Monosyllabic Pedantry

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My community depresses me

I need to stop reading the local news. It just depresses me. My entire community is over run by idiots of every variety.

That is all.

UPDATE: I read the Onion then went out into the beautiful, 82 degree day. I feel better.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Double-Edged Sword of the Internet

While Mrs S was in Raleigh on business, I downloaded a bunch of ELO on iTunes. I love me some ELO. They combine the complexity of a string section with a good beat and a hook that's more addictive than crack. It's like 70's cotton candy. (Oh, Oh, Telephone Line. Give me some time. I'm living in Twilight)
While home alone, I discovered that Zachary LOVES to sing along to ELO. I guess he gets that from me.
We were demonstrating this new hobby to Mrs S last night, when she remembered a cheesy 70's song that was a favorite of hers. Gilbert O'Sullivan's Get Down.
She wanted to hear a clip of it, so I started searching for mp3s of it. I clicked on a website that was one of those alt.binary.blah.blah sites.
As soon as I did, my virus protection started popping up boxes.
The fuckers loaded a Trojan downloader and dumped a bunch of shit into my computer.
I spent the remainder of the evening digging it out, but there were still a couple programs in there this morning. I started another scan when left for work. I may have to get more out tonight.

I disconnected from the web, in an attempt to prevent any info from being transmitted, but realistically, if it could do it, it would have done it in the first millisecond.

My Norton's Antivirus is up to date, and the virus is from 2001, so hopefully I'm ok.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Liveblogging Dateline

I'm sure I'll get crap for this, but I'm already weary of the coverage of the VT shooting. It is what it is. Maybe I'm jaded from Columbine. No one benefits from the whore-media beating every minutia into the ground.

Maybe it's just that they're so obviously exploiting the emotion of it.

Some kid from VT has more character than Stone Phillips. I'm paraphrasing, as best I remember:

SP: There's been some talk about blaming someone.
The kid: This is not the time to channel our anger and grief into blaming someone, as there is no one person [other than the shooter] to blame this on. It's something that needs to be dealt with and move on.
SP: But shouldn't we try to learn from this so that if it ever happens again, we say we shouldn't do this or that.

One of the shooter's HS peers wrote that he appeared like the poster child of a school shooter.

Now they're crucifying the guy who legally sold him the 9mm handgun.
"Did he make your employee suspicious in any way?"
"How do you feel that he bought this gun at your store and did this?"

Guns bought in VA are used in NY for illegal stuff.
Talking about Bloomberg's investigation into illegal gun trade.
They're showing a straw purchase video.
What has this to do with anything?
Oh, by the way, he bought his guns legally

"Now, he was armed to the hilt"? With a .22 and a 9mm?
Yeah, adding that .22 to the arsenal really made a difference.

"Why him? Why any of them?"
"This is Emily." She's the girlfriend [that started it all]
[I'm sorry, but that's the implication they are doing with that juxtaposition]

Bummer. The hot Lebanese girl spent last summer in Beirut, during the war, only to be killed here.

SP is back to laying blame.
Christ, he's back to harping on the gun laws. Kill me.
"This Gun Culture that seems to play some role in this tragedy." Idiot.
How is a loner Korean immigrant part of this mysterious gun culture? Is he out shootin' varmits' on the weekends? Is he listening to Ice-T?
I HATE when inside-the-beltway morons try to sound like experts on something they know nothing about.

"The internet makes the world a village."
If Al Gore and Hillary ran on that, they could win.

Cybergriefing; a new word!

"The difficult, tough questions that security must be getting now."

All the kids in the hospital have been upgraded. Looks like they'll make it.

More blame. The parents of the hot Lebanese girl couldn't get her on her cell phone, so they drove to the campus and ran into a friend of hers that knew she was dead.
"Are you angry that the university didn't call you before you found out from someone else?"
Uh, I'm guessing 'the university' still had a pretty full plate at that point.

I wonder what the memorial will look like.

Jeebus! Stone, enough with the blame!
Can you not go two questions without going back to that well?

I can't believe ANY of these parents agreed to talk to the media. I wouldn't.

I love Hallelujah, although John Cale does it better.


Back to the Imus thing

Best of the web has one of the best statements, concerning the effects and acceptance of [some] rap music. So good in fact, that I'll just paste it here:

The racial element of all this is more complicated. It is true, for instance, that if a black man calls his black friend "nigger," the word has a totally different meaning than it would have coming from a white stranger. But rap music is not "all in the family"; it is disseminated widely beyond the black community. "Today 70% of hip-hop is bought by white kids," musicologist Arthur Kempton told the Boston Globe in 2003.
What these white kids are buying, in the words of Stanley Crouch, is "the most dehumanizing images of black people since the dawn of minstrelsy in the 19th century":
Pimps, whores, potheads, dope dealers, gangbangers, the crudest materialism and anarchic gang violence [are] broadcast around the world as "real" black culture.
Why does a genre that embodies ugly stereotypes about blacks have such appeal to young whites? Our surmise is that it has less to do with race than with sex. Adolescent males yearn to be men--but the aspiration for manhood has few ready outlets for expression in a society that has embraced the notion that the differences between the sexes are but social constructs. So boys and young men are drawn to the crude, stylized masculinity of gangsta rap.
Still, if the perpetuation of antiblack stereotypes is bad for blacks--by which we mean not merely offensive but objectively harmful--then gangsta rap has to be the most baneful cultural force vis-à-vis blacks since Jim Crow. Not only is gangsta rap vastly more pervasive than old-fashioned white supremacy; it is far more insidious, because it is presented as the black community's image of itself.
Our society rightly anathematizes white racism against blacks. It is patronizing, if not racist, to suggest that whites, merely by virtue of the color of their skin, lack the moral authority to criticize black racism against blacks.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

To Catch a Car Thief

We watched Dateline last night. Their "To Catch A" series was about car thieves in Houston Texas.

The whole episode was a lesson in the importance of securing our border with Mexico.

First, the thieves were almost exclusively Latino, except for the car-jackers (Those who stole the cars by force) who were exclusively black.

Just so you don't think I'm just slamming the minorities, there WAS one white guy out of the 30 or so thieves.

But hey, it IS Houston, right?

It reminded me of the trip I took to Tijuana, Mexico. As soon as you enter the city, you see that BOTH sides of the street are lined with auto parts stores. San Diego is the car-theft capital of the US. Coincidence?

The criminals weren't limited to car theft. They also explained to the undercover cop that they could bring as much drugs and guns "across the border" as they [the buyer] needed. Kilos of cocaine, meth, ecstasy and AK47's. The cops bought what looked like a Glock, for $250.

Maybe the Iranians have the right idea, afterall.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Superficial Friends


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nasal Irrigation

NPR did a story recently on nasal irrigation. It caught my ear because Mrs Schwartz has had sinus problems for as long as I've known her. They became even worse after the nasal spray incident.
Between the dog hair and pollen drifts, even my non-allergy sinuses get messed up.

I got one of the kits from the drug store.

I've got to say, it really works.

You bend over the sink, hold your breath and push water up one nostril until it starts coming out the other nostril. I know, wierd. It feels wierd too.

But it really works for clearing out your sinuses. It's all natural, inexpensive, and you can do it as much as you want with no side effects. I generally just do it once in the morning.

They have all sorts of solutions you can buy, but you can just use saline. In fact, I've just been using filtered water, and it works fine.


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