Monday, October 30, 2006

Too Strange To Be False

I caught this story through today. It's about a man in Ohio who is suing a discount drugstore because, he claims, a tight pair of orthopedic shoes cost him three toes so far, and possibly more. He says that the shoes were mis-sized, and he was told that they simply needed breaking in. Okay - first of all, you're buying fitted orthopedic shoes from "Discount Drug Mart." I guess I can accept the whole wanting to save money thing (I mean, I'm an engaged grad student - I know what it's like to be short on money). But still, Discount Drug Mart? Can't you at least spring for Famous Footware or something? Second, you would think somebody would be smart enough to figure out if your shoes are so tight as to start causing this kind of damage, you should probably stop wearing them! We're not exactly talking rocket science here - hell, we're not even talking high school science!

I think we have an excellent candidate for the Carlos Mencia video I posted.

UPDATE: TUESDAY 10/31, 12:50PM

We have another person to add to this list. reports (here) that an Orlando Magic fan has been banned from all NBA games for the season because he called Huston Rocket's center Dikembe Mutombo a "monkey." The fan says he simply used "poor judgment." Gee, ya think?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Long Day

So tired. I've been here at work since about 7:30 this morning (AZ time, so 10:30 eastern). I'm still here at 5:30. And I have at least another two hours to go. And today was not one of the days when I spend half my time just reading. No - it was real work today. At least this means I can put in a few less hours on Friday and spend time with my fiancee and one of my friends from Colorado who's coming down for a visit. Thank the gods I still have some coffee in the pot in my office.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Words, words, words

A little while back, I was involved in a debate/argument with someone over the whole "Islam is not a religion of violence" thing (read my thoughts on it here). During the course this debate/argument, one of the things which became increasingly clear was that we were using the same words without speaking the same language.

For the last few weeks, I hadn't really given this debate any further thought. But today I came across an article on which brought it back to mind. This article takes on this problem of language, what Jurgen Habermas might describe as "systematically produced misunderstandings." CNN senior producer Henry Schuster's piece, "Words in War" does a far better job of explaining the problems associated with using the word "jihad" than I was able to. I wish I had this handy during my earlier debate (not that I think that person would have really changed their position, but you never know).

Herbert Spencer once wrote, "How often misused words generate misleading thoughts." After all, words carry with them more power than we often realize and, as such, need to be treated with great care. Once they leave your mouth (or fingers in this case), it becomes hard, if not impossible, to get them back.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Randomness for October 18, 2006

Random Quote: "All you teenagers out there. The big mistake you're making is that you listen to all that bad advice from kids your own age. You should listen to your parents. They’re entitled to give you bad advice." ~George Burns

Question of the Moment: Where did I put that book?

Current Mood: relaxed
Current Music: Lucero, "On the Way Back," Rebels, Rogues, & Sworn Brothers

Fall in the Valley

It appears that fall has finally actually arrived in the Phoenix Valley. How can I tell? Well, there are a number of signs.

  • The a/c is not running constantly.

  • You can sit outside in the day without wanting to set yourself on fire to cool off.

  • People are leaving their windows open all day.

  • You think about putting on a jacket or wearing a long sleeve shirt in the mornings and evenings (you probably don't actually do it, but you at least think about it).

  • The D-backs are done; the Coyotes have started; the Suns are about to start; and the Cardinals have proven that they, once again, suck.

  • You can drive around without your a/c.

  • Sitting outside actually sounds like a good idea.

  • You open the sliding glass door and close the screen door on your porch - resulting in your roommate making a fool of himself by walking into the screen door when he goes out to smoke.

  • The number of "trust-afarians" (young adults, usually white, who dress and try to act like rastas/hippies, but have rich parents who will send them money while they try to "find themselves") increases on a daily basis.

  • The snow-birds are starting to come back.

  • You hear tourists say "You know, I could stand to live here."

  • You start to get both hot and cool water from your taps.
There are other signs, of course, but those are the ones coming to mind right now.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How Much Must it Suck to be Neil Rackers Right Now?

Honestly, how much must it suck to be him right now? For those of you who did not watch the Cardinals/Bears games last night or the Cardinals/Chiefs game last Sunday, Rackers has missed game winning/game tying field goals two weeks in a row now. Last Sunday the Cards were down 23-20 with 2 seconds left on the clock. They lined up for a 51 yard field goal to tie the game. Admittedly, 51 yards is a long field goal, but Rackers is more than good enough to make that kick. And then last night, the Cardinals were down 24-23. Matt Leinart had done his part getting the Cards within field goal range, setting up Rackers for a 41 yard with 53 seconds left. And he missed again! The Cardinals, a team who is almost always competing for bottom of the barrel, almost beat Da Bears, who won the game without scoring an offensive touchdown all night. I just hope some over zealous fan doesn't try to do something stupid to him - and believe me, even the Cardinals have some over zealous fans.

UPDATE - 1:11 PM, 10/17/06
As part of the fallout from last night's game, it was just reported that the Cardinals coach Dennis Green has fired offensive coordinator Keith Rowen. He has appointed quarterbacks coach Mike Kruczek the new offensive coordinator. Green says that he is talking to Rowen about what other position he might agree to in the organization.

UPDATE - 8:00 AM, 10/18/06
I just saw this quote on An Arizona Cheesehead's Thoughts and decided it had to be shared!
"I really admire the optimism of the Cardinal fans but, when you're in an abusive relationship, eventually you just need to get out of it."

Friday, October 13, 2006

OCD or Lazy?

Have you ever noticed that there are some people out there who seem to be completely incapable of doing things for themselves? For example, this morning as a friend and I were walking out of one of buildings on campus, there was a young woman in front of us, also heading out the door. She walks up, starts to push the door open with the panic bar, stops, and then reaches across her body with her left hand (she had a cell pressed into the side of her head with the right), and pushed the handicapped button. (You know, the one which makes the door open on its own.) My friend and I exchanged rather incredulous looks, and proceeded to wonder aloud if she so lazy that she didn't want to open the door herself (with the phone taking up all her attention, we weren't really worried about her over-hearing us). We reached two possible conclusions.

1. She had a little OCD and simply could not help but push the button. Possible, but not very likely we decided.

2. Yes, she was simply that lazy.

We decided to go with #2.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Answer the Damn Phone

I was trying to get a hold of one of my colleagues tonight. I left a message on their voice mail around 5:00 PM. I tried again at about 7:00, and then every half hour or so after that (I really needed to talk to this person) with no luck. Finally, a few minutes ago, she called me back. She said she hadn't answered because she didn't know it was me. Okay - fine, she didn't have my number entered right in her phone, so it didn't come up with my name. But, damn girl! Try listening to your voice mail! If she had done that, she would have heard the message I left at 5:00, in which I told her it was me and left my real number. For fuck's sake, why have voice mail if you're not going to listen to it!

And before you ask, she does not have internet access at home (really! I'm not joking here) so I couldn't just send her an email.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

He May Be On to Something Here

Dee Dee Dee Song by Carlos Mencia from the Mind of Mencia

This just amuses me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Idiots and the Ballot

Arizona is one of the states which allows for referendums and propositions to be placed on the ballot. While I think that this is, in general, a good idea, the implementation in Arizona leaves something to be desired. The problem here is that any idiot who can get enough signatures can get something on the ballot, and there is very little renew before it goes to the public for a vote. This means that there are always a number of these on the ballot each election. This time, there are 19 in all. Whatever the hot button issues are that year, there are ballot measures on it. For example, this year Arizona has 4 on illegal aliens (usually disguised as something else), the almost obligatory ban on gay marriage one, 2 on smoking laws, and 7 on taxes and monies. Let's face it, if I really wanted, I could probably get enough signatures to get a ballot measure declaring a ban on all California drivers or some such nonsense (actually, that one might be a good idea). Would it pass the general election? Probably not. But would it be on the ballot? Quite possibly!

Now, I'm not going to go into my personal view on most of these because, quite frankly, it's none of your damn business. But I will say that it is important that people understand what it is they are actually voting for, which means YOU HAVE TO READ THE DAMN THING! Simply reading the title doesn't cut it, dumbass. For example, did you know that voting FOR Prop. 207 ("Private Property Rights Protection Act") would throw out over a quarter century of US Supreme Court rulings and effective end government directed development and historic preservation in the state, all to the benefit of private developers? (Cartoon is by Herblock, and can be found with more of his work here)

Anyway, as we get closer to the election, be sure to actually know what it is you're voting for or against. It doesn't take much time and you don't have to be a lawyer to understand it. They provide you with handy little book which gives both the full text of the measure and a summary in "real world speak". Read it and go vote!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Full of Sound and Fury . . .

. . . signifying nothing. That's the weather around here this afternoon. It's been grey and cloudy, and there have been the occasional rumble of thunder. But that's it. Nothing else. It looks like it wants to rain, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to. Yep, it's fall in the Valley.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


This Guy Is Nuts!

I was listening to "All Things Considered" on NPR just now. Michele Norris was interviewing Paul Weyrich, of the Free Congress Foundation. Just listening to him, I can say that Weyrich is fucking nuts! He said, and I quote, "Homosexuals are obsessed with sex." (This was an attempt to explain why Mark Foley is the way he is.) When Michele Norris pointed out that many people might take exception to this comment, Weyrich said he didn't care if people took exception to it because it is a fact. (The audio should be available by about 7:30 ET today, at the "All Things Considered" page)

People like this make my head hurt. I just have to keep reminding myself I only have about another half hour before I can call it a day.

Randomness for October 4, 2006

Random Quote: "I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally." ~ WC Fields

Question of the Moment: How can political pundits spew more than twice their weight in verbal crap in less than five minutes?

Current Mood: unmotivated
Current Music: The Duhks, "Heaven's My Home," Migrations

Fire and Brimstone

Okay, I now better understand why people have used these words to evoke the image of a fiery damnation for centuries. I had the fun of experiencing this first-hand this morning. Not in the Biblical sense, of course, but rather physically.

Maybe I should start from the beginning. I woke up pissed off. No particular reason - it just happens some mornings. It might have had something to do with the fact that when my clock/radio turned on this morning, the radio station was playing Phil Collins. I believe I'm mentioned in the past just how much I hate Phil-fucking-Collins. He was okay when he was a part of Genesis (especially when it was still Peter Gabriel in charge), but I can't stand his solo stuff.

Anyway, after quickly slapping the radio off, I decided that I needed something to calm me down. Incense will usually do this for me, so I decided to burn a short stick of it. Well, when I struck the paper match, it flared up, leaving a nice sized chunk of burning sulfur (for those of you who don't already know this, brimstone and burnt sulfur are the same thing) on the tip of the middle finger on my right hand. I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but I can tell you it hurts. A lot. After a few choice words and much cool running water, it was bearable again.

Now, unfortunately, I have also discovered exactly how much I use the middle finger on my right hand - and not just for saluting other drivers on the road either. Typing, for example, is fun right now. Pushing radio or elevator buttons also provide good times. Trying to use the scroll wheel on my mouse, another good one. Hopefully, I've already passed the shitty part of my day. May the gods help me if not. At least I still have my good friend Jack Daniel's in the office.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What the Fuck was He Thinking?!?

During the Cowboys/Titans football game yesterday, Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth stomped Dallas lineman Andre Gurode in the head, not once but twice - while Gurode's helmet was off! While I did not see it when it happened, I have certainly seen the replay several times and the only thing I can say is "What the FUCK was he thinking?!?" The play was over, the guy was on the ground, and you decide to stomp on his head with your cleats? Personally, I hope Haynesworth gets suspended for the rest of the season for this. I know that football is a fairly physical sport and people get hurt, but there's a big difference between accidentally stepping on someone in a pile up and deliberately stomping on their head. Needless to say, Haynesworth was ejected and Gurode left the game, needing stitches. Here's the story.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. There have been a number of deliberate assaults in professional sports. Here are a few of the most notable:

December 9, 1977: Kermit Washington, of the LA Lakers, punches Rudy Tomjanovich, of the Houston Rockets, in face. The punch fractures Tomjanovich's skull and left him unconscious in a pool of blood. Upon examination by arena doctors, it was discovered that Tomjanovich was also leaking spinal fluid into his mouth.

September 22, 1985: Yankee manager Billy Martin and pitcher Ed Whitson get into a bar-room brawl. Both blame the other for beginning it. Martin is left with a broken arm and two broken ribs.

April 30, 1993: Monica Seles is stabbed in the back by a Steffi Graf with a steak knife.

June 28, 1997: Boxer Mike Tyson bites off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear during a match.

February 21, 2000: Marty McSorley, of the Boston Bruin, strikes Vancouver Canuck Donald Brashear in the head with his stick. McSorley is convicted of assault in October of the same year.

February 16, 2004: Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punches Colorado Avalanche Steve Moore from behind, and then drives Moore face-first into the ice, shattering Moore's face mask and fracturing three vertebrae in Moore's neck. Bertuzzi plead guilty to assault, served a 17 game suspension and returned to play. Moore has not.

September 25, 2006: Stockcar driver Michael Simko, after hitting the wall during a race, ran and leaped feet-first through the windshield of Don St. Denis's car, blaming St. Denis for causing the crash. Simko then threw his helmet at St. Denis while he was still in his car. St. Denis got out of the car and the two exchanged punches. Both are suspended indefinitely.