Thursday, April 27, 2006

Vacation Notification


Monday, April 24, 2006

Separated at Birth??

AshleysMommy & I were watching The Apprentice earlier tonight, which was actually kind of anti-climactic after Deal or No Deal, and the Donald had two of his children, Ivanka and Donald Jr., sitting in for George & Carolyn, keeping an eye on the teams. (And, yes, it was very bizarre watching the elder Trump trying to interact with his children in a business-type setting, as if he actually knew who they were.)

Anyway, when looking at Donald Jr., who had a rather small role compared to Ivanka, something occured to me:

One of these photos is of Donald Trump Jr., and one is Jack Osbourne. Could you quickly tell which is which?

Yes, obviously the one with glasses is Jack Osbourne. Geez -- what happened to Donald Jr.? Not that The Donald could give him hair advice or anything, but... try and pull it together a little bit, willya??

Decomposition of the Fable

Here is a nice little Easter-y article from the A.P. Basically, if you read the story, it states that a Greek monk, buried 15 years ago has "not decomposed". Now they have him on display in a monastery near Lamia, in a special glass case.

Now, read further into the story. Second paragraph: "...Vissarionas Korkoliakos remains largely preserved..." Ok, well, that's a little different than "not decomposed", but not too much of a stretch.

Next, look at the photo in the article. It's kind of small, so click on it. You will get a bigger photo, and the detail "Found partially decomposed last month after 15 years of burial. A little further out there on the grand decomposition scale, but again, not bad.

Now look at the larger photo you brought up. He is lying right to left, or facing away from the camera. No, those aren't his shoes on this end, that is his face. Or rather, what's left of it. Partially decomposed? Sure, if that means barely intact, black, and decaying. The rest of his body is covered in vestments, but I'm sure it looks similar.

So What??, you are asking. Nothing, really. Just -- people are looking very hard for miracles right now. As a recovering Catholic, I knew growing up that if you were destined for Sainthood, you would NOT decompose, regardless of how long you were buried, laid out, etc. IMHO, he would not qualify.

Now, Vladimir Lenin, on the other hand -- there's a survivor (so to speak)! 80 years gone, and he still looks 53. A little dusty, sure, but nothing a compressed air can and a little polish can't take care of. Still, I don't think Lenin is on the fast-track to Sainthood at this point.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Worst Song Ever???

I have actually had this conversation at work with a few people in the past, but the subject was brought up today in an article on CNN's site.

Simply put, what is the 'worst' popular song ever recorded. Of course this is subjective, and the only rules are that it had to have been popular at some point in the pop/rock era, and not just irritating due to overplay.

I had to respond with my two cents, of course. My selection, for the last couple of years (the last time I really sat down and thought about it) is: The Girl is Mine by Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney. (Just a quick Google search turned up more than a few people who agree with me, like this one.

Here was what I said in my response to CNN:

What do you get when you put together two of the most commercially successful pop artists of all-time into a bubblegummy, not-quite-novelty song? You get The Girl is Mine, aka the WORST SONG EVER!! If memory serves, this hit the charts in 1982. Half-singing, half-talking, completely non-sensical banter with Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney "discussing" to whom "the Girl" belongs. Of course, time, and news events, have moved this song from extremely irritating to downright creepy. Considering their work together, The Girl is Mine makes Say Say Say (another insipid song) look like a masterpiece.

Not that anyone is reading this, but the floor is open for other nominations.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mayor of New Orleans Square UPDATE!

This is TOO GOOD -- one of those times when the blog just writes itself...

A few posts back I linked to the story of Kimberly Williamson Butler, a candidate for Mayor of New Orleans, and how her campaign photo showed her standing in New Orleans Square, Disneyland, but implied it was actually New Orleans. The tip-off was that a Disneyland trash can was visible in the photo.

Well, it appears that her campaign has fixed the problem. How?


I eagerly await photos from her trip around the world!

McClellan... OUT!

Fulfilling the prophecy, and finally bringing an end to the worst kept secret in Washington, White House Press Secretary, and Head of Misdirection, Obfuscation, and Disinformation, Scott McClellan, resigned today. (Also in that story, something meaningless about Rove.)

Tearful reactions to McClellan's announcement can be found here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Return of Atomic New Wave Radio!

Or, rather, the discovery that our Live365 station, Atomic New Wave Radio (Music by New Wavers for New Wavers), never really went away after all. More details on this as I figure it out, but... it appears the radio station that we program still exists after all. This is good, because, you know, we really have nothing else to do right now and our lives are really boring...

I'll provide a link directly to the station after we get everything fully functional again.

(For those who have no idea what I am talking about, Live365 is a service that allows people to broadcast, over the internet, their own 'radio' programming -- music, talk, whatever. We have had a 1970s/1980s New Wave/Punk station there for a few years, but had supposedly, and regretfully, shuttered it a few months ago. Looks like that's not what actually happened.)

If you want to check Live365 out before we get up to speed again,
here's the link. It's a lot of fun to play with -- just about every kind of music and programming you could imagine is there to listen to -- and it's free, too!

Marsupial -- Out!! (I promise to never use that again.)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Stories are Like Eating Potato(e) Chips...

...once you start you just can't stop:

From the IOL (South Africa): German man sues Easter Bunny.

No wonder there is a war on Easter...

Watch those Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Seems they are a good place to get computer-jacked.

Q: When is New Orleans not New Orleans?

A: When it's New Orleans square at Disneyland!

Seriously, this is, I think, a campaign screw-up of massive proportion. A candidate in the NOLA mayoral race distributed campaign literature of herself standing on a street in New Orleans... NEW ORLEANS SQUARE at DISNEYLAND!!

(Link goes to BoingBoing since they roll a bunch of articles into one.)

More Easter Fun

And while we're on the subject, here's a few more things you may want to consider doing on Sunday if the horse racing goes bad:

Make an Easter TurDuckEn

Make a cake using Cadbury Creme Eggs instead of real eggs

Check out an art show featuring Marshmallow Peeps

That should keep you busy for a while...

Easter Activities

Not that there isn't plenty to do on Sunday, what with the Giant Rabbit coming around, unfertilized chicken-embryo hunting, and hors d'oeuvres (or so I hear), not to mention that guy coming out of the ground to see his shadow (6 more weeks of spring??), but how about racing a Big Wheel down Lombard Street in San Francisco?!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Girl with Two Hearts

Here's an interesting article from The Londonist. Wow!!

The Girl with Two Hearts

If there's one thing we dislike here at Londonist its dead little girls. So we were happy to hear that doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital gave the grim reaper a jolly good kick in the balls in the case of 12 year old Hannah Clark:
A 12-year-old girl is believed to have become the first British heart transplant patient to have her donor organ removed and her heart re-started.
Take that Death, you miserable bastard.

Hannah was suffering from cardiomyopathy, which had made her heart double in size, but not in the good lesson learned Grinch way. Ten years ago mechanical hearts were unreliable so surgeons popped a slightly used heart in instead. Sadly that heart began to show signs of rejection, but that's when the good bit kicks in:

Surgeons at the London hospital reconnected the dormant heart, which was never removed from her body.
That is just too fucking cool. It turns out that like a Londonist after overindulging at an all-you-can-eat-deep-pan-pizza-buffet the original stuffed-crust heart just needed to have a bit of a rest. So it sat to one side watching the intruder heart do its job for ten years before getting a chance to step up.

Untreated Hannah would have died with a year. And it gets better. The 8 hour operation only took half the time to complete and an expected protracted stay in intensive care was bypassed with Hannah home after five days. Oh and her cancer is in remission too.

So yeah, fuck you Death.

Best of all, now that we've tested it on the Welsh and know it works we can all have a go at having two hearts and pretend to be Time Lords.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bush Files 2005 Tax Returns

I got this off Air America Radio.
Does anyone have any comments? Is it me or is it unbelievable that Cheney is getting a $1.9 million refund?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Better Baby Photo!

Here's a 'better' photo of our new nephew! Welcome to the world, CJ (if I may call you that)!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

It's a Boy!!

Here's a January, 2006 3-D ultrasound picture of the baby my sister and brother-in-law now hold in their arms! He was born yesterday at 8:15 est and is a healthy 6 lbs, 3 ozs! Congratulations you guys!

Kentucky Derby Update

For people into horse racing (like a few of us, who merely dabble in it), Saturday was like watching the Final Four in the NCAA basketball tournament. There were several major Kentucky Derby prep races this weekend, with the winners automatically going to Churchill Downs, along with some of the other contenders.

Just to summarize what happened:

Santa Anita Derby: Brother Derek won by 3 1/4 lengths, wire to wire. Point Determined placed, and may qualify based on earnings. (Marsupial did well.)

Wood Memorial: Bob and John won by 1 1/2. (Contributor John G. did well)

Illinois Derby: Sweetnorthernsaint drew off by 9 lengths. (Marsupial did well, John G. got flattened.)

Ashland Stakes: Bushfire won by 6 1/2 lengths in this prep for the Kentucky Oaks (which is like the Debry, but is restricted to three-year-old fillies).

Now, granted, there are 20 open slots in the Derby, so these horses may not even factor into the outcome, BUT, a big performance today is a good sign.

Also, the final Kentucky Derby Futures Pool closes on Sunday afternoon, so if you think you know the winner already (before the entries have been set), bet quickly!


A few people who know me (in the dreaded Inner Circle) have heard me, when talking about the weather last season, mention the term hypercane. A hypercane is best described as a 'runaway hurricane' with winds that could hit 500 mph. I have been surprised that the news media, in their obvious quest to drive everyone into constant hysteria, hasn't really mentioned this phenomena, instead preferring to talk about how last year's storms were aberrations, and how things should be calming down.

Imagine my surprise tonight to find an article talking about the potential worsening of storms in coming years! Not hypercanes, per se, but possibly an increase in intensity of hurricanes. (Keep in mind -- at 200 mph, it's still considered a hurricane.)

Some interesting stuff, if you're into that kind of thing. If not, I'm going to write about horses, too...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Link

Hi everyone! We just added a link to The Smoking Gun, one of our favorite websites. This is the place to see celebrity mugshots, find out what Dick Cheney needs in his hotel room, and read all kinds of weird documents that you don't see anywhere else. Check it out if you get a chance!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tom DeLay Quits

As everyone knows, Tom DeLay quit his job today as the Republican House Majority Leader to focus on trying to stay out of prison. He fought to keep his seat as long as he could to keep his seat from going to a Democrat. He, along with Tom Rudy and Michael Scanlon, both former aids to DeLay, were closely tied to Jack Abramoff. Both of DeLay's aids pled guilty to conspiring with Jack Abramoff to influence legislation and Tom DeLay is facing money laudering charges. These people are only one part of the GOP's corruption, from Bush on down. Looking back on American history, it's difficult to compare these times to any other.

There are other stories that are going on, however. Randi Rhodes summarized it best:

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder plagues an alarming high rate of soldiers of all ages from all wars and deserves the attention of every American. As do the suicides and sexual assaults…important stories that rarely receive coverage.

The GOP corporatists and GOP racists continue to clash over the best use of immigrants…slave labor or xenophobic scapegoats. Count on both winning with YOU losing.

And while big oil continues to gouge you at the pump, there are Katrina survivors still sleeping in their cars."

Shouldn't these stories be getting more press? Right now it looks like the hot news is centered around the corruption in the Bush administration while we need to take action to take care of the people who need the most help in the world.

Call me a bleeding heart liberal, blame me and other liberals for all of the administration's corruption problems, whatever. But can we do something for the people who are suffering?

Monday, April 03, 2006

2nd Opening Day

It's not really baseball's opening day, I guess, since we had opening night yesterday (hey -- nice rain delay! Nothing like a six-hour game to get people fired up for the season!!). But, all of the other teams play today, and if anyone wants a hot tip, here is mine for today.

Braves over the Dodgers at home.

I will back the Dodgers for the other 161 games (and hopefully, more) of the season, but I have yet to see the Dodgers win a home opener in the last ten or so years, IIRC.

Please, Grady (?!), prove me wrong! I need to see how adding Sandy Alomar Jr. and Kenny Lofton to the team will trigger the start of a new dynasty!

Also, in keeping with the new naming conventions across baseball, the politically-incorrect Braves team will now be referred to as the Los Angeles Indigineous People of Atlanta.

(New link on the side to the Dodger Thoughts blog -- my baseball home for the last couple of years.)

That is all.

UPDATE: I am unfamiliar with this liquid falling from the sky. I certainly hope it doesn't mess up plans for the next few days...

Cubicles! AARRGGGHHH!!

  • Here's an article for anyone who has worked in a cube.
  • Tuberculosis

    TB has been in the news lately and it shouldn't be. Why is it, with our modern medical technology, that there aren't fewer instances of it? According to the American Lung Association, TB is an "infectious disease that usually affects the lungs and it is spread through the air. It is also usually spread between family members, close friends, and people who work or live together. It is easily spread in closed spaces over a long period of time." I know someone who has been exposed to people who have active TB, so I decided to do some research on it. Just recently, I got a letter from Sen. Barbara Boxer on this subject and I'm asking all of you to support her efforts on this. Here's her letter:

    Dear Friend:

    I recently introduced legislation to address the growing threat of tuberculosis. The STOP-TB Now Act of 2006 would authorize additional resources to fight tuberculosis, a deadly infectious disease that knows no borders.

    Tuberculosis is a terrible and devastating disease, especially in the developing world. Tuberculosis kills nearly 2 million people each year--one person every 15 seconds. One-third of the world is infected with the germ that causes it and an estimated 8.8 million individuals will develop active tuberculosis each year. It is a leading cause of death among women of reproductive age and of people who are HIV-positive.

    While developing nations are most heavily impacted by TB, there is also a concern here at home. It is estimated that 10 to15 million people in the United States are infected with the germ that causes tuberculosis. California has more cases than any other state in the nation. Ten of the top twenty U.S. metropolitan areas for tuberculosis case rates are in California: San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, Stockton, Sacramento, Ventura, Vallejo, and Oakland.

    My bill authorizes not less than $225 million for fiscal year 2007 and not less than $260 million for fiscal year 2008 for foreign assistance programs that combat international TB. It also creates a separate authorization of $30 million for the Centers for Disease Control to combat international TB. This funding is a wise investment for our nation. A recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a $35 million investment in the health system of Mexico to fight tuberculosis would yield a savings to the U.S. taxpayer of $108 million in terms of reduced tuberculosis healthcare costs domestically.

    This legislation will not only save lives, it will help reverse a troubling trend--the emergence of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis caused by inconsistent and incomplete treatment. In the United States, a standard case of tuberculosis takes six months to cure at the cost of $2,000 per patient while a case of multi drug-resistant tuberculosis can take up to two years to treat costing as much as $1 million per patient.

    TB kills more people than any other curable disease in the world. It is time to stop its spread internationally and in our own country.


    Barbara Boxer
    United States Senator

    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    Babysitting Update

    We just found out that I don't need to go to Newport Beach on Tuesday, April 4. So, that means I can pick Ashley up from school at the regular time.


    This post is for the people we've invited to this blog and, more specifically, our core group in So. California. Can anyone pick Ashley up from school at 12:00 on Tuesday, April 4? If not, the school does have a daycare program until 6:00 pm and she can stay there if necessary. Marsupial and I have to be in Newport Beach from 8:30 to ?? and it is mandatory. So, if someone (and you know who you are) could give me a call, reply to this post, or send me an email message to let me know, we would really appreciate it! Thanks!

    Colorado Stage

    There is a terrific website that I've added to the links page for all those live theatre enthusiasts! They've received outstanding reviews on all their plays and the founders have put an incredible amount of passion in their work. This theatre is growing by leaps and bounds, and their popularity is surpassing even the communities expectations. So go check out the link on the right side of the screen and find out more about it!

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    One more thing tonight

    I guess I should also mention:

    UCLA rules! Florida drools!

    (After the highs & lows of the UCLA football season, we really need this.)

    Hmmmm..... my first post.... what to say, what to say?? Well, how about this: this is (hopefully) going to be a Group Blog -- that is to say, a group larger than the 2 of us that are here now, Marsupial (me) and ashleys_mommy (formerly known in other blogging worlds as Wife Of Marsupial). Invitations have been sent -- you people know who you are. If the right people decide to come on board, I think we will have a good mix of topics. Not that I don't love some single-topic blogs, but I think a mix of views and topics might be fun.

    So, what can you expect from me? For starters, a jumble of reality-based politics, music (WARNING: my love is 70s & 80s Punk & New Wave, so be warned!), parenting stories, game show reviews, pet stories, rants about What The Problem Is With These Kids Today (with the hippin' and the hoppin' and the bippin' and the boppin') and whatever else dares to escape from my mind. Depending on the mood, posts will come out either as well-thought-out missives, barely comprehensible rambling screeds or, most likely, something in the middle.

    As for the name, no, I am not Australian. Why 'Marsupial' then, you ask? It is a reference to something else, something that will probably come up at a later date.

    Right now, it is a little past 11:00pm PST (we go on Pacific War Daylight Time in a few hours). This gives me just enough time to mention that today, April 1st, is the 19th Anniversary of my wife's and my first date. Yes, we keep track of that. We saw the movie Blind Date, of all things, and again, yes, we still watch it when it comes on. Even though we both had a sense of something bigger happening than a first date (as we found out by comparing notes later), I had no idea about the incredible experiences that dating/living with/marrying/having a child with ashleys_mommy would provide. I am 38 years old, and have been with her for 19 years -- that's half my life, and I would not change one second of it. I love you, honey!

    On with the show....!

    Our First Open Thread!

    Here it is -- just in case you haven't been able to contain your enthusiasm over posting comments, here is the perfect place to start and to practice!

    Al Franken vs. Ann Coulter

    Has anyone heard the Al Franken and Ann Coulter debate from the Gibson Ampitheatre on March 27? I'm looking for an audio copy of it to listen to and I am not having much luck. Can anyone help me with this?