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular," in Egypt. A largely secular group with the motto: "Islam is the solution"?

OK so a PR guy comes back later to say: “To clarify Director Clapper’s point - in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation – he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.”

But regardless, the Muslim Brotherhood from last year in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood we get in the next six months may be two different animals. By the time Mubarak steps down, Iranians may be calling the shots.

Why couldn't Mubarak have made concessions back when they were just protests, not riots? He is 82 years old and stinking rich. No, he had to start cracking heads, and beating people to death. Sadly, that seems to be the way of the Middle East, and parts of New Jersey.

He's Ruined Every Picture

It's always gotta be about the llama, doesn't it?


Came across these while looking for Obama photos to manipulate. Some of them are pretty interesting; give a look.


har at here

Found and Found