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Monthly Archives: August 2006

Place Your Bets

August 28th, 2006 - 5:25 pm

The most obvious pick for the Secret Senator? Bobby Byrd, the Kleagle of pork, of course. That said, if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Trent Lott’s square.

How about you?

UPDATE: This is why I don’t gamble. Senator Secret is Ted Stephens.

From The Bleachers: The Blog

August 27th, 2006 - 3:51 pm

My long-promised college football blog is finally up and running. The link is FromTheBleachers.net, and if you’re so inclined, please head over and have a look.

For those of you who always wondered why the heck they were reading posts on SEC football at VodkaPundit, your wishes have been answered. I don’t expect to be putting up much if any sports-related content over here from now on (but you’re not getting rid of me entirely, so NYAAAAH!).

NOTE: For some reason, this post attracted a spambot set on ludicrous speed. I’ve closed the comments to keep it out.

Pick a Winner

August 25th, 2006 - 4:19 pm

I have the feeling this whole anti-Wal-Mart thing isn’t going to do much for the Democrats this November. But if it does, then maybe Democrats could get more rich people to vote for them by explaining the evils behind Neiman-Marcus.

Really, doesn’t this new campaign strike you as yet another variation on the “poor people don’t know what’s good for them” theme? Except this time, the Dems have aimed their sights solidly on the Wal-Mart shopping middle class, too.

UPDATE: My bride tells me she’s a dead-certain Democrat voter this Fall. Assuming, that is, they can make her understand why she can’t buy any more strappy sandals.

Finally

August 24th, 2006 - 1:48 pm

Four straight weeks of work-related travel end today.

I’m cooling my heels in an airport, but at least I’ve got free wi-fi. Football season is but a week away, and my football blog will be up and running literally any day now. In other words, life is getting better by the moment. If I can just make a (delayed once already) ASA flight this afternoon, everything’s good.

I haven’t been on line much at all this month, so help me out here–who’s this other guy that started posting all of a sudden…?

Some Peoples’ Kids

August 17th, 2006 - 8:50 am

In a post about photography, someone left me the following comment:

oh my god – did you hear that pajamas media blogger dan drezner killed himself this morning?

That’s a lie, and a vicious one at that. It might not surprise you that commenter “steve” has the exact same IP address as Deb Frisch. The email address she’s using is “janke@email.com,” but I assume it’s a fake.

What the hell is wrong with someone that they would lie about a suicice? In Deb’s case, it seems like a lot of things.

An Explanation/Geekfest

August 16th, 2006 - 10:54 pm

Yesterday’s puzzler was how I made that freaky-looking picture of my dog. Dave of Pervasive Light came closest to the truth:

In fact, most digital cameras CCD’s have sensitivity to IR by default. (except for some of the canons, those b**tards filter out the IR) so you can drop a R72 filter in front of most digital cameras and get some amazing shots like this…


Jim Chen is an engineer and photographer
in San Diego who discovered the exact same thing. That CCD “film” in your digital camera is quite sensitive to infrared light. In order to get natural colors, your camera manufactuer covers the CCD with a very thin IR filter. A clever and skilled person can (very carefully!) remove the manufacturer’s filter, and replace it with his own (precision cut!) R72 filter.

The result is a digital camera which takes infrared pictures with the same ease and speed as is once did in the visible spectrum. Without Jim’s conversion, taking an IR picture with a digital camera meant a tripod, a lot of patience, and a very long exposure.

I sent him my D70 a while back, after I upgraded to the D200. A couple weeks later, I became one of the only digital IR photographers in Colorado. And that wild puppy pic? All I used was regular old sunlight and a public chainlink fence for a backdrop.

Jimmah Crack Head

August 16th, 2006 - 10:44 pm

Jimmy Carter on Middle East peace:

I don’t think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that’s justified, no.

Jimmy Carter on the Amerian people:

Unfortunately, after Sept. 11, there was an outburst in America of intense suffering and patriotism…

Jimmy Carter on Castro:

He is two years younger than I am, so he’s not beyond hope.

Jimmy Carter on Jimmy Carter:

I think there is a substantial portion of American people that completely agree with me.

Fortunately, a more substantial portion agreed with Ronald Reagan in 1980. But how did Carter get elected once?

What? No Bearded Lady?

August 16th, 2006 - 8:31 am

It’s the 58th Carnival of Liberty already.

Fun Without Photoshop/Outdoing Reuters

August 16th, 2006 - 12:03 am

Other than some cropping, this photo of my dog is completely unretouched – and it ain’t black & white, either. Miltary guys will probably know the how, but not the means. Want to know? Ask and I might tell.

Speaking for Bloggers Everywhere

August 15th, 2006 - 10:46 pm

If your name sounds kinda like “Jim Lollipop” or “Carol Batty,” then please stop sending your goddam mass emails. Nobody reads them. Nobody. Go away. Shut up. Stop it. There’s enough spam in my junk folder already.

Enough already! Bloggers everywhere see your name and do a little laugh-cringe-pity thing. If you want to speak out, start your own blogs. Maybe even co-blog on the same site in a point/counterpoint style. As an added bonus, if you’re both on one blog, then we could all ignore you at the same time.

“Carol” – you have at least 32 bloggers on your mailing list, and I bet you dollars to dullards that not one has ever used one word you’ve ever written. When I say that, I mean that it makes me sad that we speak the same language and I have to type the same ands, thes, ifs, buts that you use. I’m sure you mean well, but… no, you don’t mean well; You mean to intrude on my workspace. You’re a nuissance, Ms. Batty. Stop bothering us.

“Jim” – you seem to find yourself amusing, but I’m sure John Hinckley did, too. If you don’t cool off a bit, you might just find yourself in an institution, too. Besides, Rush Limbaugh not only does it better, he gets paid for it. We turn on Rush if we want to, but your volunteer efforts are unavoidable. If you ever succeed in amending the Constitution to outlaw flag-burning or faggotry or whatever, I’m going to start a movement to take away your danm email.

I hope I’ve made myself clear, but I’m certain as a picnic rainshower that I’m not the only blogger who feels this way.

Give’em Hell — Hillary?

August 15th, 2006 - 10:14 pm

My anti-Hillary Clinton creds are a solid as anyone’s. That said, her opponent, John Spencer, is an dissembling idiot. And so is Matt Drudge.

The Drudge headline reads, “HILLARY COMPARED TO BIN LADEN IN SENATE AD…” Which is a totally true statement, except for the words “compared” and “to.” What we’re left with is that two people are mentioned in the same ad. Thanks, Matt!

That’s nothing compared to the wool Spencer has for your eyes. The thrust of his ad is, “But Hillary Clinton opposed the PATRIOT Act and the NSA program that helped stop another 9/11.” As I understand it, the whole Anglo-American investigation was due to some brutal torture in Pakistan.* The rest of the investigation was “mere” followup. That followup was done mostly by Britain’s MI-5. Yes, the American government did much to help, but little of it was covered by the PATRIOT Act. And none of it couldn’t have been made legel with a court order even without PATRIOT.

At the end, Spencer promises he “won’t play politics with our security.” It seems he already has.

Look. If the Republicans want to get serious about stopping Hillary, then they’ve got to run somebody serious enough to stop her. Spencer is a joke.

Meanwhile, at least half of the likely Republican 2008 presidential nominees are jokes, too. Seriously unfunny jokes. The only guy I can stomach, Rudi, will almost certainly not win the primary. It’s enough to make me think that if Hillary is the best New York has to offer, she might be the best the country has to offer.

I don’t like it, but right now there isn’t much choice.

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There Is No Try

August 15th, 2006 - 9:43 pm

Remember that thing I told you about the other day, where I drink martinis only on the weekends? Yeah, that lasted almost two weeks.

Cheers!

Photoshopblogging

August 15th, 2006 - 11:25 am

Remember the WTC Tower Guy who showed up everywhere on the web a few years back? He’s got nothing on Green Helmet Guy.

From the Front

August 15th, 2006 - 11:24 am

Michael Totten:

NORTHERN ISRAEL

(Way) Early Handicapping

August 14th, 2006 - 9:45 pm

Here’s an unscientific poll from Instapundit, asking for your 2008 Republican presidential pick. The choices are:

George Allen
Bill Frist
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
John McCain
Mitt Romney

I’d say the choices fall into three categories – unelectable, undesirable, or both.

Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar

August 14th, 2006 - 12:30 pm

Other times, a cigar is a giant Commie penis.

Wait For It 2

August 14th, 2006 - 12:29 pm

Wonder if we’ll hear shouts of “They deserved it!” from the left?

From the Front

August 14th, 2006 - 12:08 pm

Michael Totten’s Middle East reporting is so good, he doesn’t even need to doctor any photos.

Wait For It

August 14th, 2006 - 11:14 am

By the end of the week, the Usual Idiots will be defending Gunther Grass. Their line will go someting like, “Only someone who was once caught up in Hitler’s hypnotic evil could ever really understand i and explain it to others.”

Sixty years from now, however, I doubt the Usual Idiots will be as generous to men and women who wore the American uniform in Iraq.

What If the Prodigal Son Forgot His House Key?

August 13th, 2006 - 11:34 pm

Yes, I

The $550 $587 1.5 Terabyte Network Server

August 12th, 2006 - 11:30 am

A while back, I posted a pathetic plea for help in putting together a home server. After considerable thrashing in both hardware and software, I finally got it working a couple of weeks ago. For those who’re interested, here’s what I did (and for those who aren’t, Martini Boy will be back with something considerably more entertaining than this in a couple of days):

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Whew

August 10th, 2006 - 10:57 pm

Back Monday.

On The Move

August 9th, 2006 - 10:23 am

Sorry to have fallen off on posting lately. I wish I could say things were going to get better, but for the next three weeks they’re likely to get worse instead. All apologies. I do promise to check in when I’m able, but those times are going to be few and far between for the balance of August.

Knock wood, I’ll have something up this evening regarding yesterday’s election results. In the meantime, thanks for checking in.

Single-Payer, Multi-Waiter

August 7th, 2006 - 10:27 am

With Hillary Clinton a sure thing to run for President, it’s a very safe bet that we’ll be hearing plenty of calls in 2008 for socialized medicine, except it’ll be euphemized as “single payer” government health insurance. Check out this story from the UK on how well that’s working out for the Brits:

Hospitals across the country are imposing minimum waiting times – delaying the treatment of thousands of patients.

After years of Government targets pushing them to cut waiting lists, staff are now being warned against “over-performing” by treating patients too quickly. The Sunday Telegraph has learned that at least six trusts have imposed the minimum times.

In March, Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Health, offered her apparent blessing for the minimum waiting times by announcing they would be “appropriate” in some cases. Amid fears about

“Is He Dead Yet?”

August 4th, 2006 - 11:28 am

I heard on the radio in Vegas that a Cuban restaurant there is offering a free mojito to anyone who walks in and asks, “Is he dead yet?” (sorry, Vegas drinkers, but I don’t remember the name of the place). From reading this rather facinating analysis, I’m guessing the answer is “yes.”

[T]he events to date in Cuba strongly suggest that a fierce internal struggle is now going on and that Raul’s absence from the airwaves is ample evidence that he is definitely not in control and cannot muster even a temporary consensus.

Politics in dictatorships rely heavily on the nuances of public appearances to demonstrate who has power and who doesn’t, information that is crucial to provide direction for those who are part of the ruling system but not part of the inner circles of power. Dictatorships require a public face of unchallengeable unity and cannot withstand public displays of infighting. For that reason, the #1 priority for any would-be successor are fawning public appearances and blanket media coverage focused on him in order to demonstrate to all that he has emerged as the unchallenged center of power. It is all orchestrated, and none of it is “news.” If others share the stage, this means that the struggle is continuing but is stalemated and a public face of collective unity is necessary to prevent the regime from collapsing for lack of someone in control. But eventually there must be a Number 1.

Sometimes the struggle is over quickly – Gorbachev quickly solidified his preeminence after the death of the puppet Chernenko who was a nonentity used as a place-holder by the competing power brokers while they carried on their internal battle. After Gorbachev’s emergence, the media switched to all-Gorbachev all the time. Similarly, Hua Guo-feng (remember him? No one does) was Mao’s appointed heir, and his appearances and utterances blanketed the airwaves, newspapers, etc. But he was quickly shoved aside by Deng Xiaoping who managed to organize a stable coalition behind him and emerge triumphant in the inner circle, then quickly and publicly threw out and humiliated the Gang of Four, his principal opponents. Appearances in the media tracked closely the rise and fall of this power struggle.

Read the whole thing. And of course, whenever the answer is “yes,” it’ll be not a half-century too soon.

Micro-Update

August 3rd, 2006 - 5:04 pm

Sorry for the complete lack of blogging this week. I’ve been on travel since Monday morning (Vegas, and not for fun), and my hotel lied shamelessly about having free wi-fi.

I’m back home now, and hopefully some actual content will appear here in the near future.