Friday, December 31, 2010

"Why on God's Green Earth Are You Even a Republican?"

Cenk Uygur asks the question, and Chris Barron of GOProud has an answer:

With that full head of steam Cenk gets up telling Chris (twice) that the Republicans ran "a whole national campaign against hating yooooooouuuuuuu!!!" -- against hating gays and lesbians, Cenk? really? -- in 2004 and 2006, Cenk seems to have forgotten how John Edwards and John Kerry both pulled the "Hey, hater Republicans, did you know Dick Cheney's daughter is gay?" card during the 2004 debates. Or maybe Cenk believes that Democrats trying to whip up and then use intolerance against gays and lesbians to cost the Republican presidential ticket Republican votes ("Dick Cheney has a gay daughter?! I did not know that! No way I'm voting Republican now!") and further their own political ends was really just a cunning blow for tolerance and acceptance. After all, it's so meta!

But like Cenk says, gays and lesbians should all be Democrats, because Democrats love gays and lesbians. After all, trillion-dollar annual budget deficits just don't affect gays and lesbians. And sure, all those other Democratic policies will ensure that gays and lesbians lose their jobs and then stay unemployed, but then gays and lesbians will be just like all the rest of us. Hooray for equality! Besides, like Nancy Pelosi said, unemployment benefits actually create jobs, so the more unemployment, the better the economy! Hooray for Democratic economic theory! And at least those gays and lesbians will have been put out of work by right-thinking Democrats who love them. Shouldn't that count for something? I mean, seriously, why can't gays and lesbians just stay in their little single-issue voting bloc cubbyhole? Otherwise, we might actually end up with a president who, I don't know, opposes gay marriage!

Hey, wait a minute...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How LAX Welcomes Home Its Weary Travelers

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Married Conversation in an Overly Fancy Restaurant

"How uncomfortable are you feeling here?"

"If one more waiter dressed more expensively than I am calls me sir, I'm going into the kitchen and unionizing this place myself."

"Getting back to your liberal roots, are you?"

"You always know just what to say."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Three Favorite Gifts This Year

My three favorite gifts this year? A trio of brainy, goofy, gorgeous, hip yet geeky, political (left and right), snarky, dog-loving nieces who still laugh at their uncle's jokes, have been saving the world (or just their small part of it) for a long time now, and are either already or soon-to-be successful as a teacher, rocket scientist, and nurse:

That pink snail was pretty awesome, too.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas with the LOLCats

In honor of Christmas Day -- and the wailing cat that woke the house at 6 AM -- a reading from the Book of Luke, Chapter 2, as worded by the LOLCat Bible Translation Project:

Sheep-doodz n Angels

8 Then there wuz sheep-doods in teh field, an they wuz watchin teh sheep in teh dark. Iz vry vry boring. srsly. 9 An suddenly, visible angel! An glory! O noez!! 10 But teh angel sed, "DONT AFRAID OF ENYTHING! it r ok, you can has gud news for all teh doodz! 11 Todai in da city ov David, you can has sayvur! is Christ da Lord! w00t! 12 Iz sign fer u, find da kitteh wrapd like brrito in a big fud dish." 13 An suddenly, moar angelz! They sez, 14 "w00t to teh Ceiling Cat! An peace fer doodz he luffs! Kthxbai."
Merry Christmas, reader-doodz!

"A Very Zombie Holiday"

Friday, December 24, 2010

So These TSA Guys...

As a certain airline pilot recently said:

[A]irport security is kind of a farce. It's only smoke and mirrors so you people believe there is actually something going on here.
I saw the truth of this first-hand the other morning while making a connection at Memphis.

I'd never flown through Memphis before. Our sleepless red-eye flight got in early that morning, and several things struck me right away. Like how narrow Terminal B is, with the smallest seating areas for each gate that I can ever remember seeing outside a small-town airport serviced by propeller-driven puddle-jumpers. And the scent of BBQ that seemed to be everywhere, even though the time was well before 8 AM. (Then again, having been awake since 7 AM the previous morning, BBQ has never smelled so good.)

What really floored me, though, was how the Memphis TSA had somehow zeroed in on the true danger to those planes about to leave. Forget the full-body scanners. Forget the thoroughly thorough pat-downs. Forget the three ounces of liquid in individual containers all held within a single clear bag. The real threat, apparently, came from bottles of water and/or Snapple that travelers had bought inside the supposedly secured security area behind all the other layers of security that everyone had already gone through.

Truthfully, the sight of several TSA agents setting up yet another security point the next gate over from ours didn't even phase me -- at least until the announcement that they would be checking liquids those travelers had bought maybe ten minutes ago, and maybe twenty or so feet away from the gate itself.

As one weary traveler I overhead commented, "Shouldn't these bottles be checked, ah, before they get stocked and sold inside the security zone?"

One would think. But more and more, the TSA just seems to be doing things (and often very expensive things) simply to appear to be doing something. And on this particular morning, security theater has never seemed so... theatrical...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Deck Them Halls, People!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Present Ever

[Guest post by The Captain...]

I was leaving church mid-day. As I walked out, I looked over the Christmas trees that were left in our parking lot, and picked out a nice one; my friend P— said he'd drop it off at our house later that day. I thanked him and walked towards my car. My wife and daughter weren't at church today; they were at the gymnastics center south of town, because our daughter's coach wanted to give her a private lesson to work on her bars and floor routines, and Sunday was the only time he and the gym were available. Okay, whatever, they went to the gym while I hung out with God and some of my friends at church. My wife had texted me as services were ending; lesson complete, heading home. Then, as I neared my car, I got another text from her: "Please call me". The hair on the back of my neck stood up, because I just KNEW that something was terribly wrong. She should have been on the highway heading home by now, and she was never to text me while driving. I called her instantly. She answered in a broken tone: "T—, we're okay."

That told me that she was anything but okay.

As they pulled out from the gym entry road onto the highway, the light having just turned green, she looked to their left and saw a sedan getting very close, very fast. She locked her (anti-lock) brakes, the car decelerated rapidly, and she watched the entire front of her car snatched away and fly to her right, immediately followed by a flash of gold: a gold Lexus that showered our car with sparks and debris as it continued past. It came to a stop well to the far side of the intersection, connected to our car by a trail of various (car) body parts.

The woman who trotted back to our car saw my wife and daughter in the front seats, unbloodied and conscious, and blurted her relief to my wife. Didn't see the light, didn't have time to stop when your car pulled out, ohmyGod, you are all right, aren't you, your daughter is okay, right, ohmyGOD thank goodness for THAT, please don't cry honey I'm SO sorry, oh hell I'm crying too, aren't I, I've ruined your Christmas!

No, ma'am, you haven't ruined our Christmas. Yeah we'll have to deal with insurance and auto body repair and rental car people. So? Cars can be replaced. Repaired. Made new again. Or cast aside. But those two ladies in the front seat, they're precious beyond frakking words. Tow the car, we'll see it again soon. But let me wrap these two in a hug so long, and hard, and soaked with tears, that when I let them go they're going to look like they just got out of the shower, fully dressed.

It took an inattentive driver and a frightful collision of two cars to REALLY remind me of what's precious at Christmas-time, and every other day too. And it isn't anything under the tree, or in a store. So please, don't wait for something mind-blowing to remind you what you want most for Christmas. A smile...kind eyes...slipping your hand in theirs...goodnight kisses...and every other precious thing in-between. Don't take any of them for granted. Notice them all; cherish them all. God forbid you don't miss them until they're gone.

[I know how he feels...]

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

That Last Minute Christmas Gift

Would you believe the perfect Christmas gift pictured below is on sale at my local Best Buy? And in a can't-be-missed display that forms one of the consumer cattle chutes funneling harried shoppers toward the cashiers area?

As my wife said, "Normally, I'm for peace, but in this case..."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting My Gamer On

For years, my wife has had the laptop in the family, and I've nursed along my aging, ever-more-crashworthy desktop. Most nights, I've fallen asleep to the soft clicking of her keyboard, which sounds like rain the roof, while she chats, blogs, writes, games, or even works. "Won't it be great," she would say, "when you finally have a laptop again, and we can both curl up in bed with our computers?"

Yes, we really are that geeky.

And since getting a truly awesome for the price new machine a few weeks ago, it has been great, though not quite what my wife expected. Sure, now she can glance over and see whatever great blog post or laugh-inducing video I happen to find, or secretly check out an almost-final page of that science-fiction novel I swear will be finished someday soon. But more often than not, what she actually sees when she glances over is something like this:

Okay, actually, it's more like this. But I've waited years to have the hardware to satisfy my PC gaming jones again, and man, oh man, was it ever worth the wait...

(Video H/T: Left Coast Rebel)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Married Conversation About I'm Still Not Quite Sure What

"Okay, now I feel like I'm in one of those Lifetime movies, only you're the husband and I'm the wife, and about two seconds after you walk out that door, some formulaic gay or minority neighbor character is going to pop over and tell me 'Girrrrrrrl, you don't need to take that from him!'"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Shameful Moment in the Sad Decline of the Sci-Fi Channel Syfy

The best show on television has just been cancelled:

Syfy will end its original action-adventure series Stargate Universe when the show returns with the final 10 episodes of its second season in the Spring of 2011.
Shame on you, Syfy. Shame.

At least we still have 10 episodes left. So raise a glass with me in soon-to-be memory of what's still the best show on television:

One of the problems with being a writer is that whenever I watch a film or a television episode, I almost always tend to rewrite it as I watch. I can't help myself. And Stargate Universe is (was) one of the few shows that ever pulled me in and engrossed me to the point where I rarely, if ever, did that. And never while I was actually watching it. The characters, the acting, the direction, the writing, the effects, everything just always came together and kept me hooked.

In a nutshell, Stargate Universe reminded me of what it was like to be an out-and-out fanboy again.

So shame on you, Syfy, with your pretentious, hipster-ish in a corporate focus group kind of way two letters "y" and your forgetfulness of the core audience that got you where you are. Shame. Good luck with your wrestling and that upcoming Marcel's Quantum Kitchen.

Imagine greater, you say? Imagine me not watching.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spotted While Walking the Dog

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Married Conversation About Doonesbury

"I think I've matured. I actually want to read Doonesbury."

"Really? I've been thinking I've matured because I don't."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Presidential Press Conference on the Tax Rate Compromise: The Lost Footage

"Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States..."

“This compromise on the Bush era tax rates is in the best interests of the American people. In true bipartisan spirit, both sides got something, and both sides gave something. Now the average, hard-working American family won't see its yearly tax bill rise by thousands of dollars on January 1st, and the federal benefits program to help the unemployed will be extended for 13 months!”

“Tax cuts for the rich is the Republicans’ precious! We hates it! We campaigned against it! We swore it would never happen! Oh, how we swore! We hates the loss of revenue that should be ours! We itch for this fight, and we will campaign to reverse the heart of this very compromise to our last breathses!”

“Unemployment benefits will stimulate the economy! The payroll tax cut will create jobs!”

“No one negotiates with hostage takers, unless those hostage takers want to hurt the hostage! The Republicans were hostage takers, and America was the hostage!”

“I'm not listening! Go away!”

“We had to save America! We had to give the Republicans their precious! Hates them, we do! Hates all of them!”

“This compromise is good! Vote for this compromise, my fellow sanctimonious Democrats!”

Hates it. And hates you. Ben Feller of Associated Press, you have the first question.”

"Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve been telling the American people all along that you oppose extending the tax cuts for the wealthier Americans. You said that again today. But what you never said was that you oppose the tax cuts, but you’d be willing to go ahead and extend them for a couple years if the politics of the moment demand it. So what I’m wondering is when you take a stand like you had, why should the American people believe that you’re going to stick with it? Why should the American people believe that you’re not going to flip flop?"

“I'm not listening! Go away!"

"Where would you be without me? Next question..."

A Married Conversation About Windows 7

"Look at this! This is so cool! I can't believe Windows 7 lets me do this!"

"My love, I could do that with my Mac years ago."