Friday, July 25, 2008

What you want is irrelevant, what you have chosen is at hand.

R.I.P. Randy Pausch.

You got me with the head fake in your last lecture. What a legacy to leave your kids!

One of Pausch's dreams was to be Captain Kirk. As the next best JJ Abrams gave him a small part in the Star Trek movie coming out next year. I'll be the strange guy in the theater cheering by myself when he comes on screen.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When they met it was... murder.

I have a bit of a dark sense of humor that trends towards the smartass. I find those sorts of jokes don't always translate well on the impersonal internet. Even when one goes out of his or her way to accent jokes with the obligatory ;-)

Just an example of how my humor plays out in real life I just want to share this short story involving a murder.

Last year one of the co-owners and his wife of one of our longest running and best vendors was arrested for murder. This was a guy that I thought I knew well. We'd been to lunch and golfed many times. He was a outgoing, personable guy. He obviously also had a pretty dark secret.

As it played out he got into an argument with his wife and she confessed to a friend that she was afraid of him because of what he was capable of. Eventually she admitted to her friend that together they had killed somebody years before. The friend went to the police and they were both arrested shortly thereafter.

They had been in business years before this with an elderly gentleman that they also happened to live with in a house they co-owned. They had gotten themselves into some financial trouble and decided the only solution was to take out a big insurance policy on their elderly partner and then kill him and collect the insurance.

Their plan was to slip sleeping pills into his meal to get him to fall asleep and then smother him while he slept. The only hitch was that sleeping pills are very bitter and easily detectable. After experimenting with different foods they settled on chili as being the best way to disguise these sleeping pills. I'll spare you the rest of the dark details but the chili worked and they murdered their partner and collected the insurance. Police ruled it natural causes at the time.

When he was arrested his current partner in the business we were working with called me in a panic to assure me he had no idea about his partner's sordid past. This story had made all the local news programs as well as the paper and their company had been mentioned by name. He was terrified they'd be losing clients especially us since we were their biggest customer.

I told him that as long as our company was kept out of the news I didn't care. They had always provided good service and this wasn't about to effect that. I tried to assure him that this had no bearing on our business relationship but I could tell he was pretty rattled and uncertain. (I found out later that part of why he was so upset is that this guy had tried to convince HIM to take out a big insurance policy "just in case.")

So I did what any reasonable person would do in this case. I sent them a gift box and a note. The note read: "Just to re-affirm our great relationship with Acme Company, I thought I'd send over this small gift to represent our esteem for the job you do. Enjoy!"

In the box was a can of chili.

I got a call from him right away in which he couldn't stop laughing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me me.

Josh Marshall catches John McCain fitting himself for a halo with this campaign poster...

Josh doesn't know the half of it. I called a former Faber alumni who now works on the McCain campaign and he was able to slip me these earlier drafts of the photo in used that poster...

The McCainiacs nixed that last one because they felt it came too close to claiming McCain was actually God. McCain knows God, of course. They went to high school together. McCain was a sophomore when God was a senior.

Also- what's with the "Peace Is Born Of Wisdom" logo? McCain has demonstrated a propensity neither in his political career.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And I know you're a good father.

Please keep Mr. and Mrs. Swinebread in your thoughts and prayers today as they're supposedly in the delivery room at this very moment working to bring Pigletmuffin into the world. Updates when I hear that the little guy is here.

Here's an appropriate bit of dialog from the movie Parenthood that I think captures what they're in for--

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.

Gil: Oh?

Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!

Gil: What a great story.

Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

Enjoy the rollercoaster, Swiney!
UPDATE- The baby boy is here! Digital cigars all around...

Go wish Swinebread congratulations!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ramrod, wreckage and ruin, still the same Kirby York.

If you're like me and enjoy a good chuckle at the inanity of right-winger raving but the fast pace of summer vacation is keeping you from being able to keep up with the actual words separating the froth and spittle then this post is for you.

First up we have these Fox News fans taking up the McCain campaign's whiny lament that the New York Times wouldn't print McCain's response to Obama's recent foreign policy op ed in that paper. I'm as stunned as they are. McCain's editorial which began "Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist-loving ruffian who won't get off my lawn" is usually the sort of thing that looks right at home in the Times.

The best response to this outrage in my opinion? It would have to be Kathy wingnuttery--

This is what happens when news information is controlled by liberalsocialists.Instead of engaging another point of view, they shut down anyone who doesn’t fittheir social and political agendas. Besides, hardly anybody reads NYT anymore.NYT is going bankrupt. There are many other media outlets that McCain can tap into and grab bigger audience.

Of course that's closely followed by Frieda's fine assessment of the situation--

Like this is new. The American public has known of the complete bias for a longtime. We don’t even get a chance to hear all of Sen. McCain’s speeches or town
hall meetings. And we would like to.

If you're going to pretend that you're some man on the street and really aren't on the McCain campaign payroll you really should avoid using obvious tells that scream "shill." Nobody, but nobody wants to "hear all of Sen. McCain's speeches." That includes his most ardent supporters.

Along those lines "The Dark Knight" came out this weekend and, for those of you living under a rock, I'm told it did quite well. Not everybody is a fan of Heath Ledger's incredible portrayal of the Joker or the film's mediations on our post 9/11 society.

Take the commenter igroveman over at Slash Films who took issue with a review that site did of the movie which noted the political themes. No really; take him. I don't want the guy.

igroveman Says:
July 20th, 2008 at 9:47 am

Very “moralistic” of you in the third paragraph, but it’s very unpatriotic and sounds somewhat blind to refer to “atrocities and miscarriages of justice around the world” as if they are something our country is doing.

Give it some background by first looking up the word “atrocity” in the dictionary, then the encyclopedia as you gain a history of this word and realize it actually does depend on context, motive, and goals.

What’s so amazing to me is how our country had one of the biggest atrocities committed against it, but rather than stand by our country, all our weak-kneed country-men can do is wax keen on imaginary dictatorships and so-called injustices.

This is even sillier against the backdrop of any comic story, including Batman, which accepts and even encourages the idea that absolute retribution enacted through violence is well desired, and even oftentimes absolutely necessary.

More Americans need to put their mouths where their heart is, or their mind where the mouth is, so their heart can change.

Igroveman knows that people have their mouth and eyes mixed up, or their eyes with their mouth or something and that needs to change. Personally I think igrove has his head and his ass mixed up, or at least conjoined. This is why the more conservative among us shouldn't do art. They just don't get it.

Of course who can blame them for being unable to understand fictional works when their own leaders have trouble with reality? Take this new McCain ad which blames high gas prices on Barack Obama. Not the democratic party. Not liberal economic policies. Arguments that are breathtakingly stupid in their own right but at least have one foot on the ground. Nope. The reason we're paying $4.25+ a gallon at the pump is because of the nefarious plotting of a first-term Senator from Illinois.

The Ad: (Narrator:) Gas prices -- four dollars, five dollars, no end in sight, because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America. No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?

(Chant:) Obama, Obama.

(Narrator:) One man knows we must now drill more in America and rescue our family budgets. Don't hope for more energy, vote for it. McCain.

You know your ad has to be bloody stupid when Howard "the putz" Kurtz calls you on how much bullshit is contained in same.