Thursday, January 24, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
She added: “I want to get back to the appropriate balance of power between government and the market.”
"We're quite pleased with the prospects of the campaign, as the walking dead are willing to work for pennies on the dollar while our competitor is contractually obligated to fork over gazillions to that ex-fatty Jared" said a Quiznos spokesman. "It is a well established fact that the rotting bodies of the undead, while clad in Brooks Brothers business casual attire, can be perfectly presentable while requiring only a fraction of the sustenance that the bodies of living, breathing spokesmen spokesmen require. We expect to be well rewarded by investors who recognize our sharp focus on expenses and our robust bottom line"
Informed that the Zombie diet is primarily the brains of living humans and NOT toasty deli sandwiches, the Quiznos spokesman responded, "We'd prefer it if folks would focus on our new healthy menu selections. Obviously, we'll adjust our approach as we get more feedback from consumers"
In other news, those two other guys in the picture were found dead in their hotel rooms shortly after the announcement. Quiznos, had no comment.
UPDATE: Perfect candidate for new Zombie spokesperson found! No word on Alice's availability yet. Developing....
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I happen to be a sucker for noirish movies, and this was that kind of film. Typically this categorization calls up images of gun molls, Bogey, Peter Loire and others, but the description for Nightmare seemed a bit different. First, it was about carney's, as in carnival workers who performed on the midway.
Now I'm not typically one to watch a film about carneys, but this had Tyrone Powers in it and the summary described Nightmare as "gritty".
Nightmare turned out to be a raw, sordid look at what happens to a man and his woman when he is destined for ruin. One of the film's first lines is "how does a man sink so low", and it is also one of its last. Because of this, the ultimate story arc is not hard to figure out, which really doesn't matter since Nightmare is gut wrenching in the way that the character's slide to their obvious oblivion is presented. As far as I know, the raw degradation of the Power's character is unparalleled in any other movie of the period. Don't get me wrong, this is a psychological presentation, not a visual one. As with all good movies of the time, the director manages to show so much, while exhibiting very little.
I watched Nightmare with both Mrs. P and PD1 (PD2 was out at a dance), and occasionally I would look over to see if they were into it as much as I was. Their silence should have told me all I needed to know, but their rapt stares were confirmation that I was not alone. PD1 had to miss the last 20 minutes of the film, and the next morning her first words were, "what happened in the end". Anytime a 15 year old has this reaction to a black and white film from the '40's you know it is good.
I don't know if Blockbuster or Netflix has this one, but if they do get it and you too will be haunted by the words, "how does a man sink so low".
Monday, January 14, 2008
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I was a member of the Boy Scouts and this experience was a defining period in my life. I learned to set goals and accomplish them, I was taught how to camp, how to limit my impact on the environment, and I developed an appreciation for the great outdoors.
As an adult, it is hard to find time to get back outside. Work, kid's activities and other distractions of our all too busy life provide plenty of excuses for putting off time to get back to the great outdoors. So when the opportunity to go hunting came up several years ago, I thought maybe this would be a way of getting back to one of the things I used to love. Well, it sure was, but at the time I had no idea how complex an experience this would be.
Hunting, in many ways, can be pretty boring. Goose hunting, for example, requires us to get out early in the morning, set up the decoys, get in the pit and then wait. Sometimes the birds show up, and many times they don't. While I can assure you that I have plenty else to do besides sitting in a hole in the ground on a 23 degree morning in January, there is great knowledge to be learned through this experience regardless of whether I get a shot off or not.
Sitting, there with my companions, scanning the skies for birds and mostly remaining fairly quiet, I've learned quite a bit about this world we live in. Although somewhat color blind, I've seen the many phases of a winter sun rise. Its not at all like a warm weather sun rise as the first eery glow, followed by a spectrum colors that looks more cold than warm begins to take over the sky.
I've learned the birds wake up in a certain order; the ducks are the early risers it turns out. Often arriving over the blind before the sun is even up. The smaller song birds appear next and then, finally, the geese. those lazy bastards, are the last to arrive. Sometimes a full hour later than the other birds.
To successully hunt, it is important to understand how the birds behave. I'd say "how they think" but I'm not sure there is a whole lot of thinking going on there. At any rate, by this time in the season, the geese generally are pretty cautious - a side effect of being shot at for the preceding two months. They'll show up in the sky, see the decoys in the field and perhaps fly by. One guy will do the calling, and I'll man the flag to create the impression of motion on the field, and if we're lucky the flock might turn and come in for a second look.
By this time, I'll put the flag away, but the caller will continue to work the sound. If all looks cool to the geese, they'll line up into the wind and begin a slow, gliding decent into the field. One of the first things that you learn as a hunter, is how limited a shotgun's range really is, and no matter how often I've been out in the field, it always seems like an eternity until the geese get close enough for us to open fire.
Critical to this timing is knowing when the geese start to "cup". This is one of the most beautiful sights in all of goose hunting. As you can see in the picture above, right before the point of no return the geese begin to cup their wings to reduce their speed and lose their remaining altitude. It is at this moment, that we open fire.
This, for me, is the great oxymoronic aspect of hunting. On one hand we must become a full participant in the natural world that has otherwise been removed from our daily lives. We have to understand it, appreciate it and most importantly use it to our benefit. It is impossible to achieve this state with out being deeply aware of its great beauty. On the other hand, we're there to blow a part of it into oblivion.
I tell you all this, because I had an experience this weekend, that illustrates exactly what I am talking about. During a lull in our hunting, a pair of geese found their way over our field. I waived the flag, my buddy hit the caller and before long the two geese were cupping twenty feet away from us. We slid open the top of the blind, and opened fire. Unfortunately, we only hit one of the geese and its companion got away from us.
But then something weird happened. As the hit goose was in its death throws on the ground, the other goose returned to the field, honking crazily. It stayed just out of range, but it circled around, before it flew off to the west. In the pit, we looked at each other and decided that they must have been companions. Kind of a drag.
Then the weird thing happened.
The bird came back. We were preoccupied with some flocks we had spotted on the horizon so we really weren't paying attention until suddenly it just flew in and landed among the decoys. I remarked that we were lucky it wasn't armed because it clearly got the jump on us!
The whole thing was kind of pathetic. The surviving partner just walked among our decoys honking like it was trying to get a response. We did everything to try to get it to fly away. We yelled, tossed a couple stray corn cobs in its direction. It simply would not leave.
Well, it obviously wasn't going to stay in that cold field forever, and the longer it stayed, the more certain I became of my role in nature. Finally, I guess he decided to move on.
As he took off and began to gain flight, I shot him dead.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This, my friends, is the lovely Olga Kurylenko, who is the new bond girl.
And again, I'm seechless.
Thanks to this dude for clearing everything up!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This year was quite different. Following last year's debacle in Miami against a real championship team, the Indianapolis Colts, the Bears somehow allowed an embarrasing loss to an obviously superior team to fill the entire Chicago organization with an epocal level of hubris. Solid players were traded, successful assistant coaches fired and the team's unwarranted confidence in a talented, yet fatally stupid, quaterback was reinforced.
Unsurprisingly, the 2007 season started with a loss and finished in disaster. I won't dwell on the facts here, but I did think that looking at the post season interview with the Bear's feckless GM, Jerry Angelo would be informative. I've linked to the article above, and as one read's Angelo's words it becomes painfully clear that not much is going to change. The article is filled with sentences that begin with fragments like "we still believe", and "we hope".
Well Jer, I gotta tell ya, after reading this latest excercise in wishful thinking I have only one thing to say to you sir:
Denial is not a vision, and hope is not a plan.
Get to work pal, or you will continue to make this post seem precient.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Anyway, today's post is regarding one of those political quiz jobbies - This one is the political compass. Answer some questions and it tells you where you are. For me, the compass says that I'm socially conservative, although certainly not Huckabean, and economically conservative.
Big whoop huh?
I mean we kind of new that. The thing is it also puts you on the map according to where you are vis a vis the candidates. I liked this because I must admit I am having a heck of a time figuring out who I vote for.
For example, if I had to pull the lever today, I think I'd go for McCain even though I disagree with him on a lot of specific opinions. The thing is, he is the candidate that up to now has resonated with me the most. He is good on the WOT, he over plays but does have a sense for the importance of straight talk, and I like his views on spending.
And yet, I'm still not totally there with him. Interestingly, I am not one of these "I have to choose the least worst candidate" sort of guys. As I look at the Republican field, I do see a group of pretty good men - the comical Ron Paul excepted. And for any lost liberals that have wondered here, I simply can't support Clinton of Edwards, and I know too much about O'bama (the Irish guy) to take him seriously. I did look at Richardson, but truthfully while the man's resume is good, the fact is that he is that he is just not presidential timber.
Anyway, as we entered the electoral season, I found myself naturally drawn to Romney. The problem is that like Richardson, there is just something about him that doesn't say "President" to me. I have no idea what that is, but the interesting thing is that when I look at my compass results, I pretty much hit the Romster on the head!
Interestingly, the other guy I'm kind of attracted to in these debates is Guilianni, and the compass makes him my next closest choice. The problem there is the guy's creepy personal life! I mean even if I could ignore the three divorces, the whole estranged from his kids thing is deeply troubling. I'm not saying just yet that I won't vote for him, but right now it seems pretty unlikely.
So, thats my take on the where I'm leaning so far. Give the compass a spin, and see where you come out.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tonight, as I was sorting through the mail, I was treated to another of these statements.
"Are you going to watch Celebrity Apprentice tonight?"
"Not sure - I hadn't really thought about it"
"Isn't there a debate tonight?"
"Yes, 90 minutes I think"
"Well, I'd like to see that if you don't mind"
Don't mind?! Man she must be kidding! See I'm still feeling guilty about Saturday night's four hour debate marathon (O'Bama lost btw), so there was no-way I was going to inflict another of these tortureous (apols to Sully) on the family. But here she is literally asking to watch it! Republicans too!
Oh, I hold no fantasies here. For example, I am well aware (although she doesn't realize that I know) that she has a small infatuation with O'Bama. Who cares! She is young, foolish and must suffer the ills of some bad decisions before the true light of truth will shine on her and inform her life. I'm just happy that this will occur on my watch, so I can help her through the inevitable let down of the man from Illinois.
The good news is that her principles, the things that will ultimately drive her life, are fundamentally conservative. This grounding will serve her well when, in the next election she will be fully conversant in the views of the WSJ, National Review, Foreign Affairs and Reason.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
"Yah, that's the ticket. I'll say something like I was out shopping, buying beagle treats don'tchaknow, and Glass strikes again! Yup, I could possibly have been wrong. No way! Cuz if I couldn't even get a presidential endorsement right, how in the world could I ever criticize anyone else?"
Still looking for the day he wrote off Paul's anti-gay remarks to a generational thing.