Saturday, May 31, 2008

UNEDITED: Carol Burnett Show: The Elephant Story (1977)

FINALLY - after 31 years, someone has finally been able to post the UNEDITED version of "The Elephant Story" skit from the Carol Burnett Show.

Some have considered this THE funniest moment in the entire show, and now, at long last, you can hear the unedited version with language that has been considered utterly scandalous for family hour viewing ...


Friday, May 30, 2008

Three Pennies And Odd Man Out To Pick Someone's Race

Well, none other than Denmark Vesey stopped in today to leave a comment on my blog trying to lay out the case that "Blackness" ultimately has very little to do with complexion.

He does make a pretty good point, however, I have found myself fascinated by the "cusps" or the "twilight zone" with some individuals who really do seem to be straddling the two groups.

Now that we can run genetic tests and find out how much of one's ancestry is European, African, Far East Asian and Native American, it seems that the "transition line" is somewhere between maybe 25% and 45% sub-Saharan African.

We know that 50% is generally not the dividing line. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has tested at almost exactly 50% African and 50% European. It's pretty likely that Halle Berry and Barack Obama are also almost exactly 50% African and 50% European, and yet they are generally considered "Black", and, the Dean notwithstanding, it doesn't f*ck with your head to think of these ladies and gentlemen as "Black".

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. also had a couple of guests in his African American Lives series who were in the 10 - 16% African range who were decidedly White.

So the admixture where it starts to get "fuzzy" must lie somewhere between roughly between 16 and 50% - I'm guessing somewhere around the 25% sub-Saharan African range.

Now, Denmark Vesey for some reason gets a laugh out of my mention of Lonette McKee, but I'm serious on this one.

I sat through 3/4 of Brewster's Millions not suspecting for a second she was Black until that line where she says, "That's more than alot of hard working people make in a year," and does that Phylicia Rashad head twitch and I just about shot out of my seat - "OMG! This woman is Black!"

Actually I had a quite similar moment a few years ago when I saw Mariah Carey in an interview. I can't remember what it was she said exactly but all of a sudden it hit me - "Not Puerto Rican, not Middle Eastern, plain old Winton Terrace Black."

Well, part of the time anyway - Mariah Carey strikes me as one of the few people who can actually change race at will, but that's another story.

No, this is some serious business.

For reasons I have yet to fully understand, Mrs. Axinar is whiskey bent and hell bound on reproducing.

This creates a very real possibility that some day it's going to be ME and me alone staring at the clerk working on ths birth certificate for this demon spawn of ours.

Now, although I have never been able to get Mrs. Axinar to submit to the admixture test, I'm guessing from various anecdotal sources that we're talking about 3/4 sub-Saharan African mixing with my 7/8 Northern European and 1/8 Armenian. That puts us at about 37.5% sub-Saharan African for Axinar, Jr. - WELL in the "zone of ambiguity".

Denmark Vesey's appraisal doesn't help much because we're looking at - what? - somewhere around age 3 - 4 before a personality forms enough to extract any useful information from that.

Wait a minute - Dean - now I know you've gone deliberately ambiguous in terms of "teaching" your children about their identity, but what DID you do about the birth certificates themselves???

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dean Of Cincinnati Vindicated - Barack Obama's Multi-Racial Status Discussed On MSNBC

Well, maybe the Dean was right after all ...

This morning what do I see popping up on my RSS feeds but a story running on MSNBC about Barack Obama's Presidential run bringing out the multiracial Americans who identify themselves as multiracial.

Yes, there are a few I've run into over the years.

A fellow by the name of Louie Gong, listing Native American, Chinese, French, and Scottish ancestry helped found this outfit called the Mixed Heritage Center.

Uh, yes - once you've gotten up to 3 or 4 typically physically dissimilar ethnicities, THEN you might want to punt to the "multiracial" label.

However, the commentary bouncing around the MSNBC article is that somehow Obama's run for the Presidency has somehow initiated more dialog about multi-racial issues.

Somehow I don't think so.

Barack considers himself Black - at least I'm pretty sure he does.

And, if you're familiar with the works of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., you know that having European ancestry in the 20 - 50% range (and sometimes more) is very simply an inalienable aspect of the African-American experience.

However, as more and more people from increasingly diverse backgrounds come to the United States and start producing families with each other, yes, at SOME POINT, pretty much EVERYONE will be "mixed", and then perhaps some of these conversations will be complete non-sequitors. Everyone will be just "American", or maybe even plain 'ol "human".

Until then, there's definitely a "White" and a "Black", and one's particular admixture of European and African genes does NOT necessarily indicate which group one might associate with ...


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Genealogy Of Nate Livingston

Nate Livingston himself stopped by my blog this morning to straighten me out on the very serious possibility that Nate and I have actually never met.

Now, when I first heard "Nate Livingston" on the radio many years ago, I was almost certain that I remembered a girl from my class who had a little brother named "Nathaniel Livingston" who I met for the first time in the "Resource Center" of the "Eight Building" of Aiken High School where Ms. Livingston and I worked for a teacher by the name of Rob Quelle (God rest his soul).

Now, when I saw pics of Nate in the paper and on the web, there was a very distinct similarity between him and the Ms. Livingston that I went to school with from 7th - 12th grade.

However, there were also some things that DIDN'T add up. The voice didn't sound right. More importantly, the "little brother" Livingston that I knew just didn't strike me as the type to get thrown in the hoosgow shouting down the mayor with a bullhorn. The kid that I met was very bright, but very QUIET to say the least.

Now it looks like Nate's younger brother is "Emanuel", and he too was on WDBZ at one time. It looks like he graduated from Aiken in 1988 and Ms. Livingston and I graduated in 1986. If I'm doing the math right, Nate would have been in the class of 1987, and, yes, if memory serves (but apparently it doesn't), the little brother of my friend was at least a year or two younger than the class of 1987.

Which still leaves one monstrous mystery on our hands - if Ms. Livingston graduated from Aiken in 1986, and Emanuel in 1988, how did the "middle sibling", Nate, get separated in school from his brother and sister?

And then how did I make my mistake? Yes, "my good buddy" is dripping sarcasm as the "little brother" Livingston that I knew I met maybe twice. It would, however, explain several BIZARRE phone calls I have had with members of Nate's household where they CLEARLY recognized the sister's name, but didn't know me from Adam.

Very, very interesting ...


Friday, May 23, 2008

Baby Huey

Mrs. Axinar says I put her in mind of Baby Huey ...

I don't see the resemblance ... :)

KenDiesel On Gay Marriage

There are times, I swear to you, when I almost admit to being remiss in my duties as an American that I let his mother raise KenDiesel as conservative as he is.

Of course THEN there's the matter of America's education system having decayed to the point that they're apparently not even TRYING to cover this "judicial review" notion.

Case in point - The Illustrious KenDiesel posted this screed about the California Supreme Court overturning that state's gay marriage ban.

Mind you I took a borderline FRANTIC phone call over this a few days back.

The Illustrious KenDiesel was not only audibly shaken by this turn of events, he was INCENSED.

"How DARE five judges overturn the will of the people of California?"

Uh, well, that's kind of the way the system works - at least at present.

Brown v. Board.

Miranda v. Arizona.

Gideon v. Wainwright.

Hell - Bush v. Gore.

Every once in a while it even works out to the conservative advantage.

Think about THAT one - without judicial review, probably the votes from the entire state of Florida would have needed to be discarded and we would have been plunged into a Constitutional crisis.

No - we had seven men and two women who made the grave decision to appoint George W. Bush to the office rather than suffer even more intensely deleterious consequences.

Fortunately the framers put in all manner of checks and balances into our system.

It requires the cooperation of the legislature and the executive to pass a law. If the executive is being insolent a supermajority of the legislature can override the executive. If the executive and the legislature are simultaneously being insolent, the judicial branch can put the kibosh on both and rule a law unconstitutional. If the judicial branch is being insolent, a really huge majority can amend the constitution.

Quite honestly I don't know what an equitable solution is to this gay marriage issue. On the one hand you have a vocal, politically powerful minority essentially saying that in denying one's right to marry you are denying one's humanity. This issue was covered in Bicentennial Man for those of you who weren't paying attention.

On the other hand - and this I have some trouble getting a handle on - the other side almost seems to be saying that by allowing gay marriage you are dehumanizing the straights.

It's one thing to site chapter and verse on "so and so and such and such is an abomination", but I tend to pay more attention to what people say when they're boiling mad. They tend to be more honest. And I believe it was on Larry King when a breathless Bob Jones said something to the effect, "Larry, by allowing gay marriage you are depricating MY marriage in ways I can't even describe."

Again - I'm not sure what he meant - but I think he was being sincere - or at least as sincere as a Thumper can ever be.

I can speculate though - that he's thinking if the government sanctions the First Church of Leather to perform gay marriages and that same government sanctions the First Church of Duplicity to perform STRAIGHT marriages that somehow the ensuing anal jackhammering of the first case "taints" the presumably saintly vaginal jackhammering of the second case.

Probably the issue will never be resolved -

Well, that is until the Islamists out-breed us into obsurity and we're all under sharia law anyway ...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Radio Shack's Digital-to-Analog Converter Box

So I get this call today from an on-line vendor telling me that the analog pass-through DTV converter that I was trying to order isn't going to be in until June and that my government coupon is expiring TOMORROW.


It wasn't really the model I wanted anyway, so I'm thinking, "Okay, okay, I'll spend my 2nd coupon on an all-digital model locally and get it over with."

So I stop into Radio Shack and pick up their "Digital Stream" model. They told me their's was special because it had a universal remote.

They also were offering a 25% discount on rabbit ears, but I'm pretty sure we have rabbit ears on all the sets that need the boxes.

Mind you I haven't actually OPENED this thing yet. I'm thinking this one will probably be for The Old Man. I still have the "Insignia" model I picked up from Best Buy on my main set.

Now, the Radio Shack "Digital Stream" model seems to have decidedly mixed reviews on a number of issues. The one thing it might have a head's up on the Insignia model over is a 12-hour program guide.

Everyone seems to be raving about the Zenith model. H.H. Gregg was out of them unfortunately.

Oh - the other thing I thought was interesting was that when I was telling the Radio Shack guys I was rather disappointed that the analog pass-thru models won't be out until after my coupons expired he said that it didn't really matter anyway because the low-power stations will be subject to heavy fines the longer they stay analog.

Has anyone read anything about this??

Labels: , ,

"When I Walk Out Of This Room, I'm Black."

So I get this instant message this morning from The Dean this morning that led to a pretty lengthy conversation about picking a racial identity for one's children.

It starts out with The Dean asking me, "So will you have black kids one day?" and wound through to, "What will YOU consider them?"

Mrs. Axinar stumbled in at that moment and said, "Uh ... 'my CHILDREN'??"

I almost hit the deck laughing.

I wish I could find some on-line reference to that interview I saw with Halle Berry's mother years ago where she said something to the effect, "I never seriously entertained raising her as anything other than Black."

However, I did find an interview with Halle Berry HERSELF from around the time of Losing Isaiah. She explains it pretty well:

"I'm half black and half white. When I walk out of this room, I'm black. I'm very aware of my white family, but I must face any discrimination that a black person might. I can't say, `I'm half white, so I shouldn't face that.' It doesn't work that way.

My mother was white and my father was black. I was raised solely by my mother. My father left the family when I was in the third grade and I grew up in a largely white suburb of Cleveland, but I always knew of my black heritage. You don't always have to be reminded of your culture every day. My mother saw to it that I had a sense of background.

I don't draw the line, I just react to people around me. You have to know the enemy. Racism is the enemy - not white people. I face it every day. Sometimes I think I can't beat it."

But the Dean's question is a little difficult to call ahead of the event.

I can make an educated guess that any children of Mrs. Axinar and I would likely be identified as "Black" in this culture.

Not "half-black", not "mixed" but solid Black - a little maybe like Denmark Vesey - but hopefully without the raving about The Illuminati.

However, as I have reminded Mrs. Axinar, although she is what many in the African-American community would generally consider "of medium complexion" and having "African-textured" hair and having African-associated facial features, her own documented Irish and Native American ancestry just might team up with the dormant genes I'm sure I inherited from my flamingly redheaded mother and, yes, there just might be some sort of "genetic freakout" and it might be easier under those circumstances for them to identify themselves as White.

Of course then there's the whole "Lonette McKee" scenario - but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it ... :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Comcast Acquiring Plaxo

Opening my email this morning I was accosted by the potentially unfortunately news that Comcast is acquiring Plaxo.

Now, I had never heard of Plaxo until I found out that they had linked up with AOL to handle address book moves.

At first that's all they were - this service where you could keep an on-line address book and then your contacts could keep their own contact information updated themselves.

Of course it wasn't terribly useful at all, because if you contacts stopped used Plaxo your address books would automatically update with outdated information.

And THEN they tried to clone LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter simultaneously.

The blog traffic seems to point to a concern that Plaxo, backed by a major telecomm player, will now get even MORE obnoxious with the unwelcome and semi-unwelcome emails.

Well, of COURSE, if you email anyone at all, you're eventually going to get invites from social networking sites, but what worries me about this is that Comcast is the outfit that not only throttles BitTorrent traffic but lies to the FCC about throttling BitTorrent traffic.

Now they're going to know who all your friends and business associates are.

That is JUST lovely.

I think I'm going to start dismantling my accounts there like TODAY ...

Comcast Gets Plaxo to Users' Dismay -
Comcast acquires social network pioneer Plaxo - Reuters
Plaxo Confession: Acquired by Comcast - Mashable
Plaxo is acquired by Comcast, Zyb by Vodafone - Lifeblog
Plaxo acquired by Comcast - Nicolas Schriver's Blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Free" TV Converter Box Ad In The Cincinnati Enquirer

For those of you who have been keeping up on the digital TV conversion scheduled for early next year, you may have noticed that ginormous "free digital TV" ad in today's Cincinnati Enquirer.

Fortunately John Matarese over at WCPO spared no time narcing on the ad AND the Enquirer.

Turns out the scam in this ad is that you have to pay for a 5-year warranty plus shipping - almost $70 - most decidedly not free.

Now the way this operation is actually supposed to work is that you're supposed to apply for your coupons at the site, the government will ship them out (now, be careful, they come in a fairly non-descript #10 envelope that could pass for junk mail). They look like a couple of red credit cards.

The way it's supposed to work is you're supposed to saunter over to Radio Shack, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc., and fork over one of these coupons along with $20 and, voila, you'll have your digital - analog converting tuner.

Obviously this process is WAY too complicated for many people and so the Enquirer obviously is taking great delight in helping to rip people off.

Oh, John Matarese - you need to narc on the government too. They set these coupons up to expire maybe 60 days after you get them and - guess what? - the cotton-picking analog pass-through converters won't be available until later this year so we may never see channel 25 again.

Yep ... I'm thinking someone should have put more thought into this whole deal. Come next February there's going to be pandemonium I betcha' ...

Michelle Obama Pounding The Phones In Kentucky

But Hillary won the damn thing anyway ...

Labels: ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nate Livingston BANNED From Blogger!!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a legend of the Cincinnati blogosphere, my old Aiken High School buddy, Nate Livingston, has been BANNED from Blogger - presumably for publishing the names, dates of birth, addresses, and various other personal information associated with several individuals he was mad at for, as he explains it, posting personal information about his daughter.

I just found out about this myself from a comment over at the Cincinnati Beacon.

My guess is that it won't take more than a couple of days for Nate to be back up and running on Wordpress or somewhere of that sort.

Now, onto the rest of the comment from "Urbanists II is Dead" - he doesn't seem to get the point on my latest riff in response to a comment that someone made that "Nate Livingston is a racist".

A few months back, The Dean posted a considerable diatribe taking umbrage with the fact that the media calls Barack Obama "Black", whereas, so far as we know, Obama's Anestry-By-DNA test would come back almost exactly 1/2 African and 1/2 European, or, in conventional terms, almost exactly 1/2 "Black" and 1/2 "White".

However, somewhere in the last couple of generations, it stopped working like this. When I was in high school, occasionally a few people would be called "mixed", but, by the time I got to high school this practice had pretty much stopped and the term became "light-skinned black".

And then of course sometime in the last 20 years it seems that pretty much so long as there are any visible African traits left in a person at all, even if they are 1/4 or even 1/8 African agains 3/4 or 7/8 European, they tend to still be called "Black".

This change in procedure I remember being articulated the most specifically by Halle Berry's mother, who, in an interview said that she, if I remember the words correctly, "raised Halle exclusively Black". I imagine this may have been to avoid confusion or something of the sort.

Then The Dean comes along and somehow takes great umbrage with the fact that, if you can follow this logic, the fact that the media calls Obama "Black" negates the White ancestry of his own children.

Get with the program, dude.

Henry Louis Gates: "Does it upset you that we found this much European ancestry in your background?"

Maya Angelou: "Why? It's who I am."

Yes, you can be absolutely, 100%, unabasedly, unashamedly (reviewing the Trinity United Church of Christ web site quickly) Black and STILL have a European-linked Y-chromosome, European linked mitochondria and maybe pushing 7/8 European nuclear DNA.

The truly enlightened (and here's where I start an argument :) ) would get hip to the fact that having European ancestry and coming into contact with people of European ancestry is an inalienable element of BEING Black in America.

My comments of course were more about THE DEAN than about Nate.

You see - I knew Nate's family in high school.

In fact, I was in the motorcade with his sister when she was picked up by her prom date - a young man of considerable European and Native American ancestry who called himself "White". This was considered just slightly scandalous at the time, but I remember her mother saying something to the effect, "Oh, that's not so bad - I mean - goodness gracious - my grandmother married a White man."

Presuming that Nate and his sister had both parents in common, this makes Nate at least 1/8th European. According to The Dean, it sounds like if you have more than 1/8th of your ancestry different from your "primary" ethnic identity, you lose your ethnic identity privileges altogether. This would mean that Nate is neither White nor Black, and, if that were the case, I'd say it would be pretty difficult to be racist.

But of course Nate considers himself Black.

And maybe a little like Malcolm X, perhaps his knowledge of his European ancestry makes him even meaner?

Maybe we should just have Nate sit down with Maya Angelou for a heart-to-heart and he could at least keep himself out of trouble for a while ...

Nate Livingston– Get a Grip, Man! - Cincy Report


Windows XP SP3 Post Mortem

I think it's been - what? - at least a couple of weeks now?

I went to the Windows Update site on both my computer and Mrs. Axinar's computer when I first saw that the Windows XP SP3 updates were out.

The install was UTTERLY flawless on Mrs. Axinar's computer. No hitches at all.

Mine STARTED to do the "endless reboot" thing, but after the second reboot it came to its senses.

Now, the information coming out is that some of the HP machines with AMD chips were having trouble because HP created the original XP image on Intel machines and then used them on the AMD models. Apparently there were some "dormant" Intel drivers left over that were driving SP3 nuts. Patches are coming out for this problem as we speak.

HOWEVER, my main machine is a Gateway 825GM, which is an Intel machine.

However, it is an incredibly SOUPED UP Gateway 825GM - upgraded graphics card, upgraded audio, etc., etc.

I'm guessing maybe that one reboot cycle may have been caused by some "dormant" drivers on my machine for the original video and/or audio configuration perhaps.

The question I have for y'all though ...

Have any of you noticed that your machines boot up MUCH faster under SP3???

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Impure Thought About Amanda Mayes

Well, we hadn't heard anything from our good buddy Nate Livingston for a while until the last few days when he has been posting a series of messages, about, if I'm reading this correctly, some sort of custody battle he is having with someone named Amanda Estelle Mayes.

Now, today's posting included a really fascinating photograph of Ms. Mayes from some sort of protest where she was toting an anti-semitic sign.

Yes - puts me in mind immediately of Joy Rolland.

Wait a minute - I do believe Nate Livingston at one time was involved with Joy Rolland as well.

Does this officially make Nate Livingston an even bigger NUT MAGNET than ME??

Now I'm contemplating a few things - partiuclarly about this photograph.

For starters, as much as I hate to admit it, I've already had an impure thought about Amanda Mayes.

And despite, I presume, being involved with at least one pro-African-American protest group, I'm guessing The Dean of Cincinnati would not even be willing to concede that Ms. Mayes IS BLACK.

Two - and this is frightening to the core of human existence - she has Crankshaft's PERMASMIRK. Now, I'm presuming that this doesn't mean that Crankshaft is Black, but rather their common European ancestor ... well ... let's just say that can't POSSIBLY have been a very nice person.

Now, next, although the photograph does not have much resolution, one cannot rule out the very real possibility that Ms. Mayes herself has some Jewish ancestry.

Wouldn't that be a blast?

Now, onto Nate.

Apparently he's produced at least a daughter with Ms. Mayes.

I don't know why exactly, but this is putting me in mind of the one letter that NBC recieved after the first "interracial kiss on television" between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols. The letter went something like, "Now, I don't believe in the mixing of the races, but when a red-blooded American boy like Jim Kirk gets a good looking gal like Lt. Uhura in his arms he just can't help himself."

Looks like when Nate Livingston comes into contact with bright, but slightly "off" light-skinned Black women ...

Well ... you get the picture ... :)

Of course the most incredibly disappointing thing is that it doesn't look like Amanda Mayes has either a blog OR a Public Access cable television show.

Oh, well ...

At very least maybe Nate will post some more pictures ... :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle: Review

As many of you know, Mrs. Axinar is a HUGE Oprah Winfrey fan and when we went to Chicago back in February to be audience members for the taping of Oprah segments with Valerie Bertinelli and William Shatner, Oprah also taped some spots for her "online class" featuring a book called "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle.

Well, the waiting list at the library was MASSIVE. Just last week I got the hard cover and the Book-On-CD and I've been starting to listen to it and I'm finding myself scratching my head.

He made the recording for the Book-On-CD himself and the first question I'm asking myself, "What IS that accent??" Bavarian? Austrian? All his Wikipedia bio says is that he was born in Germany. Now there are a few YouTube clips of him and in this particular one he's a little more animated than on the "A New Earth" Book-on-CD, but, I'm telling you, on the CD, he's putting me in mind of Malachi Throne's version of "The Keeper" from the B&W workprint of the first Star Trek pilot, "The Cage".

Of course then I got to thinking - was Malachi Throne DELIBERATELY trying to do a German (and specifically a SOUTH German) accent for The Keeper?

In fact, there is a remnant of the Malachi Throne voiceover of The Keeper in the preview of "The Mangerie" Part II.

I haven't gotten very far along in the CD, but I took a quick look through the hardcover and it's looking to be a pretty quick review of Buddhism.

Actually between trying to listen to that CD and watch What the Bleep!? - Down the Rabbit Hole" at the same time and I'm starting to get spacey.

Oh, speaking of which ... the goofnozzles at our Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County CLEARLY did not take a good look over this set because in their excitement to split this set up into the "movie" part and the "extra footage" part, they completely overlooked the fact that the extra-long "Quantum Edition" version of the movie is spread out over disk 2 and disk 3 of the set, so, yes, my friends, I'm watching What the Bleep!? - Down the Rabbit Hole OUT OF ORDER. Now, if that's not enough proof that I've started to take a turn around the bend, I'm not sure what would be.

Oh, and if that's not bad enough, the "Quantum" cut of "What the Bleep!?" has both Ramtha AND JZ Knight.

I'm not sure what to make of this, "Your thoughts create your reality," stuff.

I suppose in some sense it would be nice if one, by sheer force of will, could eliminate all suffering.

However, I think I'm more into the view of life taught to me by a rabbi from Canada once. Citing Ralph Nader this rabbi pretty much explained that, properly directed, righteous indignation is a GOOD thing.

In other words - there really ARE rotten bastards out there and people of good conscience ought to make concerted efforts to STOP them from being rotten bastards.

Or at least stop them from spreading their misery to others ...

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: "Faith"

This WAS a really good one ...

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

99% Of Data Recovered From Space Shuttle Columbia Hard Disk

Well, when they say you have to pulverize a hard disk in order to make sure no one is able to recover the data, they're not kidding.

Apparently a 400 MB Seagate hard drive being used for scientific data recording aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia when it crashed in 2003 was recovered from a dry lake bed and 99% of its contents were recovered.


That actually put me in mind of something I was thinking as I was watching the news of the Columbia recovery efforts.

I mean, particularly from Capricorn One I always got the impression that if you lost a heat shield you'd pretty much burn to vapor.

Apparently not so.

Of course you had the mess recently with a Soyuz spacecraft basically re-entering UPSIDE DOWN and the crew certainly shaken but none the worse for wear.

Of course Columbia seemed in some ways more like a commercial airliner crash than a spaceship coming back to Earth - what with severed heads still inside helmets littering Texas roadways and whatnot.

Now we have a hard drive with 99% intact data recovered.

Fortunately, in order to spare one's credulity, the article does mention that there were two other hard drives recovered from Columbia, but they were so badly damaged no usable information could be retrieved.

Yep ... looks like you need nuclear explosives to "shred" your data these days, people ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Men Get Postpartum Depression Too

I've occasionally run across information covering this, but there's a new study out saying that one in 10 new dads meet standard criteria for moderate to severe postpartum depression.

I keep telling Mrs. Axinar about this and she generally doesn't listen.

You see, my own mother came down with one of the most monstrous cases of postpartum depression / postpartum psychosis recorded up until that time.

Unfortunately this was 40 years ago and nobody understood that some people can react like that.

As the story goes, I was a very cholicy baby and cried non-stop until ...

Well, now basically ... :)

But it was really bad when I was very little and my mother got so upset about it apparently she tried to kill me a couple of times.

Now, according to this article women show signs of post-partum depression by becomming sad or withdrawn, while men may become irritable, aggressive, and even hostile.

Yep - I've tried to warn Mrs. Axinar about this.

Given similar circumstances - a baby that is screaming it's head off for the better part of the year, unlike "normal" people who get all protective and just "deal with it", I have this nasty supicion the ol' Axinar just might go full-blown nuts.

What of course fascinates me is the utter inability of Mrs. Axinar in her neurotypicality to take this situation seriously. She's the type to say, "Oh, it will be alright," or "We'll figure it out."

Now actually professionals I have discussed this matter with pretty much say, "You're absolutely on target. I believe you are functional enough to have a successful marriage. No problem there. Do NOT have children."

However, I suppose now that we DO understand these things a little better, if Mrs. Axinar and I ever do have children maybe there will be sources of help available to keep me from having to be tased or worse.

Oh, and BTW - Dean - barring some unforseen event they'll be BLACK - deal with it ... :)

Men Also Get Postpartum Depression - WebMD

Labels: ,

OMG - Was JFK A Conspiracy Nut??

Tim Russert: "We Now Know Who the Nominee Will Be"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Animal Cruelty At California Egg Farm

I only have one question:

How come every time something like this comes out the reaction is "boycott eggs" and not "execute the rotten bastards who run places like this"?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Denmark Vesey On Nick Cannon And Mariah Carey

"Nick, remember that today's 'thick' is tomorrow's 'swole'.

OMG ... this one cracked me up so bad I still can't breathe ...

Michael Savage: Eight Belles Put Down For The Insurance

So I'm still out of books-on-CD so I was listening to Michael Savage on 55KRC on the way back to Camp Axinar and he was saying that Eight Belles was put down for the insurance.

One of his callers was practically in tears telling the tale of how he was actually at the Kentucky Derby, saw the whole sequence of events with the horse being euthanized and is now ashamed to know all the words to "My Old Kentucky Home".

Michael Savage even says he agrees with PETA on this one.

Yikes - that's heavy.

Yes, my friends, we may have our first bonafide animal martyr on our hands here.

The trainer and owners of Eight Belles have been defending the jockey, Gabriel Saez and saying he did nothing wrong.

The story is that Eight Belles had a tendency towards drifting towards the rail and the jockey was using the whip to get her away from the rail.

The trainer, Larry Jones, is scheduled to hold a news conference tomorrow morning.

This ought to be entertaining.

The Humane Society of the United States is also chiming in saying that these horses are being so bred for speed they're becomming fragile.

I believe a blacksmith called into Michael Savage a few minutes ago and basically said these horses should not be run in competion until they are at least four years old because the bones have not fully formed yet.

Oh yes ... we've got a horse scandal here for sure, people ...

Why didn’t NBC show Eight Belles’ injury? -
Should Eight Belles Jockey Gabriel Saez be Euthanized? - SportsWrap
Did Eight Belles Really Die Because She "Ran Her Heart Out"? (includes Larry Jones interview) - Jezebel
Eight Belles or Eight Million? - PuddyDunne
What’s Wrong w/ Showing Eight Belles Injury On Air? - Sportaphile
WIN, DEATH, SHOW … R.I.P. Eight Belles -

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Kentucky Derby Runner-Up Eight Belles Euthanized After Breaking Both Front Legs

Certainly I'm usually not big on keeping up with sports, but I stumbled across this really wicked sad story that the runner-up in yesterday's Kentucky Derby, a filly (female) they called "Eight Belles" had to be euthanized (put down) after breaking both ankles just after the finish of the race.

There are various versions of this story going around, but this original Louisville Courier-Journal article really seems to cover all the details.

Eight Belles snapped the cannon and sesamoid bones in both her lower front legs, which collapsed both of her ankles.

She was put down by lethal injection.

In a hurry.

In the middle of a race track.

And they can't seem to carry out lethal injections on human prisoners right with all the latest equipment and controlled circumstances.

It was the first Kentucky Derby fatality in modern times.

Only three fillies have won the Derby and only one other, Lady Navaree in 1906, ever came in second.

The Shakesville blog mentions that thoroughbreds are often given Lasix to prevent nosebleeds and that horse racing has a higher death rate than any other animal sport.

The Hullabaloo blog is making rude comments that this might be some sort of preview of coming attractions as Hillary Clinton has made some comments about "bet on the filly".

And of course you knew this was coming - PETA wants Eight Belles' jockey suspended. This despite the fact that the animal apparently looked perfectly fine right after crossing the finish line.

I'm guessing my grandmother would have said, "Poor horse ..."

Labels: ,

Women Voting The Source Of All Our Ills?

So I finally ran out of good books on CD to listen to and I was forced to tune into 700 WLW after doing the PROVISIONING for The Old Man on Saturday afternoon and I heard them interviewing this NUT who apparently wrote a book called The Curse Of 1920 where, if I understand it correctly, the author, Gary Naler, seems to be advocating the notion that all of society's ills are the result of women being given the right to vote in 1920.

Yes, this is one of these people where you find yourself questioning the wisdom of the First Amendment, but, generally speaking, I'm a big advocate of the notion that no matter how big of a whack job you're dealing with, so long as the person is at least semi-coherent the least you can do is hear the fool out and see where the conversation goes.

To tell you how worried this guy ought to make you, on the radio show he went on for quite some time about how much he admires Saudi Arabia, the last major country to deny women the right to vote. Apparently he thinks they have better morals or something.

Although, looking over this web site, this guy does worry me. If I understand him correctly he's into something called The Nazirite Vow that has something to do with avoiding grapes, not cutting your hair, and staying away from dead people.

Wow - I'm in major trouble. I have a GINORMOUS bag of black table grapes from Kroger's sitting in the 'fridge, frequently have a face and a head as smooth as a baby's butt, AND did the whole "hospice thing" of seeing my grandmother very shortly after she departed the planet.

If I'm reading this page correctly, he seems to be saying the fruit the Garden of Eden was a grape rather than an apple.

Oh, interesting ...

You know - that just MIGHT start to make some sense of the story.

Getting schnookered gives a person the knowledge of good and evil??

In my experience it's pretty much been the opposite.

Although, you know, this Gary Naler IS quite educational in a way because he obviously does not constrain himself to the confines of political correctness. He says what's on his mind, and I have a sinking feeling there are a great many other people out there who have similar ideas who are afraid to say them out loud.

However, it does make me a bit sad. He seems to be saying that the concept of "self-sufficiency" is masculine and the "nanny state" is feminine.

Interesting ...

I had always thought that considering the well-being of your fellow human was compassionate and even "Christian".

And I was pretty sure that being a totally self-involved S.O.B. who wouldn't even FLINCH at someone else's suffering was pretty much called "being a rotten bastard" ...

Unexpected Immortality

Every once in a while I see someone make use of the handful of pics that I have posted on Flickr.

Despite frequent suggestions from various friends that I turn pro, I've posted everything there under various Creative Commons and attribution licenses because quite frankly I'd rather have some people see what little work I do produce these days rather than try to make a few cents off of it.

Now, when my stuff starts showing up in galleries and people start paying $500 a pop for prints of my stuff to hang up in their living rooms, then I might have to start getting more restrictive.

The last time I really heard of any of my pics being used was from some European company that wanted to use some of my Cincinnati Zoo pics for thimbles or something of the sort.

However, today was the first time I think I've been someone make some use of the handful of "ancestor" pictures that I have up.

A blog called "" used a pic of my mother's father's mother and step-father for a post called "The Wisdom of Generations Past".

I'm not sure what kind of traffic this blog gets, but it shows something like 2286 regular subscribers through Feedburner and there are four comments to the post already, so SOMEONE reads the thing.

Somewhat ironic in a way, because I know almost nothing about my step great-grandfather and the only thing I really know about my great-grandmother is that my mother tells me this is the only person my mother felt unconditionally loved by growing up.

If I remember correctly, she also had an ancestor named John Adam Roush and has something on the order of 1500 cousins with the family name of "Bible" who are currently living in Tennessee.

Yes, I wonder what they would have thought if they would have known that a simple snapshot would one day be viewed all over the world ...


Friday, May 2, 2008

Monica Conyers Dressed Down By 8th Grader

Monica Conyers, wife of U.S. Congressman John Conyers and Detroit City Council member recently, in a heated debate, called another council member "Shrek".

Then, when a group of school children had a chance to interrogate her about the incident, one partiuclar 8th grader REALLY let her have it.

Although this Monica Conyers puts you a bit in mind of Joy Rolland, doesn't she? :)

Students receive award for schooling Conyers - The Detroit News

Barack Obama Gives The Top 10 On Letterman


eXTReMe Tracker