Thursday, May 31, 2007

Baby Blues

Does it occur to anyone else as odd that thus far the only public photo released of Dick Cheney’s newest grandchild (a boy named Sam) includes only himself, wife Lynne, and the baby?

Where the hell are the kid’s folks? Oh, yeah. I forgot. They’re gay.

So...I guess that means they’re not real parents, and must be hidden from the media, right? I mean, Karl Rove and James Dobson would agree. Don’t want to offend that “traditional values” conservative base by a little tyke with gay caregivers, especially not on the cusp of an election year.

Smooth. Definitely smooth.

Praiseland Lives

Over on Dispatches From the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton posted an article on the newly opened Creation Museum (outside Cincinnati) and its position that the universe is astonishingly younger than science ever could have imagined.

On this point, I really don’t care, considering this theory is brought to us by the same folks who posit that carnivores did not exist on Earth until Adam and Eve were booted from Eden (among other ideas). However, when I ambled over to the museum’s website I was struck how little detail it included on its exhibits.

In fact, most links on the site only relay users to the museum’s bookstore, loaded with all manner of young (read as “flat”) earth books and other media.

I was, however, able to dig up the following on part of the museum’s interior.

I quote Homer Simpson: "Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that's all there is, then let's keep dancing!"

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Most Dangerous Person on Earth

Proving once again that a self-righteous crank with too much time on one’s hands is indeed a dangerous cocktail, concerned parent Laura Mallory's personal crusade to ban Harry Potter texts from the Gwinnett County, GA, school district was rebuffed this week after a judge deemed them acceptable for young readers.

Thank Christ we have people like Ms. Mallory fighting to protect our children from the Satanic evils of literacy.

Now only if we can get rid of those godless beatniks and Atari 2600s.

"Won't someone please think of the children?"

Friday, May 25, 2007

How Do You Spell “F-R-I-V-O-L-O-U-S”?

It’s interesting how united the blogosphere is this week in its disgust toward Dean Hancock--father of late St Louis Cardinals pitcher, Josh, who recently died in an auto accident with a blood alcohol level at twice the legal limit—and his lawsuit filed against the restaurant who served his son on the night of his death, the tow truck driver he plowed into while on a cell phone, and a litany of other parties.

I was going to add to the mayhem with a few comments of my own (the short version: Dean Hancock’s lawsuit is a joke, his son killed himself through his own negligence), but the following comments by an AOL Sports blogger (and other posters) seem to frame it up so nicely.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This Is Why I Could Never Be a Cruelty Investigator

Today on CNN, a story was posted regarding an Ohio woman’s outdoor cat coming home this week with an arrow in his neck, put there by someone who apparently felt using a neighborhood pet for target practice would be a kick.

The good news is that the cat received medical attention and is (thus far) fine, thanks in part to a local policeman who offered the cat’s owner a speedy escort to an animal hospital.

But my point in writing this is as much as I despise animal cruelty, I would never have the self-discipline to be an investigator, such as those seen on AP shows like Animal Cops. The reason why is these investigators--no matter how awful a case involving cruelty--must keep their emotions in check, and focus on getting an infirmed animal to help before dealing with the person responsible for its injury.

Although I am not a violent person, were I in such a job, the only reasonable response I could think of when, for example, finding someone responsible for using a cat for archery practice, would be to throw said person down a long flight of stairs.

And then haul them back up to the top, and send them flying down again.

I have read so many circumstances of people doing horrific things to animals, and it baffles me to what sub-human depths some can truly sink. All I can hope for in return is that these people are caught, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Or failing that, tossed down a flight of stairs...sorry, did I already mention that?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Salute to Scumbags

Click here for a delightful story from Sports Illustrated on the issue of NFL quarterback Michael Vick being prosecuted on dog fighting charges in Virginia.

Rushing to Vick’s defense are Washington Redskins players Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels, who advocate that dog fighting (despite being a felony in several states, including VA) is a "prevalent" lifestyle.

Portis then goes onto say: "I don't know if [Vick] was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property; it's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it."

To which Samuels then coyfully adds: "Haven't you seen Animal Planet?"

All I can say to this is, one, dog fighting is cruel, criminal behavior that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Period. I don’t give a shit how “prevalent” it is. Secondly, kudos to new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell cracking down on off-the-field criminal acts by NFL players—such as Adam “Pacman” Jones—with heavy suspensions.

If Vick is convicted of dog fighting, perhaps he should be suspended as well. If only Portis and Samuels could also be busted for their idiotic behavior. They know that kids look up to them, but in their comments above, only demonstrate how loathsome they truly are.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Baseball & Swiss

Yesterday, my brother and I embarked on our third annual trip to Miller Park in Milwaukee to take in a Brewers game.

The team they play doesn’t really matter (for the record, however, MIL beat MIN 6-5, avoiding a dreaded sweep). We just like the park’s atmosphere (wide concourses, good layout, plus a stop at Mars Cheese Castle on the way home), in addition to the Brew Crew being our second favorite MLB team.

Each year we also enjoy bitching how team mascot Bernie Brewer’s home run celebration has been sanitized for Miller Park; at the Brewers’ former park, Milwaukee County Stadium, Bernie (clad in leiderhosen) would pop out of a chalet whenever a Brewer player knocked a homer, and happily slide into a giant, frosty (and fake) mug of beer.

These days, however, Bernie only does the slide, and lamely waves a team flag on a platform.

Pretty weak, if you ask me. But I’m a traditionalist.

Bernie: Dancin' in The Suds

Friday, May 18, 2007

Under The Sea

As some of you may or may not know, fans of the Detroit Red Wings have a somewhat bizarre local tradition of tossing dead octopi onto the ice following a hat-trick (i.e. a home player scoring three goals in a single game), and playing the Beatles tune “Octopus’ Garden” on their stadium's PA system.

So in my lifelong struggle to stave off boredom, I went over to Wikipedia--that source of all concrete information—this morning for some info (if any) on the song origins, and came up with the following:

"The idea for the song came about when [Ringo] Starr was on a boating trip with his family in Sardinia in 1968. He was offered an octopus lunch, but turned it down. Then the boat's captain told Starr about how octopuses travel along the sea bed picking up stones, and shiny objects with which to build gardens. Starr said that hearing about octopuses spending their days collecting shiny objects at the bottom of the sea was one of the happiest things he had ever heard. Starr then decided to write [the] song."

I think I want to be an octopus in my next life, preferably one living as far away from Detroit as possible.

The Monkey Song

On the drive into work this morning, Stephanie Miller played a clip of “The Monkey Song” sung by The Bernard Sisters (including Crystal of “Wings” TV fame).

The track, with intro by Jerry Falwell, is an anti-Darwin tune which includes the immortal line: "I'm no kin to the monkey / the monkey's no kin to me / I don't know much about his ancestors, but mine didn't swing from a tree"

I beg to differ, girls.

Inside, we’re all just a bunch of damned, dirty apes…didn’t you ever see that Chuck Heston movie that said so?

Evolution is so hot

Anyhow, click here for a listen. It’s a scorcher.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Love Parade

Wow. The cavacade of anti-kudos for the late Jerry Falwell just keeps on marching.

Via Slate, here’s a staunch anti-Falwell piece by Christopher Hitchens that really rakes the reverend over the coals.

Note: While I’ve not been a huge fan of his opinions in the past, I have to hand it to Chris Hitchens for, in turn, handing it—"it" meaning his ass—to Sean Hannity in the following discussion aired on “Hannity & Colmes” this past week on the Fox “News” Channel on the death of Jerry Falwell.

Not that Hannity is so impressive when it comes to debates. Quite the contrary, it’s just nice to see someone call him on his crap because God knows Alan Colmes won’t do it.


This is absolutely brilliant. No teases. Just click here.

Big thanks to Colleen Doran's ADS blog for the tip.

Ain't Damnation Cute?


Check out the My Little Cthulhu figure I picked up last night at my Friendly Neighborhood Comic Shop (FNCS)! The little victims are petrified with mortal terror!

I wonder if an Arkham Asylum playset can be far behind?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Banana Theory

Recently, Nightline hosted a televised debate between a group of atheists on one side, and evangelical minister Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron on the other.

I never saw this program, but based on what I’ve read, the debate involved two sides deeply dug into their positions, one (the atheists) supporting evolutionary theory and the other (Comfort and Cameron) rejecting it outright despite oodles of hard data to the contrary.

In other words, the whole thing was a magnificent waste of time.

If I had to side with one or the other, however, it would be the evolutionary position. But this is not the point of this post; I'm not an atheist.

The point is illustrating how evangelicals like Ray Comfort, Kent Hovind, et al., simply do not understand (or ignore) basic principles of science in their rejection of evolution, and support of intelligent design.

Click here for an excellent example by a FSTDT submitter named Mark, who recently enjoyed an extended email debate with Ray Comfort on his lack of having done his homework in science class, a prime example being Ray often using a banana (which he calls "the Atheist's Nightmare") in pro-ID debates to illustrate how it's easy-to-peel stem is proof of God's hand in it's design. Yet the massive hole in Ray's great banana theory is that he neglects to mention that bananas today are the result of genetic manipulation by humans, and bear little resemblance to the original food (see below).

Anyhow, despite Ray’s polite demeanor, note his chronic inability to stay on point when Mark tosses little details like basic laws of physics at him.

Here’s a follow-up: click here for a clip of Ray Comfort’s vaunted banana theory, followed by a rebuttal version with little pesky details called facts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dies; GOP Panics

As is being reported by major news networks now, “Moral Majority” founder, the Reverend Jerry Falwell was found unconscious in his Virginia office this morning, and later pronounced dead (or “extremely sleepy”) at an area hospital.

Although I had nothing serious against Falwell or his bizarre, right-wing politics, if anything, the impact of his death on the Republican Party will be interesting in that it gives them one less person on the religious right to suck up to come election time.

I’ll bet Mitt Romney and John McCain are scrambling right now…but ten bucks says Bush has a front-row seat (fiddling with his I-Pod) at Falwell's funeral.

Note: Click here for an interesting piece on Falwell’s impact on American politics (or lack thereof) by Newsweek’s Johnny Alter.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Disc Golfing is Cool. No, I’m Serious. It is.

This past Saturday, I joined a small group in kid-friendly utopia Naperville, Illinois, to take on nine-hole disc golf course which I was able to par for several holes, only to spectacularly collapse on the final four.

Although I had played the course before, I learned again that in DG the wind is a constant nemesis. Even the most stable throw can be screwed up by a sudden cross-breeze, quickly bolloxing up what had been a good round. Still, it was a bright, sunny day so it’s hard to complain in either case.

As a disc golfer, I would classify myself as having average skills for a beginner, which is why I’m registering as such for an open tourney in Joliet on June 9th. The organizers promise prizes for the top 40% of finishers on a 23-hole course, which probably means I’ll clock in at the 41st percentile.

Oh, well. As long as it doesn’t rain, I’ll be happy as long as I don’t injure my wrist, or get attacked by troops of disc-snatching baboons.

Don’t tell me they aren’t out there lurking in the woods either….I know the truth, dammit…

In Which I Have My Number Retired

This is me last weekend in Cheshire, England, getting my jersey retired for Crewe Alexandra.

What a great day. Both fans and team management couldn’t have been more gracious, and I’ll always cherish their support.

“Today….I consider myself…the luckiest man…on the face of the earth.”

Note: Okay, I’m fudging. This is footballer Luke Varney, not me. I almost had you though, didn’t I?

And to my knowledge, no. Luke and I are not related.

Friday, May 11, 2007

To Hell With Batman...Or At Least This Version...

Not to go all activist on you, but word has it that Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s “All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder #5” is due on store shelves on May 16.

The reason I cite activism is that any comic collector with an ounce of self-respect will ignore this book--and any successive issues—due to its infernal lateness, not just of a month or so, but nearly a year.

Why the delay?

The scuttlebutt has Jim Lee having overwhelmed himself with too many commitments to keep up with illustrating “ASB,” but what makes me even angrier is that DC didn’t just fire him and assign another artist to the book.

After all, that would have made sense. But hey, wanna keep the fanboys happy, right?

Screw ‘em, I say! Screw ‘em all….

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Baby Boomers

Although I am not a parent myself (or at least not to any human kids), I’ve always found it odd how some white-bread, evangelical families seem to think having a maximum baby count is somehow a tribute to God. Or even stranger, that every sexual encounter between a well-scrubbed Christian man and wife must somehow aim for conception.

This isn’t something that irritates me, per se, as quite frankly, if a couple wants to have 26 kids or none, that’s their call.

Still, I found the following on Pandagon today, and couldn’t help laughing:

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Big Recap

Wow, I am both sunburned and well-rested; always a nice combination after coming off a vacation.

But here’s the rough breakdown of my activities out east: got in early on Thursday AM, observed lazy pandas at the National Zoo (I was told they’d dance for nickels or bamboo; an obvious lie by zoo staffers), toured the Capitol Rotunda (lavish, cluttered with statuary), had a nice dinner at Legal Sea Foods back in Virginia (nummy chow-dah), and happily crashed at my hotel.

Next day (this is Friday, stay with me now), I navigated up to Georgetown where I killed time at the GW Campus (very pleasant), and later met a cool local couple (B.J. & Sarah) who educated me on the horrors of Beltway-area real estate prices (as in $850K for a studio-style condo) before I checked out “Spidey 3” (fun, way too many sub-plots) at noonish.

Then drove up to Charm City where I sampled some genuine grog at the Admiral Fell Inn (tasted like weak cough syrup – pah!), got a second tattoo at the Baltimore Tattoo Museum on Eastern Avenue (thanks Dave), had dinner at Kooper’s (where I met a friendly Red Sox fan), and followed a neighborhood tour by local ghost-hunter Vince Wilson after dark.

The rest of the trip, capped off with a game at Camden Yards where I sat beside a cute, geeky Jersey girl named Kristen (who shared with me her devotion for all things Superman, and Cleveland Indians LF Jason Michaels), went as smoothly as I could ever ask.

I'll try to post my digital shots here soon.

It’s nice to be home, but I’m already looking forward to the big Comic Con in July out west.