Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The New Year Is Almost Upon Us

I have some wishes.

I wish for collective sanity - as a country. We'alls fuckered sometimes.

I wish for Johnny Manziel to have a lineman dropped on his head.

I wish it was not -16degF . I want to take my dog for a walk.

I wish for a bowl win tomorrow, Bucky Badger vs the So. Carolina Hicks. I wish for at least one Packer playoff victory, out of a deep personal dislike for the criminal Harbaugh, but for the Packers' Defensive Coordinator, Mr. Dom 'The Colander' Capers, to be unemployed, ummm, tomorrow.

I have personal goals and work goals and I wish to make progress towards all.

I wish to meet anyone who reads and enjoys my drivel IRL and buy them a beer. Or seventeen.

I wish for Phil Robertson to be eaten by ducks.

I wish to make my wife happy.

I wish to catch too many fish to eat. (Ice fishing vacation in two weeks, W00t!!1!!)

I wish for my weight in gold. (Sorry. Couldn't help it.)

I wish for all of you to see something you cannot un-see:

  1. Headphone hat, for the dude what needs tunes whilst shoveling
  2. I'm a REDSHIRT! Been nice knowing everyone. Also, I'm an enormous nerd and apparently my in-laws know this.
  3. Despicable Me - loves me some Minions. See also no. 2.
  4. 21 YO limited edition Lismore Legend single malt, unfortunately marked incorrectly, that is, marked into our price range, by a store that will have difficulty reconciling its December books.

Happy New Year Everybody!!!

Modern Journalism In The US - Let's Review The Basics

I have to digress a touch to make my point, so please bear with me.

So, since it’s playoff time, and we scratched our way into the division hotseat*, I am addicted to sports radio for at least another week.

I was listening to ESPN, Mike and Mike in the Morning, with two guest hosts, doesn’t matter who necessarily, or the specifics of their story. In brief, they stated that a reporter had asked a coach, or GM, or owner, whatever, what they considered to be a loaded question, and said they may have gotten better information by asking the question in a different manner. (In fairness, they did not claim to be journalists, they stated that they were just giving their thoughts.) The scenario they used as illustration was that of one of them asking his six-year-old child about a trip to the aquarium …

(para)“So I could have asked ‘You liked the dolphins, huh’, and his reply would have been ‘Yeah’, one word. But I asked ‘What did you think of the dolphins’ and his face lit up and he went on and on. So I think if you ask someone a question without an overt or covert bias, I don’t think you get the same amount of information…”

Your kid is six. Enthusiastic and talkative, and good for him!

Now, let’s consider, first the professional athlete, and the professional sports team owner/board member/general manager.

The professional athlete is typically not particularly socialized. Since grade school they have been told they are special and treated with kid gloves. They receive subtle conditioning on how to respond questions from anyone – see Bull Durham – and if they receive the open-ended how-do-you-feel question, you will get some variation of “Well, we gotta take it one game at a time, my teammates are great, I respect my coaches, god willing we make the playoffs.” Try to get specific, though. You quiz that same athlete on a bad play, at best he will say something to the effect of ‘it’s something I have to work on.’ You ask the athlete about his recent arrest for nun-beating and his agent steps in.

The professional sports owner/board member/general manager is a businessman. (There are a handful of these guys who are actually interested in putting a good product on the field, not many but a few. However, most of the business end of a sports team see team ownership as either a loss leader or a resume fluffer.) The truth crosses his lips only if there is a dollar sign involved. Businessmen are frequently not so much merely conditioned as flat out trained at gaslighting the public. Since the truth is rarely profitable, if a businessman is talking he’s lying his ass off. Give him an open question, he starts with platitudes and ends with how a stadium can only benefit the people of your city, and so his demand for a stadium or else is really a favor to the public. Give him a pointed question and he'll need an airsick bag for the amount of spinning he is about to do.

Take it to the public at large. Ask a Tealibangelical what they think of President Obama. “Supermarxistsocialisticdictatorialkenyan!” they sing in unison. Ask them what any of those words mean, and in what manner the President is those things, and you get a Palinish, meaningless word salad. Ask Jamie Dimon about the state of JPMorgan and put on a helmet, you are about to get buried in clich├ęs. Ask Jamie Dimon “What did you do to deserve $23M a year from JPMorgan?” and it is a real short press conference.

The point is that open-ended questions don’t work on people with agendas. Your athletes and owners, your RWNJs and plutocrats, all have agendas that do not involve actual information. A good reporter gets his facts as tight as he can and then starts asking questions, with a covert or an overt bias towards the truth. Ask tough questions. Pin them down.

  • ·       If they avoid the question, point out loudly that they are refusing to answer the question. Broadcast it far and near. Hold their feet in the fire.
  • ·       If they inadvertently tell the truth, and the truth is a good thing, reward them. (Like a puppy. They may start liking the truth.    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHALOLOLOL!!!)
  • ·       If they inadvertently tell the truth, and the truth is a bad thing, beat them down.
  • ·       If they lie (they will), raze their Villages, salt the ground, humiliate them, destroy them.

The Constitution says nothing about watering the tree of liberty, or BENGHAZIDRONESOMGWTFBBQ!!!, but does guarantee a 5th Estate, a free press. Implicit in that is a duty, by the press, to comfort the afflicted and AFFLICT THE F’ING COMFORTABLE! Think, do your job. Let us assess our situations with full knowledge of the situations.We have so very much gotten away from that, by refusing to ask the questions that are based in reality. By allowing the spin and the random dog-bites-droid lunacy to replace the asking of the hard questions, on behalf of the public, we suffer as a society. 

Dear The Press,

Please afflict the comfortable. Thank you, appreciated!


*And yes, you stupid ESPN sumbitches who want to change the playoff structure to have the top 6 conference teams in the playoffs, rather than the current structure of the 4 division winners and the top two remaining teams as wildcards, the Packers belong in the playoffs. We got there by winning when it counted. If your favored team did not make the bracket but had a better record than Green Bay, tell them to win when it counts. Win your division or be one of the other two top teams and claim a wildcard spot. Or go home and shut up.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Time Of The Doctor - Hmmm (Spoilers Be A'Plenty, Having Seen The Ep Is Useful)

The Christmas ep has been and gone. And I was happy with it, and about it.

It was not however, without some issues...

It started out strong, Oswin making Christmas dinner for her parents and grandmother (it must be a stepmother?, Clara losing her mother is a strong plot point previously) and made up boyfriend, turkey in the Time Vortex, the holograph projector to put clothing on Eleven. The question, is this planet the Gallifrey put in the pocket universe by the thirteen Doctors. They go into a discussion of the allowed number of reincarnations, cleaning up some of the logic - Ten regenerating into ... Ten, because "I had some vanity issues". Thus making Eleven, because of the War Doctor and Ten's regen into Ten, the 12th and last incarnation, and bringing in the question of how, since we know there is a regen at the end of this ep, he can regenerate again. There is, in canon, yes I'm a nerd piss off, a possibility of the Time Lords granting more incarnations, so biology huh?

(Update: Also, since Donna took some juice from the Fighting Hand when she became Doctor Donna, is that a regeneration?)

However, after entry into Christmas, it slows down a lot, a bunch of lot. The wooden Cyberman was a neat scene, "Also, I didn't tell you that my sonic screwdriver doesn't work on wood." But, he has used the screwdriver to open doors, cut holes in floors, so as cool as the scene was, it missed. And, the time in Christmas frankly dragged. The children's drawings seemed to make my allergies act up, nice touch.

Now, Clara begs the Time Lords for help, and speaks the only name the Doctor has truly earned and loved. The Time Lords, never known for sentimentality or actually caring about anything, grant what Eleven called 'a new regeneration cycle (is that one more regen, or is that the full 12? Presumably the 12?), and regeneration starts, ending the war in Christmas somewhat anticlimactically, not the best segment they've ever done, fixing a problem with essentially a nuke as opposed to cleverness.

The ending with Eleven and Clara had my allergies reacting again, and the actual regen into Twelve (and I think Capaldi hit the right note in his second appearance), was right, I really liked the abrupt as opposed to some CGI fest.

The next question, waiting for the next season? Rose carried over from Nine to Ten, Ten lost and/or said goodbye to all his companions going to Eleven, a clean slate starting with Pond. Twelve seems to be at least carrying Clara over for a bit, and I really like Clara so good, I hope they make good use of her as opposed to, say, a 3 episode send-off, or going the Rose romantic direction. (That to me made for some great acting for Tenant and Piper, but, eh, not the strongest part of Ten's run for me, I absolutely adored Donna and their relationship.)

I'll be re-watching, of course, probably too many times (yes, Sweetie, deal...), and it was on the whole positive, but could have been better. Needed more Spudboy. Oh, and, Handles was a really good point, and made for a good scene and amazing callback when he powered down for the last time.

Thoughts, comments, scathing rebuttals?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I'm A Traditionalist - In A Certain Sense

My own little long-time traditions - get some popcorn and a good scotch.

Why is this not on heavy holiday rotation?

Good voice for Opus.

This was on every Christmastime when I was a little, well, younger paleo. Along with the White Seal.
Good Chuck Jones Stuff.

Nagaina freaked me out then, maybe now too!

And finally, we all know what paleo will be doing into the wee hours after work (I'm on vacation coverage today, pppbblltt! It happens, don't mind, there are probably 30 people on the whole campus, security and my team, so just keep active...) wee hours after work tonight!


Update: Courtesy of a coworker

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Recipe For paleoWallbangers

By Popular Request.


A citrus soda:

Diet for the diabetically inclined. Squirt, Sprite, 7Up also work.

Cheap-ass disgusting canadian whisky.

Find what's on sale. I guess I prefer Seagrams or Windsor, but they are top end stuff. (For CADCW.)

Follow closely:

In one (1) large glass (I prefer the 2011 edition Minnesota State Fair Holographic Goldy Gopher 32oz Refillable plastic), add 4 ice cubes (from local sparkling water, preferably origami-ed into something cool, like an albatross, or Darth Vader {Not whiny ass bitch Anakin. Darth Fucking Vader. And by the way, so, Luke went to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Means that since what's-her-nuts, Anakin's mother, Zoidberg or some such, was never married, that they were Anakin's brother or sister, or in Alabama, both. Now Zoidberg was a slave chick, so how were Uncle Owen/Aunt Beru/Both not also slaves? And, since teh happy couple were moisture farmers on Tatooine, with enough money to give whiny ass bitch Luke a car, why couldn't they have bought back Zoidberg, I mean, their house had to have terrible issues with sand being tracked in. What I'm saying is, fuck that noise. Darth Vader. Or an albatross.})

Add 4-6 fingers of whisky.

Add 4-6 fingers of soda.

Now, very important. Add 4-6 fingers of whisky.

Drink until you have heartburn.

Every couple months, buy something drinkable. Prepare to lash out a couple quid.

Happy imbibing y'all!

If one should question my taste in mixed drinks, take into account that I am diabetic, and having a good beer, my real preference, is a rare event. If one should question my taste in whiskeys, you're wrong. The Jameson's Special Reserve is mighty, and the whole Glen Morangie family is bottled orgasm. (Anticipating the jokes, hush it.)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Since I Suck At Bloggism, I'll Just Do A Packer Game Live-Thingy

When I went to get lunch for the wife and I, the MN 'Queens - Cincy Bengals game was over and Twin Cities sportstalk was already gleefully giving up on the decade,

Best one?
"I just don't think Leslie Frazier has the tools to be a head coach." Holy damn Hannah, every dog in North America heard that whistle. Jesus, dude. Wonder if he watches Duck Dynasty?

OK, teh Pack.

I've been very much on the side of the fence wherein Dom Capers, Defensive Coord of the Packers, should be stoned, whether or not anyone says Jehovah, but I have also happily heaped blame on the defensive players, especially the secondary, for being completely incompetent. And I stand by that, but shit, that first Pittsburgh series we were not in a proper set for a single play, the punt due to weather as much as anything.

And I want to have Eddie Lacy's children - before anyone gets too torn up in the biological unneccessities of it, I'll adopt 'em. Boykin's too - SIX!!

Anyone reading? Bring it.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Guillotines Get Lazy When Not Used

Listening to Thom Hartmann today, when a caller expressed the wish that the Walmart protestors would gather at the homes of the Walton heirs, with a family worth (Sept. 2013) of $144B.

Mr. Hartmann, who I enjoy and respect 99% of the time (occasionally he gets a touch homeopathic, which, even as generally lunatic as I am, I don't buy), suggested that the Waltons attempt to stay out of the public eye and be quiet billionaires makes them non-combatants, unlike the Koch brothers. He suggested, in a philosophically consistent sense, and he's probably correct in an ethical sense, that change should and can only really be achieved by becoming active in the political process.

Where I strongly disagree is that the Walton heirs are non-combatants.

They are not sitting in their living rooms playing GTA V and only hearing about Walmart business practices or lobbying activities if they happen to surf past Free-Speech TV.

They could tell their lobbyists or the Walmart board "ya know, hey, we are being kinda peanutheady here, let's give everyone a raise and insurance, and close on Thanksgiving."

They don't. They won't.

Fuck 'non-combatant'. They are fair game.

The right-wing scum protest (and gleefully kill) at the homes of doctors who provide abortions. They check the countertops of children with needs ("hey, you got granite? Die please!"). They fight like wolverines to prevent people who just aren't quite... ummm... worthy?... no, wait, poor!, from getting access to doctors.

A lawn bowling and cliffotine party couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people.