Friday, November 30, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Only in Wisconsin...

For those of you who doubt how seriously we take cheese here in America's Dairyland, this story should clear things up for you:
Cousins fought over sandwich before death
Man charged in inmate death
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

MANITOWOC — A fight between cousins over a cheese sandwich at the Manitowoc County Jail left one inmate dead and another charged with murder, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.
(
Full story here)
I mean, what are the odds of there being two cousins in the same jail on "Cheese Sandwich Day?" That's like lottery-ticket odds. And, well, if you're going to serve a potential murder sentence over this, I'm thinking that must have been one hell of a damn good sandwich.

I think I may need to be jailed in Manitowoc in order to find this awesome concoction of cheese and bread.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/30/2007 06:02:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Exploding Neo-Cons?

I'm watching the news right now, and apparently, some nut with a bomb strapped to himself has taken hostages at Hillary Clinton's campaign office in New Hampshire...

Don't worry, I'm currently bored enough to waste time over some deranged, damaged lunatic. Hopefully, however, no one other than the freak lugging the explosives will get hurt. So far, my guess is that this man is either one of Hillary's many jilted lovers, or, most likely, a typically unhinged neo-con who bought into the deceptive McCarthy-esque rhetoric of Right-Wing pundits who brand the poor woman any number of vile, untrue things from Communist to baby killer.

Now, like Hillary or not, no one really deserves to be the victim of a terrorist, and yes. There is a part of me that really, really wants to point a finger squarely at FoxNews and the pseudo-Christians and say, "you've done this." However, obviously, much more information needs to come in before anyone can make that accusation. Plus, let's face it, the jilted lover angle could get a lot of play.

Still, who else other than a religious loon would strap a bomb to his or her chest?

This is not what normal people do. "Normal" people hang out on the internet reading blogs and message boards while laughing and saying things about killing Liberals and atheists.

As for me, I just hope some sniper puts a slug through this terrorist's vacuous little brainspace before he kills someone with his insanity.

Personally, I'd be a lousy hostage. There's a bit of a self-destructive side to me, and if it was just me and the crazy person, I'd probably spin myself into full smart-ass mode.

"Push the button, ya freak!"
"No. I need to spread my message."
"You think anyone cares about your message? Spread your liver on that wall over there."
"But, people need to know."
"No they don't. Trust me. They will forget about you by the end of the weekend."
"Why are you so mean?"
"I'm not the one with the bomb, asshole."

Yeah... Self-preservation has never been my strong point.



Oh hey! Speaking of FoxNews, I just danced my little channel changer over to that station, and they are saying that sharp-shooters are on the roof of the building in which the hostage take is.

Yeah. ON the roof. Directly beneath them are several layers of steel, wood, concrete and shag carpet.

I'm not an expert with guns and whatnots, but I'm pretty sure that standing on the roof of the building in which the person is hiding is not going to give you many clear shots.


Good news. The hostage taker has released a woman and, what I'm being lead to believe, her young daughter.

Way to go, buddy. Score those points.

Of course, this still isn't going to end very well for you.

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/30/2007 12:48:00 PM


If you'd like to keep up with this, you;ll have to hang out at my other blog since whatever updates I make there don't transfer over to here. 

Sorry about that, though.

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Playin' With Pain...

So, one of the things to come out of last night's game is not only a refreshed disdain for NFL referees who blew a few calls, but Brett Favre came up lame and spent much of the game on the sidelines settling into the uncomfortable role of cheerleader.

Essentially, what I've been able to gather is that Favre has one hell of a knock upon his funny bone which lead to some confused nerves in his million dollar throwing arm.

If you'd like to know how this feels, find yourself a ball-peen hammer and take a good solid whack at that odd little spot which drives everyone nuts when it is bonked. When I played football in high school, I got a knock on my funny bone in kind of a similar way, and I spent the next several day weeping like a little girl with skinned knees and a basket full of stolen biscuits (or cookies. Or heroin).

Now, most NFL players would start planning for a week off with that sort of injury. Brett Favre, on the other hand, will probably use his other hand for all his yard work and whatnots and be back in the lineup next Sunday. Or, at least it would if it wasn't for the other injury he suffered on the notoriously botched play: a separated shoulder.

I've had one of those too (yes. I played on a dreadful high school football team, and I got my ass kicked pretty much every Friday night in fall for three straight years).

A separated shoulder is kind of an odd injury. For example, mine didn't really hurt (unless someone got the bright idea to poke me there), but, for some odd reason, my hand sitting there at the end of my arm suddenly became too heavy for me to lift. So, ladies? If you find your hubby has a bit of a drinking problem, and you'd like him to stop, give him a couple of separated shoulders and watch as he just sits there staring at a bottle of beer that's suddenly become too heavy for him to lift.


Anyway, Brett Favre's injuries will lead to one of three things:

First, he may break his record streak of consecutive NFL games started. However, considering Favre, in his weird working-class mind, has this odd notion that, even after all these years, and the in spite of the countless accolades he's piled up in his seventeen years as a quarterback, he still believes that he's got to fight to keep his job.

Second, he may play and he may absolutely descend into the depths of a sheer and inescapable suckitude, the likes of which, humanity has not seen since Rob Schneider stopped making movies.

However, even in his wounded state, the potential amount of sucky suck being splattered around the turf will still not be 100% Brett Favre's fault. His offensive line will overplay in an attempt to protect their quarterback (a problem with which I am wholly unfamiliar, unfortunately). This will only lead to panic, blown assignments, haste, stupidity, cats having mad sex with dogs and god knows what else. Every Sunday, from here on out, could easily become a sort of gridiron armageddon with bodies and yellow laundry flying literally everywhere.

Then, there's the third thing which could potentially happen. And, when looking at Brett Farve's long career, it's clear that this is the most probable thing. He will play, and he will play phenomenal.

When it comes to playing with any sort of pain, Brett Favre is unique. He's played with more than most people can possibly handle. With the death of his father, the death of his brother-in-law, and any number of heartbreaks, he's played through more emotional distress than the band on the Titanic, and he played better than usual.

Aside from the emotional torment, Brett Favre has also played through more physical pain than most folks could comprehend. I've seen him coughing up blood on the goal line after taking a hit while running in for a touchdown, and his broken thumb with a screw sticking out of it lead to one of the best years of his career. His personal favorite story is pointing out that he had his wisdom teeth yanked with no anesthesia or pain medication whatsoever, and shortly after the violent and painful extraction of those molars where most people would be rolling on the sofa wrapped in the warm fuzzy blanket of an opiate-induced haze, Brett Favre was probably putting a new roof on his house, splitting wood, or getting kicked in the giblets by a bull moose. The list of injuries he's played through simply goes on and on, extending through the Hall of Fame and straight into football lore. Quarterbacks suck as Payton Manning or Tom Brady can put up unbelievable numbers, but I wonder if they could put those numbers up under the same conditions Favre has had to deal with?

And that's the thing. A wounded Brett Favre is a very dangerous Brett Favre, and I have a feeling the numbers and statistics he's going to be putting up in the twilight of the 2007-08 season will lead fans, sportswriters, and even players on opposing teams to simply stop and watch with mouths gaping as he plays through more pain than most people can handle. The man is an inspiration to many, and I think should he take the field next Sunday, his teammates will rally around him, and no matter how beat up they get, they will take chances and they will find a way

Oh yeah... He also does all this with absolutely no pain medication whatsoever. That's, umm... crazy.


Now, I will rant for a moment...

Personally, I wish a was a little more like Favre. Since my infusion has been cancelled due to the corruption, inhumanity and greed of my insurance provider, I'm in a fuckload of arthritic pain and misery. Last night, I got two hours of sleep before waking up with a knee that, rather than function as a knee would, just sort of sat in the middle of my leg screaming with an insane stabbing ache. Then the toes started hurting, followed by the fingers, and, finally, the realization that the sleeping aid that is my bottle of whiskey was down a gruesome number of stairs from me, all I could do was put a pillow over my face in the hopes of starving my brain from the oxygen which was keeping me painfully awake.

It didn't work though. So, I made coffee and gawked at the TV and prepped myself for what will be a very long and heartbreaking stretch of painful inactivity until someone with a medical degree can tell me what to do next which is in accordance with some ass-sucking insurance suit somewhere.

So, yeah. Unfortunately, for me, things will get worse over the next month. First, the arthritis will flare and flare, sucking whatever energy and concentration I have as my body betrays itself and painfully gnaws upon whatever soft tissue I have left until it's no more. Then, while that's going on, the skin will start blazing with burning spots as the psoriasis once again rages back to cover 70-90% of my body with bloody, itchy welts beneath piles of dead skin.

Sure, the doctors tell me that I need this treatment, and it's very important I get this treatment. It's the key to that locked door before me that is a "normal, productive life." However, some brainless, inhumane, apathetic pile of toad shit with a name-tag has decided that, regardless of what more than twenty well-educated physicians say, I really don't need this treatment as it is a waste of their precious money.

Welcome to American health care. Indeed, to quote Obi Wan, "you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." If you get chronically ill in America, trust me, you're better off dead than to descend into the interminable hell of greed and corruption of this poorer-than-Third-World system. And, this disease I have will gut your life and leave you scrambling to make sense of the crumbling walls around you as you bleed yourself dry financially, emotionally and physically. It's chronic, and I don't care how great you think your insurance is or how safe and protected you feel you are, trust me; either your rates will sky-rocket to the point where food becomes a luxury beyond your means, or they will drop you once they realize that cash is gone and the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't exist.

Now, the miracle cures are out there. I've seen the commercials with the happy people beaming and remarking on their happy, normal lives. Of course, I'd be happy if they were all overcome by a horde of rabid badgers to have their faces chewed off in a bloody rampage. But, I apparently have strange definitions of happy.

So, where am I?

I'm idle, dangling in some sort of bizarre medical-insurance limbo while doctors with the cure are not allowed to prescribe the cure. But, I don't feel sorry for the doctors. They have turned into a collection of gutless whores whose ambivalence and spinelessness has inevitably lead to increased pain, suffering and death of patients they half-heartedly took an oath to protect.

In other words: "Do no harm" only when the insurance companies tell you that you can. Otherwise, fuck 'em.

Pretty much the only certainty for me right now is that I will end this year in a blistering rage. I don't mind since I've been through this nonsense more times than I can count. I had a nice year while I was on these infusions. I had fun. Unfortunately, I'm simply left to scratch my head as people feed me bullshit reasons to justify their greed and corruption...

Ah well... I'm going to go sulk.

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/30/2007 10:07:00 AM

Thursday, November 29, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Storm Watch?

Hmm... Apparently, the little squirrels who sit at computers and scratch their heads as they try to figure out the weather have decided to put Wisconsin under a rather vague, but ominous sounding, "Winter Storm Watch."

For Saturday...

Today's Thursday...

In Wisconsin...

The weather here will change at least a half a dozen times between now and then. They could have simply issued a "winter storm watch winter storm watch" so that we would maybe know the possibly of them issuing a winter storm watch exists, but it's not exactly a sure thing. In other words, watch out for that watch.

To make matters worse, Saturday is December, and today is still November. So, they're issuing a watch for next freakin' month, and it's hurting my head.


In other news, the Packers are playing the Cowboys in what is being hyped as one of the biggest games of the year. Unfortunately, a lot of people won't be able to watch this big game since the cable companies are still bickering with the unbearably useless station that is the NFL Network. Yes. It's a station devoted to nothing other than American football.

I'll let that sink in...

Football... 24 hours a freakin' day...

Keep in mind that football is usually played only on Sundays and Monday nights (with the occasional Thursday tossed in). So, what the hell does a network devoted to the National Football League show on the majority of days of the week days when football isn't being played?

Hell if I know. Maybe they spend their off-hours selling Brett Favre Hummel figurines and crocheted Miami Dolphin tea-cozies?

The funny thing is, a buddy of mine recently sat down and figured out how much it would cost him to get the NFL Network just so he could watch this game, and he soon came to the realization that it would be cheaper for him to buy a plane ticket, take off work, fly to Dallas, get a hotel room, buy a ticket to the game and watch it in Dallas than it would cost for him to dump his cable TV, install a satellite and pay for a channel which he would only watch one day out of the whole year.

Fortunately, the game is being broadcast in Wisconsin on the local channels as a result of some sort of contract signed in a dark room somewhere with sweaty men smoking cigars and speaking Russian for all I know. I don't care how many fingernails had to be yanked out orknee-caps shattered, I just know I'm watching the damn game tonight, and that makes me happy.


In other other news, tomorrow is another infusion for me, so I don't really know whether or not I'll be posting anything, but I will try.

I'm usually pretty wanked out after these things, but sometimes I find a second sort of wind, and as these words throw themselves against the walls of my skull and scream to get out, sometimes that urge to sit just and type and write about whatever's on my mind is too great to avoid. So, you never know, I guess. Just, you know, don't get worried if you don't hear from me. I'm probably sprawled in bed developing a deeper relationship with my pillow.

So, if nothing else, I'll see you all Saturday when I plan to inevitably give in to your interrogation! So, you've still got plenty of time to Ask me Anything. Have fun.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/29/2007 03:01:00 PM

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] DONE!

Gads...

The second book I've ever written in my life is now finished. Well... Actually, I suppose it could use a little tweaking here and there, and I need to plow through it with a nice fine-toothed comb to ferret out whatever mistakes, inconsistencies, and outright displays of my own literary ineptitude are beaming from the myriad of pages. However, for all intents and purposes, the damn thing's done, and now I've got to get busy writing the next one (it's kind of a lather, rinse, repeat sort of philosophy I'm dealing with here).

It's a little strange, and I've always had a bit of a problem reading my own work with any sort of impartial, editorial eye. I have a huge problem when it comes to assuming things. For example, I'll get halfway through writing a sentence, and this annoying little chirp begins telling me that what I'm writing is not worth writing since everyone already knows what I'm trying to say, and I value the lives of my readers so much that I wouldn't waste a precious second of their time telling them things they already know.

See? I can do neurotic, people. I can do it very well.

There's also the constant, steady hum of doubt buzzing in my head as though it were a hailstorm upon my windowpanes. When I write something, it's never good. So, as you can imagine, when it comes time to pick through it, things can get a little frustrating. In fact, earlier, I poured through the first chapter, and though I believe in my heart that it's a damn fine piece of work, there's also a nagging little voice questioning whether or not what I've written is anywhere good enough.

Then again, it's always a little odd trying to define something such as this as good or not based solely upon my own silly notions. Trust me. There's probably a billion things out there which I consider good that would cause most people to scrunch up their faces. Spam. Anchovies. Cheese in a can. They're all good to me.

Now, getting the thing published?

That's a whole different kettle of fish. But, considering that I wrote this novel with the intention of eventually getting it published somewhere, I suppose that, in time, it will be. And, you reading this will most likely be among the first to know once that happens. For the record though, I'm not in that big of a hurry. It's just dandy to be at this point.

So, I'm giving myself a happy pat on the back atthe moment. Of course, I'm certain all that will change when I wake up tomorrow morning and realize that I've got a mountain of editing and rewriting to take care of, and thus, I'll probably be a bitter little maniac once again when I see that even though I am finished, I'm still not finished.

Grr...

Now I know why writers drink so much.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/28/2007 08:12:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Writing Free...


Let's see... I think I remember something from college about how freewriting is supposed to help those occasionally stuck brains. I'm not sure if it really works, but if it gets my gray-matter percolating, I suppose it can't be a bad thing.

Anyway, today the doctor called to let me know that I can expect to be sick, on-and-off, with this pointless cold bug for about two-and-a-half weeks. And, apparently, I'm not to be surprised should I break out in some sort of rash while my immune system dukes it out with this little virus.

A rash?

I... can't... make... the... connection.

What the hell is this? A cold, or scarlet freakin' fever?

Wait a minute... What's this?

Why, it's an email from someone named "Henry."
Dear friend,

Sorry for intruding into your privacy, I am a 55 years old man and a British citizen currently living in Kuwait.

I am an Oil merchant and owned Oil businesses in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. I was married with two children and my wife and two children died in a car accident six years ago.
Well, that's just bad luck, Henry. I mean, you dig up the oil, the oil gets turned into gas, the gas goes into your wife's car, and... well... Try not to beat yourself up too hard, okay?
Two years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and this week my doctors have just informed me that i have few months to live.

Before this happened my business and concern for making money was all I lived for. I never really cared about other values in life.
Do you read a lot of Joyce? This seems somewhat familiar to me. Maybe it's Dickens? It's been a while.
But since the loss of my family and after i was dianosed with prostate cancer,i have found a new desire to assist helpless families. I have been helping charity organisations by donating money to them to assist the less priviledge in Asia and other parts of the world.
Helpless?!? Let 'em rot.
Before I became ill, I kept some money, three and a half million dollars ($3.5million) to be precise in a long term deposit account in a private finance institution in europe.
That's it?!? 3.5 million? I don't get out of bed for anything less than five million, Henry. I've got so much money tied up in Baghdad, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and various European lotteries that $3.5 million isn't worth my time, man. Check my email. Unlike you, I'm a lucky, lucky man.
Presently, I am in a hospital and my doctor says i have few months to live, and it is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations
Yes.. yes... I've heard this already. For someone with only a few months left to live, you'd think you'd want to streamline things and cut out the repetition. The clock's ticking here Hank.
Because so much of my wealth has been plundered by relatives and friends since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.
Huge? I can't even buy a decent house with a pool and a view in Los Angeles with that pittance you're trying to shovel on me. Carrot Top's house is probably worth more than $3.5 million.
I want you to assist me collect the funds from the finance company in europe and distribute it amongst charity organizations. Use your judgment to distribute the money and keep 10% of it to yourself. Feel free to reimburse yourself when you have the money for any cost you incur during the process of collecting and distributing the money to charity organizations.
Wait. It's a scrawny sum of $3.5 million, and I can't even keep it all myself?!? Dude. I have three times that much that I'm trying to get out of Nigeria alone, and this just isn't worth my time. But, you know, I'll ask around to see if anyone is interested in helping you. But, I hate to break it to you, my kind tends to frown upon the lower classes who only have a paltry $3.5 million to wave around.
May you be blessed for your good deed.

Get back to me immediately so we can proceed and keep my contact with you confidential as i do not want my family to know that i am giving my fund away to charity.
Ooops... If you're a member of Henry's family, and you're reading this, please forget you saw anything. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Best regards,

Henry
See ya Hank! I suggest you take your money and buy a gun.



I love my email...

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/28/2007 02:15:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Begun, the War on Christmas, has...


Oy... I was just reading another whimperfest from my favorite little tear-soaked sack of crap, Dinesh D'Souza, about the "evil atheist conspiracy" and the War on Christmasâ„¢.
Somehow it's okay to give Christians the finger. Christians are expected to be tolerant of others but others are not expected to be tolerant of Christians. I grew up in India where Christians are in the minority. Hindus and Muslims greatly outnumber Christians, and the main holidays are the Hindu festival Divali and the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. As a Christian I wouldn't dream of demanding that stores in India remove their Divali lanterns because they don't reflect my religious customs. How ridiculous would that be? Yet precisely such narrow-minded, prejudicial sentiments are responsible for the movements to ban Christian symbols in America on the occasion of Christ's birthday.

Christians bear some responsibility of letting this nonsense get so out of hand. The solution: Christians need to stop believing the atheist con. There is nothing in the Constitution or in the founding that mandates a public square monopolized by atheists and secularists. It's time to tell the ACLU to go to hell. Stop patronizing stores that outlaw Christmas, and to make your purchases at stores that aren't afraid to say "Merry Christmas."
Now, I'm not going to beat up on Christians here, save to say that "Christiansâ„¢" such as D'Souza could stand to learn a thing or two about respect, and how squealing and stomping your little feet while demanding special rights isn't really going to earn you a heck of a lot of respect. In fact, it'll get you thoroughly laughed at in most circles.

The thing is, this whole "War on Christmasâ„¢" nonsense is actually a sham created to inspire the appropriate feelings of persecution so as to justify those calls which amount to nothing more than a child tugging on apron strings squeaking "pay attention to me" over and over again.In short, Christiansâ„¢ want to feel persecuted, and they're good at it. Any attention, even scorn, is seen as a positive thing in the eyes of these potatoheads.

Unfortunately, the real reason why stores say "Happy Holidays" as opposed to "Merry Christmas" is simply to make their establishments friendly and appealing to those who don't share the Christian belief, yet want to take part in the holiday this time of year (Yes. Even those Muslims). To those shoppers, it's a commercial holiday no different from Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day, or even Secretaries' Day.

In other words, the stores want to encourage selling things to everyone, not just Christians, this time of year. That's it.

Aside from that, here's a little bit that really seems a little spooky:
The solution: Christians need to stop believing the atheist con. There is nothing in the Constitution or in the founding that mandates a public square monopolized by atheists and secularists. It's time to tell the ACLU to go to hell.
Now, that's tolerance for you. D'Souza's pissing on the First Amendment while demanding that his perverted brand of Christianityâ„¢ be endorsed and encouraged by the State while the beliefs of his fellow citizens are disrespected and ignored. He's essentially saying, "I'm Christianâ„¢! I don't care about your beliefs. Mine are to be respected at all costs."

Anyway, you see, it's Christiansâ„¢ such as this rattling, little whelp D'Souza that I could never respect. He wants his beliefs to supersede the beliefs of his fellow Americans. Yet, he fails to comprehend that by doing so, he's showing that doesn't care about your beliefs. He only cares about his. And, in the tattered little mind of Dinesh D'Souza, that's what he considers to be an example of tolerance. Respect his beliefs while he pisses on those of everyone else.

Next, Dinesh will be telling people that only Christiansâ„¢ are allowed to exchange gifts this time of year, and if you're not a Christianâ„¢, you can't celebrate this holiday.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/28/2007 12:50:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Suddenly, I Miss My College Days...

This story cracks me up.
Moose is beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Bull moose strung with lights and tipsy on crab apples By JULIA O'MALLEY
jomalley@adn.com Published: November 28, 2007
Last Modified: November 28, 2007 at 08:03 AM

What do you call a bull moose tangled in Christmas lights and drunk on fermented crab apples, standing glassy-eyed and dizzy in the front yard of a downtown bar?

Buzzwinkle?

But seriously, the juiced moose had certainly seen better days than Tuesday, when he became a bewildered tourist attraction, parked in the courtyard of Bernie's Bungalow Lounge as shoppers clicked by with their Nordstrom bags.

"He just has this goofy look on his face," said Rick Sinnott, a Fish and Game biologist who came to check on him and guessed he'd probably eaten too many crab apples from an old tree in Bernie's yard.

"He's either drunk or in gastric distress." (Link to full story)
I've been there, Buzzwinkle. I really don't envy you for the blinking, pounding head you'll have in the morning.

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/28/2007 12:32:00 PM

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Not All Bad...

One of the really cool things about being mind-bendingly sick would have to be those wild ass dreams a person has when running a reasonably high fever. And, over the last couple of days as this ick and illness has tortured my battered little immune system, I've had some doozies. I swear, they almost make me not want to get out of bed.

I think my current favorite dream (well... sorta dream) came early Sunday morning as I was floundering around in that gray area between full blown slumber and functional consciousness. In other words, I was only slightly awake, and my brain was sparking about as effectively as a Buick station-wagon from the Seventies.

The cool thing, though, is that in this stage, I had this sort of weird feeling that I was sleeping beneath a pile of roofing shingles and old cymbals from someone's drum-set. And, for some strange reason, every time I rolled this way or that in search of comfort beneath this mountain of detritus, the "noise" my moving made really started to piss me off, and I found myself wondering what the hell I was thinking when I chose to sleep beneath this pile of crap?

You went to college, Dan! You should know better than to sleep under these conditions. Watch out for nails, though.

So, my mind grappled with that nonsense for what seemed like a day and a half as I threw myself from one end of the mattress to the other to the point of making myself dizzy.

Eventually, I woke up, and the world started to make at least a little more sense.

Aside from that, though, I am starting to feel somewhat better. I suppose that's good, but I am going to miss those really weird dreams.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/27/2007 11:00:00 AM

Saturday, November 24, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I Have Mud in My Head!

So, I am sick today, and I figure that since I feel like the men's room floor of a Czech oil refinery, I'm going back to sleep.

However, before I wander off into the great fog of creeping death, I think this would be a good time to once again encourage you to Ask Me Anything.

It's pretty simple, really. In the comment section of this blog (or my AOL Journal) think of any old question, and ask it --the sillier the better. I will then answer them in a few days (maybe a week). You may get a serious answer, but odds are, you might get something equally silly. It's a mood thing, people. I never know these sorts of things in advance.

So, fire up those brain cells and think of something to ask me while I'm clinging to life.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/24/2007 12:28:00 PM

Friday, November 23, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Never Trust a Cow...

Umm...
Shooter Says He Mistook Cow for Coyote
AP Posted: 2007-11-22 19:27:23

COLFAX TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A man says he shot and killed a neighbor's cow after mistaking it for a coyote.

Authorities and the owner are skeptical.

The undersheriff in northern Michigan's Benzie County says he doesn't see how anyone could confuse a 1,400-pound, pregnant cow with a coyote, which typically weighs 20 to 45 pounds. (full story)

Now, in the interest of full-disclosure, I should say that I have what you could call a love/hate relationship with cows. I love them on plates and buns, and I hate seeing them politicized by the various molar-grinding crowds who say things like "Dan? Tofu can taste like steak. And, tofu isn't murder."

Anyway, on the surface, it seems a little odd that someone would gun down a perfectly innocent cow such as this, but if you've ever spent any time around cattle, you know that they can be tricky. I think there's a pretty good chance this cow (alias: "Hannah") was sneaking around acting like a coyote, and considering that, I can see how this poor guy could be confused.

After all, does anyone really truly know what it is that cows do in their off hours?

They could be sitting around sipping lattes and writing novels for all we know.

I'm certain there's more to this story, and you can trust me to keep you abreast of any further information as it comes in.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/23/2007 06:25:00 AM

Thursday, November 22, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Happy Happy!

First, Happy Birthday, Dawn! You rascal!

I don't know if any of you watched House last Tuesday, but for the first time ever, it actually was Lupus.

Coincidence?

I think not!

Secondly, to the my American readers, I do hope you are all well and wonderful as you celebrate this Thanksgiving. We got a load of snow here last night, so it at least looks like a holiday, and that will certainly help make with the whole ambiance of gather together with this clutch of family members I find here today. It's like a school of fish as this mob just seems to be floating between the living room television, the dining room and the kitchen.

And, finally, to all my non-American readers, Happy Thursday. If you'd like, you're obviously more than welcome to eat a little more than usual today. I won't judge. Eat, drink and be merry!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/22/2007 12:51:00 PM

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Yet Another Tasering.

This madness is getting scary, I think.


Seriously, you've only got to watch about two or three minutes of this video to get to the point where you can once again witness yet another gung-ho, taser-happy police officer (this time in Utah) commit what is becoming an all-too-typical abuse.

Now, I hate to say it, but with the sky-rocketing number of incidents of this sort of brutality, police are only going to be creating a much more harmful situation for themselves and the overall public. Eventually, an officer in this sort of circumstance is going to pull out a taser when it clearly isn't necessary, and the speeder or protester or common citizen on the street is going to pull out a gun to defend his or herself from being tasered for what they believe is no reason whatsoever.

I think this issue is only going to get worse unless someone somewhere enacts some sort of protocol for using this weapon.

It's one thing to use a taser to subdue a dangerous criminal for running and trying to avoid capture. However, it's a whole different issue to use it on a person who, for whatever reason, is refusing to sign a simple speeding ticket, is confused in an airport, or is simply voicing an opinion.
So, how do we go about fixing this steadily-growing problem?

Discuss, if you please. I am curious to know your thoughts, after all.

-Dan

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/21/2007 05:30:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] That's a Mighty Big Scorpion!



This story freaks me out.

Seriously, folks. There's really only one thing a scorpion of that size can do.

Just one thing.

And that is, of course, Rock you!

Rock you like a hurricane!


No?

Don't look at me like that!

Stop it. I hear your groaning.

Fine. I'm taking my bat and ball and going home now...

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/21/2007 12:12:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Thanksgiving Wisdom...

Neat. According to my Statcounter gizmo, a lot of folks are dropping by this blog as a result of searching using the term "Thanksgiving Wisdom." Unfortunately, I don't seem to have a whole heap of Thanksgiving Wisdom to share, but if you're looking for cooking tips, I suggest dropping in on Ruhlman's blog for handy little pointers to make your whirling through the kitchen somewhat more controlled.

After that, here's a link to manly ways to cook turkey. (Some terrify even me, and it's not often that I find myself afraid of food.)

If you're looking for an interesting side-dish to serve with your turkey, Paul's most likely got you covered with his Sorta-Thai Spicy Stir-Fried Zucchini (unfortunately, by law, I can not call this a Thanksgiving recipe since Paul's Canadian, and I think his Thanksgiving was last month or something like that).

Let's see... What other "wisdom" do I have to share for Thanksgiving... Hmm...
  • Don't invite the drunk uncle that everyone wants to avoid.
  • If you find your in-laws getting out of hand, do not be afraid to call the police.
  • Pepper-spray can be considered a holiday seasoning if --and only if-- the aforementioned drunk uncle and in-laws find themselves having a hard time finding the door after midnight.
  • If you've got unruly children at the folding table in the living room, this is best solved by carrying the table into either the front or back yard. Then, lock the doors.
  • Pets will spare your valuable and expensive kitchen disposal unit unnecessary wear and tear (the garbage collectors will also thank you).
  • Hand-held Tasers are great for getting sleeping relatives out of one's favorite chair.
  • Buy a mop. A good mop. You'll thank me.
  • See above. Replace the word "mop" with the word "shotgun." Sometimes, when all else fails, a warning shot is needed.
  • Don't open Christmas presents. Save them for a month. You'll appreciate it more.
  • Don't make drunken plans to go shopping at three in the freakin' morning the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Neverunderestimate the value and awesome power of a green-bean, mushroom-soup casserole with French-fried onions on top. In fact, put in the freezer for an hour, and tell the people at the folding table in the yard that it's dessert.
  • When cooking your turkey, a strategic use of aluminum foil is often quite miraculous so long as you imagine your turkey needs to be dressed like Wonder Woman.
  • The shopping. Don't do it. Stay in bed. Shop online if you have to. But, dear god, drunk or sober, do not go out. It's like Zombie-town, and your chainsaw's out of gas and your gun's empty. There's really only one place to go if you do need to go out: The Pub!
  • Finally, make sure you all have a wonderful time, and try to save me some pie, okay?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/21/2007 11:23:00 AM

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] School Prayer.

I promise (I hope). This should be my last religious based rambling for a while. But, religious loons have, for whatever reason, been on my mind lately. I think it probably has something with watching these political candidates stump along their campaign trails where just about every other word out of their heads is some testament to their morality and apparent religious convictions. I tend to just stop and think "How did this nation get so screwed up with these heretics and madmen?"

Anyway, if you ever read anything about school prayer, or should you find yourself even in a cursory conversation about school prayer, do yourselves a big favor and read this very amazingly written essay regarding the history of school prayer, and why it deserves to rightly be banned from our public schools. Its' a long read, but it's a very good read.
And, it's a little horrifying as well:
"In 1859 an 11-year-old Catholic boy named Thomas Whall refused to read the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments during his weekly required exercises at a Boston public school, so assistant principal McLaurin F. Cooke whipped the boy’s hands with a three-foot-long rattan stick, pausing occasionally to give him a chance to begin his recitations. The beating continued for 30 minutes, with the boy’s classmates shouting at him not to give in, but the pain and the blood were too much and he finally relented and agreed to read as instructed. The Whall family lodged a criminal complaint, but the judge said that the Bible exercises were required by law so that young children could learn “humanity, and a universal benevolence, sobriety, moderation and temperance.” Complaint dismissed."
There are far too many reasons for banning school prayer than I can cover, but so many times I hear people rattling on about this, and it's clear they (or their pastors, or both) neglect to fully study and understand the tremendous mountain of history behind this issue.

Anyway, if you've got the time, give it a read. I think you'll really enjoy it, and you may just learn a very important thing or two. I was kind of surprised to learn that the excusal doctrine (that if a child doesn't want to pray in class, he or she can step outside) could be seen as unconstitutional itself. That pretty much lays waste to perhaps 90% of the arguments I've heard in favor of school prayer.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/20/2007 10:06:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] That's Some Odd Math, Jimmy Dean...

Here's a funny snip of audio from the complaint department of Jimmy Dean Sausage.

I've tried to do the math myself, and I still have yet to see how it is possible to feed 600 lbs. of Texan with 12 oz. of sausage.

It's a real head scratcher.


Warning The language in the audio link may be funny, but it is at times not safe for work. Angry Texans are not one to hold their tongues.




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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/20/2007 03:55:00 PM

Monday, November 19, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I See the Future...



Take an eight-year-old child, give that child a piece of paper, tell him or her to make a laptop, and be amazed and amused by the results.

Here's a collection of photos of just such drawings, and I have to say, I wish my laptop had a "Kitten" button, a "14" key and, most importantly, a "Food" button. Oh, the convenience of a food button! I can't even imagine how awesome that would be.

(via metafilter)

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/19/2007 02:55:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Oh, For F*k's Sake...

You're shitting me, right?

I mean, this has got to be some sort of joke.
If the war-on-Christmas crowd asks us to put Christ back into Christmas, these Thanksgiving religionists urge us to celebrate Thanksgiving with the emphasis on thanking God. But complaints about a secularized Thanksgiving are even less convincing than the outcry over Christmas.
Yes. If you thought the "War on Christmas" was silly, here's a cause for the real crazy neo-fascist Christian to latch onto: It's the "War on Thanksgiving."
In Christianity Today's Leadership Journal, Eric Reed decried a "thankless society" that has forgotten the holiday's putative religious significance. R. Albert Mohler Jr. of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary called the secular vision of Thanksgiving "empty and false" on the Washington Post religion blog, On Faith.
Mind-blowing, eh?

Here's what I would like to ask these silly, wonked-out, fundy-folks who demand that Thanksgiving should be treated as a religious holiday:

Do non-American Christians celebrate Thanksgiving in other parts of the world?

No. So, why should anyone believe it to be a religious holiday?

I suppose the beautiful irony in all of this is that the Pilgrims loaded up their boat and headed West in pursuit of a religious freedom which many of today's screechy, stone-headed Christians actively seek to take away.

Now, I have no problem if people want to thank their god(s) on Thanksgiving. If you believe that brings more meaning and relevance to the holiday, knock yourselves out. But, do make sure you show the proper amount of respect for other beliefs in this free nation, and try not to consider the holiday of others who don't share your mythology "empty and meaningless" for your own arrogant, spiritual ego-stroking. After all, so long as I'm free to believe as I damn well wish and spend my holiday with family and friends who share that simple --yet valuable-- freedom, my Thanksgiving will hardly be meaningless or empty.

Gyaagh! Is this how the Taliban got started?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/19/2007 10:04:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Little Rain...

Now, you all know the drill: Bowling balls, cement mixer, spin-spin, OUCH!

Normally, that wouldn't be so bad, but I've got a heap of crap to get done. So, I'm just going to growl and state that this Monday is dead to me.

Do you hear that, Monday?

Dead, I tell you. I don't want to deal with your static, nonsense and noise until next week. If you've got a problem with that, take it up with Tuesday. I'm off to bed.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/19/2007 09:54:00 AM

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Funky, Funky Gallo!

Here's some more music madness since I'm plowing around YouTube today. By the way, "chi-chi-chi-richi" (pronounced "chee-chee-chee-reechee") is sort of the Italian translation of cock-a-doodle-do.




I love Zucchero. The guy's put together some pretty damn amazing music over the years. For example, I think I've long established (well, established since 1990-something) that, should the fateful day come where I find myself ever getting married, I'm pretty certain his song "Cosi Celeste" will be playing at some point during that fiasco (here's the official video for the tune, but I like his version with Pavarotti a little better). Then again, maybe "Pane e Sale" or "Menta e Rosmarino." I suppose even "Miserere" would work. (Unfortunately, I can't find the song "My Love" anywhere, but if you can dig it up, it's worth listening to as well.)

The funny thing is, I don't speak Italian well enough to really understand a damn thing, but, as a music teacher of mine once pointed out ages ago, sometimes not understanding the language in which they're singing makes it considerably easier to appreciate not only their voice as an instrument, but how it fits into the music as a whole. Unfortunately, the song in the video above is not a testament to that. But hey! It's fun, at least.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/16/2007 11:48:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Little Friday Miscellaneous Music...

Enjoy... I think.




Unfortunately, this song's probably going to be in my head all weekend. I don't know if that's good or bad yet. I'll just have to let you know.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/16/2007 09:12:00 AM

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Beaten...

Howdy. I spent the day in Madison, WI catching up with some old chums who I've not seen in quite a while, and right now, I am beat like a rented mule with a knotted tow-rope.

Must... sleep... now...

How was your day?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/14/2007 10:48:00 PM

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Karen Cheng is, Quite Possibly, the Smartes...

I like this little trick to helping make a relationship work.

We reflected that it’s been a year since we employed our babysitter so that we could have some time away from the kids.

What have we been doing every week for the past year?

Sometimes we eat out, sit in a cafe, or hang out at our favourite places. Sometimes we might meet up with friends, go see a play, or an art event. Having that regular time slot, forces us to do a bit of planning, which is great because it’s so easy to fall into a too-lazy or too-tired-to-do-anything-state-of-mind.

Never underestimate the value of just doing simple, little things as a couple. Even if you're a couple without kids, I think this is a great idea. Sometimes, it's almost too easy for couples to fall into a comfortable, but inevitably frustrating, rut where today is exactly like yesterday, and it will most likely be the same thing tomorrow. I think that sort of tedium can kill a relationship.

Perhaps the only thing I'd add to this idea of a "Weekly Date Night" would be to alternate who plans the date every week. To me, that just seems like more fun, and if you don't like what your partner picks, well... deal with it and suffer through it. It's only one night a week, and it will go long way in sending the message that the other person's likes are important to you.

Ah well... I just wanted to share this with you all. We here at the Wisdumb like to see happy people with happy families. So, get out there and date --especially if you're married.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/13/2007 11:51:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Casting my Beans...



Hey! It's an election year.

As a result of that, I've been wrestling with whom it is that I would like to support to be the next President of the United States.

It's a tough decision, and as this last administration has shown us, it must be made carefully lest we all run the risk of winding up in some sort of pseudo-dictatorial regime where our certain "inalienable rights" have become a mere convenience to be dismantled or taken away by a wannabe Kaiser with delusions of mad grandeur.

Anyway, I've narrowed it down to two choices. It wasn't easy, and I spent a great deal of time tossing and turning last night when I should have been doing more important things like sleeping. But, this is America, dammit. And, America is at war.

My first candidate, as you can see by the picture, is Robocop.

Why? You ask.

Well, he's pretty much bulletproof, fireproof, bombproof, he's got a big freakin' gun and a hard-drive preloaded with all sorts of American values software. He's nice to hookers, yet pushes the rights of criminals to the breaking point while staying safely within the limits of his police brutality programming. Plus, Robocop laughs at Reaganomics.

Where does Robocop stand on healthcare?

I'm not entirely sure. I think so long as you're not a bad guy, you'd stand a pretty good chance of making it to the hospital.

As for the unending War on Terror, I think you definitely need a leader such as Robocop to stand bravely at the front lines gunning down the nasties like a leader should. I mean, let's face it, what do you think the odds are that G-Dub would trouble himself to actually hangout in a Hummer on a routine patrol for IED's?

I'd say slim, at best.

Now, Robocop, on the other hand, would eat IED's for breakfast out and crap out freedom and democracy by lunchtime.

I think the only knock against Robocop as president would be his public speaking abilities, and i can't imagine any press conference going well. Of course, that's hardly any different from what we're face with now. Still, though, Robocop has a big freakin' gun, and I think there'd be a rather high turnover rate for employment at Fox News. Robocop doesn't like ass-kissers, and let's face it, Rupert Murdock is pretty much shoulder deep in the GOP backside at this point in time.

Now, as awesome and effective as Robocop would be, I'm torn. I mean, the current GOP Administration is a disaster with it's threateningly theocratic notions. Religion is not the answer for our government, and I think the easiest way to remedy this increasingly faith-based drivel would be to elect my next choice for President of these United States of America: Dalek Sec and his mates from the Cult of Skaro.

You want to spread democracy across the planet, but this current dependence upon the domino-effect has you a little miffed?

Trust me, who better to spread our ruthless American ideology around the world than the Daleks? The terrorists are relying on this whole notion of "convert or die," and, as we can all see, that's not exactly working for them now is it. How about we counter their less-than-ambitious directive with the Dalek notion of "Surrender or be exterminated, and even if you do surrender, there's still a pretty good chance you'll be exterminated just for kicks." It's a little more polite when you think about it. I mean, the Daleks aren't telling you what to believe or worship. And, let's face it, when the Daleks arrive at the diplomatic table across from the Islamic extremists, I'd imagine the conversation would be something like this:

Dalek Sec: "You are right. The Islamic terrorists are better than Americans at one thing."
Terrorist: "What's that?"
Dalek Sec: "You are better at dying."

See? That's the kind of diplomacy you want in a time of war. There's no mamby-pamby hand-holding.

Now, Dalek healthcare might leave a little something to be desired. Then again, if faced with a terminal disease, there's a pretty good chance you'd be turned into a Dalek, and those guys pretty much live forever. Plus, they can fly, so the TSA would pretty much be rendered absolutely useless.

Dalek economy? Ha! Two words: Laser guns. Add that to a terrified planet, and you've got an economy that would grow like a weed on weed steroids.

Yes. There are some moral issues in electing Dalek leadership, and it's impossible to really say whether they're pro-choice or anti-choice. Personally, I have a feeling they're pro-life since more babies means more Daleks. However, they really don't seem to have all that much value for human life with their eagerness to kill people for pretty much any reason. So, obviously that qualifies them for a spot on the GOP ticket.

So, obviously, as you can see, I am horribly torn. Of course, a Dalek/Robocop ticket would be very interesting. They'd be tough on crime and tough on everything else. Of course, they'd never pair up on the same ticket, so that's just crazy talk, isn't it?

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/13/2007 10:49:00 AM

Monday, November 12, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Happy Birthday!


Fifty years ago, perhaps the greatest thing aside from beer and booze sprung from the forehead of a humble Canadian named Fernand Lachance.

Ladies and gents, I give you the greatest dish in the history of gastronomy: The Poutine.

Take some French fries, add some cheese curds, and smother the odd pairing in a healthy drenching of brown gravy of unknown origin, and you have the secret as to how it is Canadians have managed to survive this long without freezing to death or just flat-out shattering in the brutal cold upon the tundra.

Nothing, in this world, can compare to the joy felt when one is consuming the perfect poutine on an evening where the weather outside is a murderous affair. It is, quite possibly, the world's best comfort food. And, much like the Canadian winter, it can kill you in a second if you're not at least a little careful.

Happy birthday, Poutine!

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/12/2007 05:26:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Little Fishes.

Well, since I'm still sort of bopping around the shady, seedy back alley of the internet that is Dinesh D'Souza's AOL's Newsbloggers' scribbling, I learned today that he actually responded to a comment of mine.

I feel so special that such a beacon of The Burning Stupid would address me --a lowly muttering member of the Plebeian, atheist masses. And, though it's a pretty grime I've got smattered upon me from Dinesh, it is still dirt nonetheless, and just reading his quibbling little collection of lies addressed to me is enough to make me feel as though I need a shower afterwards.

Anyway, here was my comment to D'Souza's Burning Stupid about Galileo:
1. Jesus, you are freakin' dense. Galileo didn't prove the world was round. He proved the Copernican concept of a heliocentric solar system as opposed to the geocentric model cooked up in the book of fables that is the Bible.
And, well... I at least hung onto the truth of the matter. Dinesh was dumb enough to bring up Galileo to state his bizarre, little case in his odd argument about how everyone sees Christians as dumb for thinking they believed the world was flat (though it does say that in the Bible). I actually pointed out that D'Souza built an argument upon a blatant lie. His entire argument failed the second he evoked the name of Galileo in the first freakin' sentence. It's pretty simple really, and, when one is debating, it's usually good to try and stick to the truth.

Oh! And while you read Dinesh's response, please keep in mind my use of Copernicus above, okay? You'll thank me later.

Anyway, here's Dinesh's latest deviation from reality as he finds himself backed into a rather unfortunate and scary corner where his pride won't let him say "Oops. I was wrong.":
Postscript: No sooner did I post than the atheists were in there, seeking to divert attention from their Flat Earth myth by claiming that Galileo is actually famous for being the first to demonstrate the truth of heliocentrism. Even here, they are wrong on two counts: a) It was Copernicus who advocated heliocentrism more than a half-century before Galileo and b) Galileo's proofs of heliocentrism were mostly wrong. For instance, Galileo argued that one reason we know the earth goes around the sun is because of the ocean tides. Galileo thought it was the earth's motion that caused the water in the oceans to slosh around! Actually, the tides are the result of the moon's gravitational force acting upon the earth. So Galileo was right about heliocentrism, but largely for the wrong reasons. Count on our "enlightened" atheists to keep getting their facts wrong.
See what he did there?

It's kind of cute, actually.

First, he assumes I'm an atheist for no other reason than I don't agree with him. I'd like you all to show me anywhere in my comment above where I shared my beliefs or lack thereof.

More importantly, nowhere in his response to me does he address his actual error of trying to lump Galileo in with those who would study and prove the earth was round (something Pythagoras proved around 570 BCE --which is my best guess at who was the first westerner to stumble upon such information, but I may be wrong). Instead, he wanders off into some seemingly safe, little cave full of shiny red --but very smelly-- fishes where he simply pretends that I neglected to mention Copernicus in my response to his lie (But, it's in bold above, so I don't know where he's getting his information. I mean, it's right there on the page at comment number one).

Morever, to make matters sillier, he rambles his oblivious little way into irrelevancy by going out of his way to mention that Galileo was wrong as though it actually somehow matters. I wish there was some sort of name for that sort of logical fallacy... oh wait... There is.

It's called Ignoratio Elenchi, I believe. Or, maybe you'd be more comfortable with the term Red Herring, Dinesh. Either way, as someone who perpetually thumps his chest about what a "skilled debater" he is, you really do tend to dance among a minefield of logical fallacies while holding that pistol pointed squarely at your foot.

I honestly pity Dinesh D'Souza, and I really feel sorry for AOL for employing such a foolish person of such glaring bigotry, hatred and ignorance. But, I would like D'Souza to address the issue as to how he could quite possibly use Galileo in an argument about whether or not the world was flat or round and still expect to sustain his argument without promoting further ignorance. I mean, it's one thing for him to broadcast his own Burning Stupidity, but it's an entirely different kettle of fish to expect people to not come away more misinformed after reading his senseless, blatantly untrue and erroneous meanderings.

So, grow some stones, D'Souza and admit you made a mistake. Also, in the future, if discussing the notion of a flat-earth, do your loyal (albeit brainwashed) readers a favor by reading Washington Irving's biography of Columbus, and pay very close attention to the unfortunate license he took in reinvigorating the Biblical notion of a flat earth in an attempt to sell more books. After all, without that little slice of fiction, I'd imagine the story of Columbus would have been considerably more boring as a result of all that time just floating upon the open sea. Unfortunately, Irving's lie, like your own lies Dinesh, continue to do great harm to humanity as well as your precious Christian beliefs.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/12/2007 03:48:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...


Hey! John Scalzi finally took the trip and posted his thoughts on the Temple of Stupid that is The Creation Museum.

I recommend popping over there to read his review and do make a point of taking the time to look at his collection of photos with delightful snippets of heavily Scalzified snark included. It's the funny-stuff that makes these Mondays so damn enjoyable.

Anyway, I found John's write-up to be quite easy to digest and embrace, and I love his statement that:
The problem with this is that creationism isn’t a theory, it’s an assertion, to wit: The entire universe was created in six days, the days are 24-hour days, the layout for the creation and for the early history of the planet and humanity is in the first chapter of Genesis and it is exactly right. Everything has to be made to conform to these assertions, which is why creationist attempts at science are generally so damn comical and refutable.
And, this will always be the death blow to the notion that creationism is a science. It will always be nothing more than a simple assertion. That's it. So long as they cling to this notion that "the Magic Man did it" and ignore every bit of contradictory evidence, there will never be even the slightest hint of science involved. It doesn't matter how tall that pile of gibberish grows, nor how many books are chiseled out on the subject, the fact remains that creationism is, at best, a desperate refuge for the intellectually lazy and educationally apathetic. There is no theory to learn. There is no testing via scientific approach and method allowed since every single unbiased analysis of creationism will result in the dissolution of its foundation beneath a great flood of reality.

How long are our learned minds required to waste their precious time paying lip-service to these flailing mystagogues and the fictional accounts of their meddling sky-faerie?

I think my biggest problem with creationism lay in the duplicitous, and wholly destructive nature of allowing something that has no rational foundation by which to claim itself a science into our academic institutions as a science. Teaching this nonsense in our schools is not simply lowering the bar of academic standards. It's taking that bar and throwing it out the window and teaching our children that whatever nonsense they believe, regardless of how unprovable it may be, is to be considered a rational, valid truth. If a college student wants to believe Santa Claus is real, so be it.

Perhaps that's the horrendous slippery slope?

If we allow creationism to call itself a science, we then have to consider the hocus-pocus of things like astrology, phrenology, and a whole host of other pseudo-science deceits as legitimate scientific disciplines. Creationism simply belongs in the mystical with the rest of these silly things which have no foundation in reality.

As far as I'd like to say America's academic future is a bright one, I can't. Creationism is just another way for the brainwashed lemmings of religion to cram their mythology into places where is doesn't belong and pollute our educational system. In a nation where religious freedom supposedly exists, teaching children some bastardized pseudo-Christian dreck about the creation of the earth and passing it off as scientific fact will do more damage than I think these indoctrinated zealots realize.

Set your mind ten years into the future, and imagine a horde of religiously home-schooled, young-earth creationists banging upon the doors of our state colleges and universities. They believe they are qualified to enter, but they can not fulfill even the most meager of science requirements as a result of being taught this irrational, unscientific nonsense that is creationism. What are these institutions supposed to do?

Do they lower their standards by allowing this mythology to fulfill the science requirement for graduation? Or, do they rightly turn these under-educated students away as their cries of religious persecution grow louder and louder? That's the rub, huh?

Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

So, that's what I fear an acceptance of this woefully non-academic idea of creationism will inevitably bring. And, while those far more qualified and important than I continue to waste their lives and precious time spinning in the same damn circles disproving and pointing out creationism's multitudinous errors, America's academic potential and our intellectual advancement remains stagnant and crumbling beneath the dead weight of the irrelevant pseudo-science of creationism. In other words, creationism is not worth the time of our nation's educated minds, and I'd much rather they do things like cure cancer than deal with childish nitwits and their irrational figments.

As it stands, creationism deserves to be mocked and ridiculed. We should laugh until it is marginalized and harmless, and it becomes nothing more than an irrelevant notion for the cultists dwelling on the fringe of humanity to entertain along with crop circles, Xenu and the notion of a flat-freakin'-earth.

It ticks me off that here humanity finds itself in the 21st Century, and we're still having to deal with the rudely religious as they cram their foot in the door of reality. Intellectually, we should have moved past all of this ages ago. It's archaic, and it makes no sense clinging to a bronze-age lifestyle in a world of digital watches, cellular-phones and microwaveable dinners. Take a look at the Bible. There is no way a person can follow the so-called teachings and rules of the Bible without being thrown in jail, so believers are reduced to treating it as though it was nothing more than an ala-carte menu. Most other religious texts suffer the same fate as well when held up to reality. At what point will these religious minds stop and say "You know? Maybe we should step aside and actually see what good can come from this beast called man. Our meddling isn't needed, and we are holding humanity back from what could be very good things."

And there be my two-cents...

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/12/2007 11:37:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Why Yes. You ARE Monday.



My coffee maker up and died this morning with a defeated little wheeze. Fortunately, I have other ways to make coffee, and I'm not limited to the slow, heaving process of some poorly engineered heap of plastic to get my morning rollin'.

Hello, Mr. French Press (Or, just plain Mister French if you're feeling silly)!

First, dump in some coffee... Easy, right?

Wrong.

It turns out that, in my haste, I forgot that scooping really is the way to go with these things considering the mouth of the Maxwell House container is considerably larger than the mouth of Mister French.

So, next step: remove slippers and shake over the sink until all the coffee grounds fall from the slippers into the sink. Then, look down upon the floor and sigh at your stupidity as you use your sock-covered foot to wrangle the scattered bits of ground up coffee into a tidy, little pile.

After that, it is important to find boiling water.

Hello, Mr. Microwave!

Take a Pyrex pitcher, fill with water, press some buttons until the little glowing display reads "7:00," and push "Start."

Wait.

Now, groan as the furnace kicks in and scatters the tidy pile of coffee grounds across the floor with hot, dry gust.

When Mr. Microwave goes "bing," remove the Pyrex pitcher. Careful, Dan! It's hot! There's a reason this stuff used as Hun-repellent.

Slowly... slowly... almost across the kitchen to the awaiting Mister French.

Stop and scream as your early morning motor skills have left you with a slipper full of boiling water and a kitchen floor covered with now percolating coffee grounds. For a moment, at this point, it would seem to make more sense to just get down on all floors and just lick the coffee-coated linoleum for the caffeine fix.

Slowly pour the water into the Mister French, and wait for the magic to happen.

After magic happens, push the plunger down.

Too fast, moron. You've suffered a serious failure as a result of the blowback of coffee grounds which Mister French is now forced to regurgitateall over the kitchen counter.

Smack head. Rinse off the plunger in the sink. Try again.

As you're plunging slowly, think about the weather. It's a nice day. It's actually kind of warm. Why's the heat on?

My god! There's coffee everywhere in this damn kitchen --everywhere, except in the mug now sitting in a puddle of coffee on the counter.

Laugh! The coffee is outside the mug. In fact, at this point, the only dry, non-coffee covered surface in this kitchen is the inside of the mug. Wax existential by wondering aloud if the mug is actually a mug when its purpose remains unfulfilled in such a way as this. Realize the mug is laughing at you.

Openly weep at the mug's mocking as you pour the contents of Mister French into the mug. Take a sip. Twitch. Make a funny face. Stumble backwards in a coughing fit.

Strong!

Now, take the recently expired coffee-maker into the basement workroom to do vile things while thinking of things to write about today. Laugh at your madness.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/12/2007 09:31:00 AM

Sunday, November 11, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Is Our Childrens Learnin'?

Now, before I go to zonk out, I just had to share this latest bit of lunacy from one of America's (ahem) "scholars," Dinesh D'Souza:
The Great Flat-Earth Myth
Posted Nov 11th 2007 10:46PM by Dinesh D'Souza
Filed under: Christianity, History, Controversy, Atheism

Have you heard the one about how the dumb, ignorant Christians for centuries regarded the earth as flat until brilliant scientists like Galileo came along with their new telescopes and other inventions to show that it is round? This account of scientific progress can be found in textbooks and it has also cemented itself in the popular mind.

The only problem with the story is that it is entirely false. It is a made-up yarn that is supposed to illustrate the so-called war between science and religion.

Is the gun loaded, Dinesh?

Yes?

Is it pointed squarely at your foot?

Yes?

Then why don't you just go ahead and pull that trigger by saying that Galileo proved the world was round as opposed to using the historical truth in your argument? After all, Galileo actually proved the Copernican model of heliocentrism, in that the earth orbits the sun, which subsequently lead to his imprisonment and excommunication by your beloved dumb, ignorant Christians. He had nothing to do with proving the world round or flat.

Now, since I'm dead tired and laughing too damn hard at AOL's Newsflunky to type, I'll just send you to the Wikipedia page for Galileo's Astronomy contributions. And, here's a bit of information about his punishment.

Seriously, though, if prattling simpletons like Dinesh D'Souza are supposed to be seen as respected members of right-wing, Christian academia, you'd think they'd have a working fucking knowledge of the History of their religion.

Gyaagh! The stupid, it burns!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/11/2007 10:53:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Goodnight Sunday...

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend on whatever end of these intertubes you may dwell. Things here were somewhat quiet. I spent a chunk of time tangled up in a mass of speaker cable as I was hooking up a new home theater system.

Next. I have to program the gizmo, and that's probably going to take me until June (after all, I haven't programmed any radio stations in my car, and I've owned it since 2001).

Anyway, how was your weekend? Anything fun happen in your world?

I'd write more, but it's probably best to just go to sleep rather than burn out my backspace button as a result of my dwindling typing skills.

So, that said, Good Night!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/11/2007 10:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Welcome to the 19th Century!



Here's an interesting gripe to the editor of the Victoria Advocate:
An old-fashioned point of view
November 09, 2007 - Posted at 6:57 a.m.


Editor, the Victoria Advocate:

Two little girls always played together well. They played at one house then the other. Never had any problems. One day on TV they saw the space station being docked by the space shuttle.

Great they thought. But best of all it was being commanded by two women. Outstanding they thought. So they decided to dress up in space suits and play astronauts. There was also a little neighbor boy who used to play with them really well.

The three had no trouble getting the costumes since it was around Halloween. They played well for a day or two, but then things went wrong and they begin quarreling. The two girls were angry at each other; neither wanted to share the little boy. So they started flinging their pampers at each other. And they threw pepper at each other.

So much for (playing together well)! Whatever happened to little girls playing with dolls and dreaming of becoming wives and mothers? Whatever happened to young men looking for a good Christian wife and finding a young woman still clinging to her doll? Me, old fashioned? I guess. Me, a male chauvinist pig? To answer that I would have to say, “Oink, oink, oink.”

Wayne Johns

Kenedy
That little bold bit up there is really the deal-killer when it comes to assessing Wayne's sanity. I mean, now that I'm out there in the dating world (again), I think a bad requirement for a potential mate is that she's holding a doll. In fact, I'm willing to say they'd lock me up for a very long time if I started approaching those "potential" Mrs. Me-candidates.

Now, I don't think Wayne's an old-fashioned chauvinist pig. I do, however, think Wayne's absolutely batshit insane and terrified of the notion that women are actually, you know, people. And, they are people with opinions, abilities, and they can even vote (that must really drive Wayne here mad).

Trust me. If you fix me up with a woman who can strap herself to a big freakin' bomb that blasts itself into the heavens at several thousand miles per hour or some doll-toting, thumb-sucking, good Christian woman, I think I'm going to have to go with the explosive, yet incredibly brave lady with all those incredible human aspirations and the courage to see them come true on her own, without the help of anyone.

Besides, I can bake my own damn pie.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/11/2007 09:29:00 PM

Saturday, November 10, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] LOLFeeds...

Thanks to Cinzano, I am reminded of my LOLFeed. Eventually, I'll remember to put a link to it on this blog. The odd thing is, the LOLcat pictures are different between this Blogger blog and my AOL Journal.

Anyway, here's some of my favorites from this blog's feed:




Oh yes! It's also Caturday! Woohoo!

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/10/2007 06:54:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's From the Dawnster!

Apparently, today my mind is populated by a collection of unbelievably lazy brain-gnomes who, so far this morning, have only managed to sit around smoking and drinking coffee when they are supposed to be trying to put together a few fascinating thoughts.

It must be a union thing.

Anyway, since my brain is on strike, I figured I'd take part in one of Princess Dawn's regal memes. I don't know what to call it, exactly. However, when in doubt, I tend to name things "Hasselhoff." For example, my niece wanted a name for her car since, for some odd reason, she felt her car needed one of those. So, after sitting around drawing a blank for the better part of an hour, we settled on the name "Hasselhoff" for her ancient, now dead, Dodge Colt.

So, here's my stab at the "Hasselhoff Meme." I hope y'all enjoy!

4 Jobs I've Had
  1. Department Store Stockboy --conveniently located in a nice, big shopping mall. In fact, it was the kind of shopping mall you'd expect people to run to when the zombie hordes start devouring the brains of humanity. I think that's why I took the job.
  2. Bartender --not many people could out-drink me in those days, but god bless 'em for trying and keeping my tip jar full. I learned to love Jagermeister in those glorious days, but don't we all eventually have to grow up sometime?
  3. Fiction Editor --it was for my college "literary magazine" The Wisconsin Review. I wouldn't exactly call it a job since I didn't really get paid for doing a damn thing, but I did have to show up and read a heap of manuscripts pretty much every day... Wait a minute. That is a freakin' job, and I worked for free. Gyaagh!
  4. Builder of Randall guitar amplifiers --not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. I did meet Def Leppard once when they were playing in town since they used our amps (actually, they used more empty cabinets than they did actual amps). Fun job, though.
4 Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon --it's just one of those pretty films I tend to dig on when the mood strikes.
  2. The Last Waltz --Freakin' Levon Helms singing "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down" still gives me goosebumps, and I find myself struck with the strange urge to blow the dust out of my speakers.
  3. The Tao of Steve --I don't know why. It's just a cool film.
  4. Finding Forrester --It's one of those movies which reminds me how to write and why I should be doing so in the first freakin' place. It has an odd way of inspiring me and busting me out of whatever funk I may find myself in.
4 Places I Have Lived
  1. Milwaukee, WI --Nice town. Cheap beer. Lots of parties and festivals.
  2. Oshkosh, WI --Get it out of your systems, b'gosh!
  3. Eindhoven, The Netherlands --Damn it. I still miss whooping it up on the Stratums Eind... Oh, and to the bastard who swiped my bike from the train station, I'm still looking for you, and I will find you, you dirty Dutch criminal!
  4. Schonaich, Germany --Trust me, it's really important to become friends with the local butcher. In this case, the butcher also owned the local Biergarten. Needless to say, our friendship was inevitable.
4 TV Shows I Love To Watch
  1. Doctor Who --Yes. I'm a geek. A big, silly geek.
  2. Eureka --Still a geek.
  3. Stargate: Atlantis --I have to watch. I need my wormhole fix, and though this show isn't nearly as hip and funny as the original, I suppose it'll just have to do.
  4. House --It's never Lupus.
4 Places I've Been To On Vacation
  1. Spread Eagle, WI --Road trip! I don't know why, but I just sort of had to see what this town was all about. I suppose it was the name that drew me to it.
  2. Paris, France --I hated that city when I first set foot there. Then, the next morning I awoke to find a fish-market in the street beneath my hotel room window, and I figured that was a pretty unique (albeit smelly) thing. Suddenly, I just started to really love that city.
  3. Fruita, CO --Home of Mike the Headless Chicken. Need I really say any more?
  4. Sorrento, Italy --I made the mistake of sleeping at night with the doors of my balcony open, and during the night, several very ambitious cats climbed their way into my bed. It made for a weird morning.
4 Websites I Visit Daily
  1. Fark.com
  2. Bad Astronomy
  3. The Wittenburg Door
  4. Obscure Store and Reading Room
4 Favorite Dishes
  1. Chili Dogs --Yum. With cheese? More yum.
  2. Ramen Noodles --What? I can like them.
  3. Blueberry Pancakes --They are pretty much a part of my perfect breakfast.
  4. Meatloaf --I don't know. It's a comfort food, and I make a pretty damn tasty one. Besides, is there anything better than a loaf of meat?
4 Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
  1. Africa --Seems like it'd be nice this time of year.
  2. Any place where a volcano is erupting --Those things fascinate me.
  3. At the barber --I need a haircut... badly...
  4. Your house --I'm getting bored at my house, and I think I'd have more fun at your place. Do you have beer?
Well, that's the meme, and those are my answers. I don't know if I've done this one before since I'm just too lazy to take a look. It seems like I have, but who knows?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 11/10/2007 09:30:00 AM