So, there’s some fuss being made about vice presidential candidate Palin, and whether she can juggle the demands of the vice-presidential campaign with raising a baby. What amuses me is this: that’s how the fullness of her life is always being depicted, those two things.

Does anyone remember that she has another job?

Now admittedly, Alaska may not be the biggest of states. Well, I mean, really it is the biggest of states, but not exactly the most populated. And the $84000 or so annual salary that she pulls down for it may not be that much, particularly considering the cost of living… but still, it sounds like a full-time job,

Please note that this isn’t just a comment on her; on the whole, I’ve always been bothered by the amount of time that sitting politicians spend on their campaigns for President, and what it says about their commitment to doing the jobs they actually have. If being a Senator is something that one can do in one’s spare time, well, perhaps that explains much of the problem of government.

(In researching the gubernatorial salary, I came upon the fact that, at least as of the beginning of the decade, 42 state governors could use official state airplanes… and Alaska was not among them. Is there any state for which such access would be more legitimate? It’s a huge state, with vital areas that are literally not reachable by road, and a fairly isolated state capital.)

Published in: on August 31, 2008 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

A stepping stone to bigger things

For the first time, someone who has commented on this blog has appeared on The Colbert Report, and I’m glad to have been able to provide John McWhorter with that vital experience that readied him for the big leagues.

John did a good job last night (yes, last night; I wonder how many people missed the episodes because it was on a Friday, which I think is a first for Colbert), being in the tricky position of taking a position that sounds like a much better-considered and slightly milder version of the fake conservative over-the-top view of Colbert’s character. It seemed to amuse Colbert greatly; usually, he’s either highlighting a more liberal view by presenting a mock shallow conservative opposition, or mocking a conservative commentator by agreeing with the hollowest aspects of his views. John’s muted conservative views, his general reasonableness (I don’t always agree with John, but from the most part he seems to come from a thoughtful belief rather than a shrill codified stance; the first part of his appearance here was in the role of a conservative supporter of Obama) kept Colbert off-guard and off-balance. ’twas fun to watch.

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Punching up the auction

I was just browsing through some charity auctions on eBay, offering up celebrity encounters, walk-on film roles, and so forth. An I came across:

Round Of Golf w/ Sugar Ray Leonard Plus Signed Gloves

…and I couldn’t help thinking I’d much rather bid on a round of boxing with Jack Nicklaus.

I think the thing that’ll be the biggest of their current auctions isn’t Sugar Ray, isn’t the Spider-Man 4 walk on. It’s the set visit and walk-on role for the new Judd Apatow Adam Sandler film. But the thing that gives it its true value isn’t in the headline, it’s in the smaller print. “Have Judd review your comedy script and offer notes.” They’re presenting that as if its of about the same amount of interest as the autographed Pineapple Express poster… but for some folks of likely undue optimism, it’ll be worth it to get their comedy script in front of the current king of the comedy producers, with the hope that he’ll say “this is so brilliant, I’ll produce it immediately.” And for those a mite more realistic in their hopes, just being able to shop their script around saying that it’s had Judd’s input, that’s gotta be worth a few thou.

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

I'm getting a bag of money!

Just got an email that told me that all I had to do was take a poll and give them my address, and they’d send me a bag of money! And I did it!

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. But this was an email from the Federal Reserve Bank, so I had to trust it, right?

No, really, I did. I had gotten some free comics from the Federal Reserve Bank, and they were taking a poll on how people were using them. And everyone who fills out the poll gets a bag of shredded (alas) currency.

(Three select winners get a Federal Reserve Bank gym bag. I find that funny on several levels.)

Published in: on August 27, 2008 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

On Stan Lee

Note: This was written for a booklet for a Stan Lee tribute dinner, but I think missed the deadline for inclusion. Since it was laying around, I figured I’d post it.

The problem with writing about the magnificent Stan Lee is that there is so little to say about him that hasn’t already been said. And I don’t mean just the truth, that he cast so profound an influence in adventure comics that one can either accept the influence or carefully avoid it; one cannot remain casually uninfluenced. No, I mean also the near-truth, the poorly-remembered version of the truth, and whatever one calls a thing that is somewhat on the same topic as the truth even if it doesn’t share the same facts.

So I’m afraid all that leaves us with is outrageous wild lies. And luckily, I have plenty of those about Stan “Prisoner 731895” Lee. I don’t think history can do without knowing how he (working under his
real name of Stanley “Yes, I was the kidnapped baby” Lindbergh) developed the first trinary computer, able to use not only 0s and 1s but also 2s, thus being fifty percent more powerful than any other computer. Or how his years spent as an undercover agent in a Middle Eastern harem left him with knowledge of nuclear secrets, sexual techniques, and pie recipes for which the western world is not yet prepared. And while the Marines may have had military offensives in mind when they gave Stan his ultra-secret Level 7 Super-Ninja
training, Mr. Lee has instead focused his efforts on defensive uses, single-handedly fending off the American invasion of the killer African bees, the bird flu, and the little-known Canadian exploding

Stan now spends most of his day hanging around outside the Scientology Center on Hollywood Boulevard, collecting expelled Body Thetans which he somehow transforms into the most amazing earrings. Be sure to buy a couple pair from him the next time you see him. They do make wonderful presents.

Published in: on August 25, 2008 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Some folks are griping because Hallmark is now making cards to give to same-sex newlyweds, so obviously Hallmark supports gay marriage.

Me, I’m more upset that Hallmark makes funeral cards. Obviously, they’re in favor of people dying.

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

The job title I want

I don’t want the job, just the job title presented in this headline:

CBS Dubs Jennifer Bresnan Reality Chief

I mean, really. “Reality Chief”. That speaks of such power. I AM IN CHARGE OF REALITY, AND WHAT I SAY, GOES!

If you find a job application for that slot, let me know. I would like to be so dubbed.

Published in: on August 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm  Comments (4)  

Chickeny meatloaf

Now working on a meatloaf with:

  • 20 ounces ground chicken (so I’m going with less “base meat” than usual, aiming for a smaller loaf.
  • Vegetarian refried beans (which I went ahead and added the whole can of, just to not end up with a partial can of this stuff laying around. So that’s 16 ounces right there, which kills this being a truly smaller meatloaf, although it’s not as overstuffed as some.)
  • Half a can of leftover canned pasta (shaped like Peanuts characters) with meatballs
  • Raisin bran
  • A little hunk of leftover salmon, maybe 3 ounces
  • Two veggie burgers
  • One medium egg

I wanted to add barbecue sauce, but looking at the sheer amount of sodium in the above – certainly more than 200% of the recommended daily allowance – I had to shy away. Watching the blood pressure, doncha know. And it’s not that I’m going to eat the whole meatloaf all by myself in one sitting, but I do consume hearty amounts of these things pretty quickly.

It’s now sitting in the fridge, and I’ll put it in the oven about halfway through Xanadu (never saw it before, got a kid who likes musicals, and it was on sale with a free ticket for Mama Mia! for about 20 cents more than buying a ticket for Mama Mia!, which Mrs. Nat’s TV wanted to see. Plus, it came with a free soundtrack CD, so if the wee lass likes it, we got a bargain.)

Added later: At least a medium success here. The result is definitely food, and nicely edible food. It is not, however, quite meatloaf. It came out too moist and soft to really invoke “meatloaf” in the mind. And considering the small amount of salmon present, that really is the strong central taste factor, which works (and means the barbecue sauce would likely have been a mistake). Plus, we all get to play “guess which Peanuts character is in this bite!”

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rapturous plans

There are folks seriously propagating the theory that one of this year’s presidential candidates is the AntiChrist. Not just not good, unwise, even evil. The biblically-prophesied Beast of Revelations

Now, this has happened with presidential candidates before. If you see it as a mere smearing of the candidate, it’s understandable. But if you see it as a factual claim: what’s the goal? It seems like they want you to not vote for the AntiChrist.

But if you buy the biblical prophesy, then the rise of the Beast is inevitable. Not only that, it’s desirable. You want all the good things that come with the End Times – the Second Coming, the Rapture – they’re all part of the package. You may not want to eat your armageddon brussel sprouts, but you can’t have your Kingdom of Heaven chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream until you do… so you might as well get it out of the way.

Antichrist '08 presidential bumper sticker

And with that in mind, I’ve prepped some campaign items – t-shirts, bumper stickers, yard signs, buttons – for those who follow this logic, and want to support the effort. Feel free to order some, and to spread the word!

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  


I was at some point going to write a big, long, antiOlympic rant here, but I think I’ll skip taking the time. (I’m not against athletics or human achievement, but I miss what nations have to do with it. The Olympics pits nation against nation, and that’s how it’s tracked. It’s filled with ugly politics, as nations compete for propoganda victories on something besides how well they treat their residents and their neighbors.) I don’t watch the games, and wish they weren’t happening.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t find amusement in some of the numbers that come out of it. I got a laugh when a radio story the other day pointed out that at the 2004 games, the gold medal-winning softball team outscored their opponents by a total of 51 to 1. That’s, well, rubbing it in to the whole world.

But for me, that got topped by realizing that this swimmer guy who has 7 gold medals at this point? That’s more than 180-some countries combined.

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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