Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our Friday Boobie

This boobie is supposedly a fine looking brown-footed specimen, although to my eyes his feet are a strange pale lime-green color.

As Py is away on the river for awhile, I will try my damndest to bring some posts to the place, although it has been awhile since I've done so.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

River Trip Time

Tomorrow morning, I depart on a nine day trip on the San Juan river. My first major river trip since breaking my humerus, and I'm really looking forward to it. Packing for the trip has been a challenge, as we're trying to travel light due to low water but also be prepared for all the various weather that October brings. Over the course of nine days, it's gonna get cold.

During my absence I hope that Sweaterman will throw up a few posts. He's been up to some interesting activities over the past month, and I hope he'll share them with you.

Whitewater is calling me, and I must be on the river.

Eight Years in Afghanistan

Eight years ago, we invaded Afghanistan to pursue Al Qaida after the 9/11 attacks (and by extension the Taliban that enabled them). It sounded rather straight forward at the time, but Afghanistan has never been a good place to invade. After eight years, it's unclear what we've accomplished, what we hope to accomplish, our how the hell we're going to finish whatever we're attempting to accomplish.
When we first invaded Afghanistan, I felt it was justified in order to go after Al Qaida. But I also feared the potential for disaster, based on history and the absolute incompetence of the shrub administration. At the time I stated "I fear that we've just stuck our foot in a very large bear trap." And, sadly, this has proven to be true.
The largest mistake, obviously, was the invasion of Iraq which was completely unjustified and also removed the resources needed to defeat Al Qaida. Afghanistan was left to muddle along as a forgotten war.
So what do we do now? There are no good options and the status quo isn't working. Obama's right to want a clear strategy, with clear goals, before allocating more resources. But those goals have to be realistic. And looking at the history of Afghanistan, "realistic" is somewhere between "really bad" and "absolutely horrible." Every option is going to be bloody and expensive.
Getting out of Afghanistan is a lot harder than getting in.

Renzi: Five More Charges

My corrupt former congress critter Rick Renzi has been doing everything he can to delay his trial on 36 charges of corruption and embezzlement. Now prosecutors are adding 5 more charges:

The Justice Department has expanded its case against former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), adding five new corruption charges. Prosecutors added insurance fraud and racketeering accusations in a second superseding indictment filed in late September. It is the second time the government has added charges to the original indictment, first filed in February 2008.

The government added a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud charge to the indictment. Explaining the charge, the government argued that Renzi, co-defendant Dwayne Lequire and others willfully embezzled funds and premiums from a risk retention company called Spirit Mountain to pay Renzi’s “substantial personal expenses.” Lequire helped conceal the embezzlement by transferring other funds into accounts of Renzi’s insurance company, Patriot Insurance, including proceeds from a line of credit and the real estate deal at the heart of the corruption case against him, the prosecutors allege.

Renzi is accused of telling executives for Resolution Copper Mining that he would not support a land swap bill unless they bought his former business partner’s property. Another company agreed to the deal, and Renzi pocketed more than $700,000 from it, according to the indictment.

So keep it up, Rick. The longer you stall, the more of your crimes will come to light. If you succeed in postponing your trial to January, you might be facing 50 charges or more.

(the tattoo'd pigs are a Pygalgia tradition for all things Renzi)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Twins! (or extra baseball)

Nothing like 'bonus' baseball, is there? The Tigers and Twins needed to play an extra game to decide their season. So it is only apropos that they would go into extra innings.
I was (mildly) rooting for the Twins, due to a very dear lady friend being a diehard Twins fan (and that my team is already out). And they won.
Now, if only they can beat the hated Yankers.


This is just too funny to ignore. Some whacked out conservatives have a problem with the bible, so they want to rewrite it and eliminate liberal "bias". Go's as crazy as you think.
Not that this is a new idea. The bible has been rewritten many time, leading to the multiple versions seen today. But in all of them, Jesus is a pretty liberal fellow. That whole "love thy neighbor" thing will have to go.
But I wonder how this will be received by strict biblical literalists, who believe that every word was 'divinely inspired' by 'god'. Wouldn't a new version of the bible be seen as blasphemy?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Making a Simple Statement

From The Ostroy Report, this simple statement:

Republicans' 2010 Campaign Message: Vote For Us Because Obama Can't Magically Fix in a Year What it Took Us Eight Years to Destroy

Wish I said that.

Really Bad Technology

Voice activated telephone answering systems are the most annoying new technology I've yet to run across. Attempting to refill my prescriptions, I encountered the pharmacies answering system, and I'm ready to slowly torture the designer to death. The voice system seemed programmed to default to "I'm sorry; I didn't understand" to every thing I said, even "yes" or "no". Which is funny, because I have very good diction, thanks to years of theater. If it couldn't understand my voice, I can only imagine how a less clearly spoken person would fare. Of course, the last thing the system wants you to do is to speak to an actual human being, so it doesn't offer that as an option.

But I figured out a way to defeat the system, after multiple tries. If you repeat a ridiculous word enough times, it finally gives up and transfers you to a person. So I answered every question by saying "pomegranate" over and over again, and it gave up.

I'm convinced that these things were created by republicans. Or microsoft. They're the only ones with ideas that bad.