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Bitch and Procrastinate

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/8/2 11:54:08 (903 reads)

I'm supposed to be cleaning my garage right now. But DAMN, it's hot out there. It's just the kind of heat that makes you want to soak in a tub of ice water until October.

Every time I go out to the garage, I manage to get about 15 minutes worth of work done, and have to come in and cool off. Being able to go shirtless is one of the privileges of being male on a day like today.

My garage is so full of crap that I've not been able to park my car in it for months. First there were all the campaign signs, now it's just various garbage, recycle, and crap we took out of the house. I need to have a garage sale. (Who wants to buy my old shit?)

So I have this other issue: Our recycle bin is never big enough to hold everything, so we end up storing the overflow in our garage. It doesn't help that with it being every 2 weeks, we sometimes get mixed up and miss our week. We've considered purchasing another container for an extra few bucks a month, but usually I convince myself that we're just going to redouble our efforts to purchase less packaging and have less crap to recycle. It seems hard though. No matter what we do, we end up with more and more plastic.

Well, I guess it's time to go face the heat again. Ugh.

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Saturday Morning Ramblings

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/8/2 10:05:17 (891 reads)

One of our occasional writers, Aimlessness, posted her music video on YouTube the other day:

This morning, I had 450 unread emails in my inbox - after spam filtering. I'm seriously considering declaring email bankruptcy and just deleting the whole lot of them. I wonder how much crap I would get if I did that?

I finished my first two weeks on the new job yesterday. I got my first small paycheck, and took it to the bank. I've got to sit down with my checkbook and figure out whether I can pay the bills on time AND buy groceries. My salary here will be roughly what I made in 2003, and of course everything is way more expensive now. But I'm not bitter. No, I'm thankful to have a job. Things will get better.

We got our electric bill this past week. The total was $486 for 33 days worth, in our modest 1500 sq ft. house. F*** me to tears. I just don't have a clue as to why it's so high. It's a couple hundred higher than normal. We have some maintenance we need to do around here, for sure. I recently got a quote for new windows, and nearly fainted when they quoted $10,000. No way I can do that. Maybe I need to get the AC tuned up. Somehow, we're leaking energy in a big way.

There have been a lot of political developments in the past week that I wish I had the energy to research and write about, but I'm just too mentally tired to put much effort in it. The biggest thing I wanted to write about was the idea for a "windfall profits tax", accompanied by a $1000 "Energy Rebate" that Obama proposed. As obscene as the most recently reported oil company profits have been, I'm just not convinced that this idea is right.

Well, That's all I have time for this morning. Take care.

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Chemistry for non science folks

Posted by Kit on 2008/8/2 6:29:18 (885 reads)

One more from the foward-forward email campaign, this one even you nonscience people can understand. If not just pretend you can and laugh anyway.

Probably a legend, but funny:

HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDEN: The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. < /P>

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'


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For your amusement

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by Kit on 2008/8/2 6:20:00 (1168 reads)

An internet friend of mine forwards all things amusing and fun on to me and I of course keep it moving. Steve suggusted I share this one.

So, my fellow democrats this one is for laughs and no thinking required. To balance this I may have to write a nasty blog about Wal-Mart, so easy to do these days. Please try a few of these to break up the monotomy of shopping.

This is why women should not take men shopping against their will.

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, my wife is like most women - - she loved to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Wal-Mart.
Dear Mrs. Samsel,

Over the past six months, your husband has been
causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot
tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban
both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr.Samsel are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

2 . July 2 : Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away.'

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least.
15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here."

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Why Men Prefer Democrats

Posted by Aimlessness on 2008/7/31 2:47:14 (3463 reads)

I'm sure many of you have seen the email that has been making the rounds titled "Why Men Vote Republican."

So in the interest of fairness, I submit a response that shows why they should prefer Democrats.

Let's start with the Lovely Ladies of Stage and Screen. Below, note that all four of the women from "Sex in the City" are Democrats. In fact, I noticed that Sarah Jessica Parker was in the audience with her husband Matthew Brodrick at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Lovely Dem Ladies Of Stage And Screen

Next we move on to the ladies of Rock and Roll. This should give those guys "Somethin' to talk about."

Now lets look at the women whose lives are centered on politics because of their spouses or parents or they themselves are in elected office.
Women of Democratic Politics

Lastly, here are two women who have been accused of being part of the "liberal media" even though they report quite even-handedly. I won't swear that they are Democrats. I could not find any political contributions that either of them made. But if this is who they want to ascribe to us, well gee thanks. Better these women than Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter.
Women Of The Liberal Media

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Thoughts on Wednesday night

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/7/30 21:37:24 (1213 reads)

I came home from work today with my brains oozing from my ears. As I sit to write this, I'm trying to think of how I can even explain what I'm trying to get through to anyone who hasn't worked as a programmer. Even though I have years of experience with the specific language in use here, the way the software is built is a big part of the learning curve. I've been getting out there early and working a little late. I'm sitting in a sea of cubes with mostly older ladies - tax people. The other day at lunch, I was treated to a full discussion of menopause, hot flashes, hormones, and hand guns. Yes, I said hand guns. Whoever that poor doctor is that won't let the lady have her hormones, I hope he's got protection.

You punks hardly ever leave comments. You're gonna make me start thinking that you agree with everything I write. You don't have to be registered to leave a comment, but if you are, they show up immediately.

Today, I got a "letter" from John McCain's campaign with a bumper sticker enclosed. The letter was just way beneath what I would have expected from McCain. For instance, most of the letter attacks Barack Obama, pretty much just flat out lying about a tax increase that the vast majority of Americans have no hope of ever earning enough money to have to pay.

The other thing McCain wrote in the top half of the first page was that "[Obama will] implement a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq". Really? "Cut and run?" Is that the best you can do? That is just so 2006. And I think most Americans realize that policy with regard to just what in the hell we're trying to accomplish over there is a bit more complicated than the false dichotomy of fight or lose.

Whatever respect I had for McCain because of his past moderation and integrity with regard to earmarks is just gone now due to his extreme right-wing crazy talk.

I've got some more links and things to post for you, but I've run out of time for tonight.

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S. 3335 The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/7/30 6:54:52 (1628 reads)

Yesterday, Grbtexan contacted me about S.3335 - "The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008". I hadn't seen it yet, and when I looked for it on Thomas, I saw that it was so new that there wasn't yet a CRS Summary. If you look at the full-text listing, the thing is just huge - and normally that's a sign to be wary.

Anyhow, he did find this summary on the Senate Finance website.

Being quite busy with a new day job, and still trying to tie up loose ends from the old one, I've only had time to skim this summary and form some initial impressions, which I'll post here. Perhaps when I get more time, I can look at it in more detail.

This bill seems to have a little bit of everything but the kitchen sink. Basically, it extends tax credits for an assortment of alternative energy sources. I'm good with that part, because these developing industries need help to reach the critical mass needed in demand so that they can reach economies of scale in production and bring down prices to make the technologies economically competitive. What I can't speak to is the quantitative aspects of the energy incentives. A good portion of the tax incentive on some of these things comes in the form of accelerated depreciation schedules.

In addition, the bill would seem to provide some AMT relief at the lower ends, and extend some of the energy credits to those that do pay AMT.

Here's where the "bigness" of the bill comes in:
- Incentives for electric utilities to sell off their transmission lines?
- Mine rescue team training credit?
- 7-Year Recovery Period for Certain Motorsports Racetrack Property.
- Special Expensing Rules for Certain Film and Television Productions.
- Wool Trust Fund.

I'd love to get comments from any readers who would like to weigh in.

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Progressive Blog Roundup

Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/7/28 20:56:06 (989 reads)

It's Monday and it's time once again for another Texas Progressive Alliance roundup. Here are the blog highlights for the week of July 28:

TXsharon challenges you to view these pictures of Domestic Drilling Armageddon in the Barnett Shale and still support the Drill and Burn Domestic Drilling agenda.

U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez' Republican challenger for the 23rd Congressional seat is taken to task by Mike Thomas of Rhetoric & Rhythm for shirking his responsiblity on a critical hospital expansion vote before the Bexar County Commissioner's Court.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the GOP's "latest" energy plan in Carter, Oil, & Hair Of The Dog.

Neil at Texas Liberal asks what would be the impact if Polar Bears could vote.

Off the Kuff looks at a Texas Monthly overview of the effects of the Presidential race on downballot elections in Texas and offers his criticism of it.

Guest Columnist JR Behrman at Texas Kaos has a few strong words about Energy Policy: Democrats Routed. He also has a Texas Plan.

Julie Pippert of the MOMocrats asks the Obama campaign to explain its absence in Texas after they announced the roll-out of their Spanish-Language ads as an outreach to Hispanic voters, then discusses a Senate proposal that would require 50% of US cars to have a flexible fuel system by 2012, and finally the MOMocrats share the draft of their position paper to be submitted to the Democratic National Committee for inclusion in the party platform.

McBlogger had a great time in the subprime panel at Netroots Nation. So good in fact that he decided to offer some of his own solutions since the panelists, including Rep. Brad Miller, decided to offer nothing of substance.

XicanoPwr reports on the latest poll by the Pew Hispanic Center on the Latino vote. Latino polling shows that 66% of Latino registered voters will support Obama.

Burnt Orange Report points out that Ag Commissioner Todd Staples finally comes around to what Democrat (and future Ag Commissioner) Hank Gilbert has been saying all along- Texan's are being overcharged at the gas pump due to lack of state inspections.

BossKitty at TruthHugger dreams about the "Count Down To Accountability - Bush, Cheney Indictments"

refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left invites everyone to meet Annette Taddeo- A True Progressive Democrat.

jobsanger writes about how after years of the Bush Presidency even our cloest traditional ally no longer trusts us in Brits Don't Trust Bush On Torture.

Obama and the down-ballot races in Texas are the focus of two articles by R.G. Ratcliffe of the Houston Chronicle. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs summarizes, and finds some to agree with and some not.

Mean Rachel writes an open letter to Rep. Elliot Naishtat, encouraging him to consider joining the technology age and starting an inexpensive, easy-to-use website tailor-made for state legislators with Wired for Change's DLCCWeb, a Netroots exhibitor.

nytexan at BlueBloggin keeps an eye on Mitch McConnell, the GOP king of distortion and extortion. McConnell plans to block legislation that can impact Americans now and push for a bill whose product will not be seen for 10 years; McConnell Extorts Senate For Off Shore Drilling. McConnell never fails to please Bush and his corporate buddies.

WhosPlayin looks at a new USGS petroleum estimate for the Arctic Circle, and notes that only a small portion of ANWR is estimated to be productive, and that the study doesn't address economic feasibility. (Includes Map)

Vince from Capitol Annex tells us that, while indicted former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) won't accept a presidential pardon, he'd love one from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme gets upset with crappy newspaper article.

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GOP Voter Fraud: Do As We Say, Not as We Do.

The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/7/27 13:20:00 (3881 reads)

According to the Denton Record Chronicle, Teresa Rather (44) and Ralph Rather (48) were caught fraudulently voting in the Town of Argyle, TX by registering to vote from their business address rather than their home address in Bartonville, TX.

Though they claim ignorance of the law, the pair is politically sophisticated enough to have formed their own PAC to elect new Councilmembers in the very election they are accused of fraudulently voting in.

Records show that Teresa Rather gave $200 to the Republican Party of Texas in 2004, and voted in the Republican Primary in 2006.

Do you think our Republican District Attorney will prosecute?

Update: Texas Kaos has a photo of the Rather's new voter registration address.

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Veterans Affairs rolls out Suicide Hotline (But only in Wash. DC)

The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/7/26 8:52:54 (997 reads)

The following is from a press release from the Department of Veterans Affairs - chronically underfunded by Congress, but always anxious to appear as if they're doing something:

VA Rolling Out Suicide Hotline Ads in DC
Peake: First-of-Its-Kind Test for VA

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2008) - Veterans and other residents of metropolitan Washington, D.C., have begun seeing outreach information on buses and inside subway cars about the suicide prevention hotline of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The red-white-and-blue displays, the centerpiece of a new three-month
outreach campaign, will highlight VA's suicide prevention hotline --
1-800-273-TALK. If the campaign is successful in raising awareness, VA officials plan to extend the promotional campaign to other parts of the country.

"It takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help," said
Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "That's the message
of this outreach."

In D.C., 80 buses, 220 subway cars and 10 subway stations will carry the displays until mid October. VA officials will measure the effectiveness of the outreach campaign by tracking any increase in calls to its suicide prevention hotline from telephone numbers in the metro D.C. area. VA's newest outreach to veterans and their families about suicide prevention includes soon-to-be-released public service ads featuring actor Gary Sinese.

The ads are the latest outreach tool in a suicide prevention program
that includes creation of a toll-free, round-the-clock hotline, which
began operation last summer; the expansion of hours at VA's 153 medical facilities to care for veterans with mental health problems; the hiring of suicide prevention counselors at each VA medical center; and special training programs for all VA employees in medical centers and clinics to alert them to warning signs in veterans for suicide and other emotional problems.

Gee, I wonder why they would test-market this in the D.C. area? Could it be that it's more of a dog-and-pony show for the Congress-critters in the area to give them warm-and-fuzzies that we're doing enough? Why didn't they start this outreach in Dallas/Fort Worth or Houston, Texas?

Veterans, if you're thinking about suicide, please seek help though the V.A. or your private counselor. The hotline is a good start: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

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