One Way

OneWay, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Toss today back in and try again tomorrow would be my plan

Men don't wear hats any more, I guess. So maybe that's why nobody sells them. Or maybe it's the other way around. Whichever, I went to the mall this moring - the biggest mall in the western part of the state - the biggest mall in the valley - to buy a hat and they don't have no hats. No real hats. Baseball caps, sure - whole stores full of nothing but baseball caps. But no, you know, real hats. For men. In fact, once you get past Sears and JCPenny's, it's no easy thing to find men's clothing - any kind - at all. Boys, sure. Men, not so much.

So then I got back from the mall and dropped by the cleaners to pick up a shirt (I'm starting to sound like some kind of fancy dude, right? Hats, pressed shirts, and all...) but on Saturday they close at 1:00. PM. And it's the only cleaners in town.

I ordered a hat online. Now I'm thinking, if I'm really going to wear pressed shirts, I need an iron.

So let's pick up the pace

If you spent just one minute reading every website in existence, you'd be kept busy for 31,000 years.


And more

In an interview last month with blogger Brad Friedman, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell when a caller asked a question about 9/11.

The former FBI translator carefully replied, “I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban - those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.”

link: Raw Story » Whistleblower: Bin Laden was US proxy until 9/11

More freakin rain

P1000160, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Apparently, not much

Companies talk all the time about “giving something back.” But here is an industry [banking] that helped create a huge financial mess, and taxpayers have put trillions of dollars at risk to help revive it. If ever an industry should want to give something back, you would think it would be the financial firms, wouldn’t you? That is why people are so mad. They feel they have bailed out the companies and have gotten nothing in return. All of which raises the question: what do the banks now owe the country?

link: Talking Business - Kinder, Gentler Banks? It Wasn’t in the Deal - NYTimes.com


A poem, by Sarah

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien - Shatner Does Palin

Wow! What a team! Composed by Our Girl Sarah. Arrangement by Conan O'Brien. Performed by William Shatner. Classic.

–Paul Knue

End of July

P1000158, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Icon & wet black

Easy come, easy go

WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of unsafe or decaying bridges carrying 100 million drivers a day must wait for repairs because states are spending stimulus money on spans that are already in good shape or on easier projects like repaving roads, an Associated Press analysis shows.

link: AP IMPACT: Bad bridges passed up for stimulus cash - Yahoo! News

Barry, hanging in

Conservatives "bitterly opposed" efforts to provide elderly Americans with access to health care. Ronald Reagan argued in 1961 that if Medicare wasn't stopped, "one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." George H. W. Bush called the plan "socialized medicine," and Barry Goldwater asked, "having given our pensioners their medical care in kind. . . why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink?"



The “public option” was sold to the American people as Medicare-scale plan open to anybody who wants in that would compete with the private insurers and drive their costs downward. But in their haste not to bite the hands that feed them millions in campaign contributions each hear, the president and his party have scaled the public option back from a Medicare-sized 130 million to a maximum of 10 million, too small to put cost pressure in private insurers. Worse still, the president and his party are playing bait-and-witch [sic], not telling the public they have reduced the public option, to nearly nothing.

link: Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody | Black Agenda Report

Rubber Duck Races :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES ::

Go ducks!

Rubber Duck Races :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES ::

Shared via AddThis

(OK, I'm posting this via one of those "Bookmark" buttons on the originating web page because there doesn't seem to be any way to embed the video itself, and anyway I've always wondered how those things worked. Always in Internet time, that is; in real time, more like since sometime last week. Anyway, if it works and if you want to try it too, this is Blogger. So the bookmark button has to have Blogger as a choice.)


Kicking rocks

So much for the ongoing secrecy of the nation’s independent central banking system. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Americans favor auditing the Federal Reserve and making the results available to the public.

Just nine percent (9%) of adults think that’s a bad idea and oppose it. Fifteen percent (15%) aren’t sure.

link: Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere

Single payer: "Secure, comprehensive, quality care"

Some critics attack single-payer, arguing that under such a program, government bureaucrats will be between the patient and the physician. In the 40 years I have been practicing under Medicare, I have never encountered an instance where Medicare has prevented proper medical care. On the other hand, insurance companies frequently interfere and block appropriate care.

link: Left I on the News

And by the way, if you think you're actually going to get single payer, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to talk with you about.

When the statuettes are handed out...

And the winner of this month’s Most Retarded Horseshit Written In Defense of Goldman Sachs award goes to… Heidi Moore at Big Money! Come on down, Heidi!

link: Matt Taibbi - Taibblog - The Best Goldman Apology Yet - True/Slant

For your movie list

"Such an uncommonly intelligent film does not often get made..."

link: Stranger Than Fiction (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...wrote Roger Ebert (according to Wikipedia) of the 2006 (so maybe you've already seen it, but I just saw it last night) movie, "Stranger Than Fiction," to which I add an enthusiastic you betcha, and even if you disagree about the movie you gotta love the cast.

Yeah, they kind of have a built-in market for that one

Intel's chief sales and marketing officer predicts businesses and consumers will move to upcoming Windows 7 at a much faster rate than Vista...

Like, for example, everybody on the entire planet who actually bought Vista or a computer with Vista installed is already standing in line to snap a copy up.

On the other hand...

An InformationWeek Analytics survey of businesses found many of them in no rush to upgrade to Windows 7. Fully 42% of the more than 1,400 business technology professionals surveyed said Microsoft ending of support for XP was the biggest reason to migrate. Only 18% said it was because of new features, and a third said their companies had no plans to deploy Windows 7 at this time.

...not so much enthusiasm there.

I would love to see the stats on how many businesses have migrated to Office 2007. Not too many, I'm guessing, talk about your e normous training cost.

Shut up and eat your brocolli

Organic food is no healthier than ordinary food, a large independent review has concluded....

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at all the evidence on nutrition and health benefits from the past 50 years....

Overall the report, which is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found no differences in most nutrients in organically or conventionally grown crops, including in vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The same was true for studies looking at meat, dairy and eggs.

The review did not look at pesticides or the environmental impact of different farming practices.

link: BBC NEWS | Health | Organic 'has no health benefits'

Couldn't hurt

The reason a real health-care bill is not going to get passed is simple: because nobody in Washington really wants it. There is insufficient political will to get it done....

Here we had a political majority in congress and a popular president armed with oodles of political capital and backed by the overwhelming sentiment of perhaps 150 million Americans, and this government could not bring itself to offend ten thousand insurance men in order to pass a bill that addresses an urgent emergency. What’s left? Third-party politics?

link: Matt Taibbi - Taibblog - The Health Care Bill Dies? - True/Slant

So then, this is the good news?

“We’re losing jobs at half the rate we were when I took office six months ago. (Applause.)”

link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Medical news you can use: cupcakes are good for your health


It's gonna be a good month after all

My grocery store happened, by some miracle, to get in a shipment of good peaches.

I've got this Parallels Desktop thing installed which puts me just a wee bit over on my software budget but dude, it's like having an unending supply of new toys - plus, if you want (yes, I know it's stupid, but play along) to run Windows on your Mac, Parallels is the way to go, take my word.

I found a new kind of coffee (Guatemalan) at the good coffee store (which is a really good good coffee store, it turns out).

And best of all, today I downloaded Stieg Larsson's new book, "The Girl Who Played with Fire." I've only listened to the first few pages - interrupted by a phone call - but just enough to recognize it's gonna be another good book by Larsson and to be reminded it's read by Simon Vance, who also read "Tattoo" and is one of my all-time favorite readers. If you've been looking for an excuse to try an audiobook this one is it, especially since, we are reliably informed, at the library lines are long.

I've blown off most of the month on a truly dreadful volume of verbal white noise called "The Last Man Standing," by David Baldacci, which is why there hasn't been an addition to the book list for a while. "Fire" will definitely wind up there though, you can bet on it, so no need to wait.

Wait a minute, hold on here

“We will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms, colonoscopies, or eye and foot exams for diabetics, so we can avoid chronic illnesses that cost not only lives, but money,” Mr. Obama said.

link: Obama Tries to Pitch Health Care on a Consumer Level - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

Is he saying - that's Obama talking, in case you didn't notice - health insurance companies don't cover that now? Is that a joke? I get eye tests and tests for colon cancer (I prefer to avoid the colonoscopy where possible, thank you very much, but still) and whatever other tests I need, whatever the doctor says, and all I have is one of those governmentized socialistic commie pinko health services everybody else is trying to freaking avoid - how is this possible? Unless, of course - well, they wouldn't lie to you, would they?

I was reading this piece in this morning's NYTimes by some business writer - probably somebody famous, but I don't follow business writers much - and marveling at how out-of-control rising health care costs are suddenly all the fault of those greedy sick people, you know, the guys who consume more health care than they really need (like, you know, they might buy too many socks) because...wait for it...health care benefits are not taxed.


And how all those big health care companies - you know, private companies like the ones St. Ronnie himself told us would always be more efficient than the government - just freaking can't restrain themselves from putting any controls on what they pay the health care providers. Are you with me here? That's just plain bonkers. I mean, off the chart.

"Health care" has become care for Big Medicine, not, you know, care for just plain people who happen to be sick.

And of course, say the Big Meds and their wholly-owned subsidiaries in Congress, we can always spend a little less on the sick people by cutting down on Medicare.

Yeah, if they can only screw up the part that works, then the part that doesn't will look better. I get that.

Chili is a vegetable, right?

So then, a chili dog and a donut would be all the major food groups right there? Good. It's settled then.

From now on, Bunky, do your own demeaning and humiliating stuff

“Sahayaks [personal assistants] will not be employed for menial household work,” A. K. Antony, the Defence Minister, told Parliament on Monday. “Any practice that lowers the self-esteem is to be abhorred . . . In this context, it is always ensured and shall continue to be ensured that soldiers are not employed on any demeaning and humiliating tasks.”

link: India abolishes the army batman as 'abhorrent' relic of British Raj - Times Online


Bike Snob

If you spend lots of time and money on bicycles, as some of us in the Midwest Bureau do, you'll love this guy. If you know someone who is a cyclist, you may get a chuckle out of it. If you are the asshole in the beat-up pickup truck who tried to run me off the road yesterday, you could have at least stopped when I gave you the finger. I wanted to yell at you and call you some of the names you called me.

-Paul Knue

Oh yes yes damn YES

Soooo good. Once again, it turns out that if you bang on something long enough eventually it gives up. On the 34 bazillionth try, Parallels succeeded in converting a virtual machine from VMware and now I have Vista ticking away on my MacBook. And I don't even like running Vista but hey, if it's there. I use windows to run a reference copy of Office 2007 and also Open Office - I want to play around with Open Office a little more and I figure I might as well do it in its Windows version (it's available also to run natively on Macs) - and, at the moment, Google's new web browser, Chrome, which is not available on Macs yet. And that's about all.

(Also I run Ubuntu on my Mac, which is about the most useless thing I can imagine - running Linux on OS X - but it's an especially easy install, Ubuntu is, and a very slick implementation of Linux, so why not.)

If you're interested in Open Office, BTW, you can set it up (on the Tools menu, under Options, then Load and Save) to automatically read MS Office files and save to MS Office formats by default. Saving with those settings produces a warning about features not being supported, blah blah: Ignore it. And there you go. Open Office is definitely ready for prime time and, and so if you want to escape from the awfulness of Office 2007 and do it free - yes, Bunky, I said free - Open Office is the way to go. (It's here.)

Start all over arrrrghhh

Yup, there it is. I've been trying to migrate my Vista from one virtualization product to another (VMware Fusion to Parallels Desktop, for the geekily inclined) and after three very time-consuming failures I find it, right there, on page 68 hundred thousand - a little note that says "before you try this you have to....blah blah." Alright then. Hope springs efreakinternal. Another hour or so and this thing might be done. Or not.

But hey. I don't work today, and it's dark and rainy and hot. What else is there to do? (Don't say clean the kitchen. No points for that.)

Why having a few eggheads on your side is not entirely, 100%, a bad idea

OH NO, HOW WILL WE OVERTHROW CASTRO NOW? The ticker the Bushies put in the building of the US interests section in Havana will no longer flash their messages of freedom to the enslaved Cuban masses. From the Guardian: “The ticker made little visible impact on Cubans but became a tourist attraction. Cumbersome technology, however, diminished its impact. The sign was slow-moving, difficult to read and lacked Spanish accents and tildes. For instance ‘año’, which means year, appeared as ‘ano’, which means anus.”

link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: I never ordered any combatant to eat anyone


Fire Water Shut Off

Photo: Lynn C.

Now Gates-gate!

I don't know about you, but I prefer societies in which the exercize of free speech in your own home does not lead to being arrested - especially just to teach you a lesson on how to be deferent to police.

link: The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Palin: Forgotten but not gone

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Sarah Palin stepped down Sunday as Alaska governor to write a book and build a right-of-center coalition, but she left her long-term political plans unclear and refused to address speculation she would seek a 2012 presidential bid.

link: Palin steps down as Alaska governor :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Nation


But you get the idea

A sign pointing southbound travelers onto Business Highway 51 in Rothschild and Schofield bears an incorrect spelling for every word except “exit.” ...

The sign for exit 185 on southbound Highway 51 reads “Buisness 51 Rothschield Schofeild.”

link: Every Word Except "Exit" Spelled Wrong on Wisconsin Highway Sign - God Bites Man - Weird News, Poor Life Choices, Fail

Poor little Alberto...

After a long, desperate search, Alberto Gonzales has finally found a job.

The former attorney-general under President George W. Bush will soon be teaching "Contemporary Issues in the Executive Branch" at Texas Tech -- a job for which, at least 40 of the school's professors say, Gonzales is profoundly unqualified.

link: The Raw Story » Texas Tech profs oppose hiring of Bush’s A-G Gonzales

Even Fox News doesn't want him, it seems. That's cold.