Thursday, July 31, 2008

Daily YouTube: We're goin' to charge Beersheba, mate

From the sadly underrated Lighthorsemen, here is the climactic charge of Beersheba.

It suffers (a lot) on a tiny screen and crap sound. If you get a chance to see this one on a larger screen and with some kick-ass speakers, you'll thank me for it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Not that funny, but I REALLY need something to laugh about right now...

A bear walks into a bar and says, "I want a bourbon and............... coke"

The bartender asks "what's with the huge pause?"

The bear says, "I've had them all my life."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Daily YouTube: Big Al gives us more on The Goal

Katie Couric did a LONG interview with My Hero Al, giving him the opportunity to expand on The Goal - generating all of our electricity using renewable sources within 10 years.

It's lengthy, and the end of the interview deals with unrelated nonsense, but its worth watching. This guy makes so much sense. I still think he would have been a lousy President (Worse than GWB? Um, er, let me get back to you on that one.), but he's found his way to contribute.

BTW, I went out and bought an "Al Gore is My Hero" T-shirt. I'm not making that up.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Daily YouTube: The GREAT Hank Williams

Less than a year before he died, the King of Country Music, the great, tragic Hank Williams, along with many other performers from the Grand Ole Opry, made an appearance on NBC's The Kate Smith Evening Hour.

So pull up the ottman, put on your cardigan and slippers, mix a drink, light your pipe, and join us for a little stroll thru prime-time TV, circa 1952.

Zimbabwe: Follow up to yesterday's nugget

Yesterday, we made mention of the out-of-control inflation and stupefying dollar amounts being thrown around in Zimbabwe.

Today, "official figures" from somewhere, perhaps Zimbabwe's Central Bank although that's not clear from the Beeb article, place Zimbabwe's inflation rate at 2,200,000%. You read that right, 2.2 million percent.

What is going to give first in the most effed-up country on Earth?

Muppets Make Me Laugh

I cannot express the loinal love I have always felt for Beaker from the Muppets. With that in mind, I give you this:

Thank you, and good night Clevland!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zimbabwe: Monopoly money is worth more

The Beeb has an article today on the game Zimbabwe and its people are playing with cash in the midst of long-term ultra-hyper inflation. The examples in the story are truly beyond belief.

An example: If you win the Harare Herald Lotto Bonanza, you get 1.2 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars. That's quadrillion, with 15 zeros. The prize's worth in US dollars? About $4,000. And that was last week. Who knows what it's worth now?

Another example: At a private school in Harare, parents are being asked to pay supplemental fees of Z$2.1 trillion. Yes, trillion. And if you wait until next week, you have to pay Z$3 trillion. Nine hundred billion dollars more to extend for a few days.

How would you feel if you had a few crisp, new Z$500,000,000.00 bills in your wallet, and knew you might be able to buy a newspaper and a sandwich with them? Five hundred million dollars, in a single bill, now practically worthless.

The numbers being tossed around in Zimbabwe's economy these days are truly mind-boggling. Banking and other financial systems are completely unable to process the sums being exchanged for trivial things. Think about it - could 7-11's systems could handle it if your Super Big Gulp cost four billion dollars?

I am way too dumb when it comes to economics to even begin to know what the solution is for this problem. The solution in Weimar Germany was to elect a fascist to the Chancellorship. Zimbabwe already has it's fascist, and that hasn't worked. What's next?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Daily YouTube: George Carlin

Long overdue, the GREAT, and dead, George Carlin, before he turned into a bitter cynic.

Language warning of the HIGHEST order. As if you didn't know that already.

Atlanta has soured on Tex

In today's Atlanta Journal Constitution Braves blog, David O'Brien is contemplating what it would take to send Mark (Big Tex) Teixeira packing. His views sound just like all of ours this time last year.

O'Brien has figured out that Tex, while a stat-producer of massive proportions, is not a clutch guy, does not even resemble a team leader, and is all-business/no-passion.

Hell, Dave, any Rangers' fan could have told you all that just as soon as the ink was dry on last year's trade.

We've given Doogie some major grief for failed trades (Soriano for Wilkerson/Sledge/Galarraga, Young/Gonzales for Eaton/Otsuka - makes my head hurt just thinking about 'em), but we have failed to give credit for last year's absolute fleecing of the Braves. Miserable Mark and Ron Mahay for Saltalamacchia, Harrison, Andrus, and Feliz will go down as the most one-sided trade seen in these parts since the Herschel Walker deal.

In the meanwhile, Braves fans are ready to get Tex out of town. The question is who's going to give up talent to rent his services for 3 months. Not the Rangers, and that's all I care about.

The things white people whine about

Here is the soon-to-be-classic White Whine - A New White Person Compaint Daily.

Hurricane Dolly: Not much to worry about

The latest from StormTrack regarding Dolly. It's apparently getting bigger, but not much stronger. Predictions are for a Category 1 which is currently aimed pretty much at Brownsville, heading west across Mexico after that.

The lull continues, although the Atlantic season is actually off to a fairly busy start.

Israel: Construction equipment the new terror tool?

Another Palestinian psycho went berserk with a piece of construction equipment in Jerusalem today, ramming buses and cars, injuring at least 10, before border police ended the rampage with a few well-placed bullets to the melon.

All in all, I guess you have to prefer this sort of low-tech terrorism to the patented Semtex Underoos previously employed by Palestinian terror groups. The Israeli body count has stayed relatively low, and both nut-jobs have been dispatched to Paradise in fairly short order.

On the other hand, it's just one more reason for Israelis to continue looking over the shoulders.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Today's video

Each black balloon represents 2 ounces of greenhouse gas, blah blah blah. This is nothing new.

The climate crisis part of the message is huge, and I totally support it. However, the part of the We campaign that really resonates with me is the part about getting away from fossil fuels. The enviros will tell you its to save the planet, and it is, in part. The other part, the part that I really like, is taking oil and its evil out of the national security equation. So many problems either vanish or become inconsequential if we don't need the oil...

Anyway, we'll keep posting We videos here now and then, just to keep the issue top-of-mind, and top-of-blog.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Daily YouTube: So subtle...

Still haven't made up my mind, but I sorta doubt this kind of tripe is going to help me...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Today's video

It's the same cause we've been railing about here at CIT for three years, but with a bit more oomph...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Daily YouTube: The Batusi

In honor of today's smash opening of The Dark Knight, we present The Batusi:

THE quote to remember

From My Hero Al's speech (below):

"We are borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn in ways that destroy our planet. Every bit of that has to change."

Al Gore: Now my hero! (not kidding)

Ex-senator, ex-vice president, ex-presidential candidate, and current Nobel laureate Al Gore recently made a speech, typical of many of his other speeches, which I find to be an absolute treasure trove of good sense.

In said speech, delivered in Washington and down the street from the White House, Gore challenged the US to abandon electricity generated by burning fossil fuels, and to do it within a decade.

Of course, the critics are coming out of the woodwork to point out how completely impossible this is, how trillions of dollars of infrastructure can't be made obsolete in a decade, blah, blah, blah. I know there are legitimate points being made here, and I know this wouldn't be easy, inexpensive, or trauma-free.

But it can be done. More so, it HAS to be done.

Oil and fossil fuels are evil in so many ways - 75% (I'm guessing, but I bet I'm close) of our environmental problems come from fossil fuels, our foreign policy is massively restricted because of our oil dependence, our economy is held hostage by our oil suppliers who, in more than a few cases, hate us and want us dead. The roots of many of our problems lie right here, in our total dependence of this stuff.

It's so obvious to me, and I have been saying it for a long time: We MUST get away from fossil fuels. Wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro, all nice little niche sources. But nuclear - here's our short term answer. We know how to do this, we know how to do it safely. Is it perfect? Hell no - we still don't know what to do with the waste. But is that more dangerous than continuing to burn coal and fuel oil? I don't think so.

Gore is right, man. We can do this, and we can do it in a decade if we REALLY want to. NOW is the time.

What a shocking turn of events: Al Gore is now the Official Hero of this blog! Here is the speech, and the Web site.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Daily YouTube: Was this the official video?

I'm not sure, but I don't think Usher meant for this to happen...

Russia: Remains of last Tsar's children found

According to the Russians (ITAR-TASS), the remains of Grand Duchess Maria and Grand Duke and Tsarevich Alexi have been found in an unmarked pit in Yekaterinburg. The announcement comes on the 90th anniversary of the assassination of deposed Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family by Bolsheviks.

I've always been fascinated by Imperial Russia and the revolution, especially by the story of the Romanov family. Yanked from the pinnacle of luxury and power, dragged all over the western half of the country, and finally massacred in the basement of a merchant's home in Yekaterinburg, theirs is tragedy of epic proportions, worthy of scholarly books and melodramatic movies.

This announcement is likely the last chapter in the dreadful story.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Josh Hamilton: The Amazing Story

Yet more accolades, much deserved, for Josh Hamilton and his performance in last night's Home Run Derby.

In the middle of that Round 1 barrage, I found myself cheering, laughing, describing the sheer awesomeness of what I was witnessing to my wife, just overwhelmed with the joy of it. THIS is what sports are supposed to be about.

Thank you, Josh, for one of the great experiences of my life. And if that sounds hokey to you, too bad. It was something you'll never see again. Stop, for moment, and recognize greatness in front of you.

Daily YouTube (ish): Crazy kidnap story

This one wouldn't be worth posting, except for the guy with no nose.

Kidnapping By A Man With No Nose - Watch more free videos

Monday, July 14, 2008

The greatest story in sports gets better

Josh Hamilton, the greatest story in sports today, and maybe the greatest story in the history of sports (I'm looking for a better one), just added to his growing legend by crushing 28 home runs in the Home Run Derby.

I'm usually not much of a fan of the Home Run Derby, but tuned in to see our local boy hit a few. I found myself laughing out loud as his total continued to climb.

I hope, I really hope, this guy can keep his head screwed on straight. It's so rare that we have good stories come out of pro sports, and this is one which can be the kind of story you tell your grand kids.

What fun. How great for Hamilton. How lucky for us to be able to see it unfold in front of us.

Daily YouTube: Revenge of the common man

A ding-dong local funny-guy reporter tries some "man on the street" interviews with people waiting in line for the new iPhone. One of his interviewees doesn't think the reporter is as funny as the reporter thinks he is. Hilarity ensues.

Just once, I'd like to have the opportunity to say something like this on live TV, and the stones to do it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amish jokes are probably bad karma

An Amish boy and his father were visiting a nearby mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny silver walls that moved apart and back together again by themselves.

The lad asked, "What is this, father?"

The father, having never seen an elevator, responded, "I have no idea what it is."

While the boy and his father were watching wide-eyed, an old lady in a wheelchair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched as small circles lit up above the walls.

The walls opened up again and a beautiful twenty-four-year-old woman stepped out.

The father looked at his son anxiously and said, "Go get your mother."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cool picture

A Navy F/A-18 going supersonic at what looks like 50 feet of altitude.

I bet everyone for miles was ticked. Except for the local window repairmen.

Daily YouTube: WTF?

I am speechless...

Iran: Are we approaching nut-cuttin' time?

Recent days have seen some very, very sobering news from both Iran and Israel, and a mounting sense of tension between the two countries. The US can't help but be drawn into the escalating rhetoric as well.

This is potentially very bad news. VERY bad.

The Iranians, of course, have been working on a nuclear program at some level for some time. The US and the Euros have been trying to head this off through diplomacy and some relatively mild sabre rattling, to no avail. Israel cannot, and has stated they will not, stand by and let a country who's leader has repeatedly called for its (Israel's) destruction arm itself with nuclear weapons.

The Israelis, last week, held a military exercise which was pretty clearly intended to prove out, for themselves and the world, they could, if necessary, strike Iran from the air. Sure, it's provocative. But what else can they do? The Israelis are starting to get nervous, thinking that the rest of the world isn't showing enough of a sense of urgency about the situation. Can you blame them? There's no telling what happens to US policy regarding this matter in January.

So, in response, the Iranians stage a test of medium range missiles the other day. It's lost on no one, least of all the Israelis, that these missiles can reach Tel Aviv. Whether the test was as successful as the Iranians would like for us to believe is in question, and is also completely besides the point.

The facts, from the Israeli perspective, are this:

- Iran's President has publicly and repeatedly called for Israel's destruction.
- Iran is working on a nuclear program of some sort.
- Iran has missiles which can reach Israel.
- The US military is over-extended.
- The future of US attitude regarding Iran and Israel is not certain.

The Israelis are going to look out for themselves, and they have proven time and again that they will strike first (a lesson well and truly learned in the Six-Day War and reinforced by the Yom Kippur War - don't wait for the other guy to be ready), and to hell with world opinion. When pretty much everyone in your neighborhood wants you dead, and has tried a few times to kill you, you can never be paranoid enough.

Oh boy. Oh dear. This. Is. Tense.

I don't begin to know what the answer is here. What I do know is this needs to be front and center for us all, right now. Stop whining about $4 gas - if Iran and Israel start shooting at each other, you'll look back on $4 gas as the good old days.

We do have some leverage. The Arabs are scared to death of Iran. But they're also anti-Israel and, increasingly, anti-American. And we can't piss off the Arabs because of the aforementioned $4 gas.

It keeps coming back to that, doesn't it? Take oil out of the equation, and this stuff gets a whole lot less complicated.

There's your imperative. It's a longer-term action. What's to be done in the short term?

Buckle your seatbelts. This one has DANGER written all over it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Local media: The Greg Williams Story is out

Here is Richie's long-anticipated Greggo-Hardline tell-all. It's pretty brutal, and fills in a lot of the gaps we all wondered about back late last fall. It's long, but a must-read for any Ticket listener.

No one come across very well in this tale, least of all Williams. I had no idea things went back as far as they did, and that he was so unstable for so long. I think Corby Davidson, in particular, takes a lot of abuse in the article, and didn't take the opportunity to tell his side of the story. I think that's Corby taking the high road, and, if it is, I salute him for it.

I'm still listening, and, if Greg shows up down the dial someday, I doubt I'd tune in. But it is a sad story which clearly didn't have to happen.

Charlie the Unicorn is Back!!

Only because I like a certain level of continutity in my life, as well as the fact that it makes me giggle like a drunken nun in the face of eternity (and my son pokes my belly like the Pop N Fresh fella) -- I give you Charlie the Unicorn 2 (it is 6 minutes long, but "oh" what minutes they are):

Someday, I hope to be the Banana King.....

Monday, July 07, 2008

We've actually got a hurricane to write about

Bertha has made it to Category 3, but appears to be no threat to any major land mass.

It's been a quiet couple of years, but it's way too early in the season to start throwing parties now.

Max Ramirez is one tough dude

I'm not about to start live-blogging Ranger games, but I do have to stop down and make mention of the double play just turned by the Rangers to end the Angels half of the 8th.

After Bill-Buckner-ing a slow roller to first, young Chris Davis redeemed himself by throwing an absolute screamer home to C Max Ramirez. Ramirez stood his ground, got BELTED by the runner, but held on to the ball for the out. Lying stunned on the ground, Ramirez obviously heard P Dustin Nippert hollering "Third!". Ramirez rose to his knees and threw a perfect strike down to third to get the man trying to take the extra base.

The Rangers are likely going to lose tonight, which sucks. However, this is what we're looking for this year - head's up, hard nosed plays by promising young players.

Good job, Max!

Daily YouTube: Welcome to Dallas, Sean Avery

In case you hadn't heard, the newest Dallas Star has a bit of a history...

Local media: The Greg Williams Story is about to hit the Observer

Richie Whitt has finally made good on his promise to write the tell-all regarding the end of Greg Williams' run on The Ticket last fall. He's posted a bit of sneak peek on the soon-to-be-great (or is it there already) Sportatorium.

There's interest in the story, no doubt. Readership of this ridiculous blog hit (relatively) stratospheric heights while I was posting the occasional tidbit from Richie and others. No doubt Sportatorium is seeing much more (and much more deserved) traffic just from today's missive. This week's Observer ought to fairly fly off the racks.

Here we are, six to seven months down the road, and I have to tell you that I don't miss Greggo one bit. The show is better now than it was with him stumbling and mis-speaking himself into radio oblivion. Rhynes, Corby, and Danny all seem to be having more fun than previously and, as a result, so am I.

This is a cautionary tale if ever there was one, and I can't wait to read the whole thing.

US Vote: "Savvy use of the Internet"...again

Long, but interesting, reprint of a NYT article on MSNBC today: Barack Obama's use of the Internet in his campaign is being hailed as "revolutionary".

Obama has enlisted one of Facebook's founders, Chris Hughes (all of 24 years old), as his chief social networking guy. I'm only lately a fan of his work, but the guy does seem to know what he's doing. (insiders call it MyBo, with the last "o" very definitely in lower case; MyBO clearly won't do) is, by all accounts, enormously successful, easy to use, widely leveraged, and an all-out hoot to be part of. I wouldn't know, as this is the first I've heard of it - I'm late to the party, as usual. However, as a new Facebook devotee, I'll go give it a peek.

Even if it's the greatest Web site in the history of all Web sites, I have to tell you that I am sick to death of hearing about how the Internet has "completely changed" the political arena, and how a candidate (usually the younger, hipper one) has "revolutionized" campaigning thru his team's use of the Web. This uber-hype started, I believe, with Howard Dean waaaayyyyyy back in 2000 and has kept going since. It reminds me a lot of the Internet bubble of the late 90's-early 00's in terms of the totally skewed bang-to-hype ratio.

Internet campaigning is a reality, just like Internet news, Internet shopping, and Internet social networking are. However, is it really a game-changer? Don't you still have to get out in front of people - on TV, on the radio, in print, online, and in person - and have something to say? Haven't we all seen really cool technology, really slick presentation, and a ton of hype, all wrapped around nothing of substance? What was the staying power of Razorfish,, Loudcloud, Marimba, PointCast, or the million other Web flameouts?

This stuff is just clutter to me. Who cares, really, if Obama is using the Web more effectively than McCain? Does this have one iota of impact on the kind of leader each might be? My questions remain the same as they've been: Obama's experience, his ability to influence people and events on the world stage, who are his advisers and what are their views, etc - all far more important to me than either candidate's ability to "revolutionize" politics via the Internet.

Right Up Your Alley, Curmudgeon!

Hey Facebook Fop -- Found this on the YouTube there and thought of you:

And now your life is complete...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Am I too old for Facebook?

Probably, but why should that stop me?

I've created a profile on Facebook. It's kind of fun. I'm probably outside the target demo by 25 years, but what the heck, right?

Come, check it out. Become my friend, because that's what we're all after, isn't it?

Trawling through my lost innocence

Ahhhhhh -- as my hair grays and departs from my head, as my skin sags and my feet callous, as my brain loses connections and time becomes more and more abstract -- I have nowhere to turn but the television of my youth(?). And therein my hair darkens and grows thicker, my skin tauts and my feet are gentle to the touch. I am alive with new ideas and the future is to be embraced. My love affair with comics reaches into the testicular droppings of my youth. I return to them again and again (so much like Walt, and F. Scott, and the poetry of Russell Edson and Stephen Dobynns), hording them, bagging them, organizing them, making spread sheets. I am the fanboy sitting in the basement of his parent's house drinking beer and watching C-List porn and wondering why the girls won't talk to me. What the hell happened anyway? But I digress. Comics. Television. Youth. Therein all is good. Therein I become a god.

I now I gird my loins to plunge face first into an afternoon with my father-in-law, his Filipino wife, and her extended and extended family. They all speak Tagalog fast and breathy while pointing at myself and my family. Are they sizing us up to cook in the box spring? Are they in awe of our majesty? Do they want to breed with us to see what the offspring can accomplish. It unnerves me to the quick. There is a high propensity for things to go sideways. Thank goodness my father-in-law is an alcoholic and booze flows freely. Give me enough scotch and I will de-pants and start screaming about cock fights and shoes. These are the days that we look back upon with a bemused grin (assuming we make it out alive). These are the days that we compare with the television of our youth (?) in order for all the pieces to fall into place.

I grip the arm of my 10-year-old son for balance. He hates it when I do that. Happy July 6th.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Israel: Well, that's new

A Palestinian psycho ran amuck with a front-end loader in Jerusalem earlier on Wednesday, killing at least 3 and injuring 40+. The rampage ended when an Israeli in civilian clothes - the BBC says he was a plain-clothes policeman, MSNBC says he was an off-duty soldier - jumped into the cab of the loader and shot the driver dead.

You have to hand it to the Palestinian terror groups. They really are masters at low-tech, asymetrical warfare. How do you mount an effective deterrent against an unarmed dude going nuts with a piece of civilian construction equipment? Seems to me that pretty much the only thing you can do is what the Israelis already have done, which is arm as many of your citizens as you can, and let them react when something like this happens. Hopefully, some concerned citizen blows the cretin out of his socks before the civilian casualty count gets too high. That's apparently exactly what happened here.

The Israelis are truly amazing. They have built a highly functional society while looking over their shoulders constantly. Just think what they might accomplish if they actually get a bit of peace and security.

The video, courtesy of Al Jazeera: