Archive for the 'Politics' Category

You Keep Using That Word

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

McCain seems a little confused. I can help. Try #23.

Sidestepping the Magniloquence

Monday, February 4th, 2008

I think it would be nice to say, “Hey look, I have a new post. It is well-researched, carefully edited and revised and thoughtfully written.” But you’d probably be like, “Where am I and what happened to ironSoap?” So in the interest of fulfilling your expectations… hastily written bullet points! Ahh…

  • Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. If you are part of a Super Tuesday state, I encourage you to vote. Now, I know that primary elections aren’t as significant as the general election in November so if you skate on this one, I’ll forgive you but only if you promise—and pinky-swear!—to vote later this year.
  • If you do vote tomorrow and can participate in the Republican election, would you please consider Ron Paul?
  • I know people like to say that voting for an underdog is like throwing your vote away but, well, tell that to New York Giants fans. Truth is, you never know.
  • And while I’m sorta on the subject, how weird was that Super Bowl? I mean it was the biggest snoozer of all time until the 4th quarter at which point it became a great game, seemingly out of nowhere. The telling statistic? There were three lead changes in the fourth quarter: A Super Bowl record. I listened to the end of the game on my commute home from work. When Manning tossed that pass for the TD late in the game, I LOL’d. Seriously.
  • You may have already gathered from the Twitter feed (had you been following along at home like I keep telling you), but I finally made my HD dreams come true last weekend. We picked up a Samsung 46″ LCD, got rid of the old 36″ Trinitron, wrangled some HD cable and iced the cake with a PS3/Blu-Ray, an HD-capable TiVo and a Logitech Harmony 550 universal remote. It was a lot of money… so much that I kind of freaked out about it for a little while, but then I caught my first Sharks game in HD and, well, I didn’t feel so bad about it after that. There is more to the story, of course, including a still-ongoing royal rumble with Comcast over the acquisition of a cable card for the TiVo, but I’ll spare you the details until I can provide the epilogue.
  • So… there’s this movie called ‘Sunshine.’ It’s deeply flawed but I think still worth watching. Either way, it basically did for Blu-Ray what The Matrix did for DVD: Sell the format.
  • I have, however, decided that I no longer have any interest in purchasing physical copies of movies. As such I won’t be “upgrading” my DVD collection to Blu-Ray. Aside from the general uncertainty of the format’s future, I just am sick of storing movies in my living space. First we had a pretty impressive collection of VHS tapes. Now we’ve finally gotten to where we have a lot of DVDs. I don’t care to go through the exercise again, so until we all figure out how too handle digital film storage, I’ll stick to rentals.
  • Of course, the PS3 came with Spider-Man 3 (ugh) and also included a 5-free Blu-Ray offer (which I felt obliged to take advantage of) so I will have at least six of the stupid things. But that’s it! I’m not paying for any more.
  • I am also fully aware my resolve has no bearing on the activities of my spouse, who loves to own her favorite movies and TV shows. I guess I better buy a new DVD rack.
  • You know what I think is tacky? That the Cheesecake Factory has ads in their menus.
  • However, TCF makes a mean meatloaf.
  • Nik and I saw Michael Clayton over the weekend. It’s a pretty great flick although I didn’t think so until the very end, and there is still a particular scene that I don’t quite understand once the “truth” is revealed. Or I guess considering what that truth does reveal. Either way, it left Nik and I scratching our heads. Also, it has to have the worst title of the year. Who wants to see a movie named after the fictional lead character? It’s not even some deeply memorable character nor a remarkable/memorable name like Forrest Gump. Michael Clayton sounds like the title of a biopic for some long-ago sports star no one remembers.
  • I would have gone with “The Fixer” or perhaps “The Settlement.” But that’s just me.
  • Snack Watch: So, if you like Sun Chips I implore you to find the “Garden Salsa” flavor, they are exquisite. However, you may also want to investigate Cinnamon Sun Chips (you read that right) which sound questionable but are in fact quite delicious (though more of a standalone snack than a lunch accompaniment). You may also be interested in knowing that the Black Cherry and Almond flavor of Clif bars are especially tasty if you need a mid-afternoon light meal. And I can say with confidence that the energy drink Nos is not suitable for human consumption.
  • On the flip side, has anyone tried Chocolate Chex yet? Nik is too chicken to try them and I’m hit or miss with Chex brand cereal, but I can see it being a fine addition to a batch of Chex mix. Anyone?
  • I’m committed to Lost for the long haul, but I’m terribly, terribly disappointed in the direction they’ve decided to take the show.
  • I have to give some respect to Netflix, a company which had such a terrible site back when I joined almost five years ago that I filed a bug report on it. Now they have one of the best designed, most user-friendly sites I frequent. As a simple example, I indicated to them that I was interested in getting Blu-Ray discs when available. Their system simply confirms that you know what you’re talking about and that you have the appropriate hardware and then it automagically goes in and replaces any movies in your queue with Blu-Ray versions. Brilliant.
  • I loved the book Freakonomics and since I finished it I’ve been following the Freakonomics blog, which often has funny, insightful or thought-provoking posts. Today they had one I found cynical and amusing in all the right ways: Choose a six word motto for the US. My favorite sarcastic suggestion: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Democracy.” My favorite funny suggestion: “Just like Canada, with Better Bacon.”
  • As much as I love Rock Band, especially the multiplayer, Band World Tour mode is sadly flawed in a fairly fundamental way. And the fact that online co-op doesn’t allow BWT mode is kind of a criminal oversight. Still, I have faith in my Joey Big Hat bandmates to rise above the stupid game limitations.
  • It occurs to me that we need a band logo. And I think you can upload such files into the game and use them as tattoos for your avatar.
  • Excuse me, I have some Photoshopping to do.

Finding What Was Lost

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

I enjoy talking. You know this. But talking itself is not so intriguing, it is the subjects that fascinate. Something I enjoy discussing is politics. However, as with most topics, the older I get the less I feel I know and understand (as a home exercise, contrast this with how incredibly certain I was ten years ago). No subject better exemplifies this as politics. It is not to say I don’t have strong opinions, but I shied for a long while from the subject because—frankly—it had gotten out ahead of me. Peripherally I am aware of political happenings but honestly my understanding is no deeper than that of any other Wal-Mart-frequenting American tub of lard and it shames me to the point of silence.

Consider also that I find the state of affairs in the last six years (give or take) so repugnant and so fraught with a sense of futility that more than a cursory evaluation finds me quivering in an impotent rage focused on a shamelessly corrupt and power-mad administration, a fruitlessly inept (and equally repugnant) opposition party, a complicit and lazy media and a maddeningly indifferent population that my recourse and my defense mechanism is assimilation and quiet despair. I take no pride in this truth. The last portion—the greatest portion—of my angst is aligned like a sniper’s scope on my own casual denial of responsibility and recursively I frustrate myself into a deeper well of miserable inaction.

Yesterday I had a strange wake-up call. It came from, of all places, a candidate for president. I’ve been snarlingly cynical of our electoral process in the past and I can’t claim a full escape from that bitterness. However, part of my disdain has focused on the fact that so much of electoral process centers on reactionary platforms (“Vote for me! I’m Not-the-Incumbent!”) which result in a lesser-of-two-evils approach to voting. Without realizing it the two-party status quo-titians drove from my heart the hope that I would ever find someone I’d be voting for versus just picking someone to vote against.

Then a co-worker mentioned the name Ron Paul.

Now, I’m going to be earnest in this post. Exuberant. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. You can stop reading if you like. I won’t hold a grudge. Either way, I found something while reading about Dr. Paul that I thought was dead and gone: Hope.

See, I hate the way America is heading. The tightening of freedoms, the aggressive foreign policies, the general sense of divide between the populace fostered by a decidedly non-neutral media that fails its audience at every conceivable turn, the constant barrage of government-knows-best programs and policies and the name-only divide between members of the main political parties. It’s enough that I’ve seriously considered abandoning the US altogether. If our leaders aren’t embarrassments for their personal exploits they are petty thieves and swindlers and if they aren’t merely greedy for tiny power and indifferent to their constituents they are flat-out tyrannical and manipulative.

I look at other Americans and I see them either willingly mislead on the premise of moral solidarity (backed up by nothing in terms of actions, by the way) or angry but only to the point of a witty bumper sticker or a clever t-shirt. I hate both and I sympathize with all. I’m the one dying for a true leader. I’m the one disillusioned to the point of passive semi-apathy. It’s sad and it’s pandemic and it makes Canada or France or Japan look like nice places to hunker down. Except… well, except they aren’t the USA. I don’t know when it happened or how I was indoctrinated into it, but I want to love this country. Those ideas they taught me when I was in grade school about how America was all about freedom and equality and trying to do The Right Thing… well, I took them seriously at the time. It made sense. It sounded like a place I’d like to live. I believed then that it was the kind of place I did live in and that made me proud.

It still sounds like a place I’d like to live, I’m just not sure it’s that anymore. Maybe it never was, but it’s less so than it used to be and it’s going the wrong way. I’m sick of it. Other people are sick of it. We’re sick of being hated for our country as it’s run by people who forgot that “freedom” isn’t the opposite of “what everyone else thinks.” We’re sick of working so hard to be proud of our home. Somewhere in this place is something worth believing in, but it’s hard to see it through all the shouting faces and colorful Fear Charts and choking irony…

Ahem.

I was talking about Ron Paul.

He’s this presidential candidate, see? He’s trying to win the Republican nomination.

I know.

I know.

But stay with me here. This is the problem, in a nutshell. Things are broken. People aren’t running on the democratic ticket saying, “here, let me fix them.” They don’t want it to be fixed. They don’t think it’s broken. Or at least they don’t think it’s broken enough. Saying they aren’t Bush isn’t enough for me. Saying isn’t enough for me. It’s the same old story and at some point we have to be sick of it. So sick that we start to wonder whether these finger waggling clowns are really talking or if they’re reciting. So sick that we have to question whether they’re saying what they feel or what they think we want to hear. So sick that we have to remember that back in the day Bush seemed kind of clueless but potentially less frightening than Al “I Hear a Whale Crying” Gore. They’re puppets. They’re punchlines. They’re playing us for fools. CNN tells us Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton can be the next president. Fox News tells us it’s Mit Romney or Rudy Gulliani and I wonder why I even care. Black, white, male, female, democrat, republican… aren’t they all just money-soaked Pez dispensers waiting to betray our trust and abuse their power?

They can abuse it in the name of security, they can abuse it in the name of the economy, they can abuse it in the name of the environment or the poor people or the middle class or the rich or the minorities or the taxpayers or the atheists or the devout and it all means the same thing: Nothing.

So this Ron Paul guy. He’s different? Mm-hmm. Right.

A republican.

Pass.

We’ve been there, done that for eight years. React. Try the other side. Eight years later: React. Try the other-other side. Again. Just react. Flip the pancake. Turn the cheek. Definition of stupidity.

So maybe we can stop reacting. Maybe we can stop hoping or pinning hopes on unworthy recipients. Let’s start thinking.

I keep digressing. I’m sorry.

Ron Paul. Listen, I can’t tell you what to do. I don’t want to. In a way, that’s the point. Neither does Ron Paul. Don’t believe me. Please, just don’t take my word for it. Google Ron Paul. Try his Wikipedia entry. Consider this: I don’t agree with him. Not on everything, but that’s not a problem. Because here’s the thing: I agree with his approach. I agree with where he’s coming from. What he’s saying isn’t particularly partisan if you believe the CNN version of partisan politics. He’s a mishmash of radically liberal ideas and staunchly conservative stances. He’s a Libertarian (of sorts) running on a Republican ticket. Whatever.

Here’s what you learn from knowing that he’s not welcome in either party: He’s smart enough to know that running on a third party ticket is suicide. Also, “conservative” republicans mostly aren’t. Plus, liberal “democrats” mostly aren’t. None of them can distinguish themselves because they all talk teeny variations on the same pointless theme. Leave it to the guy that only the Internets love to have something different to say.

Check out what Paul has to say about religion and government and the reach of each within the other’s affairs:

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion…

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government.

Yes. Religiously tolerant? Natural separation versus legislative? Does that make sense to you? It’s not reactionary like the “Ban all talk of God!” patchouli/granola dimwits and it’s not arrogant like the “We are a persecuted majority!” tunnel-viewers. If you accept a simple principle that the Constitution has merit and is worth preserving not just as an artifact but as a guide crafted carefully by people who’s values we share then you note that there is a component of that guide which indicates that the sponsorship of faith by the state is fatal and the exorcism of it from all apsects of life is impossible and unconscionable. It’s there, if you choose to see it. To think about it.

One more example. One I disagree with, perhaps, to show how voting by lists of shared “positions” leads to tax-raising conservatives and environmentally-unfriendly democrats as their allegiances shift with the rustling of a breeze through their clotheslines drying laundered bills.

From the article on Wikipedia about his political positions:

The only 2008 presidential candidate to earn Gun Owners of America’s A+ rating, Paul has authored and sponsored pro-Second Amendment legislation in Congress. He has also fought for the right of pilots to be armed.

In the first chapter of his book, Freedom Under Siege, Paul argued that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to place a check on government tyranny, not to merely grant hunting rights or allow self-defense. When asked whether individuals should be allowed to own machine guns, Paul responded, “Whether it’s an automatic weapon or not is, I think, irrelevant.”[1] Paul believes that a weapons ban at the federal or state level does not work either. “Of course true military-style automatic rifles remain widely available to criminals on the black market. So practically speaking, the assault weapons ban does nothing to make us safer.”[2] Rather, he sees school shootings, plane hijackings, and other such events as a result of prohibitions on self-defense.[3]

So I disagree. I think guns are too readily available and too poorly regulated. I think the NRA are a bunch of psychos and may they shoot me in the face to prove my point. But I see what he’s saying and in a way he may be right. That’s the thing about disagreement about political issues: It’s so theoretical that “right” and “wrong” are actual barricades to progress. Everyone is so committed to being correct that they forget how pointless it may be. Correct is not the issue, the issue is better.

Ron Paul, in this issue, defaults to his reasoning. 1) The Constitution has merit. The Second Amendment suggests citizens may keep and bear arms. Logically, okay. That’s not flawed. 2) Liberty is valuable. The limitations on people’s freedoms are usually not the answer. I may disagree in this case, but I can’t disagree with his consistency and the place he comes from. More freedom is better, and I’d rather err on that side of caution than the other.

You know, the way we do now.

I just discovered Ron Paul. Who knows, he may be a lunatic and I may sheepishly return to my tail-tucking rathole of fear and resentment and ineffectual, uninformed fist-waving. But I’ll tell you this. I watched the Ron Paul “A New Hope” video and I read the Wikipedia pages and I searched the Googles and as I saw more I felt something return that I didn’t know was missing.

Hope. You know? Hope.

As usual, he’s a candidate that has a long climb ahead of him because he doesn’t play by the usual rules. Which is to say he’s got a million to one chance. But that’s the thing about hope: It doesn’t let odds stand in the way. I think of a country with Paul as president and I think of a place I might like to stay. I think of a country that would elect a guy like him and I think of a place I’d be proud of. I think of a country that cares enough to try something that isn’t the newest menu item at Taco Bell and I have hope that the future isn’t dark.

It’s not that Ron Paul is magical. He’s just a guy, I’m sure. But he’s just a guy I’d not just grudgingly pick over the other slimeball; he’s a guy I want to vote for.

Listen: I changed my voter registration to Republican so I could vote for him in the California primaries. It’s the least I can do.

But don’t listen to me.

Don’t follow me.

Read the articles. Do the research. Find a way to care just enough to realize that this matters. Go looking for your own hope. It doesn’t have to be the same as mine. I want you to be free to have those differing—disparate—opinions. I want to talk about it. Not scream, talk. I hope you want freedom too, and as much of it as you can get. If so, maybe you’ll find hope where I did. I hope you do. It’s okay if you don’t, though. Because the point is simply this: For once, in years, and now at last…

I hope.

Again.

Bullet the Blue ‘Soap

Monday, November 6th, 2006
  • According to the latest poll, very few people here are taking my advice and watching Heroes. Get with it people, I’m telling you: It rules. Of course now I said that and someone will tune in tonight and the episode will completely flop.
  • My resistance to continued griping about the officiating in the NHL this season can no longer win. What exactly are these refs smoking prior to the games? Cheechoo booted for boarding a guy he hit in the faceoff circle and lost contact with for at least six feet before either player came anywhere near the boards?! An awkward and dangerous fall, sure. Fortunate that he was okay, certainly. Game misconduct? Uh, no. Also, two goals called back including one from a penalty to Mike Grier in which the goalie went back to play the puck and fell over his own stick? So, just to be clear: Hitting a defenseless San Jose goaltender in the back and throwing his head to the boards is okay; a San Jose player being in the vicinity of a clumsy netminder: two minutes in the box for interference. Got it. Just wanted to be clear.
  • I’m grouchy today because I’ve had a headache since Saturday. Have you ever seen parents of an infant try to placate the mysteriously fussy child? They feed them, change them, play with them, try to get them to sleep, and the baby remains grouchy. I feel like that with my head. I’ve eaten plenty, I’ve tried taking naps, I’ve taken Tylenol and ibuprofen, I’ve taken warm showers to relax my muscles and so on and so forth. Nothing seems to work for longer than about twenty minutes. It’s not so bad that I can’t function normally, but it’s annoying as all get out.
  • I saw a friend of mine this weekend who isn’t around too often since he decided to move overseas. He has been pestering the old XBox Live crew to upgrade to the 360 to we can get our online gaming on again and he point-blanked me with the question, “When are you getting a 360?” The sad thing is that I’ve already been thinking about it quite a bit and even broke down and included it on my wishlist so his question nearly broke my spirit clean in half. On one hand I absolutely don’t need any more goofy toys and on that same hand I have a vacation coming up, Nik and I are getting ready to move for the first time in three years and Christmas is right around the corner so monetarily it isn’t going to fly. But on the other hand: Shiny graphics and online gizmos!
  • In preparation for leaving my current job I’m tasked with cleaning out my work-provided laptop PC. I had forgotten how annoying it is to try and clean yourself off of a computer you’ve used for any significant amount of time (for me that’s about two and a half days).
  • I bought a few CDs last week including the new Muse album and Wolfmother’s disc. Both bands have a kind of 70s throwback feel with Wolfmother channeling Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull while Muse can at times be likened to Queen and Rush. It’s sort of cool although occasionally Wolfmother crosses the line between homage and outright thievery but both were worth the somewhat abbreviated prices ($10 and $11 respectively from Rasputin’s). One strange thing though, I noticed that I very much enjoyed Muse’s work when played from beginning to end in the original album order. When I listened to it again later on random, it wasn’t nearly as good. I’ve never encountered that before, I wonder why that is?
  • Above I noted that Nik and I are gearing up for a move which has been necessitated by my new job acquisition since the distance from our current apartment to the new office is, according to Google, 66 miles compared to the 29 miles I travel now. More significantly, travel to the new office from our current location during normal work and commute times would require sitting it no fewer than five heavy traffic spots. If we end up where we’ve started looking, I’ll reduce that to three traffic spots and the mileage will be about halved to 34 miles.
  • Also regarding traffic and commuting, some relief is in sight since there is a strong chance I’ll end up working at least some graveyard shifts (which would basically eliminate the traffic concerns) although Nik is not exactly thrilled with the idea of having certain evenings entirely to herself. Even if I do end up exclusively working grave shifts, they do run a 4×10 schedule which will give me three nights at home per week (ideally Thursday, Friday and Saturday) so I’ll be home for a pretty large part of the week. We’ll be all backward in our sleeping schedules, but I’m confident some sort of arrangement can be made.
  • Tomorrow’s voting is going to be somewhat unpleasant since I have to get up very early in order to make it happen, being that I have two tickets to the Sharks game tomorrow night. The elections are really stupid this year with practically every ballot measure being some sort of smokescreen to bilk more cash out of Californians and (as usual) 98% of the candidates running for office being either schmucks or despicable wastes of oxygen. But I feel even more inclined to vote in elections like this when the options are all really lame because I honestly shudder to think what your average Californian would come up with on some of this stuff without my expert guidance.
  • So what is standard procedure when leaving a place of employment for handling all the lame company schwag they dump on you? As of this moment I have it all sort of sitting in my cube where it is of no harm to me or anyone else, but I have no need for a goofy (and highly illegible) desk clock branded with this company’s logo, nor do I need a laptop bag, a wine glass or a stress ball, all adorned with corporate branding. My inclination is to just toss it but I’m afraid that might be construed as excessively rude, so am I to take it home and then junk it there? How is that really better? I guess it’s a matter of plausible deniability; where they can go on thinking I cherished this stuff long after I departed when in fact it all ended up, blissfully out of their realm of knowledge, in a dumpster at my apartment complex. Still, a large part of me wonders what kind of doofus would actually care enough to keep track one way or the other.
  • I just learned that Lister got himself a Nintendo DS. Looks like local multiplayer goodness (as opposed to WiFi multiplayer goodness which Dr. Mac and I have had trouble co-ordinating) is about to be on.
  • Turns out I have nothing else to talk about. I guess it’s time to go back to counting the minutes until tonight’s Heroes episode.
  • Actually I do have one last observation: I am a total dork.

Zen and the Art of Randomness

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

My brain is working in incompletion mode, which is to say that I can get a thought formed, but my attention wanders before it gets more than about halfway through. It may make this post a bit challenging to read, but if you’ve been coming here for the last five years or so I’ll assume you’re used to that sort of thing.

  • My co-worker is currently engaged in the most epic battle of support vs. customer I’ve ever witnessed. Sample dialogue, “I understand where you’re coming from, but if you don’t try to understand where I’m at then I might as well hang up this phone.” The crazy thing is, I think they’re both enjoying it.
  • I made dinner last night which hasn’t happened too often lately due to a lot of weird schedules and a general malaise about cooking the same dozen or so dishes that Nik and I have perfected. Actually the cooking isn’t so bad (although even that gets a little dull) but eating the same ol’ stuff gets tiresome which isn’t exactly a great reward for putting in the effort to cook it in the first place. At least if you eat the same crummy fast food over and over again you may be bored but it takes no effort. Anyway I tried something new last night: Apricot chicken. It’s basically just baked chicken breast with a sauce/glaze made from dijon mustard, apricot preserves, salt and chili powder so it was nice and easy but combined with some roasted red potatoes and a batch of crescent rolls it was the best meal we’ve had at home in several weeks.
  • Speaking of best meals, I forgot to mention that my friends have engaged in a new pasttime: Perfecting barbecued ribs. You will note that I have not yet taken part primarily because I don’t have a BBQ grill and also because I’m not that great of a grillman, but I have certainly done my fair share of judging their progress and what a delicious chore that has been. I think HB almost has it nailed, and last weekend he smoked and then indirect-heat grilled a few racks of ribs for something like 10 hours grand total. Before those ribs Lister‘s eight-hour applejuice-basted spareribs were the best ribs I think I’d ever tasted but HB’s probably topped the list. You’ll note this isn’t exactly a competition, it’s more of a collaborative effort as they try different techniques and seasonings to try and get them perfect. They’re very close after the last batch, I think all that they’re missing is a signature sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is good, no doubt, but I don’t think you can enter a BBQ competition with store-bought sauce… that’s like cheating).
  • The only—only—downside to the rib mania sweeping our circle of friends lately is that it has me really digging ribs but everytime I look at them on a restaurant menu I can’t help but think, “There’s no way these are as good.” I usually end up ordering the fish.
  • So the 49ers lost, which is no great shock, but what was somewhat surprising was how much of an actual game they made it. Sure Alex Smith is still not exactly a dominating presence back there, but at least he didn’t get picked off every drive, and he’s got Frank Gore back there who looked very good (and helped out my fantasy team, to boot). Meanwhile I watched the Monday Night game, mostly to root against the Raiders, and I was very impressed with San Diego. I think they rely on LT a bit too much (note the beginning of the second half when they went three and out a lot, mostly because the Raiders gave up on defending the pass and threw everyone they had at Tomlinson) but their defense looked pretty good and Philip Rivers made some nice plays despite the fact that they didn’t give him the nod very often. Now granted, the Raiders were wonderfully, delightfully horrible and embrassed themselves on national television (which is something they normally let their fans do for them—and they never fail to deliver) but I think San Diego deserved more credit than they got for pwning that game.
  • I jacked up my shoulder somehow. My hip finally seems back to normal and now my shoulder on that same side is tweaked. I think it happened while I was trying to attach a keyboard tray to the bottom of Nik’s desk at work with a fairly heavy drill, some stubborn screws and some very poor planning which required ripping it off and re-doing the drilling three times. But despite my handyman ineptitude, it shouldn’t be killing me to reach out and grab a can of Diet Coke a week later, right?
  • Political sidetrack: There are probably Bush supporters that read ironSoap, and that’s fine. But do me a favor and watch this 4-minute clip from an interview with Matt Lauer. While you watch it, keep this in mind: This is the same guy that has demonstrably and repeatedly lied about motivations, actions and methodologies when it comes to combating terrorism post 9/11. What his whole diatribe amounts to is, “Trust us, we’re not doing anything wrong here. I won’t tell you what we’re doing, but just trust me, it’s for your own good.” I have to ask the question: What reason have we been given to believe and/or trust him? It certainly isn’t the stellar track record, after all. And I for one would really like to know just what these legal but secret methods of extracting information are.
  • While mildly amusing, I really have to wonder a couple of things about this survey or study about attire for IT workers versus non-IT workers. Question one: Who cares? I mean, how does this impact anything? Then the random correlation at the end:

    “Intermedia.NET believes the findings in this study to be very valuable,” added Bradbury. “Both business managers and IT professionals are quickly adopting hosted Microsoft Exchange, and this research helps us to better understand the mindset of our customers.”

    Huh? But when you get right down to it: Was this really necessary? I mean, did you really need statistical analysis to determine that geeks wear black and have ponytails? Puh-leeze.

“We are human / After all” – Daft Punk