Friday, August 31, 2007

That which I have feared has come to pass
















Everything about this article is absolutely terrifying.
Some excerpts (which made me wet myself):

Entomologists are debating the origin and rarity of a
sprawling spider web that blankets several trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard stretch of trail in a North Texas park.

"Now it [the massive web is] filled with so many mosquitoes that it's turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs."

Spider experts say the web may have been constructed by social cobweb
spiders, which work together...

"I've been hearing from entomologists from Ohio, Kansas,
British Columbia — all over the place..."

These spiders are organizing and creating webs that are clearly large enough to catch Quianas and they have been documented in our Canadian backyard. Nature is poised to attack and we are totally screwed.

I can never visit my parents in BC again. Sorry Mom! I will really miss you after the spiders get you!



Here is another pic with people in it for perspective.

More little hippo action!

Via CBS

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More noooooooooze.

Sorry, Mr. President, You're All Out of Troops
The President's shortsighted military strategy and the options with which we are presented.
This actually reminds me of when I took my 12 year old cousin Sean to the movies and they showed a commercial for the reserves and afterwards Sean said, "Why didn't they show anyone in the desert?"
"Because they're hoping you wouldn't notice."
"Why?"
"Because they're running out of soldiers."
"Well that sucks."
"Indeed."


With Friends Like Mitt you might want to get a dog.
Actual alternate title from the RSS feed:
Mitt Romney shivs his pal Larry Craig.
Damn you Slate! Alternate titles are my thing! Get your own thing!
-Anyway- Mitt Romney turned on his former campaign chairman in 5 minutes!
Wow Mitt, you're a bad friend in addition to a bad person. I think that's an extra 5 points.

Both stories via Slate.

In other news, I'm pretty sure that this is from the secret squirrel terrorist training camp.













Additionally, a spider was trying to hide in my laundry this morning. (And where is my laundry bag? Next to my shower. This spiders-are-perverts theory is looking fact-ier every day.)

Will someone now add 'laundry bag' to the list of things that I'm scared of please? Thanks.

Google is a cruel mistress

Things people Googled YESTERDAY to find SUC:

'seattle ravenna larp'
and
'knife sewed in stuffed monkey'

You people are starting to worry me. A lot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My car has a window!

Well, I guess it has the standard number of windows now. Hooray standard!

Now raccoons will not hide in my backseat! Hooray not getting The Rabies!

And the fine folks at Alderwood Auto Glass were very nice and speedy and even removed the duct tape residue from my car!

Yay Alderwood Auto Glass! Now all I need to do is write a nasty letter to my insurance company and then switch companies!

Thought of the Day: Things that I worry about.















1. Last night I had some anxiety that something (read Nature) would climb into my car. Perhaps another vicious squirrel assassin. I am sure this is exactly the sort of opening Nature has been looking for.

2. Last night I became extremely angry when my adjuster called and left me a voicemail mentioning that she thought it was a bonehead idea to leave my unsecured vehicle on the street and couldn't I just have that glass fixed.
So I left her an angry message. I didn't say 'no shit, Sherlock," but I wanted to. I did casually mentioned that I called 5 places unsuccessfully trying to get my glass fixed yesterday and since my agent was clueless I was kind of screwed on that whole immediate assistance issue.
Now I feel bad because I have had to leave a few feisty messages with people and I am not big on losing my temper. But, I lost my temper, and the end result: tears. As always. Additionally, now I feel like a jerk.

3. Of course I called one last auto glass place on my Grandma's suggestion (after I snapped at her) and left them a message, so my car will be fixed today. Thus semi-alleviating my fears, but continuing my belief that I'm a grandma-snapping at-ing, mean voice-mail leaving jerk.

4. In other news I had a little argument about this Michael Vick business with my Grandma the day before as well. Essentially my comment was that he should go to jail, but if Leonard Little can drunkenly kill a human being and still play for the NFL then Michael Vick should be allowed back in spite of public opinion.
Grandma essentially just feels strongly about dogs and wants him to suffer. Which is fine. I even believe that (brace yourself for an uncool opinion) God asked us to be the stewards of this planet- so fighting dogs to the death is a pretty gross way to exercise our power.
I am also all for Vick doing a huge amount of jail time, but if the NFL wants to ban players based upon criminal records, there needs to be some parity. According to USA Today, 13 players in the 2000 Super Bowl had criminal records. If the NFL starts booting criminals, what is a boot-able offense? I whole-heartedly support all sports leagues making rules about criminal behavior; after all, these are explicitly role models.
Furthermore, I like dogs a lot, but I wish I could harness all of the public anger about this dog-fighting and turn it towards helping people or getting our civil liberties back.

freak display of nature

No, not me, this.
Nifty article on a strange aquatic phenomenon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I hope you are enjoying my free pen...
















This morning I arrived to find my car's trunk open and the rear driver side window smashed. My emergency kit and car stuff bins were both dumped into my trunk and sorted through. They even opened the donut shaped tin which holds my medical tape. Now I know where all of the 10 year old family sedan driving over-cautious drug addicts hide their emergency bumps. My glove-box contents were liberally scattered around the front seat with no regard for the integrity of my map of British Columbia. Glass was everywhere.















The thieves made off with a Sea-Tac Hilton pen, a broken tape adapter, and a mostly working iPod charger- 0$, 3$, and 20$ (when they were all working, estimated current value- 10$, 0$, and 0$). Things not stolen: 150$ hiking boots. Presumably these wouldn't fit the thief because he must have been the god damned Incredible Hulk in order to lift the HUGE cinder block used to smoosh my window. The picture does not do this block justice. Trust me I tried to lift it and it was VERY heavy.















While I applaud the thieves on two fronts-
1. Brute strength
2. Breaking the rear window instead of the front-
These guys are clearly amateurs as they picked a 1996 Mercury Sable to bust into looking for valuables. Dude, if someone owns a 1996 Mercury Sable they don't own any valuables. For crying out loud, it doesn't even have a CD player.
Furthermore I was able to jimmy my own door open in less than a minute using a coat hanger when I locked my keys in my car. A pro could have had my door open in seconds.

Beside the fact that they wasted my time and STOLE MY FAVORITE PEN, I'm not too upset. Sure it sucks, but I have a low deductible. The part that I'm really upset with- other than the pen- is that now I'm driving around in a car with a garbage bag duct taped to it. I promised myself that I'd never drive another beater with duct tape and here I am until Thursday morning.

At least if anyone wants to get into my car tonight they can just rip open the bag.

If anyone sees a guy taking notes with a silver Hilton pen whilst listening to his slowly charging iPod through only his right hand speakers make a citizen's arrest. I want my pen back.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dorky TV for dorks.

Wednesday 9pm on Discovery Channel

MythBusters
Superhero Hour
TV-PG
You're not seeing things. As uncomfortable as it is, it's true. The Mythbusters are wearing their underpants on the outside. And why? Because this episode is the Superhero Hour --- the Marvel comic maestros are put under the MythBusters microscope.

Nice try, Nature.

The day after I left my friend Lynn's house after two weeks of dog-sitting Lynn noticed little kitty prints in the ash of the fireplace in their formal living room. Thinking nothing of it, Lynn was ironing in her bedroom when there came a rustling noise from within the closet. Lynn glanced over and noticed that both cats and the dog were within her view.
Lynn grabbed her pets and ran for it and after telling her husband that there is something in the closet, she promptly locked herself and her pets in her office.
Michael went upstairs and looked into the closet, seeing nothing. "Lynn," he called, " there is nothing in here."
"Page through the clothes, or I won't come out!"
So he did, and there in the closet, mere hours after I had left, was a squirrel. A ninja stealth assassin squirrel, one day late.
Michael donned heavy gloves and a broom and chased the squirrel down the stairs. Completely ignoring the open doors my furry nemesis ran straight up the chimney. The very chimney where he was no doubt holed up for two weeks, biding his time, watching me and preparing to attack when I least expected it- probably in the shower. (This seems to be a good lurking spot for Nature.)

Sorry about those rights and stuff....

I didn't think that this was going to happen:
Alberto Gonzalez Resigns
"Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my [migrant worker] father's best days," Gonzales said.
This is because poor people live lives no better than dogs. True story. And certainly value money over personal integrity and hard work.
I'm sure Gonzales' father would be proud. After all, he fled his homeland and worked his fingers to the bone so that Gonzales could dismantle the constitution and lie to the people of America.

Friday, August 24, 2007

So, you say you want more jumbled posts?

Rock on.

1. Lolita's Closet, via Slate.
One woman's search to find appropriate clothes for her teen daughter.
Alternative title: why Quiana must, must, must remember to take the pill every day.

2. Newsarama makes my day with all-Ryan Reynolds- all-the-time.
Ryan Reynolds (RAAAAWWWWWR) on Deadpool and rumors of his potential appearance in the upcoming JLA movie. (Which will probably suck. Since Christian Bale (RAAAAWWWWWR) won't appear in it. Curse you and your artistic interest in only being in ridiculously awesome movies, Christian!) (Yes, Steve, we'll still go to see JLA- after all we went to Episode 3 and FF2. Because we are nerds. And morons.)

3. Yo Joe! G.I. Joe heads to the big screen in 2009.
Self-explanatory title there, but I'm not sure how they are going to pull this off. I mean, aren't there plenty of real war movies? Good ones too.
In fact I LOVE war movies (no idea why) but I just can't see giving someone 10 bucks to watch Cobra Commander.

4. There was a god damned spider in my god damned shower this morning.
WHY? I need answers, people. Why are they always lurking in the shower? There I was standing on the edge of my tub swatting at it with a random shoe. Might I add it was so big that after wapping it repeatedly it fell into the tub and WOULDN'T GO DOWN THE DRAIN. It was that big.
Is my apartment the movie set for some kind of 50's nuclear hysteria monster movie? And if this is indeed the case, where is my wavy haired reporter or army guy? Shouldn't he be killing my spider after successfully catching me mid-swoon?

Shhhhhh don't be nervous...

but we've received about 20 hits from people searching Google for "Hollywood erotic boutique Seattle"

Now far be it from me to judge, but seriously, why are you shopping at Hollywood Erotic Boutique? Try Toys in Babeland. Or even Castle.
The only reason I could think of for shopping at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique is to support local business; which I am all for- but come on! BLECH!

Ok SUCkers, don't look now, but there be as many as 20 perverts of the slinking-into-third-rate-Lake-City-porn-shop variety in here! Meep!

For my encounter with the HEB click here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Learning a lesson from lemurs










Ringtails participate in "stink fights," by waving their tails about after brushing them across scent glands on their wrists. Whoever is more odorous is the winner. Disputes over rank can be settled this way too, and rarely are there violent fights.

Now all we need are scent glands. Thanks National Geographic, you're a life saver- literally!

In other news, I think I will start referring to all bickering as 'stink fighting.'

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Perhaps they could use a little fluoride too?

Here is my subscription renewal notice for the magazine Mental Floss.

Holy cow! I can 'save 0 dollars?!' WOW! I see that I can "get a second year for only 0 more, saving you a total of 0 off the newsstand price...."

Perhaps I should make this an ongoing series 'You've got Stupid-Mail!'

Random assortment of what-not.

Monkey Girl shares my distaste for kitty-mouth.


H&M is opening a store at the University Village. Hooray for cheap trendy clothes that will fall apart after the 4th washing!


Most disappointingly misleading headline: T-rex versus Beckham? Sorry David, you're lunch
If you actually want to read about new dinosaur theory (to be followed by alternate theory this time next year)*click the link. What? You're not clicking?
*This actually reminds me of the iPod. You get a new one and by the next year it is obsolete.



Japan, still a total dick. Japan omits China, asks Asian Democracies to unite
I don't want to be cheeky, but seriously, can you have a Asian Union without them? They basically are Asia. Furthermore, what? You're not inviting Russia, but you are inviting India?
"By Japan and India coming together in this way, this 'broader Asia' will evolve into an immense network spanning the entirety of the Pacific Ocean, incorporating the United States of America and Australia."
Oh, and the US and Australia. As 7th grade Quiana would say, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO buuuuuuuuuuurn!"
While Abe has improved ties with China, which had frayed under his predecessor, he has also stressed the need to forge closer links with democracies in what analysts have said was a tacit criticism of Beijing.
You think?


Russian woman sets fire to ex-husband's penis.

A woman set fire to her ex-husband's penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, Moscow police said on Wednesday.
Let this be a lesson to you men-folk, sometimes we just get tired of seeing your junk. This is like leaving the Christmas tree out all year, so don't get mad if we're not excited on Christmas morning.

And now for my final news item of the day, saving the best for last:
Murray refuses breath test in Sweeden
Actual text from the article: It isn't illegal to drive a golf cart in city traffic in Sweden, but Holmlund said it is very unusual.
I wonder if he tried to order some flapjacks. Or maybe some Swedish pancakes.
"Too early for flapjacks?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good news!

The sky did not fall.

I did not turn into Tony Shalhoub, as I had initially feared.

In fact, all is well. It turned out that pie, Monday night TV, and knitting were the only things needed to perk me right up.

Now I can go straight back to my normal irrational fears of raccoons, squirrels, things with more than four legs, men wearing striped shirts and spiked hair who talk to me in bars, the government and its frustrating ineptitude, and becoming my mother.

And now for your viewing pleasure:
a highly sedated lemur

Monday, August 20, 2007

Foreboding

I have been just smothered in foreboding today. It is the sort of thing I associate with girlishness; perhaps because my mother is often struck with these sorts of feelings of clairvoyance that cause her to say such things as, "Oh I think I'd better drive down to wait while you have surgery because I have this very strong sense of foreboding about this...." As though a comment like this is supposed to make me feel -better-.

No, I don't think that I'm psychic, but my response to this feeling will still be to cower at home in bed with my stuffed bunny, Mr Bunnykins, and watch TV while eating tasty pie and waiting for the sky to fall.

On a related note, I am publishing an unauthorized reproduction of my convo about this subject with Paul (Paul italics, and I am bold, in general, but in this case in font as well) from this a.m. So read it ASAP in case Paul demands I take down this inflammatory and speculative hogwash.

I am feeling this deep sense of foreboding. Very nervous and frantic feeling. Is this silly?

Is this just a general sense of foreboding or is it over something specific? Personally I have been quite weirded out over a series of occurrences, so if you wanted to tell me that the fabric of space and time is collapsing around me... I would still think you were being silly but I would be placing an order of large container of Reality Glue. What kind of container would Reality Glue come in? My first thought was one of those paste jugs form kindergarten.

Foreboding of the variety that is not allowing me to make decisions, such as what kind of planner do I want or whether to go to Superbad tonight.

I would like reality to be kept in a very large rubber cement bottle. The kind with the brush. Reality bottles would be cumbersome and hard to open. I can picture some form of hijinx ensuing simply from trying to open a crusty old reality bottle. The smell of reality would also give me a headache.

Sorry to hear about the general foreboding. I find the general foreboding much more annoying than specific. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But in your case you would probably see that as a good thing, as long as it was in your size and "cute".

A link dump?

Just what you always wanted!


World's Costliest Ham Triggers Pork Envy
Amusing and Irritating excerpts:

Likening it to a Mount Olympus of pork.

"This is the best ham in the world because it comes from the best pig in the world," [That's some pig!]

Maldonado has yet to set a price for customers who buy the 13-pound hams directly from him, but the food site Ibergour.com has a dozen for sale at $2,100 each, and is accepting $250 deposits.
Is it ridiculous to pay that for a piece of pig? [WTF. YES. And this is coming from me.]

"It is the most important ham in Spain," adds Pedro Soley.

Democrats just noticed missing testes.
Via Slate's Today's Papers.
The NYT lead says Congress accidentally gave President George Bush the power to conduct warrantless searches and seizures when it passed a wiretapping bill earlier this month. Democrats are embarrassed they voted without understanding language that would allow—among other things—some physical searches, and the collection of business records, without a court order.

Alternate titles:
Plot from Arrested Development Ominously True in Congress

Congress: 'Rights must be around here somewhere.'

To Congress: 'Have you tried looking under the couch?'



Slate's Article on The Poetry of Guantanamo
In "To My Father," by Abdullah Thani Faris Al Anazi, the poet writes:
O Father, this is a prison of injustice.

Its iniquity makes the mountains weep.
I have committed no crime and am guilty of no offense.
Curved claws have I,
But I have been sold like a fattened sheep.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Things you may have to pry out of my cold dead hands

No, not cannoli (because only Rialto at Green Lake serves a reasonable cannolo in Seattle).

Nope, it's a gun, seriously.

Really.

I went to bed thinking guns should not be around (and yes, I admit, I did grow up with guns) and woke up thinking that maybe keeping Americans armed would be a nice way to deal with our inept, but ever scarier government.

Is Pooky growing up? Or is this a mere adult culmination of the fear of the government that was seeded in my little piggy-tailed head by E.T., D.A.R.Y.L, Real Genius, War Games, Flight of the Navigator, The Secret of NIMH, Terminator, and the Alien series?

Hard to say, but as Democrats get harder for me to respect, Republicans (real ones- not money spending, government power-increasing Bushites) are getting more attractive. Is this some sort of disillusionment beer-goggle?

Probably.

But don't worry, I haven't gone this far yet. Rudy Giuliani can still kiss my shiny metal ass. He should be used to kissing women's asses by this point. (Zing!)

You may call me Snappy McSapperson

Seriously grumpy today. Grump Grump Grump.

Hey I know what would cheer me up!













MMMMMMMMM... chocolate Daleck.

I think my irritation has to do with the hand entry of thousands of numbers into my Database of Doooooooooom. And you know, the weather. And my mean friends who are too busy to watch Monster Squad with me, even though I expressly requested it for them to view. I would even make a nice coffee cake....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Random Crap of Interest to Me

3 links today:

The Worst of Both Worlds

How the bush administration cherry-picks whether you are a 'enemy combatant' or a 'terrorist' in order to 'lawfully' ignore the differing sets of rights accorded to each.

Squirrels Even Scare Rattle Snakes
"Because the snakes, which are ambush hunters, can sense infrared radiation from heat, the warming makes the tails more conspicuous to them — signaling that they have been discovered and that the squirrels may come and harass them, explained Aaron Rundus...."
Alternate title: Hot Tail.

Bob Allen- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
If you are interested in a transcript of the prostitution sting which netted State Rep. Bob Allen, you can find it above. It is short, but mighty interesting.
Other things I could've called this story:
Bob Allen, cocksucking racist, still loves Jesus.
My favorite part:
"When Allen was being placed in a marked patrol car, he asked whether "it would help" if he was a state legislator, according to a police report. The officer replied, "No."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

League of Women Who Think You're an Idiot

The survey left, click to enlarge, is the most ridiculous survey I've seen in a long time.

I have written my own survey which is only moderately ridiculous:
1. Do you support puppies being run over by steamrollers?
2. Would you like more donuts and candy?
3. Do you find it nearly impossible to stop trees from growing using only the power of your mind?

Result= Dramatic commercials.
"98% of Americans want the heinous practice of Puppy-Steamrolling abolished! Hillary Clinton for President, she'd never steamroll a puppy.
Paid for by the League of Women Voters."

Well, League, and I think Gloria Steinem would have my back on this, you're stupid.

Alternate Title:
Says League of Women Voters, "You're dumb, give us money."

PS- League of Women Voters, I think you're jerks. Thanks for the AWESOME survey.

Parades are cool, but a reasonable wage is nicer.

Two links to stories on the Freakonomics blog regarding how to adequately compensate the people who keep us safe: soldiers and cops.

Restore the Draft? What a Bad Idea
New theory on how to get good prospective soldiers to enlist: pay them properly*.

In Case You Think Police Officers are Overpaid
This article also reminded me that paying officers a good wage would encourage competition and get the best applicants. Additionally, bribery would be less of an issue if cops made a good wage.

*In an unrelated and immature thought, I used to remember how to spell 'properly' by noting that 'pp' is improper.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good Times for Geeks

My best friend from JH, Amber, is in town and last night we found one of those nifty R2D2 post-boxes.
















We also sat down and started watching the first season of The 4400. This show was actually pretty cool, so check it out.

Alien abduction tv show watching and posing with post-boxes in robot drag: this is what geeks do for fun.

Still single, guys. RAWWWR.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Nature News!

There must be something in the water; rabies is my guess.

Wis. Cops Capture Diaper-Wearing Monkey
Police issued a warning to the public of the foot-tall monkey with a long prehensile tail: "It is now on the lam, presumably still in the State Street area.[Unless it hijacked a chopper... then it could be anywhere. If I were him, I'd go straight for Brazil... for their extradition laws and zesty waxing practices....]"


Beheaded Snake Sends Man to Hospital
"When I reached down to pick up the head, it raised around and did a backflip almost, and bit my finger," Anderson said. "I had to shake my hand real hard to get it to let loose."
Nature attacks from beyond the grave. BOOOOOOOOOOO.

Bats: Have Rabies, Fuck Up Your Commute
A tailback of about 800 yards built up in one direction, while cars queued for more than a mile at the tunnel's other entrance.
Say bats: "Ah, my ridiculously circuitous plan is one-quarter complete!" No word on ultimate outcome. Blogger's guess: rabies gun?

Woman Kills Raccoon With Her Bare Hands
She pulled the raccoon off the child, told the children to run home and strangled the animal, authorities said.
Her hobbies include pumping iron, eating nails, and foxy boxing.

Favorite phrase of the day: foxy boxing.

Getting all Bryn Mawr

I read this article on the Freakonomics blog and a whole slew of people shot straight to the top of my 'find their car and take a dump on it' list.

To paraphrase the article:
Under particular discussion is a pickup technique that Mystery advocates known as “negging” — a move that involves interjecting an insult during an initial conversation with a woman. The motivation behind the insult is, as Esquire’s A.J. Jacobs puts it, to “lower her self-esteem, thus making her more vulnerable to your advances.”

I have run into guys like this and when they insult you and you respond appropriately (drink in lap/testicle removal) they always call you a 'stuck up bitch.' I have since learned that for men like this, any girl who has the ability to resist the will of any man is 'a bitch.' And that any girl smarter than him is 'stuck up.'

Now here is the issue that I have with this theory: if you are just looking for someone to have sex with, you can easily pick up chicks with self-esteem issues without having to be an overt asshole; you can be a covert asshole. There are a whole lot of women so dumb or desperate that you don't even have to trick them to have sex with you mere hours after meeting.

Quiana's Guide for Men Who Want to Get Laid Tonight!
1. Look for the tramp stamp. Lower back tattoo = easy pickings.
2. Pick a less pretty girl out of a group of girls- especially bachelorette parties.
3. Pick up a really young or much older woman in the bar. 21 year olds may not be wise enough to know about guys like you, older women will be flattered by your attention and probably won't care about being used.
4. Find a girl that's alone. If she's at a bar alone, she's looking for exactly what you have available. Or she is a prostitute. Either way it's a win!! (Unless she's a tranny, caveat emptor, my friend.)
5. Craigslist casual encounters.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

sigh

How a Dirty Word Gets That Way via Slate.
In March 2002, Bush interrupted a meeting Condoleezza Rice was holding and yelled, ""Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out!"

President Bush used another version when he told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the United Nations needed to "get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit."


That's our guy.

Things my friends think are funny.

1. The Office
2. Mitch Hedberg
3. Trying to get me fired.

A couple of days ago this arrived at my office:
















I opened it to find this:















As I was sitting there my boss walked up and thank God her vision is AWFUL, because I think that as far as Workplace is concerned, penises outside of the pant-al region are strictly prohibited.

Thank God for the internet!

Otherwise I never would have found out about the following:

Swedish grandmother hospitalized after beaver attack
You know I went to Bryn Mawr for YEARS and never suffered a beaver attack. What? Not that kind of beaver? Well, the statement is still true.
Actually I spend a lot of time at the beaver park in North Seattle (no, not Volunteer Park, the actual park with the beaver dam). Beavers are huge and I'm certain they could totally fuck you up. I love watching the beavers swim around and build their dam, but now I'm a bit nervous, what with my track record for animal attacks.

Venturesome DIY'er building Futurama's Bender

On a whimsical request from a friend, a pioneering lad set out to not only create a lifelike rendition of Bender, but to "give it a brain and make it brew beer."
I wonder if this guy is single, since he's building a Bender Brewer, I would guess so. He's handy, he likes beer, he likes cartoons... I can't see a problem here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wages of global hegemony.

China threatens 'nuclear option' of dollar sales.

See kids, this is what happens when the US plays hardball. When a country goes from defender to playground bully, how can anyone be surprised at the consequences?
Years of abusive foreign policy have led to acrimonious relationships with other nations at exactly the time we need their support.

Stay tuned for more unpopular opinions here at Seattle Umbrella Conspiracy.

WWZ

Some time ago I read World War Z, an excellent "oral history" of the zombie wars, written by Max Brooks.
As predicted by Steve and yours truly, a film is now in the works.

And that's all I got, check out the story at Zombiephiles.com.

What can be loosely described as 'news'

WWTD.com is reporting that JJ Abrams is looking at Tom Cruise for a part in the upcoming Star Trek movie. In related news, I wish to die.

AP is reporting that a man smuggled a monkey into NYC under his hat.
"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him...."
At least it wasn't in his pants.

Excerpt from recent news story:
There, police found the video camera and a "large amount" of 8mm and VHS videotapes of Dills engaged in masturbation and sex acts with traffic signs near his home, McManus said.
Perplexing. How does one have a sex act with a traffic sign beyond the previously mentioned masturbation? I hope he has his tetanus booster.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Maybe I should get married after all.

Because last night there was a spider IN MY FRIDGE.

Let me repeat IN MY FRIDGE.

There I was in my PJ's watching How I Met Your Mother when I had a hankering for a nice apple. I opened the fridge and THERE WAS A SPIDER IN MY FRIDGE. And then because I am a complete and utter moron I squeaked and SHUT THE DOOR. I soon realized that this was not a good solution to the issue and used the back of my dustpan to squash the spider. (Then danced/hopped around in circles flailing my arms going 'blech, blech, blech!!!')

It took all of my strength to not throw out every last thing in my fridge from milk to olives on the spider-cootie principle/highly unlikely, but nonetheless terrifying egg laying possibility. The additional epiphany that the spider probably rode into my fridge on my fresh produce, purchased that day for TJ's, sucked the apple craving out of me faster than (insert sorority girl joke here).

Luckily it wasn't the scariest of all local spiders, the giant house spider. Linda recently had a run in with the GHS, as did Megan. Although, I don't think that one of those could fit in my fridge.

NYT on Wussy Democrats

The Fear of Fear Itself

Payday Loans= Most Evil Possible Thing in the Universe

So today when I made a payment to my Bank of America credit card I decided that I would purchase nothing for myself this month. This will enable me to move the $100 for 'shopping' into 'debt reduction.'
This is because I want to pay off BOA as soon as I can so that I can discontinue my tacit support of payday loans.

According to the National Consumer Law Center's report: Utilities and Payday Lenders: Convenient Payments, Killer Loans both of the banks which hold my two credit accounts are the owners of exploitative lending centers.As you can see on this cute little chart. (Should expand if you click it. Via consumerist.com)



In case you are saying to yourself, caveat emptor, I would like to remind you heartless bastards that the interest rates on these loans are about 390% to start.

Here is a breakdown of these ridiculous loans via All Financial Matters:

Let’s say times are tough and Jack needs $100 to fix his car. Jack goes down to the local payday loan company and they agree to give him a loan. So Jack writes a check for $125 and gives it to the payday company and they give him $100. Two weeks later, Jack gets paid and the payday loan company cashes Jack’s check, closing out the deal.

Now, take a wild guess as to how much the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is on Jack’s loan…

How about 651.79%!

Here’s how that’s figured:

APR = i × (365 ÷ n)

where…

i = periodic interest rate, which is 25% in this example ($25 fee ÷ $100 = .25 or 25%)
n = time period of the loan, in this case 14 days

Filling in the numbers, our formula looks like this:

APR = .25 × (365 ÷ 14)

APR = .25 × 26.0714

APR = 6.5179 or 651.79%

OUCH!


Here you will find a payday loan branch manager telling the fine folks at The Center for Responsible Lending about tricking poor people into exploitative loans.

And, lest you forget, as was discussed before (and in Congress, and on TV, and on every website ever) payday loan centers target the poor and those on fixed incomes, most specifically: soldiers and their families, minorities, recent immigrants, the elderly, the infirmed, and of course single mothers.

Finally, if after all of this, you need a fuzzy story to make you not hate the universe and all in it- here you go: a man described as the "internet batman."

With liberty and justice for American born citizens only.

Slate has two interesting articles out today about the state of the rights for non-Americans in the power of the American government.

The Birth of a Torture Program.

Did Bush Repeal the 5th Amendment?

I've said it a million times, but if the price of my freedom is the loss of freedom for others- especially the most basic of freedoms: to own and retain property and to not have your nuts hooked up to car batteries- then the cost is too high for me.

I love what America supposedly stood for, but I'm ashamed of what we're doing. America was created to be the home of liberty, justice, and the respect for the individual. How can we talk about justice when we grant none to others? How can we claim to respect individuality and product liberty when we hold people with no trial; when we break the Geneva Conventions; and when we overthrow foreign governments to make political and financial capital?

How does it feel to be the bad guy? How do you feel today? I feel pretty shitty.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Freedom shmeedom, that's what I say.

Congress Caves via Slate

Alternative title:
Democrats are huge pussies.

Goddammit.



















I would feel better if the 'leader of the free world' wasn't wearing socks with plastic sandals.

from The Top Socialite

Who killed the electric car?

Answer: rich guys.

Saturday night I watched Who Killed the Electric Car with my friend Dawn and we were upset- but not, I regret to say, shocked. I had a very serious 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore moment' and then I had snack and got over it. (Which is why there is no change in America: "Ding-dongs, 300 channels, and free internet porn? What was I mad about again?)


Aside the first:
My cousin Sean (soon to be 13 years old) and I enjoy the discussion of two different scenarios:

1. Zombie Outbreak

2. Taking over the world/ ruling it with an iron fist/ subjugating the populace

Now on the issue of taking over the world, we've decided that we could completely effectively control our 'citizens' with the following plan:

1. Sundae Sunday- free ice cream sundaes every Sunday.

2. Universal health care, including free birth control.

3. State funded cable.

Back to the discussion at hand: There is just SO much wrong with America these days (as in the past, no doubt). If you want to have a complete 'sode about oil (and war and the environment and unelected fat guys running the country from their wallets) watch this movie.

And if you really want to flip out, watch this movie and then watched Maxed Out, another documentary about corporate America (this time banks) bending the rest of us over a table.

5 monkeys- angry ones, throwing poo, for both of these provocative documentaries.

This leads me to two bonus asides:

1. Michael Moore is a biased, rude, and generally unpleasant character who could learn a lot from the makers of Maxed Out and Who Killed the Electric Car- of even from The Future of Food. Additionally, he can bite me.


2. Freakonomics Blog is reporting that:
"On August 6th, 1941, the U.S. government imposed a nightly curfew on gas stations to reduce fuel use in anticipation of entering World War II. By the way, oil sold at the time for an inflation-adjusted $12.75 a barrel."
Incidentally, I love this blog- even if I don't always agree with it. It has a very high level of discourse.

Hello Kitty: shifty and not to be trusted.

Just like Thai cops, but pinker and kittier.

As a new punishment, Thai cops will be forced to wear pink armbands in a demerit-like punishment system. This should work great. I know that if I were a Thai citizen, I would like the authority of my police force to be enforced by the added weight of Hello Kitty.


Article: Hello Kitty to punish bad-boy Thai police

Nature: biting the hand that feeds it.




















I'm gonna getcha!

I've always said that pandas are number two on my list of cutiest animals that can rip of your arm. (#1= polar bears)

Not so cuddly: panda attacks zookeeper
Alternate title suggestions:

Idiot puts arm in panda enclosure.

Local zookeeper says, "arms are for losers"

Panda rejects humanity's reconciliation attempt. Surprise!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Local blogger too tired to think of smarty-pantsness















So cute, so extremely cute!

Multi-ethnic Cousin Squad to the rescue!





















Here is a not very good picture of us cousins (and Steve) at the field last Wednesday. (FYI- Steve is the giant lumbering hulk standing awkwardly on the far right.)
(FYI- I'm the one with boobs.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Boring news for boring people

You should love it.

Squirrels hate small business owners, like chocolate
Squirrels are dirty little thieves, stealing up to two Kinder Surprise Eggs per day.
Excerpt:
"It removes the foil carefully, eats the chocolate and leaves the store with the toy," Irene Lindroos said.
I guess it's nice to know that someone enjoys the chocolate on a Kinder Surprise Egg.

Man Field Tests Those Ricockulous Wheel Shoes
Unravels the mystery behind the allure of these confusing shoes: they make mundane things slightly less boring.
This appeals to me. I hate boring things and people. I believe that everything I own, down to my toilet brush should be interesting. I believe that friends should challenge, intrigue or in some way divert you. Why shouldn't shoes be fun?

Slate's Explainer: Can you survive in space without a space suit?
Super-fascinating, if you're super-nerdy. Which I am.

Not really the news, but really an awesome video if you own a carpet and a dog-door. I'm just saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Be vigilant.

I don't care if he's crazy, I would still totally hit that.

There is a great article on Slate about the increasingly amusing comments being made by Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners. Formerly closemouthed, he has blossomed forth with a slew of perplexing comments including the following, which utterly convinces me that I indeed would hit that, but was also carried in the national news:

"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."

You and me both, Ichi.

My entire family attended the game last night between the M's and the Angels and it was a fascinating game. The Angels could neither catch nor retain a hold on the ball and the M's really took advantage. The game went into extra innings and was quite exciting. More significantly I got to watch Ichiro do his little butt-wiggle; the excitement of this should not be underestimated.

A marginally related side note: Dude, what is up with M's fans? Maybe it was that I hadn't sat in the 300 level in a couple seasons, but it seemed like there was a lot of uncalled-for booing. Chill out guys! Quit booing everyone all higgildy-piggildy. It is poor sportsmanship to boo either the opposing team OR your home team. Booing is for nefarious behavior, bad calls, and A-Rod.

50 raccoons per square kilometre

Damn Quebec, you just hit the very end of the list of places I'd like to visit- you're straight behind Trenton, NJ and Darfur.

Rabies outbreak along Quebec border contained
Updated Wed. Jul. 18 2007 5:50 PM ET
Canadian Press

MONTREAL -- Quebec wildlife officials say they've contained a stubborn rabies outbreak emanating from the United States, trapping it in an area around a small town along the Quebec-Vermont border.

One phase of a ground operation to trap and kill raccoons and skunks was set to end Wednesday but conservation officers will resume the effort next month in the area along the southeastern border with Vermont.

They will also drop more cookies laced with oral rabies vaccine around St-Armand, near the Quebec-Vermont border. Officers in Vermont are running a similar campaign.

Quebec natural resources spokesman Pierre Canac-Marquis says infected animals from the United States are spreading rabies into Quebec. With 50 cases of raccoon and skunk rabies reported in the first six months of 2007 in Vermont, Quebec knew it had an outbreak heading its way.

"It's really the first time we've had this kind of intense outbreak,'' Canac-Marquis said.

Wildlife officials have 700 new samples to analyze, but the ratio of animals infected has considerably improved, he said.

At the height of the outbreak, conservation officers found one-in-15 raccoons on the Quebec side of the border area had contracted the disease. Those numbers have improved to one out of 45, according to Canac-Marquis.

"So far, the results we are getting is that we were quite successful in containing the outbreak,'' he said.

Rabies, which can be fatal if left untreated in humans, attacks the nervous system and is spread from animal to animal through saliva.

No humans have been infected in the latest outbreak, said Dr. Jocelyne Sauve, public health director for the affected region.

Thousands of traps have been set in the area 85 kilometres southeast of Montreal. Some animals have been euthanized as a precaution.

The main objective is to create a barrier or eradicate the outbreak altogether so it doesn't enter more heavily populated areas, including Montreal.

Canac-Marquis says the threat to the Montreal area is very real. American studies show that the virus can spread up to 40 kilometres in a single year.

Montreal officials estimate there are as many as 50 raccoons per square kilometre on Mount Royal, the wooded park in the heart of the city. With a large number of domestic animals, officials say an outbreak in the city could be a disaster.

Quebec's first case of raccoon rabies was reported in 2006 but it could take years of operations to really get a handle on the virus, Canac-Marquis said. Quebec is following in the footsteps of Ontario, where a raccoon rabies outbreak in 1999 was stopped by 2006.

It is believed the Ontario virus came north via New York State. Advanced testing this year showed no sign of rabies infections in the area.

Generally, once rabies is established in an area, it can be very hard to get rid off, said Dennis Slate, national rabies co-ordinator with the United States Department of Agriculture.

"When you're dealing with rabies, it's hard to say how long it will take,'' Slate said. "Right through the winter, we found rabid animals (in Vermont). That was pretty indicative of a hot rabies outbreak.''

The last reported case of human rabies in Quebec was in October 2000, when a 9-year-old boy died after coming into contact with a rabid bat.

So, what I'm hearing is that if you see a cookie on the ground in Quebec you can pick it up and eat it. And then you won't get The Rabies. Right?

Well, maybe that changes my travel plans.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I've got my dad's eyes, my mom's chin, and my aunt's weird.

Example 1: My not-aunt Laurie and I were out shopping and she came across a square waffle iron and declared, “I’v been looking for a square waffle iron for ages! I can’t stand round waffles.”
“Yes,” I cried excitedly, “otherwise they are not conducive to proper topping distribution!”

Example 2: Later we were driving past a beggar just off of Union Square in San Fran and Laurie made her daughter roll down the window and give him 5$. We’d passed countless beggars and when we looked at her questioningly she responded, “He’s missing a leg.” This theory of giving is perfectly in line with my less delicately put theory on begging, which I call, “Show me your stump.”

Vacation Round Up

I had a great time in Cali with the family. Spent most of my time thrifting, eating fatty foods, frolicking with horses and dogs, and museum visiting.

Some vacation inspired thoughts:

Harry Potter made me compromise myself.
The airport was selling HP for 30$ at 20% off. Said I, “har har.” I bought it for 18$... at Walmart. My shame is great, but my aunt (who is actually not my aunt but my cousin once removed- I think) had to pick up something there. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Re: HP7, I am simply glad that I cannot be held hostage by this series any longer. I am satisfied with the ending, although the epilogue was crap. (And that is all I want to say about HP7- although I am consumed by the thought that HP is braver than Jesus; though I suppose being made up probably helps.)


Spent some time with the horses and began to wonder, how is it that when I try to give my cousin’s sheltie a milk bone it nearly eats my entire hand, but a horse can eat baby carrots out of my palm?


After wandering the Cartoon Art Museum I began to think that Calvin and Hobbes did everything that Peanuts did, but smarter. And with tigers.


SFMOMA was pretty cool, but I didn’t leave with any piece floating in my head; although I did like their Jackson Pollock better than SAM’s. Which brings to mind an only marginally related story.
Most interesting interaction with stranger at SAM: I was staring at the drip art Jackson Pollock and stepped closer and closer until I was an inch from the case, scrutinizing it carefully when a guy (my age or a bit younger) came over and joined me. He too stepped close and said, “What are you looking at?”
“Is that kitty litter?”
After a pause, “Yes, I think it is.” Then we both wandered off.


The picture below is my thrifting haul (well almost all of it):
(Please note that there is a wooden vulture wearing spectacles next to the pile of vintage fabric.)