Friday, July 28, 2006

Tour de Farce

I don't really have anything to say about this, since I truly believe that International Cycling is probably the single dirtiest sport next to track and field when it comes to doping, so I am not really all that surprised. However, I did find the headline of this article to be rather funny...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Huffing Mothballs?

OK, I've heard of huffing paint, glue, gasoline, and a few other things, but this is the first that I have heard of huffing mothballs. One of the girls in the article was even chewing on the stupid things. That is just gross...

Listen kiddies, drugs are bad, m'kay? However, huffing is really bad for you. If you are going to try drugs, go score some plain old weed or something, but don't stick your head in a bag of mothballs, and for God's sake don't chew on the damn things...

Peace is the End, not the Means

It is not often that an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle actually makes sense, but this one is pretty good. The points that Ms. Saunders brings up should be obvious to everyone. However, as the "give peace a chance" crowd illustrates so nicely, there are large numbers of idiots who are just too stupid to realize that lasting peace is never achieved through negotiated settlements and capitulation. Just ask Nevill Chamberlain. In the end, the only way to achieve lasting peace is to totally defeat the evil party in the conflict.

In the Israeli case, capitulation has only led to the Palestinians electing a radical terrorist party for leaders. There are a couple of reasons that God told the Israelites in the Old Testament to completely destroy their enemies when taking their land. First and foremost, the people from whom the land was being taken were practicing evil, false, and detestable religions, and God did not want His people influenced by that. Second, however, is that doing so is simply a wise military move, as the total defeat of the enemy is the only way to secure lasting peace. What was true then is still true today, and Israel is absolutely doing the correct thing in going after these scumbags with as much force as they can with an eye towards defeating them. There is no reason for them to make the same mistake with Hezbollah that they have been making with the Palestinians all these years.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What Happens in Hungary Stays in Hungary...

The Hungarian tourism authority are attempting to attract young people to their beach resorts with a cartoon short that uses cheap, adulterous sex as a selling point (NOTE: video does not work in Safari, but does work in Firefox).

Alert to wives everywhere, if your husbands are suddenly taking a lot of "business trips" to Hungary, it is likely he is actually looking for a little action with the blonde with the new improved pulsating boobies...

As advertising campaigns go, I think this one just hit a new low.


Ozzfest was yesterday, and it was a total blast. It is now the next morning, and I am working on about 2.5 hours of sleep. Hopefully I can stay awake through church service this morning.

I went with my daughter and a bunch of her friends. The tickets were a gift to her for her birthday. I have a few observations on metal shows.

  • Guttural Screaming - It seems that with a few exceptions, "singing" in modern metal bands have devolved into a bunch of guttural screaming and growling, resulting in a bunch of bands whose singers a.) can't convey any emotion other than anger and b.) all sound the same. Not very original. The bands on the second stage were almost all "screamers and growlers". About the only stand-outs were Ozzy, Black Label Society, and Bad Acid Trip. The main stage was much, much better.

  • Drunken Idiots - When I was a kid, I found drunken idiots to be amusing. Then there was a long stretch of time when I was a drunken idiot. Now, I just find them to be annoying. For the main stage show, we were mostly surrounded by pretty cool people, but there were a few... The second stage crowd was more interested in moshing than drinking, so there wasn't really a problem there.

  • Hills - Alpine Valley is one big hill, and standing on a step include for 6 hours hurts these old feet and legs

  • Ozzy - Man, Ozzy is really getting old. I already new that, but seeing him on the intimate venue that was the second stage, especially right after all of the young, energetic bands, you can really tell just how old he is getting.

Well, that just sounded like a bunch of complaining, but really, it was a great time. We saw a lot of cool bands (I just wish they were a little more original on to vocals), and now I am just going to go to church, mow the lawn, and relax.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lisa Tattoo

Lisa Tattoo
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
This is a tattoo with my wife's name on it that I first got 18 years ago. It get pretty faded over the years. I just had it re-worked at the local tattoo studio. The original was so faded, that after the artist did the outline, it almost looked as if it was a fresh tattoo without any color yet. This was basically a total rework, and took just over two hours to complete.

Me and Lexi
Me and Lexi
Originally uploaded by stuffle.

This picture from a couple of years ago of me holding my niece shows how faded the tattoo had actually become. It looks much better now than before. Actually, with the colors and highlights that Aaron used, it looks even better than the original did when it was new (which I don't have a picture of).

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Inequality Concerns Run Amuck

It seems that smoking accounts for a good chunk of the life expectancy differences between men that are in lower social classes and men in higher social classes. So what?
"Encouraging people to quit is the number one public health intervention that will help to deal with health inequalities. That is why comprehensive smoke-free legislation is needed."

All I can say is "huh"? I am all for less people smoking, but what is the obsession with supposed "inequalities"? This is exactly 180 degrees opposite of the way "equality" should be measured. That is, these people are just looking at the end results of actions, and not at equality in opportunity. People of lower social classes have all the same opportunities to not smoke as people in higher social classes. Further, they have just as much opportunity to quit and, thanks to over-taxation, a lot more reason to quit.

Everything is equal on the important end of things. If one group of people choose to use those equal opportunities to their own detriment, so be it.

Not a Good Day to be a Closer

Yesterday was the first day in about 28 years that there was a full slate of baseball played, and not one save was recorded. There were six blown saves, and nine blow-outs. I follow two teams, the Yankees and the Brewers. The Yankees blew out the White Sox, 3 - 14, and the Brewers got blown out by the Diamond Backs, 1 - 8.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hot Summer Days

Originally uploaded by stuffle.

Today was hot, at least for Wisconsin. I was drenched just after mowing the lawn, so I spent most of the day inside being lazy. OK, I wasn't being completely lazy. I did dial in to work and get some extra tasks done, but I did stay out of the heat.

As the sun got low in the west, a nice breeze developed, so we decided to cook out and eat on the back patio. Luckily, we have our new Sunsetter installed. My mom and dad like to give one large combined gift covering my birthday, my wife's birthday, and our anniversary all in one shot. This year, it was this Sunsetter. On days like today, it is nice to sit out in the shade and eat dinner. We love it. Thanks, Mom and Dad!!

The Hill
Originally uploaded by stuffle.

This next picture is the view from our patio. When we first moved into our house, none of those houses were down there. Our house was part of the phase one development, the houses in this picture were in phase two. There are a lot of houses behind them from even later phases.

What I was trying to get with this picture is the hill behind the houses. This will be built up in some later phase of development. I will be interesting to compare this picture to the view we have in five years or so (assuming we are still in this house at that time).

Friday, July 14, 2006

Free Gas!!

What kind of moron does this? I would never wait several hours in some stupid line just to get about $30-$35 worth of gas. Get a freakin' job, people!! Simple math dictates that even at minimum wage, you could have made more money actually working than you saved sitting on your fat, lazy ass in some 200 car line waiting for 10 free gallons of gas...

Some people have no freakin' lives...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Zidane - French Soccer Terrorist...

Fifa will be investigating Zidane's little temper tantrum that resulting in his red card ejection head butting Materazzi. The BBC has had a couple of different "experts" analyze the tape, and have determined that Materazzi said one of two things to Zidane before the head butt:
  • "You are the son of a terrorist whore"
  • --OR-- "I wish and ugly death for you and your family, and go fuck yourself"
OK, so the "experts" don't exactly agree on their lip reading.

Materazzi's response to all this is just stupid. He says "I am ignorant, I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is". Ya, right. The whole world has known what Islamic terrorists are since at least 1979, with many other parts of the world (like Israel) having first hand experience well before that, so don't give me that crap that you don't know what one is.

Reading the BBC article, though, you get the distinct impression that some people are more upset about what Materazzi may have said than they are about what Zidane actually did. What if Materazzi did call him a "son of a terrorist whore"? So what? Should he be disciplined? Perhaps. But only if his punishment does not exceed Zidane's. After all, Zidane's actions were far, far worse than any mere words that Materazzi may have used.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Will Danica Switch to NASCAR?

According to this story, Danica may try to get a ride in America's premiere series, NASCAR's Nextel Cup. The reasons she would want to do this are obvious. NASCAR is the biggest series in the US. Thus it is where the money and fame are. Thus, it attracts all the best drivers.

Danica is a pretty face and a big name. In a sport that is so dependent on sponsorship, this is really important. On the other hand, she has not really proven herself in IRL yet. Also, with the notable exception of Tony Stewart, open wheel drivers don't exactly have a good track record of being successful in NASCAR.

The article makes it sound as if she is looking to go directly to Nextel Cup. Personally, I don't see this as realistic or wise. Nextel Cup has a much tougher schedule than the IRL and the races are longer. She should try a season or two in Busch first.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ashley!!

Ashley Playing Quads (Close-up)
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Today is my daughter's 16th birthday.

Yesterday, she marched in the parade. Ashley's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a couple of my cousins (Tim and his wife Dori, and Mike and his wife Amy) all came out to watch. This picture shows her as she passed her goofy family, and I think I caught her trying not to laugh.

After the parade, we had a party at our house for her. It was mostly all family, but some of Ashley's friends eventually showed up. It was a really nice 4th of July...


Lisa and I went to see the movie "Cars" last night. It really was not a bad movie, but it was not the best that I have seen come out of Pixar. Here are a few things that really caught my eye:

It was a fun movie.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Who Thinks That's Attractive?

Seriously, this is not normal, and is not attractive. Why would anyone want to look like a cancer patient? And if you did look like this, why would you want to wear something that skimpy?
Walk the Line

So, I finally rented "Walk the Line" the other night and watched it. Very good movie! My favorite line is when he is in the records exec's office trying to convince them to record him live at Folsom Prison. Paraphrasing:

Record Exec: Your listeners are Christians. They don't want to hear you cheering up a bunch of rapists and murderers.

Johnny Cash: Well, they aren't really Christians, then.

The thing about Johnny Cash and his music that I think is most appealing is that it is something we can all relate to. His whole life truly illustrates what it means to be imperfect, and to be redeemed by Christ, and that is reflected in his music.

I chose to link the "Hurt" video for several reasons:
  • It is one of my favorite country artists covering one of my favorite rock artists.
  • The video and song are both well done.
  • It is (I think) the last video with June in it, or at least close to the last.
  • The song itself is, I think, something we can all relate to. After all, we are all imperfect, and have all done things in our lives that I am sure we regret.

Anyhow, if you want to see a well done movie that reminds you that no matter how bad things get, you can be redeemed through Christ and can get your ship turned around, then I certainly recommend "Walk the Line."