31 October 2008

30 October 2008

New Word


(given to me by Jen)

That is all.

I'm a Buy Me a '65 Chevy Now

Hallowe'ene'en Post

You Are Candy Corn

Your Halloween personality is whimsical, colorful, and creative.

You see Halloween as a time to get your creative juices flowing.

Each year, Halloween can't start soon enough for you.

You tend to go all out for Halloween. You decorate like crazy and always dress up.

You Are a Werewolf

You are moody and easily provoked.

You are highly loyal and protective of those you love.

While you can be intense at times, you are generally a laid back person.

But if a fight comes your way, you will fight 'til the death if necessary.

You seem normal to most people. No one understands how different you can be.

It's like a switch flips for you sometimes - and then you're a completely different creature.

(h/t to sherry for these)

Quote of the Morning

"They call him a socialist for embracing a principle that's rooted deeply in the teachings of the Christianity that they wear on their sleeves but cannot find room for in their hearts." - Joseph L. Galloway | McClatchy Newspapers

29 October 2008

FYI: Robots Suck At Spades

No time for blogging tonight!

Playing Spades online with Steve, Christina (on and off) and Jen.

Posting will resume a regular schedule tomorrow.

28 October 2008

New Vehicle Standard?

Wow. What a great idea:

Pat and I have just hired a car in the UK for 10 days: a Peugeot 308, a proper 4-seater with a non-trivial boot and a turbo-diesel engine, generally a nice car. The onboard computer told us the fuel consumption, for a mixed cycle of town, country and motorway driving, was 54 Imperial mpg, or 45 US mpg. It hadn't been zeroed between hires, so the value covered 2000 miles. Not bad; and comparable to what you can expect from a Toyota Prius hybrid. Peugeot, along with other European carmakers, are working on diesel hybrids: they promise 83 Imperial mpg for the comparable model due in 2010, or 69 US mpg.


The main thought this experience has triggered is the insight that miles per gallon is now an obsolete and misleading measure.

What we should worry about is carbon emissions: grams per kilometre (or mile). For traditional cars, mpg is a perfectly good proxy. But not for hybrids. Once you enable recharging the battery from the mains, a car is no longer an isolated system. A hybrid used as an urban runabout in pure electric mode could have an infinite mpg; but it has positive carbon emissions, because electricity isn't carbon-neutral.

I think the author is definitely on to something, but even more, why is it that cars in Europe have so much better average mileage than cars for sale in the US? Must be the Socialism, I guess.

It's No Longer 'Morning In America'

(via Think Progress)

A Secessionist Movement We Can All Get Behind

I've gotten this in email a couple of times and, on the off chance that someone out there hasn't seen it....

Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and
we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware,
that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe
this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the
people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave
states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the
Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You
get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of
America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We
get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay
their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the
Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. Please be
aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're
going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need
people to fight, ask your evangelicals.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent
of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple
and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of
America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners)
90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most
of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and
condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal
Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to
cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected
health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100
percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent
of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all
televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the
University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was
actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred
unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent
say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was
involved in 9/11... and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you
are people with higher morals then we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed
they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,

Blue States

Wait, What Month is it?

I just looked at Bill Ayers website, and -- what? Oh. Not that Weather Underground. My bad. Huh, guess that means I haven't been palling around with terrorists after all. Damn.

Anyway, forecast for Asheville this morning:

Partly sunny with a chance of snow showers. Total snow accumulation up to 1 inch possible. Breezy with highs in the upper 30s. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

And I look outside and see what? SNOW FALLING!!1!11!!! Yay!

Gratuitous link.

27 October 2008

There Is No Race Problem in the United States...

According to some people, anyway.

I wonder if, like me, they saw the news item about the two Neo-Nazis in Tennessee earlier this afternoon. I have nothing to say other than -- read this.

26 October 2008

Calling A Spade A Spade

As Doctor Zaius would say, "No Time For Blogging Today!"

Teaching -- okay, reminding -- someone how to play Spades. Online. So, we shall be a force to be reckoned with shortly... and will begin accepting challengers, no doubt.

25 October 2008

Today's Parroted Message

Ben Sargent, Austin American-Statesman

24 October 2008

Happz Birthdaz, Steve

Even though you're celebrating it at your alma mater and with Christina instead of here with me and Puff.

Hmmm, actually, can't blame you for that.

If you, Gentle Reader, are looking at my title and saying to yourself, "What the poop?", then you obviously haven't seen this post.

Again (and in normal keyboardese this time), Happy Birthday, Brotha! If I had one, I'd drink a Bud in your honor. Alas, I don't even have the gnat's piss, much less a real beer.

23 October 2008

Thursday Python Random Monty

Also, sorry about the no Phyre last night. I just didn't post it.

22 October 2008

Mmmmm, Doughnuts

You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut

A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.

On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex.

You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.

Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.

(h/t to kona)

21 October 2008

Yeah, Well...

Those pictures I took yesterday? While I was rearranging?

Yeah, well, they might as well be photos of Planet Zod. Looking at them, I can't even tell what they are, and I took the damn things.

So, no photos for you, Dear Reader.

20 October 2008

"Pooped after long day. Pics tomorrow."

I decided today to do some rearranging of the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago).

It's done, but took longer (and ended up more involved) than I expected.

I remembered to take a couple of pics, so you've got that to look forward to.

19 October 2008

My Inner Science Geek Is LOLing

The McCain campaign has broken through a heretofore impenetrable barrier in quantum physics, experimentally proving the existence of unseen dimensions and, in the process, setting three of its surrogates on a pathway towards winning the 2009 Nobel Prize in the physical sciences.

Gov. Sarah Palin, campaigning, she said, in "real America," which apparently includes part of North Carolina, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a media investigation to determine whether Americans are real or not, and today, McCain all-around best surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer (pronounced -- Foe-Ten-How-er, like proton power), said that parts of the state of Virginia, heretofore universally assumed to be in America, were not, in fact, in the country.


So what Pfotenhauer, by locating "real America" in the middle of an expansion of "unreal America" -- has given us more evidence yet that "unreal America" is expanding. Perhaps unreal America is a like a bubble in Alan Guth's Inflationary Universe Hypothesis, one that, when it envelopes "real America" will tear apart. (That would explain the fear in the voices of P,B and P.)

Read the whole thing here. (h/t to The Reality-Based Community)

18 October 2008

17 October 2008

Neither Cunning, Nor a Runt, But Does Have A Camera

So I don't have a fancy-shmancy camera like some people, but what I do have can sometimes take a decent image. I was up early t'other morning, and got some shots of the sunlight first hitting some o' the trees by the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago). As always, you can click on an image to embiggen it:

And here's this week's shot of the Reappearing House. You can actually kinda-sorta see it, cause of the angle of the sun:

16 October 2008

Just Say No... to Republicans

Cue George Burns

A US judge has thrown out a case against God, ruling that because the defendant has no address, legal papers cannot be served.

The whole story is here.

15 October 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Debate Edition

Everybody and their second cousin has an open thread for tonight, but I figured I'd throw this up here anyway.

14 October 2008

Quick, Before Teh InterWebs Tubes Die Again

Connectivity problems... will say more later if I'm able.

13 October 2008

See? I'm Not Wasting My Time

Gaming Makes Grown-Ups Safer Drivers

So says the headline on the Discovery News article.

Allstate and Posit say they have science on their side. Ten hours of game play turns the clock back 10 years in terms of memory, useful field of view, processing visual information, and general cognitive functions, say both companies.

Increased mental acuity leads to safer drivers. Studies, some 20 years old, funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at the University of Alabama show that similar video games cut the risk of a crash by 50 percent.

The training doesn't only make better drivers, but "it raises the overall quality of life," said Warden. "The benefits are not just in physical activities like driving a car, but also in remembering things more often to have fewer senior moments."

If anyone needs me, I'll be playing a video game keeping my mind limbered up.

12 October 2008

Wherein The Author Recycles Earlier Writing

I came up with this post after reading Teh Portly Dyke's latest, so, if ye haven't yet, go read it.

Long time readers -- and those who have delved into my archives -- know that I was, for a time, a columnist in the Rapid River Literary Magazine. Back when I started this blog (over 700 posts ago), I "introduced" myself by reprinting a few of those columns. Some of them were general, and some specific, and I posted the general ones here for the two people who were reading me back then. If you're interested, you can click on the Tag (AKA Label, AKA Category): Rapid River, and read the ones that I posted. Anyway....

One of them was about the "Impending Doom" of Y2K. Remember that? We were all going to be catapulted back into the Stone Age because computer programmers didn't think ahead back in the 1970's, and only had 2 digits in the year columns. Yeah, that happened. So, the main thrust of that article was... not correct. Part of it, however, has become relevant in today's Economic situation, so I figured I'd post it here (with a couple of word changes in brackets):

A much more likely possibility, in my opinion, is that the giant herd of cattle and sheep we call Civilization will be scared by all this talk of [Economic Disaster and Depression] and will lose its collective shit. You think I'm loopy? That's how the Great Depression [of 1929] started. A couple a guys on Wall Street got nervous and sold off some stock to cover their margins, the people buying those shares did the same and a landslide resulted that threw the entire world into a depression. All it will take is for the herd to lose faith in the dollar and everything will collapse. Life in America will not be like "The Waltons", it will be more like The Grapes of Wrath mated with Red Dawn.

Do something for me. Pick up that dollar you are going to leave as a tip and look at it for a moment. How much is it worth? Why? The answers are, 1) "A dollar" and 2) "Because it says so right on it and we all believe it". Is that gallon of milk at the grocery store, that you will pay [$4.69] to purchase, any different from the gallon of milk for which John Boy Walton would have paid 20 cents at Ike Godsey's store? Not really. I know, I know, inflation is inevitable, blah, blah, blah.

Do yourselves a favor, folks. Start working on a barter network (there are lots around already if you look) and plan an escape route. The Self-Perpetuating End-Of-The-World Government-Promoted ... Thing could hit hard and fast.

By the way, that was part of my very first column (August 1999). And I was asked to keep writing. Heh.

Sunday Humour

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11 October 2008

She Is One Crazy Bitch

Betty White on The Late Late Show....

BTW, Betty is not the Bitch in the title. Watch the video.

Friday (plus 1) Kitteh Blogging

"You have no idea what I'm thinking, you silly human."

"Seriously, don't even try to figure it out."

Puff snoozing in one of her favorite comfy positions. I swear, she does this just about every day.

Of course, when I take a picture of her, she wakes up and ... well, I'm not worthy of her, as anyone can see. ;)

10 October 2008

Milestone Of A Sort

About a year ago I added the StatCounter widget to my blog, because I liked the stats and presentation better than SiteMeter.

And just a few minutes ago, I received my 20,000th hit since adding the StatCounter!!

I want to thank each and every one of you who visit me. Especially those of you who come back time and again, for what reason I'm not really sure, but I certainly appreciate it.

I've met some really cool people, a couple of total freaks, and one extra special person, since joining Teh Blogosphere, and I'm very glad. It's not an exaggeration to say that blogging - and blogs - have changed my life.

Thanks to you all, and here's to the next 20k!!

09 October 2008

Unclear On The Concept?

Lee Judge / The Kansas City Star (September 5, 2008)

Thursday Python & etc....

We have a special this week.

Please click here to see the special.

Brought to you by Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel.

08 October 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The 1st Anniversary Edition

A year ago (plus a few days) some of us were hanging out at Shakesville's Virtual Pub, and it was brought up that we needed a mid-week version. One of the other regulars said, "We tried that. Didn't catch on."

Sounds like a challenge, dunnit?

So, with some photo-atering help from Jen, I rigged up this little get together. In an email to her, I reasoned:

Since I live in a camper in the woods, I thought maybe a virtual campfire might be apropos. Using my decidedly not mad search skillz, I found the fire pics below. (I like the last, cause there's people... but unidentifiable, so it could be us Shakers.

"Phydeaux's Bonphire"? ("Campphire" looks too weird)

"Phire Away at Phydeaux's Place"?

or maybe just

"Phydeaux's Phriendly Phire"?

Thoughts? Ideas?


And the first one was 10 October 2007.

Happy Anniversary, Pheaux Phyre!!

07 October 2008

Rebirth of a Series (Sorta)

Back in the Spring I did a series of photos of The Disappearing House. Now that it's Fall, I figured the only right thing to do is show the other end of the spectrum. And so, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you....

The Reappearing House!!1!!one!

It's there, you just can't see it yet. What you can see is a wee bit o' Fall Color in the trees. And a wee bit may be all we get in these here parts.

The most glorious bit that I can see around here. Except for the beech trees, which the leaves always turn a pretty yellow (as evidenced in the top photo), most of the rest either haven't changed yet or are going straight to brown. We'll see what the next few weeks bring.

I hear the Farmer's Almanac is calling for a cold, wet winter.

06 October 2008

Joe Six-Pack, You Betcha

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi nails it perfectly:

Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.

And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin' Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.

And, as if to prove Taibbi's point, we have this comment on the article:

dang! with tat B-minus Hawaii prep school kid on the other side of tat fence clinchin' to names like Khalid al-Mansour, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and Rev. Jeremiah Wright tat Palin lady from what you write fits right nicely in tat big picture. Maybe tat Matthew Franck fellow wus lookin' for a pin and not a needle in tat hay sack.
Aenold Glasow said, "It is harder to conceal igorance than to acquire knowledge." With tat neither one could be a hair on a gnats a!!. Sad tat Shawnee Chief Tecumseh ain't still around.

The quote in that quote, by the way, is Arnold Glasgow, and the word was, duh, "ignorance".

Read the whole thing here.

05 October 2008

Palin Aphabet

A is for Apocalypse, which we're hoping to have
B is for Bailout, so the haves can have more
C is for Christ, ya we like him a lot
D is for Doncha know, doggone it
E is for English only, no heathen tongues here
F is for Free Markets, except for cases of B
G is for God, who created Earth 6000 years ago
H is for Heathens, who'll be left behind
I is for Ice caps, which cover our oil
J is for Jews, we'll perfect them for A
K is for Killing, those wolves from the air
L is for Libruls, hated by G
M is for Money, second only to G
N is for Neo-cons, beloved by G
O is for Oil, drill baby drill
P is for Palin, of course
Q is for Queers, who G really hates
R is for Republicans, the real chosen ones
S is for Shoutouts, to 3rd graders during debates
T is for Taxes, which must be cut back
U is for Uranium, which powers nukular bombs
V is for Virgin, which my daughters all mostly are
W is for Wasilla, which I ran really bad well
X is for X husbands of sisters, who get fired by me
Y is for Younger, which my running mate isn't
Z is for Zero credibility, which I hide by being folksy

04 October 2008

The End Times Are Here

Lions are lying with lambs, and 80-something bluegrass legends are doing radio spots for Barack Obama.

Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

And if you don't know who Ralph Stanley is... well, I'll forgive you this time. You know his voice, though....

(h/t to Brian at Incertus)

Should We Mess With It?

03 October 2008

01 October 2008

DO IT NOW (If you haven't already)

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Wev Edition

Talk amongst yerselves. I'm prepping Sarah Palin for her debate tomorrow night.

"A is for Apple"
"B is for Boy"
"C is for Cat"