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  • Super Duh!

    Some of my readers may wonder at the purpose of Fark.com. One really must read the history of Fark--how it started as a repository of links to the most ridiculous events posted online. It has evolved into more than that. Now it is a repository of links to the most incredibly stupid, obvious, waste of journalism found on the internet as well as just plain ridiculousness.

    Fark missed this one that I found on Yahoo:

    Little-Known Palin May Be Benefit or Bust for McCain's Campaign

    I'm thinking thusly: Are Americans that stupid?

    McCain's record and popularity weren't enough to prevent him from gaining the nomination of his party. One must conclude then that most Republicans would have voted for him on election day. He could have chosen any obscure male politician, just as Obama has done, and still have the same odds for winning the election: 50-50.

    Selecting a female for a running mate may adjust those odds slightly, but he still only has half a chance of winning, since only 2 people have a shot at winning the election: McCain and Obama.

    Sure, one might look back in time to the 1980s and point out that Walter Mondale lost his bid for President in an outstanding defeat, and that his running mate was a female. However, one must remove the rose-coloured glasses and remember that Mondale was running against a most popular president and that Mondale was a major douche. He could have selected Robert Redford and still lost. Hell, he could have been the only one on the ticket and still lost.

    How do I plan to vote? Once again, selecting the lesser of two evils leaves a bad taste. When faced with this choice, I might be inclined to vote for the Green Party candidate. However, I am considering a write-in candidate, but I'm torn: Luke Skywalker of the Jedi Party, or Harvey the Wonder Llama.

    Redemption. Sort of, but not really.

    Recently, I declared Augusta to be the armpit of the state of Georgia, USA. There are few things to do here that are low-cost and family-friendly, and I have yet to find anything free. In fact, there are few public parks outside of the Riverwatch, which is really just a lopsy-daisy, paved sidewalk along the Savannah River, along which are scattered a few benches with questionable integrity and a very small playground at one end.

    We are hard-pressed to find anything interesting for our kids to do here in the tri-county area that doesn't cost a metric assload of money for a family of five. Granted, we haven't tried very hard considering that the kids just aren't used to the levels of humidity here. But now that things are settling in and the area has received some rain lately, we're ready to get out and about.

    For some fun and to do something interesting, we drove three hours each way to go see some rescued bears. That was cheaper than anything we could have done here at the time, even if you factor in the tank of gas and dinner out. Even going to the ballpark to see the local Major League farm team is pricey now that they don't let you bring in your own snacks.

    Augusta has partially redeemed itself. What I have discovered isn't exactly cheap, and while it is family-friendly, it isn't for our girls--The Boy is more adventurous. Mister and I found that the one and only Indian restaurant in the greater Augusta area is still in business and their food is most delicious, as well as an assortment of Thai restaurants that have opened since we left in 2003.

    In closing, we might not be able to get out and get some exercise, but we will not go hungry for intestinally-directed cultural diversity. Good thing there are plenty of pay-to-play gyms!

    Accidentally Retarded

    I am literally a mess of phobias. The short list starts like this:

    • fear of the dark
    • fear of forests
    • fear of wide open spaces
    • fear of crowds
    • fear of falling
    • fear of dark waters

    and continues on until I start looking up therapists again. One thing I'm not afraid of is the number 13. I think that's just plain silly.

    However, of all the things I'm afraid of, nothing--and I mean absolutely nothing--terrifies me more than an eight-legged freak of nature, that thing called "spider."

    I regularly embarrass myself over them. My father-in-law didn't believe in my phobia and pulled a prank on me by picking up a dust bunny, pretending it was a spider, and then tossing it at me. My mother-in-law says that in 40+ years of marriage to him, I'm the first person she's ever known who has been issued an apology by him. Also, in front of friends,--as an adult, mind--I've climbed a trampoline while screaming like Fay Wray to escape the dirty beggars. Don't get me started on how the kids have tortured me.

    So a few days ago, I saw an entry on Fark about a spider lamp. A few days later, my curiosity decides to kill a cat and I click the comments link.

    I will never sleep again.

    Land of Milk and Honey

    In the past year, I have had the, um, blessing of being able to visit a multitude of military-run offices, from hospitals, clinics, and personnel administration to identity card renewal and the police department. These visits took place at three military installations, one Army, one Navy, and one Air Force, in two different states.

    The different military branches are not run identically. Each has their own traditions and policies guiding them, and while the Air Force got its start as part of the Army, these days it is quite dissimilar in its approach to many military functions. The Navy is unfortunately too stuck in its traditions, and can be quite archaic.

    The military services do in fact have one attribute that binds them together in a unique kinship: all services appear to suckle the teat of Fox News.

    Each military office which offers a television monitor for its waiting patrons shows the Fox cable news channel exclusively. Certain workplaces reference national media reports in order to keep abreast of what the public knows, and to do this they watch Fox. This bothers me immensely as it appears to be an endorsement of the channel and its point of view, which often comes off [to me] as decidedly right-leaning.

    The least they could do is rotate between the many cable-news offerings, thereby presenting a front that appears unbiased.

    Stairway to Heaven

    The State of Georgia, of the United States of America, is in fact a third-world nation. There are only two IMAX theaters in the entire state, and neither host 3-D movies. We have to drive to Greenb'o, Alabama in order to see Harry Potter in 3-D.

    Augusta, Georgia, is the armpit of the state. As experienced so far, there is nothing to do in the "greater metro" area that is family-friendly while not requiring a large outlay of cash. There is also this pervasive stench of pulp mill. If you've never smelled stale pulp mill, imagine sitting in a half-full porta-potty for about an hour on a warm day, just for fun. And to make it all complete, the entire town appears to be under construction. It's fab fun for the whole fam.

    Tonight, The Boy announces he must have a Spanish-English dictionary for English class. Just kidding. It's really for science.

    So Mister and I head off for the book store. I was expecting it to be a tiny, useless den of inanity. After all, Augusta has always been and will continue to be an utter disappointment. I can't possibly expect local retailers to keep up with "modern times."

    I was wrong.

    The coffee shop didn't overpower you at the door, there were actually sales reps wandering around keeping the snowflakes from running and screaming, and the whole place was massive.

    We had to walk all the way to the back to find the language section, which seemed to take a really long time, and along the way we passed the Manga section. After collecting the required text, we perused the Mangas in search of stuff for The Girl. Another display caught my eye, and I couldn't help myself. I just had to look. It was their gaming gear, and it was packed!

    So many modules, so many options, so many books. Nearly everything ever put out for E3.5 including many items that were older modules that had been updated for the "new" rules. And then, there were the E4 books.


    I'm busy drooling over the collection, calculating how many hours I'll have to work to buy one of everything, when Mister comes along and suggests that I pick a module and then run it with him and the kids. Drooling stops immediately, and the jaw drops. Pick one? One?!

    He's not the geek I thought he was.

    Anyhoo, I can't run a game, anyway. I'm not a rules bitch. And I don't have the bully-boy ball-busting 'tude required to keep the geeks in their place. ... Wait, what was the question?

    EDITED: I must apologize, and I do, most sincerely. It appears that most of the Deep South is culturally deficient, not just Georgia.

    In order to watch Harry Potter in 3-D as we always do, we will have to make a weekend trip of it by driving to either Chattanooga, Tennessee or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While Alabama does in fact have one more Imax theater than Georgia, none host movies in 3-D.

    I have moved to Hell. At least it's raining today.
    -21 Aug 08

    Aaaaaaand...... Cut!

    It's been a week-long journey, but I may finally be at the end. Just a few more tweaks, and the resume can be turned in today.

    I spent all day Friday just trying to fill out the online application. Holy crap, is that time-consuming. The short story is that I had to complete an electronic form that contained all the information found in my resume.

    So why am I wasting the paper? Because apparently, businesses still want the papercuts.

    Don't they know there's a war on? Save the trees, dammit!

    PS: fellow geeks, if you haven't found "The Gamers" on youtube, find it now--and stop being so lazy. You're already in the basement, you might as well look at something other than porn for a few minutes.


    So I take the rugrats out for lunch. As we're leaving, I notice this super-jacked-up black pick-up truck in the handicap spot. I check it over and sure enough, hanging on the rear-view just under the really big "Fear This" sticker, is the blue tag.

    Read it again: a jacked-up truck, a 'Fear This' sticker, and a handicap tag.


    I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!


    I am putting together my resume. I've just spent the last hour or so just composing the cover letter. I had no idea this was so very difficult. I certainly understand why there are people out there who are willing to pay others to build a resume for them.

    I also have a couple of hiccups to the business of getting employed, apart from having to build a resume. I don't have official transcripts, nor did I ever think to get references from anywhere that I had either been employed or had volunteered. And now that may hinder my chances of getting a decent job.

    If I am reduced to working at Walmart, I may just decide to stay poor. It's too bad there isn't a watery tart nearby with a scimitar in hand to grant me instant, supreme executive power.

    / facepalm /

    And so it goes.

    Most people deal in "real time." Shortly after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma battered the southern coastlines, gas prices in the US started to climb. This was partially because of damaged pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries in the South. "Big Oil" really didn't seem to be too badly affected by the shortened supplies, however, and posted record profits. Soon, the Middle East suppliers got on board, and prices began to skyrocket.

    While that minority with six-figure-plus incomes continued to live large and larger along with those whose self-esteem is tied into the appearance they present to the world, the rest of us tightened our belts. We seemed to just know what was ahead: higher gas prices over a long time equals higher prices on everything. It was time for change on a massive scale.

    About two years ago, interest in and sales of earth-friendly items began to increase. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been available at least since I bought my first one in 2000, but only now became popular. New home construction starting offering options previously consigned to the realm of Hippies: solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, construction materials culled from managed forests and recycled scraps, even rain-water reclamation units. And regular folks started looking hard at their vehicles and the prices at the pump.

    Soon, regular folks began trading in their SUVs for smarter choices, occasionally coming out ahead in the deal with smaller car loan payments as well as better fuel economy and cheaper insurance rates. At one point within the last two years, auto dealers were feeling the pinch of all those trade-ins because they were not turning over as quickly as they used to. You see, in the past, one SUV was normally returned in exchange for another SUV, and the traded vehicle would practically fly off the lot. Not any more.

    For regular folks, it was about saving money anywhere possible, which is an acceptable reason to change attitudes. For the hippies like me it has always been about less trash in landfills (CFL bulbs last 8-10 years, incandenscents last 6 months) and less carbon in the atmosphere because of power plants and cars--saving money is just an added bonus.

    Big Business, on the other hand, apparently hasn't figured that out.

    In spite of never-ending high fuel prices and the ever-increasing interest in hybrid and electric vehicles, American automakers continued to design bigger and bigger SUVs and pick-up trucks with horrible fuel economy. Sure, they offer hybrid SUVs and pick-ups, but just check out their so-called fuel economy. The 2009 Chevy Tahoe hybrid gets 20 mpg on the highway, only one mile more than the standard Tahoe.

    The sad thing is, when it comes to SUVs, even the so-called imports fail to impress.

    The buying public had taken notice of the moths in the wallet long ago, but it has taken Big Business too long to wake up. Today, Yahoo News posted this article concerning the incredible losses of one American automaker in its trucks-and-SUVs division. Many Americans are about to lose their jobs because their corporation is being run by knuckleheads who can't see the forest for the trees.

    For shame. Once again, I weep for this nation.

    PS: compare fuel economy here!