Thursday, February 26, 2004
Words that we knew were coming...
Words that should frighten and enrage every working American who has planned on a retirement. Words that will hurt Americans physically unable to work and others collecting "survivor's benefits. Words associated with incumbent George Bush during an election year.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urges future Social Security cuts.
For our readers unaware of US Social Security, it's a supplemental income scheme that working Americans (and employers) pay into during their earning years. It's a model we've seen work for several generations and many Americans have expectations of their benefits: monthly retirement income after age 67, a burial stipend, and support mechanisms for the handicapped. Truthfully, it's not enough for people to live on, but it's better than the sharp stick in the eye proposed by the US government's pundit of purse strings ;^(
France wants Haiti's Aristide out
Wasn't it France that was so critical of the US wanting Iraq's Sadaam Hussein out?
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Minibuses in India
After two years in Chennai, especially riding my Bullet motorcycle, I observed a lot of minibuses. Hell, I was almost killed by a lot of minibuses. I saw twice capacity passengers hanging off the stoops and windows until the vehicle tilted 30 degrees. The black diesel belching from these monsters brought dusk half an hour earlier. It's understandable the following Cox News Service release caught my eye:
Overpacked public minibuses driven by seeming lunatic drivers at insane speeds were once emblematic of this country. Vehicles built to seat 14 were regularly crammed with 22 and more. Fares and routes fluctuated according to the market of the moment. The rattle-traps were driven over potholed roads at excessive speeds by drivers lacking licenses. Effective 01 FEB, the minibuses now have route numbers on them. Drivers and collectors wear a uniform, government badge, and have a clean police record. Drivers must be licensed and the minibus equipped with an automatic speed governor. Every passenger must have a seat belt.
Change can happen...at least as reported above in Kenya ;^)
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Only in India, ver. 3.0
On a tour in Dhanbad (Jharkhand state) , Sister Nirmala, successor to Mother Teresa, was robbed Saturday by dacoits (highway bandits). The police chief, Inspector-General Rajiv Kumar, said the two dozen thieves "were on a looting spree", stopping buses, cars and robbing people. My advice: hold out for the Pope (he travels with a nice car, clothes and jewelry) tho he's probably read Lonely Planet tour book warning that His Holiness avoid northeastern (tribal) India ;^(
Monday, February 23, 2004
Here we go again
US Marines landed today in Haiti.
leave the place and cancel their US Immigration status
give them no aid (economic, military or medical)
all future trade transactions are on a cash basis
discourage US citizens from visiting this particular AIDS center of the Caribbean
if the country declines further, chalk it up to a Darwin Award or a Cuba wanna-be.
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Queue up the Twilight Zone theme song
Mindful readers may recall the post below concerning the 1983 film Koyaanisqatsi that I was just introduced to this past week. You might also remember my post about reading the current bestseller The Da Vinci Code. As I turned page 126 last night:
...[for two millennia, the Catholics have instigated the] obliteration of the sacred feminine in modern life that had caused what the Hopi native Americans called koyanisquatsi -"life out of balance"- ...a plethora of misogynistic societies, and a growing disrespect foe Mother Earth.
Saturday, February 21, 2004
When you think of jerky, think of Gary!
Gary C really needs to TradeMark the slogan above for marketing his dried beef jerky snack. Known to polar explorers as "pemmican", this product is high in energy, low fat, light weight and has a great shelf life. Best wishes to Gary's Jerky.
Friday, February 20, 2004
Career breaker? (not)
To take the pressure off my post-op 12-pack abs, I've been assuming "the position" in my recliner while taking command of the USS Remote Control. As I surfed by Tom Hank's 1993 Academy Award performance in Philadelphia, I noticed his somewhat shy, homosexual lover and minor character was none other than ... A.B.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Blogging works, ver. 2
A friend visited today with a cheer basket and a DVD. Koyaanisqatsi is the Hopi word for "crazy life". No, it's not my autobiography, rather a documentary trilogy begun in 1983. Directed by Godfrey Reggio, the film is best described as a movie with no particular plot, tho as you watch it, you'll be
theorizing stabbing at interpretations. The photography is superb with nary a spoken word. The perfectly fit music is composed by Philip Glass (additional music and cameo in The Truman Show).
The extra features of the DVD went on to describe the director as starting his adulthood as a monk. Captivated, I websearched his bio and discovered that he's a giant in several ways.
** UPDATE **
eOnline suggests the original title was Stoner's Delight. I can dig it.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
I heard from a guy today who said he wouldn't normally call ;^)
And with the chance meeting of our great minds, we came to know that the success of NetFlix has spawned WantedList. Be sure to check the FAQs for US States and Zip Codes that think they're part of the Moral Majority.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
You'd think I was in the office supply biz...
with the 11 staples I have in me. The dressing came off this morning and the doctor says it's OK to be leaking orange serum.
Monday, February 16, 2004
Got out of bed for a DVD
Pretty easy, aren't I?
Open Range with Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, and Annette Bening. While Costner directs and has a lead role, it's Duvall who shines. I've been attracted to Bening since 1995's The American President, but she's lost something, including her cute, copper haircut. The film is a cowboy movie about revenge with a whole lot of gunfire (because of everyone's poor aim). Surprise, surprise: you can guess the love interest, but have to watch the movie to determine if they live happily ever after ;^)
Sunday, February 15, 2004
No Sunday newspaper
Only one friend called
The jewels have turned black & blue
My life has become wretched wearing a feminine pad after surgery!
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Ripped off again
I had a different anesthesiologist yesterday and like Thursday, there was nothing: no euphoria, no visuals, no memory. I did ask the surgeon if I said anything under the influence and he smartly replied: "Not much, just company secrets." He would be correct in his evaluation of not much ;^)
I'm currently doing my Rush Limbaugh imitation with Vicodin
Friday, February 13, 2004
Updating the library
Michael Crichton's Prey was a quick read due to the thrilling convergence of genetics, nano-technology and distributed intelligence. As usual, the author did excellent research as noted by his five page bibliography. This fiction is close enough to reality that we should be asking questions of big business and gubbermints.
On to The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. This is the second of the Robert Langdon character series after Angels & Demons.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
I used to think I was in a high tech biz...
now I have discovered anesthesia. Today's surgical cocktail was pretty impressive considering I don't remember the cocktail, let alone the scalpel. Before I go under again tomorrow, I'm going to ask the doctors what I might have said or done under the influence. The cloak & dagger community must have some great drugs ;^)
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Two days worth of adult sodium (salt) consumption, 5000mg, in each 45ml/1.5fl oz dose. How's my blood pressure after a double?
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Not in the State of Utah and apologies to the Mormons
** tip of the hat to Slurpee Slinger **
Gastroenterology Health Questionnire
12. Do you have any religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that would affect your care?
If yes, explain: I believe the nurse should have her ass exposed like mine!
13. Do you have a history of being a victim of violence?
Would you like a referral? No, an enterologist is supposed to "violate" me.
Driver's name? Dale Earnhardt.
After sedation, you must have a responsible adult drive you home. You can take a taxi if you have a responsible adult escort you. We do not consider the taxi driver your escort. Taking a bus home is not acceptable.
** ViaHealth form 63097 Rev.11/03 **
Monday, February 09, 2004
And the Oscar trail came to a clearing...
where I saw Lost in Translation. Apparently, Bill Murray was director Sofia Coppola's only choice and he not only saw the light, but started filming without a contract. The Coppola name does warrent faith.
The film often seems like a campy, home-made movie. It has low budget appeal. It has an unseeming man and a stunning Scarlett Johansson finding a part of themselves lost in the mundane. Many reviews find their relationship platonic. I say: not sexual, but far from innocence. Their attraction, their warmth, draws you in and plays your heart in their soul-searching comfort.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
The Oscar Trail
It can be a "dark" trail, cine noir. This weekend, I went down that path twice.
Mystic River can be summed in lead Sean Penn's own words: "This film deals with incredible pain." Penn does pain well, so I appreciated the balance of Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon.
Monster was horrifying for me. I found myself shaking my head and mumbling "no" at the depravity. I hardly recognized Charlize Theron behind her transformation and opinion has her winning Best Actress for taking her beauty to such an ugly depth. It makes no sense that the makeup crew wasn't nominated for an Oscar.
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Happy Birthday to Cutie Pie
Friday, February 06, 2004
Surprise, surprise! The finger salute below is also meant for Pakistan
Pakistan's General Musharraf was reported earlier this week as taking a firm stance against nuclear technologies released by principal Paki scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. Yesterday, Puppet-to-the-Military Musharraf pardoned the extremely errant scientist. Damn, the General will require a chiropractor after that backflip! The Pakis are supposed allies of the US, yet Supreme Commander George Bush II needs to take a close look at the yellow
1. General Mush indicates he will not give investigation documents to international nuclear monitors
2. Beyond Khan, the General will not order independent investigation of the Paki Army officers involved
3. The straw puppet will not allow UN supervision of Paki nuclear weapons.
Poor marks, Mein Herr! If American politicians give you the F-16 fighter jets, paint a big "L" (Loser) on our foreheads.
Repressed feelings by Slurpee Slinger
Thursday, February 05, 2004
New York vs. South Carolina
NY is losing manufacturing jobs. Forget blaming foreign labor in Mexico or China, focus on South Carolina. In the last 27 years, NY has lost 44% of its manufacturing jobs, five times the national average. South Carolina is growing for a number of reasons:
1. SC's cost of doing business is 5% below the national norm. NY is 8.5% above and that's a 13.5% differential.
2. SC has a tax burden of 10% while NY is at 12.3%. The difference may seem insignificant, but NY has the nation's 2nd highest rank while SC is 30th.
3. SC has 2% of the work force in unions while NY has 29%.
And then there's Winter ;^(
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Oral restraints for obesity?
From our local newspaper today, the Democrat and Chronicle, I'll paraphrase a Letter to the Editor:
In the US, $75 billion was spent last year on medical expenses related to obesity. Half the bill was burdened on [working] taxpayers who bore the cost of Medicare [elderly] and Medicaid [unemployed] social welfare schemes.
In most US States, law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets; otherwise fools would have a higher rate of injuries requiring a higher amount of tax dollars for medical expenses.
As a taxpayer and motorcyclist, I [the author] suggest that people who are so piteously incapable of self-restraint be required by law to wear a muzzle to limit their food intake.
Amy S. Warda, Rochester, NY
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Back on 04 JAN, ChaosZone had linked a New York Times article exposing the web of rogue nuclear programs all leading back to Pakistan's Khan Research Laboratory. Someone even posted the cover of that lab's sales brochure offering specialized equipment to refine nuclear explosives.
On Sunday, President Musharraf and the Pakistani gubbermint acted like allies of peace by removing Abdul Qadeer Khan, founder of the Paki nuclear weapons program, from his position advising Pakistan's Prime Minister. Khan, once a national hero, three other scientists, and three military officers are being investigated for sharing nuclear technology with Iran, Libya, and other Axis of Evil. Musharraf will be making a televised address this Thursday on the subject.
The Pakistani President appears to be doing his part, but in the greater scheme of history, remember that he still wants US F-16 fighter jets denied by US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Monday, February 02, 2004
What was with that Super Bowl half-time show?
Old hip-hop, numerous erectile disfunction potions, and Justin Timberlake forcibly exposing Janet Jackson's right breast during a dancing duet.
Mike L (who throws a delicious party with his wife Karen) noted that it may be an attempt to "normalize America". Get middle to upper class spending power in tune with the music, the dance, the sexuality, and the adverts. After all, it won't be long before P Diddy is accepted elevator music. While I'm occasionally entertained by Kid Rock's crassness, I don't think it's going to influence Cialis purchases in my parent's Florida retirement community.
I'm a little confused about the message sent out by the Jackson-Timberlake tango. I saw it and Karen L excellently operated the TiVo to let our party see it again. It didn't seem accidental as claimed in this morning's press. The fabric over her bountiful bosom ripped away like it was a planned, Velcro patch. We believe we saw a pastie, a
small nipple covering designed for strippers who know the legal limits of exposure. So: has this style of dancing, this relationship between men and women been legitimatized? Is this the norm?
** UPDATE **
Slurpee Slinger is on top of this (he wishes) and notes in the Comments a Drudge Report with full magnification.
Sunday, February 01, 2004
Another record for Rochester, NY weather
Snowiest January ever: 61.3 inches of the white stuff.
(and just 3.5 inches short of the snowiest month ever: FEB 1958)