Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Goulet...

....you will be missed.

Thanks for Gouleting so many songs. My friends in college accused me of Gouletification in my singing and called me Goulet for a semester. I have a good voice, they don't, phuck you guys! Thanks for doing those ESPN commercials in the early-mid 90s for college basketball that my sister and I loved. "You better watch or your gonna get a pop quiz, riiiiiiight in the kisser". Thanks for being a total ham in just about every role you took. Thanks for the awesome voice, saaaaaa-mooth. Thanks for that nut commercial last year. Thanks for Camelot.
One more thing, "Goulaaaaaaaaay".
Peace out, cub scout.

Favorite Fighter Pilots

My favorite pilots growing up....

Goose! The ultimate copilot. This guy was a good RIO and still found time to bampchickabompbommmmm with Meg Ryan. "Take me to bed or lose me forever" "Show me the way darling!" His tragic end in Top Gun still makes me misty. It's rather jarring no matter how much you may anticipate it. "Talk to me Goose..."

Snoopy. Seriously, the greatest dog to ever live in cartoon land. Phuck you Pluto, Odie and Goofy. This dog could drive a car, cook, mimic other animals, understand English & French, and to top it all off, had delusions and hallucinations of being a World War I fighter pilot. Most viewers probably think he is having a World War II flashback, but not, Charles Schultz went a step further and challenged you to learn about the Great War. Nothing was great about it, and it created more problems that it may have solved. Snoopy was a veteran of this war in his former lives, but did not free himself from his karmic bondage to the living Earth and reach enlightenment. Because of this, he was reincarnated as a dog, and had to suffer through Lucy's lame rants. If this is how you cope Snoopy, hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on (yes I know it's really Sloopy but go with it).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dean Martin's "Baby It's Cold Outside"

All through my childhood and right up to this very day, I have had a weird relationship with Christmas music. Most of it sounds corny. Most of it is a rehash of another artist's work. Most of it is so lame. Still, there's something nice when it's December, cold, nightime, firelight flickering, the tree is up, cookies are out, and a familiar tune is playing in the background. Sometimes the moment hits, and I love hearing a Christmas song. My mom destroyed Christmas music when I was growing up by playing it from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. It's in her blood, my Memere does the same thing. Despite the pain of listening to Randy Travis' version of Christmas classics or Madonna's "Santa Baby" growing up, I did find a crew of singers that I could listen to sing music non-stop: the Rat Pack. Above all others, I can listen to Dean Martin all day long singing about Rudy (a reindeer), Ol' Saint Nick, and being cold. The song that tops them all, and it's not a Christmas song, just a Winter themed song, is "Baby It's Cold Outside".

Let's break this song down: it is about Dean trying to get laid. How do I know? Listen to the lyrics. It's sung as a conversation between two young people who are courting, with the cheery 1950s female backup singers (probably all wearing garter belts and silk stockings) playing the role of the lady to Dean's bachelor. In the first verse, the female states twice, I've got to leave. She invokes the maternal worry & paternal threat to keep Dean at bay. What keeps her there? Maybe she'll have "just a half a drink more". Dean obliges. One of the very next lines is "Say, what's in this drink?". Obviously, Dean is trying hard to get her drunk to take advantage of her '50s style. The whole time Dean is coming up with comebacks to all of her excuses for leaving, and complimenting her at every turn. This is a way of picking up women known as the "Rule of 3". Three drinks or three compliments will usually get you to leave with a lady. The key to this whole verse is the line that the lady sings "at least I'm going to say that I tried", which implies that she is going to give in and get down (score one for Dean!) and knows he'll talk about it around town. Jerk.


Now let's take a moment to mention that in the crappy Rod Stewart-Dolly Parton remake from a couple years ago, they removed the half a drink more line. What? Two adults can't talk about how the woman drank a bit and made a mistake with a man? This is too shocking? Stupid. We've swung so far PC that the pendulum swing back will probably be very nasty.


What's great about the second verse is that this female part mentions three relatives in the second half: sister, brother, and maiden aunt (who is vicious). Who the fuck has a maiden aunt? Was she a school teacher who had to remain single as long as she taught? Is she some old mother hen that cockblocks swinging cats like Dean Martin? She couldn't find a man of her own so she hounds her niece? Ungh. Dean counters this by talking about her delicious lips twice. In the Dean version, the female sings "just a cigarette more", YEAHHHHHHHH! Awesome reference, back when smoking was an adult and supposedly glamourous thing to do. (Of course, the Stewart version does not says cigarette because adults deciding to smoke with their free will is bad). Beautiful touch to the song. Really sets the mind's film reel in motion.


The last verse has the lady asking for a comb, because they got frisky and she doesn't want her hair looking mussed up. I think after the delicious lips and cigarette references, we know why her hair is mussed up. Dean's like, why leave? We can get down again. She mentions the neighbors will talk or even just hint at things to be inferred by others. People were cooler then; now they'd just say "Jenny got drunk & phucked Dean last night, untz". Now, the coolest detail of the song is when Dean is replying to the tomorrow and implied lines he sings "think of my life long sorrow", like her shutting him down would wound him so much (skank), and then the topper "if you caught pneumonia and died". He's throwing the Hail Mary pass here, trying to get her to stay by making her fear death. I'm pretty sure at Brown University, what Dean and this girl do is considered rape.


****I'm a big Dean Martin fan. Smooth voice, smooth style, class, great hair, and smooth with the ladies. Look at the photo I attached in this post. Dean's hugging his girl. Dean's a good guy. He drew her in so tight that he could check out another girl without his main squeeze noticing. He's liked "oh yeah, i got a girl, i'm dependable, women, you can trust me". All the while, he's using that as bait for his lady train. Nice taste Dean, both ladies are foxy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

NFL week 8 picks

More picks. A scare in the household healthwise has my mind elsewhere. Hopefully, when tests get back, all is clear. I do want to point out that I have been on a roll the last few weeks.

Browns -3 over RAMS
Proceed to print money. The Rams are getting 3 for being at home, so Vegas thinks the Browns are a TD better than the Rams. Sounds about right.

Lions +5 over BEARS
This seaosn is going down as the lost season for the Bears. I think this leads to a McNabb for a 1st round pick trade in the offseason. Reid is ballsy enough to do it, and the Bears could dominate the NFC and have a cakewalk to the Super Bowl with a solid QB option.

Jags +4 over BUCS
I see the Jags reverting to a ground game for the entire 60 mins and not letting Dr Quinn medicine QB throw the ball. The Jags will still find a way to give their QB 2 yard TD passes to ruin my fantasy football Fred Taylor draft pick.

Colts -7 over PANTHERS
Vinny Testaverde is the QB of the home team taking on one of the top 3 teams in the NFL which has a good pass defense. No way in hell are they covering.

Bills +3 over JETS
Taking the points in a crappy team matchup.

Steelers -4 over BENGALS
The Bengals defense is not forcing turnovers which was a key to the success they had the last two years. They are not spectacular on third down defense either, which means a lot of time on the field. Not going to work against quality teams.

VIKINGS +1.5 over Iggles
I can see Purple Jesus rushing for 100 yards in the game, which leads to a Vikes win of 10-7 or 13-7. The Iggles red zone offense has collapsed. They have no red zone threat that is credible to grind out the TDs. Inside the 20, space is crunched and Westbrook can't use his shifty moves as much. The similarities to McNabb and Cunningham are now scary. Besides the obvious positional, performance and racial similarities, they both carry offenses with no true number 1 receiver. They both carry offenses with no real RB. Sorry Westbrook fans, he just isn't a real RB. Oh really he is? Well explain to me why the Iggles throw for first downs when it is 3rd and 1 or 3rd and 2? The defense is amazing for both Iggles' teams, and they have guys running the team that would be better suited as coordinators for their respective specialties. How the ownership let this happen again is a shame.

Saints -3 over 49ers
The saints will march into the playoffs because of their weak division. It's starting to fall into place.

Giants -9 over Dolphins
Both teams should have flown to London a day earlier to adjust to the time change. This game will be plagued by sloppy play. G-men shoudl shut out the Dolhpins pathetic offense.

PATS -16 over Skins
I'm riding this Patriots running up the score trick for one more week. If the Skins had a good Qb like Carson Palmer, McNabb, Romo, etc. I would take them to cover because they have the defense and they have the weapons. They just have an efficient game manaing QB, not a true QB.

CHARGERS over Texans
The emotional lift for the Cali wildfires is going to propel the Chargers to victory, gather support across the league and propel them to the playoffs.

Raiders +7.5 over TITANS
I wonder how many games pass by with the Titans offense being one sided with rushing yardage versus passing before a sports columnist types the unthinkable. "Would not Kerry Collins be the better QB to lead this team?" Honestly, I hope this happens, because Vince Young doesn't win the games, their defense and rushing attack wisn the games for them. I am a big USC fan, so it warms my heart to see LenDale White and Reggie Bush both starting for their teams even though both are still only 22 (waaaaaaay younger than your average 2nd year RB out of a powerhouse college, paging Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams). LenDale White watched his draft stock slip out of the top 15, then out of the first round because he was a bit hefty at the national championship game, he didn't run a 40 before the draft, and he had some behavioral issues. His college coach stood behind him, and LenDale eloquently stated that he was the only pure power RB in that entire draft. If you look at the backs chosen that draft, there is a ton of talent, but few that you think could be a 25 carry guy and goalline presence for the long haul.

BRONCOS -3 over Packers
I know it is Favre on a Monday night game, but the Broncos are at home and playing an inferior team compared to the squad they beat in a gutsy game last week. The Packers sham record will be on display as they start to run through the tough stretch of their schedule.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Review: Oryx and Crake

My first novel written by a feminist since college managed to drown me in a sea of wonderous and scary possibilities. Oryx and Crake is a novel set in a mid-21st century world where science has gone to extremes of possibilities with no ethical checks and society has devolved to the point where sex, drugs, and violence occupy most of an individual's free time. Oh yeah, there's also the classic global wamring angle. You will read bits of the novel and think "We're already doing something like this with microbiology/nanotechnology/solar power". Told in a manner that flashes back constantly, you know the end game of the story, but the tension for how the ending does come about is thrilling.

The book centers around the idea that science will keep progressing, dangerous environmental issues will continue to get worse, and society itself will keep sliding further and further down the shitter. It's not science fiction, but one of those wonderful "just real enough" ideas you could throw around with friends stoned out of your mind one Saturday night. The science is just an extension of what we have now. A bit scarier is the corporate manipulation of that science, and a touch of conspiracy theory-tinfoil hat makes you go "hey, i already think that about XYZ Inc". The science was interesting enough to make you imagine the reality of that world. Still, no book is complete without flesh and blood characters to guide it.

The main charcters and the world in which they existed was interesting enough. The haves and have nots have continued to separate, people are even more obsessed with looking perfect and young, violence and sex occupy most free thought in the young, and there's even the hint that voting doesn't matter anymore. Older folks wish for the older days "when it snowed", "when voting mattered", fill in the blank thing we have now that we take for granted. Oryx is a child sold into sex exploitation that Crake and the protagonist Snowman (Jimmy) see as teens on the net. They eventually meet up with her through random chance. Oryx reminded me of those former porn stars you randomly read about that leave the industry, find Jesus, find a steady job and try to put the past behind them. She was a sensible, realistic female character. Crake is the brainchild that makes the story truly move through his actions. Brilliant, tormented by his nightmares that he does not remember, and a throwback, Crake seemed like a reflection of myself and so many other kids I remember in college. Reading the passage of Jimmy's trip to visit Crake in college, I now know how some of my home friends felt when they came to visit me at my college. Crake seemed a man out of place with his world, and like the famous quote by George Bernard Shaw, "the reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable man adapts the world to him, therefore all progress is due to teh unreasonable man".

There is one thing that bothered me with this book. The main protagonist, "Snowman" (Jimmy), is a giant dildo. He's an everyman character, from the spoiled upper class that has a bit of talent but nothign special. He is obsessed with sex, never really thinks about the big picture, and really annoys me. Is Snowman a swipe at modern young boys and men by a feminist author? I get that feeling at times. Thinking about it more, it feels more like a crying mother's description of what modern boys become through maternal neglect, bombardment with violence and sex at a young age, and an indifferent father, which is something boys already face in today's world. In some instances, I felt bad for Snowman. His shitty bi-polar mother, his corporate dad, his lack of a real connection to any woman and for that matter lack of friends. Other passages would have me rolling my eyes at a completely lame reaction to some plot point or completely idiotic move by Snowman (Jimmy). At one point, you will read the book and say "Jesus Christ Jimmy, how the phuck can't you see this coming! Stop thinking only of your dick!" Maybe that is the point. Maybe the author wants you to think how the protagonist did not put the pieces together to save mankind (if it deserved saving) because he was too busy with phucking some chick he has carried a weird fascination with since he was 14.

I do not want to spoil much and will not discuss the Crakers. I found them hysterical.

I'd give this 3 out of 5 stars. The world of Oryx and Crake is far more interesting than the characters of Oryx and Crake. It's a world I want to read about, and hope never comes to pass.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

NFL Week 7 Picks

I rocked with the picks last week, and I feel a bit good about this NFL seaosn as far as noticing the trends and picking the winners. I've been reading some new fiction and non-fiction books and trying to figure out some big picture things which I may write about soon. I think we as a society settle for mediocrity too much and in too docile of a manner.

BOYS - 9 over vikings Dallas will stack the line vs. Purple Jesus and force Tavaris Jackson the beat them. It won't work well for them. On the flip side, Minnesota's run defense is awesome, but their pass defense is horrible. This is not good when facing Romo and his cadre of options. The cowboys could enter the bye with a 6-1 record and a 3 week stretch of divisional foes that could determine the division title by week 12. If dallas swept, they would be up on the division foes by 2 games at the least and the tiebreaker over the giants. even going 2-1 would be solid and have them sitting at 8-2 with 6 games to go.

BILLS +3 over Ravens The ravens give me this paper champion feeling. they were very lucky in their run last year behind great special teams and defensive play with a sprinkling of lucky bounces on ill advised throws by McNair. They foolishly let Adalius Thomas go to the Pats, and that loss has not and will not be filled anytime soon. I can't believe I pikced them to win their division with the addition of McGahee. i still dont understand why ozzie newsoem keeps billick around. draft some o-linemen, grab a QB in free agency for the interim and try to get one big run with the defense you have right now.

LIONS -2 over Bucs I think the Colts showed teams how to stymie the Bucs offense. Oh yeah, the Bucs also are without their starting LT and RB. Garcia is a nice decision maker and can run a 2min drill. He just can't win games by himself at 38.

Pats -17 over Dolphins This line should be in the 20s. The Dolphins are old on defense and the Pats look unstoppable through the air right now. If the Dolphins can grind out drives with Ronnie Brown and keep throws to Moss to a minimum, they might be able to keep this to 31-17. i know the pats are primed for a 19-0 run but let's slow down as they have 1 win against a team over .500.

SAINTS -9 over Falcons With how ugly the NFC South is, the Saints could start the march to the playoffs with a second straight win. They need to tighten up their o-line blocking, make some tackles and get reggie bush to pound the holes rather than dance to them. The sked favors them with winnable games vs. the 49ers, rams, texans, panthers, bucs, falcons, cardinals and then two games that look much more winnable now comapred to a preseason vantage point: the iggles and bears. I count 9 more winnable games. Even at a realistic 7 of those 9, they would have 9 wins including this sunday if they beat the Falcons.

GIANTS -9 over 49ers The Giants are two more creampuff opponent wins away from getting everyone in the NY metro area to have high hopes. How trent dilfer is starting in the NFL at this day and age is a mystery. Is the NFL QB position that hard to fill with decent candidates? Have the 130 division 1 and 1aa schools failed that badly at prepping QBs for the pros? Yes. Yes they have. The spread offense has put a premium on QBs who can run first, throw second. This works in the college game because athleticism alone can win teams many ballgames, and a mobile QB can leave many 2nd and 3rd rate defenders in the dust. At the pro level, all fo that athleticism gets crammed into 1/3 the pool of eligible players. The LBs are suddenly faster, the Safeties tackle better. Mobile doesn't win like it could in college. Sorry Pat White. Therefore, the qualities that win at the QB position in college and diverging from the NFL requirements. Right now, many of the top programs in the nation have QBs who will not cut it in NFL style offenses but they surely can lead their teams to 8-4 or better records and good bowl games (most teams runnign the spread). It is a distinct possiblity that in 3 years, 4 teams in the NFL could be starting QBs from USC (Palmer, Leinart, Booty, Sanchez). Not solely because the talent is amazing for those QBs, but because they are the only guys who have run NFL style offenses during college against good competition. That's not right.

Cards +9 over SKINS The Skins are winning with defense and a running game. If you stuff the running game and then play a 2 deep zone man under, you should negate the deep to Moss plays, which kills their offense. I am not sold on Campbellas a QB, but as a game manager who is only asked to not throw INTs or fumble, he is ok. This might work vs. the Pats enough to cover witht he 10+ points they will get next week, but it isn't covering a 9 point lay vs. the cards.

TEXANS +1 over Titans The Texans are at home. The Titans are without vince young, which may not be a bad thing for their offense. I can see a Matt Schaub victory here and the people of Houston to feel a sense of pride. If they can scratch their way to .500 this season, it is a victory for their franchise. Their defense needs upgrading in the secondary.

BENGALS -6 over Jets Taking Cincy for two reasons: 1. Jets on the road, awul and 2. Jets defense, awful. Reality has caught up with the Jets, and this season is playing out as last season was suppose to play out. Last eyar, they were suppose to go 1-15 and draft Adrian peterson. Too bad they didn't.

RAIDERS -3 over Chiefs I'm going with the home team for this crappy AFC west match up. I sort of feel bad for Larry Johnson as he was destroyed by last season's workload, but then again, he is a punk. I found it funny that an upper middle to upper class kid could identify with a black coach better than to the white coach that grows grapes at a vinyard. I thought rich kids loved wine? I also don't understand why Priest Holmes is back. It's not the money, he's got plenty. He right now is playing russian roulette with his health. He'll be in a wheelchair in a few years because of this vanity project of coming back.

SEAHAWKS -8 over Rams I think I could make more money betting against the Rams than if I had a money printing press. Seriously, going against the Rams should be the lock pick for most people (the reverse fo the Pats covering). How the mighty offense has fallen. At this point, they could just keep losing, draft a giant LT in the top 5 and have a solid blocker for Bulger and Jackson next year.

Bears +5 over IGGLES The window has closed on these Iggles. It's over. They have never developed a running game, their QB is still recovering from his knee injury, and the WRs are horrible witht he exception of Kevin Curtis. The defense has a solid d-line and the secondary is ok but getting old and their LBs are unproven. I like takeo spikes but he is not the guy he was when he first signed with the bills after leaving that cincy hellhole.

Steelers -3.5 over BRONCOS Maybe shanahan can salvage something after the debacle at home against the chargers, but this steelers defense will be the best the broncos face this year. this could be one of those steelers games where they go up 21-3 at the half and then just pound the ball the entire 2nd half.

Colts -3 over JAGS The Jags are solid, but the Colts defense is a revamped, young beast compared to last season. The Jags will probably make the playoffs as a wild card but they just are not slowing Manning down. Manning is going to put up 24+ points, and I do not see the Jags doing that to this Colts defense.The Jags have had a problem with putting up points this year, and for some reason they are not pounding the ball as efficiently as last year in the red zone. If the Colts win this game, they have the afc south pretty much locked down. If they win, they will have the remaining 3 division games at home and have a 2 game lead on everyone in their division.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NFL Picks week 6

Lack of posts due to busy time at work. Limited now to picking games and random posts.

At thsi point in the season, I start thinking about the early playoff picture and the NFL Draft. The Cowboys, Skins, Packers, and Bucs look good for the playoffs right now. The Pats, Colts, Steelers, Jags look good in the AFC. The other spots are all in the air. All spots are, but by now we can see teams that are starting to create space. As far as the Draft, I am looking at the winless or 1 win teams and wondering who selects Brian Brohm at the top of the draft. If the Saints or Bengals get the top pick, they will not draft him but could pick one of those top D-linemen as both defenses suck. The Jets and Bills have young QBs they feel decent about (Clemons and Edwards). St. Louis has Bulger. Now Miami and Atlanta need a QB. With Petrino in Atlanta, I have a feeling he will end up there.

CHIEFS +3 over Bengals
Sad to see Marvin Lewis unable to scheme a defense to stop anyone. When I think of how many years people cried for him to get a head coaching job, I look on his time at Cincy as an indictment of his abilities. He has skuzzbucket players, and cannot coach up a defense. Looks like his awesome defenses of the past were due to the players.

JAGUARS -7 over Texans
The Jags intrigue me because they are so hot and cold offensively. They can march down the field for 5 drives in a row and then put together 3 straight 3 and out drives. I think they will steamroll bad teams and go .500 vs. good teams.

BROWNS -5 over Dolphins
I am not going with Cleo Lemon on the road. The Browns need to keep losing so their first round pick is higher and higher for Dallas. I'm waiting for Kellen Winslow's breakout game. He's teetering on the edge for an unrealized potential tag from announcers.

Vikings +5 over BEARS
I do not believe in this Bears defense anymore. Football Outsiders wrote an article on how top notch defenses are tough to keep together and to keep performing at their top level for more than 2 years. Chicago is well beyond the 2 year mark, and they need to keep reloading for these injuries and free agency departures (next offseason).

Iggles -4 over JETS
Until the Jets dump Pennington, I am going against them. They need to make this switch now, as they have lost several games and valuable tiebreakers by starting Pennington and watching him lose games.... or better, not win them for the Jets.

RAVENS -10 over Rams
The Rams will not score double digits on the Ravens, and the Ravens should move the ball on the Rams in an easy fashion. I keep waiting for McGahee's big game on the ground for the Ravens. C'mon Willis!

Skins +3 over Packers
I trust this Jason Campbell kid with game managing, but he is sketchy and cannot win games for the Skins yet. Still, I trust the Packers even less. This charade must stop soon.

BUCS -3 over Titans
Home team gets my vote. The Bucs defense is decent, Garcia can make some plays, and Gruden will scheme enough to make Vince Young confused. We're only 4 years away from Vince Young's dogfighting moment. Wait until he doesn't make the playoffs for a few years and is frustrated with the NFL defenses figuring him out & boxing him in.

CARDINALS -5 over Panthers
Vinny Testaverde signed with the Panthers. No bets on him. I like the Cardinals at home. Let's not see them fail me now.

CHARGERS -10 over Raiders
After the beatdown on the Broncos, I think the Chargers can rest a bit easier now knowing their division is so lame. They could conceivably go 5-1 in their division (the 1 loss that stinker vs. KC), and squeeze into the playoffs as the 4 seed. Now a seasoned and grizzly 4 seed, hosting a wild card game, and going into Foxboro angry? Sounds like the perfect matchup for the unstoppable looking Patriots in January.

SAINTS +6 over Seahawks
Desperation game at home. This has to work. Seattle's run game looks awful. Alexander looks slow (he is 30 after all), the line isn't what it was 2 years ago with Hutch, and Mack Strong is out. The window has closed for the Seahawks. They are not going far into the playoffs, even in the weak NFC, even if they make it.

Giants -3.5 over FALCONS
Giants are weak against the pass; Falcons are not good through the air. I like this match up for the Giants offense as well with the missing men on the Falcons' D.

(SIGH)
Patriots -6 over COWBOYS
It pains me to be smart, but no way are the Cowboys beating the Pats unless the starts align. The Cowboys just are not there defensively to stop the Pats. I expect a shootout.

This gets a douchbags label because of 1 group of people: Patriots fans. I like the idea of dominant teams and highly skilled teams. The Pats themselves seem a bit dirty now, but are still hardworking guys. The one thing that prevents the entire nation from looking forward to a 16-0 season from the Patriots: Patriot nation. The Pats fans are the worst group of fans ever. Seriously, ever. Not football smart, arrogant, unappreciative of their team (they booed last week when the Pats had a 3 and out up by 17 points), fair weather, disgruntled Red Sox fans, and mock/hate/identify self by disliking their rivals... even the ones they beat a lot. That last bit is more an extension of the Red Sox fandom. The Pats can't go 16-0 because the nation would probably rise up and nuke Massachusetts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Myanmar/Burma Protests

This article makes me a bit sad, as the protests in Burma might go for naught. The following line depressed me and also made me proud of how democracy slowly but surely developed in the USA....

"Instant democracy on the lines of Western democracy, that's not on the cards, that's not possible," Sudarsono said.

I highly doubt this as the people have clamored for democractic rule for years but the junta would not allow it. I would love to see the UN actually do something, but who knows when those douchebags will step in. I hate the UN. It is so ineffective at giving strength to people in need. Ask the people of Darfur.

Everything we have and enjoy, despite our constant complaining, is so glorious. The fact that I can type "George W. Bush is an idiot and a puppet of big business, Christian extremist voters, and his mom", and not be shot is a beautiful thing. There is not a day that goes by where I am not happy to be living in the bastion of freedom in this world (Amsterdam might be slightly more open). It's the people in this wonderful bastion of freedom that I have a hard time dealing with on a daily basis.

Understand, focus, meditate, reach calm understanding of the causation of suffering.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

NFL Week 5 Picks

Picks, no comments, leaving on a jet plane in 8 hours....

Cardinals -3.5 over RAMS
TITANS -8 over Falcons
SAINTS -3 over Panthers
Browns +17 over PATS
SKINS -3.5 over Lions
Jags -1 over CHIEFS
TEXANS -5 over Dolphins
GIANTS -3.5 over Jets
STEELERS -6 over Seahawks
COLTS -10 over Bucs
Ravens -3 over 49ERS
Chargers even over BRONCOS
Bears +3.5 over PACKERS
Cowboys -10 over BILLS

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sorry Chevy Volt, Maybe I will Buy an Aptera in 7 years

Previously, I have written about GM's prototype, electric car, the Chevy Volt. The Volt seems like it could rock hard core limiting my use of gasoline to a mere sip and giving a big middle finger to oil exporting nations. I want the Volt to be a smashing success for GM, for the reduction in oil consumption, and partly for the environment. I was close to targeting 2014 as the year I bought a Chevy Volt if the Consumer Reports review was decent, but that has all changed. I read this article on the Aptera.

There are better pics of this car with the article. When I first saw it, I felt like one of the Jetsons had parked his or her car in my driveway. What I find so impressive is that the design of this car was centered around aerodynamics. It has three wheels with rear wheel drive, and a hybrid system that is extremely close to the Chevy Volt system. Mostly electric but with a diesel engine to charge the electric motor when you go longer distances. There are solar cells on the roof to slowly charge your vehicle while it parks and to run the AC. Before I get carried away with technogoobledegook, look at the pics at the article's site. This is one of those commuter cars of the future I was promised as a kid.

I see my wife and I having one car for my commute, if we do not end up living close enough for me to walk or bike to work, and one car for the whole family and her odd commutes (multiple sites). I'd love a commuter vehicle like this. That's just what I would view it, which oddly enough is the same way I view my cheap, totally paid for Hyundai Elantra, a commuter car. I'm not my car. My car just gets me to work and back, sometimes a longer trip to visit fam or friends. I get 32 mpg right now. If I could get, with an electric car, infinity mpg, I'd just be rolling around with laughter at the oil exporting nations, marketing companies and minimart retailers.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Myanmar (Burma) & Buddhist Monks

Myanmar/Burma has been in the news recently for some pretty horrendous treatment of peacefully protesting monks. Let me use wikipedia, which is sometimes flakey, to pinpoint the start of this protesting, "This present round of demonstrations began on August 18, when the government raised the price of diesel oil by 500% in order to cover a budget deficit that resulted from a salary hike for civil servants". Yup, diesel fuel increasing by 500% got the monks pissed off. It was more or less a move by a smart, underground force to make a stand to gather international attention to their horrible situation. The U.N. is supposedly going into Burma to try to make things right. The U.N. has not done a good job in the Congo, Darfur or Yugoslavia, so what the hell can they do for the Burmese?

Wait, didn't monks practice self-immolation in Vietnam nearly 40 years ago and the world told the US to leave? Where's the world outcry for people being beaten as they protest their own horrible government?

This ultimately goes back to China. Myanmar is a friendly nation to China as part of their policy of friendliness to dictatorships and thuggish oligarchies. China invests in these nations for use of their natural resources, and to have a friend on their flank. The Chinese themselves are a horrible oligarchy made up of a few bastards and their cronies. It's a shame that no one pays attention to this as China continues it's 'rise' in the 21st century. Like North Korea, the proper way to deal with Myanmar/Burma is to exert pressure on them through China. The problem is getting the CHinese to come to the table.

Wouldn't it be grand to see Myanmar/Burma as a democracy in Southeast Asia? It would be nice to see freedom for monks and people alike without fear of the Asian form of the Gulag. I do not see the U.N. doing anything worthwhile to help. What people forget about the U.N. is that it serves it's member nations. What you should notice is how many of those members are monarchies, dictatorships, and oligarchies. Look at the Security Council with Russia and China having a seat. Do those countries strike you as pro-democracy and pro-human rights? No. They can block whatever they want to block that comes before the Security Council. This is the world in which we live, and it should make you angry.

****As someone thinking of becoming Buddhist, in my great nation that allows freedom of religion, I think these monks are pretty crafty. What a lot of people do not realize is that the monks in poor nations such as Myanmar/Burma are the community leaders. They usually educate the young children or settle disputes that people wish to not take to the courts (or do not trust to the courts), acting as a cross between Judge Wapner and the teacher from "Dead Poet's Society". This is not a publicity stunt as much as it is the local, community leaders taking and stand and providing leadership to a movement or feeling in their community. I have mad respect for them.

Outstanding Comment on Alcohol

"I don't have a drinking problem. I have a drinking solution." Brendon Clingensmith.