Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holiday Wishes & Some of My Favorite Stuff

I thought that now would be a good time to spread a lil good cheer, and some gentle nagging to do the right thing.

Santa Claus was especially nice to me. My girlfriend got me exactly what I wanted - she adopted a rescued animal at Farm Sanctuary. Of course I want a big friggin TV, a PS3, yadda yadda yadda, but if it came down to saving an animal or playing more video games, the lil buddies come first. ALWAYS. We're the proud "parents" of Harper, a duck rescued from the foie gras industry. He's a scrappy lil bugger, and we can't wait to go up to the Sanctuary to play with him.

We did our holiday shopping in a couple of the pavillions in NYC. One pavilion at Bryant Park had a little nook of a shop called Recycled Planet Store. While it's cool to see an increasing number of companies understand that recycling is a good thing (and from their perspective a growing demographic), Recycled Planet Store stands out because the husband and wife owners were dental surgeons who gave up their practices to not only recycle stuff like newspapers & magazines, inner tubes, & plastic bottle caps, but they work with impovershed communities in Brazil. There, artistans whip out gorgeous bowls, placemats, boxes, ornaments, and other nifty stuff. I have rarely been touched by individuals who have had such a strong devotion to giving back to those who need it while creating really cool stuff AND recycling. Take a look.

The holiday shopping pavillion at Grand Central Station has a lot of nifty shops, and one thing I noticed was that some of the merchants couldn't afford (YET) to establish a physical storefront. This doesn't detract from a really cool t-shirt or in the case of Engage Green loads of cool bags & some nifty home accents all made from recycled materials. I swear one of their bags felt like suede, but it was a combination of cork and organic hemp. Very playful design, good karma, and tips to help the environment.

While I'm on the topic of recycled materials, I've noticed that a couple of top tier outdoor gear manufacturers Mountainsmith and Osprey Packs are making a variety of backpags & bags from recycled materials like PET-based fabric. Mountainsmith is expanding its recycled line in 2008 to include camera bags & a wider range of day packs & backpacks. Osprey Packs has a bag recycling program where people can send in their used bags, and Osprey will distribute them worldwide to charities that need them.

One last thing about recycling (I promise) - Just about everytime I go out in NYC, I see the detritus of modern life. There's a trash can at every corner, and every so often, there will be recycling bins as well. In spite of these conveniences of urban life, assholes are going to dump their crap all over the city, because they're ignorant bastards, they're lazy, or they just don't care. I could either slap the shit out of the scumbag who's going to leave their garbage on the street, or I could pick up a little bit myself every now and then. I still get angry, and I'm waiting for some fucker to toss their lit cigarette or cigar butt out their car so I can pick it up and fling it back at them - or better yet - IN their vehicle. Everytime I leave the apartment, I try to remember to have a plastic grocery bag in my pocket to pick up water bottles, cans, etc. Eventually they'd end up in a landfill, but why not pick the stuff up and ensure that they get recycled, or at the very least thrown out properly? This is MY city, MY state, MY country, and MY planet. I am partially responsible for making sure that it doesn't stink to high heaven, and I'm going to practice both environmentalism and civic pride and duty. It doesn't take much time to do, and the end result is an overwhelming sense of good karma.

Now on to some lil notes about some of my favorite stuff.

MMAMania.com This site used to be UFCMania.com, but the focus is still on the UFC - the largest Mixed Martial Arts organization. If you have any love of a good asswhooping, take a look. On top of stout and earnest reporting, I'm especially impressed with the intelligence of most of the commenters of this blog.

Free Rice Where the HELL was this website when I was studying for the SAT? For every English vocabulary quiz answer you get right, Free Rice donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. Since the website went live in October 2007 Free Rice has donated over 11 BILLION grains of rice. The sponsors list is wide and very touching. Beef up your vocabulary, and end hunger. WOW.

DrunkCyclist You don't have to be a cyclist or a fitness enthusiast to love this blog, but it helps. Bug Jonny, the dude who runs this site, is passionate about purity in cycling and sports in general as well as finding some really bent and funny news stories. He also is Holy War dedicated to expose hypocrisy and political injustice.

2 Dinar I am a passionate American patriot, but I am nobody's stooge. There's no way in Hell I'd ever trust the current administration to tell me the truth, and I genuinely believe that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are criminally retarded, evil, and without souls. 2 Dinar is a great op-ed site that gives a clarity and a unique perspective on current events and foreign policy: from the perspective of armed forces veterans. If your bullshit meter is going off everytime you read or see a news story that involves the current tenants at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, then visit 2 Dinar.

Joe Rogan If all you know this mook from is shows like "NewsRadio" or "Fear Factor," or as the longtime color commentator for the UFC, you have to hear his comedy act. Yep, Joe is a comedian, and a damned funny one at that. He's had is run-ins with other comedians like Carlos Mencia, but his album Shiny Happy Jihad is one of the funniest things I've heard in ages. Joe is one of the few comedians I would go out of my way to see.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Whitey Christmas

This is my buddy, Whitey. My girlfriend and I first met him in the summer at Central Park. He kinda sticks out at the Pond amidst a bunch of Mallard ducks. Some people know him as Wiggles, Quackers, or Willie, but to us, he's Whitey. Whitey is an Indian Runner Duck, and while related to Mallards, Runner Ducks are domesticated. Theoretically all the animals in Central Park are wild, but you might ask how did a Runner Duck make it to Central Park? The sad reality is that someone probably got him as a cute little chick, and he became too much to handle, and some asshole abandoned him in Central Park thinking he'd be ok with the other ducks.

Yeah, I know. It sucks, but Whitey is ok. He's got lots of buddies, and apparently he's got a couple of grown up children, so he's not doing so badly. My girlfriend and I started feeding the ducks crumbled up granola bars, and we moved to birdseed. After doing some research, we quickly learned that feeding any bird crackers, torn up bagels, pretzels, and bread is generally a bad idea, because birds cannot digest processed flour products. It leads to engorged fatty organs, heart conditions, and other debilitating ailments. Whole grains and wild bird seed mixes (non-medicated) are higher in protein and generally suitable to feed ducks. Still, be careful. Some park conservancy workers may not understand or appreciate why you'd want to feed the ducks, or worse -they may be able to fine you.

Virtually every argument for NOT feeding wild birds does not apply to Whitey. Runner Ducks cannot migrate because they generally can't fly for great distances. He is not a wild bird. He is a domesticated duck that was abandoned. He is sharp as a tack, although my girlfriend and I sometimes think he's dumber than a sack of hammers. We love him dearly. It didn't take long for him to recognize us, and he knows we'll always have treats for him. He'll waddle up to the fence or tentatively come to us directly and eat from our hands. I remember when I first started doing the research about what to feed Whitey, a nice person at The Audubon Society said that the important thing is to regularly feed the animals. You can't just feed them once or twice and then go on to something else. That would be just as bad as the bastard who abandoned Whitey when he was a little chick.

My girlfriend and I get up extra early 4 times a week to walk over to Central Park with our breakfast and a couple ziploc bags full of bird seed. We'll pick up big bags of wild bird seed regularly, and I found a hardware store in Ithaca, NY that regularly makes trips to Manhattan to take care of things like the Mounted Police, Circuses, etc. We're gonna get waterfowl pellets, food specifically made for ducks, geese, swans, etc. It's a slight pain in the ass, but Whitey may be hungry, lonely, or maybe he's just bored with the same old diet. Why wouldn't he and the other ducks like good nutritious treats? Why shouldn't they be spoiled rotten? We're never gonna give up on Whitey and his buddies. Recently they all started to come up to us and eat from our hands. I'd like to think it's because they understood that we're not gonna hurt them, and that we love them, but I know it's because they're hungry as Hell.

Still, we love them, and especially now during the Holidays when we are flooded with messages of warmth, friends, family, and good karma, how could we not want to make sure that at the very least they have more to eat?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pray for Megan Meier

Megan Meier was the ebullient, quirky 13-year old daughter to Ron and Tina Meier from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, a community of 7,000 close to St. Louis. According to the CNN article, she liked hanging out with her friends and liked going fishing with her dad, Ron. Still, she suffered from depression, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and was on medication. For the better part of September, 2006, Megan had corresponded with Josh Evans on MySpace. Josh was a teenager who had recently moved to the area from Florida. Josh was homeschooled, and they seemed to be hitting it off pretty well.

Megan even went so far as to tell her folks about an affectionate note she got from Josh. On October 15th, 2006, Megan received a message from Josh saying rather abruptly that he didn't want to be her friend anymore, and that he had heard she wasn't nice to her friends. Josh went off on a tirade saying she was a slut and that she was fat. Megan told her her mom. Her mom had apparently been monitoring her online activity and was upset about her vulgar language and behavior. Her father tried to comfort her and said that everything was going to be alright.

She was found in her bedroom 20 minutes later. Megan had hung herself, and she died the next day. Her father found a message from Josh saying that she was a bad person and the world would be better off without her. Law enforcement officials had not been able to backtrack the message, because Josh Evans never existed.

Six weeks later in a counselor's office, another mother had confessed that she created the "Josh Evans" profile on MySpace to gain Megan's confidence and learn what she was saying about her kid. The mother, her daughter, and another person all had corresponded with Megan as "Josh Evans." The mother has not been charged with any crime. I'll repeat that. The mother has not been charged with any crime.

Ron and Tina Meier have since separated and they plan to divorce. An ordinance relevant to child endangerment and internet harassment is set to come before Dardenne Prairie city officials next week. THE MOTHER HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED WITH ANY CRIME.

There's something massively fucked up when a twisted bitch wants to destroy a young girl simply to see what she's saying about her kid. More details are coming out as stated in this story in The O'Fallon Journal. There's something even more fucked up when MySpace's boilerplate position has been that users have to be at least 14 years of age to create a profile. Too bad for Megan, eh? I'm all for net neutrality, and I find it grossly questionable when media conglomerates demand the removal of content from sites like YouTube due to copyright infringement, and yet it would take the considerable bad publicity of Megan Meier's suicide to make MySpace and its corporate pimps at News Corp. understand that MySpace is ripe with abuse. Then again, I'm probably overestimating the assclowns at News Corp and MySpace.

My heart goes out to Ron and Tina Meier. I hope they get through this tragedy, and I pray they and Megan get justice.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

First off, allow me to apologise for being away for so long. I really have no viable excuse for not being a smarmy little bastard, and there's certainly a lot of stuff that's pissed me off, but I saw this and well, I'm speechless.

This is Mike Batchelor. He is the President of the Erie Community Foundation in Erie, Pennsylvania. The CNN article describes Erie as a city of many industries - most of which have either closed or moved overseas. The poverty rate is twice the national average.

However the Erie Community Foundation worked for years with an anonymous individual to identify deserving charities. 46 were found, and the anonymous individual coughed up $100 million. Mr. Batchelor will not reveal who the individual is, their possible connection to Erie, or even if the individual is alive or not.

$100 million.

A homeless shelter will receive $2 million. Among the other charities receiving this massive windfall are a women's shelter, a food bank, three universities, and a group for the blind.

Mr Batchelor called in the heads of these charities to tell them of the $100 million, and that the donor wished to remain anonymous.

I'm ashamed to say that the cynical side of me thought for a moment that the benefactor may have been trying to do some karmic cleansing of some past crimes. Still, it forced me to think about the depths of people's hearts. It doesn't matter if this person gave up $100, or $100 million. The point of charity is to enrich another person's life, and one aspect of anonymous donations is that hopefully people will think better of others. After all, you never know where the next helping hand is going to come from.

I promise I'll try and be a jackass soon enough.  I'll try and say something funny, but for right now, I'm having a warm and fuzzy moment.  

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mr. President, You're Making Us All Look as Stupid as You

To paraphrase Chris Rock, "[picking on the President] is like calling out a retarded kid for double dribbling. You have to let some shit slide."

Now, this is a guy who apparently went to college. A man who served as the Governor of Texas, and a man who ... Ah screw it. As President, George Bush, jr. manages to make Emperor Nero look like a brilliant civil servant. One fuck up after another desensitizes the world to the sheer scope of his stupidity, and while he is his own man, this jagoff manages to make all respectable Americans look like we were shook from the same genetic driftwood as his dumbass.

In a bizarre attempt to defend his administration's Iraqi policy in a press conference last Thursday, President Bush made the following statement: "I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas." (Reuters)

Please try not to think about this too much. Trying to figure out what the Hell goes on in Dubya's head is like trying to find the nutritional value in a Twinkie. Any reference to Nelson Mandela's death is considered insensitive in South Africa. I wouldn't expect Dubya to know that what he said wasn't even remotely funny much less alone understand that he had maligned a Nobel Peace Prize winning humanitarian.

John Wayne once said of President Kennedy that while he did not vote for him, he was still his President and that he hoped he does a good job. Well I didn't vote for Dubya, and he is NOT my President. Even if Dubya manages to somehow not shove his foot in his mouth any more than he has in the first seven years of his administration, I know he has done the worst job of any president in my lifetime or in my memory.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Brett Somers was a classy BLANK

Broad. Dame. Lady.

One of the saving graces of digital cable has been the sheer amount of recycled cheese. For a while, "The Glenn Campbell Good Time Hour" was back on one of the Country channels (yes, damnit, I watched that. You want a friggin' piece of me?), Nick at Nite has given new life to old sitcoms (although still no friggin' "Love Boat."), and The Game Show Network continues to embarass those of us that grew up in the 70s with some of the best game shows ever, like "Match Game" hosted by the Mack Daddy Pimp of Game Shows, Gene Rayburn. This show was so friggin' HUGE that it gave birth to "Family Feud" with one of the biggest Game Show Pimps, Richard Dawson. Think about that for a moment.  

On Saturday, September 15th, 2007, Brett Somers died of stomach and olon cancer. While Ms. Somers' career is full of achievements in the Golden Age of Television as well as making her name as an actress in Broadway theatre productions, she will always be remembered for playing Oscar Madison's ex-wife (against real-life husband Jack Klugman), and for her spot as a long standing regular on "Match Game."

Along with other regulars like Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard Dawson, Fannie Flagg, and Marcia Wallace, Ms. Somers' wit proved that "Match Game" was her house as much as it was Gene Rayburn's. Her tongue was razor sharp, and while some if not most of her answers stank on ice, she was hillariously unfazed and took it all in stride. This past weekend, GSN ran a marathon of "Match Game" episodes to remember her. Brett Somers was one funny broad, and I'm gonna miss her.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Coney Island Lifeguard Saves Baby.... Shark

There's been some pretty heinous news lately that got me angry as Hell and made me incredibly depressed. Animals getting tortured, cyclists getting broadsided, and the environment in a general state of BOHICA and TARFU.

Every now and then I'll read a rare gem of a story that will bring a tear to my eye and make me believe that maybe things aren't so bad and there are everyday heroes. While Coney Island may be changing (there are plans underway to replace the Astroland amusement park by 2011), the beach will always be part of New York City history. Just this past Monday, Lifeguard Marius Mironescu saw a crowd of people on the beach surrounding a baby 2-foot sand shark. According to the New York Daily News article (via The Goat), Mr. Mironescu knew he had to do something to help.

"There must have been 75 to 100 people circled around the shark in the water and they were bugging out. They were holding on to it and some people were actually hitting him, smacking his face. Well, I wasn't going to let them hurt the poor thing," he said. He took the shark and swam with it until he let it free.

Wow. Thank you, Marius Mironescu. You have made my day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Beverly Hills Police Officer D. Prenesti Is an Asshole

I have a great amount of respect for the police. While there are lots of cases of cops abusing their power from thugs like Bernard Kerik on down to cops who are little more than street thugs with badges like the scum responsible for the arrest and torture of Abner Louima, it is grossly irresponsible to assume that all cops are as bad as them. There are going to be abuses of power at any level, and we cannot confuse the abusers with those that do the badge and the job great honor.

That having been said, I sincerely think that Beverly Hills Police Officer D. Prenesti #421, serial no. 74700 is an asshole. Officer Prenesti is the kind of scum without compassion, sympathy, and the intelligence you'd find in a compost heap. Roughly two weeks ago, a cyclist was nearly broadsided by some fuckwit in a Black Ford Explorer in Beverly Hills.  According to the story on DrunkCyclist (and in detail on laist.com and in greater detail on illuminateLA.com) When the police arrived, the jackass officer (Beverly Hills Police Officer D. Prenesti #421, serial no. 74700) was abusive to the point where I would damn well hope that this "Officer" loses his badge or at the very least gets humiliated and demoted for a gross dereliction of duty. Officer D. Prenesti is nothing more than a thug with a badge. This bully showed no compassion for the cyclist, and he ignored any possible explanation to suggest that the SUV driver was at fault. On top of that, his gross insensitivity to the cyclist nearly drove her to tears, and at no point in any of these stories did I read ONE FUCKING WORD about how the officer called in for an ambulance or at least asked if the cyclist required medical assistance. And he mocked the cyclist by saying "You quote me the section of code that she violated and then I'll write her a ticket." Maybe I missed that part of civics class where it said that it was the citizen's responsibility to know the law better than the police.

Even if you don't live in and/or near Beverly Hills, remember that there are lots of things you can do. Election Day is creeping up, and I'm damn well sure that elected officials in Beverly Hills don't want or need an embarassment of this size.

1)Make Calls to the following numbers:
Beverly Hills City - Operations Bureau, Police Department: (310) 285-2101
Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce: (310) 248-1000
Beverly Hills City - Library, Mayor and City Council: (310) 285-1013

2)Email the follpwing public officials:
Mayor Jimmy Delshad - JDelshad@beverlyhills.org
Vice Mayor Barry Brucker - Bbrucker@beverlyhills.org
Councilmember Linda J. Briskman - LBriskman@beverlyhills.org
Councilmember Frank M. Fenton - FFenton@beverlyhills.org
Councilmember Nancy Krasne - NKrasne@beverlyhills.org
City Manager Roderick J. Wood - RWood@beverlyhills.org
BH Police Chief David L. Snowden - DSnowden@beverlyhills.org

Remember to report Citing officer: D. Prenesti #421, serial no. 74700

3) Contact the Press:
If you know anyone in the press, by all means tell them about this travesty of justice.

I have great sympathy for the police. They are providing a public service that not many are willing to do, and they are doing it under severe conditions. Your average NYC Cop has to wear a level 3 bullet resistant vest at all times, and it is strongly suggested that they wear the added reinforcement of a "shock plate," (a thin metallic plate to add even more protection). No matter what the weather is like, that along with the standard issue equipment is heavy. On top of that, each cop has to unfairly bear the burden of dirty, corrupt, and/or moronic cops like Beverly Hills Police Officer D. Prenesti #421, serial no. 74700. It is grossly unfair to think that all cops are like Officer Prenesti, but then again, Officer Prenesti is a scumbag who deserves to be exposed for the heartless thug he is.

Monday, September 3, 2007

DMX Is A Punk Ass Bitch

I have been a fan of Rap and Hip Hop for a very long time. I’m old enough to remember when the most scandalous thing was Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di,“ and when Run-DMC was considered “new school.” I used to have Earl Simmons’ (DMX) albums in heavy rotation on my iPod.

I had been thrilled to see that DMX’s strong performance in Romeo Must Die blossomed into stronger roles in Cradle 2 The Grave and Exit Wounds. I had never thought too much of his many brushes with the law, but I was nauseated by the news that the corpses of dogs were found on his property in Arizona, as well as a small cache of weapons, drug paraphernalia, and assorted cars to which the licenses and registrations did not match. Here's the story from DListed.  After researching DMX, I was further disgusted to learn that in 2002, he pled guilty to charges stemming from a 1998 raid on his property in New Jersey involving the neglect of 13 pit bulls.

And this is a guy who allegedly loves his dogs? I have to live knowing that I supported DMX, his way of life, his flagrant disregard for the law, and his abuse of animals. That stops NOW. I went through my CD collection and shattered my DMX CDs and tore up the booklets.

I want to do whatever I can to make DMX pay for his crimes, and I want him to suffer the only thing he has shown he is capable of understanding: an abrupt and unilateral boycott of anything even tangentially related to DMX. This will achieve two goals: 1) Through a drop in revenue, he will be forced to understand the heinous nature of his crimes. 2) Anybody thinking of financing or distributing movies with DMX as part of the cast will see him for the liability he really is. He will be seen as a negative publicity magnet and as a pariah no film wants or needs. This may not be fair to people who work with him and who may be sympathetic to animal rights, but DMX needs to be made into an object lesson of what happens to you when you abuse animals repeatedly and don’t learn a blessed thing.

If I am guilty of supporting DMX and his habitual abuse of animals, anybody who works with him is equally guilty. Stop him NOW. Write PETA.  Write The Humane Society.  Write The ASPCA.  Create such a storm of outrage that his label and anybody employing him knows that he is a malignant little bitch and needs to be stopped.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Gotta Love Trailer Trash

This is Weston Schnobrich. Like most 5-year olds, he likes playing with cars, only Weston's mommy let him drive her Mitsubishi Galant. Did I mention he's 5 years old?

Apparently Holy Schnobrich (24, of Lafayette, Indiana)has a taste for Percocet. According to WRTV she washed down Percocet with vodka ('natch) not because she was hurt, but because the kids were acting up. She then buckled up while Weston tried to see over the wheel and get his li'l tootsies to reach the pedals, which is exactly how a neighbor found them.

She had been charged,and her kids are being watched by the Dept. of Child Services.

In case you can't see, Weston's t-shirt reads "I do all my own stunts."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yay! Another Reason to Hate Yoko Ono!

Sweet googly moogly, what the blessed fuck is going on with Yoko Ono?  It's not bad enough that this bitch of questionable talent is riding her dead husband's name (cough - Courtney Love- cough), and it's not bad enough that she's tea bagging of the memory of the Beatles with Cirque du Soleil Vegas glitter, but this bitch has to rape the environment as well.

Oh whoopee.  

I usually go to TreeHugger to see how I can help the environment, things to avoid, and products to support for their good karma.  They posted this wonderful reason (source: ContactMusic) to bitch slap Yoko so hard, she'll think she got fisted by Godzilla.  I guess giving peace and love a chance is cool with this dried up goat as long as she gets to rape the environment in her Bentley Armitage.  

Someone please dip this bitch in caustic lye, dump her in a compost pile, and take a shit on her.  Believe you me, I'm all for good karma, but for the way she's shitting on John Lennon AND her inability to understand that we must do what we can to save the planet, I hope Yoko Ono's last memory is trying to scrape the dough for meth.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Burn in Hell, Michael Vick

Sweet merciful crap, with each day, I'm learning more about what a simple moronic bitch Michael Vick is. I'm stunned by the completely disingenuous bullshit statement he gave after pleading guilty on Monday, August 27th, 2007. So he found Jesus. Whoopee. This is an insult to anybody who has faith like my girlfriend's mom. She genuinely has the faith. I don't agree with a lot of shit that goes on with the Roman Catholic Church, but hey, if it works for her, more power to her. I respect the strength of her convictions as I would respect those of anybody else as long as they don't infringe upon my rights or  my peace of mind. His bullshit "I did a lot of heinous shit, but hey it's ok, I found Jesus" statement also insults the memory of much better men like Malcolm X and even a heinous criminal like Sanyika Shakur (born Kody Scott), a former member of the Eight Tray Crips, It's possible to do far worse than Michael Vick and still find redemption, but examples like Sanyika Shakur are absolultely rare.

Michael Vick didn't admit guilt or voluntarily stop Bad Newz Kennels before it effectively ended his career in the NFL. He apparently had good enough legal counsel to plead to the lesser charges he's facing. Still, I hope that upon cross-examination and once the evidence of the case comes out, he is revealed for murdering animals AND gambling on their deaths - two allegations he has denied. As reported in the DailyPress, Michael Boddie, his own father, stated that Vick has been running dogfighting since 2001, the same year he entered the NFL draft. I find it suspect that Mr. Boddie didn't do anything to stop the dogfights, and that he pleaded with his son to at least try and have the property for Bad Newz Kennels put in his friends' names to avoid legal trouble. He should have listened to this smart, if morally bankrupt advice. I sincerely hope that Michael Vick suffer as much as possible. It's bad enough that Pit Bull Terriers and similar breeds have bad reputations, but he has made it even harder for people to see them as anything but killing machines.

Long before this shit hit the fan, I remember walking up 3rd Ave heading home one day. I saw a 3-legged Pit Bull tethered by its leash just outside a bagel shop. She was absolutely adorable with clear eyes and she bounded towards me for a hug. When the owner came out, he told me how he volunteered at a shelter and he got to know her and made it his mission to rehabilitate her. She gradually warmed up to him and got over whatever fear she had of people. For whatever reasons, he was unable to adopt her right away, and one day he found out that the dog had not only been transferred to a different shelter, the head of that shelter apparently was incredibly afraid of Pit Bulls, because she wasn't given much time to live if nobody adopted her. When this guy found out and with the help of the head of the shelter he worked at, he did everything he could to rescue her... and he did. I shook his hand, thanked him for what he did, went home, and cried. She is a happy playful creature. She has been shit on by whomever took her leg from her. She has been shit on by the system, and yet there were at least two people who belived in her and felt that she was worth fighting for.

And Michael Vick has shit on all of that. I would sincerely like to believe that he is capable of redeeming himself. Sanyika Shakur had been convicted of crimes so heinous, that he spent 4 years in solitary confinment at Pelican Bay State Prison. Somewhere in his incarceration, he found redemption. Unfortuantely he was arrested on March 7th 2007 for beating a man in attempting to steal his car. While this has surely may force other's to question if he really did find redemption, he tried, and he continues to try to make more of himself than a thug. Michael Vick has had a rough life, but he has an incredible amount of resources, he has fucked up a number of times, and he has never learned ONCE. I am not, nor was I ever a fan of Michael Vick's. He is just another idiot athelete who would rather give into shitloads of money than complete 4 years of college. I feel great sympathy for anyone who was a fan of his and feels betrayed.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hey Tony Snow, Karma is One Hell of a Bitch, Isn't It?

Nothing wakes you up like a spot of good news. Just this morning, I read this on CNN.com about the White House's latest embarassing departure.

Let me see if I have this right. Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, former guest host for "The Rush Limbaugh Show," "The O'Reilly Factor," and formerly of Fox News Channel, has Colon cancer. It spread to his liver, and he's claiming that he may have to leave for financial reasons? According to CNN.com, Tony Snow makes $168,000 a year as the White House spokesman. At least that's what he makes on the books. I'd be very surprised if he didn't have more dough stashed away. But let's say that he was a good little citizen and reported every fucking penny he made on his 1040s. Are you telling me that a Washington insider like Tony Snow can't get the best health care in the world?

Gee, maybe the US should have had a better health care system like Michael Moore said in "SiCKO."

I'd like to see this asshole come to understand the error of his ways. I'd like to see him recover fully from cancer and do something with the rest of his life, but this is Tony Snow we're talking about. He'd have to personally be responsible for the Cubs winning the World Series for me to believe he's capable of miraculously understanding what an evil shill he's been. I hope his money dries up, and I hope nobody wants to hear what he has to say or how much he's suffered with cancer. If he has crapped away so much of his money that he's already thinking of what little dough his kids will have for college, he's a fucking idiot. And if he thinks that we're going to buy half the shit he's tried to shovel down our throats about the Bush Administration, he's insulting our intelligence.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Don't Mess with a Classic

Before I go into the nasueating details, I have to warn you that this made me angrier than I've been in ages.

Those of you that know me personally know that this is not a good thing in the least. Lord, I've tried not to react at the provocation of assholes, but sometimes there is no other course of action but to go apeshit. This is one of those times.

ComingSoon is one of the best news sites out there for TV, Film, and DVD info. While some sites like AintItCoolNews are full of freshly churned horseshit and have to issue retractions or rampant disclaimers, ComingSoon is consistently solid. Which pisses me off about this nugget of shit.

Yes, you read right. Apparently Warner Bros. through their Warner Independent Pictures division is looking to remake the martial arts classic film "Enter the Dragon" into "Awaken the Dragon." I don't give a dry fuck who is trying to do it or what their motivation is. To fuck with a classic film and assume that you can get away with anything more than a disturbingly poor reflection of the source is unforgivable. Kurt Sutter may be an incredible TV series producer having worked on "The Shield,," but does this mean that he is qualified to remake Bruce Lee's magnum opus?


To be fair, Director Robert Clouse had a lot to do with the success of "Enter The Dragon" as any director would be partially responsible for the final product, but "Enter The Dragon" was all Bruce Lee. There will NEVER be another martial artist like Bruce Lee, and to even think of remaking one of his films will earn you a savage beating. To be fair, the only remake of a Bruce Lee film that DIDN'T suck was "Fist of Legend," a remake of "Fist of Fury" (known in the US as "The Chinese Connection"). Part of that was because of Jet Li's phenomenal skill as a martial artist, and part of it was the adherence to historical authenticity (both were based on actual events).

I'd like to believe that there are martial artists who can aspire to be as brilliant and innovative as Bruce Lee. I'd like to believe that there can be as important and inspirational a film as "Enter the Dragon," but Kurt Sutter and those parties responsible for trying to pull this off should be savagely beaten and used as bukakke targets. If they recover, simply suggest to them that if they want to make a movie, try making something for which they will be remembered as original artists and not a bunch of brain-dead ass clowns trying to rape the corpse of a genius for a meal ticket.

Excuse Me Father, Your Holy Water Sprinkler Is Showing

This is Rev. Robert Whipkey. He officiates in three different parishes in the Denver, Colorado area. He is seemingly well liked in his community, but he was placed on administrative leave yesterday because he was caught nude in public before sunrise. Jogging. At a local high school track.

He was running around nekkid at a high school track.

According to the KMGH (via CNN.com) report, his excuse for this was that he didn't think that anybody would be around at that time of the day, and as he explained in the police report "I'm a heavy man and wearing clothing while running makes me sweat profusely. I know what I did was wrong,"


If convicted of the misdemeanor of indecent exposure, he faces up to 18 months of jail time and he would have to register as a sex offender.

The KMGH report goes on to show that Father Whipkey was arrested on June 22nd for walking bare-ass naked down the street at 4:35am.

How much you wanna bet that he'll have lots of running buddies in prison?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ooooh Speed Bumps! I've Been Naughty!

This is Verle Peter Dills, a 60-year old resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Verle is a somewhat average man...outside of the fact that he likes to have sex with road signs. As well as flog the dolphin in public. And he likes to videotape his shenanigans.

He likes to have sex with road signs.

Big Jonny over at DrunkCyclist posted a link to a story about this nutty jackass, and The Smoking Gun got their hands on the affidavit with all the sordid details. Trust me - this nutty redneck is way too weird for even the NYC Village Halloween Parade.

He likes to have sex with road signs.

I've got a hunch that Verle (or as his landlady calls him - "Bubba") looks forward to road construction.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Memo to Sir Elton John: Shut Your Fat Gob, You Wanker

If the title seems a bit odd considering I'm not a British Subject (although I am an anglophile), allow me to explain. I wanted to make sure that if Sir Elton were to see this, he would understand. Given his recent comments in The Sun, I have serious doubts if Sir Elton would understand that he's a tired old fart. Captain and Tenille are more relevant than him.

Normally I wouldn't care two squirts of piss off a squirrel's ass what he had to say, but I was reading a story on P2Pnet about some jackass named Reginald bitching about the internet on The Sun, and how it's stifling creativity in his esteemed opinion. That jackass is self-described luddite, Sir Elton John. He even went so far as to suggest shutting down the Internet for 5 years to see what kind of art would result. If by "art" he means "mongolian clusterfuck of biblical proportions," I'm sure it would be the kind of art that would make Hieronymus Bosch giggle.

If you're scratching your heads and wondering how far Sir Elton's head is buried up his distended ringpiece, then think about this - his 60th Birthday Gala Concert was streamed over the internet. I'd certainly appreciate it if someone could explain to Sir Elton what a "hypocrite" is, but make sure not to use big words. As reported in The Sun article, sales for his latest album "The Captain & The Kid" are just creeping past 100,000 copies. Gee, I wonder if the olad fart is bitter about something.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Kingpin 2: Electric Boogaloo

Brothers and sisters, can I get an "AMEN" for GorillaMask?

I kinda wish I knew more about Japanese game shows. They had this link of a wonderful yet waaaaaay disturbing mashup of a slip & slide, bowling, and oil.

In fact, I don't know why y'all don't just click on the link. You know you want to look, you cheeky little monkey.

I have a few questions:

1) Was this dude wearing a cup?
2) How the Hell did he manage to maintain his footing, soaked in oil while running towards the pins?
3) If he did get the equivalent of a 7-10 Split, how would he pick up the spare?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Michelle Madigan is a Stupid Bitch, Flees in Shame at DefCon

Tell me if this makes sense to you. DefCon is a 15 year old convention drawing a huge crowd of internet security professionals, "freelancers" (gasp - hackers, perhaps?), law enforcement agents, and of course, reporters. Reporters have to pay to get in like anyone else, and they are rigorously screened. After all, you wouldn't want to attend a convention and have some jagoff reporter try and catch you admitting illegal activity on camera, would you?

But that's precisely what Michelle Madigan, a producer for NBC Dateline, wanted to do this past Friday. According to Wired, she tried to bullshit her way into DefCon to out an undercover Fed. What she didn't know or bother to research was that "Spot the Fed" is a long standing tradition at DefCon. It's all in good fun, and the Feds that do get caught usually take it in stride. They sure as shit wouldn't need her help.  She had been asked a number of times if she wanted to obtain press credentials, and she refused. Eventually they lured her into an auditorium where a "Spot the Fed" game was underway. DefCon changed the game from "Spot the Fed" to "Spot the Undercover Reporter."

Eventually the dumb skank figured out that they were on to her, and she bolted with a swarm of hackers in tow. They royally took the piss out of her, and luckily one good soul caught it all on camera. You can view the tasty clip here.

Wow. I have seen some dumb bitches in my life, but Michelle Madigan takes the cake. Was she so arrogant to think that she could bullshit her way into a convention of hackers? Hackers have turned bullshitting into an art form, and this goober thought she could pull a Jedi Mind Trick on them? Considering that she had not only pissed off a HACKER CONVENTION, and that she was hounded until she drove off, I think she'll be lucky if this is the last she'll hear of it. Gee, do you think the simple bitch should have covered up her license plates?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Once More with Feeling - Impeach Bush & Cheney

One of the unparalelled joys I have online (get your minds out of the friggin' gutter, you perverts) is DrunkCyclist.  Big Jonny, the dude who runs it, is passionate about a great many things, but he is especially driven to expose bullshit in politics.  I believe that Big Jonny would be as equally vocal against a Democratic President who screwed over America as he is about Bush & Cheney.  

I have RARELY if ever seen a group as eloquent, angry, and direct as DrunkCyclist when they air their grievances against the government.  The only other people I trust to give me the straight poop are Bill Maher, Lewis Black, and Jon Stewart.  Even when DrunkCyclist simply throws up links, it's usually dead on target, funny as hell, or sometimes both.  In this case, there's a great YouTube video that adds to the damning call to punish the Bush Administration  across the board.  Check it out here.  Forward it to everyone.  

Get angrier than you've ever been before, and do something about this bullshit.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Robert Byrd is a Racist Moron, but He's Right

To quote the great philosopher Larry the Cable Guy, "Lord, I do apologize."  I've had just about all I can take with Michael Vick, and while I made a conscious effort to try and reign in my usual levels of profanity, I just don't give a fuck.  If this offends you, I'm genuinely sorry, but I hope you see the strength of my convictions.  

That having been said, I want to hurt Michael Vick in a way the dumb fuck will understand: take away his money. This asshole has a history of displaying the kind of behavior one would expect from a common thug. In March, 2005, he knowingly gave Herpes Simplex 2 to a woman without telling her. On November 26th, 2006, he had flipped the bird with both hands. He made some lame-ass apology, and the NFL fined him $10,000. On January 17th, 2007, he had hesitated in giving up a water bottle at Miami International Airport. He eventually gave it up. It had a hidden compartment that may have had drugs in it, but the bottle and Vick were cleared. His excuse was that the bottle was something he used to hide his jewelry. Riiiight. This isn't lockdown, and he doesn't have to keister stuff to avoid inspection or theft.

He has enjoyed a shitload of money coming from both a lucrative NFL contract worth $130 million over 10 years with a $37 million dollar signing bonus, but from endorsment deals with companies like Nike, EA Sports, Kraft, Coca-Cola, and Rawlings. He was ranked 33 in Forbes Top 100 Celebrities in 2005. Vick is such a dumb fuck that his own behavior had caused all but Nike to drop his ass. He's still rich, and he's living proof that a dumbass with money is still a dumbass. His recent criminal indictment could change all that, and he is not only facing serious accusations and potentially equally serious jail time, He is surely going to be branded as a pariah in the public's eye. There are simply somethings you do not do. NEVER fuck with children, and NEVER fuck with animals. As Nike has stated, Vick deserves the same rights of due process as would befit any US Citizen, and his day in court will come. It's gonna cost him a shitload in legal fees, because it's going to take a fucking miracle worker to make him look like anything but an evil, malicious punk-ass bitch.

Currently The Humane Society is the only organization running an online letter writining protest to Nike to plead with them to drop Michael Vick. You can sign it here. Pass it along to everyone you can. Michael Vick may get his day in court, but make damn sure Nike knows that as long as they continue to do business with him, it's going to cost Nike a shitload in lost revenues.

You want proof of how fucking evil Michael Vick is? Take a look at Diane Jessup's site. She's passionate about Pit Bulls, There's a shocking section with photos of the victims from dog fights. You can click on it here, but be warned - it's truly fucked up. I'm still in tears from seeing it, but it MUST be seen.

Now getting to Robert Byrd.

As you can imagine, this has generated a shitstorm of protest. One voice has been that of Sen. Robert Byrd. Senator Byrd is the longest serving US Senator,...and he's also a former Klansman. He didn't attend a few rallies or make a couple of off-color jokes - he is a heinous motherfucker. He has gone on record in 1945 that the reason he dodged the draft in WWII was that he didn't want to fight alongside blacks. It's ok, he worked as a ship welder instead of defending the US. In 1964, he filibustered for 14 hours against the Civil Rights Act. He's voted against Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, the two African-American Supreme Court Judges. As of March 2001, he made a lame-ass apology that using the word "nigger" may have offended people. I don't give a dry fuck if he's sorry. He continues to make lame-ass apologies, and he continues to say and do shit that's unequivocably racist and stupid. He's a racist motherfucker, and it says a lot about the people of West Virginia that they would continue to elect the same racist goober to the US Senate or not fight enough to get the asshole out of office. I am simply stunned that this racist motherfucker continues to live off taxpayers' dollars, and yet he is right about Michael Vick. Dog fighting is barbaric.

I am really uncomfortable about the fact that I have to agree with a cornpone-eating, banjo-playing former Klansman like Sen. Byrd.

I sincerely wish I could take the moral high ground and hope he sees the error of his ways, but I truly want to fucking cave in Michael Vick's skull in front of his family. I want him to die in ways that the Marquis de Sade would describe as "fucked up." I hope Michael Vick dies alone, destitute, and criminally insane with nobody to care for him and his only activity to pass the time being "Connect the Dots" with the track marks up and down his body.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What an Idiot

According to a ComputerWeekly.com article (via P2pnet.net), some dumbass cop in Japan installed Winny, a P2P application, on his computer, and was unaware of the fact that his computer and anything on it was being shared for one and all to see on the Winny network.


What's the damage? Over 6,600 documents have been compromised including interrogation reports and the locations of automatic license plate readers. It gets worse. The personal information of 12,000 individuals related to criminal investigations has also been compromised.

Oh lordy, it gets a LOT WORSE.

The names, addresses, and personal information of 400 members of the Yamaguchi-gumi, the oldest and largest Yakuza gang have also been compromised. Actually, "gang" is an understatement. The Yamaguchi-gumi are more of an empire, raking in billions in drugs, the sex industry (in Asia, that's saying a lot), stock market manipulation and lots more.

I am not condoning violence towards police, or endorsing organized crime, but considering what this idiot has done, I have a feeling he's not going to be around long enough to collect his unemployment checks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What Would Frank Castle Do about Michael Vick?

This has been one of the hardest things for me to write about. I love animals. For any number of reasons - health, environmental, compassion - I have tried my damnedest to give up eating m meat or for that matter using anything harvested from an animal. This isn't exactly easy, but it is without question the compassionate thing to do.

I love a good barbeque. I was raised on a Korean dish called Bulgogi - thinly sliced, marinated beef. Give me some of that, rice, steamed bean sprouts, and some kimchee, and I'm happier than a pig in shit. But I'm trying to give that stuff up. Rather than get on my soapbox about why it's the right thing to do, I wanted to say that I am trying to do the right thing. So, when I see some stunningly evil piece of shit like Atlanta Falcons' Quarterback Michael Vick and what he's done to dogs, I have to think, "What would Frank Castle do?"

Frank Castle is one of my heroes. I know he's fictional, but as Marvel Comics' brutally cold and righteous anti-hero The Punisher, he does what we'd all love to do. Go ahead. Click on the link. I'll wait.

When we see someone who runs a criminal enterprise for years as well as knowingly infecting a woman with Herpes Simplex 2, what do you think someone like Frank Castle do? Michael Vick not only bet on dog fights, he (along with 3 other assholes) set up "Bad Newz Kennels" on his 15-acre property (valued at over $700,000) near Smithfield, Virginia. Bad Newz Kennels would bring dogs across state lines to fight in seclusion. On top of that, whatever dogs did not die in matches were executed by gunshot, electrcution, drowning, strangulation, and/or hanging.

On April 25th & 26th, 2007, police had raided his property and found overwhelming evidence including 60 dogs (including pit bulls) scarred up and in generally poor condition. For this alone, he and the three other assholes face $350,000 in fines and up to 6 years in prison if convicted. Additional state charges are being pursued, and this case has generated an overwhelming amount of public protest. I'd love to see Michael Vick and the three other people responsible for this travesty suffer like the same animals they saw suffer. I'd really love to see them die slowly, painfully and loudly. They did this to animals commonly thought of and feared as aggressive and deadly. The sad reality is that domesticated animals like dogs want nothing more than love. A little food, walking, playing, and a hug doesn't cost all that much, and the payback is a buddy for life. Dogs aren't born evil - it takes pathetic losers like Michael Vick to turn them into killing machines. How long will it take those surviving dogs to come to trust people again? Will they ever trust someone to be their buddy?

I can think of a lovely punishment for these guys involving epidurals, strategically placed mirrors, and wood chippers. This not being possible, we need to do whatever we can to make their lives an unending Hell. PETA has a petition that they're presenting to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. You can sign the petition here. Currently Michael Vick is still raking in a lot of dough from his deal with Nike. While the Air Zoom Vick V shoe was scheduled to be released from Nike this summer, they're holding off, and waiting until all he's enjoyed due process to determine if they should sever their relationship with him. This is not good enough. The Humane Society is currently running a petition they're sending to Nike CEO Michael Parker. You can sign it here. Inquire why the ASPCA and PETA aren't running similar petitions.

Make sure that Michael Vick and the rest of the Bad Newz Kennels receive the same compassion they showed dogs.

Giant Rubber Duckie Sighted in France, Godzilla Overjoyed at Lost Bathtub Buddy

It's takes a lot to distract me from some of the heinous acts against humanity committed by Bush & Cheney as well as comparatively minor things like drug abuse in sports, or more pervasive problems like how to repair the environment. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a fetal position. Most times, I get angry and go off on a rant about whatever is pissing me off and hopefully do something to help.

I still get depressed, and while I wouldn't normally care or notice a story about an art exhibition in France, one aspect of the Loire Estuaire 2007 almost brought a tear to my eye and made me feel like a kid. The same kid who believed in Santa Claus. The Loire Estuaire 2007 is an outdoor art exhibition along a 40-mile stretch of the Loire River from Saint-Nazaire to Nantes. It highlights work from 30 different artists across the globe. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has stood out with a piece that manages to cross cultural boundaries with the same sense of wonder, whimsy, innocence, and joy - his 105-foot tall rubber ducky.

Here's another shot to give you a better idea of the size.

Now you could try to go to Florentijn Hofman's website, but I'd be willing to bet good money that you're gonna get some kind of choked bandwidth error message. In a nutshell, this means that more people are visiting his site than his website host can accommodate. I sincerely hope that he gets significantly more bandwidth, because this is too precious and too delightful a creation to fade away into obscurity. While not everyone may not be familiar with Ernie's ode to his friend "Rubber Duckie" on "Sesame Street," Mr. Hofman's creation is unadulterated joy.

Mr. Hofman put it best on his website with this description:

"A yellow spot on the horizon slowly approaches the coast. People have gatherd and watch in amazement as a giant yellow Rubber Duck approaches. The spectators are greeted by the duck, which slowly nods its head. The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages! "

I'm sure the Rubber Duckie has growing legions of fans, and my girlfriend and I would dearly like to see him make a world tour. How cool would it be to see him putter by the Statue of Liberty? I thought that he should be named Peep after the marshmallow candy. This little bundle of joy can't go through life without a name, right?

If Jobs is greedy, what does that make Stringer?

One of the first things I do when I get up in the morning is to check the news on a handful of different tech sites like Endadget, Gizmodo, AppleInsider, as well as general news sites like CNN. I'm always stunned at the level of moronic stupidity some people when they open their mouths without considering their perspective and how their very position grossly undermines any credibility they may have.

Apparently there was a media conference in Sun Valley Idaho this week with a roundtable discussion led by Anderson Cooper. Among the panelists were the founders of Amazon (Jeff Bezos), Google (Sergey Brin), Media mogul Barry Diller, and Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's CEO. The focus of the panel was changes in multimedia delivery technology for entertainment and news. Sir Howard has a bug up his ass about Apple. This is not entirely surprising as Apple has questioned the use of DRM software and has taken great pains to appear as consumer-friendly as possible by trying to eliminate DRM through their iTunes service. Never mind Apple's FairPlay software or the fact that their CD-quality download options come tagged with your personal iTunes account info. In the event that you should hypothetically copy or distribute these tracks, you could be nailed for it.

So where was I? Oh yeah - Sir Howard's comments.

Sir Howard had called Apple Chairman Steve Jobs "greedy." He felt that it was disingenuous of Mr. Jobs to accuse record companies of being greedy because they want to get paid a percentage for music downloads. Sir Howard's basis for this accusation was that with the recent launch of the iPhone, Mr. Jobs wants a marketplace where only he makes money.

Let's take a look at a few facts, shall we? While Sony was one of the first companies to embrace digital media for music, they had used proprietary technology like SonicStage and the ATRAC codec. Any piece of Sony hardware that plays digital music defaults to ATRAC, and it usually comes with SonicStage as well. The only problem is that ATRAC and SonicStage suck. ATRAC file sizes may be smaller than other audio codecs, but Sony has been grossly reluctant to embrace other standards and hardware from competitors. To be fair, this was not on Sir Howard's Watch. At the time ATRAC came out, Sir Howard was busy as CBS President. He had his hands full getting David Letterman to move from NBC to CBS.

Also to be fair, Sony has their hands full with a really shitty couple of years. Sony laptop batteries have been known to overheat and catch fire. Immediately before the PlayStation3 came out, Sony was the proverbial 800-lb gorilla in the video game market. Thanks to the raging success of the PlayStation2, and the launch of the PSP (PlayStation Portable), Sony was riding the gravy train with biscuit wheels. The PS3 was supposed to be not only a shitkicker of a video game system, it was supposed to be the new center of home entertainment with next-gen Blu-Ray DVD playback. The problem was an exorbitant pricetag, gross hardware shortages, underwhelming software - shit I could go on, but for now, let's focus on Sir Howard.

Sony has all but a stranglehold on life. While they make some products that live up to their hype, It is grossly hypocritical of Sir Howard to bitch about Apple getting a larger share of consumers' wallets. Sony Ericsson phones, Walkmen, TVs, DVD players, Vaio computers, software, video games, toys, music, and movies are just some of the examples of Sony's penetration into our lives. Am I complaining? Hell no. Apple is trying to get as big a piece of your wallet as they can. This is simple marketing. If you have any doubts as to this fact, try your best to dislodge your heads from the sand.

I absolutely love my PS2, but if Sir Howard is going to go on record making inflammatory remarks about ANYONE much less alone a competitor, he better damn well be able to take the heat. Apparently Sir Howard lacks the courage to even stand by his remarks, because when Anderson Cooper and Barry Diller called him on his statement at the panel, Sir Howard backed away from his jab at Steve Jobs. And what the Hell is with his Knighthood? Maybe I'm being overly romantic about this, but I thought that a British subject was knighted for their service to or defense of the British Empire. If making sure that I can get "TJ Hooker, Volume 1" on DVD is a suitable defense of Balmoral, then all I have to say is "God Save the Queen."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Impeach Bush and Cheney

I've been trying hard to turn over a new leaf and try not to be as angry as I have in the past, but every so often, I get monumentally pissed off, and I remember why I wanted to blog in the first place. President Bush's commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence reveals his contempt for the American public and his gross understimation of what we are capable of. It isn't enough that Libby was conviced for his part in the treasonous crime of revealing the identity of a CIA operative. It isn't enough that we will probably never see all the guilty parties be convicted and punished for their part in this crime. Bush assumes that we are just as stupid as him because some of us voted for him, and that we won't instinctively know that something is heinously wrong here.

I wasn't qute sure how to put it into words, but thankfully Big Jonny over at DrunkCyclist threw up a link to Keith Olbermann's special commentary on "Countdown" from 7/3/2007. I thought Mr. Olbermann was just another sports journalist who made a career change to be taken more seriously.

I'd like to take a brief moment to apologise to Mr. Olbermann for grossly underestimating him. He has perfectly captured my disgust with Dubya. Instead of going for the easy shots, Mr. Olbermann exemplified the kind of grace under fire that one would expect of a seasoned diplomat perpetually thrust into crises. He starts his commentary with a quote from a grand American hero, and he ends his piece with the five simple words of another American hero. "Edward R. Murrow's iconic "Good night and good luck." have rarely been more poignant than as the coda to Mr. Olbermann's impassioned plea to Bush and Cheney to resign.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

I have a handful of things to work through for my next couple of posts, but I thought I'd stop for a moment to give y'all an idea of some of the things on my Mental Etch-a-Sketch.

Garth Ennis
He has been responsible for writing some of the best stories in comic books with a powerful run in Marvel Comics' brutal anti-hero, The Punisher. The "Welcome Back, Frank" storyline is credited with revitalizing The Punisher for Marvel as well as being the basis for "The Punisher" movie (the one that didn't suck). He's also responsible for some of DC Comics' brightest achievements through their Vertigo imprint. It would be insanely difficult to isolate one particular storyline in his run in DC Comics' John Constantine: Hellblazer. You could start out at the beginning with "Original Sins", but my favorite was "Dangerous Habits". "Dangerous Habits" reads like a well-executed and supremely funny dirty joke. What convinced me that Garth Ennis is not only one of the best comic book wrtiers, but one of the best writers I have ever read was "Preacher," co-created with long time collaborator, artist Steve Dillon. All I'm gonna say is that "Preacher" is about Jesse Custer, a Preacher possessed with an unholy spirit of unimaginable power. He's on a mission to find God - and make him answer for what Jesse has learned. "Preacher" is a phenomenal achievement in storytelling. I cannot say enough about this. Go to your nearest comic book shop and get the 9 softcover graphic novel collections and the hardcover collection of cover art. DO IT NOW. You'll thank me for it.

I love this site. You don't have to be a cyclist or a bicycle enthusiast to understand that DrunkCyclist is about more than the Tour de France, chamois pads, and helmets. While DrunkCyclist is centered on anything related to cycling, there's a huge emphasis on domestic and international politics as well as on environmental affairs. Plus, DrunkCyclist has a great, brash sense of humor.

I try to reduce the environmental impact of my life as much as possible as well as helping others with charities I strongly believe in. I thought that what I was doing was enough, and while it may not ever be enough, we all have to try. TreeHugger covers a wide variety of topics that affect us in some way or another. This is probably one of the most important websites you will ever visit.

MMA is changing and growing into one of the most visible sports. Hell, even the Oxygen Network is cashing in with their "Fight Girls" reality show focusing on female Muay Thai boxers (and yes, I know Muay Thai is not MMA, but just a part of it). While there are plenty of websites to get your MMA news fix from, most are happy to post speculation and rumor alongside bona fide news and their comment sections are littered with sub-juvenile users who feel it incumbent upon themselves to rant inanely about how they could kick Ken Shamrock's ass or similar bullshit. UFCMania focuses on the UFC (duh), and their reporting has been even, fair, and their site is updated frequently. On Fridays, they post fan-made videos that show off a great amount of editing skill.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Justice Wasn't Served, but Pizza Was

This is Philip Workman. As The International Justice Project meticulously reported, on August 5th, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee, he robbed a fast food restaurant at gunpoint. Unbeknownst to him, a silent alarm had been triggered, and police were on their way. Unfortunately one of the officers, Lt. Ronald Oliver, had been shot in the chest and died. Mr. Workman admitted that his drug addiction had led him to the crime, and on March 30th, 1982, he was convicted and sentenced to death for first degree murder.

In addition to The International Justice Project, CNN has reported an overwhelming amount of evidence and doubts raised by how this case was handled. Everything from eyewitness accounts to ballistic tests suggested that Lt. Oliver was killed by friendly fire, but not even an appeal to the US Supreme Court would allow Mr. Workman the justice he deserved. Make no mistake - he committed a crime, and he paid for it, but under NO circumstances was a death penalty warranted.

At 2AM Eastern Time on Wednesday May 9th 2007, Philip Workman was executed at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee where he was incarcerated. He requested that his last meal be a vegetarian pizza, but here's the thing that's going to mess you up - he requested that the pizza be given to any homeless person near the Riverbend facility. They refused his last wish because according to Riverbend spokeswoman Dorinda Carter, "We can get some special things for the inmate, but the taxpayers don't really give us permission to donate to charity." The limit for a last meal at Riverbend is $20.

Later that day, homeless shelters across Nashville had received a windfall of pizza. Donna Spangler, a 55-year-old woman, had called some friends and bought $1,200 worth of pizza and they deilvered them to the Nashville Rescue Mission. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had stepped up to the plate and ordered 15 pies to be delivered to the Rescue Mission. The first 17 pies to come to the Oasis Center in Nashville were donated by a radio station in Minnesota.

Philip Workman's case is a nauseating travesty of justice. I am disgusted and far angrier than I've been in a very long time. While Philip Workman was incarcerated for over 26 years, justice was NOT served. One of the eyewitnesses later admitted to perjury having never been anywhere near the scene of the crime. The Medical Examiners have backgrounds peppered with incompetence, unethical professional behavior, and even indictments of illegal possession of a bomb and lying to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco , & Firearms. You couldn't make up shit like this if you tried.

In spite of it all and knowing full well what was going to happen to him, Philip Workman's last act was one of humble generosity. While he more than paid for his crime, his life will have the impact of helping out far more than he could have wished for.   While I am saddened by the way our legal system has callously failed him, I am overjoyed that so many random people would want to honor his last wish.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Big Surprise - Kenneth Eng Is Insane. Now What?

I can't remember exactly when I read about Kenneth Eng's article in Asian Week, an Asian Pacific American newsweekly, but I knew that something was seriously wrong. Asian Week is a well-polished magazine of high standards - making the publication of his article on February 23rd, 2007 entitled "Why I Hate Blacks" all the more troubling. Asian Week quickly fired Kenneth Eng, and they issued a front page apology. They have remained open to dialogue in earnest hopes of showing that they are deeply regretful for publishing the article and in hopes of fostering better understanding between Asian and African American communities.

However, this was only the tip of the iceberg. I went online to research Kenneth Eng. He was a flim student at the Tisch School at NYU. He is a published science fiction author, and he has a blog section on Amazon.com. His meagre efforts as an author are laughable at best and represent the meaningless deaths of the trees harvested to print his drivel. His blog section is loaded with the kind of lunatic rantings you'd come to expect of someone who would describe themselves as "An Asian Supremacist." He not only hates Blacks, Whites, other minorities, and even some Asians - he also hates virtually every religious denomination as well.

I'm not going to lie to you or deny that I felt that I wanted to find this angry little twerp and cave his skull in. I wanted him to shut up. Ultimately I realized that I wanted Kenneth Eng to disappear. He is delusional enough to think that his literary efforts are equal to truly great authors in Science Fiction. What better fate for him to suffer than obscurity? But he wouldn't shut up.

Shortly after Cho Seung-hui brutally shot 32 students at Virginia Tech on April 16th, 2007, Kenneth Eng sent a video to YouTube essentially calling the massacre hillarious. This video was quickly taken down, and it only brought more attention to the fact that he is not only disturbed - he is dangerous. On May 1st, 2007, Kenneth Eng was interviewed by The Village Voice, during which he was happy to draw similarities between himself and Cho. Eng has been institutionalized, he had stalked a female student, and he drew the strong concern of his professors at NYU who had deemed him dangerous enough to suggest dismissing him. In the article, Eng even went so far as to call Cho his hero, and he admitted that the only reason he didn't go on a rampage was that he couldn't afford a gun.

Let that settle in your minds for a moment.

The Virginia Tech massacre is a horrible tragedy, and while we try to search for indications how this could have happened, we must not lose sight of the fact that 32 people have died. We need to stop this from happening. As comedienne/activist Margaret Cho said on her blog, "What is lost here is the grief. What is lost is the great, looming sadness that we should all feel over this. We lose our humanity to racism, time and time again."

On top of that, anybody who tries to capitalize upon this tragedy must be held accountable to public scrutiny. NBC aired Cho's videotaped manifestos, and they were lambasted for their insensitivity. Kenneth Eng has a history of saying precious little more than the volatile rantings of someone not capable of creating a coherent thought pattern. While it would be easy to dismiss him as just another talentless hack, he could just as easily go on a rampage as another. The big question now is what do we do about Kenneth Eng? I have no clear answers about him. I only know what I'd love to do jsut to shut him up. That is not the moral thing under any circumstances. The best thing is to hope he fades into obscurity. I have strong doubts whether there is any good to Kenneth Eng or if he is even capable of understanding that what he is saying is hurtful to others. I don't even know if he cares, and that's the worst part.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Respect, Simple Bitches, and The Ultimate Fighter

OK, before I go into last night's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter, Season 5," I should explain the title. When I say "Simple Bitch," in no way do I mean women. This is NOT intended to malign women at all. "Simple Bitch" refers to any whiny little cry baby who is not capable of owning up to one's own faults and genuinely trying to overcome them to become something greater than before.

For those of you that don't watch "The Ultimate Fighter," the concept behind the show is to take a group of fighters with experience in a number of different disciplines (e.g. wrestling, boxing, grappling, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, etc), split them up into two teams, and have them fight individual exhibition matches from week to week. The teams are coached by veterans of the sport. The grand prize of the show is a contract with The Ultimate Fighting Championship, arguably the largest mixed martial arts organization. The show is hosted by the President of the UFC, Dana White. These contestants range from also-rans to rookies, and you'd think that they would all have a burning hunger to excel. You'd think that their eyes would be focused on the contract and woe be unto the poor bastards who get in their way.

You'd be dead wrong.

Season 5 of "The Ultimate Fighter" was created to give Lightweight fighters a chance and so the UFC could broaden appreciation for the sport. Currently attention is focused on heavier fighters ranging from Welterweight to Heavyweight. The two coaches, B.J. Penn and Jens Pulver are not only veterans, but bona fide legends. Both have had huge amounts of success as well as colorful histories with The UFC. Like recent seasons, losers in any given match stay on the show to train even if they are ineligible for the contract prize as there may be a chance that one contestant will be forced out and another will be called to come back as an alternate.

Tony DeSouza is part of B.J. Penn's coaching staff. His experience in grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is rock solid, and in last night's episode, he got tired of eliminated contestant Noah Thomas' lackadaisical attitude and his joking. He not only taught Noah several object lessons in grappling, he got him in some rather punishing and obviously painful positions, forcing Noah to bitch even more.

At the beginning of Season 5, Gabe Ruediger started off 20lbs. over the 155lb. weight limit. While losing weight is part of training for any fight, the chance that he will be called in any episode put stress on him and his team. This would give him something like 1 day to lose 20lbs. before the weigh-in. If a contestant does not "make weight," they usually forfeit the match and are booted from the show. 20lbs. in one day is practically impossible, and he would have time to recover in the time after the weigh-in and before the actual fight. Unfortunately in the first five episodes, Gabe Ruediger was eating junk food like it was going out of style, not training as hard as his teammates, and he was even given special dispensation to leave the training facility to get a colonic with the hopes that it would help his weight loss. It didn't do a blessed thing, because he was a delusional, lazy bastard, and he thought he knew what was the best way to train and to lose weight. The irony of it is that he has an impressive fight record, so you'd thinkt hat the idiot would know best.

When things got to a few hours before the weigh-in, he was still massively overweight, and while he lost a couple pounds, he was forced to wear layers of clothing including a non-permeable "sauna suit." He didn't run on the treadmill, he walked. He took breaks. His coaches and his teammates were wondering waht his motivations were. This didn't work, so he had to go into a sauna with all the clothing on AND ride a stationary bike to drop a massive amount of weight. He was bitching and crying and asking for help to put him back in the sauna when he staggered out to cool down. The upshot was that he was literally within 3 pounds of making the weight limit and either he passed out or he gave up. An ambulance had to take him to a hospital for rehydration. Once he was let out, Dana White threw the book at him and kicked him off the show with no chance of coming back as an alternate. Gabe was crying rivers of tears, saying a crock of bullshit about this being his career, that he needed fighting, yadda yadda yadda.

I have no sympathy for either Noah Thomas getting the crap choked out of him in training or Gabe Ruediger coming to the startling conclusion that he is a self-absorbed moron with less of a grip on reality than President Bush. One thing that Dana White has been absolutely clear on is that no matter what the theme of a particular season of "The Ultimate Fighter," it's all about giving contestants a shot at a UFC contract instead of having to fight tooth and nail in smaller organizations and pray that they're gonna get a call from the UFC. There has been some speculation that the contestants who come out of "The Ultimate Fighter" aren't as worthy of title fights as regular fighters, but recent examples like Forrest Griffin, Kendall Grove, and especially Matt Serra with his stunning upset victory over reigning UFC Welterweight champion George St. Pierre in UFC 69.

"The Ultimate Fighter" contestants have a shot at greatness. They have been given a huge opportunity not only to learn from veterans, but to become fighters that command respect. The thing is that morons like Noah Thomas and Gabe Ruediger don't understand that in order to get respect, you have to give it back to those that know more than you. What kills me is that while these simple bitches were enjoying the limelight, scores of fighters with more promise and talent have to suffer. I'm clearly not stating that I could kick either of their asses, but if somebody told me that I could become as great as one of my heroes, I would listen to them implicitly, and I would show them nothing but unflinching respect. If this is as much a part of their lives as they claim, then they are completely delusional and I can only hope that they realize that they are wasting their time. Then again, I hope that Noah Thomas, Gabe Ruediger, and other morons like them kiss the third rail.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Party at Central Park on May 20th!

First, off, allow me to apologize for not posting in a while. I had my head foresquare up my hindparts, and while I always say I'll do things differently next time, I always end up waiting 'til the last minute to do my taxes. And then a lot of shit hit the fan with Don Imus acting like a jackass, and the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. I've been pretty bummed out about that, and I'll tell you more soon enough.

I'm also looking for work more than freelance (read: mercenary) as a content manager/ editor, and that's frustrating as Hell. It's taking a lot of strength not to get terribly frustrated or depressed, but there are far many who have delt with far worse than I will ever know.

Hey, if you're seriously looking to hire, drop me a line.

Now about the party next month. I'm preparing for it in a big way, but then again, AIDS Walk NYC is a pretty big event. I've skated through NYC for the past 13 years or so, and in that time, I've skated AIDS Walk 4 times. 10K of New York City streets without cars? Woo Hoo! On top of that, I have NEVER seen so much good karma in one location as I have with AIDS Walk. Something about being part of it inspires you to do more. With the festive atmosphere and goodwill, it's important to never lose sight of the fact that while it is fun, people are dying.

One of my heroes is Lance Armstrong. That man has gone through more Hell than most people will ever know, and he has shown an amazing amount of grace and skill. He's not from Krypton. He's not a mutant with rapid healing & metal claws. He's a regular joe, not a superhero. Over the past few years, I was fortunate enough to find replicas of three of his Tour de France Winner's Jerseys. If anything, he has shown that people are capable of doing great things. Every life has the potential for similar greatness, and to see that hope taken away by AIDS is heartbreaking. The next poor soul to die of AIDS could have written something as deeply eloquent as "Bohemian Rhapsody."

For me it is a race, and I want to do more. It doesn't take all that much time to skate the AIDS Walk, and if you really push yourself, you'll find that you have loads of time to spare. I help out at the Finish Line, because there's always gonna be people who need help. One year it was scooping ice cream throughout the afternoon. Another year it was unloading trucks.

I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd think about sponsoring me for this year's AIDS Walk NY on May 20th. To make things easy, you can click here for my donations page. Your help means a lot, and hey - if you're already registered as a participant, look for me at the Finish Line checkpoint unloading trucks & helping to serve stuff. I'll be the guy in the Tour de France 2006 Winner's Jersey.

Monday, April 9, 2007

May Uwe Boll Suffer a Criminally Pornographic Death

If this posting seems long winded, I apologize. I have a lot to get off my chest, so bear with me.

I love video games, and I am deeply troubled not with the violence that is part and parcel of some of the most notorious ones (e.g. "Doom," "Grand Theft Auto," "Quake"). It may be callous to say that there is always going to be a group of people whose developmental problems prohibit them from discerning reality from fantasy.

In other words, morons are fucking it up for rational people.

As prevalent as video games are becoming with advances in hardware like the XBox 360 Elite, and the PS3 along with innovations with the Nintendo Wii, video games are still considered a niche market, albeit a lucrative demographic. No matter what you think of movies like "Silent Hill," the "Resident Evil" series, and "Doom," they are seen as success stories for studios eager for similar hits. Some movie projects rumored and/or confirmed to be in development are "Castlevania," "Tekken," and "Metal Gear Solid." Maybe that last one is a pipe dream, but these are all titles that have made immense amounts of money and reaped critical acclaim from gaming communties.

One of my favorite games is Sega's "House of the Dead." It's hard not to love a game in which you shoot zombies. This isn't lush storytelling or unique gameplay like the classic "Myst." This is cathartic, mindless fun. While the game iteslf had a threadbare plot, the movie adaptation was grossly removed from anything resembling the source game much less alone a storyline that wasn't insulting. "House of the Dead" was disturbingly bad, and I'd rather watch a test pattern than watch it on cable. It was at that point that I started to take notice of the director, Uwe Boll.

His career has miraculously come back after flop after flop after flop. He continues to get work as a director and not what he deserves as a bestiality porn fluffer. OK, that was mean to animals and they don't deserve Uwe Boll's lust. I can't figure out how or why this little troll continues to get work. At least it's not like he's getting choice titles to adapt (read: "rape"). He is making a concerted effort in not only adapting video game properties into crap movies, but he has some how managed to use his reputation as one of the worst filmmakers of all time paradoxically as a selling point. It's like a badge of honor for him. While I would normally ignore him in the hopes that interest in him would die out so he would be forced into retirement, I came across this little nugget from BollBashers. To say the clip spoofing the WTC attacks on 9/11/01 is offensive is an understatement, and you are forewarned.

Like the mediocre game series from which it was spawned, this year's "Postal" thrives on controversy, a threadbare plot, and the inevitable outcry from critics like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton. While this clip appears to be the real deal, "official" clips are almost as disturbing. This is less of an example of artistic freedom, but of a glaring lack of sensitivity. To use a tragedy of this scale as a selling point for a movie is sickening.

I am deeply saddened and angered by the fact that Uwe Boll is ruining both video games and action movies with his latest malignant tumor, "Postal." Some are bouund to see this unfairly as a broad example of what video game based movies can be. Hopefully he will die as a reviled and hated man, and "Postal" will fade into obscurity. Am I being prejudicial of Uwe Boll? Hell Yes. Then again, based on his body of work, how else could someone think of him besides a misguided, talentless hack?

Friday, April 6, 2007

My iPod Feels Funny

It used to be that Apple hardware was thought of being impervious to viral attacks, and while Apple's various OS systems are a lot more secure than Microsoft Windows, there are still lots of possible ways to screw with your Mac, and now your iPod.

Yes, I said your iPod.

As reported on ITWire, Kaspersky Lab has discovered the first iPod virus, Podloso. More accurately, it's a "proof of concept virus" that has has the characteristics of a Trojan Horse and affects iPods running Linux. Even though the chances of this are pretty slim due to the sheer scarcity of iPods running anything but iTunes, it still exists.

What's worse is that while Podloso isn't loaded with malware, it proves that it is possible to create code that would not only screw with your iPod, but whatever it's docked to, thus, as the ITWire article states,renewing calls for iPods & other MP3 devices to be banned from workplaces. The overwhelming majority of iPod users don't have much to worry about...unless hypothetically they're illegally downloading music (Heaven forfend!). As most Apple tech geeks would dismiss this, be wary about how you use your iPod.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pop Quiz: Is Newt Gingrich a Moron or a Racist?

This past weekend, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke to the National Federation of Republican Women, and he made statements that made me wonder if Newt can peel fruit with his feet. "The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. ... We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto."

According to the CNN story, the "crowd of more than 100" was cheering. First off, a group of 100 isn't a crowd - that's a couple of lines at the DMV. Second, any group that is going to cheer for Newt Gingrich is probably so stupid, they wouldn't know that "Talladega Nights" isn't a documentary.

I'm not troubled so much by this little group of cackling bitches as much as what he said. Think about it. This is a great country filled with opportunity, however a jackass like Newt Gingrich is going to say if you aren't fluent in English, tough shit for you. Should anybody living and working in the United States be required to learn English? Absolutely. But how the Hell is someone supposed to learn English? Instead of bilingual educational programs. perhaps Mr. Gingrich would prefer that we beat immigrants upside their heads with dictionaries. Maybe Mr. Gingrich could offer his services and teach English through some Redneck Asshole Mind Meld.

And then there's the real problem of what he said, equating bilngual education with "the language of living in a ghetto." Does he really have that little regard for minorities that he would trivialize their existence in urban America much less alone their contribution to the vast diversity of the American fabric? Is he singling out one or two minorities he especially despises, and is he so much of a chickenshit coward that he won't say that he doesn't like dark and swarthy people? His remarks are incendiary, hateful, and ignorant.

Here's the best part - apparently Grima Wormtongue -err Newt Gingrich- is considering running for President in 2008.

I shit thee not.

Mr. Gingrich has apaprently overlooked the fact that the American people includes citizens as well as people simply working and living here. Our strength as a union comes from our diversity and how we relate to other cultures. Unless we make not just bilingual education but multicultural education mandatory, we will never be as strong as we can be.