31 Aug 2004 @ 4:18 PM 

This morning, I heard a minor celebrity on the radio say something that was actually entertaining: George W. Bush is the only President I can think of that I’m sure I could beat at Trivial Pursuit.

Hehe

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Aug 2004 @ 04:18 PM

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 31 Aug 2004 @ 4:14 PM 

I love Tom Tomorrow. Check out This Modern World for an entertaining glimpse at the logic of the Dubya.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Aug 2004 @ 04:14 PM

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 31 Aug 2004 @ 10:54 AM 

About 3/4 of the way down this page, the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, makes an ass of himself on national television.

On “Fox News Sunday,” the Illinois Republican insinuated that billionaire financier George Soros, who’s funding an independent media campaign to dislodge President Bush, is getting his big bucks from shady sources. “You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where – if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from,” Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: “Excuse me?” The Speaker went on: “Well, that’s what he’s been for a number years – George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he’s got a lot of ancillary interests out there.” Wallace: “You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?” Hastert: “I’m saying I don’t know where groups – could be people who support this type of thing. I’m saying we don’t know.”

We just don’t know. That’s the Karl Rove approach to smearing people – make it ambiguous. Maybe Ann Richards is gay; we just don’t know. Maybe John Kerry shot himself to get a purple heart; we just don’t know. Maybe George W. Bush screwed a goat on his ranch last week; we just don’t know.

There are a lot of things we don’t know. Speculating wildly about things with absolutely zero evidence is not the way we should expect our elected leaders to behave. But maybe we just don’t know.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Aug 2004 @ 10:55 AM

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 29 Aug 2004 @ 8:53 AM 

I know I said I’d have tile photos up “as soon as” the family returned from Holland, and it’s been weeks since then. Better late than never, here are some pictures of the new tile, in bathroom and kitchen. Unfortunately for contrast, we don’t have any good pictures of the yellow kitchen before we started working on it. It was hideous, though.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Sep 2007 @ 10:18 PM

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 26 Aug 2004 @ 1:04 PM 

I can’t wait to see how the Dems spin this to make it sound like Bush is not doing anything to stop the attack ads.

It’s pretty well documented that Karl Rove is a devious attack dog, so I don’t doubt that there was some backroom encouragement of the Swift Boat Veterans for Political Gain, but now that the President has promised McCain that he’ll sue to stop the 527 ads, it should be interesting to see how the Kerry campaign (and its supporters) react.

I’m sure the fact that the liberal 527s have outspent the conservative 527s by at least an order of magnitude has nothing to do with Bush’s condemnation of them. And the fact that the lie-filled first SBVFTT ad has received national attention that has caused the race to swing a little back toward the Republicans is just a happy coincidence.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 Aug 2004 @ 01:04 PM

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 23 Aug 2004 @ 8:34 AM 

This Mackubin Thomas Owens article says things very clearly and cogently that the Swift Boat Veterans for Political Gain have missed. If Kerry is proud of his military service, why was he ashamed of it in 1971? If he thinks of his fellow veterans as a band of brothers, why did he call them war criminals in 1971? Was he cravenly attempting to curry favor with the Democratic party and the anti-war groups then, or is he trying to curry favor now? Which position is his true core belief?

Read the article – it’s good.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 23 Aug 2004 @ 08:35 AM

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 22 Aug 2004 @ 7:12 PM 

We had a good weekend, following the Texas Wine Trail. Wow, did we try a lot of wines. Of course, we’ve now outgrown the wine rack. And, what are we gonna do with 20 wine-and-cheese party trays?

Next, we must plan a pretentious wine and cheese party, obviously. Gotta have an excuse to break open the Raisin wine. Or Holiday Rouge…

Oh, and the B&B in Fredericksburg was amazing. We spent many hours relaxing in the hot tub, even while it was raining. We biked around F-burg and its environs (over an hour this morning – ow), and we ate good food. Fantastic romantic weekend.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2004 @ 07:39 PM

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 19 Aug 2004 @ 9:14 PM 

Speaking of living in the land of cretins, I can’t see Garden State in this town, even though the movie is doing fantastically well. It is not scheduled to come to San Angelo…at all. This may change, but still – sucks.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Aug 2004 @ 09:14 PM

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 19 Aug 2004 @ 9:02 PM 

Today we got the first shipment in the WineMaster membership I started. Is it really really pretentious to belong to a “wine of the month” club, or just an admission that we live in the most cretinous part of the country?

When we were first dating, we went to a local restaurant, where we were offered any beer we wanted. “Pyramid Pale Ale?” Uh, no. “Pete’s Wicked?” I don’t think so. “Newcastle?” Sorry. Then we proceeded to tell him maybe he should just give us the list of what they actually did have, to humor us. “Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Lite, Coors…” Yeah, so the same crap as anywhere else. Not exactly “any beer we wanted” was it?

Oh, the wines this month? South African white blends. Should be decent sippin’ wine. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Aug 2004 @ 09:02 PM

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 16 Aug 2004 @ 7:18 AM 

How many of the “100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read” has Gary read?

1 Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke
2 Foundation Isaac Asimov
3 Dune Frank Herbert

4 The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
5 Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein
6 Valis Philip K. Dick
7 Frankenstein Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
8 Gateway Frederik Pohl

9 Space Merchants Frederik Pohl
10 Earth Abides George R. Stewart
11 Cuckoo’s Egg C.J. Cherryh
12 Star Surgeon James White
13 The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Philip K. Dick
14 Radix A. A. Attanasio
15 2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke
16 Ringworld Larry Niven

17 A Case of Conscience James Blish
18 Last and First Man Olaf Stapledon
19 The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham
20 Way Station Clifford D. Simak
21 More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
22 Gray Lensman E.E. “Doc” Smith
23 The Gods Themselves Isaac Asimov
24 The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
25 Behold the Man Michael Moorcock
26 Star Maker Olaf Stapledon
27 The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells
28 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Jules Verne

29 Heritage of Hastur Marion Zimmer Bradley
30 The Time Machine H. G. Wells
31 The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester
32 Slan A. E. Van Vogt
33 Neuromancer William Gibson
34 Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card

35 In Conquest Born C. S. Friedman
36 Lord of Light Roger Zelazny
37 Eon Greg Bear
38 Dragonflight Anne McCaffrey
39 Journey to the Center of the Earth Jules Verne
40 Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein

41 Cosm Gregory Benford
42 The Voyage of the Space Beagle A. E. Van Vogt
43 Blood Music Greg Bear
44 Beggars in Spain Nancy Kress
45 Omnivore Piers Anthony
46 I, Robot Isaac Asimov
47 Mission of Gravity Hal Clement
48 To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip Jose Farmer
49 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
50 The Man Who Folded Himself David Gerrold
51 1984 George Orwell
52 The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl And Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson
53 Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
54 Flesh Philip Jose Farmer
55 Cities in Flight James Blish
56 Shadow of the Torturer Gene Wolfe
57 Startide Rising David Brin
58 Triton Samuel R. Delany
59 Stand on Zanzibar John Brunner
60 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
61 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

62 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller Jr.
63 Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes
64 No Blade of Grass John Christopher
65 The Postman David Brin
66 Dhalgren Samuel R. Delany
67 Berserker Fred Saberhagen
68 Flatland Edwin Abbott Abbott

69 Planiverse A. K. Dewdney
70 Dragon’s Egg Robert L. Forward
71 Downbelow Station C. J. Cherryh
72 Dawn Octavia E. Butler
73 The Puppet Masters Robert A. Heinlein
74 The Doomsday Book Connie Willis
75 Forever War Joe Haldeman
76 Deathbird Stories Harlan Ellison
77 Roadside Picnic Arkady Strugatsky
78 The Snow Queen Joan D. Vinge
79 The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury

80 Drowned World J.G. Ballard
81 Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut
82 Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson
83 Upanishads Various
84 Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
85 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

86 The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin
87 The Midwich Cuckoos John Wyndham
88 Mutant Henry Kuttner
89 Solaris Stanislaw Lem
90 Ralph 124C41+ Hugo Gernsback
91 I Am Legend Richard Matheson
92 Timescape Gregory Benford
93 The Demolished Man Alfred Bester
94 War with the Newts Karl Kapek
95 Mars Ben Bova
96 Brain Wave Poul Anderson
97 Hyperion Dan Simmons
98 The Andromeda Strain Michael Crichton
99 Camp Concentration Thomas M. Disch
100 A Princess of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs

I’ve actually tried to read Startide Rising several times – it’s a snoozefest to me. And, I dispute the inclusion of fantasy drek on a list that claims to be Science Fiction. Science Fiction doesn’t resort to “here be magick” to explain things.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Aug 2004 @ 07:26 AM

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 15 Aug 2004 @ 3:52 PM 

Jack Valenti and his ilk can go roast in the deepest bowels of heck. I was inspired by a recent article about getting TV episodes from BitTorrent, so I followed the links to a site that hosts the pointers (torrents) that allow people to share the files. I wanted to watch an episode of Andromeda I missed. Well, I can’t connect to most torrents, because my IP is blocked. Why is my IP blocked? Am I a narc? Am I a mole for the RIAA? No, my IP is blocked because I use Cox for myISP (the only choice for broadband above 400kbps here). Cox, for their part, rolls over with such speed when the letters D M C and A are thrown at them that other P2P users have begun ignoring us entirely. Great. Cox has 8% of the internet market in the U.S., and we’re now effectively cut off from the newest avant garde pieces of the internet.

The DMCA sucks ass.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2005 @ 09:34 PM

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 13 Aug 2004 @ 9:48 AM 

VP raises ‘sensitive’ war issue: Jabs at Kerry remarks

bq. Dick Cheney’s desperate misleading attacks now have him criticizing George Bush’s own words.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Aug 2004 @ 09:48 AM

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 11 Aug 2004 @ 11:09 AM 

According to our latest information, al Qaeda has new plans.

Al-Qaeda has a plan to assassinate a world leader either in the U.S. or another country.

“The U.S. or another country” pretty much covers the entire planet except Antarctica. So, they want to kill someone important somewhere, at some unknown time. Great. Get right on that.

In other news, a giant storm may kill some people in the U.S. or another country. Stay tuned to Fears R Us for more useless information.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Aug 2004 @ 11:09 AM

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 10 Aug 2004 @ 11:40 AM 

Could someone who knows more about economics than I please explain how these various indicators are not showing a poor economic plan, or at least tell me how the Republicans are explaining this as a good thing?

Second-quarter growth fell to 3 percent compared with 4.5 percent in the first quarter and about 8 percent in the third quarter of 2003. Personal income growth fell to 0.2 percent; personal consumption expenditures also fell, by 0.7 percent. Housing starts were off 8.2 percent. New-home sales fell 0.8 percent. Industrial production fell 0.3 percent. The July jobs report shows just 32,000 new jobs and a cut of 34,000 in the estimates previously released for June (for a net loss of 2000 jobs in July, when tacked onto the June numbers as originally reported). The Dow Industrials fell 8% in 6 months, and the Nasdaq is down 15% in the same six months.

I know the economy is more than just these indicators, but these sure seem to add up to a bad thing in my perception, and I’m sure in most non-economist minds as well.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Aug 2004 @ 11:40 AM

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 10 Aug 2004 @ 10:37 AM 

It takes a lot to be dubbed the most dangerous food in the U.K., considering the absurd “food” products those folks eat over there. There’s a new ahem, delicacy called the Stonner which is a deep-fried pork sausage kebab. It has double the calories of a Big Mac and 46 grams of fat per kebab.

The chip shop that sells this monstrosity has a policy of only selling one per customer per week. It’s more of a dare than a meal.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Aug 2004 @ 10:37 AM

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 09 Aug 2004 @ 11:55 AM 

I can’t wait to hear what the vast right-wing conspiracy has to say about this one…

International team to monitor presidential election

A spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said, “The U.S. is obliged to invite us, as all OSCE countries should.”

Now, this brings to mind two issues – civil rights and sovereignty. On one side, folks will say we need an unbiased outside party to doublecheck certain areas (like, say, Florida?) to ensure that all eligible voters are allowed to vote freely. On the other side, doesn’t this at least lean toward giving some of our hard-won sovereign powers to an outside political organization?

It turns out to be a compromise, really – the Dems wanted the U.N., while the Reps wanted nobody. So they get the OSCE instead. Not sure how we belong to an organization whose stated goal is to deal with things in Europe, but apparently the group just needs a new name.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Aug 2004 @ 11:55 AM

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 07 Aug 2004 @ 7:55 AM 

After reading about the massive job growth in July, it’s especially amusing to hear the Vice President talking about how strong the economy is today. A quick quote that sums up the disconnect between job growth that is 110,000 people fewer than population growth for the month and where the administration lives:

bq. I would have to conclude — and I think it’s a fair judgment — that the economy is back on track, is headed in the right direction.

Which direction is that? The stock market has fallen to a new low for the year, employment has no chance to reach the same level it was when Bush took office, and oil is at an all-time high with no sign of falling. Great direction.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Aug 2004 @ 07:55 AM

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 06 Aug 2004 @ 4:39 PM 

This poster is one example of why so many people in the non-coastal states think that lefties are communists. Capitalism isn’t necessary, with the implication that you would like to get rid of capitalism then? Replacing it with one of those nice systems like centrally-controlled economies or anarchy, I suppose. Those work so much better.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 06 Aug 2004 @ 04:40 PM

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 05 Aug 2004 @ 9:29 PM 

Just found LOW MORALE, thanks to . The centerpiece of all the animation *must* be the Creep video. Since he’s complaining about bandwidth issues, I’ve mirrored it for anyone who must watch it. And you must. You must.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Aug 2004 @ 09:30 PM

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 05 Aug 2004 @ 8:48 PM 

I like to listen to 102.1 THE EDGE because the local radio stations suck ass. So tonight, I’m listening and a voice keeps breaking through. Apparently one of the internal comm lines is patched into the mixer board and they haven’t noticed it is being broadcast. Maybe it is only being sent on the net so nobody has complained. Weird. Anyway, I moved over to 91X instead. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Aug 2004 @ 08:48 PM

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