Category Archives: Rants

Green Doom

Light in the dark

Incandescent Heaven

And with a crackle-pop, another compact fluorescent bulb explodes in a cloud of mercury and burning plastic. I get to air the house, clean up the mess and reflect on the differences between packaging (“bulbs last 10 years or more”) and reality (bulbs die a flaming, smelly death in a year or less). This probably explains the two year warranty on the ten year bulbs. Is it wrong of me to think the warranty should last as long as the bulb is expected to last? These bulbs are supposed to be built to strict energy efficiency guidelines. Hopefully some day they will be built to strict quality guidelines as well. I also hope that I have saved some money on electricity, because the yearly replacement of CF bulbs is definitely lightening my wallet. Continue reading

Come again?

(warning, some may find my included links NSFW)

Some days you learn way more than you ever wanted to know, whether it be about home remedies for depression, or the latest in yoghurt toppings.

I am still trying to decide if the PT article is an attempt to convince women to have more unprotected sex with psychologists (“Hey baby, what’s your sign? Want a little injection of antidepressant?”) or completely serious. Somehow I missed the sourced article in Scientific American, although I am guessing it was only in the online version, not the print version. Continue reading

Three Minutes Is All I Ask

Damn you, NPR!. You’ve issued a challenge and now I am thinking of keeping this thing going, at least long enough to pump out six hundred words in some semblance of order. Now I need some ideas to rattle ’round in my empty head.

Six hundred is actually the maximum, not minimum, so perhaps Hemingway could provide some inspiration:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Ernest Hemingway was known for terse prose, this being him at his tersest. An entire story, emotionally charged and saying much more than is printed, in six words and three marks of punctuation. I cannot boil the story down to its essence like that. Hell, I can barely maintain control of my meandering words as they spin further and further from the point. At least I have until Sunday to figure this out. Obviously, with tears and a joke as part of the mix, there is no way I can parse it down to a single sentence. Is anybody else interested in joining me in this?

An Education

I am a firm believer that you should learn something new every day. Whether it be a new recipe, the square root of some ridiculous number, or how to julienne a carrot (you can julienne carrots, can’t you? Hm, I may have my next learning experience picked out already!), it is good to learn and to expand your horizons. With learning, comes knowledge, and a greater sense of self. You have new experiences, a richer life history, and something to look back upon, good or bad.

So what did I learn today? I am SO glad you asked that — today I learned that you should not accidentally pat the largest ram in your flock of sheep on the head, especially not during breeding season. His response will be to back up and immediately ram you in the back of the knees after you turn your back. Then when you turn around and start uttering obscenities and calling his lineage into question (with particularly horrible things said about his mother), he will look at you with eyes wide, as if to say “What? You touched my head, dude! You obviously felt it was time to butt heads, er, head and knees!” Although considering that he spends most of his day chewing cud and licking himself inappropriately, the thought process may have been less cogent and more Zen-like. What is the sound of one ram laughing? Absolute silence, if today is to judge.

I AM a Big Butt!

C'Mon, turn around!

Reform Continued . . .

Oh yeah, and in case you wondered why a white-bread honky like be would care about immigration reform, it is because of stupid crap the INS does, like this. These people are productive members of Coeur d’Alene society. They are serving delicious food, paying taxes, and making our city (okay, the city right next to me) a little better. Having your family torn apart because of a forgotten form in our immigration process is pretty sucky.


So, health care reform passed. My daughter’s civics teacher is going to be ticked. She (a public school teacher, her salary paid for via taxes) feels that her taxes shouldn’t be spent to help other people. Not very civic-minded . . . I’m not sure why the TeaBag Army, or whatever they are calling themselves these days, as so upset — we are still letting insurance companies extort their customers and there’s no public option. Still, I suppose the President is still black, so perhaps that is their primary complaint. Poor Baggers. Is it too early to start pushing for an updated HCR with the public option?

I really expected this health care thing to fail. I even planned out my giant Democratic Waffle Breakfast, in honor of our giant Democratic Waffling. Instead I am dining on Hope and Change (and a shrimp omelette with rosemary potato wedges). It will be interesting to see how this plays out here in Idaho. Our dimwitted governor has already promised to fight health care reform, suing the federal government and throwing a giant hissy fit. I assume he plans on holding his breath until he passes out. Idahoans are not a very health-oriented lot. We would rather keep our heavily-leaded lakes and gorgeous phosphate and heavy metal polluted streams, trusting that the brain damage from all of the toxins keep the populace from thinking about silly things like their health. It is beautiful up here, but for those of us who feel we should be working towards a common good, rather lonely.

So, now that there is some sort of health care reform, it’s time to get all Hopey-Changey on President Obama’s immigration reform pledge. After months of hearing how all of us libs are ramming health care down the throats of the cons, I am ready to ram something new down the throats of the Screeching Minority. Why do I feel tingly all of a sudden? . . .

WTF Democrats?

WTF Democrats? Health care should be simple. We have a majority in the House and Senate, and a Democrat in the White House. We easily won the Presidential elections less than a year ago. By Republican standards, we have a mandate to do whatever the fuck we want. Why, then, are we constrained by the Republicans and their obstructionist practices? Screaming loudly and making shit up does not constitute valid opposition. If it did, we could replace the entire Republican party with a pack of chimpanzees (Seqways optional). We would get a lot more done, and I am pretty sure a lot less shit would get flung.

You are wasting our majority and any chance at real reform. Compromise with the self-branded “party of no” does not do anything other than prove that we are not serious about reform. Really, are we trying to pass reform, or is this all just posturing to try to appease those of us in the party who hoped for change? It’s starting to feel like Max Baucus and the rest of the insurance company shills are the only ones who have a voice in this. Let’s ignore the birthers, baggers and bitters and just reform health care. No compromise, no consensus building, just fix it. And when you’re done, maybe pull your collective head out of your collective ass and drop this anti-Acorn nonsense. Surely there’s a Dem somewhere between the White House, Senate and House with a spine.

Wonder Bras and Tiny Donuts

The Aaron Dragoon

The Aaron Dragoon

The Daring Dragoon has been festooning the dead Christmas trees in my front yard with toilet paper. I may have to toss out an old refrigerator or a couple of Trans-Ams on cinder blocks to make his path more crowded and harder to navigate while prancing around in a red cape and black paper mask if he does not stop soon. I blame for this. I also blame hulu for my nine year old son announcing that he is “thankful for the Wonder Bra, miniskirts and those little donuts that you get 12 for a dollar.”

Unfortunately for me, changes in hulu’s streaming may soon put an end to embarrassing quotes from the boy-child. After lulling me in with more television shows and movies than I could possibly watch in a lifetime, hulu switched to encrypted streams. Not a big deal to people with high speed Internet connections, I suppose, but for those of us in the hinterlands connecting via a slow as crap (no, not talking a ferret with diarrhea here, more like a constipated rhino) WISP, it is an ugly change.

Prior to this, I could use Jaksta to record my streams, an online Tivo, as it were. I could then play them back while wandering on my treadmill, or on my television via my handy Western Digital WD TV device. Unfortunately, Jaksta cannot get me the encrypted (rtmpe) streams, and is not smart enough to pull down the rtmp equivalent.

Now it is back to straight streaming. And buffering. And buffering. And buffering. A 30 minute tv show often takes an hour or more. Happy days, the Jaksta/WDTV marriage. But now it is gone. I can tolerate sitting through commercials (or wandering off to pee in the sink or whatever it is you are supposed to do during the breaks). I cannot tolerate five minute frozen screens and 15 second commercial breaks that run for several minutes as the buffer slowly fills. So, no more Damages, no more Eureka and no more Buffy. I has a sad. Damn you, hulu!


My hopegasm has faded. Obama’s been president for half a day now and the economy’s still in a rut, I’ve still got really nasty yellowish green snot with copious quantities of blood in it, and the parking brake on my gas-guzzling 4-by is still broken. Where’s my damned change? And not once did I see a unicorn farting rainbows during the inauguration. I feel used.

Keep Him Safe, Please!

Welcome, President Obama!!!  I’ve finished my champagne, listened to the concession speech interrupted by typical angry booings and slurs, and am going to bed.  Too bad McCain couldn’t have been this gracious for his whole campaign.  Perhaps things would have turned out differently if he hadn’t fomented so much hatred.  But it’s finally over, and the best man won.

I was amazed at how quickly it ended.  My memory is fuzzy on election nights prior to 2000.  Honestly, it hadn’t mattered that much to me before then.  2000 dragged out for weeks.  2004 took a day or so, I think.  Tonight, it all ended with California closing its polls.  Thank you, California.  Actually, thank you, nation.  Or at least those parts that voted Democrat.  The rest of you can go to hell. 

Yes, I know I’m supposed to be magnanimous and forgive the hatred and bigotry of the right, but honestly, fuck ’em.  I’ve had to put up with eight years of incompetence and evil from the Bush presidency, two years of hate-based campaigning for this presidency, and twelve years of your so-called Gingrich-inspired crapolution, so if you’re going to be a sack of douchewallops, I am not yet ready to forgive you.  Frankly, I fully support the AIP, but only as long as every motherfucking one of you that voted Republican this time around is shipped off to Alaska before it secedes.  Fuck you and the party you stand for.  That is all.