Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How To Lose An Election: By John Kerry 

How do you manage to blow an election for your entire party?

Here's how:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Sen.
John Kerry drew election-year fire from President George W. Bush and other Republicans on Tuesday for saying college students could "get stuck in Iraq" if they do not study hard.

But Kerry, who unsuccessfully challenged Bush in the 2004 presidential election, refused to apologize and said his remark was a "botched joke" aimed at the president, not U.S. troops.

Dumbass. No reason for the Republican base to stay home now. Nice Going. I guess losing in 2004 wasn't enough for him, he had to go sabatoge 2006 for the Dems.

Smash is right, John Kerry is still stuck in the Sixties. And now the Democrats will be stuck for two more years as the minority party.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We're All Hoping This Was an Accident 

Plane crashes into Manhattan building.

Pretty scary, even if it's an accident.

UPDATE: It was an accident, with a suprising, tragic twist:

Corey Lidle, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, was killed today when a plane crashed into a residential high-rise building on New York City’s Upper East Side, igniting several apartments before pieces of the aircraft crashed to the ground, a high ranking city official confirmed late this afternoon.

Police said two bodies were found on the ground shortly after the crash, one of them that of Mr. Lidle, who was a licensed pilot. The Associated Press said the plane was registered to Mr. Lidle.

A lost life is always a tragedy, but this will hit people harder because many will feel a personal connection to him.

Very sad all around.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Terror Attack, Hate Crime, or Mental Breakdown 


Here I recently bought a TiVo and figured I could always keep up with the news. But last night I skip the 5pm evening news because it was 5:05, and what's the point? The first stories are done with anyway.

Didn't hear about yesterday's San Francisco hit-and-run attacks until late at night, at work. Go figure.

Location in SF where the SUV-weapon was finally stopped. (via Yahoo!: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Posted by Picasa

Double go figure, the guy who did it was Afghan. Let the speculation begin...

Conservatives are quick to point out the guy did most of his damage around a Jewish Community Center. His family cites mental illness as a possible cause.

At any rate, the best comments I found came from Rick Moran:

Crazy American? Or crazy Jihadist? Is the press hiding the fact the man could be and probably is a Muslim? Why no mention of a possible terror attack? Are we jumping to conclusions on the right? Is the left's non-response to this story indicative of the fact they don'’t care about terrorism?

There are times like this when I want to haul off and smack my friends both on the right and left upside the head in order to knock some sense into them...

As the cliche goes: read the whole post.

Does one lone, deranged nut make a terrorist attack? Probably not. But if he did act out some twisted political/religious convictions, might this be considered by some to be an act of terrorism here in the Bay Area?

Plus, the location in Fremont where his first victim and only fatality is in my old neighborhood. Oh great.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh, How My Head Spins 

What a crazy summer!

A brutal heat wave, wars, terrorist plots, and hell at work.

And now, Pluto no longer considered a major planet!?!

I need a drink.

* To be astronomically serious for a minute, this was probably the correct decision. Pluto was nerver like the other planets, and there are lots more bodies like it that areen't planets. Poor Pluto.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

**Tap Tap** Is This Thing On? 

Can you say burnout?

Here I sit, nearly two months after my last post. And to boot, I'm blogging with a headache. Great, two months and I should say something profound or witty or insightful, but I have a headache. Thanks work (yes it's Saturday, but I can still blame the job, right?).

I've never been the most social person, and blogging is a little like getting up on a podium in front of the whole world. Makes it tough sometimes to come up with something to say.

I'll come up with more later on, but I think I'm just gonna be blogging less. If I don't pressure myself to blog more frequently, the end result should ironically be that I blog more often.

We'll see.

So it's nothing personal if you don’t hear from me for awhile. Those stage lights can still be a bit bright for me. I'll be more verbose and witty in the future, presumable when I'm in a headache-free state.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thirty Plus One 

Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, especially blogbuddies Jay & Deb, VW Bug, Helen, and Caltechgirl among others. Plus all you non-blog buddies out there too. You guys rock.

Haven't got all I wished for this year, but I am getting the presents of a World Cup opening Day, a new Pixar movie, and a dead terrorist. I'll take it.

Plus, I have an Amazon order on the way and perhaps a new TiVo soon too!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Dead 

If any death is worth celebrating, it would be this scumbag:

Zarqawi Dead.

Screen shot of Technorati searchPosted by Picasa

Why yes, I wouldn't mind a few Zarqawi collectables. How about a foot, or a few teeth, or his left testicle?

Bwahahahaha!!! The best part of the news coverage: the news conference in Iraq, when the some reporters started ululating.

Good riddance. May more of his followers join him.

Monday, June 05, 2006

California Primary Election Tomorrow 

I haven't been keeping up with the upcoming election here in Cali as much as I have during past elections. But I have learned about the two Democratic candidates for governor, from each opponent's commericals:

Apparently, Phil Angeledes likes to bulldoze old folks' homes.

and Steve Westley likes to club baby seals in his spare time.

...ahh, election season. Can't wait to vote tomorrow!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Check the Spam at the Door 

Been a long couple of weeks, plus my work schedule switched back to 4pm-midnight. Much sleeplessness and a bit of illness ensued. Sorry for the sparce postings the past few weeks.

For those of you having a tough week like me, here's something that should make you smile:

Note to Spam King: You Got Nailed.

This guy has the cajones to now start a company where he will parse out business advice. Yeah, how to make good money by annoying people.

Speaking of annoying, I'm off to work....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What's In A Name? 

You wouldn't guess it by the frequency of blog posts here, but it seems like I often have too much free time.

Case in point: I recently googled myself...OK, that just sounded really bad. Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

Well, before I looked up my first and last name, but I only just recently thought to look up my last name and see what came up.

I'm not exactly sure how to feel about this:

* Apparently the most famous holder of my surname is one Kurt Nilsen, who was the proud winner of Norway's version of Pop Idol (American Idol for those non-Anglophiles). He even went to beat Kelly Clarkson and the rest of the competitors in the World Idol competition. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if a potential relative just happened to drop by his mansion, right?

* Oh goody, this is a proud moment: Dennis Nilsen was a famous serial killer who lived and performed his craft in London. I swear, I can't make this stuff up. I just have to quote from the Wikipedia article:

...As his murders continued, he found it difficult to dispose of the remains and had suitcases full of human organs stored in his wardrobe, and plastic bags with human remains under the floorboards. Neighbours had begun to notice the smell. When he tried to dispose of the bodies by flushing them down the toilet, he blocked the sewerage of his house in Muswell Hill (23 Cranley Gardens), north London. When a company was called to unblock the sewer system, they first found the drain to be packed with a flesh-like substance. The drain inspector then called his supervisor to assess the situation; however, this was not to take place until the next day, by which time the drain had been cleared. This aroused the suspicions of the drain inspector and his supervisor, who immediately called the police. Upon closer inspection, some small bones and what looked like chicken flesh were found in a pipe leading off from the drain; these were later discovered to be of human origin. Dennis Nilsen was arrested in 1983 on suspicion of multiple murders. He apologized to the police for not being able to tell them the exact number of people he had killed. When his house was searched, they found three heads in a cupboard, and they found thirteen more bodies in Nilsen's former place of residence at Cricklewood at 195 Melrose Avenue...

He can just stay the hell away from the next family reunion. OK, lesson learned. Google at your own risk.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Praise Be to Xenu 


Maybe now he will take some time off, be with his family, and leave the rest of us alone.

Can't wait to see X-Men 3 myself and Clerks 2 myself.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Couple Days Late 

Happy blogoversary to me (May 5)! I started this two years ago, and even if I don't post as much as I would like, I'm gonna stick with it. Even if I stay at once or twice a week, I'll be good and keep posting for the years and decades to come.

Also, belated Feliz Cinco de May por todo la gente.

Here's to Year Three....

Parse This 

Since I don't have the time haven't taken the time to get proficient in HTML, it seems inevitable that I learn more by having to debug crap.

A perfect example was this morning:

I go to catch up on my blog reading, and I notice the RSS feed for this site doesn't load in Sage. I get an XML Parse Error.


OK, so off I go to the Blogger help pages.


The best analogy I can give is trying to get help diagnosing car trouble and instead all the help you get is "This is what a hammer and a screwdriver look like." Thanks Blogger.

They at least provided a link to the Blogger help Google group, which suggested that I turn off XML, republish, turn it back on, republish. OK, done.

No dice.

Hmmm, OK....So I did what a seasoned websurfer does: I entered the error message into google and looked for something relevant in the results. I found a couple of useful tidbits, and discovered what a feed validator was.

Fine, are we close yet?

I put the blog URL into the feed validator, it spits back that there is a problem buried deep in the text of an old post. Oh, goody.

After five or six iterations of cleaning the offending text, rerun feed validation, finding a new error, repeat; I finally got the error back to one line:

which I can't fix because I'm not allowed tweak the HTML for the Blogger XML. Grrrrr!

While this is going on, I read some advice that writing blog text in Microsoft Word is baaad. Apparently MS Word adds some funny scripts that gets XML all aflutter. Won't be writing any more posts in Word then.

I tried one last time, and for some reason the feed worked, even though I wasn't able to work on the last bug. Hey, as long as it works, I'm happy.

Let me know if you can't get the feed. Apparently it was just a Firefox problem, IE always worked fine. One poster suggested that it may be a Version War between Atom and Firefox.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

This Made Me Laugh... 

Via Underwater Times:

Agitated Croc Chomps Chainsaw.

A crocodile agitated by a chainsaw's noise has chased the man operating it and snatched the machinery from him.

Freddy Buckland was at a Northern Territory roadhouse on Friday cutting a dead tree that had fallen against a saltwater crocodile pen during Cyclone Monica when the 4.4-metre reptile struck.

Nothing like having distractions to make yard work worse. I'm even more amused by the crocodile's tenacity:

"He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out.

"We got a bit of reinforcing rod, bent with a hook on the end, and at the same time we were draining the pen. It's still in one piece but, yeah, it's buggered."

Not suprisingly, the tavern has decided to re-asses how to get rid of the tree:

As for the cleaning up effort, it's been postponed for a couple of days.

"We've just left the tree where it is. I think we'll reassess how we're going to do it," said Shappert.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Enjoy the Rain, Guys 

Another day of "perfect California weather" **ahem**

At least these guys at my apartment are happy:

ducks1 Posted by Picasa

ducks2 Posted by Picasa

Can we start summer already?

Recent Things I've Learned... 

1.) Trader Joe's organic milk comes from alien cows, it has to. Just today, I finished off a half-gallon of milk that had an expiration date of April 7. It was still plenty edible.

2.) Everyone is going to get way too much Tom Cruise over the next few weeks. Mission Impossible 3 isn't in theaters until May 5. But the ads have already hit saturation point. Hold the movie, and hold the placenta.

3.) That Daniel Powter song is everywhere. And yes, I had my share if Bad Days last week.

4.) Working overnight is tough when the only restaurant open within 6 miles is Denny's. More brown-bag lunches for me.

5.) All you guys blog too much*

* Ha! You know I'm kidding. I'm just jealous you guys can do things like blog from work. Maybe this week, I'll have a few minutes at work to blog. But probably not.

6.) Nothing like traveling to pick up the car from service at the dealer, only to have the shop be closed. Hint to Toyota of Berkeley, post your service department's hours of operations, since they're different from the showroom hours. The whole Trip-in-Vain didn't do wonders for my sleep cycle either.

7.) One person in a position of authority can drive literally dozens of people nuts**

** OK, I already knew that, but I got a strong reminder this past week.

8.) There's a Jack-in-the Box on the East Coast? I though they were only a Western chain. I would like a Bojangles nearby, but there a Chick-Fil-A sort-of nearby in Fairfield.

Oh well, I have another quarter-gallon of milk that should last 'till Memorial Day, so I guess I can't complain.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Debt Free!!! 

Yesterday, I paid off the last outstanding credit card balance let over from last year's unemployment period.


Of course, I'm already carrying a new balance, but at least I'll pay this one off before they start charging me interest on it.

A pox on you, high-interest cards!!

Happy Easter! 

No surpise here, I've spent Easters past going on Peeps binges...

You Are Peeps

You're the type that's more likely to play with your food than actually eat it.
What Easter Candy Are You?

Via Jelly Bean Jay and Bunny Pop Deb.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Since I waste way too much time randomly reading interesting wikipedia entries, I though I would occasionally start posting them.

Today's entries:

* Exploding Animals: Includes military uses as well as naturally exploding whales. See also: Exploding Tree.

* In case you are lost, you are Here.

Exposing Myself 

OK, no R-Rated exposure or flashing with trench coats. Got this quiz from Helen’s blog:

Do you have:

(1) your own cell phone....Yup, but I often have it off/not with me.
( ) a television in your bedroom....No, but I can watch the living room TV from my bed.
(2) an MP3 player...I luv my iRiver.
( ) a photo printer...Nope
(3) your own phone line...Heck, yes.
( ) TiVo or a generic digital video recorder...Not yet
(4) high-speed internet access...It's an essential utility in my life.
( ) a surround sound system in bedroom...No, wouldn't fit.
( ) DVD player in bedroom...no TV, no DVD
( ) at least a hundred DVDs...more like a couple dozen.
(5) a childfree bathroom...I have a child-free life.
( ) your own in-house office...yeah right. As if I could fit my work machinery in here...
(6) a pool...the apartment complex has one.
( ) a guest house...no
( ) a game room...LOL
( ) a queen-size bed or larger...no, but the twin bed is a nice size for one.
( ) a stocked bar...I have beer in the fridge, does that count?
(7) a working dishwasher...Oh, Hell yes.
( ) an icemaker...uh uh.
( ) a working washer and dryer...I guess the apt laundry room doesn't count
( ) more than 20 pairs of shoes...ummm, I'm a guy.
( ) at least ten things from a designer store...see above response.
( ) expensive sunglasses...no, 2 uber-cheap pairs (I lose/break sunglasses anyway).
(8) framed original art (not lithographs or prints)...yes, my dad's paint-by-numbers count, dammit!
( ) Egyptian cotton sheets or towels...No (I guess I'm just not much of a playa).
(9) a multi-speed bike...Yes, my cheapo $99 college bike is rusting on the balcony.
( ) a gym membership...Don't need to, my apt has a kickass Gym room.
( ) large exercise equipment at home...a few barbells don't count.
( ) your own set of golf clubs...no.
( ) a pool table...nope.
( ) a tennis court...surely, you jest.
( ) local access to a lake, large pond, or the sea...Yes!! The beach (such that it is) is about 200 yards from my apartment.
( ) your own pair of skis...no, I don't go often enough.
(10) enough camping gear for a weekend trip in an isolated area...Yes. I have a tent, sleeping bag, and a bunch of camp gear. Would need to swing by REI for food, ect though.
( ) a boat....maybe someday, but today is not that day.
( ) a jet ski...no
( ) a neighborhood committee membership...as in like the Homeowners Association? Those control freaks scare me.
( ) a beach house or a vacation house/cabin...Only in my dreams.
(11) wealthy family members...Yes, at least one millionaire on my Dad's side (A million bucks still goes a long way in Fresno, plus others that live in Marin (by default, they're rich). Don't talk to them much, though.
( ) two or more family cars...No, unless you add in my Mom's car in Fresno.
(11) a walk-in closet or pantry...Yes to the first, no to the second.
( ) a yard...Not as a renter.
( ) a hammock...No, but I'm working on getting GMP hammocks for the lab ala Homer Simpson and Hank Scorpio.
( ) a personal trainer...Knowing one doesn't count.
( ) good credit...I have average credit.
( ) expensive jewelry...I have a nice crucifix, but nothing else.
( ) a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get...Do I need to dignify this one?
( ) at least $100 cash in your possession right now...No
(12) more than two credit cards bearing your name (not counting gas cards or debit cards)...I have five.
(13) a stock portfolio...Yes, a 401 (k) plan from five jobs ago that I need to rollover.
(14) a passport...Yes!! Just got it a few weeks ago. Now I need to start filling it up.
( ) a horse...No, but my uncle used to have one.
( ) a trust fund (either for you or created by you)...No
(15) private medical insurance...It's good to have a stable job.
(16) a college degree, and no outstanding student loans ...Thanks, mom!!!!!

Do you:
( ) shop for non-needed items for yourself (like clothes, jewelry, electronics) at least once a week...I'd say no, more like once every 2/3 weeks.
(17) do your regular grocery shopping at high-end or specialty stores...Yes, although IMHO Trader Joe's is gaining wider acceptance> I plan on shopping for some items at Berkeley Bowl, however, which is more specialized.
( ) pay someone else to clean your house, do dishes, or launder your clothes (not counting dry-cleaning)...not so lucky.
(18) go on weekend mini-vacations...Doesn't everyone?
( ) send dinners back with every flaw...Not my temperment to do stuff like that...
( ) wear perfume or cologne (not body spray)...No, but I'll use the nice after-shave.
( ) regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon...Not a metrosexual.
( ) have a job but don't need the money OR
( ) stay at home with little financial sacrifice...a big NO to both.
( ) pay someone else to cook your meals...No
( ) pay someone else to watch your children or walk your dogs...N/A
( ) regularly pay someone else to drive you taxis...I presume this means "to drive you around." No.
( ) expect a gift after you fight with your partner...Not necessarily, but a hug or some other gesture would be nice...

Are you:
(19) an only child...Ding! Ding! Ding!
( ) married/partnered to a wealthy person...No
( ) baffled/surprised when you don't get your way...I'm baffled/suprised when I DO get my way.

Have you:
( ) been on a cruise...No
(20) traveled out of the country...Yes, even Baja CA counts.
(21) met a celebrity...yes, I saw Urkel once at Magic Mountain (No, I'm not joking).
( ) been to the Caribbean...No, mon
( ) been to Europe...No, plan to go soon.
( ) been to Hawaii...Ditto
( ) been to New York...Ditto squared.
( ) eaten at the space needle in Seattle...No, Seattle would be fun. I wanna catch fish.
( ) been to the Mall of America...No
( ) been on the Eiffel tower in Paris...Non
( ) been on the Statue of Liberty in New York...No, and I badly want to. I hope they reopen the stairs to the top someday.
( 22) moved more than three times because you wanted to...Yes, I moved from Fresno to Santa Barbara for college, From Fresno to Fremont to start work, then from Fremont to Alameda to move coser to work (it was my choice, the place being turned into condos only sped up the process).
(23) dined with local political figures. Yes!!! In high school I was on the Academic Decathlon team. There was a congratulatory ceremony from the mayor at Fresno City Hall and cookies were served. Yeah, yeah, I know, but I'm counting it anyway. Sue me.
(24) been to both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast...Yes, I ever so briefly glimpsed the Atlantic from a southbound Amtrak train at the Virginia coast. The Pacific goes without saying.

Did you:
( ) go to another country for your honeymoon...Maybe I will someday.
( ) hire a professional photographer for your wedding or party ...I presume this will happen.
(25) take riding or swimming lessons as a child...Yeah, swimming lessons. They turned out less than well. That's a story for another time.
( ) attend private school...I was edjumicated by the Fresno Unified School District.
( ) have a Sweet 16 birthday party thrown for you....No. Helen got 30, I got 29 25 (can't count today). I guess we both have more living to do…

Monday, April 10, 2006

I Can Barely Hold My Breath A Few Seconds 

This is cool...

Scientists: Carp Found to Hold Its Breath for Months

Oslo, Sweden (Apr 7, 2006 17:51 EST) How long can you hold your breath? Scientists at the University of Oslo have recently discovered how the Crucian Carp, a close relative of the goldfish, is able to live for months without oxygen. The researchers hope that understanding how some animals cope with a lack of oxygen might give clues as to how to solve this problem in humans.

Yeah, I want clues on how I can go without sleep for, ...oh say a five day workweek on grave shift.

Who the Hell Is Gary Gilmore? 

Another quiz:

Now what's so bad about mixing cats and firecrackers?....

You scored as Antisocial Personality Disorder. Congratulations! You have ASPD! You know that blatantly disregarding social norms and the rights of others isn't just illegal; it's FUN. Jail time? Eh, look at Gary Gilmore... was he really that bad of a guy?

Unipolar Depression


Antisocial Personality Disorder


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder




Borderline Personality Disorder


Eating Disorders


Which mental disorder do you have?
created with QuizFarm.com

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Natural Causes Was Twelth? 

And "Bomb" was Third? Oh well...

You scored as Disappear. Your death will be by disappearing, probably a camping trip gone wrong or an evening hike you never returned from. Always remeber that one guy who was hiking alone and got in a rock slide. He could have died, but he cut his own hand off to save himself. Don't end up like him (or worse, dead).























Natural Causes


Cut Throat


How Will You Die??
created with QuizFarm.com

The Vampire Returns 

It is 3am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. I was able to get a good bit done on Saturday: went through 2-3 weeks of backed-up up mail, cleaned the apartment, and even found my long-lost VCR remote (yay!).

I'm still up at this hour not because I went out this evening, but because I need to get my sleep schedule all set for grave shift Sunday night/Monday morning.

Yup, that's right. It's been a couple of years since the last long-term grave work and now it's back fir at least four months. At least I'll be on a consistent shift, thought. One co-worker planned on clubbing late into Saturday night to help make the adjustment. I told her she should get the cover charge and drinks taken care of as a work expense.

Another task I got done tonight was getting the apartment Grave Shift Ready. Or the bedroom, to be more specific. For anyone who wants to darken their place for daylight sleeping, I have three words: black garbage bags. They're cheap and can easily be hung up using some duct tape and pushpins. They're pretty effective, too. I can keep nearly all sunlight blocked using the strategically-placed garbage bags.

I do want to be careful, though. Last time I decided to use the bags, I ended turning the apartment into a tomb. It was a little too effective. I had this creepy disconnect from the outside world. The sealed-up apartment turned into the perfect metaphor for that overbearing, cloistered job. One of my first acts after I got the subsequent job was to take down those dark bags and let the sunlight back in. Ahhhh.

This time, I'm in a much better place, both literally and figuratively. This new apartment has a separate bedroom with walls on three sides and a fold-away partition on the fourth. That makes the job of light-blocking much easier. All I had to do was put up a few bags along the top of the partition to block the light leaking through. Linens serve the same purpose of the gap between the partition and the floor.

The best part is I can still open up the partition without taking down the bags. No more being permanently isolated in my darkened place. Working on grave shift is strange enough without being able to open up a window at home.

Here is a picture of the bedroom with the bags all set up:

I think I did a pretty good job. Not much light, eh?Posted by Picasa

I get to start this lovely midnight to 8am shift this Sunday. I better get used to being a vampire again.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


On Wednesday morning, at 1:23am it will be:

01:23 04/05/06.

From CBS5 News.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Well, Duh 

Is anyone who knows me at all suprised?

Your Quirk Factor: 78%

You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.
No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."
How Quirky Are You?

Shout-out to the Not-As-Quirky Calechgirl...