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!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


My laziness knows no bounds. The light in the kitchen here at le maison du Chipper went out about 4-5 days before I headed out to the parental estate for Christmas, and I returned today to find my kitchen bathed in darkness again.

Here is the question: When will I replace the light? Keep in mind several factors:

1) The ceilings here in le maison are about 9' ft. and the fixture is one of those old fashioned ones that requires a screwdriver to take off the heavy glass cover.

2)Tonight's evening meal was Szechuan beef from William Ho's. But in the days before I left I cooked, every night, in the dark. So my willingness to put up with pain in the ass conditions in order to circumvent a small amount of work is powerful indeed.

3)The light in the fridge still works, illuminating my collection of barley pops. And the ambient light from the adjacent dining room makes it possible to find junk food, so I have found ways to compensate.

So, how long will it take me to replace the damn bulb in my kitchen? Give me your estimates. bonus points to anyone who can tell me where the phrase "barley pop" comes from.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Holiday bliss

I love my parents. I love them deeply and unconditionally. They are the greatest parents in the world. I say all this because when the trial comes around I am going to need character witnesses. So, once again, I love my parents...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twas the night

I originally wrote this for last Christmas back during the pre-blog era, I re-release it now with some addendums...enjoy!!!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, I had not finished wrapping, and was starting to grouse.

Shits, and goddamits, echoed down the hall, till finally an "Aw fuck it!" could be heard by all.

"I've braved the malls, and the big box stores, then I wrap all this crap so it can be shoved into drawers!"

People are generally polite and always say thank you, when inside they think "a sweater vest? pee-u"

We have been taught that all our problems, all of our ills, can be solved by presents, then we wait for the bills.

Holidays host family drama, with tension on tap, yet it can all be smoothed over with Chinese-made crap.

Yes, the Christmas spirit was dying little by little, and my grip on sanity was indeed very brittle.

Then suddenly outside there was a huge bang, I scampered to the window half expecting something with a fang.

Clad head to toe in leather with a Newport ready to flick, the person in front of me was in fact...Dick!

As he stood in the door I asked of his cheer, then he said "it's Christmas mother fucker, now where's my damn beer!"

Dick had become Santa's right hand man, yet because of his perennial naughtyness we never knew he was a fan.

With ale in hand I inquired of St. Nick, to which he replied "fucker crashed his sled into a house made of

We rushed to the scene hoping that we could do well, only to find a mangled Pere Noel

Santa's sleigh had crashed and things looked black, for the only thing that survived was an empty bottle of Jack.

However amongst all the gore and reindeer coated in lice, we managed to salvage a list of naughty and nice.

The bad list was long and it was easy to see, that the list was much bigger than it had been previously.

We perused the spreadsheet, and looked between the bars, noting that to Kerri's name was affixed five whole stars.

It was clear that Santa watches us each and every night, Ginesa's name was there and it was even spelled right.

Further down the list we found Will's name too, something about watching a midget eat a big pile of poo.

Ed had been very bad, this was plain to see, Santa had just laughed while he begged on bended knee.

And to my shock I saw my name as well, because according to Santa all heathen liberals go to Hell.

Skippy was good and it was not clear why, though we had always suspected he was some sort of spy.

Santa's replacement came down in a flash, and while watching him carefully Dick and I hid our stash.

He looked us over and knew we were up to no good, but his schedule was tight and this was after all, the hood.

As he raced into the night we knew he would never fully glean, the joy of having a list of every bad girl aged eighteen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This is absurd

Just when I think that my government has reached a nadir of arrogance and stupidity I came across this item. It seems that the Treasury Department has actually barred the Cuban national baseball team from participating in the upcoming global baseball tournament because it violates the archaic embargo we have against that country.

The entire idea around this tourney was to raise the international profile of the sport after the IOC dropped baseball from the summer Olympics starting in 2012. This tourney is a multi-nation, World Cup style event with the blessing of MLB, and featuring the biggest stars of the sport playing for their national teams. Also it is meant to highlight the popularity of baseball not just in the obvious places like the States, the Dominican Republic, and Japan but also in lesser known baseball hotspots like Australia and the Netherlands (there are a multitude of dyke-softball jokes here but I'm just going to let it go)

The bottom line is that a baseball tournament without any Cubans is like an accounting convention without any makes no sense!! Even more confusing is that we allowed a Cuban Olympic team into this country during the '96 games, so what makes this different? Why do we choose this topic and this time to hold the line? To the rest of the world our insane policy towards Cuba comes off as petty and childish, mostly because our policy towards Cuba is petty and childish.

In the 44(Hammerin' Hank Aaron's #) years that this embargo has been in place we have scooped a number of communist and autocratic nations into our loving embrace, but not Cuba because we allow a small number of senile old men in south Florida to dictate U.S. foreign policy. Now we have allowed them to once again embarrass the United States, their over-courteous host, and at the same time destroy any legitimacy that this tournament would have.

You have to admit though, 44 years of maintaining the same policy in the face of ceaseless, unmitigated failure takes a lot of balls. But have no fear folks because MLB and their fearless leader, commissioner Bud Selig, are on the case. They have petitioned the Treasury Department to grant a dispensation to the Cuban team ala the '96 games. I for one have a lot of confidence, after all when was the last time Bud Selig ever fucked anything up?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Good day

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus, and Friday he swooped down from the North Pole to give the United States an early present...its soul. On Friday the United States Senate bowed to the filibuster threat from our own Senator Russ Feingold and it did not renew the Patriot Act (AKA the North Korea Lite Act). Regular visitors to The View From Murray Hill will remember that yours truly first wrote on the filibuster threat by Senator Feingold back in November, when no mainstream media source reported anything about it at all. Which means I was out in front on this story. Can't write...basking...aaahhhh!

In all seriousness this was a great day for freedom in America. For the one thing that separates us from the Islamo-fascists is our dedication to human rights, due process of law, and civilization itself. Without those principles guiding us we join the league of regular nations. Where constitutions are written in pencil, and the midnight knock on the door is guaranteed not to be the pizza dude. Americans are known for their braggadocio, wherein the statement "The United States is the greatest country in the world" is not considered boastful, but rather a solid truth. But the problem is that they are just words, they have to stand for something. And the willingness to strip away the rights and privlidges of Americans by temporary occupants of high offices make those words empty and meaningless. The spirit of freedom and liberty that make up the foundation of this country have taken a beating in the last five years, but on Friday they got a nice touch-up job.

Senator Feingold, and his like-minded colleagues deserve kudos for their refusal to submit to the will of those who would like to see this land dissolve into a police state. There is much work to be done as was evidenced by the NSA domestic spying scandal that is now gripping Washington. But at least for now these words once again have meaning.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It is Christmas in America, and I feel like the Tiny Tim to Russ Feingold's Bob Cratchet..God bless us every one!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Death Penalty

So kindergarten Cop denied "Tookie" Williams appeal for clemency. I know, "yet another left-wing rant against the death penalty" is what you must be thinking but I might surprise. Tookie made his bed, shot it, and now he is going to be strapped to it, and I am not terribly upset about it. This is not to say that I don't oppose the death penalty, I do. However my opposition is not based on moral indignation, but is rather more philosophic.

I believe that society has a right to judge people and, in rare cases, kill them. But in order to dole out the ultimate penalty it must be applied uniformly and fairly aver all segments of society. Since that is completely impossible in this, or any other society for that matter, then it is fundamentally unjust to apply said penalty only where it is convenient for the state to do so. Much has been said and written about the fact that the vast majority of people on death row are black, while blacks make up only 13-14% of the population, this is true. But it is also true that almost all those who sit on death row are poor. The bottom line is that if you commit a murder, and you have the financial means to hire a competent attorney then you can avoid the death penalty, and in some cases, prison altogether. People often point to O.J. as the prime example of this argument, but there are thousands more just like him who avoided death row and didn't garner any headlines.

What happens is a system of selective prosecution grows where the ability to achieve a judgment for the death penalty, and the defense's ability to fight against it are paramount when deciding weather or not to seek such punishment. The severity and brutality of the crime are secondary in this decision-making process. Therefore a large segment of the population is de facto exempt from the death penalty, and that makes it unjust and unacceptable in a society where people are, at least in theory, equal before the law.

Or you could go a completely different direction. (and this is aimed at all those small-government conservatives out there) The death penalty is administered by the government. the same government that you do not trust to administer water fluoridation. Yet you are completely secure in allowing this same institution to hold sway over life and death?

Friday, December 09, 2005


As a resident airline geek I felt it was incumbent upon myself to write something about the shooting on an AA 757 in Miami yesterday. I felt I needed to however there was nothing to say...boring story. The most interesting thing I could think of was that the wife was from Milwaukee, and that the couple had lived here on the fashionable east side for a time in the 80's. Just imagine the guy from the picture with a mullet prowling the bars of North Avenue. That's all I had.

However I no longer have to write any of that boring-ass shit because this evening a Southwest 737-700 ran off the runway while landing at Chicago-Midway in the middle of a snowstorm. Continuing its slide through a concrete wall and onto a side street where it struck a passing car and killed a 6-year old boy. This of course threw the airline world into a tizzy. On the message board people were going berserk, and I just sat back and watched. People were losing it because Southwest's safety record is the envy of the industry, in that they have never had a fatal accident. Now many airlines have flawless safety records but only a select few have been able to maintain that record over a long period of time.

Qantas is a name that keeps coming up when safety records are mentioned because since Qantas was established as the Queensland and Northern Territories Aeronautical Services company in 1922, they have not had a single fatality on any of their aircraft. A fact made famous in the 1987 movie "Rainman". Many people online have argued that Qantas has had fatal events in the past but they confuse Qantas with two other companies who have had a few crack-ups, TAA (Trans Australian Airlines) and ANA (Australian National Airlines [not to be confused with ANA All Nippon Airlines of Japan which is still flying]) Who would merge to form Ansett Australian Airlines, which went bankrupt and shut down in 2002.
Despite Qantas' record it pales in comparison with Southwest's. While Qantas is older and has a worldwide route network, Southwest has had more flights. Qantas has had about 3 million, give or take, flight segments in its history (one flight segment constitutes one takeoff and landing) Southwest, on the other hand, while founded in 1971, has had about 11 million flight segments, give or take, mostly short hops.
Which is not to say that either airline has not had incidents. In 1999 a landing Qantas 747-400 overshot the runway in Bangkok and ended up on a golf course. It was pure luck that the plane did not hit anything that would burst the fuel tanks on its wild ride, and the pilots surely had horsehoes up their asses on that day. A landing Southwest plane overshot the runway (seeing a pattern here?) in Burbank in 2000, famously coming to rest next to a Chevron station. The CVR (cockpit voice recorder) heard the pilot say "well there goes my career" after all the passengers had evacuated. He was right, he got canned 3 months later.
So what do we make of this latest incident. Is it a crash? The plane will probably fly again. Is Southwest's rep. now tarnished ? No passengers died but a little boy in a passing car did. Let the debate begin.
And before you can say anything, I am already aware that I am a geek.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Don't let the door hit ya!!!

The Bravos and the Brewers worked out a deal that will send "pitcher" Dan Kolb back to the brew city for Wes Obermueller. What a deal! For Kolb I would have settled on a used wad of gum and an Arby's coupon!

It's not personal Danny we just need people in the bullpen who can, you know, pitch.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Air Bambi

The other day a woman in Charleston WV reported something slightly odd, she reported seeing deer falling out of the sky. I believe that statement bears repeating, she reported deer falling out of the sky. (wouldn't you love to be the 911 operator taking that call?) As it turns out deer actually were falling out of the sky, well from the top of a 5-story parking deck to be more specific. It seems this small group of deer had wandered onto the top of this parking deck, and believing that green pastures were just over the railing, they took a flying leap with predictable results.

The most amazing part about this story is not the flying venison part, it is the fact that there is a 5-story parking deck in West Virginia! Seriously, what is there that could possibly validate such a structure? Most of the cars in W.V. are on blocks to begin with. Your parking needs couldn't be satisfied with a truckload of gravel and some yellow spray paint? Oh well, at least the denizens of Charleston will be eating well. ...Country roooooads, take me hoooome. To the place, I BEEELOOONG!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Never a dull moment

Got to love life here on Milwaukee's fashionable East Side. Last night the bucolic peace that normally hangs over the greater Murray Hill-Lake Park-North Avenue-UWM metropolitan area was shattered by some crazy-ass shit. I was seated here in le maison, playing with Toshi (trying out some names for the new bucket of microchips) when I hear the high pitched squeal of brakes. Not unusual in and of itself mind you, but the squeal continued and got louder over several seconds. Then there was a crashing sound and people began shouting. At this point, in my capacity as self-appointed neighborhood busybody, I left my comfy cradle to go down to the street.

Pure bedlam awaited me when I got outside. This corky, who was driving an almost-new Corolla, was driving up Prospect when he slammed into an SUV on Bradford, apparently hard enough to set off his airbags. He continued undeterred towards Webster where he hit another car in the intersection. He got a few yards further on Prospect where he hit an oncoming car and then started banging between parked cars on either side of the street like they were paddles in a giant real-life game of pong. Needless to say surprise was a dominant emotion from the gathering crowd. We stood in disbelief at this moron as he continued to bounce off of one parked car after another for several minutes...then it got interesting.

The car finally stopped and one of the onlookers opened the door and reached into the car to pull out the keys. Corky was not pleased. He stumbled from the car demanding his keys. It should be said that balance was not this man's strong suit. He propped himself against one of the cars he hit (for the record Corky denied hitting anything, he even denied that his airbags had gone off) and continued to demand his keys from the onlooker. Fed up with the stalemate, Corky lunged himself at the man holding the keys and threw a punch, a punch that sailed through the air and failed to hit anything. At this point your humble reporter got involved with three other men and together we tackled Corky and held his writhing, cursing, and spitting form to the asphalt until the police came.

We held the man on the ground for more than 15 minutes. My first call to 911 happened about 10 minutes before we tackled the guy, and there were about 40 people standing around at this point, all of whom had cell phones that had been used to call the same number. Kudos to the MPD for their rapid response. Had Corky been black they would have rushed to the scene to get some wailing practice in, after all if you don't use your knightstick regularly you forget how.

Finally a squad car showed up, and Corky was cuffed and searched. I watched as a pill bottle and a bag of white powder were pulled from his pockets. Now I do not know what the white powder was. For all I know it could have been coke, heroin, or even Tide for that matter, but I will go so far as to guess that it was not the latter. Corky was placed in the back of a squad car, still writhing, cursing, and spitting. We all stayed around to give our statements to the police, and watched as the army of tow trucks moved in to remove all the immoblized cars. (the tow trucks were a hell of a lot faster then the cops were) Then it was a block party atmosphere minus the beer. We could have hit Corky up for his stock of refreshments but alas they were evidence now.

Everybody from the hood was there. The fresh off the boat couple from Australia, (welcome to America) the basement-dwelling yahoos from Elkhorn, plus the fat old guy from across the street who has no idea how to play guitar, but god forbid that stand in his way...were all in attendance. Nothing like a strung-out wacko behind the wheel to bring out neighborhood unity.

In the end all was well. Nobody had been injured and we all had a small break in what we all believed would be a dull night. And I went back to le maison thanking god that I had placed the Kimchee-powered love machine a block away on Stowell earlier that evening

Like a bad penny...

The king is dead...long live the king! While we still mourn the passing of our recently deceased laptop we cheer at this, the coronation of a new era in microprocessing, the Toshiba L25-S1194 (we need a new name). Certainly not the top of the line, but the best that could be found at the day after Thanksgiving sales in West Lebanon.

This is an odd sensation, having a computer that works. A keyboard that functions, web pages that come up immediately, and I have had this thing running for 20 minutes without crashing!!! A new record here in le masion du Chipper. I could get used to this. So now that I am up and running again that gaping void you have felt by the absence of my blog can be filled by more meaningless trivia, idiotic rants, and leftist propaganda. Rejoice!!!