Chances are that if you are reading this you already know me. But if you are a stranger and you are looking for left-of-center political opinions, rambling, senseless rants, and coverage of the Atlanta Braves that can only be described as severely manic-depressive...Welcome!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Go Russ go!

I have never been more convinced that I was voting for the right person then when I cast my ballot for Senator Russ Feingold last time around. Aside from being right on most of the issues, he was the only one in the entire Senate to vote against the Alien and Sedition act...I mean the Patriot act. (bonus points on anyone who can tell me what the Alien and sedition act was) Now that the "North Korea Lite" act (I'm giving it a new name) is up for renewal he is threatening to filibuster by reading the bill of rights, over and over. Which is a good thing because if the Republican party has their way we may never be allowed to hear, or read it again!

Livin' like a refugee

Day 3 without a computer and I am currently hunkered down in the computer lab at UWM trying to stave off withdrawal with some internet time. Headed for the East coast soon where I will be mooching off the 'rents and their dial-up connection for the holiday, until then I have Tom Petty's "Refugee" playing on a non-stop loop in the 'ol cranium.

By the way has it ever been more clear just how bankrupt the entire Republican party is? They have nothing less. The entire Iraq war has been a disaster and we are now at a point where a growing majority of Americans think it was a bad idea to get involved in the first place. The Dear Leader's numbers are in the low 30's, so the strategy is calling. Instead of coming up with a plan, any plan, the Republicans decided that they would just call most Americans "cowards" and "unpatriotic" something that is sure to resonate with voters.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A death in the family

It was not unexpected. She was old, her keyboard had shorted out, the floppy drive had gone long before her, and she was riddled with every kind of virus and spyware there is. In the past year she had crashed more times than a senior pilot at Aeroflot. and at 3:15 pm CST on Wednesday it was clear, there was no life left in the Sony Vaio. She had come a long way since that heady spring day when she was brought home from the Best Buy in Nashua. She had seen the world, been plugged in to more ISPs then most computers knew existed, even been given the ability to display Japanese Characters. E-mails, fantasy baseball and football drafts, and porn, gobs of porn, she had handled more Asian pussy than a Korean chef...alas, no more.

She will be replaced of course, by a competent piece of machinery, a computer that won't leave me hanging when I have a paper due! But not until a suitable mourning period has passed. Until then we bow our heads.

Just play Taps in your head.

Thank you

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This little piggy went to market

This evening I traveled to the local Jewel over on Humbolt to do some long-put off shopping. After all, the take-out bills were mounting, and I needed to replenish my dwindling junk food stocks. As I jockeyed my cart through the produce section looking for the perfect Granny Smith apple, I heard a crackling interruption in the lovely, soothing muzak. An announcement then said…

“Nigger dial 501, nigger dial 501.”

Needless to say this caused me to temporarily halt my apple selection. I looked up and glanced around at the other people in the department. Surely I couldn’t have been the only person to have heard that. The old lady shifting through the onions didn’t skip a beat, and the fat woman with the screaming kid by the deli counter continued to drool over the potato salad unabated. I convinced myself that my mind was playing tricks on me and by this time my ADD had shifted my attention to a bin of MacIntoshes. Seconds later the muzak stopped again and I heard.

“Nigger dial 501, nigger dial 501.”

Again! This time I know what I heard, but alas I seemed to be the only one to have picked up on it. Was I crazy? Was I starting to lose my mind? Was Cuba Gooding Jr. really once an Oscar winning actor? Damn, there goes the ADD again. Perhaps it was the tone, there was nothing aggressive or nasty about it, just a routine announcement. It was almost as if they were calling for a Mr. Nigger who worked in the store. (the one in frozen foods, not the one in dairy, nobody wants to talk to him) At this point I became depressed over the general state of things. Were we really at a point in this society where somebody could shout a racial epithet over the P.A. in a crowded supermarket, and nobody would notice, much less object? Is this truly where we have arrived as a people? How low have we…ooh gummi bears!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Le riot

I will admit that I am not immune to a few rounds of “hate the French.” After all France bashing is as American as, well, French fries. France may have been right about Iraq, but they are still smug, self-righteous sons of bitches, and I confess to a little schiednfraude while watching a Le Car go up in les flames on le TV.

Still after 18 straight nights of rioting all France has to show for it is a bunch of burnt out Peugeots. And in that is something that we as Americans can take pride in because we riot better then anybody else on the planet. Seriously when Americans riot people get killed, buildings get torched, and somehow everybody ends up with a big screen. We don’t even need a Rodney King to go apeshit, just wait for your team to win the Super Bowl! Americans need to send some people from Compton over there as consultants to show them how to do things right. Nevertheless in the Gallic penchant for burning automobiles we may be seeing the true root cause of the violence. We in America are finally learning a truth that the world has known for some time…French cars suck. Mahmood isn’t pissed off because of discrimination, unemployment, or a general sense of malaise. Mahmood is pissed off because he drives a Renault! You would be too.

Quick, how many people does it take to drive a Citroen?
Three, one to steer, one to push, and one to surrender to the oncoming Mercedes!

This isn’t something we know in the States because French cars have been off the market for a good long while, primarily because nobody was buying them. However in most parts of the world French autos attempt to ply the streets on an even plane with Fords, Volkswagens, and Toyotas. The easiest way to learn to curse in another language is to travel to another country, seek out a garage that specializes in French cars (they will be plentiful) and just hang around. You will learn enough bad words to make Dick Cheney blush.

My personal experience in French automotive know-how came in the early 80’s when my father worked for the United Nations in Malaysia. The U.N. presented my father with two things…a brand new Peugeot station wagon, and Abu. Abu’s sole purpose in life was to maintain that car and ferry my father wherever he needed to go. Yet half the time my father was bumming rides off my mother and her functioning Honda. Try as he might, and Abu was a dedicated man, he simply could not get that station wagon out of the driveway on most days. Once again most of my bad Bahasa came from eavesdropping on Abu while he was under the car.

Thus far the E.U. has pledged 58 million dollars (or 300 Euros, depending on the exchange rate) to help rebuild in the violence-torn areas. That will buy a lot of Corollas.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Crash boom bang

A single-engine Cessna went down last night in an area near the Murray Hill-Lake Park-UWM-North Avenue metropolitan area. There was a thunderstorm at the time and the pilot (who survived) claimed that he was on approach to Timmerman airport. Ummmmm…little problem, Timmerman is clear on the other side of the city on the Waukesha county line, a good ten miles away. It’s also a few miles to the north as well. What’s more controllers at Timmerman were never contacted by the plane. So um, what kind of approach were you trying there buddy? No surprise that media reports today say that the pilot, David Betts, a 37 year-old Elkhorn resident may have been drinking. Drinking and driving is pretty much the unoffical state sport here in America's Dairyland. After all the state seal features a swerving '91 Cutlass with PBR cans flying out of the drivers side window.

I presume that although captian dipshit hails from Elkhorn he has no connection to the previously mentioned yahoos in the basement who also hail from Elkhorn, but perhaps we are seeing the start of a pattern. Just what exactly is in the water down there in Walworth County?

The crash occurred in the Riverwest neighborhood, just the other side of the river from the Murray Hill-Lake Park-UWM-North Avenue metropolitan area. Riverwest is a buffer zone between the fashionable east side and the more, shall we say, less genteel areas that predominate as you push into the numbered streets. Not quite the hood but the kind of place where you can get a $4 latte, and some crack on the same corner no less. A truly egalitarian area where pimps and yuppies live harmonioulsy, side by side. And to that we can now add a drunk pilot from Elkhorn, and a wrecked Cessna.

Friday, November 11, 2005

And on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month...

"In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Go team blue!!!

It's hard not to be happy about the results of Tuesday's elections, almost a sweep for the blue team. But while many people bask in the glow of retaining governorships in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as the effective ending of the Terminator's political career (guess he'll be available for Kindergarten Cop II now) it was the stories below the fold that give me reason to smile.

In Dover PA. where the local school board recently attracted national attention by endorsing the pseudo science of "intelligent design" all eight members of said board who pushed the measure through were up for re-election. Republicans all, they lost in a landslide. Each and every one replaced by a Democrat who pledged to bring science back to our schools. Good news for all of us who do not believe that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church.

In another resounding defeat for the psycho-Christians, the state of Maine voted overwhelmingly to retain the state civil rights statute that demanded that gays and lesbians be treated equally under the law. This law passed by the legislature several years ago was challenged by a number of churches (big surprise) who felt that gays and lesbians did not deserve any legal protection at Christian of them. Anyway the good, sensible downeasters said "nup" to the measure and gay rights took another step forward.

It was not a clean sweep however, but even when the right wing wins they're still losers. Take what happened in the Lone Star State. A ballot measure to define marriage as being between a man and a woman passed. But in their haste to make sure that the rest of the world knew that Texas stood against all them homos they had actually put forward a resolution so poorly written that it not only bans gay marriage, but invalidates all heterosexual ones as well!! So anyone holding a marriage license from the state of Texas, guess what...according to the letter of the law (as read using a good conservative "strict interpretation") is now living in sin! Paging Rev. Dobson.

Despite the momentum gained by these by-elections it is still too early to say if this will lead to victory in the midterms in '06. We are still talking about the Democratic party, an orginazation adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'm baaaaaaack

That's right bitches, back from California to drop some west coast love on y'all. Good times, good times, and I can personally testify that it is possible to fit five people and a dog in a Mini, but only in that freaky, California orgy style. So obviously this was a fruitful journey. More to come soon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Leavin' on a jet plane

So kiss me and smile for me
tell me that you'll wait for me
hold me like you'll never let me goooooo
cuz I'm a leeeeavin' on a jet plane
don't know when I'll be back again
oh baybeeee I hate to go.

Headed out to San Francisco this morning, and no I do not have a flower in my hair but I’m sure that I can pick one up at the airport. Excited for the trip, after all San Fran is a great town, with great eats. (If I play my cards right I won’t use a fork and knife until Monday)

I am also returning to the city of my birth today for the first time in almost six years. Yes, despite my rabid devotion to the Braves and Falcons I have not actually been around for more than half a decade, amazing. Anyhow today I will see Atlanta as most people see it, from the windows of Hartsfield.Airport. I am also excited to fly the 767-400 for the first time, (yes I am a geek but if you think I’m bad check out some of the winners under the link “my dork stuff”)

I will try to keep up the blogging over the next few days, but if there is some miniscule part that is destined to fail, and I end up in a smoking heap of wreckage somewhere please smite my enemies for me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


The house across the street from le maison du Chipper has officially sold and I just met the new neighbours. I use the commonwealth spelling because the new neighbours hail from Australia. Had a chat with Paul and Lisa this afternoon, Sydneysiders both they have recently relocated to Mil-ee-wah-kay. This is presumably so they can learn cheese-making secrets that they can take back to Oz and use to start a ranch full of lactating kangaroos. FYI, this may be the first time that the phrase “lactating kangaroo” has appeared in non-marsupiological (if it isn’t a word I’m making it so) context. Somebody should google that and see what they come up with. (it may be best not to do this at work)

I am excited about this development because it is my experience that Aussies and Kiwis are an overtly friendly bunch and they also make good drinking buddies. Perhaps I will get invited over for a barbecue, and a pavlova. Later we can drink some cans of bitter while we watch the footy. Then we can listen to the kookaburras sing while we go a waltzing Matilda down by the billabong. Seriously it’s cool to have new people here in the centre of the Murray Hill-Lake Park-North Avenue-UWM metropolitan area who aren’t some U-dub yahoos straight off the turnip truck (AKA Elkhorn, and this is in no way directed at those living in the basement apartment of the building)