Tuesday, August 31, 2004


The RNC in a sentence

Looking at the lineup of speakers and what they've said so far, I think the message the following is the message being pushed by the RNC:
You may disagree with Bush on X and Y, but on the War on Terror, you agree with his approach (perhaps not some details), and at this time, the right approach to the War on Terror trumps everything else.
We'll see how this holds up, but it explains the list of headline speakers (John McCain, Rudy G, Ahhnaald, Zell all of whom ) and I think also captures the thoughts of many of Bush's less enthused supporters like Glenn Reynolds, Roger Simon, Bill Quick, Andrew Sullivan, and Neil Boortz. All of these, I believe would vote differently if there was no WoT because of varying criticisms of Bush from the left and from the right (If Badnarik wasn't such a bad candidate, I would probably be voting libertarian if it wasn't for the WoT). Also this is an argument that appears to have some traction with reluctant Kerry supporters like Mickey Kaus and Jeff Jarvis.

I think it's a powerful message for the undecideds, reluctants, and the base (but then again, I already pointed out that it strongly resonates with me). We'll see if the convention stays on topic for the rest of the week and see how it plays out in the polls (I predict it plays well in the polls - a 6-7 point bounce in Rasmussen).


Monday, August 30, 2004


Red Meat Giuliani

Rudy's dishing out the red meat for the Republicans right now. He just linked Kerry's flip flops to Edwards' Two Americas speech, i.e., one America where Kerry can vote for a bill, and another America can vote against the bill.


I'll post the text to Rudy's speech once I find it.

Here's a link to Rudy's speech. (link) It's on the NYT so registration is required.

Update 2
Here's a registration free link.


Sunday, August 29, 2004


Babel Fish

Or something like it (I don't think this on gives you output in text or puts energy excrement in your ear). It's the Phraselator, which will translate English to Arabic with other languages coming.


Once is a mistake...

Twice is a pattern. (I'm an engineer.)

Kerry voted for Helms-Burton before he voted against it. NRO
"Asked Friday to explain the discrepancy, Kerry aides said the senator cast one of the 22 nays that day in 1996 because he disagreed with some of the final technical aspects. But, said spokesman David Wade, Kerry supported the legislation in its purer form -- and voted for it months earlier."
At least the quote is only from a spokesman so it won't appear in an ad anytime soon. But come on.

Here's my explanation for the startling string of boneheaded moves coming out of the Kerry campaign. As part of a top secret deal made by Skulls and Bones, Kerry is trying to throw the race to Bush. ;)


Life imitates Weekly World News

Weekly World News is running a "news story" about Saudi company "Death to the Infidels Toys" selling the toy "Twin Tower Mania" so that
"children of all ages" can "play terrorist" and "have hours of fun punishing the Great Satan."

Ha, ha. Tasteless, but funny cause of course it's not real...

Then again..

According to WFTV, L and M Import/Export of Miami is actually selling this toy.


Animal Whoopee

While Gene Expression is discussing variations in animal copulation, Venemous Kate is running a poll of whom you would most like to sleep with (link), a Republican, a Democrat, or a farm animal.

Electric Venom is a right leaning site, so the Republicans are leading. However, quite a few have voted for the farm animals.

I wonder if the farm animal voters have considered the chance to expand their horizons to include bananna slugs. On the upside, they're well lubed. On the downside, bananna slugs are quite literally d*&k heads.


Friday, August 27, 2004


Say, what's that on your back?

It's a jawbone??

Perhaps the fella is a "back jaw yokel." ;)


Thursday, August 26, 2004


Maybe Kerry's not a flip flopper

Maybe he's just insane.

Kerry as quoted in the NYT:
"The truth, which is what elections are all about, is that the tax burden of the middle class has gone up while the tax burden of the middle class has gone down," he said.
Kerry was just misquoted, right? Right? At least voting for a resolution before voting against it is at least possible.

(h/t Best of the Web via poor and stupid)

Looking at this quote and the election in a AvP sense, whoever wins, English loses.

Update 2
As Thason pointed out to me off line, GeorgeWBush.com thinks Kerry's an olympic caliber flip flopper.

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New Soldier text

Contnuing polyscifi's practice of being your one stop shop for large document dumps (or free download as the case always is), we've located New Soldier. If you want a copy of John Kerry's New Soldier book (his 70's anti-war tome), it's available for download here. (h/t poor and stupid)


Now, THAT'S ranting

I wish I could rant this good.

Thason, don't read it.


"You sir, are a loser. You will go down in history as the man who made Dukakis look good. "



Review of Bubba Ho-Tep

I love Evil Dead and Army of Darkness.

I liked Brisco County, Jr. I wish I watched it more when it was on TV.

Hi, my name's Jeremy, and I'm a Bruce Campbell fan.

My friend Charlie lent me Bruce Campbell's latest cult flick, "Bubba Ho-Tep". The plot in a nutshell is this: JFK and Elvis team up to fight an ancient Egyptian cowboy Mummy. It's set in the present day. Confused? See, it wasn't Elvis who died, it was an Elvis inpersonator, and Elvis is actually in a nursing home in Texas. And the Black guy? That's JFK. He didn't actually die; they put a small sandbag in the hole in his head and dyed him black to protect his identity.

It's also full of memorable lines, like:

"Lyndon Johnson's dead, Mr. President."
"It's not like that's going to stop him."

One of my favorite Stephen King novels is Insomina, in large part because its protagonists were elderly, trying to live out their days with dignity as the world increasingly views them as useless. It's similar here. JFK and Elvis, two of the most well-known and most-mourned individuals in the world are actually alive, wasting away in obscurity. But they get one more chance to be heroes.

As for the scifi/fant aspect of things, the plot is full of holes, and information is presented when it's convenient to advance the plot. The acting is uniformly strong, and Bill Campbell is eerily good as Elvis. JFK and ELvis are both very human characters (Elvis misses his daughter). I wanted to see more of Bubba Ho-Tep. The lines are hysterical, and the jokes keep coming.

I thought the biggest joke was with the concept itself. What at first thought is a ridiculous premise for a comedy/horror pic is actually a tale of noble self sacrifice and loss. Change some of the comedy/horror elements, and you'd have an arthouse flick earning rave reviews. Huh, joke's on us. I recommend it. Go for the riduculousness, stay for the redemption.



Overnight, we got more hits than in any previous two weeks combined. All thanks to Beldar(William Dyer) linking to us from this post.

So, umm... Welcome first time visitors!!!

Welcome to our not quite ready for primetime blog (as evidenced by our rather lackadaisical site layout). We're frequently a tongue in cheek blog, but on occasion, we'll say something pretty profound - like a stoner philosophy major.

However, if you like what you see, we encourage you to read read some of our posts on politics, science fiction, beer, and random silliness.

So if you would like to take a longer look around, here's some of our favorite political posts:
Where do bears poop?
Annoy France Vote Bush (A bumper sticker)
Counter-Terrorism and Footfall
The Sandy Berger White Boy Defense
Bush is adequately funding his AIDS initiatives
A Kerry Polemic
Walmart is A-oK
Political Season Length
November Dissapointments

Our favorite science fiction posts:
A review of I, Robot
A review of the 4400

Our favorite beer posts:
Where do bears pee? (Really, I don't know why we post so much on bear scatology.)
Voting for President of Beer
Bar Limit Texas Hold 'em

Bug Fight Club
Al Qaeda's Gay Bomb
Procrastination Zombies


Cold beer for longer

Over on Wait til next year, John notes that ALCOA (a company I grew up quite close to) has developed a new aluminum bottle that keeps beer cold for an extra 50 minutes or so.

No word yet on how well the bottles work on bear whiz.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Swift Boat Improprieties

Previously, the NYT noted the web of connections between Bush and the swifties PROVING their coordination.

Well we at polyscifi can do the NYT one (or two) better and can note similar connections.

First, we direct your attention to Max Cleland. Many of you are aware of his attacks on the swift boats and denunciations of Bush (link). But how many of you aware that Cleland is a Bush political appointee to the Export-Import Bank of the United States drawing a salary of some $136,000 a year? (link, h/t NRO) Clearly Bush is paying Cleland in an effort to coordinate attacks against the swifties!! Why would Bush do such a thing? Who cares!?! Bush is clearly violating campaign finance law!!

If you think that's bad, it gets even worse. From beldar we learn that Merrie Spaeth, media consultant to the swifties and to Bush campaign for governor of Texas, was also a media consultant to Barney!! (no, really!!)

Barney is colluding with Bush!! I've even got photoshopped evidence from a "Bush Youth Vote" rally!

Clearly, Bush will sink to any level of depravity. Coordinating with Barney, with AND against the swifties!


Sunday, August 22, 2004


In response to all the fools I may have to suffer in the future

I am right, and you are wrong.

You are not just wrong, you and those like you are intellectually insufficient and morally suspect. Why do you hate our country? Think of the children. God said to tell you that he is not pleased.

Stop interrupting me while I'm shouting. Feel the crushing weight of my arguments, which are built on logic and constructed from facts that are sturdy and sound. You just whine about how you feel.

Your information is flawed because it came from a source I know to be aligned with the forces of darkness. I am able to parse the media and edit what I see for bias and spin, while you are a gullible sap who believes everything you see on the TV or read in that wholly discredited rag you just quoted.
There's more where that came from here. h/t buzzmachine


Support for Kerry

I would've given serious consideration to the Kerry in Instapundit's parallel universe.

Alas Kerry is not that man.

However, my ultimate decision probably would've still been influenced by the chance to punk the French.



Check it out. Scream was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo.

I find it especially interesting that the museum had next to no protectionary precautions in place, and that the whole affair was accomplished in something resembling a daring daytime raid.

I also didn't know that the painting has been stolen before. Hopefully they get it back, without a moustache drawn on it or anything.

L.H.O.O.Q! That's priceless!


Saturday, August 21, 2004


Blockbuster's Movie Deal

I imagine many of you have seen the blockbuster moviepass deal. For $25/month you can treat Blockbuster like your own personal video library with two movies out at a time.

That's a pretty good deal. But here's a better deal. Get a friend to split the moviepass with you. You still get to check out an unlimited number of movies, but just one movie all the time (which isn't that big of a limitation to me). However, you only have to pay half the fee.

Ok, that's the end of my free Blockbuster advert.


Friday, August 20, 2004


Site layout changes

We've cleaned up our site a little. We still have one more major change planned, but that'll be to give the color scheme a more "polyscifi" feel. At the moment our color scheme is still a sight to behold, but not in a good way, in more of a train-wreck-oh-my-god-what-were-they-thinking-kind-of-way.

The following are some things that we hope you'll notice.

1) We've added haloscan comments. This will permit those who do not have a blogger account to leave comments and will allow others to trackback our posts. However, due to the design of blogger, for all posts before this one, you'll see two sets of comments - one is from blogger, the other is from haloscan. While fugly, we had to do that in order to preserve the old comments whiel adding the new comments (unless we wanted to transcribe all comments).

2) We've also finally put up a blogroll of sorts. All those sites come with our highest certification of approval, so go check 'em out.

A little word about the categorization of links. All the hokie bloggers are bloggers who either are or recently were at Virginia Tech (like Thason, Jeremy, and myself). The VTACO link is a link to the intercollegiate trivia organization in which we are/were involved (some of the chaps over at nanothoughts were also trivia players).

The blogroll is a list of sites where we frequently leave comments. So if you're just can't get enough of our witty insights about politics, science fiction, and bear whiz beer, visit those sites for a little extra.

The "news" sites are pretty self explanatory and the research site provides insights into what I do for my day job.

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Another cartoon candidate

I've decided that Alan Keyes is also a cartoon candidate, at least in his willingness to adopt positions at odds with his previous positions.

For instance, Keyes very publically decried (rightly, I believe) H. Clinton's run for the NY Senate as a carpet bagger and then did the same when afforded the same opportunity. (link)

And now for what appears to be for no other reason than possible partisan political profit, Keyes is calling for slave reparations, a position he also earlier decried (rightly, I believe).

So now in my political cartoon pantheon I now have the following characters:
John Kerry: "Anything Bush proposes must be a bad thing, even if I just proposed the same thing."
Alan Keyes: "Principles? What principles? Just vote for me."
Dennis Kucinich: "I'm just crazy enough to win."

What conclusions do I draw from this?

1) I really, really hope Obama wins. Big. If I could vote in the upcoming election in Illinois, I would vote for Obama. Where's a Daley when you need one?

2) Just to be safe, no one whose last name begins with a K should be allowed to run for elected office at the federal level. (The case for K candidates really isn't helped by the existence of Ted Kennedy, either.)

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Chinese porn

As we know from this study, a little porn is good for your health (h/t fleshbot and virtually the entire blogosphere - perverts. ed - Glass houses? Stones? - Ok, I'm a perv too).

With that in the back of my mind [ed - You've got a lot of space back there, don't you? - Thanks. Hey, what exactly does that mean?], I read this article posted on the Technology Liberation Front. It seems that one Wang Xudong has declared a war on electronic porn and has the goal of completely eliminating all interent porn from China by October 1st. [ed - You're making that name up - Wang Xudong - Aren't you? - No, really. That's his name. I'm telling you, I live in a cartoon world.]

From this I conclude that the Chinese government doesn't care about the health of their citizens. I wonder... will Orgazmo and Choda boy come to their rescue?

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Thursday, August 19, 2004


More bear excrement

Although there might have been some confusion in this post, I think we can establish where this bear goes to the bathroom.

Of course, this discovery sheds some light on the origin of this and this.

I also shudder to think what'll happen if this man succeeds in his challenge of this law.

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Kerry the cartoon candidate

Sometimes I wonder if I live in cartoon world. So many flat characters.

For example, a couple of weeks ago, the onion runs this article on the Kerry one-point plan for improving America - remove Bush and the nation improves in every possible way. At the time I thought that the Onion was being satirical, but now I'm not so certain.

Taking the Onion's satirical theme to the logical extreme, Kerry would then have to believe that everything that Bush does or says is bad, therefore, Kerry should oppose every Bush initiative.

So earlier this week, Bush proposed that we bring home most of our troops we have in Germany and a good bit of our troops from South Korea. Particularly in light of the end of the cold war, it seems like a pretty good idea. So good, in fact, that a couple weeks earlier Kerry had proposed what sound like the same thing in an interview with George Stephanopoulos: (link):

(OC) Can you promise that American troops will be home by the end of your first term?
I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops. We will probably have a continued presence of some kind, certainly in the region. If the diplomacy that I believe can be put in place can work, I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just there but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps.
So when Bush announces a similar plan, what are Kerry's possible reactions? The non-partisan response is: "Good idea. If elected I will ensure that this plan is seen through." The partisan, but consistent, response is : "Good idea. I'm glad Bush is finally catching up to me." The cartoonish partisan response would be: "That's a horrible idea. Bush is again undermining our national security."

So which option did Kerry choose in his speech yesterday at the VFW? Yup, the cartoonish partisan response.
Finally, I want to say something about the plan that the President announced on Monday to withdraw 70,000 troops from Asia and Europe. Nobody wants to bring troops home more than those of us who have fought in foreign wars. But it needs to be done at the right time and in a sensible way. This is not that time or that way.

Let’s be clear: the President’s vaguely stated plan does not strengthen our hand in the war against terror. And in no way relieves the strain on our overextended military personnel. And this hastily announced plan raises more doubts about our intentions and our commitments than it provides real answers.

I have some more specific criticisms of the speech, but those just make Kerry look pathetic and not cartoonish (the point of this post).

So if anyone at the white house is reading this blog [ed - you are on crack, aren't you? - No comment. I have to gu check on something... uhhh... on my stove.], I have a "secret plan" for guaranteeing victory for Bush. Ahh... what the heck I can't keep secrets.

To guarantee victory, Bush needs to put out an initiative in support of mom and apple pie.

If my Kerry-is-a-cartoon-of-a-candidate theory holds up, the next day there will be an announcement from the Kerry campaign decrying Bush's antifeminist (how dare Bush implicitly encourage women to choose family over career) and obesity-encouraging initiative.

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How long does the political season really need to be?

Candidate Kerry has decided to forego the strategy of not spending any advertising money until Septmeber in an attempt to counter ads run by Swiftboat Veterans for truth in the swing states of Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The underlying issue for me is the notion that the Kerry campaign must stretch its public election financing moreso than the Bush campaign will have to. It makes me wonder what arrangement is made to determine when the major parties will hold their national conventions. Tradition? Mutual agreement? Does incumbency play a role? Does it follow some arrangement a la the World Series, pre-Selig?

Just what are the advantages of going first? You have to make your check last longer. Your convention bounce, if it even happens, is subsumed by the convention bounce of your opposition, and closer to the general election to boot. How much initiative can you really seize by going first, when you in fact give the opposition a month to crib together its responses. It's like giving book reports back in the third grade. You don't have to necessarily look good by going later - you just have to look better by comparison. And given the short political attention spans of most Americans, you might not even have to do that. Who would willingly go first?

It would seem to me that there would be movement by the national parties to move their conventions to the "right" date as close to the general election as possible. But clearly, that's not the case, or at least, it wasn't this year. How close is close enough, or too close? Put another way, how short a campaign is still long enough? How much of the electorate is really paying attention anyway? There are still over ten weeks to the general election. Consider how long it has been going on (or how long it seems that it's been going on) and then consider that (if memory serves) that the time left is still weeks longer than most national parliamentary elections, in places like the United Kingdom. I'm not suggesting that the demands of campaigning in one borough scale up in some specific way to the demands of campaigning in a nation as large as ours. But really...is everything that had happened so far really that vital to the process in general?

Oh well, at least it gives me things to argue with Jody about...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Why I'm going to be disappointed in November: Sign #2

For those of you scoring at home, here's sign #1

First, some eerily appropriate advice, courtesy of Scott Adams:

7. Include as your accomplishments anything done by an employee who has a similar name or similar appearance to you. It's worth a shot, and if you're discovered just say, "I always get us confused" and quickly change the subject.

The Dilbert Principle, "Performance Reviews"
Scott would be so proud of the Kerry campaign today:

WASHINGTON - John Kerry (news - web sites), Bob Kerrey. It's easy to get confused. At least that's how the Kerry campaign is explaining claims that Kerry - the Democratic presidential candidate - served as vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Oops. Make that Bob Kerrey - the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who did serve as the panel's vice chairman.

In news releases and postings on Kerry's campaign Web site as recently as last Friday, the Massachusetts senator is touted as the panel's former vice chairman. However, according to the Senate Historical Office, Kerry never had the seniority to hold a leadership position on the committee - though he was a member from 1993 until 2001.

"John Kerry, Bob Kerrey - similar names," said Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan, adding that any reference to Kerry as vice chairman was an error.

What is up with this Mickey Mouse crap?! You are running for President of the United-freaking-States! It's no wonder the American people have know idea who you are or what you stand for! Your CAMPAIGN STAFF doesn't either!

Here's the whole article. Have a good laugh. I'm going to go vomit...

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Monday, August 16, 2004


Bug Fight Club

1st RULE: You do not talk about BUG FIGHT CLUB.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about BUG FIGHT CLUB.
3rd RULE: If a bug says "stop" or goes limp, taps out the fight is over.
4th RULE: Only two bugs to a fight.
5th RULE: One bug fight at a time.
6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.
7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to.
8th RULE: If this is your first night at BUG FIGHT CLUB, your bug HAS to fight.

Someone broke the first rule of bug fight club.

h/t drudge and pimpz

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Sunday, August 15, 2004


I, Robot revisited

I finally saw I, Robot last weekend and I thought I would share my thoughts, particularly as they diverge somewhat from my preconceptions (here and here).

Previously I expressed reservations about the film because I felt that the film would not be true to Asimov's vision.

I still feel that way. A massive attack by robots on humans would never happen if Asimov had written the story. Also there's this exchange between Spooner (Will Smith - the detective who doesn't trust robots) and Lt. John Bergin (Chi McBride - the police chief who doesn't believe robots can commit a crime). (paraphrasing)
Bergin: There's never been a robot who has committed a crime. Why would
this robot? Robots are incapable of commiting crimes - it's in their hardware.
It's like humans walking on water, we just can't do it.
Spooner: Well, there was this one guy.

Protagonists typically reflect the views of the author, and Asimov, an avowed atheist, never could've written the line.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead] All that being said, the movie does inhabit Asimov's universe. The robots left to themselves seem to be sincerely obeying and following the three laws. And like Daneel Olivaw, an AI (VIKI) evolves to conceive of a zeroth law of sorts. However VIKI takes things far further than Olivaw and seeks to protect humans from themselves by creating a police (robot?) state wherein the lives of humans would be carefully regimented. This seems like a reasonable development to me and the story itself is internally consistent and while the plot is obvious, the movie is still entertaining to watch.

So if you're the type that doesn't require your movies to be an exact recreation of the original story, then you'll enjoy I, Robot. Plus if you're a chick or have been struck by Al Qaeda's latest "weapon," there's lots of gratuitous shots of Will Smith's bum. Bum looker. Cheeky monkey.

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Saturday, August 14, 2004


Thomeone thet uth up tha bomb

Al Qaeda apparently has plans to deploy this weapon. CYA.
(h/t oxblog)

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Friday, August 13, 2004


President of Beer

Some time back, I ran a President of Beer poll, and I've called the election. It's Sam Adams in a landslide, garnering 57% of the vote with Budweiser, Rolling Rock, and Pabst Blue Ribbon tied for second, each receiving 14% of the vote.

Detailed poll results can be viewed here.

The winner has been notified with the following email. Should an acceptance speech be given, it will be posted as well.

Dear Sam Adams,

My humble blog recently completed conducting a vote on
President of Beers. Congratulations! You won our polling location collecting
some 57% of the vote.While turnout was low and I doubt that any Beerlectorate
College votes will be affected by the outcome, you did beat out several other
quality candidates including Bud and Miller.Complete poll results are at this site.

Jody Neel
Chairman, Blacksburg Presidential Beer Precinct Election Commission

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Revised Bumper Sticker

Having a little free time today, I decided to revist my old bumper sticker. My new bumper sticker is shown below. It's a little more jingoistic, but I think far funnier. I had so much free time, in fact, that I printed some off. So if you're in Blacksburg and want one, I'll happily give you one for free.

All you other suckas are going to have to download it and take it to Kinko's for printing like I did.

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Procrastination Zombies

Over on futurepundit, there's an article that states that scientists have discovered a gene in monkleys that regulates the connection between reward and the amount of work that the monkey is willing to do before receiving said reward. By tweaking the gene, the scientists were able to turn the monkeys into PhD students. (I kid. Kinda.)

Randall speculates that in the near future there will be a drug you could take to give yourself an extra boost to complete a long project. [ed - Don't we have that now and isn't that called caffeine? - Yeah or speed.] Presumably a viral agent will serve as a vector for introducing this anti-procrastination gene.

Of course there's all sorts of potential issues with such an approach. Randall notes the possiblity of corporations drugging their workers to make them more productive.

That's all well and good. But do you know what I'm scared of? I'm afraid that they'll find the gene for monkey rage and turn it into a virus. Or maybe that's because I was watching 28 Days Later last night, an excellent and beautifully filmed zombie movie. [ed - I didn't think beautifully filmed and zombie movie belonged together. - In this case they do. The shots of a deserted Britain are breathtaking.] To give it a little alcohol tie-in, I was drinking zombies while watching 28 Days Later.

I figure a gene that can be engineered to be turned on can also be engineered to be turned off. So if Randall's scientists and the 28 Days Later scientists can get together, then we could really have something - procrastination zombies. They're full of rage and willing to bite someone's head off, but they're just too darn lazy to do anything about it.

Continuing the permutations, we could also get a drug that creates procrastinating peacenik zombies. Oh wait, we already have that. It's called THC. But it has a side effect. The procrastinating peacenik zombies get the munchies. For BRAINS!! Or Doritos. Whatever's easier, cause, dude, they're baked and it's just not worth the effort.

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Hiya again

Had a few too many things to do the last couple of weeks. Look for "normal" posting to resume shortly.

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Friday, August 06, 2004


So just why do we have children?

First, a public service announcement: If you are considering having children, get kittens first

For the record, I will stipulate that if I released my kittens Mancha and Niebla, and my theoretical first-born child into the wild at the same time, the kittens would manage to surrvive and perhaps even thrive on their own.

But my kittens aren't allowed outside. As a result, they are dependent upon me for food, water, a safe and clean living environment, and (indirectly) medical care.


They sell medical insurance for pets now. There was a moment where I thought that Dr. Thomas was kidding, until she showed me the brochure...

In addition, they have a very limited capacity for expressing desire and displeasure, sometimes leaving me at a loss to figure out just what I should or shouldn't be doing. And they don't understand that some of the things that I do to keep them healthy and happy have short-term unpleasant aspects associated with them.

For example, I find myself picking "dirty" cat litter out of the fur that is between Niebla's toes far more often than I'd like. And Mancha sometimes requires the same treatment. It's somewhat like changing a diaper, except that babies don't complain because you're trying to keep them clean, and they don't have the means to do you physical harm while you're trying to keep them clean. In fact, the next of God's creations for whom I expect to be doing anything this remotely disgusting is my infant child. (Yeah, like that's ever going to happen...)

In return for my efforts, I get company (usually), indifference and avoidance (although it's getting less often), injury (although that's usually by accident), occasional affection (but it's only been a month, so I expect things to improve in that department), general bewilderment (obviously, they don't understand me) and a vague feeling of accomplishment. I draw a distinction here between love and affection that might be worth discussing at a later date.

The bottom line is that on the balance of things, I derive very little tangible benefit from sharing my home and my life with a couple of animals who, developmentally, will never progress beyond being eighteen-month old toddlers. At least my children will be able to come see me in the retirement home, and, if it hasn't gone bankrupt by then, labor to keep my Social Security checks coming in.

So why did I do it? Could it have been for some of the same reasons that people have children? Well, that depends on why you think people have children. Tom Leykis is fond of pointing out that there are no reasons to have children of one's own that are entirely selfless - it's done because two people think that their genes, name, values, and so forth are important enough to keep in the world. He goes on to say that he has no problem with people doing things that are in their own self-interests (that's human nature), but that just about all of those things could be accomplished by adopting.

And to connect back to a previous discussion that Jody and I had, (and to give him more credit than I might have at the time) will the achievement of our actuarial escape velocity make those reasons moot? If there's a reason for the birth rate to drop to zero, then that's it.

Anyway, since I was in no danger of ever having kittens of my own, I decided to adopt. What will come of it? Stay tuned.

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My momma told me...you better shop around

Apparently, the Illinois Republican Party had a mother that gave the same advice.

On the one hand, I suppose that I should look at this optimistically, and note that come January, the United States Senate will count an African-American among its august membership - only the fifth since the founding of the Republic.

But really? Alan Keyes? Was there no one else in the entire state of Illinois of any color who was qualified to run as a Republican? Seriously. When your original nominee might just be best known for formerly being married to SevenOfNine, are you saying that there's no one in the entire state who you can find to fill in? For God's sake, if you're going to give serious thought to running Ditka, there's got to be someone you can find in your state, or hell, in a state that borders yours who can carry your banner. Why look halfway across the country?

Is anyone else bothered by this?

Oh well, at least the debates will be interesting. It could be...Lincoln-Douglas - except this time, they're both black!

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