Monday, March 29, 2004

Gay Marriage Opponents' Worst Slippery Slope Nightmares Come True.

The lucky couple.

Collinsville, OK - Defenders of so-called traditional marriage were horrified this week upon learning of
Collinsville resident David Schuster's intent to marry his cat. Schuster, a machinist, has applied for a
marriage license and on it, names his cat, His Honourable, Herr Doctor, Lord Fisslebottom, as the "other

Schuster, speaking with reporters, stated, "I love my cat. I want to spend the rest of my life with him.
I just couldn't imagine life without Fisslebottom. I feel that if we are letting the gays marry, then
Fisslebottom and I should be able to tie the knot. It's my constitutional right."

Collinsville mayor Mike Sirmon, outraged by the case, has handcuffed himself to the courthouse door.
Sirmon, speaking through a bullhorn echoed the concerns of so-called marriage traditionalists nationwide,
"First they take God out of our schools and our pledges, they open this country up to the Mexican, and
now this. Well my friends, who didn't expect this?"

PETA spokesmen, Eric Ritchey, in a press conference Friday told reporters that Lord Fisslebottom has
the same rights as any American citizen. "So we deny rights to Americans just because they have more
legs then others? What's next? Concentration camps."

Currently the issue is being appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Housekeeping Notes.

I was surprised to notice Experts Exchange is now a for-pay site. I have therefore unlinked it from my blog. Thanks for the memories guys.

Not having patched one of my systems in a while (shame, shame, shame), I headed out to Linux Security. I then realized that I should be linking to it. So I have.

It's a great site. Authoritative, accurate, intuitive, and concise. If you need to patch your system or stay up-to-date on issues or advisories, you can either head to your distro's site or head to a one-stop shop: Linux Security.

Capt. James Yee: Unlucky Bloke.

In an article titled, "Absolving suspect not so newsworthy," L.A. Chung critiques the guilty-until-proven-innocent treatment of James Yee.

No real shocker here. Pretty standard really.

My Neighbors are Nutcases

Subtitle: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the two parties.

Head over to Fundrace and see who, from any area, gave what to which candidate.

I learned that my neighbors are fucking nuts. I'll be sure to bring this up at the next neighborhood association meeting.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Arab World Believes U.S. One-Sided Regarding Israel.

But why?

Oh...yeah....the consistent use of the veto in the U.N. and a litany of other things that elevate Israel to a level above international law.

Here is another example.

To be balanced, here is what Haaretz says about the whole thing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Shameless Product Endorsements.

Hell, why not? It's my blog and I can do what I want!

First, let's start with the finest bike chain lubricant on the planet: Tri-Flow. Although only for moderately serious to insanely dedicated cyclists, Tri-Flow is far superior to what I had been previously using - White Lightening. I think the whole issue can be summarized by comparing wax vs. Teflon (Tri-Flow using Teflon.) I have noticed a huge difference in performance since I switched - thanks for the advice JB. Sorry I didn't listen last season.

Next, I feel compelled to put in a good word for my friends at Anita's Kitchen in Troy. As far as South Eastern Michigan goes, Anita's has the best Middle Eastern grub around. If you are feeling unadventurous, they can whip you up a hamburger. With a vegetarian-friendly menu, I've made of home of Anita's over the last 4 years or so. If you are in the neighborhood, drop by.

If you are a fan of playing hockey then my next endorsement if for you. If not, skip this next paragraph.

I just traded my Nike's in for a new pair of CCM 652s. Having skated for a few months on these I believe I'm ready to rule. And the judgment is favourable! The 652s are moderately priced ($200) but provide many of the benefits of your top-of-the-line skate. A stiff boot, comfortable tongue, and all-around great fit makes these skates a fine product and good bargain. The only small problem with these skates is the fact that they take about 12+ hours to dry out. If you play as infrequently as I do (4 or 5 times per month and on the ice 1.5 times per week) then it won't be an issue.

Finally, we come to the object of my wrath for the last 3 years: Cannondale bicycles. With the addition of new product lines and following last year's bankruptcy, Cannondale has taken all of the customer complaints with their X/C racing line and made good on them. Cannondale, has added Mavic wheels, Shimano components (XC derailleurs - front and back!), and a carbon fiber stay. They ditched Magura as their brake manufacturer which was a HUGE complaint of mine. Nevermind the fact that they have dropped to around 25 pounds - give or take. The biggest change comes in the placement of the cables. Rather then placing them near the bottom bracket, Cannondale moved the cables to the top tube. Placed on the top tube, the cables are less prone to gobble up all the sand on the trail - thus leading to fewer hours of maintenance.

While I haven't purchased this year's model (yet?!), I've ridden it and loved it. Nicely done Cannondale. You may keep me as a customer yet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Al-Jazeera Article on Iraqi Resentment.

No one can deny that many Iraqis have been happy to see Saddam Hussein removed from power by the US-led coalition last year. It is also probably true that most Iraqis were willing to give occupation forces the benefit of the doubt in the first few months after invasion. But now that the bitter reality of occupation has ceased to be a novelty, it appears patience with US forces is running thin. Barely tolerated as it is, if the Americans stick around for too long, the resentment will only grow.

Read here. Interesting but I'm not jumping to any conclusions yet.

Journalism: The New "Lawyers?"

I had a buddy who used to say things like, "You know, brown is the new black," or "I'm telling you, Mercedes is the new BMW." In that spirit, I would like to float the theory that journalists are the new lawyers.

Everyone has heard the jokes, the blame, the characterizations of lawyers as ambulance chasers. But if we say that about an entire profession based on, in many cases, urban legend, what should we say of journalists?

The latest case of journalistic deception involves Jim Kelley. Seems that Mr. Kelley had a little trouble with the facts. USA Today ran this article about their own reporter. Of course, you can do a Google search and get plenty of documentation.

These charges are serious for this profession. But I submit that this is a much larger issue. These journalists shape thought and public opinion - for better or worse. Their work is submitted into congressional record - for better or worse. They have a direct effect on a nation going to war - for better or worse.

Perhaps we should change the old standard joke to this: What does a sperm cell and a journalist have in common? Both have about a 1 and 10 million chance of being a human being.

Steinbeck's Travel to the Sea of Cortez Re-enacted.

I nice article and an even nicer story about the recreation over at the San Jose Mercury News. The "Log from the Sea of Cortez" was an account of John Steinbeck and biologist Ed Ricketts' journey to gather samples of shoreline species. In the meantime, the travelers documented thoughts on many of life questions like, "how California got its name, whether there are any true aphrodisiacs and why laziness might be valuable, to name a few."

Says Jon Christensen, an advocate and fundraiser for the project, ``I'm not Steinbeck, and I'm not going to try to re-create Steinbeck,'' he said. ``We're in a different time, and it's interesting to look at it through new eyes, and discover what we can discover.'' Couldn't have said it better myself.

I recommend the book and this article.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Schumacher Wins in Malaysia.

Unless you were watching another race then I was, Michael Schumacher was simply untouchable in Malaysia "yesterday" at the Malaysia Grand Prix.

The Williams team continues to either blow up or pile into each other. McLaren seems less then smooth.

Let's just hope everything is straightened out - as in parity - when they get to Montreal and Indy (look for Ober in the stands.)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Debt Advice from Suze Orman.

Suze Orman is a financial pundit. Some like her - some don't.

I decided to post this little article on debt because I despise it (debt, not the article.) Orman's advice on her show or in her columns usually addresses debt and how to unburden yourself from it. I have become almost fanatical about avoiding financing in the last few years and Orman's articles and guidance has played, at least, a small part in that.

Hope this is useful or helpful. Remember: "To the debtor you will be a slave."

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The World of David Frum: A Tad Different from Ours.

This diary entry over at The National Review states:

Why acquiesce in the idea that nothing discreditable happened? Why let opponents of the Iraq war get away with presenting themselves as tough on terror, when these latest opponents owe their jobs to the terrorists?

Read for yourself. If I understand correctly, Frum says, "Iraq = war on terror. Democratic shift of voters in the face of distortions regarding war on terror vis-a-vis Iraq (albeit at the 11th hour) = no commitment to war on terror. Pull out of troops in Iraq =pulll out of war on terror."


Monday, March 15, 2004

Concerned Scientists Possibly Not So Concerned with Evidence?

From Spinsanity:

But while there are a number of serious allegations in the report, journalists have been giving more credence to some of the charges than they deserve simply because of the pedigree of the signers.

Read more here.

In fairness, I will say that I read all or most of the content that I discuss on this site. I have not read the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Too damn busy.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Kerry: Trying Hard to Secure My Vote.

"...the most crooked ... lying group I've ever seen."

If Kerry keeps talking like this, I may vote for him after all. I can't say I disagree with him.

Do You Hate Radio Like Me?

I haven't listened to non-NPR radio in probably 4 or 5 years. It is a truly wonderful feeling. I have the privledge of listening to my Led Zepplin cds and not saying, "God, I just heard this 6 times this week." I am happily oblivious to pop culture. How oblivious? I have never heard "Hey Ya" on the radio. I have never heard a Brittany Spears song on the airwaves. I had no clue who Jessica Simpson was until a few weeks ago. See how happy I am?

"But Ober, what the hell do you listen to and how do you know what is out there?" Well I would say, friends, Pitchfork, record store (I still call it the "record store") peeps, and this.

3WK offers a free stream of classic and new music. Take a listen. If you like it enough please be sure to subscribe.

Be a pompous jackass musical snob like me! Don't hesitate.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

More of the Same....More of the Same....

Do I think Michael Schumacher is a great driver? Yes. One of the best - ever? Yes. Is the Ferrari team great? Yes.

But I'm tired of them and their winning ways. How 'bout some parody huh? Why not just be like NASCAR and change the rules every week? (I kid, of course.)

Looks like I'm going to be really tired this season.

Go McLaren!

Friday, March 05, 2004

99.99% of High School Students Can't Read Says New Report.

I was stunned. I thought we were making such fantastic progress. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Read more here.

In the mean time, if you can't read the output below, you are in the vast majority of the ignorant.


By My Count: Home Run Kings.

Roger Maris 61*
George Herman "Babe" Ruth jr. 60

* denotes 163 game season.

If you're wondering why I'm posting this, then you aren't reading the Sports page.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Bush and Clear Channel Correlations and Howard Stern Too!

Check out this interesting article over at Salon. Draws a line between the Bush administration, Daddy Bush, and Clear Channel.

Oh yeah, and the article talks about Howard Stern too.

Here's a snip:

The two men helped make each other very wealthy during the 1990s. When Bush was governor of Texas he privatized the financial assets of the University of Texas, all $13 billion worth, rolled them into a single entity, and placed it under the control of Hicks, who, behind closed doors, doled out investment deals to longtime Bush family political contributors. In 1998, Hicks turned around and bought the Texas Rangers from a group of investors that included Bush; Bush pocketed $15 million off his initial investment of $605,000, most of which was borrowed.

The Party Line on the Mangling of The Simpsons.

Have you ever wondered why your local station cuts portions of The Simpsons out? Ever notice how your favourite 30-second snippet of dialogue doesn't appear in syndication?

My friend Rusty, from the worst Fox affiliate of them all - Fox 59 WXIN - tells me that 20th Century Fox does it.
(Of course saying the worst Fox affiliate is like saying, "The worst Nazi" or "The worst case of Anal sores.") Either way, as I have traveled around this fine TV nation of ours, I've noticed each station that shows The Simpsons has its own way of butchering the show.

Below, Rusty gives Ober the proverbial stiff arm but at least answers one of my questions. Enjoy:


From captain0ber@yahoo.com

Perhaps you should consider actually airing ALL of The Simpsons. I'm sick
and tired of hearing about your other programming dubbed over the episode.
Tonight's episode was a perfect example. During the credits you cut the sound on The Simpsons
so you could talk about a morning show I have no intention of ever watching.
I'm also tired of the editing that goes on with The Simpsons. 30-second
portions are being cut out section by section. I
know it. Other fans know it. We aren't happy about it. You continue to
sacrifice portions of the show, 30 seconds at a time. I'm less then pleased.

-- "Rusty" wrote:
Dear Ober,

Thank you for you interest in WXIN-TV Fox 59 and our
programming. Fox 59 does not edit the content of "The Simpsons." We air
each and every episode in the same format that we receive it in from the
distributor, 20th Century Television.

Thank you for watching.

Best Regards,
WXIN Programming

Thanks for the response. So the distributor takes portions out? That is something I didn't know.
I'll pass that along to my friends and other fans of the show. However, during last nights'
episode of The Simpsons,as the credits ran on the 6:00 episode,
you placed the credits in a window on the right, while at the same
time the opening credits for the 6:30 episode ran in the left window.
I'm guessing you use the time that you save for advertising.
During the 6:30 episode you ran a trailer for your morning show in the left
window while the episode ran in the right window. The logic, I would guess, is
that it is only the credits and nothing pertinent to the show would be in that space.
That is incorrect. So why do you do that?

Thanks again for your time,


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Louisiana Al-Qaeda Agent Wrecks Havoc! USA PATRIOT Act Saves Nation!

The hard working cogs in the wheels of justice have saved us again. Al-Qaeda agent David Jeansonne was recently on the receiving end of a little thing called justice.

Read more here and learn how this evil-doer and his terrorist scheme was foiled by the FBI.

Seems that Mr. Jeansonne thought he would bring freedom-lovers to their knees by getting unwitting users to run a script on their MSN TVs. The script changed the ISP dial-up number to 9-1-1. This attack effected 20-some users. Hopefully our great nation will be able to recover.

God bless us all.

Monday, March 01, 2004

The Rich Get Richer.

In what will most likely be the last season for the NHL, as we know it, the Wings have decided to spit in everyone's eye as a farewell present.

Last night the rib kicking started as newest Red Wing, Robert "I'm leading in goals and dreamy black hair" Lang notched 3 points on 3 assists. To top it all off, Ober's least favourite team, The Flyers, were on the receiving end of the ass kicking (although it was a pretty good game.)

You do the math. Start here. ...and of course you should realize that Darian "I'm from Sterling Heights" Hatcher isn't even playing yet. Yikes!

Google: Also for the Lazy Reporter.

I got a kick out of this editorial over at the monitor.

Sad to say, plugging Google has become almost a telltale sign of sloppy reporting, a hack's version of a Rolodex. Journalists should be sourcing hard statistics, not search-engine evidence, to bolster their stories.

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