The people of Detroit should consider sending their kids to the southern border of Texas and telling them to claim they are from South America. At least then they would have water and shelter, instead of what they have now.
So, it's been 20 years since the Northridge Quake. Do you remember where you were when it hit? I sure do. I was in bed. How about you?
The weird part of the experience for me was the odd feeling of dread I experienced at about 1 am. I had been in bed, watching TV. When I got up to turn the TV off I told my wife that I needed to move the TV to a better spot than on top of the dresser, because we were going to have a huge earthquake and it was going to fall off that dresser and break, and I was going to be a no-TV-in-the-bedroom so-and-so. I didn't necessarily think that the huge earthquake was just 3 1/2 hours away, but it seemed important enough to mention at the time.
At 4:31 a.m., when the quake woke me up, I jumped out of bed and ran to the dresser to hold on to my TV. I had books falling off the bookshelf above me and landing on my head and back, but I saved that TV.
I had friends whose experiences were much more troublesome. If you watch this CBS news item looking back at the quake (link), one of the guys interviewed was a buddy of mine. His place was pretty seriously messed up. Luckily, I was about 45 miles from the epicenter.
My kids, all born after the Northridge Quake, have never really experienced a frightening earthquake. The strongest we've felt since they were born was probably the 2010 Easter quake, which was very far from us. We all still remember the July 29, 2008 Chino Hills quake, but that was just a 5.5 shake. We also felt a little 3.6 the other night. That freaked the kids out a little bit, but it lasted all of about 2 seconds. The Northridge Quake was a 6.7 that lasted 20 seconds and was followed by a 6.0 aftershock a minute later. That's no Tōhoku quake, but that's a quake.
We're due for another biggie soon. Hopefully, we'll get through that one, too, without losing so much as a TV.
Our education system, outside of the poor urban school districts, is very good. We have USC, and other great universities, and the job and business opportunities are incredible, as long as you are at least of average intelligence and are willing to work a little harder than the average person. And if you are very talented or very smart, the U.S. has more opportunities for you that almost anywhere else in the world. If you are a tick slow or don't really like to work that hard, life as a cog is going to be less rewarding.
We have access to a lot of goods and services at very good prices. We have great cities, most of which have mild to awesome weather. Most places are fairly safe and it isn't that hard to find information about which ones are not and when they are not. Our natural parks and natural diversity. We have everything from tundra to the hottest desert in the world. Great surfing and snowboarding. Mountains to climb and jungles to explore. There isn't a road trip in the world that doesn't have an equivalent in the U.S.
We work too hard. We take too little vacation. We eat too much. We watch too much TV. Too many of us live alone and in a lot of places, we do not know our neighbors. We tend to spend our last dollar every month, and often we borrow a few on top of that. Our government services are inefficient. We get taxed a lot and unless you have a low income, you don't really get a lot of value back for those taxes. We spend way too much on military. We spend too much on healthcare, although it's very good healthcare. Our cops are too violent. Our public transportation system in most big cities is average to weak, and outside of the big cities, it's usually pretty bad. Most of us drive our own cars everywhere. We're really myopic and a little paranoid.
And the pet peeve most of my friends from other countries have mentioned: Our price tags always reflect the pre-tax costs. If the price tag says "$1", and you have exactly $1, sorry, but you can't afford it.
Told my kids that back in the day, we had no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Vine. If we wanted our friends to see our lunch, take a photo, drop the film off for developing, pick it up days later, then go to all our friends' houses to show it to them.
Either that, or we had to invite our friends them to lunch.
I got this message posted on my Facebook wall this week:
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE This year October has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays and 5 Wednesdays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called Money Bags. So Share this at your wall and money will arrive within 4 days!
Reality is a bit more boring. Here's reality:
October 2012 is interesting because it has only 4 weekends, but it has 5 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Amazingly, this happens, on average, only once every seven years. It hasn't happened since 2007. It won't happen again until 2018.
Oh, and it's been 4 days, and the guy who posted it hasn't said anything about winning the lotto or anything, so I think it might not have worked.
You see, since October always has 31 days, and a week always has seven days, October will always have five Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday every time the month begins on a Monday. This year, October 1st fell on a Monday. This happens, on average, every seven years, not every 823 years. It doesn't happen every seven years evenly, howeve. Because of leap years, the pattern (except over the turn of each century that does not conclude a millenium) is for it to happen after 6, 5, 6 and 11 years. After 2018, it won't happen again until 2029.
You might enjoy the patterns that we saw in 2010 a little more. In 2010, the month begins on Friday, so October will have five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays instead. Sadly, that pattern is on the 11 years now, so you won't see it again until 2021. Of course, if you like having all day to get ready for trick-or-treating, and you don't want the kids to have to do it on a school night, 2015 will be a great October. That one starts on a Thurday, which means Halloween is on Saturday. Call that month Candy Bags.
No? Just enter a valid phone number and you can have all those club member savings at the grocery store. And no matter what city you are in, or what store you are in, Jenny's phone number works - 867-5309. I tried it. So far, so good.
It was a scorcher today. Know why? Because of the extra hour of sunlight from Daylight Saving Time. I know that we just took that hour from the beginning of the day, but that hour is in the morning, when it's cold. The hour we added is at the end of the day, when it's hot.
(If you understand and believe that, you'll love my explanation for why "green" laws create jobs).
if the Mardi Gras casino night at my church is any indicator, many people will soon be eating at soup kitchens. The celebration was mediocre. The prizes were weak. The admission prices were low. The silent auction items were mostly junk, and the bids were lower than one would expect even for such junk. Not good.
I never liked the concept, now I hate the word even more. Popularized in the 4th quarter of 2008, the word bailout has now become omnipresent in nearly every political conversation. According to opponents of various pieces of legislation, it would appear that every law that benefits anyone from here on out is a "bailout."
For example, a bill that helps unions by allowing their to organize through signature-gathering campaigns is suddenly a "union bailout." It doesn't include big fat government checks being written to save unions from their own business decisions, and it won't raise your taxes, but somehow, it's a "bailout."
As a further example, the Ledbetter Act, allowing women who are discriminated against to sue under the law that prohibits wage discrimination without having to discover the first act of discrimination within their first 180 days of work, is not a bill to allow the Equal Pay Act to actually compel employers to obey it. No. It's a "bailout for trial lawyers."
If those two cases meet the definition of a "bailout," then get ready for more bailouts. We might see several thousand of them across the country this year.
Quick, someone stop the word bailout. Kill it with fire. Bury it. Forget about it. Please.
Moonlight shining like a beam across the water I've seen before. Starlight reflecting across the surface of the ocean, that I've never seen until tonight. Venus was so bright and low in the sky, and the Pacific Ocean was so calm, that you could see the light from Venus shining in the water.
This is one of the many billboards that line the side of Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County. Imagine the conversation that led to the graphics on the ad.
Layout artist: "We'll use bright yellow for the background, to catch the eye. We make the '$1' huge, with simple black copy. Oh, and we stick this stock photo of a good-looking woman to the left."
Boss: "The dimensions don't work. We can't fit the whole picture in vertically. We'll lose the cleavage."
Layout artist: "Good point. Let's cut off part of her head instead. That way we can keep the cleavage."
Boss: "I like it."
The billboard promotes Normandie Casino, a dive that I once drove to and didn't bother to go into, partly because it looked like hell, and partly because I was afraid I might get murdered if anyone saw me win anything there.
Truth be told, I really couldn't care less if a doctor takes a cell phone call in front of the "no cell phones" sign. I just thought it was funny.
Technically, I was using my cell phone, too, but just to take photos. It took a half dozen attempts to get this one, intended to be clear enough to show that it was a doctor making the call, but not clear enough that anyone can tell who he is.
In related news, Kyle came home from the hospital today. We are very pleased.
So I got invited to a charity poker tournament Monday at the Playboy Mansion, which was, but no longer is, hosted by Reggie Bush. Sadly, I have awesome floor tickets to see the Jonas Brothers, which my daughters are really looking forward to, and I can't ask my wife, who is 8 3/4 months pregnant, to be the chaperone. So guess where I'll be going on Monday night? To you high school girls making pregnancy pacts because you think it is so cool to have kids, be forewarned. Being a parent means you have to blow off poker tournaments at the Playboy Mansion to see the Jonas Brothers. Oh, sure, that sounds cool when you are 14 years old, but it won't be later.
I love that line from the song "On the Road Again" where Willie Nelson sings about how he loves "seein' things that I may never see again." I always try to pay enough attention to know when it is likely that I am doing something or seeing something or someone for the last time. Last month, with my older daughter graduating from the 8th grade at her Pre-K to 8th grade school where she spent the last nine school years, we had a lot of people probably leaving our lives for good. For most of them, it's neither good nor bad. If I'm not going to see them again, it's probably because we never built a tight bond during the past nine years, and our kids weren't that close. I saw a lot of those folks that week, and I knew that Wednesday, when we said goodbye, it really was goodbye.
The kids and parents we were most fond of will probably stay in our lives, at least for a few more years, because we and/or they will make an effort to remain in touch, even if our kids attend different high schools. We've already seen several of those folks since graduation.
Then there were the ones we couldn't stand. Actually, really, there's just one. I like most people. For the most part, everyone I knew ranges from at least tolerable to delightful in my esteem, but there was one parent who never quite made it all the way back to tolerable once I learned her true character. Just that one. The one I eventually couldn't talk to for five minutes without muttering something under my breath. The one who is fat and ugly, inside and out, but speaks ill frequently about people she thinks are fat or ugly. The one who is the most gossipy beast in the school, and has no idea how poorly people speak of her behind her back. The one who is louder than all the others put together. The one who thinks she is literally the smartest person on campus — smarter than the teachers, the coaches or the other parents — who actually thinks we're all morons. The one who often tries to act like one of the students, not one of the parents, who thinks that snarky remarks about a 12-year-old girl are perfectly acceptable icebreakers at a school function. The one who joked about wishing she could bury one of the boys in the class in a hole and cover him up with dirt and rocks, and then seemed taken aback when no one laughed. The one who told her daughter it would be fun and funny to sabotage other kids on her team, and then bragged about it to friends of parents of the girls she sabotaged. The one whose daughter told the class that if she was God and could smite people, there would be a bunch of them who wouldn't make it through the day. She thinks she's funny. Anyhow, yeah, that one.
She is moving away and taking her smug little rat-face with her to another state.
On the final day of school, I saw her leaving, and without breaking stride as I walked in the other direction, said "Bye", and kept walking. It was probably the last time I will ever see her again. And that is a blessing. And I recognized it as such. And I smiled. Sometimes, parting is such sweet sorrow. Other times, it's just sweet.
I would spend it on something more satisfying than this painting entitled 'Benefits Supervisor Sleeping' by British artist Lucian Freud. At a bare minimum, I'd want a painting by a dead guy, and I'd want one that didn't turn my stomach. But more likely, I'd want something better than a painting. Maybe a huge estate in an exclusive neighborhood with a private indoor basketball court.
A few weeks ago, we were enjoying a nice meal with my brother and his wife and their daughter. She was quite well-behaved, as were my children. At one point, the kids at another table started making a lot of noise. Everyone in the restaurant seemed appalled that the parents were not keeping their children in check. "If your children don't know how to behave in a restaurant, you should leave them at home," muttered one annoyed guest, under his breath, at another table. Everyone nodded in agreement. When the families with the loud kids left, everyone gave them the stink eye on their way out.
Not long after that, we were dining with our children at another very nice dinner establishment, when a table for eight was set up right next to us. Soon thereafter, a group of eight enormously heavy women were seated, and they proceeded to throw back several glasses each of wine almost immediately. By the time they were starting in on their second round, they were cackling like a bunch of geese. Their jokes became louder and lamer, and after about twenty minutes of it, I found myself eating like a starved prisoner just so I could finish my meal and get going. Looking around at the other guests, I saw few annoyed faces. I cannot fathom why. If it had been a group of four women and four kids, and the kids were making half as much noise, everyone in the house would despise them. But because they were adults, paying for a good time, they could be as loud as a herd of elephants, and they didn't have to contend with so much as a single stink eye.
I ran across a list of ologies the other day and pulled a good six minutes of amusement out of it. There is a study of damn near everything, and each has its own name. For example, bryology is the study of bryophytes. I don't recall ever learning what a bryophyte is, but apparently it's a type of plant. Anyhow, what amused me the most was looking at names that sounded like they should be the study of something other than what they are the study of. My favorites:
Acarology is not the study of a car. Actinology is not the study of thespianism. Genealogy is not the study of genies. Hippology is neither the study of hips, nor hippos. Horology is not the study of whores. Lexicology is not the study of this blog. Nosology is not the study of noses. Radiology is not the study of radio. Rhinology is not the study of rhinos. Semiology is not the study of the big trucks. Sinology is not the study of sin. Taxology is not the study of the Internal Revenue Code.
I was almost as amused to learn that heterology and homology weren't actually the study of anything.
This week, I am trying to settle a big case, writing a closing brief for my most recent trial, finalizing the plans for my last big vacation for probably two years, looking into building an addition to the house, working on trying to clean up the garage, bringing the treadmill back into the house to actual start using it, and trying to anticipate what it will be like to have a family of five instead of four. Busy, busy days are ahead here for me. 's'all good though.
Today's newspaper was the thinnest of the entire year. I guess it makes sense. Who would waste their advertising budget on the paper one day before Thanksgiving. Tomorrow's should be thicker, I guess. Oh, and the parking lot at Best Buy was pretty empty, too. Coincidence?
Would you ever patronize a business just because the women who work there are hot? For many men, the answer is yes. Where do we want to eat? Mimi's? Not today. What about Hooter's? That works. Where should we shop for perfume at Christmas time? That store with the pineapple-chested hottie could be a good choice? And what about getting a haircut? The salon with the pierced mutants like what's-her-face's character in Pulp Fiction is one choice. But a better one is the Fantastic Sams with the hot receptionist. And for a dentist? How about the one with the totally hot dental assistants, man?
Hell, no! The last thing in the world I want is to go to a dentist's office where some hottie scrapes crap off my teeth and wipes it onto a little cloth before diving back into my mouth with her little scum scraping thingie. Okay, make it the second-to-last thing in the world. The last thing in the world I want is to go to the doctor to get my hemorrhoids lanced by a doctor with a hot medical assistant. Luckily for me, I've never had to have a hemorrhoid lancing, but if I ever do, I'm checking out all the medical assistants ahead of time, and if any of them rate a 2 or better on a scale of 1 to 10, I'm waddling on out of the office and finding a new doctor.
Today's Dear Abby column features with a cautionary tale about how a parent's advice to her daughter, to in turn advise her pregnant friend to confide in her parents, turned violent. SHOCKED AND SADDENED IN SHERMAN OAKS, CALIF supposedly (I actually think there is no such person) writes about a "recent experience" in which her "almost 18" daughter, who is a high school senior and one of her classmates. "Jill" found out she was pregnant and told Mary that she couldn't tell her parents because they would have "a violent reaction." So Shocked tells her daughter to have "Jill" tell her violent parents anyway. "Jill" allegedly ends up beaten so badly that she is hospitalized and loses the baby.
Anyhow, Abby "believe" Shocked, and tells her she's not to blame. No one could have foreseen that parents whose daughter anticipates receiving a "violent reaction" would actually, you know, have a violent reaction. No one could have seen that coming. Oh, says, Abby, and by the way, "a year ago here in California, there was an attempt to legislate "parental notification" into law. Fortunately, it was voted down."
The timing of the story and Abby's reaction to it make me suspect that Abby knows the story is bullshit. It happened "recently" or "a few months ago" according to the letter writer. But oddly enough, it is being published on the last Friday in October, practically right before Californians vote on Prop 85, the parental notification initiative.
Lex is getting sick and tired of all the bullshit surrounding Prop 85.
If you are in favor of Prop 85 (http://yeson85.net/), you do not come out and say that you want parents to have the right to know what is going on, surgically, with their sexually active underaged daughters. That might not be compelling enough. Instead, you say that you don't want child molesters to have the right to conceal their crimes by taking their victims in for secret abortions. Oh puleaze.
Conversely, opponents of Prop 85 tell us that girls -- even if they are "almost 18" would be forced to carry their baby and face beatings or even murder at the hands of their meth-addicted ex-con fathers. This is utter crap.
Prop 85 expressly permits an abortion without parental notice under several conditions, including (i) the girl's doctor certifies that the abortion is necessary due to a medical emergency; (ii) the girl files a petition (anonymously, free, and with the assistance of the court and a free court-appointed guardian-ad-litem and court-appointed lawyer) in court and persuades a judge that she is mature and well-informed enough to decide to have an abortion; (iii) the court finds that notifying the parents is not in the best interests of the girl; or (iv) she files the petition and the judge does not rule immediately.
(f) Notice shall not be required under this Section if the attending physician certifies in the unemancipated minor's medical records the medical indications supporting the physician's good-faith clinical judgment that the abortion is necessary due to a medical emergency.
If the pregnant unemancipated minor elects not to permit notice to be given to a parent or guardian, she may file a petition with the juvenile court. If, pursuant to this subdivision, an unemancipated minor seeks to file a petition, the court shall assist the minor or person designated by the minor in preparing the documents required pursuant to this Section. The petition shall set forth with specificity the minor's reasons for the request. The court shall ensure that the minor's identity be kept confidential and that all court proceedings be sealed. No filing fee shall be required for filing a petition. The unemancipated minor shall appear personally in the proceedings in juvenile court and may appear on her own behalf or with counsel of her own choosing. The court shall, however, advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel upon request. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for her. The hearing shall be held by 5 p.m. on the second court day after filing the petition unless extended at the written request of the unemancipated minor, her guardian ad litem, or her counsel. If the guardian ad litem requests an extension, that extension may not be granted for more than one court day without the consent of the unemancipated minor or her counsel. The unemancipated minor shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the hearing on the petition. Judgment shall be entered within one court day of submission of the matter. The judge shall order a record of the evidence to be maintained, including the judge's written factual findings and legal conclusions supporting the decision.
(h) (1) If the judge finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the unemancipated minor is sufficiently mature and well-informed to decide whether to have an abortion, the judge shall authorize a waiver of notice of a parent or guardian.
(2) If the judge finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that notice to a parent or guardian is not in the best interests of the unemancipated minor, the judge shall authorize a waiver of notice. If the finding that notice to a parent or guardian is not in the best interests of the minor is based on evidence of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, the court shall ensure that such evidence is brought to the attention of the appropriate county child protective agency.
(i) If the judge fails to rule within the time period specified in subdivision (g) and no extension was requested and granted, the petition shall be deemed granted and the notice requirement shall be waived.
Under Abby's bullshit letter scenario, "Jill" would have likely been granted an exemption under the second and third exclusions, and Planned Parenthood would have given her a great pamphlet explaining exactly how to do it.
That, to your left, is my drug of choice. Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. Oh, Captain! My Captain! It can take the bland taste of an ice laden tub of Diet Coke and turn it into a flavorful soda that, in large enough quantities, can turn a stressed out lawyer into a giggling smart ass in about 30 minutes.
The best bargain prices on such a fine spirit are those on these 1750 ml bottles. They can sometimes be had on sale for under $20, but not often. Of course, there are always those who want the buzz, but lack the means to buy it, and they turn to theft.
That's why the grocery store puts those big black caps on the tops. You see, the big black tops make the alarm sound when you stuff the thing down your pants and walk out without paying. But, say, only about half of the bottles have that little black alarm cap. Wouldn't most thieves just decide to steal one of those instead? I asked the manager that. He didn't have an answer. Maybe it's a trade secret. Maybe it's just to freak out the already drunk guys and trick them into thinking that they'll never get away with the crime. He wouldn't say.
I happen to be a pretty good lie detector. Recently, I avoided a scam on eBay where some guy tried to buy over $400 of stuff from me, and his paypal account didn't seem right, so I investigated and found it was a high school boy from England using hacked paypal accounts to buy computer related toys on line. How? There was an obvious discrepancy in his emails and a pattern of speech that sounded evasive and dishonest to me.
When the liar is in front of you, you need to look for micro-expressions that come when a person is uncomfortable in speaking something that they do not agree with and do not like being forced to say. They can be anything from facial tics to stutters at the critical word to awkward stumbling pauses at the moment of untruth. See if you can spot any apparent microexpressions in this discussion between John Walsh and ex-Congressman Foley.
I saw headlines that actually posed the question of whether the world would end today, because the date is 06-06-06. This 6-6-6 combination has failed to end the world the last 20 times it came up, but that apparently doesn't soothe the headline writers' nerves. And, of course, it isn't really 6-6-6, it's more like 6-6-06, which is actually 5,940 digits away from the Beast's number. So it's stupid. It's a shame that anyone is wasting their time on this nonsense.
For me, June 6, 2006 is significant only because it is June 6. And on June 6, I always take a moment to remember the 150,000 men who stormed the beaches of France on D-Day. No one knows for sure, but some 10,000 or more men lost their lives that day, and another 100,000 or more probably felt certain that they would die, too, but they continued to fight. If you never saw Saving Private Ryan, you should. Every old-timer I've spoken to said the invasion scene at the beginning of the movie was the most accurate portrayal of war they had ever seen on film. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away before it came out, because I would love to have heard his take on it.
Anyhow, watch it if you get the chance, and thank God it was them and not you on those beaches. And give a little respect to the vets, rather than wasting time on devil parties and whatnot.
So we're driving down the freeway, and I see the license plate frame on the car in front of me. And it reads "You better be pulling my hair" at the bottom. Intrigued, I sort of tailgate closer so I can read the top, and when I get close enough to be dangerous, I see that it says "If you are riding my ass." Since I wasn't pulling anyone's hair, I backed off. When I pulled around, I was mildly relieved to see that it was a woman, but disappointed to see that she was ugly.
All afternoon, it rained. I think we got more rain today and tonight than all year to date before today. And in the cold rainy weather, we had the joy of keeping our office doors locked all day because one of the attorneys in our suite is dealing with a crazy client whom we all expect to show up and create a scene, or worse. Tomorrow with be a Glock-toting day for sure.
But what creeped me out the most today was the sight of this crazy shirtless dude, playing basketball by himself in the rain for more than two hours outside my office window. He wasn't a very good shot, and every time he made a basket, the wet net would hold the ball inside, and he'd have to pop it out from below. No one ever joined him. I would have quit after about 10 seconds in that weather, but this guy kept on going for hours. Then, for no apparent reason, he put his shirt back on, got into his car, and drove off.
Naturally, you don't see anybody in West Virginia talking about how the Lord was protecting those workers now. But you also don't hear people singing "How Badly Thou Doest Suck?" or anything like that. It's like God disappeared from the story immediately and completely.
Why do we assume that all good things are the work of the Lord, but no bad things are God's doing?
I don't understand why celebrities are so concerned about their privacy being invaded when they parade around naked outdoors. I don't want pictures of me naked circulating around the internet, so I try to limit my parading around naked to the inside of my house. If I knew cameras were following me all over the place, because I went out and made myself rich and famous, I'd be even more cautious. But not everybody thinks like me. That's why, for a short time, at least, these naked pictures of Jennifer Aniston are all over the web.
I suppose the argument can be made that even famous people have a right to walk around outside, naked, and not be bothered, especially in their own yards and such, but my advice to those people is to simply keep indoors or keep your damn clothes on.
If you have a Windows based PC, don't put any new Sony-BMG music CDs in it. To combat piracy, Sony has installed a malicious program for which current virus protection and spyware programs have no solution. The technology is called Rootkits. Once in your operating system, the program is a bitch to remove, even with Sony's patch. And hackers have already started exploiting the program in new and creative ways that threaten your computer if you have a Sony CD and an open DLS or cable connection. Several states, including California, have filed lawsuits against SONY-BMG over this program.
At least 49 titles were shipped with the malicious software. A partial list of the affected CDs includes the following:
Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia) Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic) Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia) Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia) Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia) Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia) Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia) The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia) Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia) Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic) Amerie, Touch (Columbia) Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic) Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy) Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy) Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy) The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia) The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic) Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy) Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
KROQ is hosting the 11th annual Almost Acoustic Christmas in December. We aren't that geeked about the lineup for night one (Korn, System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, Fallout Boy, Thrice, Rise Against and Avenged Sevenfold) but the lineup for night two (December 11) is awesome:
Depeche Mode Coldplay The White Stripes Jack Johnson The Bravery Death Cab for Cutie Hot Hot Heat and Nada Surf
Advanced ticket sales began today at 10:00 a.m. on Ticketmaster.com. You needed a password to get on. We had the password. We logged on when our clock struck 10:00:00. It said tickets were not yet available. We refreshed at 10:00:05. Same thing. At 10:00:15, we got in. We tried to buy two tickets, best available. The process took about 25 seconds. The computer gave us the bad news.
There were no tickets available that matched your request
There are several things you can try:
Change the quantity of tickets you are requesting.
If you selected a specific seat section, try switching to "Best Available".
If you are unable to find tickets, be sure to check back often. As the date of the event nears, often times a limited number of tickets may be released.
If you entered a promotional code, check that the code is valid for the ticket price and criteria you selected.
So we tried again with a request for just a single ticket. We got the same message. We looked at the clock. It was 10:01 a.m. So we'll be paying a fortune on eBay, dammit. So much for being a privileged, card-carrying member of the KROQ Street Team.
Now, don't get me wrong. I still think Joseph P. Smith did it and he should be walked out to the back of the courthouse and shot behind the left ear. But as long as we're paying his lawyer to defend him, the guy might as well go through the motions and make some arguments.
But Smith's lawyer decided not to even make a closing statement in his client's trial for the murder of Carlie Brucia. Allegedly, the strategy behind this move was to avoid having to bullshit the jury where the client is clearly guilty -- caught on tape grabbing her and caught again on tape confessing -- and have them lose all trust in the lawyer when he argues in the sentencing phase that Smith should be clothed and fed behind bars rather than put to sleep. But I don't like it.
Add this ugly bullshit to the long list of reasons I'm not that kind of lawyer.
Below is a picture of a bowl of my dog's food. It's an accident waiting to happen, because (a) we serve it to the dog in regular bowls, like those out of which we eat our breakfast cereals, and (b) because the dog likes to eat the little gold bones out of the bowl first, leaving behind the little brown pellets and the little tan pellets. And one of these days, I fear the contents of this bowl:
Will be confused with the contents of this bowl:
Granted, I should know the difference after just one bite, but I'd sure hate to walk into a dimly lit kitchen, after rolling in with three or four Captain Morgan's & Diet Cokes in my system, and walk past a bowl of tasty looking dog food bits that I confuse for chocolate and peanut butter puffs.
Do you ever listen in on conversations near you at the coffee shop? I do. And I hear some of the craziest things that way. A few days back, outside an airport coffee shop, I listened in as some black-coffee-drinking octogenarian, who was pissed off about getting one of those special SSSS "bend over and cough" searches, told his lady friend that "the world would be a much safer place if all the Jews disappeared overnight." She, not much better, laughed, and replied by saying "That wasn't a very Christian thing to say."
Wow. Now, I am not Jewish. I don't even have many Jewish friends (although two of my favorite friends are quite Jewish). I have never been to Israel and, to be honest, the story of the holocaust doesn't break my heart any more than any of the dozen or so shocking tales of genocide from the past century. But, wow. People really think that way? That is evil. Not only is that evil, it is also ignorant and stupid.
Strictly speaking, this bigot should limit his anger to the Israelis. Your average synagogue attendee in Brooklyn plays no great role in global political affairs. But he blames all of the Jews for the fact that we have to go through strict airport security and endure "Orange Alerts." In his mind, it is the fault of every living Jew that Muslim extremists want to kill Americans and Christians. But even if you believe his premise, his conclusion -- that the sudden passing of all living Jews would solve the problem -- is stupid, stupid, stupid.
Jews are everywhere on this planet. You can't just take up arms, commit genocide and be done with it. Weeding out the Jews without killing unintended non-Jewish victims would take something remarkable, even supernatural. So, what scenarios are feasible? I can think of just three:
(i) a nuclear war, asteroid or other disaster kills the entire human population. That would do it. Of course, this option would be bad for the coffee shop geezer, too. If we all die, then we're all dead, aren't we? And isn't that worse than an orange alert?
(ii) Y-hw-h sweeps all of the Jews to heaven, like Elijah. And we, the unchosen, would be looking up and asking, "How come we got left behind?" I'm sure the geezer wouldn't like that either.
(iii) Allah smites every last Jew on the Earth. Yes, but if Allah does that, it's a safe bet that all other non-Muslims (e.g, Christian geezers in airport coffee shops) will soon join them.
So, "be careful what you wish for, you old fool." Yeah, that's what I should have said. But instead, I kept my mouth shut and just raised my eyebrows unevenly while glaring at the guy.
This is hilarious. Some student has listed 47 really stupid "Things My Math Teacher Did Last Year" My 10 favorites, in numerical order, were:
7. Brought a rope to class and tried to hold it up to demonstrate different graphs rather then drawing them on the board. Complications arose when she realized that she only had two hands.
10. Told us that she offers extra credit points for every time you tell her about an "interesting" mistake you made on your homework. She also grants extra credit for not knowing how to do a problem and asking her how to do it. Since these assignments are not turned in, you are rewarded absolutely no points for knowing how to do all the problems and doing them all correctly.
26. Said that she might have invented the distributive property, but she wasn't really sure.
27. Some students lost points on their homework assignment for using logarithms to solve certain problems because she had not taught us that method yet. Other methods, such as guessing, were accepted.
29. Determined that 2000/400 was "probably" 5.
32. When the word asymptote comes up, she is the one who is quick to point out that it starts with "ass".
40. Told us that it's possible for a math problem to be its own grandma.
43. Said that Tuesday seemed like a "bizillion" years ago.
44. Told us that although we understood the problem, we'd probably get all confused again once we were further away from her aura.
47. When one student raised both their arms above their head to stretch, she asked the student if he had two questions.