August 29, 2007

From My Out of Office Email

Click for Embiggen

(My official birthday is Monday, actually.)

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Gay Sex in the Bathroom

By now you had to have heard about Senator Craig's alleged attempt to solicit sex from a police officer in an airport restroom.

If his voting record is any indication, Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is a contemptible person.

Abortions? Against them.
Farm Subsidies? Yes, please.
Spending lots of money? Oh hells yeah.
NEA funding? Isn't that the same as spending money?
Freedom of speech? No way!
Freedom of person and property? Can't have that!
Gay marriage? They'll just marry ducks! No! No! No!

Anyway, I didn't start this post to rant about one legislator's despicable, freedom-hating tendencies. I want to talk about "allegedly."

We're assuming that the officer's reporting of the events is entirely factual.

What conclusion should we draw?

This is one of those cases where I think many people could be convinced (and that seems to be what Senator Craig is counting on) that although his behavior in the restroom was strange (A wide stance in the toilet? What the hell? Whatever, dude.) it doesn't necessarily mean that he was soliciting sex because he never actually said, "Hey, dude. Let's have sex in this here airport restroom."

There's a saying. "If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, it's a duck."

Basically, Senator Craig's behavior was consistent with that of a person soliciting sex in the restroom. There was absolutely no question in the mind of the police office who a) is kinda cute and b) has been solicited for sex many times, that Senator Craig was coming to him for sex.

"Nice work if you can get it. If you can get it, won't you tell me how?"

Senator Craig's current position seems to be that the police officer is a big, fat liar. Nice move.

My conflict here is the burden of proof for criminal cases. This pushes our discussion into the rather specific realm of legal philosophy.

I believe that Senator Craig was trying to solicit sex from that policeman. All of the facts I have support that conclusion, but what I am not sure if that is sufficient to warrant criminal prosecution.

I am very wary of the government and its power to use force against criminals. I want to be absolutely sure that someone is a criminal before they get sent to jail.

In this case, I inclined against thinking that foot-to-foot contact and some hand gestures are really sufficient reason to charge the man with disorderly conduct.

A typical statutory definition of disorderly conduct, in this case Indiana's, defines the offense in this way:

A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:

(1) engages in fighting or in tumultuous conduct;
(2) makes unreasonable noise and continues to do so after being asked to stop; or
(3) disrupts a lawful assembly of persons;

I guess touching someone's foot with gentle caressing with your own foot is kind of disruptive. I suppose it's technically assault on another person. But really.

The real story in all of this isn't whether or not what Senator Craig did is criminal but in light of his history of denying rights to gay people whether or not he enjoys same sex sodomy. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care, but given his political tendencies, his sexual ones become a little more interesting.

I wonder if the court will make him demonstrate this wide stance he uses in the toilet.

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Why I Need Mister Bookworm Around

Yesterday, my boss ordered pizza for us because he trapped us in a long meeting and the pizzas had irregular names, like one of them was "Florentine" and another was the "Marguerite." Well, someone said, "I'd like some of the Bianca."

I hate that pizza place and I was complaining about it and so I said, "I'd rather some of the Kate."

Crickets. People looked at me with confuzzled expressions.

"Anyone with me on this? Bianca. Kate. Taming of the Shrew? Anyone? What about Ten Things I Hate About You? Oooookaaaaayyyy..."

Then, last night at the client dinner, some of the guys in the room were complaining that our dining room didn't have any television sets. I pointed out that even still we had a delightful ficus tree. They countered asking if the tree could give us the score.

I laughed and said, "This isn't The Giving Tree."

Again with the puzzled looks.

Shakespeare to Silverstein and no hits.

I usually attribute these things to some unexpected free associations in my mind, but I know that Mister Bookworm would have understood the references at the time without me having to explain. I could have even quoted lyrics from The Clash, made references to Guy Fawkes, Atilla, and Eurydice, and then alluded to Janice Dickenson's apparent insanity and he would have understood it all.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Forward this image to your friends from Thrillist!

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August 28, 2007

A Compliment

This evening, I attended a dinner with clients and creative agency. The food was good. The drinks were free. The conversation was very entertaining. I had a lot more fun than I expected.

One of my coworkers sat down next to me. She's a nice, young lady. I don't really talk to her much in the office; there really isn't much reason.

Well, she sat next to me and only a few minutes after sitting down, she caught my attention for a conversation. She said, "I've been meaning to ask you. Did you go see a personal stylist?"


"Like, I just see you every day and you have such nice outfits and I think maybe you might have a personal shopper or a stylist or something."

"Oh. Well, that's very nice of you to say, but no, I don't have a stylist or anything. I just pick out whatever I feel like wearing in the morning."

Really. Very flattering but also je ne sais quoi... aaaaaawkward.

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9/11 Conspiracies

I was able to DVR part of the History Channel's 9/11 Conspiracies show that aired twice this weekend.

They had several conspiracy lunatics on including those guys from Loose Change. They also had the guys from Popular Mechanics.

It was sort of interesting, but I've read the Popular Mechanics book and I already think the conspiracy theorists are idiotic and possibly insane. The show was mostly about how conspiracy theorists are, well, idiotic and possibly insane. So, you know.

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Science Lesson

Total lunar eclipses are hard to see when the sun is coming up at the same time. They're also distinctly less dramatic when they don't leave the world awash in blood red moonlight.

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August 27, 2007

Condescension to the Highest?

I wonder if Christians ever worry that God is going to get pissed off with them for their prayerful presumption. I mean, if you're talking to someone who knows everything and you proceed to list a bunch of things that you either want or that need to be resolved in your life, wouldn't you expect them to ask you to stop wasting their time with all that?

Really, I would think that if God knows everything and can do anything, if you're going to pray to him, it should just be a long list of why you like him so much and why he's so much better than you. Yes, he knows these things, but it's already been well-established that he has a fragile self-esteem and never tires of being praised.

Humble yourself before the lord and praise him. Right?

Just a thought.

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Newsflash: New York Times Reports the Obvious

I posted this video before:

It's hilarious. It's also an OBVIOUS satire. Of course, I couldn't possibly have known that without the help of the New York Times.

NYT: BET Says Cartoon Was Just a Satire

“It’s meant to be very satirical, and in a real way kind of mimics and mocks the current state of hip-hop and hip-hop videos,” said Denys Cowan, senior vice president of animation for BET. He said the video was not part of any literacy campaign or “Schoolhouse Rock” alternative, but was intended for BET’s demographic of 18- to 34-year-olds.

Opinion online has been divided. Someone who posted the video on YouTube praised its “positive message” and “social satire,” while another anonymous user uploaded it under the title, “BET racist rap?”

I can only shake my head. For those unfamiliar with the form and function of satire, several online resources are available to you. But, why spend your time with ivory tower pursuits like that when there's a perfect solution for stopping world hunger that the global mega-corporations don't want us to know about?

Act now! Read a book!

Much thanks to Mister Bookworm for the NYT link.

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Crazy Week

At the end of this week, I'm heading to Miami with some friends for my birthday celebration. It's going to be a nice, long weekend full of sand, sun, surf, and mojitos. I don't like sand, but everything else should be AWESOME, so I am really looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I have a bunch of things I have to do this week to get prepared for it, the least of which is to figure out what to pack.

Blogging may be light this week and non-existent starting on Thursday, but I'll try to remember to let you know how everything goes.

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August 25, 2007

Regulating Magic

I'm a little late in posting this. Diana posted a link to this MSN article that has reported that China has made a law forbidding reincarnation without a permit.

MSN: BeliefWatch: Reincarnate

Aug. 20-27, 2007 issue - In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation." But beyond the irony lies China's true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region's Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country. By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

No, seriously.

Apparently, if you're going to be reincarnated, you have to apply for a permit. What I don't understand is what they think happens to a person if they don't apply for a permit, but they die.

My understanding of Tibetan Buddhism is very limited, so I might get some of this wrong, but my understanding is that the "final" stage of reincarnation is when a soul rejoins the universal soul. I have the idea that from time to time souls actually elect to leave the universal soul as well to start the process all over again because there's some kind of value in relearning enlightenment.

So, basically, there really isn't a purgatory for them. You just die and then you either take the next step forward, the next step back, or you do over the current step all determined by the sort of karma you've earned.

Obviously, I don't subscribe to any of this; I classify it with all other forms of mysticism. But if there's a law about it, someone has to have thought about this.

I say that, but I know it's not true. The Chinese government isn't honestly considering the logistics of reincarnation. They don't even think it's true. The article explains the political motivation behind this new law.

I think this speaks volumes about the ideological nature of the Chinese government. If they think it's false, then why do they want to regulate anything about it? Because the free application of one's mind -- even in adopting false ideas -- presents a threat to their power-mongering.

The nature of the Chinese government is well-known to the entire world, so I don't really need to prattle on about it here, but I can't help it.

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I got a little bit of comment spam over the past couple of days and had to close comments on some posts.

If you wanted to comment on those, sorry.

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August 24, 2007

Enough is Enough

I know. I blog about my butt and pooping entirely too much, but these are the things that occupy my mind during moments of silent reflection.

Last night, I went to Eckerd to get some soluble fiber to help raise my good cholesterols, but every bottle I picked up described soluble fiber as a laxative and digestive "bulk." I realize that fiber is bulk and it will help your BMs, but if there is one thing I do not need in my life right now it is a laxative.

Well, and also a sharp stick in the eye. I don't need that, either.

So, I opted for some fish oil capsules instead. Apparently, fish oil sucks as an option for reducing our "addiction" to foreign oil, but it can help raise your good cholesterol.

Fish oil capsules are HUGE. They're like the size of my fist. And you have to take two of them. I look like a snake that ate a couple of basketballs or something.

I better have HDL coming out of my... ears, when next year's check up comes around

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August 23, 2007

Let's Get Physical! Physical!

I had my annual check up the other day with a new doctor.

I hated my first doctor I had here in New York. He was an hour late for my appointment, which was a real problem because my appointment was his first of the day and I had to sit on the floor in the hall of his office building while I waited for someone to show up. Then, the office was chaotic and he was a pushy person.

He wanted to put me on blood pressure medicine after seeing me once when I was pissed off.

Anyway, I don't have high blood pressure and I now have a new doctor.

He's really cool. His office is very nice and he is very friendly. He has a nice Irish lady in the front of the office who helps people. I like her. The whole office is very clean and that's good for a doctor's office. (I can't say the same for that first doctor.)

And so I had my check up and it was good. They even gave me an EKG, which I'd never had before.

My heart is fine, though. I knew that. Sometimes doctors wonder if it isn't because I had scarlet fever as a kid and that sometimes hurts your heart.

Well, he called me on the telephone today and told me that my blood test results came back.

My overall cholesterol is 136, which he says is good because anything under 200 is alleged to be good.

My bad cholesterol (LDL) is fine, he said, but my good cholesterol (HDL) is low. I don't know how low, but he said I should exercise more. Twice he said that, actually. I don't have time for that, so I have to figure out how to drill for oil on a fish and/or get more fiber.

Since I always worry about not having enough fiber (I'm slightly paranoid about my prostate and all the goings on of my butt. This is largely because I can't see it. It demands a lot of attention on pretty much a daily basis and that kind of scares me, so I do everything I can to keep it happy.) I'm going to concentrate on the fiber part. Maybe I could get some powder and mix it in with the shake I drink for breakfast.

He ALSO told me that I do not have Hepatitis A, B or C. He confirmed that I am immune to Hep A & B, too. (I also go get inoculated for things because I love the idea of being immune to diseases. I wish I could get inoculated against poisons, too, but I don't have the patience or balls to eat a little bit of ricin every day just in case the terrorists try to poison the shake I drink in the morning.) And I don't have chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, or Lyme Disease. One of these things is not like the other, but I don't have any of them.

I THINK he also meant that I don't have HIV, but he didn't say that, so I'm going to give him a couple more days and then call just to make sure. They don't usually give HIV test results over the phone, though, so probably he didn't mean that. I'll give him a couple of days and see if I should come by.

Anyway, your blogger host here is in fine physical condition.

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OBloggers Carnival #6

Rational Jenn is hosting the OBloggers Carnival this week!

First, we have Flibbert presents You Sold It, You're To Blame posted at Flibbertigibbet, which is a brief discussion of how China's shoddy businessmen are giving the powermongers in our own government an excuse to poach more freedom.

joetab24 presents A Defense of Abortion posted at My Thoughts. His defense of abortion identifies the core reason the right to choose ought to exist.

Jason presents What Causes Sexual Desire? posted at Erosophia. This is the first part of a two part essay analyzing the nature of sexual attraction and the role philosophy plays in this process.

Dan Edge presents The Psycho-Epistemology of Sexuality, Part VI posted at The Edge of Reason. This is part 6 of a 6-part essay on The Psycho-Epistemology of Sexuality.

Myrhaf presents The Defining Premise posted at Myrhaf. I really enjoyed reading this novel approach to understanding the difference between liberals and conservatives.

To wrap up the great posts this week, Kim presents Are You Ready for Some Sex? posted at Kim's Play Place. This is a humorous look at understanding when it was OK to have sex in the Middle Ages. Kim writes, "It is much more complicated than you might think--the link includes a flow chart. Going to the link will allow you to see an enlarged version of the chart!"

It looks like the theme was SEX! No one told me, though.

Click over to Jenn's place and check it all out!

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I started a new book the other day, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.

I only really read on the subway when I don't have company, so I usually only get 20 pages or so done each day. At this moment, I'm not even 100 pages into the tale, but --

BUT! I am so loving it!

It's so much fun! The characters are cute, the descriptions are all vivid, poetic, and succinct. Miss Willig demonstrates a real playfulness in tone and diction that I really thoroughly enjoy.

Buddhista recommended this book and its sequel to me and I am very happy that I bought them both on the spot. I am only sorry at the moment of having waited so long to start them. And now that I looked them up on Amazon, I've found that there is a third book in the series! I do so hope that the entire book and the others live up to the expectations set in the first 63 pages of this one!

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Not an Improvement

You guys are terrible. I gave you book, movie, and television reviews and you just had to call up some foreigners and get them to look at my website. Well, I went and looked at the map today and look at what I found:

Tired of shemales?

First of all, South America is still not representing. I am, of course, still blaming Hugo Chavez for this.

Second, you managed to chase off my Australians.

AND you chased away that guy in Egypt who likes shemales. Maybe he just got tired or dehydrated or something.

Strangely, you did manage to get a South African, a Malaysian, and someone in Singapore who all want to look at my belly.

I gotta say that even though our Western Yerpeen friends are making a solid show of things, overall this is not an improvement. Look at your traffic over the last seven days:


Not really all that impressive, I must say, but you're still learning. I mean, I didn't put this traffic thingie on my site until sometime in June, so you're still getting used to being measured on this.

120 visits per day is totally within your reach. Over the last 30 days, you've done it 10 times and for 20 of the last 30 days you had 100 visits per day.

One of the web pages that I made for one of my customers that allows people to sign up to receive spam emails gets about 130 people a day. That's 130 people signing up to get more spam. Every day!

I'd like to think that you like my blog better than spam, so know you can do it. You just have to try.

Update: I have rushed to judgment. I just looked at my overall stats and you guys have an average of 122 visits every day. Good job! Now, you need to aim for an average of 150 visits. It's a stretch, but I believe in you!

I will even try to post more pictures of shemales for that guy in Egypt.

Update 2: Some person in the Australian government just stopped by to look at what I thought about Moon Dog Acre Shiraz. (Hated it at first. Tried it again but wasn't really impressed.)

Update 3: I just got a visitor from the Netherlands and I realized that my Yerpeens are all interested in song lyrics or shemales. *sigh*

Update 4: Scotty, is that you in Kalamazoo?

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That Reminds Me...

My mom is a fun lady. We're a lot alike, so it's really hard not to be amused by some of her antics.

Well, Diana's post about Cirque de Soleil reminds me: my mom mispronounces things.

I mispronounce things, too, because a lot of the things I know I only ever read or say in my head. But when I mispronounce things out loud, I think I say all the letters in something close to the right order. My mom doesn't really.

I own a house in Georgia near a town called Commerce. My mom always calls the town "Com-ress." This puzzles me because "Commerce" is a word that she knows in addition to being the town's name. Its pronunciation is standard and clear. "Com-ress" is just awkward.

But about Cirque de Soleil. My mom pronounces this "Sirk-olay." My understanding of the proper pronunciation is that it's "sirk du solay" with some little stops between the words. My mom puts no stops at all and drops lots of the sounds. sirkolay sirkolay sirkolay

I love it.

No matter how many times I repeat the words back to her with the right pronunciation, she insists on saying it wrong. I think she knows, but I can't be sure.

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August 22, 2007

I'm Not a Republican

I just wanted to state that for the record.

It seems like people on the left and the population in general often assume that if you want to nuke bad guys and kick the government out of everything except courts, police, and army then you must be a Republican wingnut.

I suppose in some regards my political views may be described as "right wing" particularly if you're one of our Yerpeen friends. I am a capitalist.

But in many respects, with a similar level of insight (or lack thereof), I may be described as a left wing moonbat.

I support abortion, gay marriage, and an immigration policy that some asperse with terms like "amnesty."

I've been accused of being a Republican before, but no one has come right out and called me a Democrat. I suppose that has a lot to do with the company I keep. My circles lack both hippies and fascists.

So, anyway, I just wanted to say: I'm not a Republican. Or a Democrat. I pretty much hate them both.

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Total Eclipse of the Heart

Just kidding. It's a lunar eclipse and it's happening next Tuesday.

Hat tip to Eran Dror for bringing it to my attention.

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I Saw Him!

I am almost certain you didn't know this, but He-Man lives in New York city and there is a group of people who have taken it upon themselves to record sightings of the barbarian hero.

Well, it's true:


I don't know why I waited so long to blog this. I didn't get a photo because I don't have a camera phone yet. (I cursed my poor purchasing decision again, Buddhista, do not worry.")

I was sitting on the steps facing Whole Foods and chatting with my mom on my phone when I saw him. At first, I just thought it was some weirdo, but then I noted the tingly feeling that came over me as I gazed upon his royal mien. He was wearing brown, cargo pants and a red shirt without sleeves.

I don't know what happened to his sleeves, but I think a harpy ripped them off. He appeared to be brooding over this. I would brood, too, because it must be hard to constantly have sleeves custom made for such bulge-y arms.

I just reported it to the website, but I don't know if they will report it since I waited a couple of days to tell them about it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Terrorists Are Winning

As you can see from this map, the Terrorists or Hugo Chaves -- but I repeat myself -- are winning.


No one in my last 100 visitors is from South America. The rest of you did a fair job of calling your friends in Asia and Australia and Europe although I must admit that I thought you were more popular than that. And that one guy in Egypt is still here looking for shemales. It's nice to know I can count on someone.

So, either Hugo Chavez has succeeded in cutting down all the electrical wires or those people you call friends in South America hate you. I suggest you get on the phone now and work this out.

Think of the children!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I always think to myself, "Flibbert, you should write reviews of the books and movies that you see. You like books. You like movies. You read. You watch. You judge and you talk smack. People love that. People will come to your blog from South America and Africa more if you write what you think about these things. You know how hard it is to get people from those continents here. There are time zone issues and the Yerpeens don't even get on the internet until late at night. They're insatiable porn-mongers and you're lucky they stop by at all. Add that to the fact that Hugo Chavez is cutting down the electrical wires all across South America right now and you have a recipe for disaster. A disaster in which you don't get to see people from all six inhabitable continents on your site in the same 100 visits. Remember how nice it was when that happened? Just think how cool it would be if it happened in the last 50 visits? Last 20? You could have a legitimate reason to crap your pants if it happened in the last ten and you know how much you love doing that. You should just get your act together and write something, anything about the books you read and the movies you see. And it's kind of a public service, too, so hippies might even start reading your blog. Ok. That's a stretch. Still. You should do it."

I ALWAYS say that, too. Ask anyone.

So, since I'm way behind on this, you're going to get all of my recent books and movies (that I can remember) here in one, quick post. In return, I expect you to call all the foreigners and get them to visit my website tomorrow at 3pm Greenwich Mean Time. Actually, they need to do it every day for the rest of the week at that time because sometimes I'm busy in the morning and I can't check.

Start dialing.

Made to Stick
I read this book because it's kind of the business I'm in. You know, marketing. It's pretty good. Most of what it says is really commonsensical, but it's nice to see common sense things written down. It has tons of interesting examples, too.

It's not super well-written, but with this kind of book you don't really read it for that. You read it because you could start and finish it on a flight from New York to LA. It's good for that.

Would I recommend it? Yeah, maybe.

Secret Societies
Mister Bookworm gave this one to me. It's a fun read.

The book is about real and alleged secret societies like the Knights Templar, the Illuminati, the Priory of Sion, the Druids, and others. It's written in a rather conversational tone, but still manages to come off as being really well researched.

My favorite chapter is the first one on the Assassins, which history reveals to later become Al Qaeda. (Sort of, you have to read it.)

In general, the theme of the book is to teach some healthy skepticism about conspiracy theories and secret societies. My favorite part of the book that isn't a whole chapter is the full-on rant the author gets into over people who irresponsibly propagate fear of secret societies and conspiracies and he specifically cites the stink that rose up around The Da Vinci Code and the Priory of Sion.

Would I recommend this book? If you're into nonfiction and you're looking for something to read by the pool until the end of summer, definitely. Actually, if you like nonfiction and you're looking for a quick read, I'd recommend this one. Though not absolutely flawless nor is it without slow points it is still light, fun, and interesting. Check it out.

The Three Musketeers
Dear Alexandre Dumas: Don't ever talk to me again.

I totally loved the beginning of The Count of Monte Cristo and the rest of the book retained the sparkle until all but the very end. It was for those bright parts that I decided to read The Three Musketeers. I mean, you've gotten way more press over the musketeers, so it should be better, right?


The Three Musketeers is garbage. I don't know if Dumas was short on cash or what. Mister Bookworm tells me that serial novelists like Dumas were paid by the word for books like The Three Musketeers and judging from the idiocy that is in that book, I believe it.

First of all, neither in part nor in whole, I do not need conversations like this:

"Let's go to the restaurant," cried D'Artagnan in his usual youthful manner.

"I agree! The restaurant is a splendid idea," said portly Porthos in a tone that everyone expects from him when speaking of food and drink.

"Indeed, I think the heavenly Father would bless such a venture. Let us proceed," cooed Aramis serenely while fingering a volume that was either love poems or a prayer book. The other musketeers were not permitted to inspect it to be sure.

"It is decided. Let us go to the restaurant," Athos said in a tone that belied his mysterious, but high birth.

"To the restaurant!" cried D'Artagnan again.

Second of all, end the damn book already. The story is over about 18 and a half times before the pages actually run out.

I appreciate the light-hearted, implausible heroism of the book. I like the overblown courtesies, silly nationalism, and wild-eyed chivalry. Yes, it's all very colorful, but it's not at all cohesive. It's barely coherent.

Would I recommend it? No. Not even to children.

Flowers for Algernon
This is a disgusting book. Would I recommend it? No, but one particular line sums up this book for me: "Imperceptibly, I saw her relax."

I mused to Mister Bookworm that perhaps it means that she couldn't see him while she was relaxing, but since they were having a conversation at the time, Mister Bookworm was doubtful that Charlie gained super powers from his operation.

The writing is terrible. It's turgid with immature, nauseating emotionalism and occasionally it's a suppurating wound of vulgar details.

Thematically, I think it's an illustration of how all people are equal whether they're retarded or geniuses. It's vile.

Would I recommend it? Not even for the middle schoolers who usually read this filth.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I'm rushing now because it's getting late.

On balance, I liked this book and I thought it was a good ending to the series. I told you that it was exciting and that all of my predictions were wrong. By now, you've probably heard how it ends, but I won't spoil it just in case.

Would I recommend it? Yes. I thought the whole series was a good, fun read. I appreciate the progression the books make as if they grew up with the kids in and the kids reading the series.

The Last Legion
Mister Bookworm and I were both excited to see this movie. It's about how Excaliber came to England after the fall of Rome.

Mister Bookworm studied classics in school, so he had a much deeper knowledge of the historical context in which the film was set. Even from our visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new Greek and Roman exhibit, I could tell that it was wildly inaccurate. His disgust has overflowed to a classics email list that he follows with strong advice to avoid the movie.

I can ignore inaccuracies, but I have to echo his recommendation. It's a horrible film. The plot runs far afield. The script is painful. The acting is troubling. Even the cinematography leaves a lot to be desired.

The best thing I can say about the movie is that the actress in the female lead, Aishwarya Rai, is absolutely gorgeous. I'm gay, though, and since the costume design was retarded, too, that doesn't get you very far.

This is a cute movie. It's pretty typical Disney fare, so it's fun. My biggest complaint is the hordes of rats that make several appearances.

But go see it, it's fun times.

The Bourne Ultimatum
Bad. Ass. I almost don't want you to read this because I think you should be heading out to go see it right now. I think it's the best of the three movies.

The first Bourne movie was great. It was about Jason Bourne's discovery of his missing identity and his quest to escape from the one impressed upon him.

The second movie was just ok to me. It was more emotional than the first one because the theme was about Bourne recovering his humanity and establishing for himself his own identity and values.

This third film is the final chapter in Jason Bourne's arc to recover his identity and reclaim his life -- in whole -- for himself. And he kicks a whole lot of ass doing it.

Go see it.

The Simpsons Movie
I'm discovering that I'm not really a fan of comedies.

There are funny parts in this movie, but I don't think the Simpsons television show translated well to the big screen. I fell asleep for a little bit during the movie, too.

Would I recommend it? Probably not, but I don't know if you like silly movies or not.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I don't know if this is my favorite of the Harry Potter movies, but it's high on the list. The story was lots more cohesive than the previous film and it Harry's teenage angst wasn't as annoying as it was in the corresponding book.

It's a lot of fun. Go see it!

That's right! Bonus! Why? Because I love you and your foreign friends. Yes, it's way past my bed time, but I wanted to give you a quick review of some teevee shows:

Top Chef - Haven't been following the new season, but saw two episodes recently. FUN!

Flipping Out - That man is obnoxious and crazy. It makes for good television, but I'm afraid his crazy bee-sting lips are going to get on my nerved before I can make it through a whole season.

The Unit - Continues to impress. Max Martini is HOT.

The Closer - I'm not good at following this show, but I've enjoyed the episodes that I've seen.

Man v. Wild - I DVR this so that I can watch Bear Grylls do naked push ups and drink his own urine. I don't care if he's actually staying in a hotel at night.

Welcome to the Parker - Interesting. Could be better. Could end up good. I'm giving it more time.

I Hate my 30's - Quirky. Amusing. Possibly too quirky and too cynical for my tastes. I'll give it a few more episodes.

Rick & Steve: Happiest Gay Couple in the World - Wants to be the gay South Park, but it hasn't found its rhythm yet. Hint, boys: it's a dancer. How many gay jokes can you make and remain funny? Also, let's try for some current relevance.

I'm really excited for the Bionic Woman and Tim Gun's show that starts September 6. Also, the new season of House, Heroes, The Office, and 30 Rock.

That's it!

I often think I don't get enough done in my life as far as consuming information and media, but looking at this list, I'm a little amazed that I have any time at all between television, movies, books, magazines, blogs, museum visits, concerts, and everything else I do.

Ok. I need to go to bed and you need to start calling those foreigners.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 21, 2007

Not so Unlucky Break

So, remember my tax problem?

Well, after reviewing the numbers, I decided that there was a mistake in my return. I went to my parents' guy that year, but I thought the mistake was still my fault because I'm kind of sloppy about these things and I remembered that I didn't have all of my paperwork for him and I had to send him some stuff. I thought I just didn't give him the documentation he needed.

I didn't want to call him because the mistake was mine. It wouldn't be fair to cost him more work (and I didn't want to spend money on paying him to help me) to correct something that isn't his fault.

So, I've spent the past couple of weeks calling my financial institutions and getting documents from them. I've also procrastinated a little bit because I hate dealing with this kind of stuff and I have until the end of the month to respond.

This evening, I decided that I have to get it done so I can send it off tomorrow and be done with it. Well, done with it in the sense that I will have to get on speed and get a job as a night manager somewhere so that, when I'm ready to be like Angelina for real, I can afford to rent a couple of Namibian babies until this parenting fad passes.

Well, I was going through the worksheets and doing something I never do - math - and I came across a fax that I sent the tax guy that lists the very item of contention. Not only did I provide him with documents that show it, the cover letter describes them both.

Sooooo... tomorrow I'm going to call the guy and explain the situation and what has happened and see what he says.

I'm kind of pleased that I didn't mess this up and I'm also pleased that now I have good justification for asking him to help me on this free of charge. I also trust his math and ability to understand these forms better than my own.

I'll still owe the IRS some fees and interest and some extra taxes, but maybe not so much as I thought. This isn't good news, but it's not SUCH bad news.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Relationship Milestone

This weekend, Mister Bookworm and I crossed an important milestone in our relationship: he walked in on me while I was defecating.

I had gone to get a shower, but I like to take care of business and let the water get warm and that's what I was doing. He has a cold and ran out of tissues, though, so, hearing the running water, he thought he'd sneak in and get some paper and leave.

Unfortunately, there was was with the Jessica Alba issue of GQ.

He left without the tissue, but we talked about it and we agree that although pooping is decidedly not a public activity or a bonding opportunity, if one needs tissue, one might as well get it.

At this rate, we'll be purchasing real estate and farting together by New Year's.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Impact Testing

Consumers Report has a cool web page where you can see the impact tests for different vehicles online.

I like how the dummies have some kind of head case that holds red liquid so that when injured the dummy bleeds. Watch the Honda Odyssey 2005 to 2007 video to see the "blood" on the airbags. In spite of these minor injuries, the Odyssey gets the highest possible rating on both the front and side impact tests.

Update: The more I watch them, I don't think the blood actually implies an injury. I think it's just there to indicate that the dummy touched the surface.

Watch the old Kia Sedonas for a vehicle that gets only an "acceptable" rating.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Worthless Money

When I hear politicians and politicos defending statist ideas, I always find myself ranting about whether or not these people have ever in their lives opened a history book or a book on basic economics. If not, how do they presume to know anything about how these things work?

Diana has directed readers to an article by the Armstrongs that talks about the conservatives' vapid notion of "choice" and the ridiculous way they confuse choosing between types of tyranny with freedom.

The article quotes a conservative at one point and sends me up to my soapbox:

Food stamps give the poor something else -- buying power. It doesn't change the production or distribution of food.

It's rare to spot so obvious a contradiction in the wild. I'm tempted to sit here quietly lest it become frightened and scamper off into the underbrush of political doublespeak that too often passes for English.

Food stamps aren't redeemable for money.

You can't deposit your food stamps in the bank and accrue interest for your college fund.

Food stamps can't be used to buy a car or a house. They're really only good for buying food at discount rates.

Given all this, an influx of food stamps in the market will result in increased demand for what?

I'll give you a minute to think about it.

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock...

Times up.

Food stamps affect the market demand for FOOD. Surprise!

Further, food stamps are designed to increase the demand for food from the low income segment of the market, which is the same as saying it helps distribute the supply of food over more of the population.

But I thought he said it doesn't affect distribution. How can this be? How? We stayed up all night coming up with this plan! It just has to work!

Well, I will let you in on a little secret: without the "concrete" wealth of goods and services (accounting for the concrete value of whatever money is made of as well) money isn't worth anything. Money, you may be surprised to find out, is actually just the medium of exchange we use.

With money, you can effectively trade goods for goods, goods for services, services for goods, and even services for services.

But without goods and services, money isn't good for anything. (If I were one for going on tangents, I would segue here into a discussion of the ills of abandoning objective monetary valuation standards eg., the gold standard, and I would point to our current inflation as an example.) If there weren't any goods or services to exchange or if money weren't accepted in exchange for goods and services, you couldn't just walk up to someone with a pile of money and expect them to do anything for you. You couldn't even put your pile of money in a bank and draw interest on it.

Money without concrete wealth "behind" it isn't anything. You may, in the interest of mental short-hand, think of money as goods and services. In real world, if you hand someone a pile of money, you are effectively handing them a pile of goods and services. The beauty of money is that it isn't specific to any particular goods and services. The possession of money or some other proxy (food stamps) is the definition of buying power.

Food stamps are effectively money, but they carry with them a limitation: they can only be exchanged for food. Food stamps, therefore, may be considered to be food. Giving out food stamps is the redistribution of wealth in the form of food.

The problem with food stamps is just this: it's a redistribution of wealth. Conservatives generally like to rail against this hallmark of socialism, but they don't seem to be able to spot it when it's in front of them.

The effects of interfering with supply and demand are well-documented and never beneficial in any meaningful sense of the word. Smaller businesses are bankrupted or prevented from even starting. Prices are driven higher which makes it even harder for the low-income consumers to acquire more wealth and get to a point where welfare programs like food stamps aren't necessary. Larger businesses cannot afford to employ as many people as they might like. The list goes on and on.

And yet people never seem to learn.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where my Yerpeens at?

If I can get a visitor from Europe soon, I will have had a visitor from all 6 inhabited continents in my last 100 visitors.


Wouldn't that be cool?

Also, people in Egypt, I know it's you coming here looking for shemales. Stop it. There is only one shemale picture on my website and it's not really all that juicy.

Update: I was thrown off by the distortion in the map, but the northernmost dot on that map comes from Finland! That means I had a visitor from every inhabited continent in my last 100 visitors! WOOHOO!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OBloggers' Posts of the Week

Running a little late on this, but here are the posts of the week from last week:

Rational Jenn is on a tear about excess security in public schools in Georgia.

Monica is giving the giggles with Denver-themed Barbies.

Ergo is analyzing one of the contradictions found in India's constitution.

Kyle Haight at Haight Speech (I love the name of his blog!) is discussing whether or not Objectivists are libertarians (small L).

And I submitted my post about shoddy Chinese products and the responsibility of American businesses to ensure the quality of the products they sell.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2007

God the Hypocrite

I typed this post up once this weekend but then the computer I was using did something weird with a pop-up blocker and refreshed the page without saving and I lost the whole thing right at the end. I only hope that I can remember all the eloquent wit and insight from that original draft. If you find this post lacking in those respects, please write to Bill Gates about that browser of his.

I was thinking of this quotation by Epicurus that I read over on The Binary Circumstance:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

- Epicurus 341BC - 270 BC

Emphasis added.

I recall that some say that God's unwillingness to stop evil (And it is a lack of will because in spite of his love, his will be done and that which is not done must not be his will.) is because he wants to test us. It is unclear to me why the self-esteem of an omnipotent being rests so heavily on the opinion of mere mortals, but that's what I've been told.

Also according to the rumors I've heard around the sacred font, the golden rule, the standard of moral virtue, is that one should do to others as we would have other do unto us. This is particularly tricky because I'm told that people are mean, greedy, selfish, prideful, small monsters who want nothing but for their own pleasure.

I concede that my own moral standard is guided by that which leads to my own happiness and well-being and I do take particular pride in the fact that at work I have a reputation for charging customers more than everyone else would charge, although I do object to the tone used to describe me by those collared people use to say it. For the sake of this discussion, we'll just accept their accusation as true.

So, since we're just yucky critters, we would prefer it if others destroyed themselves serving our whims, wants, and fevered wishes. Following the golden rule, then, we would have to destroy ourselves helping others. I should think that there's a direct relationship between how much you want others to serve you that you would have to serve others. To their credit, most of the Christians I know don't do this, which, assuming they're perfectly faithful to the rule, means that they don't actually want other people to go quite so far to make them happy. Mother Theresa must have been a horrid person since judging by her actions she must have wanted people to do every wicked thing on her behalf.

The zombie-worshipers really liked Mother Theresa. If I understand them correctly, you're like a super-duper good person if you're really, really demanding of your fellow humans in your heart, but you prostrate yourself before the dregs of humanity in your devotion to God. That's why so many nuns and priests like to talk to criminals and savages. In fact, Jesus tended to associate with prostitutes, extortionists, and thieves and he wound up being tortured and executed as some sort of sacrifice to us.

I'm not so sure Jesus' execution should count as a sacrifice for several reasons.

First, he didn't really string himself up on the cross, he had some other people do it for him. The rule is that YOU do unto others as you would have them do unto you, not you have THEM do unto you and you would do if you were to have them do unto you.

Second, it is alleged that he rose from the dead (which kind of means that he was a zombie although I admit to having no corroborating evidence that he was in search of brains to eat) which is really an option only open to God or those he's imbued with magical powers. If you can just come back alive after dead it's really not all that much of a sacrifice to die. I mean, really, you could probably work out a way to die 30 days in a year and still hold down a regular job. I'm sure an employer would be OK with that if you explain that you're saving souls. (As your boss, I'd feel a deep curiosity about what you're going to do with the souls you save, but I don't know if I'd ask because I don't like to pry into people's personal business.)

Third, let's assume that Jesus dies for good, he could just impregnate another virgin and come back as a baby all over again. Again, I find the fact that God can just become human without even the usual fuss associated with making babies a reason to think that

Sidebar: Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the fact that Mary was unfaithful to Joseph when she schtupped with the Holy Spirit? And why doesn't anyone call Jesus a bastard since he was conceived out of wedlock. (The rules of bastardization are hazy to me. Can you just be married to anyone or do you have to be married to the father of the child to make a bastard?)

It's like how Jesus pulled money out of the mouth of a fish to pay his taxes. If you can just pull money out of a fish, why would you get a job? Money isn't worth very much if you can just take it out of any old passing fish.

And I don't know of the last time that god lavished me with gifts, burnt offerings, praise, thanks, and a deep fear of what I might do to him next. But that's how he treats me.

This is the beef that I'm bringing up in this post: it's like God is exempt from the standard of moral good. He doesn't treat others the way he thinks he should be treated and given his desire to stop people from masturbating, getting rich, eating really good food, cutting their hair or not cutting their hair as the case may be, wearing make-up, praying in public, eating bugs (I'm sticking up for you, Bear Grylls! Call me!) and a whole lot of other things that people think are fun, he should be doing an omni-amount of things for us.

I also don't think heaven is a good enough reward for doing unto God as we would have him do unto us. I mean, he's omnipotent. He can do better and he can do it now.

But he doesn't because he's testing us? I'm afraid that won't do.

We all agree that "good" isn't something the God makes up because that would make "good" a whim, a matter of divine opinion. God has to actually be good in order for us to describe him as good.

I propose that we stop letting God get away with this hypocrisy. I'm not going to talk to him until he sets these wrongs right. It's only just.

At the very least, I think we should send all the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses to his door so that he can find his way back to the path of righteousness. And if that doesn't work, we should send the Scientologists to give him a stress test. And if that doesn't work, I think we should send the muslims to show him a little tough loves. No one likes an infidel.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Optional Values

Fantasy Football Dude 1: Aren't you a Jets fan?

Fantasy Football Dude 2: Yeah.

Fantasy Football Dude 1: You don't have any Jets on your team.

Fantasy Football Dude 2: I'm playing for money.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's Late

I can't really get into it right now because it's late and I should be sleeping, but I had a really great weekend.

I met some really cool people including this guy who knows Don Watkins and Alex Epstein, which means he's kind of a celebrity. Don't be jealous.

I also met Dan Edge. 'Nuff said.

My best friend from Georgia is also in town this week and we had a BBQ this evening that was really fun.

And, you know, Mister Bookworm is Mister Bookworm.

I need to go to bed. G'nite!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 17, 2007

You Sold It, You're To Blame


Yahoo! News: China lashes 'irresponsible' reaction to safety woes

BEIJING (AFP) - China on Thursday hit out at the foreign press and "irresponsible people" for raising fears about Chinese-made toys and other exports that have been recalled due to safety concerns.

"Some media and irresponsible people take a small problem and make it into a large one," Commerce Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei told reporters when asked about various recalls, most recently by US toy giant Mattel.


Senator Dick Durbin called for the inspection of all Chinese toys imported into the United States, following the recall by Mattel of 18 million Chinese-made products worldwide.

"We can't wait any longer for China to crack down on its lax safety standards," Durbin said. "This needs to stop now before more children and more families are put at risk."

I've talked before about how stupid it is of China to be worried about their image in light of the fact that they are actually exporting dangerous products, but now I'd like to point the finger of shame at some Americans.

Of course, I want to shame Congress for, again, trying to pass unnecessary laws which inhibit freedom and fail to effectively address the problem. The laws in question are those calling for regulations over the goods imported through China.

If history is any guide, we can expect some people to try to get around regulations by various means including smuggling and exporting the goods to a less restricted country first before exporting them to the US.

There is a much more effective and proper means of dealing with this issue: hold those who sell the goods in the US responsible. They are, after all, responsible for the goods they sell even if they import them from another country first.

This will place pressure on those companies to ensure that they are selling high-quality goods.

Some argue that the companies are already paying because consumer will be wary of their goods and that is right and proper. It's also possible that these companies do already face a legal liability for the damages -- I don't know.

But if the legal liability -- if it exists -- is sufficient to punish business who sell goods that prove harmful, I find myself questioning the ultimate purpose of regulations. The nicest thing I can say is that it appears to be more of the nanny-state mentality that dominates our political scenery today. The most truthful thing I can say is that it's just more power-mongering by petty bureaucrats, politicians, and their lackeys.

No good can come of Senator Durbin's proposals. It can only serve to employ more petty tyrants.

Cartoon courtesy of Cox & Forkum!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Get the Name Right

The Da Vinci Code is an entertaining read. I'm surprised so many people took it seriously since it has so many wild historical inaccuracies. (Opus Dei is somehow associated with the Priori of Scion, an organization that never actually existed?)

But do you know what irritated me the most about the book? The fact that an art historian went around referring to Leonardo da Vinci as "da Vinci" as if that were his name.

His name is "Leonardo" and he is from the town of Vinci in Italy. First year art history kids learn this although it should be taught in high school. But no serious art historian studying the Renaissance master would go around calling him "da Vinci."

Please, everyone, stop doing this. It bugs me.

Update: Mister Bookworm, bless his sweet heart, wrote me this message:

Subject: To Quibble
Body: Da Vinci wasn't from Vinci. He was born in Anchiano, which is near
Vinci. Second, his full name wasn't just Leonardo. It was Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci. So calling him Da Vinci is both acceptable and accurate.

You can apply that same outrage to the name of the painter known as Caravaggio. He was from Caravaggio, but his name was Michelangelo Merisi. Thing is, there's a long established and accepted history of calling him Caravaggio, so switching to Merisi now would serve no other purpose than a desire to be mannerist and annoying.

A similar desire for scholarly purity often affects academics when they write the name of the poet who wrote The Aeneid. In English, his name is Virgil. In Latin, his name is Publius Vergilius Maro. Vergilius for short. Calling him Vergil is ... well, mannerist and annoying. His family and very close friends called him Publius. Everyone else called him Maro. I like to call him Ass Kisser.


To which I responded:

Yes, dear, I know. I wikipedia'ed my facts before I posted.

The primary item upon which my argument stands is the fact that in Art History circles, though, it actually isn't accepted to refer to Leonardo as "da Vinci," particularly among older art historians. It is bizarre that the character in The Da Vinci Code would do that.

No, it isn't consistent that they would call Caravaggio "Caravaggio," but that is what they do. There may be some reasons behind the inconsistencies, but I don't know what they are and that isn't in Wikipedia which means finding out exceeds my patience and interest.

How did I learn this information about what Leonardo is called? When I studied Renaissance and Baroque art history in college. I also studied more than my fill on contemporary art history (everything post 1850-ish).

I can't remember everything I learned in art school, but this is one of those things. If you want to call Leonardo da Vinci something shorter, you can call him "Leonardo" but not "da Vinci" because that bothers me.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Like Whack-A-Mole

The Primacy of Awesome is closing, but Mike promises to open a new blog soon. It'll be an anonyblog, so he won't tell us what it is.

Sounds a lot like my blogs.

Well, keep your eyes peeled!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Salute You General

Thanks to the crack reporting over at The Onion, I find myself in full support of the military's discriminatory policies regarding gays in the military.

'Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,' Says General

Frankly, I wish my company had a similar policy whereby I could be paid for spending my time thinking about man on man romance.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 16, 2007

Don Watkins Excommunicated!!

Diana Hsieh has announced that Don Watkins has left Noodlefood. The official story is that Don Watkins -- whose commentary I've enjoyed for several years -- is becoming quite accomplished at ARI and as a result he can't blog any more.

For the naive, this is sad because Don won't be on Noodlefood, but really great because it means that he is getting to be very accomplished and successful in supporting Objectivism.

But obviously something is afoot at ARI because this can't possibly be the case. Someone MUST have been excommunicated. I would be surprised if there were contracts on lives out there for someone who talked to a Libertarian one time.

What's your crackpot theory about what Don Watkin's departure from Noodlefood means to Objectivists?

Lest anyone misunderstand, this post is jest. I am sad that I won't hear from Don any more via Noodlefood, but I look forward to his writing for ARI. I am also pleased that he has been successful and wish him only the best.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

OBloggers Carnival

The Obloggers carnival is up!

Featuring posts from:
- Ergo
- Nicholas Provenzo
- joetab24
- Rational Jenn
- Flibbert
- Myrhaf
- Kim

Click over and enjoy!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Changes to Vitalist

I think the accountant over at Vitalist had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the bosses because they are driving hard to make some money now.

Check out the recent announcement about changes to Vitalist.

The first change we are introducing is the addition of a new rate plan and some changes to the free Vitalist plan. Vitalist plans will now be broken down into 3 plans:

* Free: Free accounts will include unlimited actions and up to 5 projects, contexts, and contacts each
* Basic ($5/month) Basic accounts will include sharing, file attachments with 250 MB of storage, and up to 25 projects, contexts, and contacts each.
* Premium ($10/month) Premium accounts include unlimited projects, context, and contacts, as well as sharing, SSL security, and file attachments with 1 GB of storage.

I can't hate on them for trying to make money -- hey! I think that's admirable -- but as a consumer I'm reluctant to pay for things like this. These new limitations may actually cost them my business, although since I'm not paying, they probably won't miss it.

We'll see!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mystery Injury

Last weekend, I was walking along and I noticed a slight pain in my left ankle. It was the kind of stiff pain that usually indicates that the joint needs to be stretched and popped. I rolled it a few times and tried to stretch it out and gave it no more thought.

Then, last night, I got off the subway and my ankle really hurt. I didn't do anything to it except for a near slip on the stairs going into the subway, but this was a half hour after that and there wasn't any pain before that.

The near-slip was like when you don't get your foot all the way on the tread and you are obliged to support your entire weight on just your toes to prevent from slipping down to the next step and falling. This usually happens to me because I tend to hurry wherever I'm going.

This morning, I wasn't sure I would be able to walk to the subway to get to work. I limped to the shower where I gingerly stretched and massaged it. I wrapped it before putting on my shoes and socks and I can walk well enough now, but it's still painful.

I think maybe I strained the muscles during my slip on the stairs and to make matters worse, I had another near-slip this morning as I rushed to catch the train.

Update: One of my coworkers speculates that I hurt my ankle participating in the IFL last night in my sleep. More obvious explanations aside, how do you think I hurt my ankle?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2007

Health Care System Woes

Reuters: Fake dentist's 29-year career?

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian police have arrested a man who practiced as a dentist for 29 years although he had no medical training and treated patients at his home in a cast-off examining chair.

Now, obviously, given my current financial situation and country of origin, I would not go to a Malaysian house for my dental care. But if I were poor and lived in Kuala Lumpur, I'd probably give it serious consideration. The government really shouldn't be involved in this sort of thing.

The Reuters article doesn't give any indication that he mistreated anyone who entered his care.

The biggest problem I had with what he did is that he misrepresented himself to his patients, which constitutes fraud.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ethics are So Annoying. I Avoid Them on Principle

Go read this morning's Get Fuzzy. It's hilarious!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2007

Sweat, Baby! Sweat!

Mister Bookworm, who sweats quite a bit more than I do at much lower temperatures and therefore had no sympathy for my recent rant about sweating in NYC, sent me this NYT article on sweating.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sad Story

I started reading Flowers for Algernon last night and I'm to the part where Charlie is realizing that people were making fun of him for most of his life.

I dislike the journal format and I especially hate reading his entries from before the operations. But it's really sad to read about how horrible people treated him.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Until Next Time and Happy Sailing

I had the pleasure of eating dinner with reader and friend, Scott, last night.

Scott is an exciting guy. He's just completed a summer internship here in NYC and is heading back to school in Michigan tomorrow. (If you read his blog, you can learn more about what he's up to.) He's super ambitious and I'm excited to see where he goes in life.

He says that he intends to come back to NYC next summer either for more school or work, but I do know how things can change over a year. Whatever happens, I do hope I get to travel in his circle again.

This post is for wishing him well and much success.

It was a great summer, Scotty, and it was great to get to know you! Come back soon! When you're 21, we'll head back to the Cuban place for mojitos.

Update: I was just catching up on Scott's blog and came across this video on You Tube that I like: Put Your Hands Up for Detroit! (a lovely city)

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Day for Kicking Ass

Someone just took our CEO around the office and introduced him to everyone.

Well, everyone except me. They looked over at my cube and skipped it. He didn't even indicate what my job might be.

I realize that he didn't do that intentionally and I also realize that it was largely because I didn't look up and acknowledge them while my desk is also a bit out of the way.

My point is that I want to meet that guy, because if the truth be told, I really don't. I don't have any reason to talk to him. I don't have anything that I could show him to make me memorable. And I am actually working -- between these few blog posts.

My point is that I am feeling very under-appreciated and under-recognized in this place.

Well, I'm going to skip the gym this evening and work late. I'll get ahead on my projects and take care of some other tasks that are bogging down my to-do list right now.

I've let finding a new job fall by the wayside for way too long and this is unacceptable. I need to get on the ball.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Struggle

Intellectual Property rights are a rather difficult issue. It's something I haven't given extensive thought to and I try to follow a standard of general good will in place of a rationally devised principle. For example, I don't download music but from licensed distributors like the iTunes store. That's not my usual standard for things, but I can only do so much in my life at a time.

Well, this presents me with a challenge on this blog because I like to repost things like cartoons (see yesterday's posts) and YouTube videos.

I do try to check news sources for reproduction rules to see if they have a word limit. Capitalism Magazine, for instance, has a 200 word limit and you can bet I count the words in my block quotes. In all cases, I try to provide links back to the owner or source site for things. And, of course, if ever asked to remove rights protected materials from my site, I would do so immediately and with many apologies.

Well, now that I've given a little more thought to it, I can't repost things like cartoons. That's bad. I will be updating that most recent post here shortly.

YouTube videos are more difficult because it's so hard to tell who is posting the video with permission and without. Music videos, for instance, are often posted by the record label and reposting is permitted and encouraged.

I bring this up because a reader over at Noodlefood snarked about her posting a YouTube video that is alleged to be in violation of the copyrights of the video.

I really don't have any conclusions to draw at this time. I'm just fretting over the difficulty I've had with grasping the principles behind intellectual property rights.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 13, 2007

Define Discrimination

I endorse discrimination.

I like charging my annoying customers more than my cooperative customers. I like the notion of charging more for an airplane ticket the closer you get to departure time. I like paying less when I buy in bulk. 55 gallons of mayo? Yes, please!

Those are examples of good, economically robust forms of discrimination that allow you to actually measure demand and adjust prices accordingly to make sure that supply remains available to those who want/need it most.

There are ugly, stupid ways to discriminate as well. People can be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-semetic, or whatever.

Naturally, I would prefer all people to be wise, rational human beings, but they aren't and when they aren't I do much prefer when they're obvious about it.

But you know how I get irritated when people then lie about it.

Thanks to Joe.My.God, I'm peeved at some Christians who are telling lies. They are bearing false witness, if you will.

Basically the deal is this: this guy died. His family went to their church of which he was a member and asked if they could hold the funeral there. The church, naturally, said that would be fine. Then, the church finds out that the man was gay and they say that they won't host the funeral because he's gay. Never mind that he attended the church with his husband and openly as a couple with his husband.

That's their right and I think it's also proper for the offended family to go to the press and their community with their outrage.

What bothers me is the statement from the church:

We did decline to host the service - not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle. Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it - yes, we would have declined then. It's not that we didn't love the family. Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness.

Now, those folks in Texas know better than to piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.

We might spend our time debating about what constitutes 'hate,' but I'll be honest: I don't care. I really just do not care how they feel.

But it is the very definition of discrimination. Some people can have their funerals at High Point Church in Arlington, Texas and some people can't. One reason they can't is for being gay.

Also, I contest this idea that some Christians have about loving the sinner but not the sin. People who commit sins are sinners. You can't have sins without sinners. You can't have sinners without sins. People are what they do.

I think the family of the man who died should take out ads in the papers calling the High Point Church discriminatory and call for people to not go there any more.

OR maybe they could stop for a second and throw their own funeral without all the magic stuff. And then also tell everyone that the people at High Point Church are haters.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is Real Life

Reuters: Blind driver caught again

TALLINN (Reuters) - An Estonian man who was caught driving a car even though he is blind has been at it again, police said on Monday, and this time he faces jail.

Police first arrested the man, 20, a week ago.


"He was drunk. There were three people in the car with him giving him instructions."

Drunk and blind. Driving a car. With three willing passengers shouting directions to him.

It's like Jackass, but with a Cyrillic alphabet.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Splain Me

So, Karl Rove has announced his resignation. Liberals and their blogs are rejoicing.

I just don't understand why.

I mean, I understand why, but I don't understand the scale.

It's like this deep hatred of Dick Cheney they have. I mean, who cares about the vice president? It's a position of relatively little power or authority. Influence, sure, maybe. But Dick Cheney just doesn't seem to be a real power broker to me.

I'm biased, though. I kind of dig how insensitive he seems to be. Also, I love how he shot a man in the face and that man turned around and apologized.

Of course, I also kind of sided with Darth Vader in that most recent Star Wars movie.

I have a track record of eeevil to maintain.

But what's the beef with Karl Rove? I get that he's Bush's chief political adviser and strategist, but I have a hard time thinking that he is the mastermind behind all of the malignant foolishness of the Republican Party. I guess maybe they think he's the guy at the head of the table when those fat, old, rich, white men get together to smoke cigars and plan Armageddon.

I dunno. I guess it's possible that I have a naive lack of interest in Karl Rove.

Any thoughts on this, kind readers? Why should I hate Karl Rove so much?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Recently, one of my peers put in his notice and I was handed all of his accounts. This sucks because I hate his accounts. I actually used to support them before he was hired and they're a pain in the ass. To make matters worse, they're all in Europe and the time zone thing is a real bother.

The benefit of working with the European accounts, though, is that there is a distant chance that I will get an all-expenses paid trip to Europe.

Well, one of the accounts wanted to meet with their technical lead (me) in London.

I found out about this, though, by overhearing my boss asking one of my peers to make the trip.


I am updating my resume and sending it out this week. I am losing money by working in this place.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Neighbor

I moved cubes several weeks back and I found myself situated next to my boss, who is a loud breather. Then, this noisy, chatty alcoholic woman moved to the cube on the other side.

My cube is in a GREAT location, though. I'm facing the entire office and only rarely do people ever pass behind me, which means I can play solitaire all day long if I want. So, I'm willing to put up with these irritations.

Well, my boss got an office and so now the guy who sat next to me in my old desk has moved over to the empty space.

This is great because he is super cool and SUPER helpful. I love sitting next to him except for one thing: he eats ice. It used to be that we were seated back to back so the ice-eating wasn't SO loud, but now we're sort of facing one another and the noise is QUITE disturbing.

I just put my headphones on like I did for my boss' breathing noises and the alcoholic's mindless jabbering.

All in all, I'm taking this new neighbor as a good thing, but that won't stop me from complaining about the ice eating.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How Come Nobody Told Me About the Bake Sales?

Click here to view the Get Fuzzy cartoon to which I am referring.

And I have never been pelted with money by Democrats.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 12, 2007

Obloggers Posts of the Week

Here's this week's OBloggers Post of the Week round up:

Rational Jenn talks about Baby Einstein and then she talks about the possibility of a bloggers union. I don't know why people need a union. My salary as a blogger TRIPLED last year and is sure to increase even more this year since I merged two of my blogs into this one.

Gus van Horn is talking about leftists and Iraq.

Nick Provenzo submitted two links. Each are posts by Ed Cline. In this first one, he confronts the irritatingly common claim by conservatives that America was founded on Christian principles. To do so, he presents us with evidence that secular principles were behind this grand experiment in freedom that we call home. The second link is a discussion of parallels between our real life Hilary Clinton and one of the characters from The Fountainhead.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2007

Beam Him Back!

Joe of Joe.My.God. liked Kucinich from the Logo HRC presidential forum. Bizarre.

I get that Kucinich supports gay people in every way that gay people want to be supported, but "Amazing. Strong. Smart. Super-likeable?" No way.

First of all, let's talk about his entrance. He walked very slowly and placed his feet on the floor with slow deliberation. He almost seemed to be in a drug-induced haze.

Then, he grinned like a serial killer through the whole thing.

And all the talk of love? That made me want to puke.

I have to agree with Wonkette's remarks about him being an alien. He was just weird and possibly a little senile.

Strong. No.
Amazing. NO.
Smart. No.
Super-likable? Hell no.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What We Can Expect

In the shower this morning -- where I do a lot of thinking -- I was thinking over my recent post on the religious right and I want to make something clear: I do think that the influence of religion and mysticism in general is on the rise in America.

Although I have a lot of confidence in the American public, it would be foolish for me to claim that we are not in the midst of a slide away from religion and freedom, a slide that is not possible without popular support.

It is due to this slide that the Republican Party has become the party of the Religious Right and Christian Fundamentalism. Again, I refer you to the book With God on Our Side as good source documenting the string of events that lead to this being the current state of things.

So, given this, what can we expect to see in our political machine going forward. Assuming that this trend remains unabated, here are some of my predictions:

- I fully expect the Democrats to win the presidency in 2008.

- After two years of passing laws supporting their various socialist programs, they'll lose a few seats to Republicans who are still claiming that they support free markets and limited government.

- Democrats will increasingly espouse their own reliance on faith and win over some votes from religious-minded social liberals.

From there, I expect continued swinging back and forth between the two major parties much like we've seen over the past decade or so. Slowly the Democrats will talk more about religion and the Republicans will talk more about social wellfare. Some socially liberal things will not be avoidable like gay unions of some sort, but abortion may be more greatly restricted. Increased government interference in our health care system seems to me to be an inevitability although I will continue to rant about how stupid it is. The economy will become less stable and although I am skeptical about there being a major recession, I would not be surprised to see lots of micro-recessions across various industries.

The bottom line is that I don't have a lot of hope for things to come. It is possible for us to turn things around, but it seems unlikely that things will get better before they get a lot worse.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More Encouragement

Mister Bookworm lives on the southernmost part of Harlem on 110th Street. Mister Bookworm's building faces Central Park, though and like its neighbors it is well-maintained and kept from developing the patina of urban blight that causes white folk to tremble so. Although this isn't the heart of Harlem it still bears many of the markings people associate with that neighborhood. There's a halfway house down the street next to some kind of holiness church. Government housing is right around the corner and unattended wallspace is dominated with graffiti. My point is that although it's a good place to live, it has an atmosphere quite distinct from other Manhattan neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, Hell's Kitchen, or Chelsea.

Well, he and I were walking to his apartment from the subway yesterday afternoon before jaunting off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at the Greek and Roman exhibit and a couple approached us from the opposite direction. They were black and were dressed in what I thought to be somewhat grungy, non-descript clothing. I really didn't pay much attention to them, but as they got closer the woman shouted to us, "Heeeyyy!!" in a cheery tone.

I just happily called back to her, "Hey hey hey!" As is my habit when I'm caught off guard by a greeting.

We really weren't sure what prompted this, but we both immediately recalled our experience from last weekend in Astoria and took this to be a happy encounter.

Later in the evening, we were leaving his apartment to go meet some friends for dinner. Again, we were holding hands and this time walking toward the subway.

As we passed the halfway house, there was a woman seated on the steps in the front. This new woman shouted to us, "Yeah! Represent!" and made some cheering jestures. She was clearly very happy to see us.

I pumped my fist in the air a couple of times and smiled to her whilst making cheering sounds.

We laughed and continued onto the subway.

This is an extraordinary experience to me. Now, three times, in places where gay people do not seem common, where one would not expect to be applauded for being "out and proud" we've encountered cheers in place of jeered.

New York really is an incredible place.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2007

The Power of the Christian Right

As Mister Bookworm and I were watching the Presidential Forum last night, I remarked that I think the power of the Religious Right is overestimated.

Not long ago, I read the book With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America. It's a fascinating and surprisingly well-balanced account of the history, organization, and rise of the Religious Right in American politics. It gives clear account of the issues that incited their involvement at a grass roots level and the events that brought them to the national scene. From there there is significant discussion on their pivotal role in today's Republican party that is disappointing in that the book ends in Clinton's term.

I don't dispute that the religious right is and has been a huge player in national politics. I also firmly believe that they have the Republican Party by the short hairs. Let me amend that: in many significant ways, they ARE the Republican Party. Bush, Buchanan, Gingrich, Santorum, Reed...

Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I find it incredibly difficult that the Religious Right represents a majority of America. I am inclined to believe that Bush's two victories in presidential elections were decided primarily because he took the strongest stance against terrorism in the same way that he plays lip service to fiscal conservativism. An strong international policy governed by American interest and a domestic policy of economic freedom are, I think, still the most attractive issues to the American public.

Allow me to temper the above statements by saying that I do also believe the American public is in the middle of a long slide away from this view. Things like national healthcare and other welfare programs have a shocking amount of popular support. Environmentalism, multiculturalism, weird immigration policies, and other leftist ideas have both the support of many in the populace and of a large portion of people on the political right.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because an idea is something out of Marx's playbook that it isn't supported by a large number of people in the Republican party. The religious bunch are not exempt either.

But I do think that the majority of people in America can be objectively considered to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative and I submit the midterm elections as evidence of this and the decidedly grudging support of Bush in his presidential elections.

What were the Republican Party's weaknesses in the midterm elections? Iraq is a fiasco; the death toll among Americans alone makes me reconsider my choice of words there. "Fiasco" sounds too kind. Government spending is out of control. Never have we seen a deficit like this. And I know Republicans want to praise the economic bounce-back from the Clinton-era recession, but I am shaking a finger at that. The dollar is weak on international markets. Housing markets are set for a huge upset. I worry about the fluctuations we see in stock indices. Are gold prices on the rise due to a lack of faith in other, less objective, markets? Also, dare we mention the various scandals and charges of corruption?

The American public is extremely diverse and it's difficult to make overarching statements about prevalent attitudes and beliefs, but I do think most people are pro-freedom in the proper sense of the word.

We know that America isn't sold on either the Democrats or the Republicans. Rebels on each side of the aisle enjoy a certain amount of popularity and support. Ron Paul is actually a Libertarian running as a Republican and he's been in office a really long time. Joe Liberman broke with his party over his support for Bush in Iraq. (I think he won out again because of the strong words not actions against terrorism.) Giuliani probably thinks that he has a chance because of his popularity coming out of 9/11, but a not insignificant portion of it has to be due to his more socially liberal views. I was reading in an old issue of GQ this morning about a Republican senator -- his name escapes me -- who has been working to block the runaway spending his party has been driving. John McCain is constantly rankling folks on the right. Senator Lindsey Graham has been known to break rank from time to time and he's from South Carolina of all places. And though some only dissent on occasion, their dissent from the anti-freedom policies of their respective policies, each time it seems to bring them more popularity and support.

If the Republicans wanted to shake off their reputation for hearing voices and thinking the Earth is just 6,000 years old, they would have to be willing to work for votes and actually think. They would have to adopt an ideology based on actually following popular opinion and not one dictated to them by the estate of Jimmy Falwell.

I'd like to say that they would have to adopt an ideology based on reason, but I'm an optimist, not a crazy person; I know that would be setting the bar too high for any politician in office today.

Mister Bookworm remarked last night that the Democrats seem more willing to skew centrist than the Republicans. Based on what I saw last night, this seems true. Although he disagrees (he thinks the race will still be very close), I think that because of this a Democratic president in 2008 is almost a foregone conclusion.

Maybe I'm overly optimistic and over-confident in the Democrats' ability to hold onto their current level of popularity. They've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before.

Note to my readers: When I say I'm an optimist, I don't do so to downplay my mistrust and disgust with either party.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I Hate to Say It

But watching Hilary Clinton at the Logo HRC Presidential Forum last night... my blood did not immediate freeze in my veins.

She came off as the most personable, normal, and -- if you can believe this -- non-politically motivated of the bunch. I didn't catch whiff of what I usually see as her cold political maneuvering. (much.)

The Presidential Forum was a joke though.

I liked the format of the candidates coming out one by one to field questions, but having a forum hosted by a bunch of homos lends itself to a single issue discussion.

Yes, they did talk about things other than gay marriage, but not much.

And if one more candidate says that we need more love in America, I want someone to slap them in the face.

I found the softball questions they lobbed to the candidates to be extremely frustrating.

"Senator Edwards, if one of your staff were transgendered, would you fire them?" Seriously? Is any human being who is even remotely considering a campaign for pubic office going to go on national television in front of the LGBT community and say yes?

Well, Bill "Maricon" Richardson did take the unpopular position that homosexuality is a choice. The room was already uncomfortable before that and it visibly chilled at that response and to his squirming to get away from it.

When is someone going to nail Edwards to the wall over his position on gay marriage? Or any of those people who don't support marriage but support civil unions?

Clinton managed to position her support of civil unions as a next step in the movement, leaving support for gay marriage open as an option for the future. She aptly demonstrated her interest in progress by explaining the environment in which "Don't Ask Don't Tell" came about and why she supported it for the first five years of the policy's existence and then in 1999 turned against it. I did find her excuse of not changing it for lack of opportunity to be a bit weak even if plausible. All in all, she really rocked out.

Gravel and Kucinich are the only two candidates who support full-on same-sex marriage.

The other candidates apart from Clinton didn't really say much about same-sex marriage itself or why they do not support it for favor of civil unions.

I'm getting back to Edwards. He did have the balls to say plainly that he doesn't support gay marriage. But no one had the balls to nail him to the wall and ask why. He says it's a personal issue. So? What are his reasons for his personal view? He says it's his religion. So? Does he feel that his personal view is rational and proper? If so, how does he think his support for inequality in marriage any more or less offensive than that of his Republican counterparts? *crickets*

Why doesn't anyone ask these people what purpose they think it serves to call same-sex marriage something different from different-sex marriage? Is it to pander to a bigoted and irrational voter base? Is it like Edwards who panders to his own bigoted, religion-fueled emotionalism? Or is it the infinitely more impressive point that they want to make ALL unions civil unions?

Back to Clinton: Marriage is a states rights issue? Odd given the Federal Government's explicit endorsement of those unions. Face it, lady: marriage is an issue at the federal level.

So, anyway, more on this later. I'm late for a meeting.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2007

All the Boys Be Jockin', They Chase Me Out the School

If you know me, you probably already know that I love the Li'l Mama video for Lip Gloss. Here it is:

The song and the video crack me up.

Well, a friend of my roommate was involved in a remake of the video with drag queen, Britney Houston. Apparently, it involves a lot of the case of A Chorus Line. This was the result:

It's poppin'!

Loves it!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

OBloggers Blogroll

Thanks to Darren Cauthon, I've added an Obloggers Blogroll to the left.

If you are left off of my list and wish to be added, please let me know.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You Could be a Part-time Model, But You'd Have to Keep Your Normal Job

From the Flight of the Conchords on HBO

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pack It Up Pack It In!

Just cuz.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OBloggers Carnival

Just a reminder that it's time to submit your entries for the Objectivist Bloggers Carnival hosted by Kim's Play Place!

Kim also reminds us that the Persieds are this weekend. NYC may be too bright to see this very well, but I might venture up to my rooftop just to see what I can see.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2007


So, I'm loving Vitalist and today JohnDavid referred me to another cool website: Jott.

Jott allows you to call a number and leave messages which get transcribed and emailed to whomever you please.

What's more, you can set up Vitalist as a contact for Jott and when you're out on the town and you think of something you need to do, you can just Jott it and it will go into your inbox in Vitalist.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"The most unfunny thing is a person without an opinion."

Flibbert: You saw the Obama Girl videos, right?
Flibbert: The ones I sent to you and then you sent me the Joy Behar thing.

Johndavid: Yeah

Flibbert: Did you take the Obama Girl as an actual supporter of Barak Obama or did you assume that the video didn't actually reflect an earnestly held political opinion?

Johndavid: Exactly. I thought it was just funny, because he is not sexy at all. He's uncomfortable and neutered.

Flibbert: ha ha!
Flibbert: I take it as a video actually supporting Barak Obama, although it is funny.

Johndavid: I think my final verdict on the matter was that since people are political, and since it didn't poke direct fun at him, she was most likely a supporter.
Johndavid: But all I knew for sure was that she was being a comic.

Flibbert: Yes, definitely.
Flibbert: My point to my readers on my blog is that humor isn't without ideology
Flibbert: And because her jokes don't do anything to poke fun at Obama's campaign, they call humorous attention to it.

Johndavid: Humor necesitates ideology, I think.

Flibbert: Oh, absolutely.
Flibbert: But people think that just because they're laughing, then it's unimportant.

Johndavid: The most unfunny thing is a person without an opinion.

Flibbert: Ha ha! True.

Johndavid: You can quote me on that.

Flibbert: I will.
Flibbert: I gonna post this bit of this chat, actually.

Johndavid: I'm going to be so famous.

Flibbert: Yes, you will.
Flibbert: Want me to link to your website?
Flibbert: The fans will come swarming in.

Johndavid: Not yet.
Johndavid: I haven't locked it.

Flibbert: Oh ok.

Johndavid: When it's finished, I'm going to do a release.

Flibbert: You're missing out on free publicity here.

Johndavid: It's going to be so formal you'll love it.

Flibbert: ha ha!
Flibbert: Awesome.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 07, 2007

Overheard in the Office

Sales Dude: OO! What is that?

Flibbert: Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

Sales Dude: Nice! That's like Golden Grahams, right?

Flibbert: Ummmm... Well, except it's Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Universal Health Care Reform Gets Me Warm

Chip Gibbons directed me to this video on the internets which cracked me up:

And then I came across this one:

Now, let me be clear: I don't know of a politician who doesn't disgust me.

Barak Obama irritates me because he's too touchy-feely. Well, that's one of the reasons anyway.

So, the Obama Girl videos are hilarious. Be sure to check out the dance off / sing off with Giuliani Girl. (Giuliani. Now, there's a freak. He doesn't stand a chance.)

So, Joy Behar remarks that Obama Girl looks trampy and she does. That's kind of the point. She does look like a stripper. And what's her name again? Amber Lee or something? Seriously, that's a stripper name.

Joy also remarks that when it is revealed that Obama Girl doesn't know if she'll support Obama, that it's real "hookerville."

See, it's like this: Obama Girl makes a video of her singing about her lurve for Barak Obama. In it, she appears in a bikini and other sexy outfits. She's dancing sexy for the camera. And why does she do it? For attention, of course. Attention for both herself and for Obama.

But then she doesn't know if she'll vote for Obama. So, really, she's willing to put her name -- stripperish, though it may be -- her face, and her body out there in support of someone for no other reason than money. No, it's not prostitution in the sense that she accepts money for sexual favors, but ideologically, it's the very meaning of the word.

I'm glad that Amber Lee has made up her mind and decided to support Barak Obama, but you can't honestly claim that prior to making up her mind, her support for Obama was "hookerville."

That's what pisses me off about the second video.

No one can honestly say that they think Joy meant that simply because Amber Lee hadn't made up her mind to support Obama that she was a ideological whore. Yet that's what the second video conflates her position to be.

That kind of thing pisses me off. It's blatantly dishonest and it's the kind of thing that is all too typical in political campaigns.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Cool Cooking Blog

101 Recipes

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Doggess, Please

Warning: this post contains offensive language bandied about with relish and a spot of mustard.

I want to open this post with a cartoon that Diana posted the other day:

heh heh heh... 'vagina squirrels' heh heh heh...

Ok. So, anyway.


There. I said it.


What do those two words have in common? Some people in New York want them banned.

With regard to "nigger," the efforts were successful in February when the New York City Council decided to symbolically ban the word.

Granted, the ban is merely symbolic. No one will go to jail or receive citations for having uttered the word. It's a good thing, too, because then I wouldn't be able to rap along with Ludacris' interlude in the Missy Elliot song "Gossip Folks" without the secret police pushing me down in the street and taking my iPod away.

Well, now people are talking about banning the word "bitch." Mister Bookworm sent me this article this morning:

NY Times: It’s a Female Dog, or Worse. Or Endearing. And Illegal?

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.

But conversations over the last week indicate that the “b-word” (as it is referred to in the legislation) enjoys a surprisingly strong currency — and even some defenders — among many New Yorkers.

And Ms. Mealy admitted that the city’s political ruling class can be guilty of its use. As she circulated her proposal, she said, “even council members are saying that they use it to their wives.”

It's hard to take this sort of proposal seriously what with image of councilmen walking around calling their wives 'bitches' in my head. And how seriously should we take this when the people writing the legislation aren't even mature enough to actually say "bitch" in the legislation.

Which b-word? Bootylicious? Bulemia? B*A*P*S? Badonkadonk? There are so many.

Ten rappers were cited in the legislation, along with an excerpt from an 1811 dictionary that defined the word as “A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman.”

I was planning to start using "doggess" in place of "bitch" anyway.

Can we talk about how few English women there are in New York compared to all the other sorts of women we have?

And I think it is agreed now that "cunt" is the most offensive appellation these days and I said it, too.

You know my position on this. If you mean "nigger," "bitch," "cunt" or whatever, then you should use exactly the word you mean. Don't insult me further by coyly referring to it as "the n-word" or "the b-word."

“They buried the n-word, but what about the other words that really affect women, such as ‘b,’ and ‘ho’? That’s a vile attack on our womanhood,” Ms. Mealy said in a telephone interview. “In listening to my other colleagues, that they say that to their wives or their friends, we have gotten really complacent with it.”

If people are becoming 'complacent' with the word "bitch," then doesn't that indicate that the word does not carry the same weight as it did in the 1400's? Won't enshrining it with this law draw more attention to the word and remind people that it is one of the words to choose from when you really want to insult a bitch? Indeed, others agree:

Robin Lakoff, a Brooklyn-born linguist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, said that she despised the word, but that enforcing linguistic change through authority “almost never works,” echoing comments from some New Yorkers who believed a ban would only serve to heighten the word’s power.

This is extremely ridiculous.

If you want people to behave with courtesy and civility, you don't ban words. You have to teach people why civility and courtesy are good and necessary. You also have to acknowledge that the standards of courtesy are at least as variable and changing as the use of certain words.

To stop people from actually using "bitch" to insult people means that you actually have to change their minds about insulting people in that way. You actually have to somehow police their thoughts. You can see where I'm going with this.

Banning words is plainly idiotic. These are your tax dollars at work.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:23 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


I am so sick of sweating.

July and August are the worst months in NYC if you ask me. During this time, high temperatures usually average in mid to low 80's with relative humidity above 75%. This doesn't sound too bad, especially since I did grow up in a swamp in south Georgia without air conditioning.

In the years before I left for college, we spent hot, humid days sitting under the ceiling fan. As a kid, we would laze about in woods, usually up in the trees to take advantage of any errant breezes. Some days I would go to my cousins' house and we'd play video games in their house, which had air conditioning, a sprinkler on the roof, and tin foil in the windows. (I'm related to some colorful folk.)

When I left home for college, I have only ever worked and lived where there is central air conditioning. Yes, the heat was still obnoxious, but you could easily escape it.

In New York City, most apartments do NOT have central air conditioning. This is pure insanity to me, but we all have these stupid, inadequate, noisy window units. Almost every day I expect someone to be killed by one of these monsters as it plummets from a window to the sidewalk below. So far, I am a terrible psychic (as far as I know) but I hold out hope that on the day that I am right, fulfillment of my prophesy will be accompanied by the news that the woman who pushed me and swore at me on the subway this morning died a violent, painful death by blunt force trauma.

Last summer, I don't think the constant sweating bothered me as much as it is this year. Last year, the AC in the office broke and I had to contend with a stupid window unit at home. Last year, I even walked to work several days and I have several discolored t-shirts to prove it.

Maybe it's because I've spent more time in the subway this year.

The subway in NYC in the summer is like a sauna except hotter and steamier. The steam is produced by the evaporation of urine. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that not all the urine is human.

I'm just SO tired to sweating.

Our apartment is hot and humid; only my room ever approaches a temperature I prefer my apartment to be. When I go to the kitchen, I sweat. When I go to the bathroom, I sweat. I take cold showers to lower my body temperature so that I'm not sweating while also trying to wash. I can't fix my hair at home because I sweat.

I sweat on my way to the train station. I stand at the station sweating. I stand on the train pressed against the other passengers and sweat. I soak up some of their sweat and wince at the sensation of their sticky skin pulling away from my sticky skin. I sweat as I get off of the train. I sweat as I make my way to the surface.

On the short walk to work, I sweat. And for the past week, the air conditioner in the office has been broken -- again. So, I sit in my cube and sweat.

At lunch, I go to the elevator, which is not air conditioned either, and I stand amid other sweaty people and sweat. I sweat walking down the sidewalk to the place where I get my salad for lunch.

I fret over ordering anything with mayonnaise.

I walk back sweating and I sweat in the elevator again. I return to my cube to sweat some more.

I sweat for the rest of the day and repeat my commute in reverse only with more sweating because by that time I don't have the benefit of fresh morning breezes or my cold shower.

When I get home, I have to wait for my undersized AC to cool my room off. In the meantime, I sweat.

I am SO sick of sweating.

I am happy to say that yesterday afternoon, they did fix the office AC, so my cube is nice and cool now. No, NOW I'm sitting in my cube feeling the salt from my sweat dry on my skin. I'm also taking note of the fact that my underarm hairs are stuck together in a gooey, humid mesh of deodorant and, of course, sweat.

I don't know if the city makes the heat and humidity worse. Maybe the concrete, steel, and windows block the wind and trap the heat. I know that big cities do have higher average temperatures -- a fact that global warming alarmists like to both ignore and cite to their advantage.

I was about to call them "global warming enthusiasts" because that is more accurate to the wild-eyed glee environmentalists exhibit when talking about how unsuitable people are for habitation of planet Earth. I didn't, though, because I prefer to think of myself as a global warming enthusiast. If the price of civilization is planetary destruction, then sign me up for that twice. I digress.

So, I don't know if the city makes the heat and humidity worse, but I do know that it is pretty miserable.

Oddly, it was the winter in Georgia that really bothered me. Here, I don't seem to mind the cold, rain, or snow. Last summer was actually my first experience with New York as a city that experiences temperatures above 50 degrees. Every time I had been here before the weather was cold and snowy.

But by far the best time of year to be in NYC is autumn. Immediately behind that season comes spring in terms of pleasant weather. It's August. We're close, but we are still so, so, so many sweaty days away.

Why can't someone make my commute to work involve a slip-and-slide?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:20 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 06, 2007

Overhead in the Elevator

Guy pushing out of the elevator: 'Scuze me

Flibbert: Great. Now I'm pregnant.

Coworker: He said 'excuse me.'

Flibbert: Words won't make the baby go away.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Work, Astoria!

Mister Bookworm and I had a brief encounter with an enthusiastic supporter of homosexuals this weekend.

I've mentioned in the past that on three separate occasions I have had people yell rude things at me for being gay.

1998 - I was in college and a frat boy yelled "FAGS!" when he saw me and my boyfriend entering a bar together.

2004 - Frat boys in an SUV in Athens, GA yelled to me and a friend of mine, "YOU MAKE A REALLY CUTE COUPLE TOGETHER!" I'm not sure if that was really intended as an insult or not. I think it was.

2006 - Some kids in Cooper Square here in NYC yelled "FAGGOTS!" at me and a friend as I escorted his drunk ass home one night.

Well, we had the opposite of these things happen to us yesterday.

We were walking down the street to brunch holding hands and chatting when a woman on a cell phone approached us from the opposite direction on a bicycle. She was gabbing away and riding on the sidewalk.

When she got close to us she said, "Oo! WORK, Astoria!" And then she blew right on by.

I didn't even understand what had happened to us, it was so fast.

Mister Bookworm found it particularly amusing that she pronounced "Astoria" like "ASS-toria."

We both took it as a compliment, though.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:42 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

How Not to Sell Stuff

Soooooooo... a certain New York firefighter has an enormous penis and washboard abs.

I know about the abs because the FDNY calendar was released last week. (See? that's him on the cover.) It's full of humpy firefighting menfolk. I kind of think it is un-American that none of you guys offered to buy it for me.

Well, it's too late now.

The news of this young, ripped, sweaty, axe-toting young man's endowment* broke on the global intarwebs because he appears in a 2004 edition of Guys Gone Wild. Apparently, he waves it around or something. I honestly have not seen it, so I do not know.

I do intend to find out as soon as I'm at home, though. These are the internets. We have our ways. (NSFW) Provided I have an internet connection at home when I get there, of course.

Well, because Mister Michael Biserta went waving his wang around in front of a camera, FDNY has announced that they aren't selling any more of these calendars.

I don't get it.

They didn't know that he was in that video. They aren't condoning that behavior; they could even issue a statement saying they don't condone the behavior. But they acknowledge that firefighters are (to $150,000 worth of people) sexual objects by the very fact that they're publishing a calendar of muscley, shirtless men in their firefighting gear.

So, why not issue some statement saying that they don't condone the behavior but will continue to offer the calendars for $15.99 to support FDNY?

Sounds like pretty good, free marketing for this calendar to me.

* This blog is deliberately avoiding references to this man's penis as a "hose." It's been done. It's not that funny. And I think my indignation should earn me at least a half-hearted attempt on the part of Mister Bookworm to acquire a firefighter costume.

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In the News

A couple of oddball news reports for your enjoyment: Sheep baa'd in sex case

A MAN who was accused of having sex with a sheep has walked free because the animal was unable to testify.


Under Dutch law, bestiality is not a crime unless it can be proved the animal didn't want to have sex.

This is awful, but I would be SO tempted to sheer the sheep's wool into the shape of hooker clothing and then simply explain that she was dressed like she wanted it.

Fox Woman Had Pencil in Head for 55 Years, Suffered Chronic Headaches

A 59-year-old German woman has had most of a pencil removed from inside her head after suffering nearly her whole life with the headaches and nosebleeds it caused, Bild newspaper reported.


At the time no one dared operate, but now technology has improved sufficiently for doctors to be able to remove it.

The news story didn't provide any specific clues as to how this sort of thing happened to the lady. The original injury happened when she was just 4 years old.

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Late O-Bloggers

Three more OBlogger Posts of the Week came in on Saturday after I posted my round-up and I'm feeling kind (and don't want to work yet) so here they are:

Diana sent two links out: One about Shakespeare in Colorado and the other about a turtle that attacks cats. I don't know why.

Kim has a funny post about smack-talking philosophizers. Dig Ayn Rand's comment "Man - all of mankind - is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. But your mama is so fat, this means she never ends." Daaaaaaaaaaaaayum!

John Drake highlights another instance where money becomes undervalued when markets abandon the gold standard. (For those who think the gold standard is silly, I submit that alternatives are available: diamond standard, platinum standard, silver standard... The point is to stabilize the monetary market by linking it to a commodity of objective value and limited availability so that money can't undergo horrible fluxes like inflation and devaluation such as is seen today.) I would also remind readers that the US penny was in the same boat not so long ago. (I'm not sure if that's still the case.)

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Principal Firebush

Reader Tiberius submitted this YouTube video:

Ten Things I Hate about Commandments

heh heh heh...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My Life in Print

This Dilbert is EXACTLY like my life.

This kind of thing drives me crazy.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 04, 2007

OBloggers' Posts of the Week

Before we get to the post of the week, let me first announce the Objectivist Bloggers Carnival over at Kim's Play Place. I keep neglecting to participate, but it's a good thing. Check it out.

Now, the posts of the week:

Ari Armstrong had three posts he submitted to the round-up this week. GREEDY! And I'm a sucker, so here's all three:

208 Commission Rejects Free-Market Proposal: Looks like Colorado has decided to ignore economics, history, and good sense and instead adopt some sort of crazy government-intervention-in-trade plan for health care. Don't worry, Colorado, it probably won't suck as bad as Canada.

Not enough people took him up on his original food challenge, so he's changed it up. I'd like to see him do it, so all you haters, please pledge some dollars.

And the last post is a review of a Rush album. I don't know Rush and I haven't read the review apart from a quick skim to gather the gist: he likes it. I might have to check them out some time.

Rational Jenn isn't nearly as greedy as Ari, but she still submitted two links. This week, she's talking about Peabody, Amelia Peabody. Aaaaactually, she's talking about Elizabeth Peters' The Amelia Peabody Series of books.

Let's to describe Amelia Peabody...she's a proper churchgoing Victorian gentlewoman who wears trousers on archaeological digs, wields a parasol like a saber, cheerfully excavates Egyptian sites despite the heat and other inconveniences (she especially loves pyramids) alongside her husband "the greatest Egyptologist of this or any other age, Radcliffe Emerson," and courageously solves murder-mysteries on the side. You know, just for something to do.

OBVIOUSLY I will have to add this to my list of "things to read one day."

Jenn offers her second post as a supplement to the first with a link to the official Amelia Peabody website.

Eran ALSO submitted two links. (I'm starting to think I was stupid for sending in just the link to my Banksy post below.)

First, he's on a tear about the pompous wordiness that seems to have afflicted writing at this point in time.

Then, to get his mind off of it, he posts some stuff about the Mars rover. Pretty cool!.

That's all that came in yesterday. Enjoy!

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August 03, 2007

H Piddy

Auburn Tiger sent me this video today.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Repeat After Me

There has never been a situation in which the coerced manipulation of price or demand has resulted in net positive economic results.

Every single attempt has lead to either shortages or gluts of products or services. This means either increases in prices above market or prices below market. Stagnate pricing causes over or under consumption and reduces the pressure, incentive, and resource availability for improved production techniques and technological advances.

Never, ever, ever.

Perhaps more on what inspired this rant another time.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Mister Bookworm sent me this video which he found on Gothamist.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The A|C is out in the office today.

I forgot my headphones and the noisy harpy that sits next to me is back in the office.

I have eleventy million pointless meetings today.


But it's Friday and I get to see Mister Bookworm tonight. That will make everything all better.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Yorkers Want It All

I present to you FlexPetz.

It's like a doggy rental service. They call it "co-ownership" but that just means "doggy rental" to me.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2007


Now and then the vandal alleged to be an artist that goes by the pseudonym "Banksy" crosses my field of view and my curiosity is momentarily piqued.

Last night, I attended another art show by a young New York artist. I had seen his work before and I am sad to say that his earlier work shows far more promise than his later stuff, which could almost make interesting t-shirt designs.

People attend art show openings for the free booze. At the last show, I was standing in line to get a free martini and someone commented about a particular painting of the Brooklyn Bridge. They liked it.

I said, "I think you've chosen well; that one does show the greatest 'artistic' (I put gentle air quotes around that word) merit. The most interesting aspect is his combination of the cezannesque distortion of perspective there with the broken horizon line and the pop-art -- even lichtensteinian -- technique. I think he should explore this technique further and consider taking it back to its folk art roots by playing with pattern."

The crowd backed away slowly. I think they were afraid I was about to ask them if they could spare a dime.

I don't like pop-art and most of Cezanne's work warrants a strong dose of dramamine, but I figure if we're going to be pretentious and stand around in all black, sipping martinis, someone should at least pay some consideration to the things on the wall. And I'm a show-off.

My other comments about this particular artist's work weren't nearly so generous, but I kept those between me and my catty friend who was with me. I think I said something about "vapid" and "socially irrelevant" and "aesthetically stupid."

By coincidence Mister Bookworm and I were talking about Banksy earlier in the day. He sent me this article from the New Yorker.

Sometimes "Banksy" is very right.

Banksy agreed to answer some questions over e-mail. He was wryly eloquent, but his banter seemed less playful than it has in the past. “I don’t think art is much of a spectator sport these days,” he began. “I don’t know how the art world gets away with it, it’s not like you hear songs on the radio that are just a mess of noise and then the d.j. says, ‘If you read the thesis that comes with this, it would make more sense.’ ”

Most of the time he's not.

The things he's most famous for are vandalism and I think, regardless of any merit one may ascribe to it, he should be punished for it.

He does do canvases, though. Garbage.

Banksy and I are both surprised that people buy it.

I think the artist I went to see is terrible, but at least he has a certain innocence to him. He thinks his work is cute, fun, interesting. He's proud of it.

Banksy is malicious and vile because he knows that what he's doing is garbage. But he keeps doing it. And he continues to do it. Anonymity aside, he's proud of the mess he makes.

Instead of rebelling against the art world by producing garbage, why not produce art that is actually really, really good?

It's been done, I guess. Shit isn't any good if it's the same shit day after day, right, Banksy?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2007


There really isn't anything you can say about something as effed up as this.

Reuters: Man cuts off hand for Hindu goddess offering

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A 23-year-old Nepali man cut off his right hand after morning prayers and offered it to Kali, the Hindu goddess of power, the Annapurna Post local daily said on Wednesday.

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I Should Do Some Work

Stumble is killing my productivity.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Three Stumbles

Wildcard - This website is actually a time machine. You load it up. Move your mouse and suddenly an hour and a half has gone by and you don't know what happened.

Life Hack presents 50 tools which can help you in Writing. I don't have time to check them all out.

Chema Madoz has a buncha odd, interesting images.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Official God FAQ

In the event that you find yourself with questions about God, please consult this F.A.Q.


Found thanks to Stumble Upon, which I am trying out at Diana's recommendation.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack