Sunday, June 30, 2013

Matt Kenseth wins at Kentucky

Matt Kenseth won the Quaker State 400 today for his fourth victory of the season.

Kenseth's crew chief made a gutsy call on the final pit stop of the race to forgo tires in lieu of gaining track position. The gamble paid off as once again, Jimmie Johnson messed up a restart and ended up getting spun out and buried deep in the pack.

You have to give Johnson some credit though. After pitting for fresh tires, he raced through the pack to get a top ten finish though he was chirping on the radio about Kenseth's supposedly illegal move on the restart. This is some high dudgeon from a driver who's already been penalized himself this season for illegal restarts and even Kyle Petty remarked that maybe Johnson should just be allowed to make up his own rules on every restart.


I'm glad that Kenseth won and also glad that Johnson did not. As Jimmie was running away with the race, I was just thinking ho hum, Johnson wins again. My buddy at work thinks Johnson's the greatest driver ever. But it is my contention that his success is more due to crew chief Chad Knaus and Hendrick Motorsports as car owner. Knaus just simply has a way with these cars that is supernatural, and I think any driver that was put with him would be winning at the same rate as Johnson.

Also, some small ups to Ryan Newman for quietly working his way forward all race and nearly cracking the top ten. Tony had a crappy day and Danica was fairly racy all day though she didn't get above 20th.

And the Red Sox won today on a walk off error to beat the Blue Jays 5-4 and take three of four in the series.

Some sads for Toronto catcher Josh Thole who was installed at first base due to an injury earlier in the game and ended up booting a routine grounder to allow the winning run in the ninth.

As a life long Boston fan, the image of Bill Buckner letting that grounder go through his legs is permanently burned into my brain. And that was all I could think of when I saw Thole get handcuffed by Victorino's grounder.

Eesh! That sucks! I'm glad Boston won the game, but I truly feel sorry for Thole. Keep your head up dude.

Friday, June 28, 2013

F*CK YOU New Yorker Magazine!

The New Yorker magazine is apparently coming out (no pun intended) with the following cover to celebrate the Supreme Court striking down the DOMA:

fuck you new yorker magazine!

I'm all willing to allow adults to do their thing in the privacy of their own homes. I don't agree with hateful discrimination in any form . . . or from either side of a debate. But as a father, I have to draw the line at willful indoctrination of innocent children into any current trendy fad.

Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. Period. Despite millions upon millions of dollars wasted in a fruitless search for some triggering gene, apologists for gay lifestyle adherents have found nothing. Because there is nothing to find. Because it is a choice.

A choice to lead a life of aberrant sexuality.

Whether you believe in God or creaky Darwinism or some form of intelligent design, there is one truth -- we were designed to be heterosexual. Our propagation as a species relies on heterosexual coupling for breeding. Homosexuality is simply not the norm for our species.

Something like five or six percent of Americans identify themselves as gay or transgendered or whatever. This is practically the definition of a minority. And yet we are turning ourselves inside out to accomodate this lifestyle. Why? Because it is trendy. And it is anti-religious. And the current atmosphere in this country is that anything even remotely conservative must be destroyed. So advocating alternative lifestyles is on liberal's front burners right now. With Second Amendment rights and abortion close behind.

You could fill pages with the subtle, relentless indoctrination that fills television and movies today, extolling the virtues of the LGBT lifestyles. There have been plenty of reports online about elementary schools teaching children about gay sex. And I could go on about how, despite all the bullsh*t articles to the contrary, little Johnny actually needs a mommy and a daddy to grow up as a well rounded individual. A woman simply can't play the father figure properly to a boy anymore than a man can properly play a mother figure.

And now we have a major magazine pushing two iconic children's characters as gay. I'd say something about them having no decency, but it is the New Yorker -- so you know they're the scum of the earth already.

It would be nice to think that PBS or the creators of Sesame Street would object to this debasing of their characters. But as we saw in the last election cycle as Sesame Street lashed out at FOX news and cheerfully allowed Dems to use Big Bird to attack Mitt Romney on budget cuts, they're full on cool aide drinking socialists and Democratic apologists. But then I guess that's to be expected since they sup at the public trough for funding.

In fact, I'm sure we'll be hearing from the show's writers and producers in upcoming days how the characters were always written as gay. Oh it was always planned and written that way they'll say 'cause they're so evolved they had a duty to begin indoctrinating innocent children into their liberal belief system. Not unlike J.K. Rowling who did a nice job of ruining the Harry Potter series with her of course Dumbledore's gay...duh! bullsh*t while writing the last novel. Yeah, so nice to go back and look at all those heart-to-heart talks the kindly wizard had with Harry and think the old man was simply trolling a nubile young boy.

Good job there J.K. Perhaps we can simply re-write or re-interpret all classic children's literature to say that it's always been about promoting the LGBT lifestyle. That'll do wonders for society as a whole.

The shame of this is that choosing to be gay doesn't make you a superior person, despite the relentless media talking points. It is counter-productive to life as we know it.

If you are an adult, and choose this lifestyle -- whatever. But leave children alone. Let them grow up and make their own choices.

And here's fame-whoring Courtney Stodden at some equality rally, giving this whole situation the dignity and respect it deserves:

courtney stodden rainbow bikini equality rally

Oh gracious, where to begin? The comment below from Magic man requires a bit more than a simple reply in the comments section. And for the record, because I'm constantly having to correct visitors on this, so don't feel bad -- but this isn't Scientific American or the Wall Street Journal or the NY Times blog. I don't need to footnote or hyperlink to every little thing here. And I don't use spellcheck, so . . .

For starters, that's the biggest pile of left-wing talking points gibberish I've encountered on this blog ever. Thanks. But let's look at that provably false horsesh*t about conservatives supporting slavery and how conservative thought must be destroyed in the name of progress.

First off, it was a conservative Republican president, Abraham Lincoln (maybe you've heard of him?) along with his conservative Republican controlled House and Senate that voted to end slavery. It was conservative Republicans in the House and Senate that led the vote and outvoted Democrats to enact the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And if you can tear yourself away from MSNBC long enough, you might want to check out images of Dr. King's march on Washington. That tall white guy? With the square jaw and movie star good looks? Yeah. That's conservative Republican actor Charlton Heston walking to support equal righs.

Meanwhile it was Democrat Governors like George Wallace turning fire hoses and dogs upon black Americans. It was Democrat Senators like Robert Byrd that were Grand Wizards in the KKK.

Yeah, let's destroy equal rights, adherence to the Constitution, less government interference in our personal lives in the name of progress. Guess it depends on your definition of progress, mate.

My statement about Darwinism being creaky is aimed at the fact that Darwin's "theory" is based on antiquated scientific methods that would only pass muster in an IPCC report today. I don't dispute his theories, only the hypersensitive adherence to them to the point that having any questions about our origins gets one labeled and anti-science troglodite. It appears we have evolved from lower beings (some of us more than others, imho) but was there a guiding force behind that? Who can say. I believe that is the case. Most intelligent people realize that the Bible is written in parable form, in such a way that those who lived 2000 years ago could wrap their heads around it. No one actually believes the world was formed in 6 days. But lay something about millennia upon those back in the day, and you'd get blank stares. So a story about man's origins in the Bible is written in terms that could be understood back then. Now we see the steps that were taken, but as I just said, is there a guiding hand behind those steps or simply a theory that everything just sort of "happened" because it had to?

Darwin's theory is just that, a theory, it's not like math. Calculus will still work a million years from now because the theorems and proofs that define it will never change. But as our technology improves and we unlock more secrets of cellular biology, what Darwin did not know could fill a library. So blind adherence to his theory is not unlike a religion. It's based on faith. My faith points in a different direction.

Also, I've seen interviews with more than a few scientists and atheists who are Darwinists who would rather believe life on Earth was seeded by space aliens that believe in God. That's where my remark about whatever form of intelligent design comes from. So I was in fact promoting three or more viewpoints there, mate.

But despite your feeble attempt to mock my thoughts on this, the point of that section remains -- we were designed to be heterosexual. Period. By whatever means fits your view of creation. Homosexual behavior is aberrant. Period. Outside the designed norm of our biological design. Period. And there is not one scintilla of evidence that anything other than a conscious choice has human beings adopting homosexual behavior. Period.

Ooh, religious indoctrination. Those Sunday morning service shows aren't forced on anyone. They are there for those who want to watch them. No one is forcing a specific religion on anyone. First Amendment, ever hear of it?

So here's an exercise for you -- find me one of the alphabet networks or major cable channels (hbo, showtime, starz, etc.) that is routinely ramming a pro-Christianity message down its viewers throats by pushing that theme in its programming.  *crickets chirping*

Now notice how many of the above networks/channels make sure that every villian is a so-called Christian extremist or Tea Party member or a white Republican businessman.

Now find me an instance in any of the above areas where a gay/lesbian is pictured in a less-than-flattering light. Show me where the lbgt character is not the most intelligent, charitable, empathic character on the screen. Actually find me an lbgt villian in any show created in recent years. You can't because groups like GLAAD and hate-mongers like Dan Savage organize massive protests against anyone who dares to do so.

In point of fact, the only safe groups to malign and demonize in society and the arts today are Christians, Jews and white men.

Your comment about why would someone choose a lifestyle they thought would cause them grief is almost too weak to respond to. But let me try -- why would someone choose to be a bank robber? Why would someone choose to be a serial killer? Why would someone choose to cover every spare inch of their body in tattoos? (and in the name of full disclosure, my wonderful son is covered in ink, so I'm hardly anti-tattoo) Why would someone fill their body with piercings? Why would some idiot put a two-inch hole in his cheek and hold it open with a wooden ring? Because God gave us the gift of free will along with our souls. We are free to make any decision we like. But we should have the spine to deal with the consequences of our decisions, not whine like spoiled children and beg for everyone to turn a blind eye to our choices and re-arrange our world to accept/accommodate (heh, got it right that time) them.

And this lack of spine is where my remark about the wasted billions on research came from. We've found genetic markers for all kinds of diseases and human conditions. I'm not saying, nor is there anything in my post to suggest I believe that the science is settled on the human genome. I leave that sort of stupidity to MSNBC watchers who bleat the science is settled about global warming (fun fact -- no warming in the last 19 years).

And this leads to your exercise for me. I don't have to do that brother because I have friends and acquaintances who are either gay or lesbian. And we've had our share of friendly conversations about their choice of lifestyle. And I say choice because in every case, that seems to be the case. At some point they realized (or chose to be) that they were gay. And then, to a person, they've gone back and re-examined their lives to create the necessary data points to lead them to their current place in life.

I saw an interview recently with a transgendered person. And she (formerly a he) told of how at age five he had put on his sister's dress and knew instantly that he was actually a girl inside because the dress felt so natural. Really?! At age five?! Most five year olds need to be told not to eat their own poop or put their hands on a hot stove, but I'm supposed to believe that a five year old knew he was a girl in a boy's body? Only in rewriting your own life's story to conform to the new social cool thing, does something that absurd have any credence.

I have more respect for someone like Cynthia Nixon, who decided that she would be happier with a female partner than a man, and publicly admitted she made that conscious decision to live her life as a lesbian, than people who try to run with the God made a mistake or it's not my fault, I was born this way prevarications. If you're so out and loud and proud, why not be proud of the decision to live your life this way?

Let's talk gay marriage for a moment. Saying gay marriage is a civil right is an insult to black Americans who endured the struggle against bigotry in this country. Why do you suppose that black voters overwhelmingly vote for traditional marriage amendments in state referenda? Because they are offended by gay rights activists hijacking a legitimate grievance issue.

In every conversation I've ever heard about gay marriage, the same path is followed -- after the usual bit about getting married in the same church as mommy or wearing a dress like mommy or whatever, we get to the actual crux of the matter -- money. Gay couples want tax breaks like legally married couples. They want access to one another's health plans or retirement benefits or life insurance payouts or whatever. How banal. So much for the soft focus, fairy tale romance angle.

Personally, I'm in favor of civil unions. If two consenting adults want to live their lives together, more power to them. The tax break thing seems a bit unfair, but I'll go along with that. And I understand the financial complaints of gay couples. They can go to the justice of the peace or non-denominational church or wherever and get their union legally sanctified. And they can call it whatever they like. Call it a marriage? Fine. But legally - it is a civil union. Why? Because marriage is a religious concept adopted into man's laws. And Christianity (along with most religions) finds homosexuality to be a sin. And we, as men (generic here, as in humanity) do not have the right to pass laws that force churches to defy their principles.

And in my opinion, that's the ultimate objective of gay activists and haters of religion like yourself (your contempt for organized religion drips from your post, so don't bother denying it). The goal is to overturn every legally adopted defense of marriage referendum passed (overwhelmingly, I might add) in states. Then after our coward-in-chief passes some politically expedient law to help in fundamentally transforming our country, some gay couple will barge into a Catholic church with their lawyers and a media entourage in tow and demand to be married. When the church refuses, then we'll see the agenda of gay activists and socialist/progressives like yourself for what it is -- an attack on Christianity (but not Islam, because you cowards would never take on a religion that actually kills gays, that would take some spine).

What else? Ooh, "little johnny needs a mommy and daddy" you are actually denying that? I don't need to cite statistics on that. The overwhelming number of young black men incarcerated in this country has been traced directly to the disproportional number of father-less homes among black Americans. This is a fact agreed upon by black leaders and white leaders in this country. And you don't need to be a social scientist, only a parent, to realize that a child learns how to interact by watching what happens at home. A boy learns how to be a man and how to interact with women by watching how Dad lives/loves/treats Mom. And he learns how a woman should interact with a man by watching Mom. And the same goes for a daughter. Unless you're going to be raising your child to be gay or lesbian like yourself, how can a same sex couple possibly pass these lessons on to a child they have adopted (which is a whole other can of worms I'm not opening here)?

And finally, calling the New Yorker scum for perverting iconic childhood characters isn't hateful discrimination, mate. Anymore than calling some dude an asshole for cutting me off in traffic is. It's an opinion, based on their actions.

Hateful discrimination is trying to silence those who don't think as you do. Like leading a nationwide attack on a fast food restaurant because the owner believes in traditional marriage. Or getting a guy fired from his job for donating to a petition drive to support traditional marriage. Or banning commentors from a website or online community for disagreeing with the agenda of said website or community. That's hateful discrimination, mate.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Not sure this is an improvement

But then I suppose that depends on what your final goal was.

Courtney Stodden before:

courtney stodden pre boob job and douchey husband

Courtney Stodden after:

courtney stodden post boob job

Somewhere Heidi Montag is checking her watch and going But I did it first! Isn't her 15 minutes up yet?!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lackey K's 12 in Sox win

John Lackey struck out 12 in Boston's win today over the Rockies 5-3. The victory keeps Boston 3 games ahead in first place in the AL East.

Often pitchers who come off Tommy John surgery report having more velocity on their pitches, and today was the case for Lackey who pushed the radar gun to 95mph frequently.

Without a lot of fanfare, the bottom end of the Red Sox order has become pretty stout. Lackey's sporting a 2.99 ERA now along with his winning record and has 8 quality starts in 13 appearances this season. Ryan Dempster, who was picked up to be an innings eater leads the team in strike-outs with 94 and his 5-8 record would be substantially better if he got some actual run support during his starts. Both he and Lackey are sporting WHIP's below 1.35 as well.

After two miserable seasons in Boston, Lackey is finally looking like the pitcher the Sox traded for. He came into camp probably 20-30 pounds lighter and has been fierce on the mound, pitching with a chip on his shoulder. And nothing wrong with that. Perhaps if Farrell can get Jon Lester's head out of his ass and the docs can put Buccholz back together, this team that fans hoped would simply not be a disappointment like last year, might make a run deep into the playoffs.

How nice would that be?

And speaking of nice, here's the Tiz looking pensive as she is possibly pondering that impressive cleavage that seems to come out of nowhere:

ashley tisdale in maxim magazine

No complaints here :-)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Boston has a rough time in Detroit

The Red Sox lost today, in part due to a disputed call by the umps, 7-5 to the Detroit Tigers to drop the series between the division leading teams 3-1.

Not wanting to go all Joe Maddon here, but the catch-drop by Nava gave Detroit the winning runs. Probably shouldn't have gotten to that point, but . . . there it is. Had Andrew Bailey not blown the save in the first game, the series would have been a split, which would have been more tolerable.

As such, the Sox are still in first place by two games over the Orioles, who got their asses handed to them by the finally red-hot Blue Jays. As I mentioned at the beginning of the season, it's only 5 games separating the first place Sox from the last place Rays. The AL East is gonna be a beast this year.

martin truex jr wins sonoma

And congrats to Martin Truex Jr. for winning the Toyota SaveMart 350 in Sonoma today. Truex broke a 200+ streak of races without a win, though he's had a maddening number of second place finishes, particularly at this track.

It was a pretty good race (I always like the road courses, though many do not), with some bumping and banging, but though the drivers were aggressive all day, no one was driving like an idiot causing a bunch of wrecks.

Nice to see the announcers bring up something I've been harping on since the creation of the Chase to the Championship. That is, the lack of a road course in the 10-race Chase. Fans are in favor of it, as well as many of the drivers. NASCAR honcho Mike Helton, in his best "I rule with an iron fist" voice said he was more than willing to add another race, but one would have to be dropped somewhere else to make room.

Yeah, like that would work. What a d*ck!

And ending on a happy note. My favorite english teacher, Olivia Sprauer, slips into a nearby phone booth and nyut nuh nah...

olivia sprauer aka victoria v james

...emerges as hottie model Victoria James!

We're saved!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Public school system, part duh

In what I sadly imagine could be a daily feature, I bring another example of the fine young minds being turned out by our public school system:

At work today, I go to lunch and stop by 7 Eleven to get a soda. I bring my Super Big Gulp (f*ck you, Michael Bloomberg!) to the register.

Surly young dude, looks at it, mumbles something about "Anything else?" then rings it up and says "$1.79"

I hand him two dollars. He gives me back twenty-nine cents.


I'm looking at the quarter and four pennies and thinking "Really?" I'm struggling, trying to imagine exactly what combination of coins could he possibly have been thinking he was giving me?! I mean, four pennies?! WTF?! Of course by now surly dude has shambled off to do something else, so I can't even give him back the money he over-paid me.

Again, you've got a freekin' register right there, man! It does the math for you if you're too stupid to do simple arithmetic, but seriously how hard is it to figure the change on this transaction?!

These high school kids can play the hell out of video games or create mean Facebook pages, but give them a simple math problem and total brain failure.

And then there's this -- Kelly Brook went to the beach in Cancun today and took her bikini top off and lolled around on the sand for a while. The fact that paparazzi were able to take stunning hi-res images of her half naked is complete providence on their part. I'm sure she had absolutely no idea they were there . . .

kelly brook topless at the beach
kelly brook topless at the beach
kelly brook topless at the beach

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Kind of fun to be able to wish my son a Happy Father's Day this year. And good wishes to all you dads out there as well :-)

As I mentioned in my Father's Day post a couple of years ago, my dad was pretty much everything to me. And one of the coolest things was that he was my best friend. So in honor of that, I've decided to share one of my favorite stories of him --

In the 70s, one of the local tv stations used to run something called Shock Theater on Friday nights. Remember, this was before cable television, so you had three vhf channels and one uhf channel that you got on your outside antenna. Television went off the air in the wee hours and came back on in the early morning.

Shock Theater ran old horror movies from the fourties, fifties and sixties. And lots of those lurid, color-rich Hammer Studios films with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and the like. Fabulous stuff. Dad and I would stay up late every Friday with the house to ourselves watching horrible old movies. And in the middle of the movie, the local sports guy Andy Hardy would come on with the owner of the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Manuel Biero (I think) and they would have a table full of food and Biero would go over the weekend's specials at the restaurant. Then Biero would raise his glass and proclaim for the camera "Salut and Happy Days, 1362 times!" or some such number as they kept track of how many times they had done the promo. Small market kitchy goodness you'll never see the like of again. How I miss it!

Anywho, it's the middle of summer, we don't have air conditioning so the house is like an oven. All the windows are open with only gauzy curtains to block someone from seeing in. Dad and I are in the family room at the back of the house watching some gloriously horrible old flick when I notice the living room is pulsing red and blue.

After my initial shock, I point this out to my Dad and we creep into the living room to see what the eff is going on. Peeking through the curtains, we see a police car across the street. He's got some dude pulled over and has his trunk open and is giving it a pretty thorough search. We can't see well because we have an ear tree in the front yard blocking our view. I suggest we go to the other end of the house, to my mom's office (my old bedroom) and peek out there.

So we sneak quietly back there, but the room's very small and only one of use can lean over mom's desk to see out the window. I look first and after a minute, Dad wants to see what's up. We switch places and I back away to give him some room. The room has original terrazzo floors with no carpets or mats down. And mom has some crappy torchiere lamp standing by her desk. So naturally I bump into it and knock it over. I catch the lamp pole, but not before knocking the metallic shade off the lamp.

The truncated conical shade hits the floor and makes the loudest clang you've ever heard. Plus it keeps rattling around while I try to grab it. Remember, it's like 2:00 in the morning, deathly quiet in the neighborhood. My dad whips around and yells "You horse's ass!" and I bust out laughing. The cops have turned their lights on our house now, and we are laughing our asses off as we scramble to get back to the back of the house.

We must have laughed about that for another half an hour that night/morning. But even better was when we told mom about it the next morning. She's looking at the two of us like we should both be locked away somewhere and we're laughing so hard tears are rolling down our faces.

God, how I miss him! Love ya Dad!

And it's not a Father's Day tribute, but I loved this from what has become one of my favorite all time comic strips:

You know nothing Erika Johnsen

*with apologies to Ygritte*

I noticed the other day at HotAir that contributor Erika Johnsen posted another screed about the Post Office.


This time in reaction to some comments by Darrel Issa about postal reform and the like. I won't bother to link to the article or quote what she says because it is the same boilerplate bullsh*t she and Ed Morrisey always spit out in their ignorance about the Post Office.

Like always, she manages to work the phrase "obsolete business model" into her posting. Like Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr. jerking each other off while screaming "The science is settled!" Ms. Johnsen assumes that if she keeps repeating the same phrase over and over it will become a fact.

What exactly is our obsolete business model anyway? She never says. Is it that we provide a service and charge for it? I'm no brain scientist, but I think that is how most for profit businesses work. Oh, I get it, it's because we deliver mail. You know, physical pieces of mail. How dinosaur of us. Btw, read your own website much, Erika? How's that whole e-mail and cell phone stuff working out for ya? Got much privacy there?

But it's new and spiffy, the young folks of Ms. Johnsen's age proclaim. Yep. But secure? Ehh . . . not so much. You know what is secure? Yep. The U.S. Mail.

She goes on to laud how the PMG and Issa are on the same page about some of the reforms to the P.O. As I've mentioned in various other posts -- going to postal management for ideas on how to save the Post Office is like going to the guy embezzling money from the bank for ideas on how to catch the embezzler. The Post Office is partly in trouble because of managers like Patrick Donahoe and others who have made one jaw-dropplingly stupid business decision after another over the last twenty years.

I will also mention once again, because Ms. Johnsen isn't an actual journalist, she's a cut-and-paste blogger, that there is no one in management in the U.S.P.S who was promoted from craft based on merit. No one. Every single manager is in management because he or she was unable or unwilling to do craft work. These are the people who matriculate to the upper levels of management and become district, regional, and higher managers and are the ones making the decisions that affect the livelihood of over 300,000 employees. If you're not promoting your best and brightest, why would you expect quality decision making and planning from those in charge?

She also trots out the bit about us losing however million per day we are losing without, once again, mentioning that that loss is due entirely to the forced pre-payment of retirement funds 75 years into the future. A requirement that no other business, public or private, in this country is faced with. I used to comment at HotAir about these things until as one against a legion of trolls, it got pretty futile. But the most frequent thing thrown at me was about unfunded liabilities threatening the security of our economy.

And the trolls are right, that is a serious threat. Here's an idea, why not force every business to do that? I mean, and I've mentioned that in my comments, if it is so vitally important, why not force, by law as the P.O. is, every business to pre-fund 75 years into the future. Oh that would destroy the economy they tell me. Yeah, no kidding there ace, that's my point. So why force us to? Well, that's different they tell me. Yeah, we're one of the hated government agencies these new-age, new-tech types want to get rid of. A dinosaur. Yeah, about that secure e-mail of yours . . .

Ms. Johnsen fails to note in her posting that the unions (ooh, those hated unions) have repeatedly offered plans to help secure the viability of the Post Office. Because of course, she hasn't bothered to look into that, because that would take some effort on her part. Where's the fun in that? And she laments that the P.O. isn't allowed to arbitrarily lay off workers because of those pesky contracts the workers have. You know, the ones settled by arbitrators every five years. It's an impartial judge that doesn't think the P.O. should just be able to dump employees at will, not just us hourly workers.

But Ms. Johnsen, who has probably never held an actual job in her life, doesn't see anything wrong with letting a bunch of barely qualified bosses dump a bunch of 30 year employees (and military veterans, btw) out into the street because she doesn't like that darn bbm mail in her mailbox every day.

I could fill pages with things that are wrong with how the Post Office operates, what could be done to improve efficiency and productivity, and so on, and nothing would have any connection to our arbitrated contracts or industry comparable wages and benefits. I could point out all the ways we are superior to our competitors in both service and pricing. I could go on about the dangers of dumping 300,000+ people onto the unemployment rolls as it relates to the housing market and local economies.

But that's because I'm familiar with the Post Office. And Erika Johnsen . . . she knows nothing.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Always nice to see the results of our public school system

So I've got the day off and I'm trying to get a bunch of outside stuff done since the last time I had a day off it rained all day.

I get done late in the afternoon, and starving, decide to get some carry-out since I'm too pooped to cook. I shoot through the Wendys drive through. My order comes to $10.47 (don't ask, I was really hungry), I hand the dude at the window a $20 and two cents. Then I wait.

And wait, and wait, and . . .

I look over and see the guy counting the bills and staring at them. He looks at the register, then starts again with the bills. They're holding my food out the window and the pick-up window. The guy asks me what I gave him.

"$20.02" I tell him. He starts looking at the money again. Finally I say, "I should be getting $9.55 back." He nods and laughs and makes some light joke about having a brain fart or some such. I smile, take my change and drive off.

Here's my thing -- dude couldn't make change?! He's in front of a digital register, and couldn't do basic simple math? I know it can be a grind doing that sort of work. I've used to work at Subway in college. Had to hold down the whole place by myself from 9:00 p.m. 'til 2:00 a.m., so I know you can get overwhelmed.

But simple math?! With the register as back-up?! Perhaps the public school system should spend a little less time on teaching kids to recite the Qur'an and the finer points of anal sex, and spend a little more time on basic reading, writing and arithmetic!!


And this just in:

hayden panettiere us magazine

Apparently, US Magazine thinks that Hayden Panettiere has TV's best body.

Hmmmm . . .

So . . . is it the misspelled tattoo or the fake boobs or the oddly stocky body with cellulite thighs that they find so hot?

Sorry, I'm just going to go ahead and disagree with you guys on this one. K?

Sox win marathon against Rays in 14 innings

Boston beat the Rays 10-8 in a long, long game that lasted 14 innings Monday.

Sadly, despite some amazing performances -- home runs by the formerly light-hitting Rays and some great defense by the Sox, the game was and is being overshadowed by the usual bush league nonsense that has permeated this trumped up rivalry for years now.

John Lackey drilled Matt Joyce, most likely in retaliation not so much for his first inning homer, as the chirping coming from the Rays dugout. Even the guys on Baseball Tonight commented on the trash talking being directed at Lackey. I don't think the dropped bat after Joyce's long foul meant anything. It didn't look like Joyce was styling there, but it was a douche-y maneuver nonetheless.

Naturally Joe Maddon weighed in, claiming to know that the other Red Sox players were ashamed of Lackey and knew what he did was wrong.


Perhaps Joe ought to spend a little more time looking after the comportment of his own players before doing his mind reading routine on his opponents. But then he wears those trendy geek glasses, so what do I know?

The other smaller, but I won't be surprised if it grows bigger, scandal was brought up in the Tampa (formerly St. Pete) Times sports section. Marc Tompkin writes that Rays starter Alex Cobb "...was hit so hard and so often in the first inning that it almost seemed like the Sox knew what was coming."

Yeah, the AL leading offensive team is stealing signs or something now. Couldn't be that Cobb was having a bad night, like the other jewel in the Rays rotation, Matt Moore, who's been shelled his last two outings. No those dirty Red Sox must be cheating.

I've complained about this long and loud for years. Ever since Joe Maddon came to this team, he has created this attitude of perpetual victimhood around the Rays. It's exacerbated by the local media, who are so desperate for the team to succeed that they'll cling to any ridiculous notion that the Rays may actually not be able to win 162 games every season.

With any luck, Lester will throw a shutout tonight and Fausto, I mean Hernandez will have another lackluster outing and that will shut the locals up for a bit.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Boston wins series against the Angels

The Red Sox won today, beating the Angels 10-5 to win the series this weekend and keep Boston in first place in the AL East.

Ryan Dempster got his 2000th strike out in getting the win, though he also padded his lead in giving up homers by serving two to the Halos. My boy Salty had two home runs of his own, one a 3 rbi'er and David Ortiz and Mike Carp hit shots as well.

The guys come into town Monday for a series against the Rays, who lost today, winning their series against the Orioles, but slipping back into fourth in the division after another horrendous performance by Matt Moore.

It's bad enough being bludgeoned by the left-wing political propaganda of the local paper, the Times, but now I've got however many days of Boston bashing to deal with as well.


Game of Thrones -- season finale

robert slays rhaegar at the trident

One word -- meh

Look, I'm loving the show. The production is fabulous, it still has one of the coolest opening title sequences ever. Great casting, wonderful performances. But still . . .

Ygritte shooting Jon Snow three times?! Gendry captured by Melisandre to be used as a sacrifice?! I know this stuff all makes for good drama, but it isn't in the books and the books themselves are pretty dramatic and enthralling on their own. So why?

There is still a great deal of narrative left in the third novel that went unused in the series. It makes me wonder how compressed the next season will be, finishing off the third book and covering the fourth.

Oh well, until next year . . . *sigh*

Why the Post Office works

HAH! Fooled ya with that one, eh?

Anyway, if you've been shipping with the USPS over the last month or so, you should be seeing some changes in our online tracking service. The Post Office is in the process of upgrading our package tracking to more real-time than in the past.

Previously, our scan data was only uploaded to the system at the end of the day when we returned to our offices and cradled our scanners. We now are being issued little cell-phone like thingies that connect to our scanners via bluetooth, and upload scan data throughout the day. I believe the update is supposed to be every 15 minutes, but I'm not sure.

The effect will be to give customers the ability to get something that approximates real time tracking and delivery info on their packages and overnight envelopes and such.

While the system is not true "real time" it should be close enough to satisfy everyone who needs this information, save the stay-at-home adults who sit in their mommy's basement in their underwear playing World of Warcraft while they wait anxiously for some new action figure to arrive on their doorstep.

The best solution would have been for the Post Office to invest in completely new scanners with all the bells and whistles and such, but everyone knows the dire straits we've been forced into by these absurd regulations concerning disability funding and whatever. This solution has minimal start up cost and when combined with our already superior pricing and universal delivery service, should erase any but the most unreasonable objections to using the USPS for shipping.

And this just in . . . Miley's really subtle about her new image:

miley cyrus white pants booty on twitter

Seriously man, once these Disney chicks get off the reservation . . . eesh!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It started out as a clever idea . . .

Well, I thought I had sort of a clever idea -- I had run across a couple of photo sets of gals busting out of bikinis, and they were all pink, and I thought I could do something with that. And then:

jordan carver pink juicyjordan carver pink juicy
amy childs poolside underboobamy childs poolside underboob
claudia romani hot pink bikiniclaudia romani hot pink bikini

When I get to working on the images I realize that Amy Childs' bikini is orange-y, not pink.

Grrr . . . !@$!&!!$#!!

Man I hate being color blind! Oh well . . .

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cause Game of Thrones WTF keeps getting traffic

I check my blog stats from time to time just to see who's coming in from where. And after Sunday night's penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, I'm getting a bit of traffic on a post I did during the second season under the title of Game of Thrones WTF?

In my ponderation on the entire Song of Fire and Ice series, I mentioned that the third book, which this season of the television series is generally following, almost put me off finishing the five book series. What happened last night in the next to last episode this season is part of the reason.

The Red Wedding, as it is referred to in the novels was one of the most sucker punching moments I've had reading any novel or series of novels. I've mentioned in my posts about this series and books that I'm amazed at Martin's perverse penchant for killing off sympathetic characters or simply torturing them in one losing cause after another. I suppose I could offer the glimmer of hope that just because someone appears to have been killed, doesn't necessarily mean they won't pop up again because, you know . . . Beric Dondarrion.

But still, I simply don't get what's being done here from a creative standpoint. Unless you're assuming your readers are a bunch of sadistic f*cks who love seeing noble people fail time and again, perhaps you should give them a little something to keep their hopes alive.

Just sayin' . . .

And while I'm at it, let me gripe about the butchering of the storylines in the transfer from the page to the screen. I've complained about Dany's travails across the shimmering sea, from her time in Qarth to the appearance of Barristan Selmy in this season.

In the books, Selmy appears as Arstan Whitebeard, a squire to a freed slave fighter named Strong Belwas, who is one of my favorite characters in the books. Selmy remains hidden through the sack of Yunkai and only becomes known after the conquest of Meereen. He does this because he wants to watch Dany closely and determine if she is sane or not as the Targaryens, due to their rampant inbreeding, have madness running through them. It's a wonderful bit when Selmy finally reveals himself and he also reveals who the traitor is that has sold Dany out so many times. How they're going to do that now is beyond me. Why f*ck that up if it's not necessary?

There's still a great deal of narrative in the third novel that can not possibly be covered in one last episode. So I'm wondering if we're going to get cheated with some sort of depressing cliffhanger or will Martin and HBO balance the scales out to keep people anxious for the next season to arrive? There's another death coming to someone most deserving, so the possibility for some karmic pleasure may yet be had for us viewers.

How 'bout it George?

So either AnnaLynne McCord doesn't know her bikini size . . .

. . . or she's just damn proud of that ass:

annalynne mccord beach booty with coin slot

Not that I'm complaining, it's just that Ms. McCord is about a hundred pounds soaking wet. And no one's going to be comparing her curves to Kim Kardashian's any time soon, so it sort of cracks me up when she, or someone just as tiny as her, shows up at the beach with a bikini that leaves half their ass hanging out.

Sox win rain shortened game in NY

And in a nice capper to end the weekend, the Red Sox won a rain shortened game against the Yankees to take two of three against their rivals and solidify their standings atop the division.

Clay Buccholz ends up getting a complete game shutout for the 3-0 game, even though he only pitched 5 innings. I'm not a big fan of rain shortened anything, but . . . oh well, I'll take it. Buccholz's ERA is something like 1.62 (not gonna look it up) and he's 8-0 on the season.

The guys are playing pretty sporty ball, and just as I mentioned at the start of the season, with the exception of the woeful Blue Jays, top to bottom in the division is only a 2.5 game difference. It's going to be a fun year if it keeps up like this :-)

And just for the heck of it, here's my favorite English teacher slash saucy model -- Victoria V. James:

olivia sprauer aka victoria v james

Tony Stewart wins at Dover

Tony Stewart won the FedEx 400 yesterday at Dover. It's Stewart's first win of the season and frankly, the only time he's come close to sniffing a win all season.

With Jimmie Johnson jumping the last re-start and being penalized by NASCAR, it was Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya going for the win on the last couple of laps. Heading into the turn the guys were door to door and in that circumstance, with the win on the line, you knew the one guy who wouldn't lift.

Always nice to see Montoya doing well. I've got a soft spot for the open wheel guys who come into NASCAR. It would be nice to see him and Chip Ganassi do well this season.

When this race started, I was thinking about writing something about what was wrong at Stewart-Haas racing this year. With the exception of Ryan Newman, who quietly creeps up towards the top ten each race, the guys and Danica have been dead slow all season. They simply do not seem to have these Gen 6 cars figured out.

You know it's got to be frustrating for them all. You saw that in the race when Newman got tired of Gilleland blocking him and basically pushed him out of the way and ended up wrecking them both. You also saw Danica pounding her steering wheel in the garage after she finally got racey enough to get into the top ten a few weeks back only to get collected in a wreck. That's a driven (no pun intended) group and the lack of results on the track has got to be aggravating.

I wouldn't suspect that Rick Hendrick is giving Stewart-Haas anything less than the best equipment to work with, but still . . . after watching Tony beat them with his own stuff, you've got to wonder. I've played enough city league ball to know that when you're going to forfeit because you don't have enough guys, the other team doesn't loan you their biggest and baddest player to fill out your roster. You get the guy who only comes in for the bottom of the inning to stand in right field when the game is going to get 10 runned.

Just sayin' . . .

I also saw in the post race news that Kesolewski's car got impounded after the race for failing inspection. Again?! Paul Wolfe's first race back and this happens?! I know these guys push the envelope every race, but I cannot imagine they were trying to sneak something by. Have to wait and see.

But for now, it's congrats Tony! And hopefully it is the start of these guys getting things together over there.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Movie review -- Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

I came across this flick a little while back and was intrigued by the title. I'm glad I decided to watch it all the way through.

The year is 689 A.D. and with the previous Emperor dead, China is being ruled by a Regent - Wu Zetian. China has prospered under her rule, though the patriarchal/monarchical society isn't keen about an Empress on a full-time basis. Convinced she has heaven's mandate to ascend the throne, Wu doesn't hesitate to remove anyone who objects to her rise. Making use of everything and everyone at her disposal, including the mysterious Imperial Chaplain, rebels and dissidents are jailed or killed.

To celebrate her coronation, a huge buddha is being constructed outside the Imperial Palace opposite the coronation stage. But there is unrest amongst the workers. The central core of the buddha is covered with amulets supplied by the Imperial Chaplain to ward off evil spirits. An inspector, Jia Yi, has moved one of the amulets during his inspection and forgotten to replace it. The workers assume something evil will befall them or the project. Before the Inspector can replace the amulet, he bursts into flame while conducting a tour of the buddha with visiting dignitaries.

An official from the Supreme Court is sent to investigate. The official, Master Xue, believes the inspector was poisoned with phosphorus. His junior, Pei Donglai disagrees thinking there may be something to the construction superintendent's claim of divine intervention. Xue scoffs at that notion and rips the amulet off the column, daring the gods to strike him down. When they ride to share their conclusions with the soon-to-be Empress, who is enjoying a military tribute, Xue bursts into flame on the parade grounds in front of everyone.

Unsure of exactly who is trying to ruin her coronation, Wu is visited by the Imperial Chaplain's magic deer (yeah, I actually wrote that), who via a cryptic speech implies that only the imprisoned Detective Dee can solve the case.

Dee has been languishing in prison for eight years for opposing Wu Zetian's regency. She has him released from prison and placed at the head of the Supreme Court as Imperial Commissioner with his task to solve the mystery of the phantom flame. Zetian assigns two others to assist him in his investigation -- Jing'er Shangguan, played by Li Bing Bing is an official of the Palace and a possible lover/consort to Wu. Pei Donglai, played by Deng Chao, is a member of the Supreme Court and is also an albino (not sure why exactly, but whatever...).

Plenty of familiar faces in this movie. Dee is played by the wonderful Andy Lau, whom I recognized from The House of Flying Daggers as the tortured lover of Mei. Li Bing Bing appeared in Resident Evil: Retribution as the back-stabbing spy Ada Wong. Also, the buddha's construction supervisor, Shatuo Zhong played by Tony Leung can be seen in another of my favorite's -- Bodyguards and Assassins.

I was tempted to refer to this as a "little" film in the opening, but the movie has a huge budget. Most of the sets are massive and intricately designed and detailed. The palace, the various homes and villages, Infinity Monastery -- all look beautiful and colorful. The costumes are extravagant period looks, I especially got a kick out of the over-the-top hairdos and head adornments worn by Wu Zetian. Fabulous! And the CGI, whether the cityscape vistas or the inside of the buddha or any of the special effects -- well done and unobtrusive. They dropped some serious coin on this flick. Plus it is directed by Tsui Hark and has Sammo Hung doing the action scenes, so some nice pedigree at work here as well.

Dee's relationship with the various characters gives the film some added depth. When Dee and the Empress meet following his release from prison, their interaction shows that they clearly know each other quite well from before. The way she hands him his badge of authority -- is that some slight passion there or just part of Wu's clever manipulation? With both Jing'er and Pei, Dee doesn't hesitate to tweak their arrogant behaviour all while teaching and protecting them. On mulitple occassions, Dee warns Jing'er that Wu's intense suspiciousness and relentless drive to ascend the throne will cause her to sacrifice anyone to achieve her goal.

It becomes obvious that Dee and Jing'er are attracted to one another, though Jing'er's ultimate devotion is to Wu. Pei seems both protective of, and in competition with and/or suspicious of, Jing'er. The protective bit seems odd as she is, herself, a talented fighter armed with a long whip and a sword. Pei too, is walking armory, carrying a sword and a double-bladed short axe, plus an odd helicopter dart thingy and exploding smoke bombs.

Dee's weapon is something he refers to as his "Dragon Taming Mace" a gift from the previous Emperor. The mace is a pretty cool weapon -- iron (I'm assuming), with a spinning band that when rubbed against an opponent's weapon will tell the wielder where the other weapon has a crack. Thus Dee can destroy any sword by striking where the crack has been revealed. This also leads to a delightful quote from the film. When the Empress asks Dee to tell her why the mace is so special, he demonstrates by destroying a stone column. Wu looks slyly at Dee and tells him that men also have weak points and will break when struck. heh

But here's where I, as a westerner, have some trouble with Asian mythology and traditions (I also have trouble with which name to put first, so if I'm messing up the names here, I apologize). Anyway, when the Emperor bestows the Mace on Dee, he tells him that if he (the Emperor) ever errs in his rule, Dee should counsel him before the mace.


And on two other occasions, Dee asks the Empress questions while holding the mace before her, as though she dare not lie in its presence. I'm not complaining, I'm just having a hard time drawing a correlation with something in my frame of reference. Swearing on the Bible, maybe? Who knows?

The story isn't hard to follow, though reading the sub-titles can slow you down a bit and requires multiple viewings to get all the details. At least it did for me, but you know -- concussion. Dee is a masterful fighter and a good detective and pieces things together along with some of the concurrent sub-plots without making it seem leapy. The case is solved eventually. I did not guess in advance who the baddie was, so that's kind of cool. The movie has nice pacing. There are some great fight scenes, a little wire-fu but not so much as to overwhelm things. Some subtle humor, plus the usual nobility and self-sacrifice you see in these new China flicks.

I have the DVD of this film and have watched the English-dubbed version and the Mandarin with English subtitles and find the latter to be the superior choice. Clearly the same people who did the subtitles are not the people who did the dubbing as they are distinctly different. And I like the flavor of the subtitles. A good example is when they are speaking of the Phantom Bazaar. In the subtitles the place is described by Pei as a "spooky pandemonium" while in the dubbed version, Pei calls it a "dirty slum." I don't know about you, but spooky pandemonium gets my vote every time.

All in all, this movie is a fun watch and easy to sit through multiple viewings. No nudity or sex, a little bloody (I think it is rated PG-13), but none of the over-the-top gushing geysers from the chop-socky type action movies. I highly recommend it.

Did you find this review helpful? Check out my other reviews for my thoughts on the flicks and the occasional gallery of hotness that accompanies them: