Saturday, September 29, 2007

Denmark Vesey, I Swear To God, Is Almost As Bad As Bastardly


Friday, September 28, 2007

The Photographic Prowess Of The Axinar

In addition to being a gifted writer and, as the Dean once put it, "An entire staff unto himself" on subjects ranging from Linux to Kabbalistic Judaism, did you also know of my world-renowned photographs?

Now a quick look through the Axinar section of Flickr does turn up such fascinating items as the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile that visited Winton Place / St. Bernard earlier this year, but also quite a number of fascinating zoo pictures from a trip Mrs. Axinar and I made there a little over a year ago.

Presumably, given a choice of several hundred other organgutan pictures snapped at zoos all over the planet, someone calling himself "Thor", affiliated in some way with the Science Museum of Minnesta decided to use MY picture to accompany a story about a tourist who had been "mugged" on Borneo by an organgutan.

The story did not mention whether this was the Indonesian or [[ahem]] MALAYSIAN side of the island.

And, I gotta admit ... that's one of the coolest blog layouts I've seen in a while ...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Parminder Nagra Back - And Under Duress

For the maybe two or three of you who might not know, the season premiere of ER is on tonight at 10pm - on WLWT, Channel 5 here in Cincinnati.

Some of us will actually get to watch it in HD.

Apparently "Access Hollywood" did an interview with Parminder Nagra that is running on the MSNBC site.

The main piece of plot for tonight involves Parminder Nagra's character, Dr. Neela Rasgotra, getting hauled into the E.R. with very critical injuries after having been trampled at an anti-war rally.

Access Hollywood is also running a really great set of Parminder Nagra photos.

Ah, yes, now that first-run episodes of ER are back on the year we may begin to follow Minder's career much more closely again ... :)

Oh, and speaking of NBC, if you can stay awake through the whole thing, a relatively high quality feed of the first episode of the new Bionic Woman show is available on NBC's web site ...

Q & A: Parminder Nagra Talks 'ER,' 'Bionic' Brits & Beckham! - Access Hollywood
ER Live Blog - NBC
Bastardly Breaking News! Indian Parminder Nagra has a White Boyfriend!! - Bastardly

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Obscene - Edited For Content

One fascinating side effect of being a world-renowed media reviewer is that you get ALOT of free magazines.

Start writing about religious matters on top of that and all of a sudden they think you're an evangelist preacher or something of the sort.

One such free magazine that shows up here from time to time is called Charisma + Christian Life. The October, 2007 issue has some reasonable fascinating articles about Israel and haunted houses, plus SEVERAL ads for church chairs, including one CALLED, but the one ad that REALLY captured my attention was for a movie called Beyond the Gates.

Now, the subject of this movie apparently is the 1994 Rwandan genocide - needless to say a subject that seems appropriate for an amount of profanity that generally only someone of Joy Rolland's stature could possibly produce.

However, as bizarre as it may seem, there is a HUGE flipping sticker on the front of this DVD that says "Edited for Content: Clean Language Version".

You have GOT to be kidding.

A movie about the Rwandan genocide.

Without even one F-bomb.

That is F*CK*D UP.

Of course there always has been something of a love-hate relationship between Thumpers and profanity. Even Archie Bunker once implied that the presence of the phrase "god damned him" in the Bible made that phrase (and it's considerably more popular present tense version) perfectly okay.

To site another example we need look no further than the self-described Illustrious KenDiesel (Obi Ken) who, in the last 17 minutes of his somewhat infamous show on BlogTalkRadio last night, whilst in the course of an impromptu debate on abortion seemed to be saying that someone who suffered birth control failure should not be allowed to have an abortion because she "volunteered to be jackhammered in the vaj".

This, BTW, is quite light for the kind of language you typically heard used on this show.

And Obi Ken is an admitted Thumper.

Oh yes ... I have two words for people who can't handle a little "rough" lauguage.

And they ain't "Happy Birthday."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Vanessa Hudgens And Ashley Tisdale Per Bastardly

I swear to you sometimes that Bastardly is just plain cruel.

I suppose that explains the name.

And who the hell is Ashley Tisdale??


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Star Trek: Enterprise Theme "Faith Of The Heart" - Rod Stewart Edition

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Star Trek Remastered 'Conscience of the King' FX Reel

Maybe it was the first time it aired ...

There was a REALLY neat new shot of the Enterprise on the episode title scene ...

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Gilligan's Island First Pilot

The latest item of interest I stumbled across on In2TV is apparently the first pilot of Gilligan's Island.

It looks like, much like Star Trek, Gilligan's Island also had two pilots.

Different actors played the Professor and the characters that later became Ginger and Mary Ann.

There was also a REALLY bizarre different theme song.

What was most interesting, however, is that a couple of scenes from the first pilot made it into the second. There's a scene where Gilligan is jumping off the Minnow where you see the top of the head of the blonde actress from the first pilot. Mind you, both these episodes are in black & white, but, even so you can tell this blonde actress from the first pilot has hair that neither matches Tina Louise or Dawn Wells. As many times as I have seen the second pilot of Gilligan's Island I never noticed that discrepency.

On the other hand, spotting that one I imagine is almost as hard as spotting the one scene in the pilot of The Incredible Hulk where the Hulk is played by an actor other than Lou Ferrigno.

Yes, this In2TV is turning out to be quite fascinating - even if they do torture you with commercials you can't fast forward through ...

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Time-Warner Cable HD-DVR Service Review

So, as some of you may know, the new season of ER is starting on this upcoming Thursday. Neela (Parminder Nagra) is brought into the E.R. with very severe injuries after having been trampled at an anti-war rally.

Needless to say I want to try to see this in HD.

Now, I suppose I could have taken a look around for a stand-alone HD tuner to go with my wicked ancient 27" Zenith tube HDTV that didn't even come with an internal ATSC tuner, but I thought I would call Time-Warner and see what they could set me up with.

I must have hit them on a good day because they hit me up with a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR, Cinemax for a year, and "RoadRunner Turbo" (currently clocking at 7.6 Mbps through SpeedTest.Net) for a year for only $2/mo. more than what I was paying for "cable ready" and the "regular" RoadRunner.

Now, mind you, like I said, I have an ANCIENT Zenith 27" tube HDTV. No HDMI port. So, basically what I have to do is run a set of component cables from the Scientific Atlanta box to my HD component ports and then run a separate set of composite cables so I can watch SD without a case of "tunnel vision".

Now, you want to talk about something REALLY frustrating - at first I couldn't get the HD side to work at all. I switched over to the analog lines and got customer service on the phone and told them I couldn't get the HD lines to work. Now, Time-Warner's customer service has improved tremendously of late. I put in one of those "call back" requests and they called back in about six minutes. They walked me through the "Settings" menu and, sure enough, this Scientific Atlanta box was pumping 480i through my HD lines and my Zenith can't handle 480i through the HD lines. The Scientific Atlanta box DID however have a 480p setting and 480p is DA BOMB on a small 4 X 3 HDTV. UNFORTUNATELY the damn thing has NO autodetect mechanism. Unless you go into "Settings" and DISABLE the 1080i, what happens is that if you're watching an SD channel, all four sides of top, bottom, left, and right are cut off - and then God forbid what's on the SD channel is in wide screen.

But what was really bizarre about this particular installation is that it took a LONG time for all the software to download properly. When I first connected the box it rebooted TWICE right from the get-go. If you disconnect the box from the AC line and then reconnect it, it goes through this wicked bizarre 5+ minute reboot process where the front of the box says "OCAP" and the screen starts prattling on about the fact that it's running Java.

Well, of course if Java is involved you KNOW you probably have some powerful capabilities involved but at the price of the thing being SLOW.

Now, mind you, the fellow at the Time-Warner office who gave me the box warned me something to the effect it might take a full 24 hours for the program guide to load all the way, but he didn't really mention much about the software taking so long to download.

Next problem was that the thing didn't seem to realize it was a DVR at first. The program guide actually did come up pretty quickly, but when I went to set it to record Star Trek: Remastered last night, there were no commands to "record" - only "set reminder". The "record" command didn't come up until about an hour later.

Pausing live TV didn't work at first either. They actually set me up with an appointment for one of their tech's to come out and look at that one. But, again, within an hour or so, that function started working as well.

The Star Trek: Remastered episode DID record last night. It was Conscience of the King, which I think has been on already, but it demonstrated that the DVR worked. Of course I had to record an hour or so on either side of the scheduled times because, although the show was not (wait for it, Dean) JIP'ed as it was so many times last season, it rolled VERY late due to a ball game of some sort running late earlier in the evening.

When I started playing back Conscience of the King I didn't get the little scroll bar that said how much was left of the show - rather some erroneous program guide information. Very strange.

I called Time-Warner customer service again about 4pm this afternoon.

I suppose as evidence of how much everyone was wrapped up in the variuos football games, they answered my call IMMEDIATELY.

I nearly fainted.

I asked the young lady (no, I have no idea if she was "exotic" or anything at all about her sexual habits, Dean) on the other end of the phone if she could fix it so the "progress bar" would come up on something I was watching on the DVR.

She had me disconnect and re-connect the box again.

About five minutes later everything appeared to be working properly.

Let me tell you ... all these switches, lights, and knobs are getting downright exhausting.

Yes, I would have probably switched to DirecTV years ago but there's a nice thatch of HUGE trees between where I would have to put the dish and where the DirecTV satellites are in the sky. That and satellite-based broadband service is HELLA expensive.

Oh - also - on every single call I made to Time-Warner customer service from the first one asking how much it would be to add the HD-DVR until the last one where I had to reboot to get my progress bar working again, they put the bite on me to add their home phone service. I think on the last call they offered it to me for $35/mo. (I presume before taxes and whatnot.)

Unfortunately none of my phone jacks are close enough to any of my cable jacks to try to hook up my existing phone wires to my broadband router. Now I HAVE thought about putting a cordless base near my router and just doing it that way, but, unfortunately I DO like this idea of having a phone line that will usually work during a power outage.

I wonder if there are any competitive local phone service carriers that can actually tie in at the C.O.

But, in any case ... it was a pretty involved install, but everything does seem to be working. They just maybe need to work on some sort of way to "image" these convertors so that a person has a better "out of box" experience I tell you ...

9/26/07 Follow-Up:
The box DID reboot again this afternoon for some reason.

Looks like all the functions are working okay though - with the exception that I can't seem to find the control for "prioritizing" series recordings ...

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Conspiracists Against The Rate Cut

My favorite conspiracy nut friend has been sending me a steady stream of articles via IM about why she thinks that that the recent decision by the Federal Reserve to cut the Fed Funds rate by a half-point was a really bad idea.

Actually, there are some side effects to this rate cut that do deserve some discussion.

Basically, the mechanism by which the Fed lowers interest rates is by flooding the short-term credit market with more money. Any time you inject more money into a system, it tends to cause inflation. Basically it causes anything denominated in US Dollars to increase value in dollars, and causes the value of the dollar itself to decline, particularly in relationship to other currencies. For instance, for the first time in many years, the Canadian dollar is approaching equity with its US counterpart.

But, despite the rate cut, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is still warning of subprime defaults surging in the coming months and actually encouraging "lenders and loan servicers to identify and contact borrowers who, with counselling and possible loan modifications, may be able to avoid entering delinquency or foreclosure."


As much as people hate to think about it, there may ultimately be no choice but a massive government bail-out on this one.

The Fed Funds rate cut is good, but it is only a band-aid. It helps with adjustable rate mortgages, but it also fuels the inflation fire. It basically floods money into the system indiscriminately.

What the Fed needs to do is actually lend money DIRECTLY to people with adjustable rate mortgages. They need to set up 30-year fixed-rate loans at about 6.5% to anyone with a currently variable mortgage.

And of course going forward they need to set it up so that someone applying for a variable rate mortgage has the income to cover the payments on that mortgage if it adjusts to its MAXIMUM rate.

This, ulimtately, is the ONLY way to stop the chain reaction of chaos that is almost certain to continue under present conditions ...

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Vanessa Hudgens With Mother, Gina Guangco

Just Jared is running a somewhat fascinating collection of pics snapped of Vanessa Hudgens and her mother, Gina Guangco, leaving a physical therapist's office or something of the sort.

Yep ... looks like Vanessa does have her mother to owe for the majority of her "exotic" look ...

Although apparently The Dean takes issue for whatever reason with my characterizing Vanessa Hudgens as "exotic".

But, yes ... looks like Vanessa Hudgens IS heading down that Britney Spears / Lindsay Lohan route.

Just think of all the entertainment we're in for when Vanessa Hudgens starts belting out babies ...

Vanessa Hudgens: Mommy-and-Me Time! - Just Jared
All Just Jared's Vanessa Hudgens posts



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stuff I Found On AOL Video

I would have simply EMBEDDED these videos into blog entries, but I just found out that, unlike any of the other video clips I have ever seen, AOL has some sort of code in their clips that causes the FOCUS of the page to go directly to their clips and I can't figure out any way to stop that.

Soooooo ...

Here's what I stumbled across today that might be worth watching:

"Mother-In-Law's Visit" from The Flintstones. Yes, this is the legendary "I LOVE my mother-in-law ..." episode.

"The Flintstone Flyer" - I believe this was the pilot episode - CLASSIC.

"Superman On Earth" - the very first episode of The Adventures of Superman from the '50's.

Crying shame I can't embed these ...


"Romances Of The Telegraph"

(From the September 5, 1891 Western Electrican, pg. 130:)

A pretty little romance of the telegraph comes from a little station away out in the desert from Yuma, Arizona, on the line of the Southern Pacific. The hero of the story is J. J. Stansbury, who, since the incident about to be described, has located at Jackson Springs, Cal., a far more congenial place. Nearly two years ago Mr. Stansbury was operator at the little station named. A more uninvit­ing place of abode could scarcely be found. The station consists merely of a big water tank, a rough shed called the telegraph office, and another shed in which half a dozen trackmen live. During the summer months life at the little desert station was almost unbearable. The tem­perature was generally playing between 120 and 135 degrees—sometimes reaching 150 degrees—and at night if the mercury dropped to 90 degrees it was a signal to pull up the blankets. The tortures of existence in such terrific heat can hardly be imagined and if it were left to his choice, the telegraph operator ordered to a station out on the desert would prefer a berth on the devil's gridiron. Recre­ation of any sort was, like sleep, out of the question, and the only means of passing away the time was found in talk­ing over the wire with other operators at distant stations. It was in this manner an acquaintance sprang up between Mr. Stansbury and the operator at Banning, Cal., whom Stansbury described as a "jolly, cheerful sort of a fellow." Their telegraphic acquaintance ripened into a warm friendship and finally the two operators arranged to have their vacation together and to pass two or three weeks together in the mountains hunting and fishing. ll details were carefully arranged. The Banning operator wanted every convenience in the camping expedition, even refusing to part with rubber boots for trout fishing, despite Suusbury's insisting that he saw nothing the matter with "taking off their shoes and stockings, rolling up their trousers and wading." Finally, after all arrangements had been perfected, the Banning operator backed squarely out of the expsdition, greatly to Stansbury's disgust. He had changed his plans, he slid, and he was going to spend his vacation in New Mexico and would be glad to see Stansbury as the train passed the latter's station, but on that day Stansbury had succumbed to the torrid tem­perature and lay with a burning; fever, unconscious and delirious.

The rest of the story is bast told in Stansbury's own words.

"Into the fever tortured brain there sometimes creeps a semi-cnnsrinusness of the life about it, and so during the days of my agony I was vaguely aware of gentle, womanly hands and a kindly feminine presence in my sick-room, and when I returned to the conscious world I was not surprised to find a fair and pleasant face beside me. Its owner said that she had been upon the train when I was found stricken down, and had staid to minister to my sore need. The idea may seem preposterous, but I believe the foundation of my affection for my kind attendant had been laid while the unconsciousness of fever was still upon me, and the affection grew into the deepest love as she cared for me during the days of my convalescence.

"After a time I ventured to tell her of my love, and to ask her if she would be mine; but I was not prepared for her answer.

" 'John,' she said, 'do you really mean that you wish to marry a girl that insists upon wearing rubber boots and will not—roll—'

" 'Mat!' I said, for I was completely beaten. Then it flashed upon me. She was the operator at Banning, and I, like a fool, had always taken it for granted that she was a man.

"Well, I am not going to tell how I convinced her that I wanted to marry her, boots and all, but I did it, and, like Harkis, she was willin", and here we are on our wed­ding journey. The Southern Pacific has lost an operator, but I calculate that I am ahead on the deal."

This recalls the account of another no less interesting romance of the telegraph, as related to the writer by W.H. Storey, who afterward in response to continued entreaties, produced a clipping from the San Diego, Cal., Daily Union of April 25, 1876, containing an account of his marriage to Miss Clara E. Choate of San Diego, by tele­graph. At that time Mr. Storey was the United States Signal Service operator at Camp Grant, Arizona, and as he could not obtain leave of abseece to make the journey by wagon to San Diego for his wedding, and as there was no minister or other person qualified to perform the marriage at San Diego. Upon being asked permission to use the telegraph lines from San Diego to Camp Grant, after regu­lar hours for the purpose of performing a marriage cer­emony, Lieut. Reade readily consented, and issued the following general order:

To all Managers of Stations along the Entire Division:
You are hereby informed that the wires of this division after 8 P.M. April 24th will be used for the purpose of conducting a marriage ceremony by telegraph between
San Diego and Camp Grant, and you and your friends are specially invited to be present on the occasion, to assist if necessary and to see that good order is maintained.
(Signed) Philip Reade, Lieut. and Officer in Charge.

Each operator on the line accepted this novel invitation and, with invited friends, was present at his station as wedding guests. At 8:30 p. M. the father of the bride sent this message from San Diego to the wedding party at Camp Grant:

Greeting to our friends at Camp Grant. We are ready to proceed with the ceremony.
D. Choate and Party.

The answer at once came back:

We are ready. W.H. Storey. Clara E. Choate.

Then the Rev. Mr. Mann read the marriage service, which was repeated to Camp Grant as uttered, word for word, by Mr. Blythe, chief operator at the San Diego office. At the proper moment, the solemn "I do" came back over the wires signed first by "William H. Storey," then by "Clara E. Choate." Then, following the words of the minister, the instruments clicked.

"As a token of your sincerity you will please join your right hands."

The answer came promptly: "It is done."

The service was then concluded in regular form, after which congratulatory messages were sent the bride and groom from all stations. Suddenly Chief Operator lilythe of San Diego broke in and telegraphed Mr. Storey that "the Silver Cornet band of San Diego is just outside the office, gving you and your bride a serenade," a welcome that was warmly appreciated even though it was not heard at Camp Grant, 650 miles away. Mr. and Mrs. Storey are still living in San Diego and have a happy family of five bright children who will always find pleasure in telling the story of their parents' romantic wedding. Mr. Storey, who made a fortune in San Diego during the memorable Southern California "boom" of 1886-8, says that even yet it is not an uncommon experience of his, upon being introduced to an entire stranger to have the latter ask, "Storey! Let me see, wasn't you married by telegraph some years ago?'' and an affirmative nod would bring out the exclamation: "Well, well, I was a guest at your wedding. I heard the whole ceremony at the telegraph office at ———, Arizona."

The First Online Romance

When I was looking up some history on AOL, I thought back to an old debate some of we "online old timers" used to have about who the first couple was to get married who met online.

For the longest time we used to say it was ChrisDOS and Zebra3, who, if I remember correctly, were a zookeeper from Chicago and a financial consultant from Boston who met on the "CB Simulator" on CompuServe and got married.

Some years ago I was telling this story on the "packet" data network on Amateur Radio and someone told me, "Oh, no, oh, no ... I have one to top that."

He related a story of a couple he had once known who had met via amateur radio back before the Second World War. As the story goes there was a young man who used to communicate via CW (Morse Code) with a missionary of some sort in Africa. The missionary had a daughter about his age and one day the young man in the US asks the daughter to put her father on the "key" and he proceeds to ask the father's permission to marry his daughter. From all accounts, the missionary and his daughter returned to the states, the daughter married the young man and they lived happily ever after.

Then I ran into this book called The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage. Standage recounts a tale from an 1891 edition of Western Electrician about a young landline telegraph operator named John Stansbury.

Seems this John Stansbury had become friends with another telegraph operator he knew only as "Mat". In fact they had discussed going on a fishing trip together.

Well, at some point, John Stansbury took quite ill and Mat came to try to help out. When Stansbury's fever broke he saw a woman standing over him, and, sure enough - it was Mat.

They were married soon after.

You know what - probably someone ought to write a book about these three couples.

I would imagine that ChisDOS and Zebra3 are still alive and well out there somewhere, although as many times as I have posted this story I've never had anyone come forward who has heard from them. Perhaps they "retired" from the online world at some point and are leading a quiet life somewhere in middle America.

The couple who met via Morse Code on ham radio I once had DETAILED packet bulletin board messages about. Amateur Radio operators who had known this couple FIRST HAND told me ALL the details about them - names, where they were both living when they met, when the died, and so on - ALL lost due to quite a few computer changes over the years.

And John Standage and "Mat" - I wonder what happened to them. Did they contribute anything of sufficient IMPORT to make it into a newspaper or magazine again? Did they have children? Do they have descendents currently alive who, occasionally, on the holidays perhaps, sit around and regale each other about being the result of the very first recorded electronic romance ...

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Vanessa Hudgens On How To Build A Career With A Cell Phone Camera

You know what cracks me up ...

Some people would lose whole careers over stuff like this.

Apparently this Vanessa Hudgens is trying to build a career off of scandalous cell phone pictures.

Yes, a new batch is floating around the Internet today.

I gotta admit the girl is a cutey - but do these young people have not a dash of sense these days???

Vanessa Hudgens Leaked Naked Pic Herself, it's Claimed - StarBlogs.Net


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Half Point!!!

Bernanke cut the Fed Funds rate by half a point!

There is a God!!!

Student TASERED At John Kerry Speech

I'll be god damned.

And I was just trying to tell my Malaysian friends America wasn't like this ...

Looks like the mainstream media is just starting to pick this up this morning, but apparently a University of Florida student, Andrew Meyer, 21, was TASERED by police while trying to make a statement about the voting irregularies of the 2004 Presidential election during a townhall meeting with Senator John Kerry.

As of 9 a.m. this morning Andrew Meyer was released from jail.

More as this story develops ...

Student Tasered at Kerry speech -
UF student Tasered at Kerry forum - The Independent Florida Alligator
Student Tasered at Kerry Q & A -
UF Student Tasered During John Kerry Speech -
Ask Kerry a Question ... Get Tasered -
Student Arrested, Tasered at Kerry Event - AP
University of Florida Student Tasered at John Kerry Event - Towleroad
Instant Political Martyrdom via YouTube - The New York Times
Document drop: The Andrew Meyer Taser Stunt police report - Michelle Malkin

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Star Trek: Remastered 'The Galileo Seven' FX Reel

Plus the usual screenshots and other info at ...

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Alan Alda - Atheist?

Sometimes it's fascinating going through server logs to find out what's on the minds of your readers.

Goofy A.C. used to comment on how many people got to her blog through Google and Yahoo searches on often truly delightful streams of obscenities and other disturbing thoughts.

Of late most of my readers seem to be finding Axinar's on a search for elusive information on AOL's edition of McAfee Security Center and specifically some of its conflicts with, ironically enough, the AOL 9.0 software.

Now, I just tried to start the AOL 9.0VR software AGAIN and it started without a problem, although I have seen it act like it couldn't find my broadband connection a couple of times since I downloaded the McAfee Security Center for AOL software, but I was always able to get AOL 9.0VR working on a second try.

However, probably the most interesting search string that will lead you to Axinar's of late is "Alan Alda Atheist".

In fact, it's the TOP hit of 37,500 sites on Google right now.

And it's a false positive.

It comes from my VERY brief mention of Alan Alda's new book, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself,combined with one of the blogs on my blogroll - "The eBay Atheist".

Well, I got both the book and audiobook version of Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself and I think I found what y'all are looking for - on page 9 he starts a sentence, "One day, though, I realized I was no longer a believer ..."

Now I haven't finished the book yet, but I think this is the only place in Things I Overheard or Never Have Your Dog Stuffed where he talks much at all about his personal faith. I believe his family background is Catholic, but I don't believe I ever once heard him address directly what he believes personally.

I was watching a retrospective of the M*A*S*H series the other night and I remember one of the original producers saying they not only wanted someone funny for the role of Hawkeye but someone intelligent. Alan Alda did bring a certain intelligence to the role.

I've never known QUITE why but he sometimes almost puts me in mind of Carl Sagan. In fact, I sometimes wondered if Alan Alda might have had a Jewish background, but there was certainly no mention of it in Never Have Your Dog Stuffed.

Of course, let's think about this for a moment - why WOULD they necessarily have anything in common? Of course they DO have one major thing in common - they were both major television figures - but there the similarity should probably end.

The one was a teacher - a PhD - who did 13 magnificent hours of non-fiction explaining in the universe in a way to, hopefully, make it accessible to the average person.

The other was an actor - a gifted actor to be sure - but an actor - an artist who expressed himself by bringing to life a character based upon a composite of army doctors who served in Korea.

But of course Alan Alda captured some of the thoughts and feelings and motivations of SO many other people. Hawkeye was that gifted but undisciplined miracle worker that should have been appreciated for his skills but was often criticized for not knowing how to handle a "pecking order".

Of course many actors who portray such a popular charcter for so long end up having a VERY strange relationship with that character. Certainly it shows with William Shatner and James Kirk and Leonard Nimoy and Spock. First William Shatner belted out that "get a life!" line on Saturday Night Live, then he seemed to experience some real loss when Kirk was killed in Star Trek: Generations. Nimoy of course wrote TWO books - I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock. Leonard Nimoy and Spock have literally been through death and life together. Looks like Leonard Nimoy is also going to be in this next Star Trek movie where they're not just handing over the FRANCHISE to new actors and new stories, but, in fact, the original CHARACTERS to the next generation. What a fascinating dance can go on between these real and fictional characters.

But, in a way, since M*A*S*H ran it's last episode in 1983, Alan Alda has kept the Hawkeye character all to himself.

Now, let's do a little math and see where we end up ...

Alan Alda was born in 1936 and started M*A*S*H in 1972, so he was 36. Although most of the surgeons in Korea were in their mid-late 20's as I recall. But, let's say that the character Hawkeye was 36 in 1950. Alan Alda in 2007 is 71. The character, Hawkeye would have been 71 in 1985 - right around the airing of the last episode of M*A*S*H.

Wouldn't it be neat to do some really Star Trek-esque TV-movie where all the old characters who still have surviving actors - Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J., Colonel Potter, Klinger, Radar, Hot Lips, Father Mulcahy and Winchester all get together WATCH the last episode of M*A*S*H and reflect on how their lives were changed by the time they spent in Korea?

Wouldn't it be neat to find out what happened the soldier who thought he was Jesus?

And the one who lost his legs and went to "the short pass"? Did they have good composite prosthetics by 1983?

I think such a show just might be worth the price of admission.

It might be really neat to see what effect the '80's might have had on those characters as they headed into their "golden years".

Maybe we could get a REAL tear-jerker going and have something like the last scene of the Fat Albert movie - with a scene set in 2007 with a somewhat heavily latex-ed Gary Burghoff playing a Radar in his mid '70's visiting Colonel Blake's final resting place at Arlington or something of the sort.

That would be neat.

It surely would.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vanessa Hudgens Is ... Filipino

So the other day Denmark Vesey was broadcasting his usual ignorance by characterizing the Vanessa Hudgens nude picture scandal as the "White Chick Crucifixion Of The Week".

I'm like - Denmark - now mind you I'm not the TOP expert on ethnic identifications, but I have a very strong suspicion this young lady isn't White - at least not by conventional standards.

Turns out I was right.

Turns out Vanessa Anne Hudgens is Filipino.

Now, I was thinking maybe Italian or possibly even 1/2 European-American - 1/2 South Asian.

(Calm yourself, Crankshaft.)

But, nope, turns out Vanessa's somewhat exotic looks come from her mother, Gina Guangco, who is from the Phillipines.

Vanessa was quoted as saying, "I am so proud of my heritage. I love being a Filipina. There aren’t very many Filipino girls in the industry. So being able to stand up and be that girl makes me proud. My mother is so proud. She grew up in Manila."

Yeah ... I wonder if her mother is so proud of Vanessa taking buck-naked pictures of herself that somehow get "leaked" all over the Internet.

Well ... one mystery solved ...

Vanessa Hudgens With Mother, Gina Guangco - Axinar's


Racial Tensions In Malaysia

My Malaysian friends cannot even discuss this issue publicly for fear of being imprisoned, but, fortunately, in the United States, for now at least, there IS a First Amendment and I can bring this issue to your attention.

A BBC reporter confronted Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar a couple of days ago about the really bizarre situation they have in Malaysia, where, if I understand it correctly, the MAJORITY Malays have various government contract set-asides whereas here in the United States, and of probably equal questionability, we have government set-asides for minority and women-owned businesses.

There's a great RealPlayer archive of this interview that I started to watch this morning and it really blew my mind the ARROGANCE this man was projecting.

There was one point where he said something like, if I understood him correctly, "Conditions are so bad in some areas it's even worse than the Indians."

I'm thinking, "Does this man have ANY idea how fast a riot would get started HERE if such language were used?"

Actually he was defensive beyond all recognition with this reporter. First he seemed to be justifying the disciminatory behavior of Malaysian government by making a comparison to Israel and THEN he starts going off on this riff about "you just don't know what conditions are like on the ground here".

He basically seemed to be saying that the Chinese and Indian ethnic minorities there are SO incredibly rich and the Malays are SO poor that they basically have no choice but to steal from the Chinese and Indians and give to the Malays.

I could buy it if they'd take the ethnic element out of it. MOST countries in the world today have a TERRIBLE problem with there being a very tiny handful of DISGUSTINGLY wealthy people and unbelieveably huge numbers of people who lack even rudimentary health care, and, in some countries, access to even to minimal nourishment and shelter.

If the Malaysian government wanted to pick the pockets of the rich and give to the poor - great - but what they seem to be doing is deliberately attempting to make the Chinese and Indians feel like sub-standard citizens and largely unwanted.

What did crack me up is that this Foreign Minister did admit that Malaysia is a very imitative country in some ways. They try to see what works in other nations and copy it, which of course might explain the flag, the hyperglycemia, the histrionics, and, most importantly, the music.

They did certainly seem to import a certain nationalistic pride. One of my friends over there once seemed to be expressing a thought, that, when translated into American terms, would be something like the current government is spitting on the Malaysian flag - that their racism was defiling everything that Malaysia was supposed to be about.

And of course the sad thing is that this friend of mine can't speak for herself or they just might throw her UNDER the jail.

It does truly make me sad. It really does seem like a special place - and it seems to generate quite intelligent, creative, articulate people who are treated like chattel and muzzled like animals.

I certainly hope they have the opportunity one day to stand up and declare their right on this earth to be human beings, to be respected as human beings, to be given the rights of human beings in their society, on this earth, in this day, which they will resolve to bring into existence by any means necessary ...


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vanessa Hudgens Cancels Tonight Show Appearance

For some reason it's newsworthy that Vanessa Hudgens has cancelled a planned Tonight Show appearance as reported by People - that apparently has moved off the AOL sub-domain onto its own site.

This on the tails of the also apparently newsworthy cancellation of a Lindsay Lohan appearance on The Tonght Show.

Oh, yes ... how we LOVE slow news cycles ...


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Should MythBusters Do A 9/11 Show?

So Obi Ken tells me that he posted a message on the MythBusters forum asking them to do a show to debunk the many 9/11 conspiracy theories.

He said they deleted his post.

Yes, a 9/11 conspiracy theory debunking episode of MythBusters some might deem to be in bad taste, but I'm thinking it just MIGHT be necessary.

I wandered onto this online talk show called One Black Man's View and they were REALLY spewing all the garbage about the World Trade Center buildings being destroyed as the result of controlled demolition carried out by THE US GOVERNMENT.

Obi Ken and I pointed out the similarities of the WTC collapses to the gasoline fire in California that brought down a bridge earlier this year, but the one thing that has never made sense to me about any sort of theory about there being deliberate demolition charges involved in the WTC collapses is that the collapses DIDN'T look like controlled implosions AT ALL - no small series of explosions leading up the collapses, and the collapses started RIGHT at the levels where the planes hit.

In fact there's a really great stop-motion video of the North Tower Collapse where they're trying to say they see the TV towers falling first, but what is really obvious is that the floors ABOVE the level where the plane hit collapsed almost completely before the rest of the building started to come down.

If the rest of the building had been lined with explosives wouldn't the burning jet fuel shooting down the elevator shafts have ignited some of those charges first and brought the building down starting at a lower level that was under more weight?

Has there been massive shenanigans and impropriety in the Bush Administration?

You betcha'.

Did they DELIBERATELY blow up these buildings?

Somehow I don't think so ...


Platinum-Iridium Standard Kilogram Slimming Down

Of course there are some troubled by global warming.

There are some troubled by high blood pressure becoming an issue even in CHILDREN.

But there are signs that the universe itself may be going goofy as the platinum-iridium standard kilogram, the very definition of mass in the metric system is LOSING WEIGHT.

Now, of course this thing, kept under a double bell jar and triple locks in France, is the actual STANDARD for mass, but, when compared to a number of close copies, it looks to have lost 50 micrograms over the years.

Now, mind you, 50 micrograms is about the weight of a FINGERPRINT, but could this mean that the laws of physics are CHANGING??

This could be bad, bad news.

Now, fortunately, there's a meeting planned for November where they are going to take up the possibility of basing mass on some universal physical property, much as the meter is ultimately derived from the speed of light, and the second is based upon the cycle of a cesium-133 atom.

But when 50 micrograms goes missing without a good explanation from the artifact that defines all the world's mass (and therefore weight), it's NEVER a good sign ...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The New York Times Just Now Discovers OMG!

Looks like Saul Hansell, a blogger at the venerable New York Times has just now discovered Yahoo's "celebrity gossip" site called "OMG!".


I stumbled across the thing the other day when I was trying to find out if Yahoo offered a comprehensive PC security software suite.

Now Saul Hansel is saying that OMG! is a copycat of AOL's celebrity gossip site, TMZ but that OMG! is getting a great deal more traffic because Yahoo is heavily promoting it on their main site.

I don't know where he's getting this idea.

In fact, just today I decided to add a "Celebrity Blog' section to my blogroll and went looking on the main Yahoo site and on the right side where the original OMG! link was, is some new site called Bix that is apparently a Karaoke and contest site or some such foolishness.

Now ... you have to go to the link that says "More Yahoo Services" and then you have to find OMG is just plain alphabetical order.

Of course I suspect all of these sites may be a rip-off of The Bastardly, although, to tell you the truth, I hadn't been keeping up with these "Celebrity Gossip" sites.

Of course one might wonder what sort of coverage the United Online twins, Juno and Netzero might have in this area. Of course if any of you have ever had a Juno or Netzero email account, you know that REAL trailer park experience you get with them from the constant mass inundations you get with spam from Publisher's Clearing House and the like.

Of course a little examination of these sites reveals something absolutely alarming - the United Online arena has NOT gotten into the "portal" business.

The main United Online site has some interesting news about the new NetZero and Juno Video Mail services. I have no idea if this works yet as I did send a short video mail from my Juno account to my mother's Juno account but she hasn't told me if she's gotten it yet. The main United Online Site also has links to the major United Online "brands":, MyPoints, MySite, Juno, and NetZero.

Now the two best known of these are Juno and Netzero.

Juno started out as a free "log-on, download, log-off" email service, but a cursory examination of the web site shows just an ad for the "premium" Juno services and not much else. No games, no chat rooms, nothing of the sort. Of course you can sign up for free web-based email, and then after you log in you get hammered with ads from, Ford, Microsoft Live Search, University of Phoenix, Best Western, and, let's face it, a bunch of dreck that you might see on HERE, but nothing FUN. On the other hand, I guess there's only so much FUN you can have on a modem, which presumably is the primary way that Juno users get online.

NetZero started back in the day with the notion that, with special software that REALLY brutalized you with ads, they could give away dial-up Internet access.

Turned out they couldn't.

The do still offer a free service that allows you to get online via dial-up for 10 hours/month, but their unlimited "HiSpeed" service costs $9.95/mo.

Again, you can sign in for a free email account, anc once you log in you get hit up with ads for StubHub, ING Direct, Bank of America, LendingTree, but no major excitment on the home page before you log in.

Well, maybe the United Online people will find this very blog and put up something interesting ... :)

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The Reader's Guide to Axinar's

So I stumbled across what Technorati has to say about Axinar's and it was pretty obvious it had been compiled before I started the blog over a few months back.

The two largest key words are "Malaysia" and "Star Trek" - "Star Trek" of course because it is the ultimate fiction creation of all time and "Malaysia" of course (along with Kuala Lumpur) because of a certified lunatic I ran into on Yahoo Messenger one time and her pint-sized co-hort.

AT&T and Cingular make the list of course because I have one heck of a calling plan I have grandfathered from them pretty much FOREVER and I truly did find it fascianting all the trouble they went into "re-branding" as AT&T started buying back up all the regional phone companies they had been forced to sell back in 1984.

Cosmos by Carl Sagan - certainly the greatest non-fiction work of all time.

Key West, Florida - spring break for adults - and of course the place where I got married back in March to a young lady who The Dean of Cincinnati still insists is Joy Rolland.

La Shawn Barber, who once asked me why I blog rolled her despite the fact that she is a hopeless Thumper. She IS a hopeless Thumper, but also an excellent writer.

David Carroll and Liz Carroll who are doing some MASSIVE time for taping up their foster child Marcus Fiesel in a closet until he died.

The Genius of Water - the statue on Fountain Square that was up at the Art Museum while Fountain Square was under renovation and has been affectionately been renamed "The Water Babe" by our good buddy Crankshaft.

Joy Rolland - paramour of the late Kabaka Oba and former Public Access TV star with a mouth that would make the entire navies of SEVERAL countries blush.

Keisha Castle-Hughes - Whalerider and The Nativity Story star who got everyone to gasping for getting PREGNANT at 16.

Malar Balasubramanian - young Tamil-American pediatrician from Blue Ash who brought MAJOR South Asian drama to the tri-state by first writing really sappy Ariel-esque style letters, then poisoning and STRANGLING her own mother, dragging the body into a late-model Oldsmobile, being found half-naked and wet on a lawn, and then utimately pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and going on a ten-year vacation to Marysville.

Star Trek: Remastered - great new special effects - if WCPO can refrain from JIP'ing the cotton-picking program every week.

Unitarian - as in First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati where you too can listen to the quite fascinating Reverend Sharon Dittmar - and occasionally get REALLY confused.

And last but not least - YouTube - quite possibly a completely limitless source of amusement ...

Vanessa Hudgens Offered $500,000 To Join "Girls Gone Wild"

For those of you who have been living in a cave for the last week or so, High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens, who has been snapping nude pictures of herself that have been circulating around the Internet has been offered $500,000 by Joe Francis to "join the Girls Gone Wild brand and lifestyle".

Never mind the the fact, of course, that Joe Francis is IN A NEVADA PRISON on charges of bribery, possession of a controlled substance, introducing contraband, contempt, tax evasion, and presumably acts in violation of every moral and ethical code known to man.

I've been wondering about this who Vanessa Hudgens bruhahah ever since it broke last week. Certainly it's not the FIRST time celebrity nude pictures have been leaked.

No, on this one I'm thinking the angle is "legal kiddie porn".

This gal is so hopelessly associated with a brand targeted at kids that even fast food restaurants trying to peddle "kids meals" are very interested, for reasons quite obscure to me, in whether or not SIX-YEAR-OLDS have ever heard of High School Musical.

And here's the star of this show in the altogether in an AUTHENTICATED photo splattered all over The Bastardly, and, apparently, HE was the LAST major celebrity rumor site to run the photo.

Other sites, that I seem to have lost track of for the moment, were speculating that the Vanessa Hudgens nude photos were deliberately leaked by Ms. Hudgens so that she could shake off her "tween star" image and be considered for more "mature" roles.

Sorry, honey - you don't have the build for it.

You just need to face up to it. You had a perfect oportunity for at least the next five years to push kiddie merchandise for ALL the major suspects and you BLEW it.

Maybe Disney isn't going to hand you your walking papers outright, but if you think these neo-virginal soccer moms are going to march their precious little crumb crunchers into your movies after you have broadcast your carpeting all over God's creation, you have another think coming ...

High School Musical: Vanessa Hudgens Nude Picture Aftermath - BuddyTV
Hudgens Photo: Career Wrecker or Enhancer? - ABC News

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Monday, September 10, 2007

A Trip to Carl Sagan's Grave

There's a video I bumped into on YouTube a while back where this fellow is looking for Carl Sagan's grave.

He finds it of course, along with the final resting place of Carl's parents, Rachel and Sam, as well as a relatively new arrival - a name he didn't quite recognize.

It was Pearl Druyan, who had apparently passed on in 2005.

I'm like, "I know that name! I got a letter from Pearl Druyan once!"

Back in 1983, Carl was in the hospital with appendicitis or something of the sort and me and a buddy decided to send him a get-well card. I think we may have been in every bit of 8th grade or thereabouts. This is the note we got from Ms. Druyan, who we surmised was Anne's mother:

And that was the closest I ever got to a letter from Carl Sagan ...

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One Picture Is Worth A Thousand Conspiracy Theories

I've never seen this picture before.

According to The New York Times it was taken by Valencia M. McClatchey and is the only known surviving photograph of the United Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

She gave the FBI a copy of the photo to help in the investigation. She also apparently let newspapers and television stations use the photograph - perhaps to give some visual aid to the horror that took place that morning - not at the financial or military capital of the greatest power on Earth, but someplace, up until then, of no IMPORT at all - the middle of a field.

Now, despite the fact that it's pretty unusual for a plane that big to do a header straight into the ground, apparently the conspiracy theorists are saying the cloud in the photograph would look differently if it were a piloted crash. Apparently the conspiracy theorists think the government shot down Flight 93.

The 9/11 conspiracy nuts continue to baffle me.

I once saw a documentary where they said that there are so many JFK Assassination conspiracy nuts because this is the one event in history that simply doesn't "balance out".

For instance, the Holocaust balances out. There you have the greatest crime in human history perpetrated by the greatest criminal in human history.

With the Kennedy assassination you have the most powerful leader in the world cut down in his prime by, as David Brinkley said so deftly the day it happened, "a punk with a mail-order rifle". It just doesn't balance out. The story, of course, would sound SO much better if the Russians, the Cubans, and the mafia were involved.

Now, at first, it sounded to me like 9/11 "balanced out" much better. It WAS a conspiracy - dozens upon dozens of people involved in secretive meetings all over the world - including, apparently, Malaysia of course - [[ahem]] - huge amounts of money being snuck all over the planet, secret messages shooting about, possible involvement with foreign powers who we THOUGHT were our friends, etc., etc.

But is this a good enough story for the conspiracy nuts? Does it have enough twists and turns?


Of course not.

The story only sounds good to them if OUR government did it.

From the day the bloody thing happened, there were nuts at the Libertarian meeting at the Dubliner carrying on about how "Bush shot those planes down so he can monitor your phone calls." Of course I tried to explain to this nut that, although certainly the Bush Administration is capable of some first class mischief, I just couldn't see them scrambling F-15's to deliberately shoot down commercial aircraft.

However, of course once such a set of events had been launched into place, of COURSE Bush seemed to take great delight in dipping in everyone's business without a warrant.

Did attitudes similar to those of President Bush contribute to 9/11? Most certainly. Are Bush and his cronies SMART enough to pull off such an efficiently executed plot without getting caught? Absolutely not.

19 men from Egypt, the United Arab Emirites, but mostly from Saudi Arabia, hijacked four planes on September 11, 2001 and drove them into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, and an empty field in Pennsylvania.

They were angry at the United States due to a long series of events that started with Sayyid Qutb being hit on by a drunk American bar fly on a BOAT.

Now if THAT doesn't make a good story, I don't know what does ...

A Sept. 11 Photo Brings Out the Conspiracy Theorists - The New York Times
Picture Made on 9/11 Takes a Toll on Photographer - Flight 93 Photo Fraud
Just how nutty are 9/11 conspiracy nuts, you ask? - JBlog Central

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Arecibo Funding In Jeopardy

It's built into a huge hole in the ground in Puerto Rico.

It was once used to beam a radio message to a distant star cluster.

It's the only instrument on Earth that can tell with some precision whether or not any particular asteroid is scheduled to land on Sixth and Vine one of these days.

And the S.O.B.'s at the National Science Foundation are about to cut off its funding.

Oh what foresight and vision we have.

We'll spend sickening amounts on psychotic wars, but we won't pay a pittance to make sure we don't get clobbered by a rock the size of Poughkeepsie.

Carl Sagan must be rolling over in his grave.

Will we never learn? ...


Economic PAIN Forecast On Heels Of Job Report

Tom Redburn is predicting serious financial pain in tomorrow's New York Times:

"... the economy actually lost jobs last month, ending a four-year string of uninterrupted gains in employment."

"A sharp rise in home foreclosures and a fall in home prices would also hurt, reinforcing the Democratic argument that Republican economic policies are primarily designed to help the rich while leaving the middle class less secure and the poor worse off."

"... an economic slowdown, perhaps even a recession, seems all but inevitable later this year and into 2008."

You got that right.

"With the latest jobs data, there’s no longer any doubt that the Fed will act to cut rates — perhaps by 1/4 percentage point, perhaps by 1/2 — on Sept. 18."

I hope he's right on that. If he's not, we're all in DEEP trouble.

Even with a half-point cut we may be in for one mighty rough ride.

And, in related news, you can now buy Alan Greenspan's new book, "The Age of Turbulence", from me:

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Denmark Vesey Fingers The Axinar As An Illuminati!

Denmark Vesey is running a piece today that is a little more coherent than most, but still WAY off-base, about how various royal blood lines often associated with the Illuminati are heretical Jews, crypto Jews and wannabe Jews.

Oh dear.

What's interesting of course is that he goes on to name these royal blood lines as the Rothschilds, the Hapsburgs, the Sinclairs, the Stuarts, the Merovingians, the Lusignans, and the Windsors.

Oh that's interesting.

Mainly because, according to a number of semi-reputable interpretations and extrapolations, THE AXINAR is a Stuart.

And therefore, presumably - an Illuminati.

Definitely a Jew of course ... :)

Although where in the WORLD does Denmark Vesey and his cronies get the idea that it's spelled "Cabala"??

It's "Kabbalah" you dope ...

And, if you're not careful, someone well trained in Kabbalah will turn you into a lump of red clay ... :)

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Parts of "Patriot Act" Ruled Unconstitutional

Federal judge Victor Marrero of the Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that parts of the Patriot Act allowing the F.B.I. to force communications companies, including phone and Internet service providers, to turn over their customers’ records without court authorization and permanently forbidding the companies from discussing what they had done was UNCONSTITUTIONAL - violating the First Amendment and the separation of powers guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thank GOD someone is starting to develop some sense about this stuff ...


"Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself" by Alan Alda

Just one more thing you should buy from me while you're here ... :)

Oh, and, this one too if you haven't read it:


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Credit Cards Tightening Also

Higher teaser rates ...

Shorter teaser periods ...

Summary lowering of credit limits ...

And they think this WON'T affect the economy??

We need a half-point fed funds rate cut NOW!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Motley Fool Predicting Oncoming "Alt-A" Mortgage Crisis

The Motley Fool has a really interesting article running where they are predicting that the Sub-Prime Mortgage melt-down is only a taste of a really monstrously bad situation coming down the pike - the "Alt-A" mortgage implosion.

In addition to these "sub-prime" mortgages, apparently quite a number of banks have been making "Alt-A" loans like drunken sailors over the last few years. These include "stated income" loans which are affectionately known as "Liar Loans" because it turns out that something on the order of 60% of stated income borrowers overstated their incomes by more than 50% when applying for mortgages.

Ah, yes ... these banks and mortgage companies during the low-interest period of the mid-2000's sure figured out new and creative ways to take money from hedge fund investors and lend it to people that didn't have a PRAYER of paying it back.

I used to see those "stated income" loans on the wholesale mortgage sheets and they used to crack me up. Although I suppose technically almost all credit cards are "stated income" - we're usually talking about - what? - $5000 structured to, hypothetically, be paid back over a five-year period or so? A MORTGAGE can be several hundred thousand intended to be paid back over DECADES.

Ten years ago a friend of mine was trying to buy a house and they asked for the original DEGREES of she and her husband and now you can buy a house based on how much you CLAIM to make???

A certain Lou Ranieri, fingered as the founder of the mortgage-backed securities industry is expecting $100 billion in defaults between subprime and Alt-A.


Real nice.

Predictions are that this downslide will affect such places as Home Depot, but P&G might not be that affected because people will still need soap and diapers.

Well, maybe ...

I remember the freak-out fest that followed 9/11. It wasn't pretty.

Unless Bernanke cuts, cuts deep, and cuts soon, we may be in for a repeat ...

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Star Trek: Remastered Season One Preview

Now who wants to buy me a giant television and an HD-DVD player so I can watch this thing??

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Nokia N95 - The Ultimate Mobile Blogging Appliance?

I have to admit, some of the best pseudo-spam out there right now is from TigerDirect.

In today's flyer is a link to an unlocked Nokia N95 that, yes, would look to be a contender for the title of The Ultimate Mobile Blogging Appliance.

Now, they're asking $629.99 for it, which seems a little steep for anything that has the potential to get the snot beat out of it as badly as a cell phone (to say nothing for something that, even when used normally you're lucky to get two years of use out of), but it does have some features that seem really fantastic.

For one thing, the camera has a LENS COVER just like my beloved Nokia 6682. Yes, a cell phone camera NEEDS a lens cover because a cell phone gets put in places where, let's face it, the lens is going to be subject to - how shall we put this? - debris.

The camera itself is 5-megapixel and they're claiming the video side is capable of DVD-quality. That would be really awesome, particularly as Blogger now has capabilities of direct video uploads.

I'm not 100% sure, but it looks as though the phone might also be capable of 3G speeds on Cingular's network. That would be cool.

Looks like it has built-in GPS nagivation, quad-band capabilities, 250 minutes of talk time, WiFi capabilities, and excellent MP3 player, and a way interesting "slider" keypad design.

All in all this looks to have the potential to be a REALLY great gift for the übergeek in your life ...

Nokia N95 Review - Phonescoop


Saturday, September 1, 2007

“Stands Ready To Take Additional Actions As Needed”

"Mr. Bernanke avoided any specific promise to lower the central bank’s benchmark federal funds rate ..."

We need a half-point cut.

We need it NOW.

I'm not KIDDING here, people ...

However, apparently Fed Chair Ben Bernanke did add that conditions are changing quickly enough that the Fed might act even before the next policy meeting on September 18th if the next batch of economic data still looks unfavorable.

You don't need to look at the next batch of economic data.

There are people out there that don't just have ARM's that adjust every couple of years.

There are people out there with mortgages that index to prime EVERY FLIPPING MONTH and prime is usually tied DIRECTLY to the Fed Funds Rate.

Not the flipping "discount rate".

Not "LIBOR".

Not a number you randomly pulled out your kazoo.

Fed f*ck*ng Funds.

For all intents an purposes, Mr. Bernanke, your agency, the Federal Reserve, is lending money to millions of people for their ONLY SHELTER, and, until the President and the Congress and the mortgage industry can straighten out this unholy MESS they have gotten all of us into, quite frankly only YOU can prevent a STAGGERING number of people from missing payments, leading to the inevitable credit score reductions, leading to the inevitable foreclosures and people becomming unemployable because, yes, more and more employers are checking credit ratings.

The President was quoted yesterday as saying, “It’s not the government’s job to bail out speculators, or those who made the decision to buy a home they knew they could never afford.”

No, the BANKS and MORTGAGE COMPANIES let people buy homes they could never afford.

How could some of the products that were being offered a few years ago even be LEGAL??

Of course, in an ideal world, you'd hang the speculators out to dry. These rich S.O.B.'s who were investing heavily in hedge funds that were buying up variable rate mortgages like there was no tomorrow deserve to lose their shirts. They deserve to be incarcerated and executed. It's like giving a four-year-old a toy and then yanking it back from him.

However, in this case, the results of the hedge fund investors' poor decisions is that certain people left REALLY f*ck*ng nice apartments where EVERYTHING was taken care of and invested in sh*tty g*dd*mn real estate that needed SO f*ck*ng much work that they had to both tap out home equity lines of credit AND credit cards just to make the f*ck*ng place LIVEABLE.

I tell you what - if we're going to have a Federal Reserve that is constantly d*ck*ng with the market anyway, they need to set MULTIPLE rates.

If the economy is overheating, they need to cut back on money going into COMMERCIAL PAPER and that sort off stuff.

However, at the same time, if you clearly have a mortgage crisis going on due to STUPIDITY and people FALLING ASLEEP AT THE SWITCH, the LEAST you could do is pump enough money DIRECTLY into mortgages in order to get them into a manageable level.

Yes, Mr. Bernanke, you need to directly lend ME enough to pay off my second mortage.

You need to lend me that money at 6% amortized over 40 years.

I'm straight up serious.

Bypass the banks. Bypass the mortgage companies. *I* am the one who needs the money.

Because, believe you me, you do NOT want me getting put out on the street becasue I may have to come bunk with YOU for a number of YEARS and I can assure you I make a lousy house guest ... :)

Bush’s FHA Plan May Only Reach 10 Percent of At-Risk Subprime Borrowers - Housingwire
Treasury Three-Month Bill Yields Fall Most Since 2001 on Credit - Bloomberg

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