Friday, November 9, 2007
Ever turned off the "moderate filtering" setting on Google images? It's a time-passer, I'll say. While arguing with my boss about the economy and taxes yesterday, I was looking for a chart showing the national debt since Reagan. I Googled some pretty innocent phrases like "trickle down" and found that pretty much anything you enter returns at least some porn.
In particular, the FX sector of the porn industry (Feces and eXcrement) seems to be exploding. Talk about supply side economics! Talk about your derivatives! Talk about a bubble that's certain to burst! And don't get me started on asset allocation and bell curves!
I know some people who could really get in on the ground floor just providing product to the FX sector of the dirty movie (now, don't get me started!) business.
Anyways. We're Googling away and, splat! "Did you see that? Did -- did you see that?" A naked lady making a doo-doo. What's that about? I mean, I'm not shocked, I'm not delicate, but I have to admit I'm dismayed. I just want to say, "Hey sexyturd.com, why are you so into the scatology? Why so literal? You're so into it that you've got your own website about it and -- I'm sorry to say -- you kind of hit people over the head with it. Over on the left you've got a list of recommended links to other poop sites. Are there any you rejected, or do you just accept whatever comes down the chute?"
Or maybe it's not an obsessive fetish, but just some guy (we know it's a guy, right?) who had a whole pile of photos of poop-covered gals scattered around the den and he just wanted to get them all into a relational table structure or searchable archive. Maybe he just thought, "Well, it's an enormous heap of snapshots. I can't just shit-can them." Hell, I looked twice at them, right? I'm the first to say I took a look. When I happened upon them. Unawares. In hindsight, I'm pleased to say I'm not in the targeted demographic for this material. And that my boss and I pinched off the taxation conversation and turned instead to social conservatism.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
If you're a Halliburton stockholder, you'll be happy to know the value is up – it was under $10/share in November, 2002; today it's just over $40. It seems to me if we could make it a crime for companies contracted for wartime goods & services to make more than, say, a 1% profit on those contracts this whole tent show might pack right up. I wonder what they charge us to FedEx a body from Baghdad back stateside – $5K? $10K? $50K? Whatever it is, the margin must be pretty good for the stock to have quadrupled.
So I channeled my anger over war profiteering into a bumper sticker of dissent.
But now, if you really want to see people honoring the Chicago Seven school of activism, take a look at this Code Pink protester, Desiree Farooz. This was earlier today just as the Secretary of State walked in to testify to the House Foreign Relations Committee that Iran is "perhaps the single greatest challenge to US national security." (Sound familiar?)
This photo is simply iconic (credit Charles Dharapak, AP).
Here, a little later, is White House Press Secretary Dana "Venti Cappuccino" Perino responding to a question about an innocent Canadian whom the US kidnapped and shipped to Syria to be tortured. He was held for a year until Canada was able to get him released. Perino couldn't comment on this particular war crime because – although it was perpetrated 5 years ago – she hadn't seen Secretary Rice's brief, shrugging, mistakes-were-made blow-off of the topic during today's hearing. In place of addressing that question, though, Perino went out of her way to say she thinks, based on "a picture" she saw, that today's Code Pink protest was "despicable." That's a word that means something ought to be despised. Indeed, for shame!
Even at $40/share*, Halliburton stock is probably still a good bet (NYSE: HAL).
*Advertised Halliburton share price does not include the value of your soul.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Why I'm moving the coffee pot out of my office:
“... so I don't know if I pulled it or pinched it. And I was thinking, ‘I hope I don’t have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.’ But anyway. That was. Not an issue ... Are we out of two-percent?”
Friday, September 14, 2007
A few fans of FlapScrap will sometimes wander to my little sister's little spin-off blog when they're scouring the internet for references to me. There was a dearth of those on her little site this past week or so (a paucity) after I showed her a photo of my friend's kid who is prettier than her little girls.
But yesterday all the lines lit up when, for sweeps week I guess, she dedicated an entire post to a bagel I'd recently discarded. That post inadvertently created a blog buzz when she also mentioned she'd pulled a couple of first-round promo poster proofs out of my trash for the upcoming Flapjack Thundercrack Smack-dab Can't Fail Off-the-Rails Yard Sale™, tentatively scheduled for October 26-28. When you rabid FlapScrapper hordes got an online glimpse of just a corner of that poster you launched a frothy clamor for more. Much, much more!
So, feast your winkers:
It's a first draft, but we usually stop there anyway to preserve spontaneity. Of course this poster is only one component of a major Yard Sale marketing blitz that will include all the conventional channels – print, electronic, direct mail, outdoor, pop-ups, ringtones, skywriting, shoutouts, and doorknob hangers – plus a few product placement surprises in the new season of "Lost." This particular poster is designed to be included in gift bags at the upcoming impeachment hearings.
This Yard Sale has been a dream of ours for a long time now. Some of the merchandise we'll be offering has been boxed up since we decided we couldn't live without it ten years ago in Eugene, before we moved to Richmond, before we moved to San Francisco, before our most recent move to Portland. With all the moving van miles this stuff has traveled it's got a bigger carbon footprint than a NASCAR night race. We're very excited to finally crack open the boxes, find all the bubble-wrapped stuff, carefully unseal and reveal it, and stick a round yellow dot on it: "$1."
I'm also thinking about selling fresh flapjacks and hotdogs on the sidewalk during the event ("Swine in a Sweater®! PIPE-ing hot!"), but discussions of all the details are ongoing.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I'm seriously considering a change in lifestyle -- more reading, more bike riding, less electronic media -- because I find that the more audio-visual stimulation I get, the more I want. It can become a little immoderate.
When I was a kid, my Dad watched the weather report every evening on the TV news. I know what you're thinking: he had to because he was a blimp pilot. But he wasn't a blimp pilot. And I'm the same way except instead of traffic & weather my drug of choice is political news -- and no, I'm not a Prime Minister.
On nine-eleven, when all the mayhem was unfolding, I was in our apartment in San Francisco with Jude watching news and flipping all around the web. Hour after hour after hour, watching that replay video and listening for even the slightest new piece of information. It was like drinking a lot of coffee on an empty stomach.
And I remember that evening we went out and had dinner in a restaurant. We felt a little weird about it, as if our going out for a meal was a violation of the sanctity of the day's events. But, walking around the City, we passed our local firehouse at dusk and noticed flags had been added to the trucks, and we saw candles in a lot of peoples' windows, and we found to our surprise that the restaurant was busy.
As I moved the salt and pepper shakers around, unrolled my silverware, and talked with Jude I realized that I'd spent most of the day preoccupied not with what had happened to all those people, but with what else might happen. I'd wanted an overview of the entire story arc -- how big is this thing? That's natural enough, I guess, considering that if the overall story were large enough it might actually affect my own life, or even death. But we'd actually done nothing all day and were exhausted by evening just from trying to find the beginning and the end of the story, like two ends of a huge, wet, tangled rope. Since the mission of news sites and shows is to find more news and keep you watching, you never find the end.
But walking hand-in-hand to that restaurant, looking at the candles and sitting with all those strangers, I felt for the first time that day that I didn't care at all what might be happening on CNN. I ordered the special, butternut squash ravioli with saffron, and a glass of wine. If San Francisco were to be attacked that evening and the restaurant incinerated, I'd find out soon enough.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Nine/Ten is the dark and holy day, fellow believers. Keith Everyman is putting a crease in his stonewashed Oscar DeLaRentas and striding down to face the judge. Head held high! Shackled! Wrongly accused!
What will transpire? Will Keith's machine-gun line of questioning cause Officer VonStrasburg to break down on the stand, mewing like a kitten? Although we can expect the mainstream press to continue to ignore this story, the entire blogosphere is watching this space for the exclusive poop on the matter.
UPDATE: DATELINE 09102007, 1230 hours
Keith showed up for court one hour late and missed his name being called. So he had to wait through all the other miscreants for the judge to re-address him. He scolded Keith for being late and, like me, Keith doesn't respond well to scolding so he made an excuse ("I got here at 9:30 [ed. note: it was 10:00] because I had to go back to my car to leave my briefcase [ed. note: HA!]"). The judge asked if that took 30 minutes. Yada yada, long story short: new court date in two weeks.
And you know what? You may have to follow this story on some other civil rights site because I was really kind of counting on it being over today. I'm already backing the Democrats and the Cubs; I can't take on any more heartbreak.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Just a few short days before his epic trial date, we contacted Keith Everyman to request a sit-down:
Would you be willing to answer a few questions regarding your upcoming day in court?
Peter Cojones, Newsman
Little Peter, I'm a man of few words, and the thought of answering questions for public review is a daunting one. The rationale that helps me find my voice is that the People need to know. I personally believe that our education like such as South Africa and The Iraq everywhere like such as ... and so that we will be able to help build up our future, for our children.
So we put a few questions to him:
Tell me, Keith, how you feel tonight.
Tiny Peter, I ate pasta stuffed with cheese for dinner tonight. The pan of water took a solid 10 minutes to come to a boil. Knowing that a watched pot will ne'er boil, I tried not to look and distracted myself by eating Cheeto's®, Frosted Flakes®, and two of those Zingers® - the red ones. I don't really feel that good.
Do you plan to put up a fight?
I'm hoping the judge and jury are reasonable, right-thinking folks who understand what it means to get their asses kicked.
Do you feel that you've had the breaks?
Well, I will say that I have a wide stance.
What would you say were your big mistakes?
Do you think that you may retire?
There was nothing wrong with the tires.
Did you think you would get much higher?
I don't understand why I let the things I did get so out of hand in the first place. I probably could have managed better if I'd had a plan.
How do you view your coming trial?
I view it on my calendar, between Meet the realtor and Call Jim & follow up.
Have your friends proved at all worth while?
My friends are a pack of scurrilous, indolent, slack-jawed mouth breathers. But I wouldn't trade a single one of them to save my entire family. Throw in a bass boat? Still, no.
Who's prettier, Anjelina Jolie or Sophia Loren?
Either one would have torn out of Strasburg without a ticket.
Care for a doughnut?
Thank you, yes, I might have one.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
My company's CEO, Mike Sherman, heard Tony had landed in Washington state but would likely be stuck there over the holiday weekend, so he sprang into action. He uses his plane to do "Angel Flights," a charity where plane owners run medical patients around the region. He told me that on Friday he'd be carrying a couple of patients up to Seattle, and that he'd love to snag Tony in Tacoma and fly him home. Numbers and emails were exchanged and, Friday evening, Tony landed safe and sound in Eugene. Thanks Mike!
Billie'd sent an email which went semi-viral, and so Tony was met on the tarmac by about 40 or 50 friends and family. Ladies cried, men cheered, and children waved brightly-colored flags. Tony made a little speech before we all headed out for pizza, and everybody got their first rock-solid night of sleep in a long while.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Word on the internets suggests that the
Here, we see one of many reports suggesting the imminence of an attack on
And look here this week, under the headline “Video: US Comptroller says That's on "60 Minutes."
That's on "60 Minutes."
Not mainstream enough for you? Not immediate enough? In the Dow Jones Financial News we see that an anonymous investor last week bet 6.9 billion Euros that European markets will drop by a third (read "crash") by the end of September, 2007. The keyword here appears to be "volatility."
Maybe it’s all just an orchestrated propaganda effort to stimulate the economy – hoping we’ll all go to Home Depot for plywood and concrete to build our shelters, and to Costco for canned goods to stock them.
Or maybe we’re really reaching the end of the new
Sorry to get heavy with you, babies. I see all this stuff, then I look out the window and birds are chirping, the sun is shining, people are saying, "How do you do?" ... just like that beautiful September morning back in 2001.
Politically, with the people of the
Friday, August 24, 2007
I took the train downtown last night to meet Jude, have a little Thai food, and ride home together in the car she drove to work. Heading home, as we got into the Ford, I tossed my novel in the back seat.
"What's the book you're reading?" she asked, very kindly.
"What is the What," I answered
"What's the book you're reading?" she said.
"What is the What," I answered.
"WHAT. IS. THE. BOOK. YOU'RE. READING."
It's a fictionalized account of the life of a Sudanese refugee turned U.S. immigrant, by Great Writer Dave Eggers. The story is really engaging, and the title is hiiiiiiiilarious.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
On his way out the door he also sent this note to his entire address book:
>From: "Siebers, Anthony R CPT TF 134, Civil Affairs, J9"
>Subject: I'm Coming Home
>Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 04:28:44 +0400
>Well my tour has come to an end and what a ride it has been. In a few
>short hours I depart Baghdad for my journey to Ft. Lewis, WA and then
>home to Eugene. I anticipate arriving in Washington State by Monday
>Morning (your time) and expect to touch ground at the Eugene Airport
>some time between Wednesday and Saturday.
>I really wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the support while
>I was over here. From care packages, Christmas gifts, Birthday cards,
>stuff for the troops, support for Billie and the kids and even just the
>emails to say hello, your support helped us through an extremely trying
>and nerve racking time.
>Much has changed in my life over the past year and I am not exactly sure
>what that face of change will look like to you all when I return. Above
>all, I hope, and believe, that you find a more humble, confident, proud,
>and thankful man who is determined to spend some quality time with my
>loved ones and use my experience to become a better Husband, Father,
>Son, Servant and Leader.
>Thank you again for the love and support! I am anticipating a time in
>the not to distant future in which I will be able to thank you all in
Let me add our thanks to his for all the thoughts, wishes and inquiries we've received during his (final, we hope) deployment. Now that he's returning I'm looking forward to crushing him at 8-ball and asking him, repeatedly, "Do you know how I know you're gay?"
By the way, if you're interested in what his assignment has been while in Iraq, Newsweek did an article on it here.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
With hurricane Dean blowing into Mexico about now, I'm reminded that just shy of two years ago we all – or most of us – saw Katrina gathering in the Gulf. (That's the Gulf of Mexico, not the Gulf where we sent the world's best military and a trillion dollars.)
A few days after the storm hit, a co-worker and I wrote a little song about it to the tune of The Who's "Athena." If you don't remember this terrible song and you want to find the groove, you can hear a snippit here.
Katrina, took my house and made me wait for FEMA
Feels like treadin’ water for a week with emphysema
Just one nudge from her and those levees were long gone
I get my galoshes on
She's just a whirl; Superdome
Katrina, I waded into Wal Mart to get some beans-uh
They chased my black ass out with an M-16-uh
And Dubya told us what the good folks need to understand
He said, "Brownie, you the man."
She's just a whirl; neo-CON. Neo-CON!
Well I seen her, churnin' up the Gulf like an angry 'tweener
With Condi out buyin' shoes and George roastin' wieners
And Dick's got his eye on the oil and all of the petrol gas
Is he a Halliburton psychopath?
She's just a whirl; the new EnRON
She's just a whirl; the new EnRON
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Like, who was the opposing team?
Sunday, August 5, 2007
When September 11 rolls around this year, would you like something to distract you from the fact that, since that watershed moment, our government has abused the sincere good will of the entire planet and has chosen instead to fear- and war-monger, and edge us ever closer to fascism?
Well I've got just the thing.
There is one man willing to stand up and fight the creeping forces of tyranny. There's a man who won't accept the slow, steady erosion of his rights. This man has a date with the dark side of the law: September 10, 2007. That's the day when our man Keith will go to court to dispute the speeding ticket unfairly administered to him by a pudgy town cop with a Napoleon complex -- I'll call him trooper VonStrasburg. Our young Keith was doing a little driving on a Sunday, helping poor people and heading to our Mother's house for a nice after-church dinner, when he was suddenly confronted with the demand to see his papers.
Keith handled the encounter superbly, asking the officer what type of equipment he had used to clock him, when it had last been calibrated, how fast the cruiser was going at the time. The officer responded with increasing annoyance and high-handedness, calling Keith "brother" while Keith called him "officer" and "sir."
I wanted to volunteer, "His name is Keith, your majesty. Like in Toby Keith?" but I kept my mouth shut and just took this awesome photo. Can't you just see the angry red marks those NASCAR shades must leave on his porcine little face? Oh, you've met this Jasper before. You remember this guy!
Come September 11, 2007 we'll know if justice still breaths in the Strasburg jurisdiction, for mighty Keith Everyman will have told it to the judge. In fact, he has vowed to die rather than pay this fine. At least I'm sure he'd vow that if you asked him, so don't bother asking him. Just watch this space and prepare to be inspired.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I was driving down Sandy Blvd yesterday and passed Pirate's Cove, a nekkid lady pub where the building is shaped like a two-story lil' brown jug. Although the place looked the same as it ever has, the reader board sign out front said:
I thought it was kind of funny and also, because I'm an idea man, I thought they should have tied the stripper and pirate themes together with, "YO HO HO" or something about the giant jug.
But anyway, I forgot all about it until this morning on my drive to work when I saw THIS sign next door to the State Motel and the bowling alley on 82nd Ave -- fully three miles and a hard right turn from the Pirate's Cove:
And thus my faith in humanity was once again renewed. Tonight my beer dollar goes to the very funny people at the Red Room.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Our week in Virginia with the family was soooo relaxing that, now, writing about it feels like a damn term paper. Fortunately, unlike term papers, blogs allow pitchers.
I did NAME my photo files so you can click on them and see my very brief thoughts, but that's as far as I'm going in terms of writing copy. For several people I didn't get a good photo (Ellen, Diane, me ... and Sue, who couldn't make it -- we missed you, Sue!).