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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Good news and bad news

Bad news: The $9 worth of faucets I bought to fix my leaky washer hookup weren't the right type.

Good news: With a little tinkering everything's fine and dandy thanks to 2 wrenches and 3 cents worth of Teflon tape.

Back to Lowe's you go, unneeded faucets!

Posted by robbernard at 8:01 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, June 4, 2007
Things I learned last week:

1) Louisianans seem to think their 100% humidity is much more humid than Ohio's 100% humidity.

2) Hand Grenades® are darn tasty.

3) People get very friendly when you tell them you drove 900 miles to help repair their town.

4) A clothes dryer plugged into an improperly grounded 220 volt outlet can be a little tingly.

Posted by robbernard at 12:42 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, August 25, 2006
Inquisitive little buggers...

The old ladies were awfully inquisitive at the church garage sale tonight.

Them: "What are you going to do with that rack/shelf?"

Me: "I don't know, put it somewhere and put stuff on it..."

5 minutes later...

Them: "I'm curious, what are you going to do with that basket?"

Me: "Ummmm... put it on the shelf and put stuff in it..."

Posted by robbernard at 11:51 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, July 13, 2006
*forehead slap* Idiot!

Decrypt the folder on your hard disk BEFORE you upgrade your computer and reinstall Windows. BEFORE!!!

Posted by robbernard at 12:33 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, June 2, 2006
Overheard in the video store

What follows is a conversation overhead yesterday in the video store between a father and his son, who appeared to be about 8.

Son:*Looks at DVD box, reads title* "Carnival."
Father:"Read that again."
Son:"Car.. Carb... Cannibal."
Father:"Yeah, that means 'meat eater'."
Son:*~10 seconds go by* "Another word for that is 'carnivore'."
Father:"Oh, I guess that actually means 'one who eats their own'."
Father:*~15 seconds go by* "You know, once at a job site I was working at we had a guy who was arrested and taken away for cannibalism."
Father:*~10 seconds go by* "But that wasn't in America."

Posted by robbernard at 11:16 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, April 17, 2006
Co-founder of Greenpeace: Nuclear power is good
In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of U.S. emissions -- or nearly 10 percent of global emissions -- of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce these emissions while continuing to satisfy a growing demand for power. And these days it can do so safely.
And although I don't want to underestimate the very real dangers of nuclear technology in the hands of rogue states, we cannot simply ban every technology that is dangerous. That was the all-or-nothing mentality at the height of the Cold War, when anything nuclear seemed to spell doom for humanity and the environment. In 1979, Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon produced a frisson of fear with their starring roles in "The China Syndrome," a fictional evocation of nuclear disaster in which a reactor meltdown threatens a city's survival. Less than two weeks after the blockbuster film opened, a reactor core meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant sent shivers of very real anguish throughout the country.

What nobody noticed at the time, though, was that Three Mile Island was in fact a success story: The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping into the environment. And although the reactor itself was crippled, there was no injury or death among nuclear workers or nearby residents. Three Mile Island was the only serious accident in the history of nuclear energy generation in the United States, but it was enough to scare us away from further developing the technology: There hasn't been a nuclear plant ordered up since then.

Today, there are 103 nuclear reactors quietly delivering just 20 percent of America's electricity. Eighty percent of the people living within 10 miles of these plants approve of them (that's not including the nuclear workers). Although I don't live near a nuclear plant, I am now squarely in their camp.

--Going Nuclear

An interesting read.

Posted by robbernard at 1:52 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 26, 2006
The best article I've read on Intelligent Design

Orson Scott Card takes a reasonable and refreshing "pox on both their houses" approach to the subjet.

[W]hen you purport to teach science in school, the subject you teach had better be science, and not somebody's religion in disguise.

That's the problem with both sides in this squabble. They are both functioning as religions, and they should stop it at once.

If both sides would behave like scientists, there wouldn't even be a controversy, because everyone would agree on this statement:

Evolution happens and obviously happened in the natural world, and natural selection plays a role in it. But we do not have adequate theories yet to explain completely how evolution works and worked at the biochemical level.

That is a true statement, according to our present state of scientific knowledge.

And when Darwinists scream that we do too know how to explain evolution, and it's natural selection, so just stop talking about it, they are dogmatists demanding that their faith -- the faith that Darwin's model will be found to explain everything when we just understand things better -- be taught in the public schools.

There is no reason for science teachers in the public schools to take a single step beyond that statement I made above. It allows the teaching of every speck of scientific biology; and it makes moot the as-yet-unknowable issue of how each specific complex biochemical system came into existence.

In fact, what every school board in this country should decide is to ignore both sides' demands that the schools teach their faith, and allow the public schools to perform their public service: educating children in our shared culture, including what we have learned through the scientific method.

--Orson Scott Card

Posted by robbernard at 11:19 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, December 2, 2005

Looks like Alzheimer's might turn out to be type 3 diabetes.

Posted by robbernard at 9:47 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, October 21, 2005
I can't believe this is an actual news article
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. said it will quit marketing a drinking game called "Bud Pong" after discovering that some people were imbibing beer during the game instead of water, as directions specified.

The nation's biggest brewer rolled out "Bud Pong" in July, sending kits to beer wholesalers in 18 states. The bar game is played by bouncing ping pong balls into cups of liquid, with participants taking a drink if they lose a point. Anheuser-Busch suggested players fill the cups with water. A New York Times article Sunday described players using beer instead.

"It has come to our attention that despite our explicit guidelines, there may have been instances where this promotion was not carried out in the manner it was intended," Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman Francine I. Katz said in a statement Tuesday.
"The intent of this program was to provide adults who socialize in bars with a fun activity," Katz said in a statement. The company said it was pulling the promotion, and did not want perceptions of the "Bud Pong" game to conflict with a $500 million campaign to promote responsible drinking, Katz said.

It is irresponsible in itself to suggest that water be used during a bar game, said Glynn Birch, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Posted by robbernard at 4:20 PM in Miscellaneous
4th Avenue Jones - Stereo

We’re too material, materialistic
But one possession I prize is my stereo
I got her when I was five, after I wished it
Now all I need to survive’s a simple stereo
She’s with me when I’m feeling low
And no one else knows
I take her everywhere I go
Uh uh oh

The only girl in my life when the other chicks dis’
Nobody there to confide in but my stereo
She sang Marley we vibe Natural Mystic
Until that day that I die gon’ love my stereo
She’s with me when I have no doe
Totally broke
I take her everywhere I go
Uh uh oh

Well my mother met her at a mall
I believe she had emigrated from Japan
On display but they ain’t never let her music play
Because her moss was a mean old man
And he didn’t like kid’s dancing and rapping all around her bumpin’ that hip-hop
But everybody love her in the ghetto and they start to groove
Whenever she be on the block to ROCK!

We’re too material, materialistic
But one possession I prize is my stereo
I got her when I was five, after I wished it
Now all I need to survive’s a simple stereo
She’s with me when I’m feeling low
And no one else knows
I take her everywhere I go
Uh uh oh
Posted by robbernard at 12:19 PM in Miscellaneous
Well, I think that was a first.

Don't think I'd ever uttered the sentence "I need to report a robbery." before.


Got out to my car this morning, hit unlock on the keychain, got in the car and noticed there was some stuff sitting on the passenger's seat that I didn't remember getting out. Then I looked at the dash and there wasn't so much a radio there anymore. Bastard got my radio, the FM transmitter for my MP3 player and the recharging cord for my cell phone.

Reported it to the police, not like they're going to find it. And I think the total will fall about $750 below my deductible on my insurance so no help there. Guess I'll have to try and dig up my old radio and see if Circuit City can stick it back in.

Posted by robbernard at 9:47 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, October 14, 2005
What the hell?

Did this stuff use to happen? What is up with all the deranged people trying to rip babies from mothers' wombs?

A Pennsylvania nurse was charged yesterday with bashing a pregnant neighbor on the head with a baseball bat and then slashing her belly in a ghastly attempt to steal her unborn baby.

Authorities said Peggy Jo Conner, 38, hit Valerie Oskin, who was eight months pregnant, with the bat early Wednesday, drove her to a secluded woods northeast of Pittsburgh and used a razor knife to cut along an old Caesarean section scar. The horrifying ordeal went on for six hours before a 17-year-old boy on an all-terrain vehicle stumbled on the bloody scene and foiled the gruesome plot.

The baby was delivered by emergency C-section at Allegheny General Hospital, where Oskin, 30, remained in the trauma ward late yesterday. Authorities said the baby was in stable condition but would not release any further information.

--New York Daily News

Posted by robbernard at 9:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, September 29, 2005
"Did we lose a war with Nerdistan?"

Time has a good article up on how geek culture has been assimilated into pop culture.

There was a time--yes, my children, the legends are true--when J.R.R. Tolkien was not cool. Really. Very much not cool. Also video games, and Spider-Man, and the X-Men. There was a time, not even that long ago, when you could get beaten up by jocks in the woods behind the backstop for being down with the X-Men. Not that this happened to me personally. Friend of mine. Friend of mine's cousin, actually. Lives in Canada. You wouldn't know him.

The point is, things like that don't happen so much anymore. Over the past few years, an enormous shift has taken place in American culture, a disturbance in the Force, a rip in the fabric of space-time. What was once hopelessly geeky--video games, fantasy novels, science fiction, superheroes--has now, somehow, become cool.

It's as if the economic hegemony of the geek in the 1990s, when high tech and the Internet were driving the economy, has somehow been converted into a cultural hegemony. Rappers and athletes trick out their Hummers with Xboxes. Supermodels insist in interviews that they used to be losers in high school. Jon Cryer--Jon Cryer? Duckie from Pretty in Pink?--has a hit TV show. Did we lose a war with Nerdistan?
It's not hard to see how this happened. It's partly good business: nerds are highly employable, bursting with disposable income, and the entertainment industry has discovered them as a prime demographic to be marketed to, the same way it discovered teenage girls after Titanic. On a deeper level, there's something about the nerd's principled disdain for (or inability to abide by, same difference) ordinary social conventions that strikes Americans--a nation of nonconformists--as noble.

Posted by robbernard at 11:21 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Ok, can anybody explain this to me?

I moved last Friday. Stove doesn't work but other than that it's going ok.

I ordered my phone line from SBC on Monday and it will be installed on Friday. So far so good. But I also want to order their DSL service. (It's $14.95 a month if ordered online.) I try doing it online but because my new phone number won't be live until Friday and the very first question they ask online is for your phone number I can't order online until Friday.

Ok, since I CAN'T order it online I'll try ordering it over the phone. I call them up.

"I ordered a phone line on Monday and it's being installed Friday. I'd like to see if I can order DSL before then."

"Ok, let's see if it's available, what's your address?"

I give her my address.

"Ok, it is available there and we can go ahead and get that added. It's normally $49.99 a month but you qualify for a $20 discount so it will be $29.99."

"Online it's $14.95 a month, can I get that?"

"That's if you order online. You don't have any qualifying long distance so I can't give it to you here."

"But I can't order it online, it won't take the phone number yet because it won't be live till Friday."

"Well, you'll have to wait till Friday night, then if it still won't take the number then give us a call and we can do it."


This conversation has established two things.

1) They can take my DSL order before my phone number goes live. They're more than happy to do that and charge me $29.99 a month.

2) The can give me the $14.95 a month price over the phone. If the web won't take my number on Friday they'll be happy to do that.

So they can do both of the things I want them to do for me, they CAN let me order my DSL before my phone number goes live and the CAN give me the $14.95 a month price over the phone... they just WON'T!

What kind of messed up, bureaucratic logic leads them to do stuff like this? It just makes no business sense!

Posted by robbernard at 1:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, September 2, 2005
Ok, I think this needs to be said

I think a lot of people are vastly underestimating the complexity and the difficulty of the rescue/recovery/relief efforts going on New Orleans. I keep hearing unfavorable comparisons to other hurricane responses or to the Tsunami response. These are not comparable. This isn't even comparable to a future terrorist attack.

What is going on in New Orleans is not a standard hurricane response. In a standard hurricane, or with the Tsunami, buildings are destroyed... people are killed... but afterwards the ground is dry. People can move around, they aren't stranded where they took shelter. Relief trucks can roll in.

This is a unique situation. A major American city is under water and will stay that way for quite some time and there are scores of thousands of people stranded there. You can't simply roll in a convoy of relief supplies and tell everybody to come on down to the town square and pick some up.

To try and cram the relief efforts into the same box as standard hurricane relief is to simplify things far too much. New Orleans is a situation all its own. Recognize it for what it is.

Posted by robbernard at 11:00 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, September 1, 2005

The scale of the tragedy is truly mind-boggling. It may not rival the Tsunami in the number of deaths but sooooo many people have been displaced. New Orleans is a... was a.... city of almost 500,000 people and it will simply be shut down for months.

If you're looking to give I'll just offer up that this is the group I gave to.

Posted by robbernard at 11:04 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, June 13, 2005
Is it Friday yet?


Posted by robbernard at 1:12 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, May 15, 2005
An explanation of the lack of bloggage

As you may have noticed, this is my first post since Monday. There's a reason for this. On Tuesday I had a job interview. They said they'd get together Wednesday afternoon and decide. Turns out they decided much faster and called the consulting company I've been working with 10 minutes after I left and asked if I could start the next day. So I spent the remainder of Tuesday filling out paperwork and showed up to work on Wednesday. For the time being I'll be circumspect and just say it's a large IT company in Dayton and I'm doing Web Development for them. Don't have my own space yet, or my own computer, or working e-mail there and I'm of course working on trying to learn their specialized way of doing things so I'm feeling a little bit like the new guy in the past week's run of Dilbert strips. All-in-all though I'm excited about the opportunity.

Posted by robbernard at 5:47 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, May 5, 2005
Are scientific journals censoring dissenting opinions on global warming?

A report in the Telegraph says yes.

Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming.

A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds.
Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset)
Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset). He disagrees with the pro-global warming line

A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.

The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts, not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind is to blame.

The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.

Dr Oreskes's study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser.

However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global warming line.

They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of the same set of 1,000 documents - and concluded that only one third backed the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly.


Posted by robbernard at 12:50 PM in Miscellaneous
From the stupid criminal department...
Gregory Alston called police Tuesday morning to say his white Nissan Maxima had been stolen from in front of his apartment building.



Trouble is, the car wasn't his. Police say he had stolen it at gunpoint two weeks earlier. The only reason he couldn't find it was because the victim had spotted it and called police, who towed it away.

Not only did Alston not get the car back, police arrested him and jailed him on charges of armed robbery, possession of a stolen car and a handgun violation.

Why did Alston call police?

He had left his wallet in the car and wanted it back.

Even hardened Baltimore police officers were astonished. Detective Gregory Jenkins signed off his report with, "Again, this really happened."

--Baltimore Sun

Posted by robbernard at 9:56 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, April 29, 2005
"Oh, my gosh, they’re talking about my burrito."

Strangely hilarious...

A concerned citizen spotted a male juvenile carrying a suspiciously concealed item into Marshall Junior High School early Thursday morning.

Police were called. The school was locked down. Adjacent streets were closed and law officers were perched on roofs with weapons.
The school was locked down — no one allowed to enter or leave and students locked inside their classrooms — until police searched the premises and determined there was no immediate danger.

[Principal Diana Russell] said the [object] was discovered after she brought the school together in the auditorium to explain what she knew about the series of events.

“The kid was sitting there as I’m describing this (citizen report of a student with a suspicious package) and he’s thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, they’re talking about my burrito.’”

After the meeting, which included students and parents, Russell said the student, Michael Morrissey, approached her.

“He said, ‘I think I’m the person they saw,’” Russell said. “He said, ‘It was my extra-credit project. I put a white T-shirt over [a 30 inch burrito] because I wanted it to stay warm.’”

--Clovis News Journal

Posted by robbernard at 12:54 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I've got about 5 potential posts, but they can all pretty much be summed up as "the following people are displaying their idiocy" so I won't bother...

Posted by robbernard at 12:13 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 14, 2005
Carnival of the Vanities

The new Carnival of the Vanities is up, or rather the anti-Carnival of the Vanities. The first one was a rather mean-spirited one (including towards my Opening Day post and Baseball in general) so Laurence Simon felt a real Carnival was called for.

Posted by robbernard at 2:35 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, April 8, 2005
Busy, busy, busy

At least I'm managing to knock some nagging stuff off my to-do list.

Posted by robbernard at 3:56 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, April 4, 2005
38 minor leaguers suspended for steroids

In addition to yesterday's suspension of Alex Sanchez, 38 minor leaguers have been suspended for violations of the steroid policy. All but one were given the 15 game first-timers suspension. David Castillo in Oakland's org was given the 60 day suspension reserved for 3rd offenders.

All told, players from Seattle, the Cubs, th Angels, Oakland, Texas, San Diego, Colorado, St. Louis and the ChiSox.


Posted by robbernard at 8:00 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, March 28, 2005
Boy, this blogging thing can be tough...

...especially when the only thing people seem to be talking about is something your determined not to talk about. It's even cutting into my media consumption options, I'm not going to sit and listen to endless cries of "sanctity of life" this and "persistant vegitative state" that and the absurdly hypocritical shrieks of "exploitation!" coming from the media.

Posted by robbernard at 1:18 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, March 25, 2005
Fantasy draft done

The Fantasy Draft has never been one of my strong suits. We'll see how this goes...

My team:
C J. Varitek (Bos - C)
1B D. Ortiz (Bos - 1B)
2B J. Kent (LAD - 2B)
3B C. Blake (Cle - 3B)
SS M. Tejada (Bal - SS)
IF A. Dunn (Cin - 1B,OF)
OF M. Ordóñez (Det - OF)
OF A. Jones (Atl - OF)
OF E. Byrnes (Oak - OF)
Util K. Greene (SD - SS)
BN L. Overbay (Mil - 1B)
BN M. Cuddyer (Min - 1B,2B,3B,OF)
BN M. Lieberthal (Phi - C)

SP M. Prior (ChC - SP)
SP C. Zambrano (ChC - SP)
RP M. Rivera (NYY - RP)
RP D. Graves (Cin - RP)
P J. Lieber (Phi - SP)
P J. Westbrook (Cle - SP)
P W. Williams (SD - SP)
BN Ja. Wright (NYY - SP)
BN D. Wells (Bos - SP)

Posted by robbernard at 3:54 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, March 18, 2005
Terry Schiavo's feeding tube removed


The whole thing just makes me sad.

Posted by robbernard at 4:29 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, March 4, 2005

The following are depressing words to wake up to on the news: "We're going to be looking at her release from prison all day long."

Posted by robbernard at 9:52 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, February 25, 2005
Next thing you know they'll have to card you when you try to buy that box of Morton's
A consumer group sued the federal government Thursday, saying that salt is killing tens of thousands of Americans and that regulators have done too little to control salt in food.

Despite advisories to take it easy on sodium, Americans are now consuming about 4,000 milligrams a day -- nearly double the recommended limit to keep blood pressure under control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said.

So the CSPI renewed a lawsuit first filed in 1983 to ask federal courts to force the Food and Drug Administration to declare sodium a food additive instead of categorizing it as "generally recognized as safe." This would give the agency the authority to set limits for salt in foods.

--My Way News

And you'll probably need a federal permit to walk out of the store with one of the 40-pound water softener bags. :)

Posted by robbernard at 12:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, February 11, 2005

The world really needs soembody somewhere to stand up and oppose the insanity that is the letter "c". It just isn't needed. It just takes work away from the hard working letters "s" and "k".

Posted by robbernard at 2:18 AM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, February 6, 2005
Super Bowl XXXIX thoughts

I don't think it was a very good year for commercials. Not very many really memorable ones, and a good deal of the ones I do remember are remembered only because I didn't like them.

The best one I think was the Fed Ex Kinko's one with the bear and Burt Reynolds.'s Yeknom commercials were good. The 24 promos were also a nice change of pace from the normal ads plugging the network's own shows.

I didn't care for the Cadillac commercial with the car shooting out of the tunnel. I also didn’t so much care for McDonalds’ Lincoln Fry ads.

The Mustang convertible commercial was good the first time, not so good the second time, and we just plain didn't need to see it the third time. If you're going to run multiple commercials during the Super Bowl you should at least make different versions of the commercial, like

In the game I was rooting for the Eagles. The Boston area fans have gotten a bit uppity lately and I'll root against any team Corey Dillon's on. Don’t really know what to think of the Eagles’ effort. On the one hand, they came awfully close; there were several points where a different outcome could have led to them winning. On the other hand they got lucky several times and made some pretty dumb mistakes.

As for the halftime show... I wouldn't call it great, but it was better than pretty much any one I can remember. It's refreshing that they decided to put just one performer up there and have him entertain us rather than try to trot out 30 disparate acts in an attempt to placate everyone while entertaining none.

Posted by robbernard at 11:33 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, January 28, 2005

A study in Virginia has found that red light cameras don't actually reduce the number of injury accidents but instead actually increase the number.

Despite a distinct sympathy in favor of camera enforcement, the researchers found a "definite" increase in rear-end accidents and only a "possible" decrease in angle accidents. Most importantly, the net effect was that more injuries happened after cameras are installed. Camera proponents explain this away by asserting angle accidents are more serious, but this claim has not been scientifically studied according to this report. The rear end collisions caused by the cameras still produce injuries -- the original promise of camera proponents was that they would reduce accidents and injuries, not rearrange them.

Studies in Australia and North Carolina seem to back this up.

Posted by robbernard at 3:04 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, January 24, 2005

My life would be sooo much easier if the computer at work would simply decide on one way in which letter size paper should be put in the printer and stick with that. Instead it's an eternal guessing game as to how to orient the paper. I swear to God, yesterday I printed something and it came out sideways on the paper. I flipped the paper 90 degrees, simply printed it again... AND IT STILL CAME OUT SIDEWAYS!

Posted by robbernard at 11:44 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Well, I think this officially counts as an inauspicious start to the day

When I went to get into my car for the drive to work this morning my pants were a shade of brown significantly lighter than coffee. I know this for a fact because by the time I finished getting into the car this could no longer be said for about a third of the pair of pants. Gotta say, so far I'm not a big fan of this week.

Posted by robbernard at 11:27 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Can anything stop EA?

First they signed an exclusive contract with the NFL, preventing any other company from making competing video games using NFL teams and players. Yesterday they signed an exclusive 15 year deal with ESPN to use their shows, personalities, branding, etc...

Poor Sega, (who previously had the rights to the ESPN name in video games) between losing ESPN and losing the NFL they're in trouble. They'd been putting some pressure on EA with decent games at 2/5 the price but now...

Posted by robbernard at 12:32 PM in Miscellaneous
Ya wanna see something scary?

And I mean really scary... try this.

Posted by robbernard at 12:14 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, January 17, 2005
Ok, how does this happen?

How do you go 6 days without realizing you have a 4" nail embedded in your head?

Posted by robbernard at 3:33 PM in Miscellaneous
Better be careful with the oral hygeine products...

A Michigan woman downed three glasses of Listerine (not a good idea if the bottle's instructions to call Poison Control if swallowed are to be believed) and was arrested for drunken driving after she rear-ended another car.

Police are also looking to charge her with having an open container, the container being the bottle of Listerine.

Posted by robbernard at 3:05 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
*grumble* *grumble* Stupid blacklist...

Sometime between the 5th and today it seems it went and broke itself, disabling comments. Everything should be good now.

Posted by robbernard at 2:29 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Feel free to let me know what you think of the new design.

For comparison:

Posted by robbernard at 11:28 PM in Miscellaneous

Once again I'm working up a revamp of the site design. My main intent was to get away from the lighter blue. Instead it's somehow evolved into an even paler blue. There's a very good chance the revamp will go live by the end of the weekend.

Posted by robbernard at 1:35 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 6, 2005
Note to self...

... stop making major changes on the backend of the site and totally screwing it up 25 minutes before you plan to go to sleep! It was one of those can't sleep because you're worried that you won't get enough sleep nights.

Posted by robbernard at 11:23 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, January 3, 2005
Would the Angels please just pick a name and go with it?

It was the California Angels, then it was the Anaheim Angels, now it's the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Sheesh!

Posted by robbernard at 1:52 PM in Miscellaneous
First President Bush and President Clinton to lead Tsunami fundraising
The president's father and Clinton will lead a bipartisan effort to seek out donations both large and small to provide relief assistance to millions left homeless by the Dec. 26 calamity that killed thousands in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.


I don't know about this, it seems awfully symbolic. It seems a fine idea for former presidents to be leading the effort but I don't think it's at all clear how this will actually, practically help a lot. I don't know, we'll see....

As I think about it though I wonder where Jimmy Carter is in all this, this seems like something right up his alley.

Posted by robbernard at 12:30 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, January 2, 2005
Happy New Year!

Perhaps it's a little belated, but may your 2005 be better than your 2004.

Posted by robbernard at 8:03 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

If you're looking to help the victims of the big earthquake/tsunami the Christian Science Monitor has a round-up of places where you can donate.

--Addendum-- (12/29/04 - 14:31)
Amazon has so far raised over $2.15 million in donations for disaster relief.

--Update-- (12/30/04 - 14:08)
Amazon's now raised more than $5.13 million.

Posted by robbernard at 1:30 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Had some issues while trying to upgrade mt-blacklist and as a result mt-blacklist no longer works. Therefore I have disabled commenting for unregistered users. If you want to comment please sign up for a free Typekey account.

--Update 12/26 00:15--
mt-blacklist is working again so I've reenabled commenting.

--Update 12/26 00:22--
Heh, in the 7 minutes it's been up blacklist has blocked 11 spam attempts.

Posted by robbernard at 1:02 PM in Miscellaneous
Merry Christmas!
CHARLIE BROWN: I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.


Isn't there anybody who knows what Christmas is all about?

LINUS: Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.


Lights please.


And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Posted by robbernard at 3:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I'll call the snowfall so far at 10" and still coming down hard. Shoveled the drive at 5"-6" and it's back up to 5".

A day like this can really teach you a lot about your weather professionals. I've been very impressed by WXIX's Rich Apuzzo. He's been on top of this storm from day one, with the most accurate numbers. You have to respect a weatherman who has as much fun forcasting the weather as he does. This morning WDTN's Carl Nichols was still calling for 6"-10" total. (We had the 6" by 3PM.) WHIO's 11 o'clock news tonight was just an embarrassment; it was all scare stories about old people dying shoveling their driveways and how alcohol doesn't help the cold. WRGT and WKEF's newscasts are always an embarrassment.

It's really kind of sad that Dayton residents have to watch a Cincinnati station to get anything approaching a decent weather newscast.

Posted by robbernard at 12:30 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Done with my Christmas shopping. Still have what might euphamistically and very generously be called a massive amount of assembly to do, but the shopping's done. Bring on the 16" of snow!

Posted by robbernard at 10:19 PM in Miscellaneous
New Potter book gets a July 16th release date
The sixth Harry Potter book will hit the shops on 16 July next year, it has been announced. ... Author JK Rowling revealed on Tuesday she had completed the novel after originally saying she would announce details on Christmas Day. ... In a statement, Nigel Newton, chief executive of Bloomsbury in the UK and Barbara Marcus, president of Scholastic Children's Books in the US, said: "JK Rowling has written a brilliant story that will dazzle her fans in a marvellous book that takes the series to yet greater heights.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince delivers all the excitement and wonder of her bestselling Harry Potter novels."

The fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was published in June 2003.

The series has been a publishing phenomenon, with five million copies of the last book sold in the first 24 hours of publication.

Fans had to wait three years between publication of the fourth and fifth books.


I've heard it will be shorter than Order of the Phoenix, but I haven't actually seen any confirmation of that. (In theory coming in under 870 pages shouldn't be too hard.)

Posted by robbernard at 3:45 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, December 19, 2004

It's awfully hard to find something decent on the radio at 6:30 on a Sunday. It's all public affairs and infomercials.

Posted by robbernard at 6:48 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, December 18, 2004
Mmmmm.... that's good irony
The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders' commitment to privacy rights.

Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization's frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice of accumulating data on people for marketing and other purposes.

Daniel S. Lowman, vice president for analytical services at Grenzebach Glier & Associates, the data firm hired by the A.C.L.U., said the software the organization is using, Prospect Explorer, combs a broad range of publicly available data to compile a file with information like an individual's wealth, holdings in public corporations, other assets and philanthropic interests.

The issue has attracted the attention of the New York attorney general, who is looking into whether the group violated its promises to protect the privacy of its donors and members.

"It is part of the A.C.L.U.'s mandate, part of its mission, to protect consumer privacy," said Wendy Kaminer, a writer and A.C.L.U. board member. "It goes against A.C.L.U. values to engage in data-mining on people without informing them. It's not illegal, but it is a violation of our values. It is hypocrisy."

--The New York Times

Posted by robbernard at 4:55 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Who stole Christmas?
"This year, it is a 'Giving Tree,'" the guy at the local newsstand made his disgust clear. "For 2,000 years, it's a Christmas tree. Now all of a sudden, it's a 'Giving Tree.'"

This is the week of Hanukkah, and also of St. Nicholas Day, marking the beginning of the annual "reindeer tussles" all across America: hundreds and thousands of mayors and school officials try to figure out just how much Rudolph you need to add to the nativity scene to make it all constitutional.
Religious liberty is hard. It demands that we live side by side, amicably and with mutual respect, with citizens with whom we disagree about the biggest and most fundamental questions of life. Advocates of this new religion of "tolerance" wish instead to avoid the demands of religious liberty by airbrushing religious ideas out of the public square, or insisting that all religions are really the same (which is just another, bigger airbrush). Anyone who believes otherwise is "intolerant." Tolerance turns out to be just another hunting license for excluding and stigmatizing people with whom you disagree.
When did we begin to accept the idea that it's OK to be offended by other people's displays of religion? That people who are made uncomfortable by other people's religions have a right to have those religious ideas and symbols excluded from public celebrations? Who decided that in order to enjoy a communal celebration such as a Christmas parade, we first have to get Christmas out of it?

--Maggie Gallagher

I don't have a problem with "Happy Holidays" when it refers to the entire season and includes Hanukkah and all that. It's a season with several holidays, I don't have a problem including them all. I do have a problem when people simply use a word as a replacement or euphamism for "Christmas". A "Christmas Tree" is not a "Holiday Tree" or a "Giving Tree", that's just silliness and Political Correctness run amok.

Posted by robbernard at 1:48 PM in Miscellaneous
Now this is interesting

Blockbuster is doing away with late fees starting January 1st. Instead customers will be given a 1 week grace period after the due date. At that point they will be sold the movie. They then have one month in which to bring back the movie and be credited the amount less a "restocking fee".

It's either genius or a horrible idea. I'd be interested to see what kind of price they charge for the "sold" items and how big the "restocking fee" will be. Will they be charging the full list price? (Meaning, will you get charged $25 for a movie you can get at any Best Buy for $15?) Either way I don't think this will be enough to get me away from Family Video where it costs just $2.50 for a rental.

Posted by robbernard at 11:32 AM in Miscellaneous
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Actual accumulation of snow on the ground this morning and it's about time. It's been looking a lot like a gray, rainy day for a while now. A gray snowy day is a nice change of pace.

Posted by robbernard at 11:22 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 7, 2004
Windy day

Boy, it's just incredibly windy out there today. I halfway expect to see my car go fluttering by down the street. Heaven help the people with the inflatable Christmas decorations out, those are probably halfway to New Jersey by now.

Posted by robbernard at 1:57 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, December 6, 2004
Well that's one way for China to solve its population problem

Nine out of 10 Chinese calling into a suicide-prevention hotline in the capital Beijing are getting the busy tone, a newspaper said on Monday, adding that nationwide four people were killing themselves every minute.

So far, more than 110,000 people had dialed in to the Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center hotline since it was set up in Beijing last year, the China Daily said.

It quoted an expert as saying poverty, unemployment, bereavement, breakdowns in relationships or legal and work-related problems were all causes.

But a lack of funds meant that not everyone who needed the hotline was getting through, said Michael Phillips, executive director of the suicide prevention center.

"Nine of every 10 persons only hear a busy tone," he told the newspaper

--Yahoo! News

Posted by robbernard at 1:09 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 1, 2004
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

What they've done to the Everlasting Gobstopper is simply a travesty. They're a mere shell of what they once were.

On a related note:
I was amazed by last week's Mythbusters with the exploding, molten jawbreakers. It was just... kablammo! Molten sugar everywhere.

Note to self, don't microwave a jawbreaker.

Posted by robbernard at 12:20 PM in Miscellaneous
You know you've had a half-way decent science/math education when... get today's Foxtrot.

Posted by robbernard at 11:53 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, November 29, 2004
Internal calender

I don't know about you, but the Thanksgiving holiday's really thrown off my internal calender. Thursday felt like Saturday, then Friday felt like Sunday and then Saturday and Sunday both felt like Sundays or something... I think by this point in my head it's like Tuesday 2 weeks from now. Anyone need lotto numbers while I'm here?

Posted by robbernard at 3:15 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 26, 2004
Black Friday review

Certain gifts have been glossed over to preserve the surprise of the recipient(s).

Managed to get ~30 minutes of sleep, left the house at 5:45. I signed up for the Target wake up call. Darth Vader was supposed to call me at 5:15, instead a storm trooper called at 6:05. Got to Target at ~6:10 (They, and pretty much every other store, opened at 6.) I picked up the last copy of The Simpsons Season 4 they had and they were sold out of Buffy Season 7 and they didn't have another gift we were looking for. It was busy, but to their credit there were no more than 2-3 people in any checkout lane.

Next stop was Circuit City, got there at ~6:30. The Flash Drive I was looking for was sold out already. Checkout lanes were by no means the worst of the day, but the lines were still at least 20 people deep. Didn't end up buying anything at Circuit City.

Next stop was Best Buy. Wheww! Incredibly busy. There was a line just to get in the door 50 minutes after opening. It took ~5 minutes to get in the door. They were very well stocked; everything I wanted was still there. Picked up a 512MB Flash Drive, Aladdin for $10 and a Christmas present for a family member. The stocking level was good, but the checkout process was simply horrendous. The single file line ended at the registers, snaked through 7 aisles in Appliances, 3 aisles in small appliances, past the car audio and through 6 aisles back in the Audio department, and began in the aisle between Audio and the DVDs. It took my brother and I 2 hours to make it through the line. A woman collapsed 2 aisles behind us in the line in Appliances and had to be carried away on a stretcher by paramedics. Finally got out of Best Buy at 9:05.

Next we headed to Staples, but they were out of what we wanted. They said however that we could order it online for the same price so we went to our Grandparents place nearby and tried that only to find that the web site was out of them too. Eventually we wound up ordering it online elsewhere.

After picking up my grandfather from dropping off his car at the mechanic we headed over to another Target. This store had Buffy Season 7 and the gift that the first Target didn't have so money was exchanged for goods and they left the store with us. My brother and I then helped set up my grandparents' Christmas decorations, passed out from exhaustion for a short while and then headed out for Kroger and another store to pick up one last gift.

Upon getting home we discovered that the gift from Best Buy that we thought came with a $20 rebate didn't have a rebate form or receipt. My brother took it back where it was discovered that the display was mislabeled and there was no rebate. To Best Buy's credit they price matched the incorrect price and credited my credit card.

And now I come to the end of a VERY long day, as evidenced by the numerous spelling errors I’ve had to correct so far in this post, including, ironically enough. “speling” in this very sentence. Must sleep now.

I really have to compliment th people who designed the roads around th Mall at Fairfield Commons, they really did something right. The traffic always seems to flow smoothly, and it's even more noticable when compared to an area like the Dayton Mall where even on a normal summer day traffic can get backed up.

Posted by robbernard at 9:54 PM in Miscellaneous

Looks like I'll be heading out to shop at the crack of dawn with 0 to 1 hours of sleep. When you're on my sleep schedule and you need to be up at 6 it really makes more sense to just power through and nap when it's over with.

On my list today:
Target has Simpsons Season 4 and Buffy Season 7 on DVD for $17.77.

Circuit City has a 512MB Flash Drive for $29.99.

Best Buy has Aladdin on DVD for $9.99.

Barnes & Noble has a Starbucks which has coffee. Actual coffee, not he decaf stuff that seems to be all we have here.

And a couple things for my parents which I can't list here where it would be read. :)

Posted by robbernard at 3:50 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 25, 2004
Happy Thanksgiving

Probably my one comment for the day, and it likely will upset some people:

Cranberry sauce should be can shaped.

Posted by robbernard at 12:01 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, November 22, 2004
Tales from a Turkey help-line
Mary Clingman serves as director of the Butterball Turkey Talk Line in Downers Grove, Ill. It expects to take more than 100,000 inquiries through Christmas.

Some past callers stand out.

"We got a call from a guy last year whose turkey wouldn't fit in his pan. He wrapped it in a towel and stomped on it until it did," Clingman said.

Another caller cut a turkey in half with a chain saw, then worried that oil on the saw might have transferred onto the turkey. A woman in Colorado who left her turkey outside to keep it frozen realized she couldn't find it when more snow fell.

And one phone call began: "You don't know anything about kitty litter, do you?" Clingman said a woman called after her husband poured kitty litter on the bottom of a new grill in hopes of absorbing drippings. Fortunately, the grill hadn't been lit yet, so the turkey was pulled off and cooked more conventionally, she said.

Kathy Bernard with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (news - web sites)'s Meat and Poultry Hotline in Beltsville, Md., said a caller last year wanted to make her bird inside a roasting bag, but didn't have one, so had improvised.

"She pulled a dry cleaning bag off her husband's suit, and it melted onto the bird," Bernard said.

--Yahoo! News

Posted by robbernard at 2:01 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Late last May I wrote a post in which I listed which of the movies on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list I'd seen. At the time I had seen 61 of the 100. I sort of started a quest to see all 100 and I've been updating the page each time I got through a new one. Yesterday I finished with AFI's #92, A Place in the Sun. Tivo, TCM and the Library were big helps along the way.

I guess I need to find a new goal now.

Posted by robbernard at 1:34 AM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, October 31, 2004
Happy 2nd Bloggiversary to me

Yep, came into existence at 3:03PM on October 31, 2002 with no idea what I was going to do with it. It started as the answer to “what the heck do I put up at this domain that I got for my e-mail?” and I think it’s gone fairly well. Heck, it got me quoted at the Washington Post so I can’t complain.

Thanks go out to the readers that have provided the occasional feedback that helps keep me going and to the people I disagree with for continuing to give me stuff with which to disagree.

Here's to the next two.

Posted by robbernard at 3:03 PM in Miscellaneous
Happy Halloween

Posted by robbernard at 12:00 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
A proposal

Proposed: The proportion of Mr. Goodbars and Krackels to Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate in Hershey's Minis should be vastly increased. I mean, come on, the Krackel and Mr. Goodbar are obviously the superior mini chocolate bars.

Posted by robbernard at 5:07 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, October 14, 2004

"We need to straighten up because your Grandparents are coming over to help clean tomorrow."

There's just something deeply and fundamentally wrong with that statement...

Posted by robbernard at 1:59 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Two hard drives crapped out on my web host's server so the site was down for about 7 hours. The worst part is they had to go to a backup and I think some of the e-mail I hadn't downloaded yet got lost.

Posted by robbernard at 11:22 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The chance of finding a Sharpie within 20 feet of you is inversely proportional to the chance that you're holding in your hand a cd-r that needs labeled.

Posted by robbernard at 5:42 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, October 8, 2004
The Playoffs

The braves tied the series up at... eh, who am I kidding? At this point I don't care the least bit about the playoffs. I'd like to care, but I just don't. I haven't been presented with a compelling reason to root for any team in the National league. And in the American league I'm left with a mild desire to see the Sox win and a slightly stronger desire to see the Yankees lose. Maybe those storylines will get my attention eventually but till then the playoffs are just something happening in the background for me.

Posted by robbernard at 12:48 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, October 3, 2004
Damn cold

I think I've got some weird kind of 8 hour cold. Every night this week it shows up about a half hour before I go to sleep and goes away about a half hour after I wake up. It's really quite annoying. I'd much rather it just stuck around and got it over with than drag it out and keep interrupting my sleep.

Posted by robbernard at 1:04 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Sims 2 is sooooo good. It's 12:30 and I've got plenty of other things to do to waste my time but it's so hard not to click on that shortcut and guide George and Becky Stevens through their last days before their baby is born.

Posted by robbernard at 12:29 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, September 24, 2004
That Ivan's one persistant son of a bleep

It makes landfall in Alabama, goes northeast. Flooding in places like West Virginia. And then all of a sudden it's back in the Gulf and making landfall at the Texas Louisiana border. How does that happen?! Give it up already Ivan.

Posted by robbernard at 12:30 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Browsing in a blue shirt

When you just happen to walk into Best Buy wearing khakis and a bright blue polo shirt everybody thinks you work there. If you don't walk with a certain amount of purpose the other customers start asking you questions and the employees start calling you buddy and acting like they know you.

Posted by robbernard at 8:22 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Bit the bullet and had an anchovy tonight. What the hell are anchovy lovers thinking? They're fishy and salty and full of tiny little bones... uggh.

Posted by robbernard at 9:04 PM in Miscellaneous
Hurricanes don't just hit the coast

I'm told that my brothers who go to college in Bethany, WV have had at least 2 days of classes cancelled this week due to all the water dropped by what was left of Ivan and Frances knocking out the water. (Now that's some good irony.) You don't usually think of hurricanes having much of an effect once they get that far inland.

A student has pictures of the flood and John Cole, who turns out to be a native of Bethany, has his own post on it with pictures.

Posted by robbernard at 6:15 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, September 17, 2004

Getting around to upgrading to MT 3.11 tonight. Hopefully there will be no hitches.

Well, there was a hitch. I had a heck of a time just ftp'ing the files. Everything seems to be working now though.

Ok, comments aren't quite working right. It keeps wanting me to approve every comment submitted and Typekey registration isn't working yet. (Fixed those, for the record, not deleting the mt-blacklist 1.64 files caused the first problem and the link for the Typekey token pointing to my home page rather than the mt directory caused the second.

Still a little trouble with comment pages redirecting to pages I don't want them to redirect to though... Probably have to go back and compare my current templates to the new 3.11 default templates

Posted by robbernard at 2:34 AM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 29, 2004

*Bleep*ed up defined:

A South African man who shot his pregnant fiance dead before killing himself will be posthumously married to her at the weekend.

Police Captain Mohale Ramatseba said David Masenta shot 25-year-old Mgwanini Molomo after a quarrel before turning the gun on himself. But Johannesburg's Sowetan newspaper said family and friends wanted to remember them as a happy couple destined for a happy life together.

The groom's corpse would be dressed in a cream suit and his bride's in a gown for the ceremony, at which a priest in the rural village of Ceres in Limpopo will bless the union before the two are buried, the Sowetan said.

"In African culture, there is no death -- there is merely the separation of body and soul," said cultural expert Mathole Motshekga. "It is also important because the families are married together."

"This does not mean the relationship has irretrievably broken down."

--Yahoo! News

YES IT DOES! He shot and killed her and then killed himself! The relationship is over! Done! Kaput! IT IS AN EX-RELATIONSHIP!

Posted by robbernard at 10:25 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Thank you NBC...

For bringing us scenes like this.

Posted by robbernard at 2:11 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Aleksei Nemov

A real class act.

That's because Russia's Aleksei Nemov, the 2000 high bar champion and 12-time Olympic medalist, had the crowd at Olympic Indoor Hall buzzing with approval during his entertaining, acrobatic routine -- and then belting out boos of disapproval for the judges after a 9.725 came up, the lowest score to that point of the competition.

The booing and whistles grew louder while the judges reviewed Nemov's routine and eventually revised his score to 9.762, still not high enough for a medal. More boos ensued.

Nemov had to go back out on the floor and, after blowing the crowd a kiss, gesture for quiet.

"I want to say thank you to all the people," Nemov said after the event. "It was unbelievable. I think after this competition I might continue in China [for the 2008 Olympics]."


Posted by robbernard at 3:07 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, August 23, 2004

Just got my hands on some Reese's Inside Outs and they're everything I was told they would be.

--Addendum-- On a semi-related note, I'm not at all impressed with the gum in the new Ice Breakers Gum & Mints Dual Pack. I'll just stick for the tin of mints from here on out. I also wish it were easier to find Eclipse Flash Strips at Krogers. All they ever seem to have are the Listerine ones and the taste of the Eclipse is just much better.

Posted by robbernard at 7:56 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 22, 2004
I'm back

Back home. Sorting through all the accumulated stuff. 656 pieces of spam in the spam folders on the server.... quick scroll... click... all gone....

Posted by robbernard at 5:05 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Off to church camp until next Sunday. Expect no blogging.

Posted by robbernard at 1:09 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, August 13, 2004
Hmmmm, did not know this

Julia Child, who died today at 91 worked for the OSS in WWII.

During World War II, she worked with the Office of Strategic Services, which late became the CIA, and was stationed in DC before being transferred overseas to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and China. While in the Service, she met her husband, Paul Child, who was later assigned to work in Paris. It was there, in Paris, that a chef was born.

Posted by robbernard at 6:50 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Elton John's claims of censorship seem pretty silly compared to actual censorship.

Iran's hardline judiciary sentenced dissident academic Hashem Aghajari to five years in prison on Tuesday for saying Muslims should not blindly follow their clerical leaders like "monkeys," his lawyer said.

--Yahoo! News

But this is good news... he was originally sentenced to death.

Hmmm, the threat of people booing you and not buying your product because they disagree with you versus the government giving you five years in prison for saying people shouldn’t follow the government leaders like monkeys, down from the original sentence of death... which of these do you think is actually censorship?

Posted by robbernard at 2:55 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, July 19, 2004
Wow... there aren't words to describe it...
I found out I was having triplets when I went to my obstetrician. The doctor had just finished telling me I was going to have a low-risk pregnancy. She turned on the sonogram machine. There was a long pause, then she said, ''Are you sure you didn't take fertility drugs?'' I said, ''I'm positive.'' Peter [the boyfriend/father] and I were very shocked when she said there were three. ''You know, this changes everything,'' she said. ''You'll have to see a specialist.''

My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bed rest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?

I looked at Peter and asked the doctor: ''Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?'' The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more.
On the subway, Peter asked, ''Shouldn't we consider having triplets?'' And I had this adverse reaction: ''This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That's easy for you to say, but I'd have to give up my life.'' Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn't be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks. When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It's not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. Even in my moments of thinking about having three, I don't think that deep down I was ever considering it.

--The New York Times Magazine (hat tips Michelle Malkin & Misha)

The thought that someone can so callously dispose of two human lives, not because they don't believe they can support the children, but because they don't want it to interrupt their lifestyle is stunning... frightening... inconceivable...

Posted by robbernard at 12:46 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, July 15, 2004
I tell ya...

If you want to find old people try McDonald's at 9:15 AM. They're all over the place.

To McDonald's credit I'll say this, they've made some improvements. Hadn't been inside a McDonald's in quite some time before yesterday and there weren't a ton of major changes, but there were a bunch of smaller ones that just made it a little better. The food still isn't close to the best among fast food but they let you fill and refill your own drinks, they have the cups for ketchup rather than the packets, the menu with the pictures changes for breakfast and the rest of the day and they're now taking credit cards.

Posted by robbernard at 11:09 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, July 2, 2004
Bill Cosby making more sense
Bill Cosby went off on another tirade against the black community Thursday, telling a room full of activists that black children are running around not knowing how to read or write and "going nowhere."
Cosby made headlines in May when he upbraided some poor blacks for their grammar and accused them of squandering opportunities the civil rights movement gave them. He shot back Thursday, saying his detractors were trying in vain to hide the black community's "dirty laundry."

"Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n------ as they're walking up and down the street," Cosby said during an appearance at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund's annual conference.

"They think they're hip," the entertainer said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."
"For me there is a time ... when we have to turn the mirror around," he said. "Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you're sitting in."

Cosby lamented that the racial slurs once used by those who lynched blacks are now a favorite expression of black children. And he blamed parents.

"When you put on a record and that record is yelling `n----- this and n----- that' and you've got your little 6-year-old, 7-year-old sitting in the back seat of the car, those children hear that," he said.

He also condemned black men who missed out on opportunities and are now angry about their lives.

"You've got to stop beating up your women because you can't find a job, because you didn't want to get an education and now you're (earning) minimum wage," Cosby said. "You should have thought more of yourself when you were in high school, when you had an opportunity."

--Yahoo! News

Posted by robbernard at 8:00 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Stephen over at The Right Side had quite an ordeal tonight. A man invaded his house, after a struggle bound him with duct tape at the point of two guns, and robbed him. He's ok and the bastard got away with nothing all that expensive, though it was quite the eclectic list (including beer steins, DVDs, the remote to the TV and his cigarettes).

Just glad he's ok, it could have been so much worse.

Stephen now has the story up at his site.

Posted by robbernard at 6:20 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, June 28, 2004
Cleaner fireworks

Disney has perfected a new method of getting fireworks aloft that uses only compressed air instead of black powder which creates a lot of ground-level smoke.

To top it off they're working to donate the patents involved to a non-profit group so that they can be licensed to other fireworks providers.

Posted by robbernard at 5:33 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
A suggestion for the enterprising soft drink company

Develop an aluminum can that doesn't have that little lip between the hole and the wall of the can. That little lip is quite annoying, forcing you either to slurp or else leave a perfectly good, if minute, amount of pop at the bottom of the can. In this day and age we should be able to overcome this annoyance.

Posted by robbernard at 4:12 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, June 21, 2004
Very cool

Mike Melvill: First civilian astronaut.

"Beautiful sight, Mike," mission control said to Melvill as the gliding spaceship slowly circled toward its landing.

Later, standing on the tarmac beside the ship, Melvill said seeing the Earth from outside the atmosphere was "almost a religious experience."

"You can see the curvature of the Earth," he said. "You got a hell of a view from 60, 62 miles."

He also found time for a demonstration of weightlessness by opening a bag of M&M's candies and watching them float through the cockpit. "It was so cool," he said.

Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) representative Patricia Grace Smith presented Melvill with the agency's first commercial astronaut wings.

--Yahoo! News - Plane Soars Out of Earth's Atmosphere

Posted by robbernard at 3:06 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
The Cuba situation is all FDR's fault

If he had just sent Castro the $10 bill he asked for who knows how things may have turned out. :)

Posted by robbernard at 5:27 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, June 10, 2004
Following up...

Cracker Jacks are back at Yankee Stadium.

Posted by robbernard at 2:25 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

The Gyro is the most overlooked of the really, really good foreign foods.

Posted by robbernard at 2:49 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, June 4, 2004

May be blogging at a less than normal rate over the next few days. Brother's High School graduation and ensuing party Saturday and Sunday and a job interview on Monday. If I can just find the time and energy to get through my e-mail each day I figure I'll be doing better than expected.

Posted by robbernard at 2:16 AM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, May 30, 2004
From the "not taking responsibility for your own actions" file:

Student who plagerized and was kicked out of school sues the school because he says they should have caught him earlier and saved him a couple years of tuition.

Posted by robbernard at 3:21 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, May 28, 2004
What the heck, all the cool kids seem to be doing it

The 101 Great Books as listed by the College Board. Books I've read are in bold.

Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane - Pride and Prejudice --Ughh!
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot -- Borrrring.
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cervantes, Miguel de - Don Quixote
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales -- Excerpts only
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness -- I feel like I've read it, it seems every movie ever made has been based on it.
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans -- Saw the movie.
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
Dante - Inferno -- Cliff's Notes
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities -- Dickens always seemed a very slow read, but the stories were just interesting enough to keep them barely on the positive side of the spectrum.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment -- Slightly on the negative side of the scale. It had its good points but then there'd be decent sized chunks that just made no sense whatsoever.
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass -- Did a book report on it. Can't say it really made much of an impact at all.
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man -- I HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED this book. Most boring book I have ever read.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby -- Meh.
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies -- Decent book. Suffered from having it assigned by the English Teacher From Hell.
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter -- Meh. Not interesting enough to really form an opinion one way or the other.
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22 -- It's no M*A*S*H.
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
Homer - The Iliad
Homer - The Odyssey -- An ok read as far as 2,000+ year old books go. The stories are good, the prose resulting from the translation can do you in though.
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame -- Read Les Mis.
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll's House -- I had completely forgotten about this one. Can't say I cared for it.
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird -- Good book, probably not as good as it's made out to be though.
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt -- Meh. I read it, can't say any of it stuck with me. I think it may have started with something about a skyscraper.
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild -- Wasn't really good, wasn't really bad.
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick -- Very long. I was like 10 and I got the book-on-tape and was quite determined to make it through the whole thing. For the life of me I don't know why though.
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible -- Meh
Morrison, Toni - Beloved
O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
O'Neill, Eugene - Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell, George - Animal Farm -- One of the better books on the list that I've read. A good enough read that you don't find yourself slogging through it like so many books on this list.
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen - Selected Tales -- I'll count this one. I've read the great majority of his stories.
Proust, Marcel - Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet -- All of Shakespeare's stuff is pretty hard to properly comprehend nowadays.
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone -- Meh
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex -- Meh
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath -- An ok book, I did find myself struggling to keep going at times.
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels -- An ok book.
Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- An ok read.
Voltaire - Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Warton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie -- Decent, didn't really find anything spectacular about it though.
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard - Native Son

I'm actually a fairly prolific reader in my free time. Read pretty much all of Orson Scott Card's non-Biblical/Mormon stuff. Been trying to work my way through some of the more important stuff recently (at least the important stuff that piques my curiosity), some of Asimov's robot stuff, Stranger in a Strange Land, most of Rand's stuff.

Posted by robbernard at 2:23 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Please indulge me in a short bit of lyrics quoting...
Who needs sleep?
(well you're never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep?
(tell me what's that for)
Who needs sleep?
(be happy with what you're getting
There's a guy who's been awake
since the Second World War)

--"Who Needs Sleep?" - Barenaked Ladies

Posted by robbernard at 2:14 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
*Insert standard Instalanche post here*

Welcome and all the usual stuff.

Posted by robbernard at 9:18 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, May 22, 2004
For the "Barry Bonds will never slow down and cannot possibly fail to crush Aaron's record" crowd:

Bonds has hit a grand total of 1 Home Run in the past month. By my calculations, if he continues at this pace he should pass Babe Ruth early in the 2012 season and break Aaron's record about 3/4 of the way through the 2018 season.

Posted by robbernard at 12:49 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, May 21, 2004
Cosby said, according to Leiby: "Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids – $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.'

He added: "They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

The Post said Cosby also targeted imprisoned blacks.

"These are not political criminals," he said. "These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, [saying] 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?"


This is something that needs to be said by someone in the black community. You can bitch about racism and prejudice all you like, but eventually it needs to be understood that while there are certain things stacked against you it doesn't help that you keep stacking things up against yourself. Responsibility for your own actions must be taken. It is possible for anybody to succeed in this society, but to do so it has to be understood that dropping out of school, fathering multiple children with multiple women, and joining a gang and going to prison isn't the way to go about it. It won't allow you to succeed and it won't allow your children to succeed.

Many in the black community don't seem to understand this, and no number of outsiders telling them is going to get the point across. Outsiders who call for personal responsibility are racists and bigots. It's important that leaders within the community push the idea because they're really the only ones who stand a chance at convincing those who need to be convinced.

Posted by robbernard at 4:40 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
This is just not right

Crunch 'n Munch has replaced Cracker Jacks at Yankee Stadium. Have they no sense of tradition? Next thing you know they'll be wanting to but advertising on the bases.

Posted by robbernard at 2:54 PM in Miscellaneous
New look

At the time of my last redesign I mentioned that I'd thought about changing the colors but hadn't felt like redoing all the graphics. Now I've finally gotten around to it. While I liked the red, white and blue motif, I got to feeling that the difference between the red and the blue was a bit too stark. I think the lighter blue works better.

I've got to remember to make sure I keep my Photoshop .psd files. The hardest part was redoing the stupid dividing bar from scratch. I do feel good though for remembering to do a full backup. Accidently wrote over my About Me file but even though I ended up downloading a 240 meg backup file with the 138 meg backup file I wanted zipped up inside I managed to get it back.

Let me know what you think and/or if you've found anything that didn't get switched over.

Posted by robbernard at 1:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, May 17, 2004
The Emergency Alert System

I've noticed tonight that they're doing something differently with the Emergency Alert System. Now when a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued they run a crawl on the screen and you get those modem-like noises that interrupt the sound from the show we're watching.


We've gotten along perfectly well for years with maps of colored in counties taking up 1/4 of the screen. We don't need our programs broken into for a lousy Thunderstorm Warning. Unless it's a Tornado I'm fine with just getting the info from the map and any silent crawls they run, the blaring modem is not necessary.

Posted by robbernard at 10:45 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Back from an interview

Had a job interview today. It went pretty well. The interviewer said he planned to have the first round of interviews done by Friday and then he'd call me next week and most likely schedule a second interview where I'd meet the company Vice President and the rest of the staff. Said he'd liked what he'd seen so far so it looks like I passed the second test. (The first being that I made the cut amongst the hundreds of thousands of resumes.)

"Passed the second test" is actually quite literally true. Had the standard interview sitdown and then I was given a 4 page test. Several pages of written questions asking for pseudocode and stuff like that and I was given a laptop on which to write 3 ASP pages that take a username and password, validate them from a db, and then output all the entries in another db associated with that username.

Posted by robbernard at 5:06 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Drove to West Virginia and back this weekend with a band-aid on my arm. 3 1/2 hours each way. Now I've got a band-aid shaped white spot in the middle of my moderately sunburnt left arm.

Posted by robbernard at 7:29 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Orson Scott Card takes on male-bashing in a recent episode of E.R.

In fact, there are a lot of things wrong with our society today that might be solved if a few more people had recognized, before discarding men, how vital it is to have a good man as husband and father in every family.

But given the moral universe these E.R. writers live in, there was no course of action this male buffoon character could have chosen that would not have provided ample excuse for the audience to have a good laugh at the uselessness of men.

If your response to that statement is, "Well, men deserve it," then you have my contempt -- the contempt I feel toward all bigots who scorn people solely for the group they belong to, who perpetuate false stereotypes, and who delight in shaming people who can't fight back.

And if your answer is that women suffered such abuse from "men" for a long time, so it's only fair for them to lash out in return, then I must point out that this is an "excuse" that most child abusers could use, since they too were once victims, and they repay the victimization upon the innocent. "Someone did it to me once" is a defense of nothing. If an action is wrong when it's done to you, then it's still wrong when you do it to someone else.

-- Uncle Orson Reviews Everything

Posted by robbernard at 3:27 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, April 26, 2004
New $50 bill

The design of the new $50 bill is out. I think it looks pretty good, I like the American flag in the background. Though, I've said this before and I'll say it again, pretty soon here they're going to need to redesign the $1 bill so that it looks at least something like every other piece of US currency.

Posted by robbernard at 3:01 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, April 16, 2004

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Revamped design

"I woke up this morning and said 'Barney, you're not going to lick that man's windows'..."

Hadn't planned on rolling it out tonight, had planned to head upstairs about 4 hours ago, but one thing just led to another and before I knew it I had gotten the kinks worked out of my design, finalized it, transferred it to the mt templates, worked out all the newly discovered kinks, rebuilt it all and it was done.

For comparisons I offer up the old style 404 page.

I considered changing the colors around, but that would have meant redoing a bunch of graphics and I wasn't quite up for going through all that trouble. This new setup I believe allows me to put the top of the page to better use. Extending the sidebar up allows me to cram more relevant data into the above-the-scroll area and puts some heretofore wasted prime web real estate to use. The link bar along the top also includes a few things I didn't have before. I've had categories since I moved to mt, but now you the reader can actually see them too. There's also a "contact me" link that you can *gasp* click unlike my previous images, and an "About Me" page that should eventually have stuff... about me...

All that aside, I just think it looks sleeker, it's no longer just a white box and a blue box on a red background, it's now a kind of rounded white box and a kind of rounded blue box with a rounded diving board-type-thingy sticking out of it on a red background. That's like 3 more rounded things than I had before, and as we all know, rounded is better. Wheels, baseballs, PT Cruisers, monkeys... you don't see any of those things with sharp corners, nope, all rounded.

Anyway, let me know what you think, and if you happen to come across a page that wasn't revamped like the rest of them let me know.

Posted by robbernard at 3:34 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, April 12, 2004

Congrats and best wishes to Kirk on the new arrival. :)

Posted by robbernard at 5:29 PM in Miscellaneous

I've been fiddling around with a reworking of the site design (nothing terribly drastic, mostly it's just curvier) off and on for the past month or so. This post will hopefully push me to get my butt in gear and get it done in the next week or so.

Posted by robbernard at 12:47 AM in Miscellaneous
Not even giving them a chance

Phillies fans were letting their pitchers know they stink even before they'd thrown their first pitch.

Posted by robbernard at 12:15 AM in Baseball , Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 8, 2004
The coincidences of comics

Have you every noticed that quite often comics have similar subjects on the same day? Today both FoxTrot and The Buckets have characters playing rock, paper, scissors and the losing player says they didn't lose because their object is something other than rock, paper or scissors. It's kind of freaky just how often you come across this type of thing reading the comics.

Posted by robbernard at 3:32 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, April 6, 2004
New cell phone

Got a new cell phone yesterday. So far I'm quite happy with it. It's GSM, has internet, IR, Bluetooth, MMS, speakerphone, and has an optional camera attachment. It's 4"x1.7"x.7" and just 3 ounces. They just keep getting smaller. I worry that the next cell phone I buy will actually be microscopic.

Posted by robbernard at 3:55 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Is it asking too much for the person that checked The Fountainhead out of the library before me to at least shake out all the cat hairs before it's returned? They're all over the place.

Posted by robbernard at 4:15 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, March 29, 2004

What the hell happened to Gobstoppers?! They're like half the size they used to be!

This is simply unacceptable. Gobstoppers were the perfect size, these are just an abomination.

Posted by robbernard at 10:36 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Church retreat Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, so again not much this weekend. In the meantime, if you're looking to spend a lot of money on Reds Opening Day tickets and want to sit next to me here's your chance. :)

Posted by robbernard at 12:27 AM in Baseball , Miscellaneous

Monday, March 22, 2004
Back from West Virginia

I can definitely imagine why the state as a whole is so poor. It looks nice and all, and I can't speak about the entire state, but what I saw was about 95% hillside. To build a road you need to either blast through a mountain or wind it along the side of the hill and in the process make it take twice as long to get from point A to point B. I imagine it would be terribly difficult to convince high-paying companies to locate there.

Posted by robbernard at 1:10 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, March 19, 2004
Slow day

Nothing's really caught my attention as blogworthy today so I'll just lump a couple things together here.

1. UC's first round win. Happy they won. Probably shouldn't have been as close. I found myself greatly disliking Tim Smith, but I'll give him credit, he put on quite a show.

2. A new Wonderfalls is on tonight at 9 on Fox. Give it a shot.

3. I'll be in West Virginia Saturday and Sunday so don't be expecting much here.

Posted by robbernard at 7:20 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, March 18, 2004
Jim Traficant moved
Former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) was transferred last week to a higher security federal prison facility in upstate New York, a move that generally means a prisoner has misbehaved while behind bars.

--Roll Call

My guess: He was jealous of all the air time Donald Trump's hair has been getting. It's hard to get enough press for your hair to stay at the top of the "Worst Hair Ever" list when you're in prison.

Posted by robbernard at 3:47 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Highway Sniper suspect caught

In Vegas.

And just in time as I'll be going through Columbus the next two weekends.

Posted by robbernard at 2:40 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, March 15, 2004
Columbus Highway Shooter suspect ID'd
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said Charles A. McCoy Jr., 29, should be considered armed and dangerous. Investigators did not provide a hometown.


--Update-- More at CNN, including a picture.

Posted by robbernard at 7:37 PM in Miscellaneous
Pop quiz: How many planets are in the Solar System?

9? Think again. Say hello to Sedna.

Posted by robbernard at 2:08 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Chinese food

Would it kill Chinese restaurants to have somebody on staff who was born in this country? Not saying they need a non-Asian, but just somebody who speaks English without an accent to answer the phones and work the register.

--Walk in

--"Hello. Pickup?"



--"Huh? 'What time?'"

--"*barely intelligible*"

--"Oh, almost done..."

Posted by robbernard at 3:22 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, March 9, 2004
So close and yet...

Woman tries to pay for $1671.55 worth of goods at Wal-Mart with a $1 million bill.

To be fair though she did first try to pay for it with her $2.32 worth of Wal-Mart gift cards.

Posted by robbernard at 2:50 PM in Miscellaneous
Dear Abby: My life is a Simpsons episode

This is great. Next Monday's Dear Abby column has been pulled because one of the letters was the Simpsons episode "Life on the Fast Lane" with different names.

The writer says her husband, Gene, gave her a bowling ball for her birthday - complete with the holes drilled to fit his fingers and embossed with his name. Undeterred, the woman decides to learn to bowl and heads to the local lanes, where she meets another man, Franco, who is "kind, considerate and loving."

They fall in love and Franco proposes.

"I no longer love Gene," writes Stuck in a Love Triangle. "I want to divorce him and marry Franco. At the same time, I'm worried that Gene won't be able to move on with his life. I also think our kids would be devastated. What should I do?"

After the letter raised the suspicions of the newspaper editor, Universal Press Syndicate did some research and discovered that Gene seemed a lot like Homer Simpson's thoughtless character in an episode titled "Life on the Fast Lane."

In both the letter and the Simpsons episode, the husbands grow suspicious when they stumble across bowling gloves - obvious gifts to their wives from the other man.
Jeanne Phillips, who writes Dear Abby, told "Stuck" to tell her husband why she strayed. "To save the marriage," she wrote, "he might be willing to change back to the man who bowled you over in the first place."


Posted by robbernard at 12:42 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, February 19, 2004
Johnny-On-Top: Folk singer for the far right

Good Pearls Before Swine today.

Posted by robbernard at 1:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Week old Ender's Game news nobody bothered to tell me about

X-Men 2 writers Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty are signed to write the 2nd draft of the Ender's Game screenplay.

The Fresco Pictures news item goes on to say:
"In March, Card will be meeting with Warner Brothers Consumer Products division to discuss development of the electronic games that will tie in with the movie."

Penny Arcade has a strip discussing the quality of the eventual tie-in games.

Posted by robbernard at 3:17 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, February 16, 2004
Chocolate may not be good for you, but it's good for science
Princeton physicist Paul Chaikin's passion for M&M's candies was so well known that his students played a sweet practical joke on him by leaving a 55-gallon drum of the candies in his office.

Little did they know that their prank would lead to a physics breakthrough.
Chaikin and his colleague, chemist Salvatore Torquato, used the candies to investigate the physical and mathematical principles involved when particles are poured randomly into a vessel.

Writing in Friday's issue of the journal Science, they said they found that oblate spheroids -- such as plain M&M's -- pack surprisingly more densely than regular spheres when poured randomly and shaken.

When poured in, they said, spheres occupy about 64 percent of the space in a container. M&M's manage to pack in at a density of about 68 percent.

"We just stretched a sphere and suddenly things changed dramatically," said Torquato. "To me, it's remarkable that you can take this simple system with common candies and probe one of the deepest problems in condensed matter physics."

Posted by robbernard at 4:03 PM in Miscellaneous
Note to everyone...

Get... over...yourselves!!

Posted by robbernard at 3:55 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, February 14, 2004
Bwah... bwah... bwah... Holy crap...

Looks like A-Rod to the Yanks for Soriano. It'll put the Yankees payroll north of $200 million. That's more than 4 times the Reds' payroll and more than 6 times the lowest payroll last year.

Posted by robbernard at 6:46 PM in Baseball , Miscellaneous

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
"Saddam Hussein Rules Over Cell With Iron Fist"
BAGHDAD—Officials overseeing Saddam Hussein told reporters Monday that the detained former Iraqi leader rules over his cell "with an iron fist." "Saddam is a very powerful man with a larger-than-life presence, and when he's in that cell, there's no mistaking who's in charge," said a special-forces officer who commands the watch of Hussein at an undisclosed location in Iraq. "We gave Saddam a small bag of nuts. While he was asleep, the rats got into the nuts and ate some of them. In retaliation, Saddam caught one of the rats' young, tortured it, and left it strapped to the wall with dental floss for days. Then, after it was dead, he stuffed its severed head with nuts and paraded it around the cell to warn the other rats." ... "Every day at around 6, he delivers his morning decree," the CIA official said. "He tells the cockroaches and other vermin in the cell that he will protect them against the oppressive Western devils and reward those who remain loyal. Then he usually sings. I once rapped on the bars with the butt of my rifle, but that just fired him up. He started cursing a blue streak at me and launched into a recitation of the "64 Rules Of Order" for the cell. Now I know to just let him tire himself out."

--The Onion

Posted by robbernard at 1:40 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
PETA front group: Attacking the dead
The late Dr. Robert Atkins is being smeared for his alleged obesity at the time of his death, by a phony doctors organization that has been exposed as a front group for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and has been censured by the American Medical Association (AMA). The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has taken in over $1 million from PETA and the animal rights movement. PCRM and PETA also share office space, board members, and staff. The AMA has formally censured PCRM in the past, calling its recommendations “irresponsible” and “potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans.” The AMA has also called PCRM a “fringe organization” that uses “unethical tactics” and is “interested in perverting medical science.”

...The facts on the late Dr. Robert Atkins:

(1) Dr. Stuart Trager MD, chairman of the Atkins Physicians Council, told the Wall Street Journal that Atkins' heart disease stemmed from cardiomyopathy, a condition that was thought to result from a viral infection. Atkins' weight was due to bloating and water-retention associated with his condition, and the time he spent in a coma after his head injury.

(2) Trager's own release this morning reads in part: "Due to water retention ... [Atkins] had a weight that varied between 180 and 195. During his coma, as he deteriorated and his major organs failed, fluid retention and bloating dramatically distorted his body and left him at 258 pounds at the time of his death, a documented weight gain of over 60 pounds."

--Center for Consumer Freedom

More on the Physicians Committee for Responible Medicine.

Posted by robbernard at 4:04 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, February 7, 2004

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Holy bleep!

This is seriously messed up.

Baby born with 2nd head set for surgery Friday.

Posted by robbernard at 11:35 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Blogging will be light to none over the next couple days as I'll be in Columbus for a funeral.

Posted by robbernard at 11:51 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Just a reminder

I need a job. If anyone might be needing or knows of a company that may need a Computer Science graduate with co-op experience in quality assurance, intranet portal design/maintenance and web application design/maintenance let me know and I can send my resume.

Posted by robbernard at 11:45 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, January 26, 2004
An interesting approach to homelessness

Columbus seems to be having luck with an innovative solution to homelessness: give them homes.

Columbus, Ohio, is at the forefront of a trend gaining momentum in cities: housing the chronically homeless - not those who need just a nudge toward self-sufficiency, but those who, like Bingham, have been homeless for much of their lives, who may never have been independent, and who often struggle with addiction or mental illness.
[U of Pennsylvania professor Dennis Culhane] found that although the long-term homeless made up only 10 percent of the homeless population over three years, they were using half of all shelter beds on any given night. And when Culhane compared the costs of supporting those with and without permanent housing, he discovered that it cost a city just $1,000 more annually per person to offer supportive housing - with services for mental health, addictions, employment, and other needs - than to care for the chronically homeless.
[F]or the most part, the program has been successful. More than 370 units have been built, and 165 more will be ready this year. And Columbus's approach is now part of a blueprint for cities fighting homelessness nationwide.
"The tenants are very protective of the building," says Marla Taylor, the manager at North High. "They watch the building, keep the yard clean, take out the trash, and don't let people who shouldn't be here in."

Sounds like a good idea to me. It's not simply a giveaway. A great many of the homeless given a place to stay seem to be proud enough to work for it and I'd imagine the simple dignity of having a permanent place of their own is the biggest factor of all. It's not just a hand out, it's a hand up.

Posted by robbernard at 11:51 AM in Miscellaneous
Oooh look, snow!

You know, snow's a lot more exciting when you have something to go to that could be cancelled.

Posted by robbernard at 11:42 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, January 23, 2004
My "first six"

Jay Solo listed the top six blogs that he checks first and foremost and called for others to do the same. Here's mine.

Andrew Sullivan
American RealPolitik
Neal Boortz
Jay Solo
Cincinnati Blog

Then I throw in daybyday, Penny Arcade(MWF) and PvP, Left of the Middle(to see if it's been updated) and a few more random ones from the blogroll.

Posted by robbernard at 6:15 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 22, 2004
You know about the white African running for "Distinguished African American Student", right?

If not you do now.

A small group of Westside High School students plastered the school Monday with posters advocating that a white student from South Africa receive the "Distinguished African American Student Award" next year.

The students' actions on Martin Luther King Jr. Day upset several students and have led administrators to discipline four students.

The posters, placed on about 150 doors and lockers, included a picture of the junior student smiling and giving a thumbs up. The posters encouraged votes for him.
Karen Richards said her son and his friends were not trying to hurt anyone.

"My son is not a racist," she said. "He has black friends, friends from Bangladesh and Egypt. Color has never been an issue in our home."

"It was a very innocent thing," she said.

Richards said her family moved to Omaha from Johannesburg six years ago. Trevor, she said, "is as African as anyone."

Posted by robbernard at 8:40 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
The 2003 Vaporware Awards are out

And believe it or not, the #1 spot didn't go to Duke Nukem Forever... but only because it beat the others so badly that they just gave it the "Lifetime Achievement Award".

Posted by robbernard at 1:37 PM in Miscellaneous
Churchill's parrot still curses the Nazis

A story too strange not to blog.

SHE WAS at Winston Churchill's side during Britain's darkest hour. And now Charlie the parrot is 104 years old...and still cursing the Nazis.

Her favourite sayings were "F*** Hitler" and "F*** the Nazis". And even today, 39 years after the great man's death, she can still be coaxed into repeating them with that unmistakable Churchillian inflection.
James Humes, an expert on the late PM, said: "Churchill may no longer be with us but that spirit and those words of defiance and resolve continue." (via Realpolitik)

Posted by robbernard at 1:22 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Carnival of the Vanities

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Snooze Button Dreams.

Posted by robbernard at 6:09 PM in Miscellaneous
That's a big patriotic rock

This comes in the e-mail.

There is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy. 25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this
rock, changing its character many times.

A few months back, the rock received its latest paint job, and since then it has been left completely undisturbed. It's quite an impressive sight.

The pics of the rock are here.

Posted by robbernard at 6:08 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 8, 2004
Well imagine that...

The woman who claims she lost the $162 million lottery ticket now admits she lied.

A woman admitted through tears Thursday that she lied about losing the winning ticket for a $162 million lottery prize, saying: "I wanted to win so badly for my kids and my family."

Elecia Battle, 40, is dropping her lawsuit to block payment of the 11-state Mega Millions jackpot to the certified winner, her lawyer Sheldon Starke said.

"I wanted to win," Battle said. "The numbers were so overwhelming. I did buy a ticket and I lost it. I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologize."

Posted by robbernard at 3:11 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Carnival of the Vanities

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at RealPolitik. Check it out.

Posted by robbernard at 3:24 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, January 6, 2004
Quote of the day
So we went ahead and did the whole thing and we got back to the room and we decided that's when we need to tell everbody what we done did and that's when all hell broke loose and we realized that what we did wasn't probably the right thing we should have done...

--Jason Allen Alexander

Posted by robbernard at 1:43 PM in Miscellaneous
OSC on comedians

He tells the truth.

The best political comics working today are Dennis Miller and Chris Rock. Because they both jab at stupidity from every part of the political spectrum, I have seen them both tagged as "conservative" by some commentators, but they're not. They're truly middle-of-the-road snipers at the idiocies of political life; I think they're funny and intelligent even when I disagree with them. It breaks my heart that HBO dumped both their shows.

Above all, Miller and Rock are both honest, which is more than you can say for the worst political comics working today: Michael Moore and Al Franken. To his credit, Franken was once funny -- one thinks of Stuart Smalley and of his bits as a one-man TV reporting team during the first Gulf War. But today, both Franken and Moore loudly proclaim that their political enemies are liars -- and both are quite willing to lie or misrepresent or distort the facts in order to "prove" their point. Dishonesty might be a tiny bit excusable if they were even slightly funny.

--Uncle Orson Reviews Everything

Posted by robbernard at 12:39 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 1, 2004
Happy New Year!

Have a nice 2004.

Posted by robbernard at 12:00 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 30, 2003
I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The phrase "Big & Tall" in relation to a clothing store is a misnomer. What they really mean is "Big or Tall". The vast majority of their merchandise is made for the tall and skinny or the short and tubby.

Posted by robbernard at 9:47 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, December 28, 2003
"The bus they were riding in exploded in downtown Jerusalem"

Check out today's Pearls Before Swine.

Posted by robbernard at 10:05 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, December 13, 2003
Ya know what?

You search through a few thousand job postings and they all just start to blur together...

Posted by robbernard at 6:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, December 11, 2003
2 days ago it was "teens are more conservative"... it's college students are more religious.

Posted by robbernard at 11:49 PM in Miscellaneous
Rob's first law of condiments

The number of ketchup packets you recieve at the drive-thru window is inversely proportional to the size of the fries you ordered.

Posted by robbernard at 5:21 PM in Miscellaneous
Oooh, my first piece of comment spam

Oddly enough it was on an entry from way back in September. You'd think they'd do a more current one.

Posted by robbernard at 3:03 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 9, 2003
A note to ESPN

No, I do not want to download ESPN Motion! Stop making me click an extra time to get to the top stories!

Posted by robbernard at 12:11 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, December 8, 2003
No matter what you may have heard...

...there are not... I repeat, NOT 14 dwarves who only eat macaroni living in the old citadel of the birthplace of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Posted by robbernard at 4:42 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, December 5, 2003
What's the world coming to?

What's the world coming to when cautionary tales of the evils of consumerism and greed can't be trusted?

While other Wal-Mart shoppers were looking to save big on a DVD player, Patricia VanLester may have been trying to make big money on a lawsuit.

VanLester, 41 - who was allegedly trampled by Wal-Mart shoppers in Orange City, Fla., the day after Thanksgiving - has filed 16 previous injury claims against employers and businesses, a Florida TV station said yesterday.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said [VanLester] and her sister have filed 10 other injury claims against the company.

--NY Post

Posted by robbernard at 10:29 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, December 4, 2003
The idea that higher speed limits lead to more deaths?

According to Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute, it's not true.

Posted by robbernard at 6:38 PM in Miscellaneous
Bad news for Californians

You won't be able to get your genetically modified fluorescent zebra fish when they go on sale in the rest of the country.

Posted by robbernard at 6:25 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 3, 2003
I'm sorry but...

...Nicole Richie is far too close to a mix of Rachel Dratch and Sandra Bernhard to be hot.

Posted by robbernard at 7:37 PM in Miscellaneous
COTV #63

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Begging To Differ.

Posted by robbernard at 3:09 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Somebody came to this site from the Islamic Republic Of Iran on a google search for "fusion reactor". Is there someone at the UN I need to report this to?

Posted by robbernard at 2:54 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 28, 2003
Stupid criminal news

Teen given probation for setting a building on fire... "consumed marijuana" which is against the rules of his probation... has to go in for a drug test... fears he'll fail... uses an adult relative's urine's discovered that he faked the drug test and he has to retake it... new test is positive for marijuana...

Now, how did they find out he faked the first test? (This isn't in the linked article but was in the Columbus Dispatch)

The urine from his relative tested positive for cocaine.

Posted by robbernard at 3:28 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 27, 2003
Happy Turkey Day!

Or Ham Day, or Tofurky Day, or Turducken Day, or whatever it is that your eat.

Mmmmm, aluminum can shaped cranberry sauce...

Posted by robbernard at 1:34 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Stupid criminal
Police said Tuesday they are investigating a woman's allegations that she was raped in the oceanfront home where MTV is filming the latest season of its "Real World" reality program.

The 22-year-old woman, who is not a cast member of the television show, said she believes she was assaulted while unconscious by a man who is also not a "Real World" cast or crew member.

Now, working on the assumption (which of course may not be correct) that it actually happenid... tell me, if you were thinking of committing a crime of any kind, wouldn't you want to do it in a place that DIDN'T have dozens of cameras watching people's every move?

Posted by robbernard at 11:57 PM in Miscellaneous
Good news - Bad news

The good news: People want to come here at record levels. 1.4 million per year.

The bad news: 1/2 a million of those are illegal.

Posted by robbernard at 7:03 PM in Miscellaneous
PC run amok
Equipment vendors who do business with Los Angeles County received a message in November 2003 from the county's Internal Services Department (ISD) informing them that "based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County," labeling or describing equipment with the term 'master/slave' is no longer acceptable.

Posted by robbernard at 1:29 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 21, 2003
*sigh* What is France coming to?
The Chief Rabbi of France, Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, called on that country's Jewish community to wear baseball caps instead of skullcaps while not in their homes, in order "to prevent being attacked in the street."


Posted by robbernard at 2:41 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Understatement of the day

Jacko's Career May Be in Trouble.

May? MAY BE IN TROUBLE?! He hasn't had a true bona fide hit record since at least 1995, and there's a good case to be made for 1991.

Isn't this kind of like saying that John Rocker's baseball career may be in trouble?

Posted by robbernard at 11:30 PM in Miscellaneous
This is good
Because of an editing error, a story on the front page yesterday misattributed a quote from the speaker on an audiotape purportedly of Saddam Hussein as coming from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. It was the speaker on the tape, not Daschle, who said, "The evil ones now find themselves in crisis, and this is God's will for them." The only solution for Iraq was for "the zealous Iraqi sons, who ran its affairs and brought it out of backwardness . . . to return . . . to run its affairs anew," the speaker on the tape said, referring to the Baath leadership.

--The Plain Dealer

Posted by robbernard at 3:27 PM in Miscellaneous
Carnival of the Vanities

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Peaktalk.

Posted by robbernard at 11:58 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Reviewing my referrer logs...

...I get the feeling that there are a lot of people looking for the Paris Hilton tape who are coming away disappointed.

Posted by robbernard at 10:38 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, November 15, 2003
The Paris Hilton sex tape

Watching O'Reilly and they're going on about how she's going to be labeled a bimbo for the rest of her life and she could have ruined her life with this and how it's going to take so much time for her to come back from this...

What are they talking about? She's famous for being rich, being hot, and partying... With that kind of resume does having a sex tape released really do that much harm? She flaunted her body and played it up for the cameras beforehand and the tape just reinforces it. It's pretty much a lateral move.

Posted by robbernard at 4:50 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Oniony goodness

Mom Finds Out About Blog.

Posted by robbernard at 1:45 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, November 10, 2003
Swedish shoes

If you found 70 pairs of shoes in the middle of the woods that would be pretty weird right? Now imagine if they were all filled with butter.

Posted by robbernard at 10:06 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 7, 2003 v2.0: Exactly the same but completely different!

Yep, I'm now running on Movable Type instead of Blogger so the Movable Type elitists can rejoice and comment and TrackBack away. Gotta say that the template transfer is hardly a trivial matter, but all in all the hardest part of the switchover was the router going bonkers and messing up my FTP and Instant Messenger.

Fun fact: the word "monkey" has been used in more posts than "Dean" and "Gore" combined.

Posted by robbernard at 1:12 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

I'm going through the motions of possibly moving over to Movabletype and one thing strikes me. I was exceedingly bad at closing my bold tags in the early days of this blog.

Posted by robbernard at 1:28 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, October 20, 2003

The Treasury is spending something like $30 million to advertise the new $20 bill. This doesn't upset me really. What upsets me is that in this big what do we hear about? The new features?

The peach color? Not mentioned.

The blue eagle thing? Not mentioned.

The portrait change? Not mentioned.

The small yellow 20s? Not mentioned.

The only things they mention are color shifting ink, watermark and security thread. We've had these features for 5+ years now. If you're going to spend our money at least tell us what's new about THIS bill.

Posted by robbernard at 11:54 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Chicago Cubs: Living down to expectations for 95 years.

It should be noted though that even though the fan may have cost them an out, it was still the Cubs players who let the fish score 8 freakin points in one inning.

Posted by robbernard at 11:06 PM in Miscellaneous

Just for the record, I need a job. Graduated from the University of Cincinnati in June with a BS in Computer Science. If anyone has need of a software developer/system analyst type guy let me know. Currently in the Cincinnati/Dayton area, but open to relocation.

Posted by robbernard at 6:37 PM in Miscellaneous

The game had everything: mercenaries, dictators, seedy bars, finances, an accountant... it really was a very good game when it came out in the early-to-mid '90s. *whistful sigh* why don't they make games like that anymore?

Posted by robbernard at 3:56 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Absolutely ridiculous. The pitch was nowhere near his head.

Also, the proper response for when a guy like Pedro has a short, bald, old guy like Zimmer charging him isn't to throw him to the ground, it's to put his hand on his head and hold Zimmer out of range as he ineffectually flails his arms at you. That's what cartoons and the 3 Stooges have taught me anyway.

And for the record this is coming from a guy rooting for whatever team is playing the Yankees.

Posted by robbernard at 5:47 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, October 10, 2003

I'm sure you know by now that Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Gotta say, it's nice to see it go to somebody for a reason other than they ticked off the US.

Posted by robbernard at 3:58 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Cubs in the NLCS, Sox in the ALCS, Kennedy's standing behind the newly elected Republican Governor of California... Satan must be feeling a bit chilly.

Posted by robbernard at 2:06 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Some funny stuff. Bleep added by me.

The first, and probably most important, step to surviving the impending hurricane is to pause and take a look around yourself. Are you living in a coastal community known for feeling the brunt of hurricanes? If so, good job brainiac, you've just totally [Bleeped] up the first step. The easiest way to survive a hurricane is to stay away from hurricanes. While powerful, hurricanes rarely reach into America's fortress of solitude also known as the Midwest. Sure the Midwest can still suffer at the unkind hands of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and volcanoes but once you've seen a hurricane up close you're going to think those three are friendly visitors doing a little high speed landscaping.
Windows are the weakest link the defensive perimeter of any home. They are broken by intruders, rocks thrown by mobsters, Spandrel anti-tank missiles, violent house cats, and sometimes even hurricanes. A broken window is bad, but a really fast broken window can be deadly. Most windows are travelling at zero miles per hour and still manage to kill several dozen toddlers and drunks in a year. A window accelerated to thirty or forty miles per hour deals out the lethal pain to hundreds of automobile drivers and pedestrians walking near high rise construction zones.
One of the largest forms of entertainment prior to the invention of radio was the organ grinder. Most pet importers can supply you with a trained monkey and monkeys eat basically the same things as people so you should be set for carrying for it after the hurricane. If not monkeys come from the jungle and can probably forage for food among the corpses drifting around your waterlogged town. As for the organ part, you can fashion a passable accordion from the bones and flesh of your fallen foes.

-- Something Awful

Posted by robbernard at 2:32 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, September 14, 2003
People can say whatever they want about you without knowing the facts," [R Kelly] tells Blender magazine.

"They can criticise you without even knowing you, and hate you when they don't even know you. All of a sudden, you're, like, the Bin Laden of America.

"Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I'm going through," he added.

-- BBC

Posted by robbernard at 10:19 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, September 12, 2003

John Ritter dead at 54.


Johnny Cash dead at 71.


Posted by robbernard at 1:02 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Gotta give kudos to Krogers. The local store now includes a Starbucks, which is nice since out here in the suburbs you can really only get Starbucks in Barnes & Noble.

The only problem with the Starbucks in the grocery store idea though is that you've got people working the counter who've spent less time in a Starbucks than I have (which actually isn't much), and you have a whole new customer base that can't tell a Grande Mocha Coconut Frappuccino from a Venti Mocha Latte and thus take 5 minutes to decide on the Tall Decaf. It can be quite frustrating.

Posted by robbernard at 1:54 AM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 31, 2003

10,000+ people have died in France from the heat. For comparison, from 1979 to 1995 2792 people died in the US because of hot weather. I can see maybe a couple dozen people dying, I mean your always going to have your elderly hermits who never leave their houses, but 10,000 people? That's just baffling.

Posted by robbernard at 7:27 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Be back Sunday.

Posted by robbernard at 11:53 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, July 28, 2003

Dead at 100.

Posted by robbernard at 9:42 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

If you were going to do a psychological study of what makes Conservatives conservative why in the world would you want it to take place at UC Berkeley?

Posted by robbernard at 11:12 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Against union regs. (via The Corner)

Posted by robbernard at 3:53 PM in Miscellaneous

Metallica is suing the Canadian band Unfaith over playing the guitar chords E and F. On the plus side if any other bands get sue-happy I'm sure Metallica will take them to court too since people have grown to associate stupid lawsuits with Metallica.

Posted by robbernard at 10:02 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

More from Pearls Before Swine

Posted by robbernard at 4:21 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, July 7, 2003

Check out today's Pearls Before Swine.

Posted by robbernard at 3:38 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, July 4, 2003

"Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it."

Posted by robbernard at 2:55 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, July 3, 2003

I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't link to Goldberg's column column using the split between Springfield and Shelbyville to illustrate the idea of federalism in the gay marriage debate.

Posted by robbernard at 1:58 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, June 27, 2003

The National Do Not Call Registry is now online.

Posted by robbernard at 1:33 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, June 23, 2003

On Saturday alone Harry Potter sold 5 times as many books as Hillary's entire first run.

Barnes & Noble sold 40,000 copies of Hillary's book the first day. Harry Potter, well...

"We expected to sell 1 million copies in the first week and we sold that many within the first 48 hours," Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio said Sunday as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (search) set records around the world in its first weekend.

Nobody in the industry had seen anything like it, at least since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (search), which came out three years ago. Scholastic, the book's U.S. publisher, estimated 5 million copies were sold the first day alone, well ahead of the pace of Goblet of Fire.
--Fox News

Posted by robbernard at 1:08 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

It looks like Ohio will have a concealed carry law.

Posted by robbernard at 5:00 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, June 16, 2003

You can now consider me a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering in Computer Science. Now for the hard part, finding a job. If anybody's got any leads let me know. :)

Posted by robbernard at 12:54 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, June 12, 2003

He's leading the BBC poll.

Posted by robbernard at 7:10 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, May 29, 2003
A gunman who stormed into a suburban post office and took two employees hostage surrendered Wednesday, shortly after giving up the hostages in exchange for a six-pack of soda. ... ``We can resolve this thing without anybody getting hurt,'' one negotiator shouted to the gunman through a bullhorn. ``Let everybody go and let's just get this resolved.''

After about three hours of negotiations, the gunman released the hostages after officers delivered a six-pack of Dr Pepper to him, using a long stick to pass the soda through a door.

Soon afterward the man, shirtless and wearing long shorts, walked out with his arms raised and surrendered to officers, who led him to a patrol car.


Posted by robbernard at 11:02 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

China has "taken care of Taiwan's SARS outbreak." Never mind that Taiwan is independent from China and China was in no way involved in treating SARS in Taiwan.

Posted by robbernard at 9:54 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Right We Are!

Posted by robbernard at 11:57 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A pretty whacked out guy.

Halder's anger centered on university employee Shawn Miller, a school computer-lab assistant Halder believed had hacked his site, thereby destroying his life. He pursued Miller, whom he described as an evil man, through the civil courts and in numerous complaints to the university president, the campus police, the Mayor of Cleveland, the FBI and even the US House and Senate Judiciary Committees, but his pleas for justice were ignored at each turn.

"The end result of all of these outright evil actions will be that society will end up paying a severe price," Halder had warned in one such communique. . . .

Halder . . . believed he possessed the secrets to peace and prosperity for all mankind and graciously shared these nuggets of wisdom via his Web site -- until someone deleted its entire contents from his computer.

"I try to solve mankind's problems through the Internet," Halder explained in a court deposition against Miller. "In a few seconds, the evil man wiped out everything that it took my lifetime to create," he later whinged in an e-mail to school officials. . . .

--From Volokh/The Register

Posted by robbernard at 3:19 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I don't mind the look of the new $20 bill, but I don't quite get why we need a new design so soon after the latest one. Why didn't they just do this the last time. I'd also like to see the $1 bill redesigned so it looks something like the new ones.

Posted by robbernard at 5:30 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Cold Fury delivers this fisking of Arby's new Pot Roast sandwich. I'd just like to take this moment to once again curse Subway for discontinuing the Asiago cheese bread. Damn them!

Posted by robbernard at 3:48 AM in Miscellaneous

The CWRU shooter's homepage

Posted by robbernard at 3:45 AM in Miscellaneous

Gunman opens fire on Case Western campus.

I spent my Freshman year of college at Case Western and while I found out that it wasn't the right place for me, and as an Engineer I have issues with any building with no 90 degree angles, my thoughts go out to the victims and everyone else up at Case.

Posted by robbernard at 3:39 AM in Miscellaneous

About 5 pages of S's apparently, not Shakespeare.

Posted by robbernard at 3:31 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, May 2, 2003

The bad news: They're just nematodes.

Posted by robbernard at 6:28 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, April 25, 2003

Bud Selig is quitting after 2006. This just makes my day.

Posted by robbernard at 2:48 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, April 21, 2003

1. There is no jelly bean better than the Starburst Jelly Bean.
2. The best overall candy is the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.
3. Peeps are not nearly as bad as they're said to be.
4. Chocolate bunnies should not be hollow.

Posted by robbernard at 2:08 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Conspiracies are everywhere. He's now accusing CNN of doctoring the tape of his Oscar speech to make the boos seem louder.

Posted by robbernard at 9:46 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Hollywood Idiots -- Exposing Celebrity Idiots and Anti-Americans

Posted by robbernard at 2:35 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

If you had $3.91 you could have had all of them. (via Boortz)

Posted by robbernard at 12:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Today was my first trip to a flea market. Gotta say, the scene from Mallrats turned out to be a fairly accurate representation.

Somehow just the act of being in a flea market makes things seem less expensive. Do you really need metal pop signs? No, but they're 2 for $13. Do you need a laser pointer? No, but it's just $4 (24 more lenses for $2 more). A pair of the world's smallest dice? Just 50 cents.

It is however rather depressing to see all the old toys I used to have priced at like $50 now. The Optimus Prime Transformer I used to have before my dad stepped on it and broke it? Labeled at $45. *sigh*

Posted by robbernard at 8:44 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The French's Mustard people are trying to make sure people know they're not actually French.

Posted by robbernard at 12:14 PM in Miscellaneous

The probability of having salsa in the house is inversely proportional to the probability that you have tortilla chips.

Posted by robbernard at 11:42 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I swear, I'd have no problem at all with the last exam of the day ending at 7 if they moved the first one to 9:30.

Posted by robbernard at 10:40 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Mmmmmm... corned beef... that's good cow.

And then there was the fish and shrimp from lunch. That's at least 6 animals I'm partially responsible for killing... and they were delicious.

Posted by robbernard at 10:22 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, March 14, 2003

Tomorrow is "International Eat an Animal for PETA Day" If you stick to the small ones you can eat an entire animal.

Posted by robbernard at 11:19 AM in Miscellaneous

Jonah Goldberg on the lack of traction on other complaints and how that brings us back to good ole anti-Semitism.

Posted by robbernard at 11:17 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

You know, the problem with, as a rule, not getting too worked up when stuff like the Smart kidnapping happens in the first place is that it makes it a little hard to get worked up when it all ends wll.

Posted by robbernard at 6:49 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I think it's safe to say that that didn't go without difficulties. Everything should be better now as the name server propogates... I hope...

Posted by robbernard at 3:33 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, March 8, 2003

This site will be changing hosts over the next few days. I hope it will go without difficulties, but who knows...

Posted by robbernard at 7:32 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, March 6, 2003

I don't seem to recall The Hobbit having any Homosexual prostitutes.

Posted by robbernard at 10:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State

Dictator Ruthless in Moving to Goals

He Furthered Socialization and Industrialization of World's First Marxist Nation

Led World War II Effort

Hard, Mysterious, Aloof, Rude, He Outlasted the Dreamers and Solidified Power
--Stalin's NY Times obituary, March 6, 1953(Thanks to The Corner and Andrew Sullivan for the link)

Posted by robbernard at 5:46 PM in Miscellaneous
WHAT KIND OF A WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN WHEN... can't even shoot your own computer?

Posted by robbernard at 5:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

According to the BBC, plenty.

Posted by robbernard at 3:54 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, February 16, 2003

It took me 5 years of college but Monday will be my first ever college snow day. I'm happy. Now if they'd just bump the Snow Emergency down to level 2 I could leave my house.

Posted by robbernard at 9:38 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, February 7, 2003

Andrew Sullivan raises a good point:

I dont buy the notion that he's sexually abusing children. But abuse need not be sexual to be abuse, as Jackson's own vile father showed.

I'm not convinced that he's sexually abusing children either, but I definitely think that the way he acts towards his children (the seclusion, the masks, etc...) is a form of abuse no matter how unintentional. Just as Michael's father thought what he did for Michael was for the best Michael also thinks that he's really saving his children from the spotlight when most likely he's permanently scarring them.

Posted by robbernard at 12:25 PM in Miscellaneous

Watching the Jackson special last night it occurred to me that he's really not that different from Willy Wonka. Reclusive man brings groups of children to his amusement park and does horrible things to them. Replace "amusement park" with "chocolate factory" and you've the script to Willy Wonka.

On a more serious note, last night's special let you really see just how messed up he is. He doesn't do these freaky things just to be freaky; he does them because he doesn't know any better. He's completely convinced that there's nothing wrong with any of the eccentric behavior.

The upside for Michael is that after watching it I was left with the impression that even if he wanted to sexually abuse the children he wouldn't be able to. As creepy as his love for children might be it appears to be completely real. He can barely get past his psychological problems to sex with women; I just have a hard time seeing him hurting the children like that.

Posted by robbernard at 12:07 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Simply amazing.

PETA's Peace Plan
• Our friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have outdone themselves this time, sending a deferential letter to Yasser Arafat about a Jan. 26 Jerusalem bombing in which a donkey -- but no human beings -- died after being strapped with explosives and detonated.

"Your Excellency," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote in the note faxed on Monday to Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. "We have received many calls and letters from people shocked at the bombing. . . . All nations behave abominably in many ways when they are fighting their enemies, and animals are always caught in the crossfire. The U.S. Army abandoned thousands of loyal service dogs in Vietnam. Al-Qaeda and the British government have both used animals in hideously cruel biological weaponry tests. We watched on television as stray cats in your own compound fled as best they could from the Israeli bulldozers. . . . If you have the opportunity, will you please add to your burdens my request that you appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict?"

Yesterday we asked Newkirk if she considered asking Arafat to persuade those who listen to him to stop blowing up people as well. "It's not my business to inject myself into human wars," she replied. Israeli Embassy spokesman Mark Regev declined to comment on PETA's plea, but told us: "I find it ironic that the Palestinian leaders choose to send donkeys to kill civilians. Surely, the Palestinian people deserve better than the current bunch of asses who run their affairs."

Posted by robbernard at 5:26 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Could Michael Jackson get any creepier?

Posted by robbernard at 11:07 AM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, February 1, 2003
“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the trembling mirth of sun-split clouds – and done 100 things you have not dreamed of
– wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.

Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept hills with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew;

And, while with silent, lifting mind, I trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God!”

- John Gillespie Maggee

That's all for now. Don't so much see what good my blabbering's going to do.

Posted by robbernard at 4:37 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Realpolitik has some good cartoons today.

Posted by robbernard at 4:25 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I love it, the spam I'm receiving is now complaining about how annoying pop-ups are. :)

Posted by robbernard at 12:34 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, January 10, 2003

The "heir to the Max Factor fortune" is running from the law after using the date rape drug on 3 women. Aren't the rich supposed to become criminal masterminds and engage in grand conspiracies to take over the world? Is this really the best rich, eccentric criminal we can turn out? Is it too much to ask for a few henchmen at least?

Posted by robbernard at 11:16 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Would it kill the University to schedule classes at 2 seperate times? Why is it that every class I want/need to take is only offered MWF 2:00-3:00? *grumble*

Posted by robbernard at 10:42 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, January 3, 2003

As a University of Cincinnati student it really pains me to say this, but... Go Bucks!


Posted by robbernard at 9:51 PM in Miscellaneous

That the nutjob parents of the supposed clone may not allow testing. Never would have thunk it.

Posted by robbernard at 3:22 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Wow, it seems like just yesterday it was 2002.

Posted by robbernard at 12:02 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Hope the waiting to open presents tomorrow isn't too hard, unless you're like me and are lucky enough to open them tonight.

Posted by robbernard at 4:33 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

For the life of me I can't find anything that really strikes my blogging fancy. Oh well, off to see The Two Towers in an hour.

Posted by robbernard at 3:10 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

You might want to put on your makeup before you get on the Interstate.

Posted by robbernard at 11:38 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, December 16, 2002

Stupid North Carolinians! Always trying to steal Ohio's rightful place as the Birthplace of Aviation.

Posted by robbernard at 3:16 PM in Miscellaneous

Lileks has a funny piece on his difficulty in ordering from Pizza Hut.

Posted by robbernard at 1:41 PM in Miscellaneous

Saturday, December 14, 2002

The name "Bernard" is pronounced "Bernard", not "Bernerd". All of a sudden the newscasters have taken to calling the former Cardinal of Boston Bernerd Law. And with my last name I figure I have a vested interest in this issue.

Posted by robbernard at 5:46 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, December 13, 2002

You're away from work for 2 days and pages just seem to start breaking themselves. Stupid work pages.

Posted by robbernard at 3:54 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, December 9, 2002

The "if it can't be learned in the 6 hours before an exam it's probably not worth knowing" plan hit a snag upon discovery of the 5 page paper that hadn't even been started 30 minutes before the final.

Luckily the prof is quite understanding.

Posted by robbernard at 8:23 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, December 6, 2002

Raines has backed down and the NY Times will run the censored pro-Augusta National columns.

Posted by robbernard at 4:38 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, December 5, 2002

Is it wrong to not have much sympathy for somebody not bright enough to not confess to a crime they didn't commit? Watching a story on CNN about some guys convicted of a rape that they didn't commit, but confessed to and I'm having trouble working up much sympathy.

Posted by robbernard at 1:44 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Man steals computer to pay for theft rehab.

Posted by robbernard at 10:53 PM in Miscellaneous

What kind of world are we living in when monkey-skull ashtrays have lost their shock value?

Posted by robbernard at 10:34 PM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 3, 2002
Hmmm, $6,500 a month car payment...

Too rich for my blood.

Posted by robbernard at 7:44 PM in Miscellaneous

Man shot dead at anti-gun march. Then of course they go on to use it as an urgent reason for the British to get tough on guns, never mind that they already have horribly draconian gun laws.

Posted by robbernard at 4:39 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, December 2, 2002

If you're china you make them into hotels, nightclubs, markets, shopping malls and restaurants.

Posted by robbernard at 11:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 28, 2002
Posted by robbernard at 11:26 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Or would "Attack of the clones" have been a better subject? Anyway, an Italian doctor says a cloned baby is due in January.

Posted by robbernard at 5:08 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, November 25, 2002

An interesting theory. And if it were used as a jumping off point for fixing things I might support it, but it looks like it's mostly being used as an excuse for why blacks fail instead of a reason that can be overcome.

Posted by robbernard at 3:12 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 22, 2002

More detailed info about the Miss World rioting.

The front-page article said: "What would (the prophet) Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them (the contestants)."

The paper, whose Kaduna offices were burnt, has been forced to print three apologies and faces punishment by authorities. It said the story went out in error, Reuters reported.

The government condemned the article which it says "without doubt exceeded the bounds of responsible journalism by making (a) provocative publication on the Holy Prophet."

Islamic fundamentalist groups had for months warned of protests against the Miss World pageant.

The fundamentalist Nigerian Muslim Umma, an umbrella group of Islamic clerics and scholars, has declared a "serious religious emergency" and issued a statement calling on the government to stop the pageant, Reuters reported.

It looks like it's not just the angry mob, even the Nigerian government is getting in on the action by chastising the paper.

Posted by robbernard at 2:54 PM in Miscellaneous

The Austrians are launching a toung-in-cheek copyright battle over Mickey Mouse after finding his likeness in a medieval fresco.

Posted by robbernard at 11:12 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Bill Simmons of ESPN has a good column up on the women at Augusta controversy.

Posted by robbernard at 2:32 PM in Miscellaneous
From the irony department

The Chinese are fighting to get westerners to stop referring to Mount Everest as Mount Everest and instead refer to it as Mount Qomolangma.

"British colonialists raped the sacred mountain of the Tibetans by giving it a false name," said the report. "Until today the world is still persistently humiliating Mt Qomolangma with English-language hegemonism."

I'm not the only one who sees the irony in China complaining about the British treatment of the Tibetans, am I?

Posted by robbernard at 10:18 AM in Miscellaneous
Firefighters turn down handouts

I've gotta hand it to the 3 Omaha firefighters who turned down a promotion because they only recieved it because they were a minority. You have to admire somebody who wants to get by on their own merits.

Posted by robbernard at 10:13 AM in Miscellaneous

Stephen Hayes brings up something I've thought for a long time... why not have the Super Bowl in the cold? Just how many Super Bowls can you have in New Orleans? I'm all for making Super Bowl watching a little less comfortable. Football isn't a game of comfort, and I don't see why the biggest game of the year should have perfect conditions. It may make marketing and festivities easier, but wouldn't you want your sport's biggest showcase to properly display what the sport is all about?

Posted by robbernard at 10:01 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Well, at least the guy wanted to get to court.

Man steals car in order to get to court to face car theft charges.

Posted by robbernard at 11:23 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Hmmm, I don't like this baby, can I have a replacement?

Strange news out of Romania: New father tries to briber nurseto replace his daughter with a boy.

Posted by robbernard at 11:05 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, November 18, 2002
An important story I think.

Three Estonian women brought into this country illegally and essentially enslaved are being deported. These women thought they were coming to the United States to legally work but things went bad.

The Estonian women say their first mistake was trusting Alexandre Grunichev, the Russian who brought them to America to work for him. They say they responded to his newspaper ads offering jobs in the United States.

The ads promised a place to live, a good wage and a visa that would allow them to work legally.

Instead, they say, they were housed in an apartment with 10 other immigrants and were required to work up to 12 hours a day cleaning homes and hotels for about $5.50 an hour.

These women realized they were here illegally so they went to the INS for help.

They say they met with two INS agents, Tom Perryman and Lisa Teal, who promised they could stay in America if they helped with the investigation. Their American friend, Beulah Duddey, has given a sworn statement on the Estonians' behalf, saying she heard the agents promise the women "they would be able to remain in the country (and) get their green cards."

"They said, `You got to help us and we'll help you,'" Ms. Ene said.

I don't know about you, but I think these are exactly the kind of immigrants we want in our country. They came here to work, and they wanted to do it legally, and when they couldn't do that they turned to our government for help. Regardless of whether the INS promised them anything or not I think these are exactly the types of people we want in this country: people coming here to work and partake in the American dream and wanting to do so legally.

What more could we ask of them?

Posted by robbernard at 10:27 PM in Miscellaneous
Yep, and we're the bad guys.

Zimbabwe's dictator outlaws yelling at his car.

Posted by robbernard at 10:13 AM in Miscellaneous

It almost happened.

Posted by robbernard at 10:11 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 15, 2002
I don't think I can have a blog and not link this.

Hate crime police raid 150 homes.

Posted by robbernard at 5:16 PM in Miscellaneous
Ok, I guess I have to do it.

Warning, disturbing content ahead. A history of Michael Jackson's nose.

Posted by robbernard at 3:10 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 14, 2002
I know I linked to the drunk driving campaign a while back...

...but I just can't bring myself to link to the Michael Jackson photo that's floating around, it's just too horrifying. :)

Posted by robbernard at 4:15 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Sometimes I worry about myself

I'm writing a serious Poli Sci paper and so far I've cited a Star Wars: Episode II deleted scene and a Jonah Goldberg column utilizing the term "spastic monkey." I hope my prof has a sense of humor. :)

Posted by robbernard at 11:07 PM in Miscellaneous
It's about time!

NATO's finally taking on the real threat... Actors!

Posted by robbernard at 11:10 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Regarding the Augusta dust up.

You know, one of the hardest things about being a conservative and a "little-r" republican is realizing that there's a difference between what should be done and what you can rightfully make someone do.

I do believe that Augusta should admit women, and that barring them is discrimination. But because they want to, not because a court rules it. Hanging out with who they want to hang out with isn't illegal. We have freedom of association in this country.

You can feel that they have to do it, but you can't make them. They have the right to make the decision on their own. Of course you don't need to support them either. You can always not watch tournaments held there.

Posted by robbernard at 9:58 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, November 11, 2002

I'll admit this anti-dui campaign would be effective as hell, but I really worry it's going to far. I mean, I could see this doing serious psychological damage to a child.

Posted by robbernard at 4:12 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 8, 2002
Arresting suspected criminals? Wha?!

Fingerprinting rules have led to the arrest of 179. And somewhere I'm sure somebody thinks this is an outrage.

Posted by robbernard at 10:53 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 7, 2002
Santa kills daughter

After dispute over Chistmas decorations.

Posted by robbernard at 10:37 AM in Miscellaneous
It's just amazing...

...that people actually think like Professor Peter Kirstein.(The e-mail exchange towards the bottom.)

Posted by robbernard at 9:52 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Anybody else pick up just a tiny shred of bias in this UPI piece?

Posted by robbernard at 5:24 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, October 31, 2002
*Insert obligatory Happy Halloween blog here...*

Oh yeah, before it's officially over I suppose I should do the obligatory "Happy Halloween" thing. So... Happy Halloween!

Posted by robbernard at 9:35 PM in Miscellaneous
OoOoOoOh... Evil...

It's like hamsterdance, but a lot more evil.

Posted by robbernard at 3:09 PM in Miscellaneous
Hello Everybody

Hi, this is my new blog! I guess we'll just have to figure out what I plan to do with it.

Posted by robbernard at 3:03 PM in Miscellaneous


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