Monosyllabic Pedantry

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My work is killing me

I went to the doctor today for my annual checkup.

He believes that the numbness in my left hand is due to my sitting, slouched over a keyboard, causing a pinching of a nerve in my neck/back/whatever.
He prescribed a bunch of stretches, but it boils down to sitting properly and getting up and loosening up every hour or so.

I also got an EKG (from a cute nurse) and learned that my heart is normal.

It will take a few weeks before they mail the results of all the blood work, but I'm sure it will be along the lines of "you're healthy, but you should watch what you eat, lose a few pounds, and exercise more."

Monday, January 29, 2007

American Car Costs

According to money magazine:

GM (Charts), for instance spends $1,635 per vehicle on health care for active and retired workers in the U.S. Toyota (Charts) pays nothing for retired workers - it has very few - and only $215 for active ones.
Other labor costs add to the bill. Contract issues like work rules, line relief and holiday pay amount to $630 per vehicle - costs that the Japanese don't have. And paying UAW members for not working when plants are shut costs another $350 per vehicle.

Here's one example of how knotty Detroit's labor problem can be:
If an assembly plant with 3,000 workers has no dealer orders, it has two options. One is to close the plant for a week and not build any cars. Then the company still has to give the idled workers 95 percent of their take-home pay plus all benefits for not working. So a one-week shutdown costs $7.7 million or $1,545 for each vehicle it didn't make.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

American Idol Sucks Again

I think it's because the novelty was only good enough for one show. Mrs Schwartz really wants to watch it. I think it's utter crap and can't stand to listen to it. I truly believe it's one of the worst things ever to darken the boob tube. It's actually put me into a bad mood to have to listen to it in the background.

Life is too short.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cruise Line Crimes

I'm of the opinion that I could go my whole life and never take a cruise and be better off. I have no interest in being stuffed with food before catching whatever disease quicky spreads through the ship. Not to mention that I've never been a big fan of corporate, organized fun.

My feelings were only reinforced after reading about crime victims on cruise lines.

Most of the crewmembers are from other countries. You are in international waters. The only help you could get would be from the cruise line company, but you can bet they are far more interested in saving their own ass, than in getting you justice. The crimes seem to break down into two groups: Disappearance, and sexual assault/rape, often of minors.

Reading through the victims' stories is heartbreaking.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Damn Gout

I ran into an old friend on Saturday, whom I hadn't seen in a while. We ended up drinking beer all day Saturday and most of Sunday. I'm paying the piper today. My gout flared up like crazy. I'm slowly hobbling around and taking anti-inflammatories.
Combine that with my still-tingling fingers, and I'm officially falling apart.
Ah well, it's been a good ride.

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's my fault for moving to the Bible Belt

Our governor got on the radio the other day and announced that he would VETO a bill, which is currently in the state senate, that would allow counties to vote on whether they would allow beer and wine sales on Sunday.
Currently, Georgia remains one of only three states that prohibits beer and wine sales on Sunday, except that we allow it in bars and restaurants.
So if you want to have a beer, while you watch the game, you either have to plan ahead on Saturday, or you have to go to a bar.
When asked why, he gave one of the worst answers in political history:

"Think of it this way," the governor added in the radio interview. "It really helps you plan ahead for the rest of your life — buying on Saturday, rather than Sunday. Time management."

Unbelievable. The word on the street is that Sonny has been bought by the Restaurant and Bar Association, who would much rather have you shelling out $4/beer at their establishment than having a 6-pack at home.
I find that far more believable than Sonny's religious conviction, but the idea wouldn't get off first base if there weren't a steady supply of Bible-thumpers in this state, who "just don't think it's necessary to have alcohol sold on the Sabbath", such as Sadie Fields, chairman of the Georgia Christian Alliance, who is opposing the bill as well.

Funny how Sonny respected the "will of the people" and called for a referendum on the stupid flag, but we're too stupid too decide for ourselves if we will allow booze sold in our county.

A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed strong support for ending the ban — 68 percent of respondents statewide and 80 percent in metro Atlanta said they favor allowing their communities to vote on the question.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

New Blogger Sucks

I finally caved, and switched over. What a mistake. I can't post youtube videos. Finding the function is a pain in the ass.

Wow. I just checked the help forums, and there's something like 6000 "I can't post videos on new blogger".
There are also thousands and thousands of other problems with new blogger.

If you haven't switched over, I highly recomend that you don't.

I'm considering ditching blogger.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cheap fruit in ChinaTown

NPR had an interesting story a couple of days ago.
The story was about how fruit is up to 12 times cheaper in Chinatown, than in supermarkets.

Poor neighborhoods have a reputation for not having very much fresh fruit, and when they do, it is very expensive. You know storyline: the only thing in the hood is McDonald's and Church's chicken. THE MAN wants to keep us fat and give us high blood pressure to keep us down.

Back to Chinatown, according to the produce expert in the story, "They’re moving volume."
Instead of buying one or two peppers, most buyers get bags full of vegetables.

According to salesman Harvey Garrowitz, shopping habits in Chinatown play a major role.

GARROWITZ: They go out every day like in Europe. They still go out with a shopping bag and buy fresh.

Salesman Frank Shambry says THAT affects prices.

SHAMBRY: A riper product is definitely worth less money and people that buy today to eat today can buy a riper product where people that shop once a week, they want to make sure the commodities they bring home are going last that entire week, so you’ll end up paying a little bit more for product that’s greener or harder.

REPORTER: So shoppers’ buying a lot allows vendors to accept a smaller profit margin on each item. And since the shoppers are buying every day vendors can sell stuff that could go bad tomorrow, stuff that distributors want to get rid of, stuff that’s cheap.

Huh? So maybe it's the free market and not institionalized racism.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NPR: National Partisan Radio

I listen to NPR's Morning Edition every morning during my commute. This morning, they spent 10 minutes talking about the non-issue of Skooter Libby's trial. 10 minutes is a long time for radio 'news'.
I was most struck by the comparison to their non-coverage of the Sandy Berger trial. In a nutshell, they barely mentioned it.

UPDATE 2-8-07:

NPR has been covering and updating this irrelevant trial EVERY MORNING. This is ridiculous. They dedicate the bulk of their news time to this every fucking morning since before the trial began.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My 2-wheel fiasco

My tingly finger got me thinking about my motorcycle accidents. Yes, there were two.

I think I was 19 or 20. I decided to get a motorcycle. I found a used Yamaha 750 Special.
I got my permit, which allowed me to ride so long as I was with somebody who had a license. My friend, Lenny, had been riding since he was a toddler.
Shortly after I got it, Lenny and I took the front brake off to fix the caliper. I needed to get a part for it, but the back brake still worked. I remember asking Lenny if it was still safe to ride with just the back brake, and he responded, "I'd ride it all day".
That night, I rode to downtown Binghamton to meet a bunch of my friends at a bar.
As I went to turn into the parking lot, I applied the front brake and, of course, found nothing there. I hit the ramp-curb-entrance too fast, slamming me down into the handlebars and causing me to hit the throttle harder. I flew into the parking lot at about 20-25 mph.
I hit one of those big cement boxes with trees growing out of them.
I flew over the handlebars in an extended 360. Unfortunately, my pinky finger got caught between the clutch and the handlebar and snapped.
Completing my 360 found me hitting a street sign, primarily with my face and right thigh. Fortunately, I was wearing a full-face helmet. The front of my helmet was cracked and I had a huge bruise on my thigh.
When I stood up, I was pissed about my bike. There was a guy standing on the corner, barely able to stand, from laughing at me. I stormed over to him, all ready to whip his ass, not realizing that my left hand was covered with blood and a bone was poking out.
When I got to him, I remember him saying, "I'm sorry, man, but that was the funniest fucking thing I've ever seen."
I had to laugh too.
As I walked to the bar, I discovered my hand. When I went in, I told my friends that somebody had to take me to the hospital. They were all drunk, and literally drew straws to determine who had to take me. Chris Chesmore got the short one.
We walked by my bike on the way to his car. I picked it up and started pushing it to a parking spot, so the cops wouldn't get wise to it. Chris tried to stop me, telling me that I was in shock. I explained to him that I was illegal.
When we got to the ER, the attendant asked me how I broke the finger.

ME: It was a motorcycle accident
HER: I see.
ME: I mean, I was working on my motorcycle in my garage, and it fell over and landed on my finger.
HER: Oh that's different. That's not considered a vehicular incident.

Since the bone was broken at an angle, I got two pins put into it while it healed. The doctor told me they had to do that, or it would heal crooked.
I endured the pins for a month or so, and Doc? It still turned out crooked.

That's my left hand. I also got the tip of my right index finger cut off and sewn back on, but that's another story.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Somalia then and now

With terrorists meetings Allah on a large scale, it seems appropriate to make a few comparisons.

The Somalis have the right idea about war: "You don't use the minimal amount of force to try to discrourage your enemy from further hostilities. You hit them with everything, and do your best to round them up so that you can kill them all."

They've done a great job of cornering the terrorists, and with the help of out AC-130 gunships, are killing them wholesale. Well done.

Militarily, our last excursion into Mogadishu was a huge victory. During the "Blackhawk Down" incident, we lost 18 guys and killed something like 2000 of the enemy. We also captured the guys we went in to capture.
Politically, it was a disaster. In no small part, thanks to CNN being kind enough to broadcast video of our dead soldiers being dragged through the street.
The blame for that lies squarely on the worst presidential administration in history.

According to the Senate Armed Services Report, Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Montgomery had requested AC-130 gunships and armor, to support the "Battle of Mogadishu".

On the request for armor, Gen. Montgomery told congressional investigators he needed tanks because of attacks by Somali militias. "I believe that U.S. forces are at risk without it," the Sept. 14, 1993 request stated.

Armored vehicles may have saved lives and reduced casualties during the raid and subsequent rescue, the report concluded. Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, is the other co-author.

The report is based on a two-year study of the firefight in Mogadishu Oct. 3, 1993, and tells how top administration officials, including National Security Adviser Anthony Lake and Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, allowed the United Nations to influence deployment of U.S. forces, with disastrous results.

In doing so, U.S. interest was subordinated to "the Clinton administration's desire to see this U.N. operation succeed," Mr. Warner said.

The report says Gen. Colin Powell, was unable to get Mr. Aspin to approve the military's request for tanks and armored vehicles.

"Aspin was looking at the broader implication of this decision and wasn't willing to approve it just because the commander wanted it," Gen. Powell said.

Mr. Wisner told investigators he misunderstood the purpose for the armor. He also said "there was no need to increase the violence nor increase the aggressiveness" of the U.S. special forces.

Retired Gen. Colin Powell said he pressed President Clinton's top aides a week before the fatal 1993 raid in Somalia either to beef up U.S. forces or change his policy, according to a Senate report.

"I aggressively pushed Secretary (of Defense Les) Aspin for such a review and on Saturday, September 25th, when we had a meeting at the White House on Bosnia, I said at the end of the meeting that we need to do something about Somalia- either reinforce our forces or change our policy."

The report quoted special forces commanders as saying the AC-130s frightened Somali militia so they would have had psychological impact in the October raid.

But it said Powell and another senior commander rejected the request, saying as few new U.S. forces as possible should be sent to Somalia and the Spectres were not useful because they should not fire in Mogodishu itself.

It quoted Powell as saying he did not remember the AC-130 decision but that when Spectres had been in Somalia earlier "they wrecked a few buildings and it wasn't the greatest imagery on CNN."

"It is difficult to understand the decision to omit the AC-130 gunships from the Joint Task Force Ranger force package," concludes the report written by Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich.

The report quotes Gen. Wayne Downing, head of the United States Special Forces, as saying "we were under incredible pressure" from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"I advised that I would like to have the AC-130s," he said. "Gen. Powell advised that we needed to keep the numbers down."
This is the difference in how the US fights too many of its wars.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I'm Tingly

I woke up on Sunday with a slight numbness and tingling in my left pinky finger. I thought it was wierd, but I mangled that finger in a motorcycle accident years ago. It's still got an unnatural bend to it, but it never gave me any trouble before.
By the end of Sunday, the tingling/numbness had spread to slightly include my ring finger. By monday morning, both fingers and the edge of my palm were feeling it. It seems to have stopped there.
I'm getting good circulation to the fingers, so I'm leaning towards a pinched nerve.
Looking online, it could be anything from diebetes to carpal tunnel.
I'm due for a yearly checkup at the end of the month. If it doesn't get any worse, I'll wait until then. If I still have it, it will definitely be the topic of conversation between the doc and I.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bible-thumpers with power

This putz is GA state representative Bobby Franklin. He's a perfect example of the danger of giving power to the un-evolved.
Bobby has his degree from covenant college in biblical studies. He lists in his bio that he and his wife are active members of the Presbyterian Church.

Bobby started out this year's legislative session, by submitting a bill to outlaw abortion for any reason. His bill reads: "We know that life begins at is now abundantly clear that the practice has negatively impacted the people of this state in many ways, including economic, health, physical, psychological, emotional, and medical well-being."

Really? Got any, ya know, actual data to back that up, or that coming from the pulpit?

His bill then goes on to circular reasoning: Since we 'know' that life begins at conception, then a fetus is a person for all purposes under the law from the moment of conception, then, now that we 'know' a fetus is a person, blah blah, no person shall be denied equal protection.

He then goes on to blame all the world's ills on abortion: more child abuse, weakened families, mothers pitted against children, nervous disorders, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, suicide, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, breast cancer, high taxes.

After hearing about this idiotic bill, I went to Bobby's website and found other legislation dumbass is pushing:

A person commits the offense of sodomy when he or she performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. A person convicted of the offense of sodomy shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. (There is no age restriction on this. Hey all you gays! Y'all better stop all that sinnin' or you're going to jail) I'm guessing Bobby doesn't get too many blowjobs from the Mrs.)

Designating red clay as GA's official dirt.

Require state licenses for all adult video stores.

What an idiot. Further examples that conservatives don't really want less-intrusive government. They just want to control your life the way they want it.


Cheap Ass Builders

It drives me nuts, that as begin a project around the house, I am confronted with this issue: If my builder had spent an extra dime on this, my life would be so much easier.
I'm currently trying to install a new ceiling fan in my bedroom.
The old fan wobbled horribly when we moved in, ten years ago. Then I discovered that the mounting for it had an extra wide bracket for support (which had never been utilized). Once I added four screws into the ceiling, it stabilized.
The new fan doesn't use that, so I had to crawl up into the attic to see what the deal is. The plastic outlet box is mounted onto a thin piece of alluminum bracket, which stretched between the 2x4's. Why the hell the builder didn't just put a 2x4 between there to bolt to, is beyond me.
Now I have to clear away the blown-in insulation and mount a real bracket there.
My attic varies between zero and about 5 feet. It's largely filled with ductwork. I hate trying to navigate in there.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Caption This

Hate Crime Coverup

What if we had a hate crime and nobody cared?

LA Weekly is reporting on a story that began last Halloween, but has been completely ignored by "big media". It has scarcely made it beyond local news.

Three white women were attacked by a mob of black teens.

By melee’s end, one woman’s face was fractured in 12 spots, her teeth were broken and she’d suffered partial loss of sight in one eye. Two of the women suffered brain concussions and assorted broken bones after being kicked, punched and even struck by a skateboard wielded as a weapon.

Long Beach police spokeswoman Jacqueline Bezart is quoted as saying a crowd of black attackers hurled racial taunts (“White bitches!” “We hate whites!”) at the young women, and the police were pursuing it as a hate crime.
As the Press-Telegram reported on November 3, three white women aged 19 to 21 emerged from a “maze” walk in a house and were confronted by up to 40 black teenagers who pelted them with pumpkins and lemons. The paper said, “The taunts and jeers grew more aggressive, the victims recalled, as did the size of the crowd. Now females joined in, and everyone began saying, ‘We hate white people, fuck whites!’

Jesse? Al? Hello? Anybody wanna hold a march? Helllloooo?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Written in Atlanta's Paper today

"I have taught for over 12 years in the Gainesville school system, and I am required to spend the majority of my time teaching children of illegals how to speak and write English. That’s why your children are not getting a good education."

Let Paris Burn...Again

The mainstream american infotainers are ignoring the continued jihad against cars going on around France, including 400 cars burned on New Year's Eve, but I'm fairly sure the mayor of Paris has seen the orange glow encircling his city.
Despite this, he came out in favor of the idea of forcing a soup kitchen to serve non-pork soup to the homeless, to appease [a french speciality] the muslims who love him so much.

Of course, he should be encouraging the whole country to convert to strictly serving pork-laden products, in an effort to discourage further immigration and drive out the muslims already burning France. They could learn a lot from our domestic anti-smoking jihadis. Enact rule after rule, making it more and more inconvenient to find a place that does not serve pork. Tax the hell out of any food that does not contain pork.

Since he's doing just the opposite, screw Paris. Let it burn.

I do enjoy reading Coulter

Ya gotta hand it to her, she can turn a funny phrase.

"Three months after Nixon was gone, we got the Watergate Congress and with it, the new Democratic Party. In lieu of the old Democratic Party, which lost wars out of incompetence and naivete, the new Democratic Party would lose wars on purpose."

It's been a thorn in my side for years, listening to liberals praise our loss in Vietnam, while simultaneously ignoring the slaughter that went on for years throughout Southeast Asia, as a result.

I thought hippies were all about caring for their fellow man, ya know, like the Iraqis, and the Afghans, now that the Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Laosians have been slaughtered into servitude.

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