Saturday, March 21, 2009

Watched - 3/14 to 3/21 - where I've clearly filled the empty hole in my life left by my wife being out of country with TV and video.

Ace of Cakes - my niece is digging on the culinary/pastry arts, and apparently likes this show. Interesting in that Food Network kinda way. It's no Iron Chef America, though...

Friday Night Lights
- same review every week. Best drama on TV.

Battlestar Galactica - how this show doesn't end with everyone crying and slitting their wrists at this point, is beyond me. Next up is the series finale.

Dollhouse - kind of an "eh" episode, but glad to see some more movement towards the big "arc."

Real Time with Bill Maher - painful to watch this week. Usually the level of panel discourse is pretty good, which is one of the reasons I watch the show. But this week, the shouting heads were ridiculous. Michael Eric Dyson is a smart dude, but doesn't let anyone get a word in edgewise. Andrew Breitbart is a moron, but actually had a decent point or two he really wasn't allowed to articulate. Sarah Silverman was hilarious though. I couldn't get into her Comedy Central show, but her standup rocks.

Uncommon Valor - flick from '83 with Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, and a bunch of other actors you'd recognize, even if you couldn't necessarily name. Uncommon Valor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"...1983 war film written by Joe Gayton and directed by Ted Kotcheff, about a Marine officer who tries to put together a team to rescue his son, who he believes is a prisoner of war being held in Laos after the Vietnam War."
Good flick. Wanted to see it... well... I'm a child of the 80s, Rambo and Chuck Norris, and far too inclined to conspiracy theories, and have little to no faith in the venality of politics and politician... so it doesn't take much of a stretch for me to think that the government abandoned men it knew about at the end of the war. Wouldn't surprise me at all. Recently read quite a bit about it in my obsessive online political surfing, particularly about how both John Kerry and John McCain, in their roles on the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs [1991–1993] really did a piss poor job, and imho, it looks like they intentionally whitewashed the hell out of the possibility of Americans still being held in Vietnam. Vietnam War POW/MIA issue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"...Committee vice-chairman Smith seemed to back away from the committee's findings within months of their being issued, appearing in April 1993 on Larry King Live with POW/MIA activist Bill Hendon, stressing his partial dissent from the majority report and touting new evidence of North Vietnam having held back prisoners in 1973, and then in the Senate in September 1993, saying he had "very compelling" new evidence of live prisoners. He also asked the Justice Department to investigate ten federal officials for perjury and other crimes in conjunction with a cover-up of POW/MIA investigations, In what he dubbed "Operation Clean Sweep", Smith said the targeted officials had a "mind-set to debunk". Kerry and McCain both denounced Smith's actions...

In 1994, journalist Sydney Schanberg, who had won a Pulitzer Prize in the 1970s for his New York Times reporting in Cambodia, wrote a long article for Penthouse magazine in which he said the committee had been dominated by a faction led by Kerry that "wanted to appear to be probing the prisoner issue energetically, but in fact, they never rocked official Washington's boat, nor did they lay open the 20 years of secrecy and untruths." Schanberg stated that key committee staff had had too close a relationship with the Department of Defense, and that while other committee investigators were able to get evidence of men left behind into the full body of the report, the report's conclusions "were watered down and muddied to the point of meaninglessness." Kerry denied that the committee had engaged in any cover-up."
Former NC Republican Congressman Bill Hendon wrote a book in 2007, called An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia. On my list of books to read.

Most important lesson learned from the film is, however, -
"Most human problems can be solved by an appropriate charge of high explosive."
The Last King of Scotland - Forest Whitaker was phenomenal. I've dug African history since college, though there I studied mostly Kenyan/Mau Mau and South African. Uganda, from my limited perspective, is monumentally screwed up.

The Bank Job - this was a really good heist movie. Ostensibly based on a true story, which makes it all the more interesting. And I dig on Jason Statham.

SNL with Tracy Morgan - wasn't bad, really should have been better.

The Obama Deception - Alex Jones' latest conspiracy documentary. I'm of two minds on Jones. On the one hand, he rightly pays attention to a lot of things that don't get enough attention, regardless of whether you buy his overarching conspiracy. On the other hand, he's such a bombastic asshole. So there's that.

Conspiracy wrt Obama is seductive. Why after campaigning against lobbyists is his staff stacked with them? Why vote to renew the Patriot Act and support Bush's wiretapping of American citizens? Why so long to withdraw from Iraq, especially considering his rhetoric? Why all the support for a clearly broken banking and regulatory industry?

The answer is just as simple as complex systems + yet another typical politician, but at least conspiracy makes a kind of sense.

Worth remembering what the esteemed RAW said on conspiracies -
"I think there are 3 factors, A - noboby likes to take the blame for their own problems so they look for somebody else to blame. It's not your fault, it's the Jesuits, the Freesmasons, the Jews, the CFR...

Another motive is we are living in very weird times, the world is changing faster and faster... the transmission of info is going faster and faster due to internet... which means that most people are living in a world they can't understand. And when people can't understand they tend to go for sinister explanations...

...and the 3rd, of course, is that there are lots of conspiracies around."
In the same vein I watched the miniseries from a few years ago Secret Rulers of the World. Ronson's a heck of a writer, but his voice as the narrator is grating. The subject matter is always interesting.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - this cartoon's version of Aquaman is the breakout of the show. Brian Blessed as the King of the Sea. [Not literally.]

The Mentalist - the eps that touch on Jane's background, like this one, are better than the standard fare.

Eastbound and Down - the continued fall of the Southeastern US hero. Funny.

Revolver - if you're prepared for a metaphysical examination of how to kill the ego disguised as a crime movie, you'll do all right. If you're expecting another Ritchie flick in the vein of Snatch or Lock, Stock... it's not the best.

The week's Daily Show and Colbert Reports...

Castle - Nathan Fillion is awesome. The show has great potential.

House - standard boilerplate House. Still entertaining.

2 eps of Lie to Me - Tim Roth continues to raise the level on this show. The more the show digs into the personal lives of the characters, the better it is...

Kings - As much as I despise and deplore the actual Bible - biblically inspired stuff, like this, fascinates me. A touch too melodramatic near the close of episodes, but Ian McShane, of Deadwood fame, chews the scenery just the right amount.

- Zen policing. Damian Lewis as the quirky cop is outstanding. The whole series has a wry sense of humor that's very, very cool.

Towelhead - a girl's coming of age story set in the US during the first Gulf War, starring Aaron Eckhart as the pedophile next door. Complex, complicated, well-acted. The kid in the center of incredibly dysfunctional divorced parents was something I could totally, if sadly, relate to.

Ricky Gervais: Out of England
- the first half of this show was some of the funniest comedy I've seen of late.

The Office and 30 Rock - still the funniest hour on network TV.

Better Off Ted - new, funny, weird and quirky. Worth checking out.

Delocated - eh, not turning into my cup of tea. Done, for now.

Smallville - man, this was not good. Continually on the bubble.

Doug Stanhope: Incident in Austin
- Doug Stanhope is hilarious. That is all.

4th... an ongoing series of archery related posts I didn't even plan on.

Russell Brand is freaking funny.

I haven't actually seen any of his stand-up, but his turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall was good, and if the interview below is any indication, he's funny as hell.

"The UK funny boy brings his caustic wit to Australian TV in this bit about smuggling things in his bum, shagging, rehab for sex addiction, orgies, and being a gangsta? And he has a new well-reviewed Booky Wook, a memoir of sex, drugs, and stand-up. If you like that kind of thing."

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Doug Stanhope.


"The Geneva Convention - isn't it sick we have rules for war? Guys sat down at one point and said - "We're gonna kill each other by hundreds of thousands, not ourselves, just poor peoples' children... Let's make some rules and keep it civilized! 'What about mace?' 'No, that's chemical weapons... that's fighting like a fairy!
Doug Stanhope - The war

"Religion - if you really believe death leads to eternal bliss then why are you wearing a seat belt? ...I feel sorry for you because you don't have Jesus in your life... I feel sorry for you because you're 45 years old and still have a boogie man under the bed."

Having been in the military, this next bit is not entirely untrue...

"If I'm wrong about that..."

Great TED vid via Mike, from Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs.

I particularly liked the point of questioning assumptions, key in, well, everything.

Worth watching, just to hear the phrase "testicles on my chin."

Towards the end, it gets a little to Puritan/"work will make you free" for my tastes, but it's still quite good...

'Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs," tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.'

"Watch where everybody is going, and go the other way... safety is waaaaaaay overrated - the business of getting it done comes first."

And now, with a counterpoint to the notion of "hard work" I give you the brilliant Doug Stanhope.

"Work 5 days to enjoy 2? I don't know if you gamble, but thems shit odds....

That blue collar mentality - "We're a hard working people!"
But do you enjoy it?
"Fucking hate every second of my life..."

And if you're the guy who finds some way out of the grind they vilify him.
"Never done a hard day's work in his life..."
Learn from him!"

First time I ever remember having this type of dream...

It was, as dreams go, kind of amazing. Flying around the old neighborhood in NC. It was quite vivid. Kind of exilirating. I did wake up thinking for a half second if I could actually fly...

Dreams of Flying:
"Many dreams are forgotten or lost by the time we awaken fully, but that is not usually the case with dreams of flying. They are FUN and they are often remembered vividly for weeks. In general, they also mean good things for us. We feel on top of the world and are soaring to great heights in our minds when we fly.

...Having said that, interpretation of flying dreams is fairly simple. Something is generally going RIGHT in our lives! Occasionally, we may be flying to avoid something, but the flying in and of itself is still an enjoyable dream activity, and the WAY we do it may tell us more about ourselves than the actual flying...

Flying or Floating at Low Altitudes: Floating just above the ground by flapping your hands or arms or peddling your feet is an indication that you have lots of determination and that no matter how hard it gets, you feel you will succeed if you stay on course. This dream is an indication that relief from any setbacks is imminent..."
Can't imagine what is going particularly right, right now. Wife is in the states, my back is injured...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sandy's Adventures in America - Part One [of an ongoing series.]

[This is my job now.]

This is Sandy's pimp hand. She will not hesitate to smack a bitch up. Just so you know.
From 2009-03-19

Sure, but when I say "Sandy, let's hit each other!" then I'm the retarded one. Sheesh.
From 2009-03-19

From 2009-03-19

I am too young to be having nieces this big, in college, and driving and what not. Sigh. Where did my youth go, I swear?
From 2009-03-19

Why are you cheating? [A little...]

It's apparently group dynamics, self image and rationalization. This is fascinating, and the presenter is pretty funny. And he also explains how this all contributes to the breakdown of the stock market and economy.

Dan Ariely on our buggy moral code | Video on
"Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies the bugs in our moral code: the hidden reasons we think it's OK to cheat or steal (sometimes). Clever studies help make his point that we're predictably irrational -- and can be influenced in ways we can't grasp."

The efficiency of government work.

Best Facebook Page Ever.

Click to embiggen.

D.B. Cooper inspired by comic books?

I always found D.B. Cooper fascinating, probably since The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper was on pretty continuous rotation on HBO when I was a kid.

Now there's a comic book connection. Maybe.

FBI: Comic book holds clue in D.B. Cooper case | KOMO News - Seattle, Washington | Local & Regional:
"One of the Northwest's most notorious unsolved crimes may have a comic book connection...

In November 1971, a man identifying himself as Dan Cooper, later mistakenly called D.B. Cooper, hijacked a Northwest Orient flight from Portland to Seattle, claiming he had a bomb.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he released the passengers in exchange for $200,000 and four parachutes and asked to be flown to Mexico. He jumped from the plane somewhere near the Oregon state line.

...Larry Carr, the FBI agent currently overseeing the case, now believes the hijacker may have taken his name from a French comic book. The Dan Cooper comic book was popular in France in the 1960s and early 1970s and one issue published around the time of the hijacking shows the character parachuting.

Carr said this is an important clue in the case because the comic books were never translated into English, which supports his theory that the hijacker had been in the Air Force and probably spent time in Europe, where he likely came across the Dan Cooper comic books..."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Flying into North Carolina.

Ah, where I was born and raised...

Overheard Everywhere | And We Hope Our Passengers in First Class Enjoy the Foxy Boxing:
"Flight attendant: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard flight 1751 to Raleigh-Durham. My name is John and I am your head flight attendant today. I will be assisted by my lovely fiancee Sarah and my ex-wife Jill. It may be a little awkward but we hope you have a pleasant flight.

Atlanta, Georgia"
One of them might possibly be his sister as well. I'm just saying...

Sometimes, they make it hard not to believe in the big conspiracies...

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Morning Links:
"# Were U.S. Army soldiers patrolling an Alabama town after last week’s shooting spree?
If you're confused, that's totally fucking illegal.

And also, they make it hard to not believe in their abject, damn stupidity. Same link as the first:
# I briefly mentioned this troubling police shooting in Louisiana a couple of weeks ago. It’s now starting to attract national attention. And get a load of this quote, from the town’s (white) police chief:
If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names. I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested.”"
There's got to be an obvious civil rights lawsuit in that one...

American education has changed since I was in school.

Overheard in the Office | Why Mr. Benson Got Fired: Explained:
"Middle aged TA, muttering to computer: Oh, look! It's an anal party!

Middle School

Overheard by: former NYer"

Double KO.


Via Knockout Fail « FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments

Adventures in Japanese teaching.

Chalk it up to the end of the year, less than a week to the end of the academic calendar...

Teaching new vocabulary - early - and the teacher proceeds off in a digression in Japanese about how a good way to remember this is by remembering Early Times whiskey, and talking about a time when he was in a foreign bar and having to practice his pronunciation very carefully, so he could definitely get the whiskey he wanted.

Reminder - we teach Jr high school students.

More new vocab - sit - as the teacher explains to make sure to pronounce sit and not shit [Japan doesn't really have an s sound, but they have shi, sha, shu, sho, etc...] All well and good till he makes sure to tell them in Japanese - "Yes, eveyone later ask Rob what shit means and why you don't say it." Nothing like having to fend off children looking to learn curse words. Thanks dude.

5 classes yesterday, 5 classes today... only 2 tomorrow and then the 3 day weekend. 24 more little hours till total weekend collapse/vegetation. For a 4 day work week, this week has been kinda brutal.

Consider yourself lucky...

...all my dreams about college involve having to repeat plebe summer/year.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On the other hand, here's police work I can support...

Swedish cops 'baked cake' in the nude - The Local:
"The nine Swedish cops in western Sweden that posed naked with a weapon at a party, posed nude on several more occasions, it has emerged."

"Cops and soldiers have decidedly different missions, and it’s dangerous to conflate them."

Everything wrong with modern day policing. Much more at the link.

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Do America’s Inner Cities Need a “Surge?”:
"...The problems accompanying the fact that there are entire communities who no longer trust the police charged with protecting them aren’t going to go away once we put more cops in the neighborhood. That will likely only make things worse. We first need a major overhaul in the way police interact with the communities they serve. Policing has become too reactionary, too aggressive, too us-versus-them. Bad cops are in the minority, but good cops cover for them. And far too many officers subscribe to a soldier’s mentality, and take too literally the idea that theyr’e fighting a “war” on drugs or crime. It’s a toxic state of mind that older officers will tell you (and have told me) is more and more common, even as violent crime and the number of officers killed in the line of duty have plummeted.

Incentives matter. Ideas matter. And all of this war rhetoric and anything-goes policies from elected officials has undoubtedly affected officer psychology, and poisoned the relationships between many police departments and their communities..."

"Jedi Mind Tricks."

Via - Jedi Mind Tricks Demotivator | Demotivator Blog

Training Interruptus - Injury.

You ever hurt yourself and don't even know how you hurt yourself? This past Sunday I noticed my lower back felt a little tweaky, but I chalked it up to sitting on my butt too long messing around on the internets. Didn't feel too bad, figured I'd sleep it off and all would be right with the world come the start of the new week.

But no.

I woke up Monday AM and it felt like somebody had kicked me in the spine. My lower back - and I've never felt older than typing these words - was killing me. Sitting up wasn't a problem, but standing up straight was like jabbing ice picks in my back. Shuffling around like a hunched over geriatric for about 10 minutes until my back loosened itself up. No idea how I did it. Maybe slept on it weird or twisted it in my sleep...

Today, it's not quite as bad, but I chalk that up to liberal applications of Ben Gay [again... old...] a heating pad and a couple hot showers. And aspirin. But still, transitioning from sitting to standing, and vice versa, is a slow going, moving carefully kind of experience.

Needless to say, my PT is on hiatus till this reconciles itself. Hopefully by the end of the week.

I have kept my diet clean though, including this inspired by Mike in the comments here, dish of Buta Bara & Kimchi. Course I swapped out the sesame oil for butter... because, well, butter is awesome. And that's what I cook everything in.
From 2009-03-17

Kimchi works for me, apparently, if it's hot/cooked a bit. Cold, it really didn't do anything for me. But heated up [and bacon flavored?] = WIN.

Mixed emotions... having one of your Junior High School students tell you that you have a nice butt.

Well, at least it wasn't one of the boys.

Monday, March 16, 2009


That is all.

Fookin' Mental - "Bronson: The Movie Official Trailer."

This looks cool. Insane. But cool.

Charles Bronson (prisoner) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Charles Bronson (born 6 December, 1952) is the adopted name of Michael Gordon Peterson, a Welsh criminal who has been referred to in the British press as the 'most violent prisoner in Britain'

...Bronson has been involved in over a dozen hostage incidents, some of which are described below...

* In 1994, whilst holding a guard hostage at Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes, he demanded an inflatable doll, a helicopter and a cup of tea as ransom...

* In 1998, Bronson took two Iraqi hijackers and another inmate hostage at Belmarsh prison in London. He insisted his hostages address him as "General" and told negotiators he would eat one of his victims unless his demands were met. At one stage, Bronson demanded one of the Iraqis hit him "very hard" over the head with a metal tray. When the hostage refused, the 18-stone strongman slashed his own shoulder six times with a razor blade. He later told staff: "I'm going to start snapping necks - I'm the number-one hostage taker." He demanded a plane to take him to Cuba, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition and an axe...

* Soon after the trial, Bronson once again escaped from solitary confinement, tied up prison teacher Phil Danielson with a rope and towed him round the jail for 44 hours (the teacher was not physically harmed during the incident.) Armed with two knives, he twice tried to harm himself during the siege, hitting himself over the head with a bottle and tearing a washing machine filled with water from its socket in an attempt to electrocute himself. It is said that this kidnap attempt by Bronson was all done because he wanted "two cheeseburgers with ketchup".

Sunday, March 15, 2009