Monday, September 22, 2014

Blast from the Past: Snack Foods of the 70s!

This was a "party" weekend night for me, so no new feature this week, sorry. Instead, here is a rerun from earlier in my blogging career. Still probably "new" to you, right? So, enjoy! Happy Monday!

 
ORIGINAL POST:

Image found at Democratic Underground
I've wanted a weekly feature on the blog for a long time. I've got several regular themes here, Right Wing World, Science is Cool, Lest We Forget. . ., What Happens in Vegas, America the Stupid and others. But they come and go with no regularity. Well, I'm going to try to change that now.

Practically since I started the blog, I've run several Blast from the Past posts, each centering on a particular batch of videos that have something in common.  I've created a couple of new ones over successive Sundays, and realized that Sunday is the perfect day for it.  It's a slow news day unless the Sunday morning political shows break something shocking (usually a politician putting his or her foot in their mouth).  So, from now on, Blast from the Past has a home on Sunday evenings (or Monday mornings, depending upon what time zone you're in).

This week?  Well, I loved the old Pringles ad from when the dehydrated snack chip first came out, so why not snack foods of the 70s? Sounds yummy, let's go!







1. Peter Paul Almond Joy & Mounds Candy Bars - This one will noodle around in your head for a while.
2. Lay's Potato Chips - Okay, so we've got Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion dressed as Satan, and he apparently can eat just one? I'm confused. . .
3. Doritos - I'd forgotten about the fat Dorito's guy until I found this clip. See if you remember him.
4. Jiffy Pop Popcorn - I'm pretty sure that's Ruth Buzzi.
5. Nestle $100,000 Bar - I think they call this the One Hundred Grand bar now.
6. Keebler Fudge Cookies - Somehow elves making cookies in a tree doesn't sound all that hygienic to me.
7. York Peppermint Patties - This is from a whole series of commercials that were never funny.
8. Hostess Snack Cakes - Okay, so Twinkies are fresh and wholesome? Hostess and kids, they go together. Well, duh.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The United Kingdom Will Not Have to Change Their Flag

Well, there you go. Scotland has apparently voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. So, the Union Jack will remain red, white and blue. And Great Britain remains so, though I'm not sure if that name would have changed or not. . . Heck, I just had to look up the difference between Great Britain and United Kingdom. And shouldn't it be a Queendom, at least for a little while longer?

Anyway, history wasn't exactly made, unless you're counting the vote itself. And Prince Charles won't have to worry about being King of Little Britain when he assumes the throne at 93.

[Excerpt]

Scottish referendum: Voters to reject independence - BBC

Scotland will vote to stay in the United Kingdom after rejecting independence, the BBC has predicted. With 26 out of the country's 32 council areas having declared, the "No" side has 54% of the vote, with the "Yes" campaign on 46%. By 05:15 BST (06:15 GMT), the "No" campaign had more than 1,397,000 votes, with "Yes" on just over 1,176,000. . .

Read more at: BBC

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It All Becomes Clear: Sean Hannity Beaten With a Strap

Yeah. He's. . .okay. Image from source, TPM.
No, not recently. . .but would it surprise you? Sean Hannity says such boneheaded, stupid, idiotic things all the time, he has to offended a nut out there by now. But no, Hannity's dad beat any crazy guy to the punch. . .uh. . .almost literally. Strap, actually. Which may explain many of Hannity's personality defects.

[Excerpt]

Hannity On NFL's Peterson: My Dad Hit Me With A 'Strap' And I'm Okay

On Fox News last night, Sean Hannity said he thinks that Adrian Peterson, the NFL player indicted on child injury charges, should not go to jail for hitting his child. Hannity explained that he was hit by his father as a child, and he turned out just fine. "I got hit with a strap. Bam, bam, bam. And I have never been to a shrink. I will tell you that I deserved it," he said. . .

Read more (with video) at: Talking Points Memo

The Gay Thing: Retribution for Gay Bashing in Philadelphia

The Concerned Women for America--a badly named, anti-gay hate group--recently filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court. They're arguing that case for marriage equality shouldn't be treated with heightened scrutiny, because gay people have too much "power." And, I know, with all the talk in Right Wing World about "gaystapos" and "gay mafias" and whatnot, you could take their overplayed rhetoric for more than it is.

In point of fact, in many places in America, a gay person can be fired for no other reason than their sexuality. They can face housing discrimination. Though our we have marriage equality in 19+ states, they aren't recognized in most of the rest of the states, and are only tenuous in some states where they are legal. Conservative Christians--especially from the safety of the internet--have no qualms and no limitations on the nastiness and invective they're willing to unleash. Increasingly, they're also trying to carve out exceptions to the public accommodations laws that do exist, so that they can legally shun gay customers from their businesses. And, we're still regularly subject to abuse, both verbal and physical.

Some of the thugs in question. Image from source, 6ABC
The attack that happened to a young gay couple in Philadelphia recently was only the latest in a string of gay bashings around the country. But this one grabbed people's attention for a couple of reasons. One, it was a crowd of relatively young adults, both men and women who initiated the attack. But more interesting that that, is that this crowd turns out to have been a reunion class from a Pennsylvania Catholic high school, and they gave themselves away via social media. They're busted.

[Excerpt]

CATHOLIC HS COACH FIRED IN CONNECTION TO GAY COUPLE ATTACK IN PHILADELPHIA

Police say they are questioning several people in connection to an attack on two gay men in the Center City Philadelphia area. Though, no suspects have been identified, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia confirmed that one of the people suspected in the attack worked as an assistant basketball coach at Archbishop Wood High School. The Archdiocese went on to tell Action News that person was terminated on Wednesday evening and will not be permitted to be a coach at any other Archdiocesan school. . .

Read more at: 6ABC

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hannity Worries Parents Won't Be Able to Teach "Gays are Not Normal"

Image of Lou Costello Sean Hannity, from source, Raw Story
Hey, Sean. Meat-head spokesmodels with no particular qualifications or education, hosting prime time "news" shows aren't normal. You absolute bigoted douchebag.

[Excerpt]

Sean Hannity worries parents won’t be able to teach kids ‘gays are not normal’

. . .“Here’s where my fear goes with all of this,” Hannity said on his radio show. “You guys are gonna tell parents what they can and cannot do — for example, is it gonna become illegal if a parent teaches the politically [incorrect] view that being gay is not normal?”. . .  

Read more at: Raw Story

Frivolity Break: Where are Roger and Jessica Rabbit (and Friends) Now?



A bit disturbing, but funny!



Hat tip to Mark at VoenixRising.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dorks! In Alaska! (A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

The drunken, bloody Palin family brawl has been a gift from the comedy gods. And true to form, Rocky Mountain Mike has packed it all  into a superb song parody! To the tune of North to Alaska by Johnny Horton, naturally. For more Rocky Mountain Mike, go here.
 

Lest We Forget: George W. Bush Thinks We Should Lay Off Obama's Golfing

I'm resurrecting a feature I used to run called Lest We Forget. In this day and age of very surfacy, very superficial news, memes become leading news stories. Falsehoods become conventional wisdom. So, from time to time, it's my intention to remind everyone of the real facts behind the erroneous things that pass for facts, especially in Right Wing World.


Boehner and the Prez.
One of many is the "President Obama Golfs Too Much" meme. Usually, it's made to sound as though he's playing instead of attending to important business, and that he does so when bad news is happening. This disregards the fact that there are always bad things happening, that the President deserves a diversion, that he's constantly in touch, and surrounded by aides, and that he's never truly "off the clock." Beyond that, he's far from the only presidential golfer, and doesn't do it more than many of them. Dwight Eisenhower had a putting green at the White House and played over 1,000 rounds during his terms. I don't recall this being a scandal.

But let's just let our most recent Duffer-in-Chief (who allegedly quit golfing some time in 2003, but shhhh! didn't really). George W. Bush said last year to lay off, you're being silly. Lest we forget.

[Excerpt]

George W. Bush: Obama doesn't deserve criticism for golf outings

Former President George W. Bush, who quit playing golf shortly after the Iraq war began in 2003, said critics of President Obama's zeal for the sport are off-base. "I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't. I think he ought to play golf," Bush said in an interview to air Monday night on the Golf Channel. . .

Read more at: CBS News

Don't miss the uncensored Stephanie Miller's Happy Hour!

Liberal talk radio has always been squeezed out by conservative talk and other formats, which has made my listening day challenging. I listen via computer (because liberal Las Vegas has never had a dedicated liberal station), both for blogging ideas, and because I have liked many of the hosts (though they're dwindling). By far my favorite--especially since Randi Rhodes retired--is The Stephanie Miller Show. There isn't anything on the conservative side like SMS, mostly because it's funny.

Because the format is shrinking, Steph's getting creative in keeping her show going. Over the past few years, she's had the touring Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, a hilarious, dirty, unexpurgated show, going further than she possibly could on radio. And now, she's bringing Stephanie Miller's Happy Hour, a podcast with all that raunchiness, plus drinking! It features Jim Ward, Chris LaVoie and Carlos Alazraqui, and is free for the first edition (a free taste to get us hooked).



And since we're on the topic, here's today's interview with The Rude Pundit, Lee Papa. It's a segment that is a highlight of my listening week, since I loved Rude even before I discovered Steph!

 

The Gay Thing: American Gay Haters Go Global

The National Organization for Marriage was once a titan of a hate group, causing all kinds of strife for marriage equality supporters. They formed out of the ooze to push Prop 8 in California, and they won. They had other victories, and--despite having very bad arguments--seemed like they were going to steam-roller gay marriage. Of course they got a big push from the like-minded who came before them, with the seemingly contagious anti-gay state constitutional amendments that swept the nation in the early part of the century.

Then a funny thing happened. The tide turned, SCOTUS gave us a couple of big wins, and suddenly, NOM couldn't catch a break. Their wins were mostly inconsequential in the scheme of things, and their losses piled up high like cordwood. Through it all, NOM bigwig Brian Brown would declare that he was not anti-gay, merely trying to "protect marriage." He never fought to end divorce, or stop
Asshole.
adultery, only to block or reverse wins for same-sex marriage. All the while, Brown (and presumably his compatriots) has collected a hefty paycheck, pockets lined by the dwindling supporters and a couple of very wealthy, secretive donors.

Barring something extremely unexpected, it is very likely that the Supreme Court will take up one or several of the cases that have worked their way through the court system, almost unanimously in favor of marriage equality. Given the legal contortions that would be required to reverse all of these decisions--and earlier  cases as prior indication--most people seem to think that nationwide marriage equality could be a realty by next summer. So, how will Brian Brown continue to turn his singular "talent" into cash? Go global, baby.

Brown, and other anti-gay religious zealots, has decided to turn to other countries, places where anti-gay legislation is an easier sell. Only rather than merely "protecting marriage" (an Orwellian phrase if ever there was one), he could be associated with legislation that actually imprisons or kills people. And we're supposed to think this is some noble, loving, "Christian" cause?

[Excerpt]

America's gay rights battle goes global

Starting in 2012, the leader of the most prominent American anti-gay marriage organization unexpectedly began adding a ton of stamps to his passport. As federal judges struck down gay marriage bans left and right at home, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown appeared at meetings and marches for various anti-gay rights causes in France, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia and Australia — a surprising uptick in travel for the stateside activist. The result: In June, Brown’s group began discussing rebranding itself as the International Organization for Marriage, according to materials from a “March for Marriage” meeting in Washington, D.C. . .

Read more at: Yahoo!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willie Backs Scotland Secession!


Blast from the Past: Tolerable Rap for Old White Guys!




Rap music. For the most part, I really don't like it. I don't consider it to be a worthy talent, and I don't enjoy it. I thought, thirty years ago, that it would burn itself out, but no. Not at all. It just keeps on chugging. And more power to 'em! I just don't like it.

Except when I do. Over the years (and you'll notice, it's mostly in years long gone by), there have been rap songs here and there that I like. Even love in some cases, enough that I'll back it up, crank it up and start it again. These songs have a rather common theme: they're usually rap/pop hybrids, with a genuine chorus, and some musicality. You'll see a trend for sure, and if you're a rap fan, you'll probably think this list is lame. That's cool too. But here we go. . .

1. C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) by Quad City DJs (1995) - This song was popular when I used to go out dancing. I liked it the first time I heard it. I think I can, I think I can!
2. Bust a Move by Young MC (1989) - This is one I can listen to over and over.



3. Get Up! (Before the Night is Over) by Technotronic (1990) - Actually, I like several of Technotronic's songs, but this one is my favorite.
4. Rapper's Delight by The Sugarhill Gang (1979) - This may be the song that birthed the whole genre. I somehow didn't know that it samples Good Times by Chic until years later.



5. Nightmare on My Street by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (1988) - As a horror fan, of course I liked this one!
6. Let's Talk About Sex by Salt-N-Pepa (1991) - Again, I like several of this group's tunes, but this is a personal favorite (perhaps because I actually did more than talk when it was playing one time? :)



7. It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock (1988) - This one is fun, and was sort of remade as the pop song, Two to Make it Right by Seduction.
8. Walk This Way by Run D.M.C. & Aerosmith (1986) - Before this track, Aerosmith was kind of dead in the water. Great redo.



9. Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio (1995) - I guarantee I don't know any other Coolio, but I like this one.
10. Just a Friend by Biz Markie (1989) - Only because it's so bad, it's hilarious!


And that's it, my unlikely list of my favorite rap songs. I'll never be taken for an expert, not even a little. But I've played all of these songs within the last few months!

Have a great week everybody. Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Behind the Blogger: Why on Earth do People Install Tiny Kitchen Sinks? (UPDATED)

UPDATED 09/05/14, 09/13/14

I may have written about this subject before, but if I have, it is my insatiable curiosity for why so many people apparently intentionally hobble their kitchens! I do a lot of looking at houses online, both out of curiosity, and because I'm planning for the future. There's a strong possibility that we'll be moving to a different state in the next couple of years, and I'm trying to get a feel for what's out there.

See what I mean?
At the same time, we've recently done some home renovations, so I am familiar with the decision making process when doing so. Picking countertops, faucets and sinks--for instance--takes a lot of research, comparison shopping, compromises, and weighing pros and cons. We were stuck between a 60/40 split kitchen sink, and a large single-basin for our kitchen. We settled on the 60/40, with the large side for doing dishes, and the small side to hold a dish drainer. We love it, it works for us. But our friends opted for a large single basin that could hold their cookie sheets, and roasting pans, etc. For the record, our large basin holds almost everything we use (including a turkey roaster), but we're not gourmet cooks, just your usual workaday types.


Looks a little wider, but still. . . At least it does
have a tall faucet.
A large single basin was our second choice, but for the way we do things, we would have had to store a dish rack on the counter, or make room under the sink. Ditto for a rubber wash tub, because you wouldn't want to be filling that huge sink up every time you do dishes, right? Oh, and by the way, we do have a dishwasher, but there are several items we don't put in there, and some things the dishwasher just doesn't clean well. Anyway. . .

To get to the meat of my irritation, whenever I look at houses on Zillow, particularly in Baltimore (but also in other cities), it is the kitchens that are the make-or-break the property for me. Having just completed our counter/sink/faucet/fridge/microwave overhaul, I just can't go back. Not unless the rest of the property just knocks me out. But in even 90% of the houses with great or passable kitchens, I am sure to find a single basin sink. A tiny, single-basin sink. They might be deep, they might be shallow, but they're like 20" wide, over a cabinet space that will hold a 30"-35" wide sink.

The "before" sink in our house, used for about
15 years.
My question: Why on EARTH would you intentionally hobble your kitchen in this way? And why are so many people doing it? Was there a fad or hot kitchen trend for tiny sinks? Was there a surplus? I can't stand it, I want to know! Is there a water shortage in Baltimore and surrounding areas? Do none of these people cook or do dishes?


And while we're at it, here's another question. Tiny sink or not, why would you redo your kitchen counters, and drop in a top-mount, ugly, tinny, $75-range, Home Depot sink? And then, put one of those hideous, 4"-arched, 70s-era faucets? And I'll go further!!! Those tiny, 4" nubbin-sized, crystal-plastic-knobbed bathroom faucets? Okay, okay, YES, we did too, before the renovation. Though after, I marveled that we kept them for so long. Faucets aren't that expensive. Who decided that the standard sizes would be little, cramped things with no utility? Arrgghh. But, I'm getting off on a tangent. The core question, somebody please explain to me: Why did little, tiny, single-basin sinks in kitchens become a thing?
Whether it's a double like ours, or a single, why go small?
UPDATED 09/05/14: I still haven't found anything online, or gotten any responses for my central question. Why do people do this? What's the deal?

Why does it bother me? Because I get daily alerts via email from Zillow.com, and I keep running across great houses with gorgeous kitchens and tiny, stupid sinks, that's why! Scroll down, I'm gonna keep adding pictures to this post every so often until I get an answer!

Tiny Sink Update #1
Tiny Sink Update #2
 
Tiny Sink Update #3

Tiny Sink Update #4
Tiny Sink Update #5

Tiny Sink Update #6
 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sarah Palin Hillbilly Hoedown Turns into Drunken Brawl

Keep it classy, Sarah. Image from source, Raw Story
Please tell me there's video. . .

[Excerpt]

Anchorage police confirm Palin family involved in heated Saturday night brawl
 
The Palin family was reportedly involved in a messy fistfight on Saturday night that involved at least 20 people in Anchorage, Alaska at an event sponsored by the annual Iron Dog snowmobile race. Details are still sketchy, but Wonkette.com reported Thursday morning that a spokesperson for the Anchorage Police Department confirmed that members of the Palin family were involved in a public fight in Anchorage on Saturday night, but that no arrests were made because no one pressed charges. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Remembrance of September 11, 2001 [Revisited]

The following is my annual repost of my personal remembrance of September 11, 2001, with slight revisions and additions. . .

Today is the day when we look at the calendar, and nearly flinch. September 11, 2001 is distant to us in many ways, but now--amazingly--for the 13th time, we've all looked at that calendar page and have been taken back to where we were that morning.

I'm republishing my personal account of what happened to me that day, written in the early days of my blog. My story is no more special than yours, I know. But on a day when the date is sure to be used by many for political purposes, I wanted to have one post up that just remembers the day.

Photo of United Airlines Las Vegas-based Flight Attendants'
memorial service at Sunset Park, September 2001
(Originally published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal)*
ORIGINALLY POSTED SEPTEMBER 11, 2007

Posts I've made today, and earlier in this blog's short history, have discussed or are related to 9/11. I'd rather not let the day go by without giving you the reader--and me the blogger--a little more, minus the political rhetoric.

I've become a deeply cynical person, you might say, at least as it regards politics. This is particularly true lately. But on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 I wasn't thinking about any of that. Everyone who witnessed that day has their own story. Mine is no more relevant than yours, and is surely less traumatic than many.

I awoke that morning at my usual time, somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 am. I had finished my morning ritual, and was just buttoning up my clothes when the phone rang. It was our friend, Larry, an American Airlines flight attendant, and he was crying. "Two planes have just hit the World Trade Center," he managed between sobs. This was startling news, but not yet sufficiently alarming for me to change my routine.

I passed the phone to The Other Half, and turned on the bedroom TV. There it was, and the slight alarm turned to a sinking feeling. This was big. We quickly learned that it was both United's and American Airlines' planes that hit the buildings, causing high alarm in the room, and on the other end of the phone. The Other Half, and our next-door neighbor/friend, were [and still are] both United flight attendants. And the neighbor was on a trip at an unknown location. My heart sank, and I nearly sobbed myself--with relief--that my partner was right there in the room with me, accounted for.

Not fully realizing the impact of what had happened, I began my journey to work. I switched on the radio, and was very shortly informed that the Pentagon was on fire. They did not yet know the cause. When I pulled into the parking lot at work, the radio announcer said that a plane was believed to have crashed in Pennsylvania. There was an erroneous report about an explosion somewhere else (maybe the White House?).  I said out loud, "the sky is falling." I fully expected at that point that a wave of attacks would continue throughout the morning. Thankfully, that did not come to pass.

Shortly after my arrival at work, The Other Half called, and told me one of the towers had fallen. Not long after, we heard the same about the other. We imagined the worst, that the buildings had fallen over, smashing all below. Thankfully, again, as bad as it was, it could have been worse.

We didn't get much work done that day. Someone went home and got a TV, and we spent much of our time in front of that fuzzy little picture. Later that day, we found that most of our friends, and their colleagues were accounted for. Our neighbor was stranded in New Orleans for over a week. We had quite the celebration upon his return.

The following days were surreal. I'd never seen Las Vegas without planes in the sky, and believe me, you notice. We watched hours upon hours of TV News, of course, like everyone else. And the casinos around town knee-jerk fired lots of people. We feared for our town.

Several days later, The Other Half went to a memorial service at Sunset Park, due east of McCarran Airport, with the Las Vegas United Airlines base crew. During the service, the first plane in days landed, flying right over the park. There was a swelling of spontaneous applause, as you'd imagine.

We were very lucky. We knew people who had friends-of-friends-of-friends who died that day, but fortunately (for our little world), were spared personal losses. One friend was quite well acquainted with one of the [United 93] pilots, and we had his wife to our house, but that was the extent of our direct contact. United, of course, had a very rocky ride of it, as did American. Many of the flight attendants left town, or left aviation. Las Vegas, predictably bounced back.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2008:

Las Vegas isn't feeling very bouncy this September 11th. Tourism is down, layoffs are widespread, hours (mine included) have been cut at many jobs. United Airlines and American Airlines are seemingly always under threat of going out of business. The neighbor moved to Florida not long after September 11th. The Other Half and I were married this year, and are doing well despite job worries. Whatever happens on November fourth, I think it will bookend 9/11/2001, and hopefully all of this will seem like a bygone era.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009:


Things in Las Vegas haven't perked up much in the last year. We have, of course, moved from the Bush Era on into the Obama Era. It remains to be seen how that will play out. I'm not a lock-step liberal by any stretch, but I'm willing to give the President time and space.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 10, 2010:

Still waiting for the economy to pick up in Las Vegas, personally and city-wide. We lead the pack for foreclosures, unemployment and several other "worst of" lists. We did place first in a "best roads" in the US story, so that's something. All of these woes are put at the feet of: a) Barack Obama, if you are a partisan conservative, b) George W. Bush, if you're a partisan liberal, c) Harry Reid, if you're Sharron Angle, or d) the snowball effect of many factors, with blame to be shared by both political parties. I'm going with the last one. But I do have to wonder what the state of the economy and the United States in general might have been like if that clear blue skied Tuesday in September 2001 had been just an ordinary day.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2011: 

Wow, 10 years. There are parts of that day that seem eerily recent. And then you remember everything that has happened since. Our two (main) wars--started in the immediate aftermath of 9/11--are still going on in one form or other. The economy noted in the updates above, hasn't improved much. Las Vegas is hanging in there, but a bit beaten and battered. And as I noted in 2010, this economic pickle might have been a bit different were it not for that one day. Maybe we still would have had a housing bubble, maybe the bankers and corporate fat cats would've still been crooks. But the whole deficit/debt sideshow might've been in  much, much better shape. Ugh. I wish things were a bit rosier for the 10-year anniversary of that rotten day. Maybe the 20? Or dare I wish it, the 11th or 12th?

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012:

In my yearly updates, I see I've gotten away from "not being political." Sorry about that, but what can you do? Everything is political these days. In 2012, our household actually is better off than we were four years ago, with everything except housing values looking up. Everyone is looking toward November's election, but very little has been made this year about 9/11, other than that this year is the first (oops) second time it's happened on a Tuesday since that fateful day. Though American Airlines is in bankruptcy this year, but United seems to be doing well with its Continental merger. In good news, the Iraq War is over. Still don't know what that had to do with 9/11. And sadly, Captain Dahl's widow died this year, oddly enough at the house of a friend of ours. So, at eleven years and counting, it's kind of a mixed bag. Here's to the day when we have to think about it to remember how many years it's been.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2013:

President Obama spoke last night, on the matter of what to do about Syria. The proximity to September 11, and our botched response to it weighs heavy over the whole thing. Then again, it also informs us about overheated, foolish reactions. Also, we have to keep in mind that last year, we were attacked in Benghazi,. Hopefully this year's anniversary will go by without anything like that. This year makes a dozen years, which means we're getting well into a time where high school kids probably don't remember much about the day as it happened. Their entire worldviews are of the "post-9/11" variety.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2014:

Again, President Obama spoke last night on the matter of what to do about ISIS/ISIL in Iraq and Syria. We're not able to get out of that region it would seem, even 13 years later. And think about this: every school-aged child, and most college freshmen have spent their entire academic careers in  "post-9/11" world.

* Full disclosure: photo contains an image of my husband, our friends and his co-workers.

What Happens in Vegas: Ford Pickup Truck Smashes Through Stratosphere!

No, it didn't rocket into space, it crashed into the lobby of The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, and thankfully not into the tower itself. Still, it had to be exciting. And though it is good news that nobody was injured, it may not say much about the crowd coming in and out of the place.

[Excerpt]

Truck barrels through Stratosphere front entrance
 
Ford tough! Image from source, Las Vegas Sun
In what officials believe is the first such incident at the hotel, a vehicle crashed through the glass doors at the front entrance of the Stratosphere tonight at 8. Witnesses said the vehicle, a silver Ford F-150 pickup, entered the valet facing Las Vegas Boulevard, veered hard to the right and through the entrance, causing a loud crash and taking out two sets of the glass doors (four total) before braking on the marble floor inside the casino. There were no injuries reported. . .

Read more at: Las Vegas Sun

President Obama's Speech on ISIL (or ISIS, or IS, or Whatever)

Image from source, MSN
I don't have an answer of what to do in Iraq and Syria. Do you? Of course, we didn't run for president either. Can you imagine? There are no good options, and you're up against a wall of criticism no matter what choice you make. No wonder presidents tend to age so rapidly in office.

Frankly, I wish we didn't have to do anything in the Middle East. Ever. How different life would be if President Reagan hadn't reversed President Carter's energy initiatives, hadn't ripped the solar panels off the White House, hadn't plunged us right back into dependence on foreign oil, with no plan to get off it. Jimmy Carter gets a lot of crap, some deserved some not. But he should get credit for that. Ronald Reagan has been deified, which he doesn't deserve, and gets very little criticism for his very real blunders. And then, of course, there is the fact that none of this would be happening if we hadn't invaded the wrong country, and created Al Qaeda in Iraq, which became ISIL/ISIS/IS. You know who you can thank for that.

So, before you jump all over the current guy, acknowledge the giant turdburger (s) on his plate, and who helped make them. And while you're doing that, also realize that the authorization for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq was signed by George W. Bush himself, and that the government of Iraq would not agree to leaving troops behind (I'm looking at you, John McCain).

[Excerpt]
 
Obama to launch airstrikes in Syria for first time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening a new military front in the Middle East, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time Wednesday night, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of "a steady, relentless effort" to root out Islamic State extremists and their spreading reign of terror. . .

Read more at: MSN
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

iDon'tCare: Apathy for Apple's New Delights

A cult that needs a new name. . .
I am no stranger to "new product lust." When I get something into my head that I want to possess, I tend to obsess about it. Particularly if it's not going to be available right away. I'll read all the reviews. Set a Google alert. Sign up for blogs and forums dedicated to the subject. I might even make a custom wallpaper for my computer monitors.

There was a time when I went to Office Depot at midnight, in order to be among the first to get Windows 95. And believe me, in those days, getting the information was much more difficult! I attended the "Start Me Up" launch event earlier in the day, with Jay Leno! These days, I've obsessed about the Samsung Galaxy S4, about granite for countertops, faucets, sinks, appliances, and most recently, the upcoming Jeep Renegade. But the so-called "Cult of Mac" eludes me.

Cult of Mac is the name for Apple fan boys and girls, and is sort of out of date as a term, since it isn't limited to must Macintosh derivatives. These are the folks who hang out at the Apple store, and wait in days-long lines to be the first to get the latest iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc. And "cult" is really close to the right term. Some of the things that come close, are Disney, Star Wars and Star Trek fans, sports fdespises my beloved Renegade, as well as the latest Cherokee).
Calling Dick Tracy, Calling Dick Tracy!
Images from source, Reuters.
ans, and the Jeep community (which, it should be noted,

It's probably a little unhealthy to have such devotion to a corporation. And frankly, I'm really glad this particular obsession passed me by. I mean, I have had three MacBooks, but all used. They're fine, but not thrilling. The bug just didn't bite me. I gave my only iPod to my sister, because I never used it. I use my Galaxy S4 phone for music, podcasts and radio, I don't need an iPod.

I can't imagine needing an Apple Watch either (and they probably should have stuck with iWatch, or iChronos or something). It seems kind of clunky to me, and a bit superfluous. But I could be wrong. Who would have thought we'd decide we have to pay thousands of dollars a year to have data/texting/cellular service that we used to manage to do just fine without? Who would have thought that tablet computing would bloom into desktop/laptop-killing segment in just four years?

You read that right, the iPad came out four years ago. That's it. So, maybe the Apple Watch can manage to get people to pay $350 for a watch that only works if they also have an iPhone? Maybe.

What a big phone you've got, Apple!
Also in this news were the expected upgrades to iPhone, the 6 and the 6 Plus. These phones--finally--approximate the size of the rest of the world's smart phones. Which is borderline hilarious, considering Apple fan boys have been belittling larger screens for years, as unnecessary, cumbersome, and not user friendly. And now? They won't even have the small size available to them unless they buy--horrors--an outdated model!

There is no doubt that Apple knows how to put on a show. It knows how to create buzz. And it has a sizeable chunk of the populace on the hook. It is baited and set, and they will land most of them! Kudos to Apple. I'm just glad I'm not in on this particular obsession.

[Excerpt]

Apple unveils watch, larger iPhones in bid to retake innovation crown

Apple Inc unveiled a watch, two larger iPhones and a mobile payments service on Tuesday as Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook seeks to revive the technology company's reputation as a wellspring of innovation.The first new product to be developed and introduced under Cook's reign is a timepiece tethered to the iPhone that will combine health and fitness tracking with communications. It will price at $349 and go on sale in early 2015. . .

Read more at: Reuters 

In Case You Missed It: Ecru, Obama?

I know this particular controversy is a little stale already, lo these dozen or so many days later. But I never documented it on the blog. Plus, I needed to use the pun in the title. I've already heard (on The Stephanie Miller Show) "the audacity of taupe" and "yes we tan." And of course, I had to point out--like with so many of these controversies--other presidents have done the exact same thing.

 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In Case You Missed It Obama Outperfoms Reagan on Economic Indicators

I didn't catch this from late last week, but then, I'm not sure you did either. So, here you go. . .

[Excerpt]

Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today issued America’s latest jobs report covering August. And it’s a disappointment. The economy created an additional 142,000 jobs last month. After six consecutive months over 200,000, most pundits expected the string to continue, including ADP which just yesterday said 204,000 jobs were created in August. . .

Read more at: Forbes
Image from source, liberal bastion, Forbes.
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