Tuesday, September 23, 2008


130,981 People

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

People who died on September 23, 1970 (the exact day you were born)

  • Bourvil, French actor and singer

Natural disasters in 1970

  • 1970 Bhola cyclone
  • 1970 Ancash earthquake

People who died on September 23 (various years)

  • 2006 - Etta Baker, US-American blues guitarist (b.1913)
  • 2006 - Sir Malcolm Arnold, English composer and professional trumpeter
  • 2005 - Roger Brierley, English actor
  • 2005 - Filiberto Ojeda, Puerto Rican revolutionary
  • 2004 - Billy Reay, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
  • 2004 - André Hazes, Dutch singer
  • 2003 - Yuri Senkevich, Russian TV anchorman
  • 2002 - Vernon Corea, Sri Lankan broadcaster
  • 2000 - Carl Rowan, US-American journalist
  • 2000 - Aurelio Rodríguez, Mexican Major League Baseball player
  • 1998 - Mary Frann, US-American actress
  • 1994 - Madeleine Renaud, French theater and film actress
  • 1994 - Robert Bloch, US-American author
  • 1994 - Jerry Barber, US-American golfer
  • 1992 - James Van Fleet, U.S. Army general
  • 1988 - Tibor Sekelj, Croatian explorer
  • 1987 - Bob Fosse, US-American dancer, choreographer, and actor
  • 1981 - Chief Dan George, Canadian actor
  • 1978 - Lyman Bostock, US-American baseball player (murdered)
  • 1974 - Cliff Arquette, US-American comedian and actor
  • 1973 - Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1971 - Billy Gilbert, US-American actor
  • 1971 - J. W. Alexander, US-American mathematician
  • 1968 - Francesco Forgione, "Padre Pio", Catholic saint
  • 1950 - Sam Barry, US-American basketball player and coach
  • 1944 - Jakob Schaffner, Swiss novelist
  • 1943 - Elinor Glyn, English author
  • 1939 - Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist
  • 1935 - the first two victims of the Cleveland Torso Murderer
  • 1929 - Richard Adolf Zsigmondy, Austrian-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1917 - Werner Voss, German World War I pilot
  • 1900 - William Marsh Rice, US-American philanthropist and university founder
  • 1889 - Wilkie Collins, British author
  • 1877 - Urbain Le Verrier, French mathematician
  • 1873 - Jean Chacornac, French astronomer
  • 1871 - Louis-Joseph Papineau, French Canadian politician
  • 1870 - Prosper Mérimée, French author
  • 1850 - José Gervasio Artigas, Uruguayan hero
  • 1846 - John Ainsworth Horrocks, English-born explorer of South Australia
  • 1844 - Alexander von Benckendorff, Russian general and statesman
  • 1835 - Vincenzo Bellini, Italian composer
  • 1789 - John Rogers, US-American Continental Congressman
  • 1773 - Johann Ernst Gunnerus, Norwegian bishop and botanist
  • 1764 - Robert Dodsley, English writer
  • 1738 - Herman Boerhaave, Dutch humanist and physician
  • 1728 - Christian Thomasius, German jurist
  • 1675 - Valentin Conrart, founder of the Académie Française
  • 1605 - Pontus de Tyard, French poet
  • 1573 - Azai Hisamasa, Japanese warlord
  • 1571 - John Jewel, English bishop
  • 1535 - Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg, queen of Gustav I of Sweden
  • 1390 - John I, Duke of Lorraine
  • 1241 - Snorri Sturluson, Icelandic historian, poet, and politician
  • 79 - Pope Linus

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Blogthing: Our Man Flint

My pirate name is:

Dread Pirate Flint

Like the famous Dread Pirate Roberts, you have a keen head for how to make a profit. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

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Pirate haiku

In honor of ITLAP Day:

I be more pirate
yer salty hide can't outdo
my two eyepatches

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Galtian response

I was having a virtual conversation with a couple of guys the other day after the So-Called Government announced the $64 brajillion bailout of AIG.

I was going off on an irrational rant (as I am known to do) about how the So-Called Government is always bailing everyone out and that’s why people had no problem borrowing more than they could even unreasonably afford knowing that the So-Called Government would be there to buy them out if when the financial shit inevitably hits the fan.

This guy rightly pointed out that most people didn't "know" the government would bail them out of their mortgages, although the banks probably knew the So-Called Government WOULD bail THEM out.

This is true, and I forgot to give props for that. So, Bull, yes. You’re right that most people didn't consciously and premeditatively go into their super-balloon payment ARM mortgages with the idea of ripping off the bank and the taxpayer.

But I guess what I and an unfortunately small minority of others are so frustrated about is this on-going and really unacknowledged dependence that the American Public has developed on the So-Called Government.

Run your auto company into the ground? Don’t worry, the So-Called Government will fix it. Airline tanking? Don’t worry, the So-Called Government will give you some money.

Did your bank lose a bundle in a mortgage pyramid scheme? Hey, no problem, the So-Called Government is buying mortgage companies this week.

You say your house was destroyed in a hurricane because you built it below sea level? Let the So-Called Government help you rebuild it under sea level again.

Look people, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking we don’t live in a socialist republic. Hell, I'm not even so sure about the "republic" part anymore. Everyone is on the public dole, from the richest corporate CEO’s to the rural beet farmer.

And the majority of people seem to think that’s okay.

Years ago I read Atlas Shrugged. Now, I know the pseudo-philosophy of Ayn Rand has been roundly debunked, but I can’t help feeling like we’re living the plot of that (at times tedious) novel. How long before the few, productive members of society just get sick of funding the moochers.

In the book, the So-Called Government took over more and more industries – banking, steel, mining, transportation – for the good of the people of course. Finally the productive people said “fuckit” and started their own country in wild and unexplored Colorado.

Reading the novel, I remember thinking Rand was a passable writer and the concepts are interesting food for thought on a conceptual level. The characters were pretty melodramatic, one-dimensional and not very complex, so I never really attributed any real-world significance to them.

After the last few months, I’m not so sure.

Anyone have any unused ranch land in Colorado for sale?

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: I just wanna Fly

The year was 1986. A gallon of gas cost 89 cents, and Mikhail Gorbachev was the second-most popular Mikhail in America. The Bangles taught us to Walk Like an Egyptian, while Robert Palmer (R.I.P.) was Addicted to Love.

America was in recovery after the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger. We were introspective, searching for a return to simpler times, and veteran film director David Cronenberg was doing his part, taking a classic mad scientist movie and updating it for the glamorous '80s.

The Fly was one of my favorite movies from the period (sure, some of my contemporaries are nostalgic about the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but I found Freddy to be just a bit too one dimensional when compared with the multifaceted complexity of Seth Brundle).

Anyway, now in the midst of a national malaise, Cronenberg returns again with a new adaptation of The Fly -- on stage at the Los Angeles Opera. The Fly The Opera features original music by the film's soundtrack composer, Howard Shore (who also did Lord of the Rings), and is conducted by Placido Domingo.

I'll be checking this out next time I'm in LA-LA Land.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Man Grabs a Log III

Hey everybody! It's that time of year again! Back for its third annual installment...

It's (cue the Monty Python theme music...)

Emawkc's 3rd Annual Blog Anagram Game!!!

Yes sir, you heard right. It's the most popular 3rd Annual Blog Anagram Game!!! in the blogospheriverse.

If this is your first time participating in the 3rd Annual Blog Anagram Game!!!, then you are in for a treat. Here's a quick recap of the rules:
Below is a list of 10 blog titles in anagram form (anigramified, if you will). Your assignment, should you choose not to puss out, is to decode the anagrams and leave a comment with the answer.

Each time someone correctly decodes a title, you get a point. I'll link to the respective blog once its anagrammed title has been decoded. The commenter with the most points will win bragging rights, link love and lots of fabulous prizes**.
But wait, you say you suck at word games? Don't worry my friend, this game is designed to put the odds in your favor. All of the animgramified blogs below are listed in the blogroll to the left.

And as if giving you the answers doesn't make it easy enough, here's another hint: None of the blogs used last year or the year before are used this year.

I don't know how it could possibly be easier. And it certainly couldn't be more fun (unless you were naked).

Okay, here are this year's anagrams. Good luck.
  1. A blended severed snout
  2. Amiably OK poser
  3. Let Evil Deb tow lines
  4. Gabbling fur troll drumming
  5. Fleeciness moon grunting hymn
  6. Heathendom's vim tit
  7. Her gallant beer
  8. Pitch mole
  9. Satanic egg club
  10. Trolls go gab
*Yes, the title of this post is actually and anagram for "blog anagrams" -- I'm so fricken clever I scare myself.
**As usual, no actual prizes will be given. You should know me better than that.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

spyder spyder burning bright

For some reason, this makes me think of this.

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Friday Blogthing: Rainy Day Women Sept. 12

This one seemed particularly apropos today.

What Your Black Umbrella Says About You

When faced with adversity, you respond with authority. You don't let problems faze you.

You are naturally powerful and commanding. People look to you to take charge.

You are elegant and classy. You know how to always say and do the right thing.

While you stand out, you also fit it. You thrive in a variety of situations.

On a rainy day: you carry on as normal - a little bad weather isn't going to get in your way!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bumper? Hell I just met her.

The panicked squeal of the dog was followed instantly by the sound of something dragging behind my car along the gravel driveway.

I immediately stopped, fearing the death (or at least serious dismemberment) of one of my parents two Labradors. The two dogs, one a highly intelligent jet black lab named Rain and the other a chocolate lab named B.U.D. (acronym for Brown Ugly Dog) had run across the driveway as we pulled in for a Labor Day visit.

I had slowed down to let them pass before continuing to a parking place. I knew that as long as Rain was the leader, everything should be fine. B.U.D. was a different story. He couldn't be trusted to make good decisions.

I'm not sure how much in-breeding there is in his questionable lineage. I just know that in the parlance of rural Kansas, he's dumber than a bag of hair.

So when I heard the loud canine yelp and the dragging sound from the rear of the car, my first thought was that I was going to have to perform an act of euthanasia on a half-wit dog that had decided to lay down under my car.

I actually felt sorry for the poor beast as I shifted the car into Park, and I wondered how I would explain this to the five-year-old dog lover in the backseat.

My entire perspective changed when I saw what was lying on the ground behind my car. The plastic bumper (which is actually the bumper cover) was torn from the driver's side, just behind the rear tire, across the back of the car and was dangling by a few plastic clips on the passenger's side rear.

A chocolate Brown Ugly Dog, was sitting nearby, dumbly drooling and wagging his tail, seeming almost proud of the destruction he had caused. It didn't take the intelligence of a black lab to quickly size up the situation:

The two dogs had run across the driveway in front of my car. But B.U.D. was latched to a dog cable, probably due to his severe stupidity to keep him from roaming the countryside and running out to greet oncoming semi trucks on the highway a quarter-mile away.

So when he crossed the driveway, he took the cable attached to his neck with him. My car tires rolled over the cable -- front tires first, then rear tires. As soon as the cable cleared the rear tires, the dog pulled tight on the line. It became stuck on the rear fender and easily pulled the entire bumper cover off the car.

What I initially took for a yelp of panic, probably was a yelp of triumph. A canine half-wit's way of saying "Hurray, look what I did!"

So after a few minutes of suppressing my cursing reflex, I made the call to AAA. I gave them the info, they said get and estimate on Tuesday and they'll cover the cost of the repair (after I pay my $500 deductible, of course).

So it takes a couple of weeks for the body shop to get the parts in and get the work done. I'm supposed to pick up my car with a shiny new bumper cover today, and I'm only out $500 bucks.

Oh, and just to prove that God's Irony Ray was aimed squarely at me, this all happened the week after we made the final payment on the car.


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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's what this election is all about

Song Chart Memes

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YouTube Tuesday: TrueBlood

With all the excitement, no wait, that's not the right word, let's try this... With all of the tedium caused by the Barrack McCain and John Obama campaigns, my Supermodel Wife and I opted to watch different and more entertaining blood suckers on Sunday.

We watched the premier of the new HBO series TrueBlood. From Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under, the series is set in a world where a synthetic blood equivalent allows vampires to "come out of the coffin" and demand equal rights with mortals.

While it wasn't a thrill a minute, it was an order of magnitude more interesting than watching the vampires on the political stage suck the soul out of America.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

I need your advice on something

So I'm in the market for a new mobile phone.

It's been a long time since I've had a gadget upgrade of any kind, so I'm looking around for a device with a few more bells and whistles. I need want to get one of those "smart" devices where you can get your email, your calendar and to-do items, surf the web, stalk Scarlett Johansson using the built-in GPS functions, etc.

You know, your basic starter mobile device.

Anyway, I've been shopping around for a few weeks and it looks like I have a decision to make. There are essentially three smart phone software systems to choose from:

1) BlackBerry: One of the originals. This technology is famous for the effective "push" email technology that allows quick and easy access to your work and, more importantly, personal email.

2) Palm: One of the other originals. Known for its PDA software. I think this has a "fetch" email reader rather than a "push" email reader like the BlackBerry, but I could be all wrong about that.

3) Windows Mobile: I don't really know anything about this other than it comes from Microsoft and nobody ever has any problems with Microsoft products.

Actually, I don't really have any real experience with any of the products, other than I used a Palm PDA device years ago before they were connected to phones (I had a Handspring Vizor). Not sure how much the software has changed since then.

That's what I need you guys for. Have you used any of these? Do you recommend it? Any pros? Cons? Easily accessible pornographic material? I just need to know the important stuff here.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Blogthing: with a fine Chianti

But maybe a Pinot Grigio would pair well with the pesto.

You Are Spaghetti with Pesto

Compared to most people, you have complex tastes. You're a bit of a walking contradiction.

You like a little bit of everything, even if the things you like don't go together.

You aren't picky at all. You can find something to like about almost anything.

You don't judge on appearances alone. You like to experience something before you judge it.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Joe's thoughts

I love this point by Joe Poz in his post today:
Why is it that whenever any politician gives a good speech, the announcers say they “hit it out of the park.” Now, I want to say something to Wolf Blitzer and the rest speaking only as a sportswriter: You know how hard it is to actually hit a ball out of a park? It’s REALLY hard, OK? I mean, it happens at Fenway and Wrigley but that’s because of those park’s dimensions. If you want to say, “He hit that one out of Fenway” … OK, fine.

But hitting it out of the park suggests a titanic bomb out of Yankee Stadium. And, it should be noted that no Major Leaguer EVER hit it out of that park. None. Not Mantle. Not Ruth. Not DiMaggio. Not Reggie. None of them. Now, it is said that almost 70 years ago Josh Gibson hit it out of Yankee Stadium (though it should be noted that it is also said that Josh Gibson once hit a fly ball that didn’t land until the next day).

And this is my point. Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, MIke Huckabee (I’m not exactly a Hucka-disciple, but I have to say I think he gives a terrific speech), these people might have hit HOME RUNS. But for “out of the park,” you need a Josh Gibson blast that is so incredible it may be true and may be myth. I say no American politician has hit it out of the park, since, I don’t know, maybe Abe Lincoln in Gettysburg a long time ago.
I guess if TV "journalists" had any creativity, they wouldn't be TV "journalists."

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Biden my time

OMG Peopls! Can you believe the temerity of those REPUBLICANS!

Holy CRAPS! Trying to pull the steel wool over the eyes of the American voting public by putting a WOMAN on the presidential ticket.

Who the HELL do they think they are! Who do they think they're fooling.

I'm telling you, this is the best thing that can happen for us DEMOCRATS, as if we need any help. I mean our OBAMA express is rolling. Change is inevitable. CHANGE we can believe in!

My good friend and POLITICAL Siamese twin Xavier Onassis naield it today:
Think about this people. Who would you rather have a heartbeat away from the presidency? Sarah Palin? Or Joe Biden? I can't believe there is any question about this.
Are you kidding me? There IS no question. We can't have a WOMAN in the vp seat. We need to stock the cupboard with dudes, the older, richer and whiter, the better.

You can at least count on them not to get PREGNANT while in office.

I mean, as a rabid liberal I'm all for being progressive... up to a point. But when it comes to Hillary or Palin, well, let's be reasonable here. If we can't rely on them to keep their kids from getting pregnant, how the hell can we count on them to do whatever it is the vice president is supposed to do?

I think we all know how much of a disaster a post-menopausal chick would be in a high office. Hell, look how Nancy Pelosi has run the House into the ground. Worst Congress EVAR! Thank you Mrs. Pelosi!

These REPUBLICANS are so dense. Don't they get that we ALREADY rejected a woman being on the Ballot when we chose Obama Christ Superstar as our Candidate?

Unbelievable! And now they think we're actually going to even give this Palin chick a chance. PUHLEEEEZZE!!!!

Rich, old, white Joe Biden is the kind of change this country can believe in.


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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Random Photo XIV: mellow

Our five-year-old was incredibly bored during the Labor Day barbecue contest we were helping out with the other day. So to give her something to do, and get her out of the way for a while, I gave her our digital camera, showed her how to use it and sent her off to get some pictures.

Looking at the results later, I found it interesting to see the world through the eyes of a five-year-old again. You're at waist level to everyone. I'd forgotten how big everything looks when you three feet tall.

Three or four pictures even stood out a particularly good compositions and interesting perspectives on ordinary objects. This abstraction is one of my favorites. The crop and composition are all hers.

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