Thursday, January 31, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Always Remember!


A city succumbed to panic. And, as a result, many heroes were born in Boston a year ago today as the Mooninite /Lite Brite advertising scourge was defeated by America's sons and daughters.

-DP

P.S. Yes. It's silly. I do like the article though. Unfortunately, the author of the article doesn't seem to comprehend the difference between what is a hoax and what is an advertising stunt.


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/31/2008 09:22:00 AM

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Whacky Cheeseheads....

Here's a link to the audio of what could be one of the strangest 911 calls I can ever remember.

Audio: Drunk Driver Calls 911, Turns Self In
And, here's a bit of the story:
Tipsy tipster called from driver's seat
Posted: Jan. 29, 2008

Heavy drinking only seems to make everyone better looking, and it sure doesn't improve judgment.

Pat Dykstra is living, breathing, drunk-dialing proof of that.

She's the Dodge County woman who called 911 from her pickup truck early Sunday to report that she just might be intoxicated enough to need a sheriff's squad to follow her home. Wonder if she would have expected warm milk and a tuck-in once they got there.

And why did she make such a call? Because her boyfriend, who admitted to downing twice as much beer as Dykstra did at the tavern, told her to.

"He wanted me to call 911 'cause he thinks I'm too drunk to drive," Dykstra, 51, of Fox Lake, told the surprised-sounding dispatcher. (Full Story)
Dumb... dumb... dumb...

The thing is, had she not called, there's probably a pretty good chance she'd have gotten away with this and not have learned a damn thing, and though I'm still somewhat curious as to what it is she may have actually learned in the end, I'm glad she took the initiative in this situation.

Anyway, my favorite bit in the audio is that the woman thought it would be a good idea to hang up the phone since she doesn't like to talk on the cell-phone while driving. After all, that's dangerous, don't you know?

Who says alcohol impairs your judgment?

Even at twice the legal limit, and behind the wheel of a truck, this woman still had the common-sense to hang-up and drive.

Bravo!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/30/2008 04:00:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's a Pole, People!


Moon-Landing deniers are such a silly group, and as Phil Plait points out,
they'll pretty much grab onto every image taken from man's various landings up there and scream about the "suspicious" or "questionable" things they find.

In this case, it's a pole.

See it there?

Phil did a bit of legwork in deciphering this "odd" object, and he quickly, and quite easily, discovered that the thing is actually something called a "double-core penetrometer."

In light of that explanation, it's crystal clear there's absolutely nothing suspicious in this picture (here's a link to the original --not much suspicious there either), and once again, Phil Plait has quickly put to bed another tedious conspiracy theory.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/30/2008 01:28:00 PM

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Uphill! You Hear Me? Barefoot and Uphill!

I think I need to have children...

No rest for the winter-weary
Near-blizzard conditions, harsh wind chills predicted for today

By TOM HELD
theld@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 28, 2008

Generations of grandchildren are likely to loathe the winter of 2007-'08 almost as much as those who endured it.

The seemingly nonstop bouts of snow and bitter cold, not to mention the tornadoes, already provide ample fodder for "you think this is bad" stories, and more material is approaching fast. (Full "Why-in-my-day" story).

Now, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one in Wisconsin who's whining about the damned weather. Unfortunately, I don't have any grandchildren --or children for that matter-- who can be made to suffer with endless tales about the never-ending cruel joke that this winter has become.

Of course, I can't wait to unload my misery upon any child foolish enough to complain in front of me. In fact, some friends of mine are expecting their first child this summer, and I'm pretty sure that the very second that sweet, little infant starts to shriek and cry, I will probably stand at the side of its crib and say, "You think you've got it bad, kid? Hell. In my day, last January, the weather sucked so bad, I was reduced to eating microwaved macaroni and cheese. Consider yourself lucky to have those hooters in the next room."

The thing is, I can remember worse winters in Wisconsin. For example, when I was but a wee speck of a person in elementary school, I remember fighting my way through snow-drifts that were well over my head. And, though I was only maybe three feet tall at the time, they were pretty damn daunting.

There was also the two-hundred yard death march in college in forty-below temperatures with something like a sixty-below wind-chill to my Religious Ethics class --the only class that wasn't cancelled. That was the worst walk of my life, and when I looked back to my dorm, I realized that I had foolishly gone ten yards past the halfway point, and for my own damn survival I needed to get to the world's most annoying prerequisite class. In the end, the only people who showed up were me and the prof, and the bastard didn't even give me extra credit for putting my life in danger to listen to his relentless babbling (yes. He actually did still lecture for three hours and ask the class --not me specifically-- questions. I think he froze his brain).

Still, this winter has been a pretty troubling one, and from where I'm sitting, it really doesn't seem to be ending any time soon.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/29/2008 01:46:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Fwubby-Gorgle Wonk?

The brain! It's not working too well today.

Fortunately, the weather in Wisconsin is pretty nice. It's forty-five degrees and it rained last night. So, I think I may go crawl in the backyard to see if I can gnaw my way down to the frost line.

Mmmm... A planet-flavored ice-cream sandwich!

On the other hand, we're supposed to be suffering what the weather-folks are calling an "arctic blast," and sometime today the temperature is supposed to plummet to two-below. That sucks! I can already feel this nonsense washing down from the permafrost settling into my achy little joints.

So, be forewarned: If any of you write me an email today, there's a pretty good chance that whatever response you receive from me might be nothing more than chemically-enhanced meandering gibberish.

Now... I think I'll go read a book.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/29/2008 09:37:00 AM

Monday, January 28, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Now That's Light!

Oh... I think I need this flashlight.





That's nutty. Of course, at $300, I think I would rather use a candle.

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/28/2008 02:51:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And Surely His Heart May Boldly Swell...

Oh joy!

Tonight is that time of year again when our Caesar, G. Dubya Dumbass, fulfills his Constitutional obligation by delivering his final State of the Union address. After this, he can go play with his arts & crafts for all anyone cares.

I have to admit it's actually somewhat sad that the only part of the Constitution this idiot respects is the one that gives him the opportunity to take over the airwaves and blather on with his delusional, self-aggrandizing bullshit for an hour or so. The ego of this little moron is astounding.

I'm not planning to watch. I don't have the opiates, and when Dubya speaks, the only way the bastard makes any sense is when one's head is absolutely fogged. After all, if you're good and stoned, everything is comprehensible in a sort of thick goulash of mad ideas. Isn't that right, Rush?

Of course, I'm kind of curious how Dubya is going to go about selling his economic stimulus plan. Essentially, all he's doing is rewarding corporations by giving consumers money to spend on things like food, gas money and other living expenses. Seriously. I wouldn't be surprised to see gas prices jump to the rafters once those checks are signed and mailed. Every greedy asshole with something to sell is going to take advantage of Bush's stimulus package. And, about a week after those checks have been cashed, we'll be right back in the same damn boat. But, at least we'll have new TV's, tanks full of gas in our cars, or food on our tables.

But, that's me being paranoid. I have the foil hat and everything.

Unfortunately, I don't see Bush talking much about his disastrous war. He's desperate to find some foundation upon which to build a positive legacy. Today it's the economy. Before that, however, he tried to bring peace to the Middle East by selling everyone a boat load of bombs. That's not exactly a good idea, but at least we know who to blame when we pick a piece of shrapnel out of one of our soldiers, and it has "Made in America" printed on it.

Before that, it was "teh terrahismists" in Iraq who were, unfortunately, in Afghanistan and not Iraq.

And, before that, it was the quixotic goal of putting a man on Mars.

Gyaagh!

Personally, I think he should just stick to the attainable in his State of the Union addresses. I mean, really. I'd probably like the guy if he just came out and said "Mah fellow 'merahcans. I'm goin' t' start mah truck this year."

That's it. Nothing more challenging that that. Stay within your limits Dubya. Please! Your fellow Americans worry themselves sick whenever you do anything more complicated than making a snake out of Play-Doh.

Anyway, since this idiot's face will be plastered all over every TV network in prime time, I'm going to have a hard time finding something to watch.

Anyone got any ideas?

Is there a basketball game worth watching tonight? Perhaps two hours of the Home Shopping Network so I can figure out how to spend my economic stimulus?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/28/2008 09:03:00 AM

Sunday, January 27, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Musika!

Here... Have some Dave:




Not sure why I like this performance so much. It's just one of those cool little things in my world, I guess.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/27/2008 07:53:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Not That I Don't Care....

I apologize.

Honest.

I'm such a self-absorbed moron!

I forgot to ask you all what it is that you were doing this weekend, and now I worry that many of you may have forgotten your plans because I wasn't there to remind you (Shhh... Let me have this one, tiny delusion, okay? I sleep better at night knowing you all depend on me for these things).

Hopefully, no one was planning on getting engaged this weekend only to have Friday roll around, and in the mad-dash to Happy Hour, they forgot all about what it was they were supposed to be doing. I'd never forgive myself if I ruined your marriages before they even had a chance to start.

Actually, in all honesty, I'm just typing because my fingers are getting a little stiff and sore, and moving them around helps a little (it's either this or I pick my nose).

By the way, I actually worked out a deal with the good folks at Humira, and they're giving me a supply for an entire year absolutely free. I didn't even have to promise them my liver, my first born or the liver of my first born. So, that's nice. I'm still not sure it's working, but at least we'll be able to find out now as this stuff gets worked into my confused and chaotic system.

Of course, their charity and altruism is hardly going to erase my opinions of this country's health care system and pharmaceutical industry as a whole. They suck. They're corrupt, dysfunctional, and woefully unable to protect a population from even the most common malady. And, even though I'm getting a year's worth for free, the fact remains that a year from now, I'll be right back in the same odd, leaky boat with little or no light at the end of a very long and troubling tunnel.

Anyway, it's a nice thing, nonetheless. But, I don't think that this little slice of kindness is enough to buy my silence or even change my opinion one damned bit.

So, how was your weekend?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/27/2008 05:22:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Wax On... Wax Off...


Forgive me... I'm having a Karate Kid moment here.

Help me?

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/27/2008 04:28:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] We Truly Are That Stupid...



Now, I may occasionally pick on Canada, and in my mad pursuit of power, I do harbor the desire to put on my boots, grab a pointed stick, head North, and declare war on Canada.

However, that's only because I'm freakin' bat-shit crazy, and the odds of me actually carrying out an assault on our neighbors to the North are pretty slim. After all, the potential for war is easily erased by some friendly Canuck giving me directions to Ottawa. I'm weak that way, and Canadians are just really nice people.

The thing is, as crazy as I am, there are a lot of folks here in America who are just plain stupid. And, it's not the funny kind of stupid where smart Americans such as you and crazy Americans such as me look on and laugh.

Nope. These people are so freakin' dense they've actually concocted in their little, narrow, bigoted minds that the word "Canadian" would actually be a perfect euphemism for the word "Black."
Last August, a blogger in Cincinnati going by the name CincyBlurg reported that a black friend from the southeastern U.S. had recently discovered that she was being called a Canadian. "She told me a story of when she was working in a shop in the South and she overheard some of her customers complaining that they were always waited on by a Canadian at that place. She didn't understand what they were talking about and assumed they must be talking about someone else," the blogger wrote.

"After this happened several times with different patrons, she mentioned it to one of her co-workers. He told her that ‘Canadian' was the new derogatory term that racist Southerners were using to describe persons they would have previously referred to [with the N-word.]"
(Full Story, BoingBoing, Huffington Post)


Yes, folks. That's how embarrassingly rock-stupid Americans are. We really have become the dumbest freakin' people on the planet.

Perhaps the most telling aspect here is how woefully gutless and cowardly these garden-variety, witless bigots truly are. Wouldn't you think that if their conviction were so strong, and if they actually believed in the validity of their misguided appraisal of minorities, they wouldn't need to rely on silly euphemisms such as calling a black person a Canadian?

At one point, I really do want to laugh at the dumb bastards. Let's face it, it's damn funny how stupid these idiots are; however, there's also a great deal of embarrassment that these Gomers are out there, and they're allowed to reproduce and extend their ignorance into subsequent generations with an army of equally brainless, sticky children with Kool-Aid mustaches, green teeth and bad haircuts.

I think the real irony is that these silly, insular, uneducated people calling black people Canadians probably couldn't find Canada on a map --even a map with a big, red, beaming arrow saying "This way to Canada, Gomer!"

Unfortunately, I have a brother who is a pretty silly, closeted bigot who's always griping about minorities, so I intend to have a hell of a lot of fun with him. And, when he looks at me somewhat askew when I point out to him that his people are now calling those people "Canadians," I can have a great laugh because I'm not the brainless twit who came up with the hilariously stupid euphemism, and it's not my fault he didn't get whatever memo his buddies were handing out.

Anyway, this whole thing has Monty Python written all over it. I can see the KKK meeting now:

"Right then! First order of business: It has been brought to my attention that we are no longer calling black people "niggers," but we're going to be calling them Canadians from now on. Everyone got that?"

"One thing sir?"

"What's that?"

"Well, Charlie here says they have black people in Canada, so what are we calling black Canadians?"

"I think we should call them French."

"But, they already have French Canadians."

"Oh yes. Last week when you were out shopping for an armoire with your wife, we agreed on calling them Germans."

"Isn't this going to make a mess of the Alsace again?"

"Shut up!"

"Umm... What about the Polish, sir?"

"Shut up! Now, getting back to Canadians..."

"My wife's Polish, sir."

"Excuse me, sir? Are the Dutch now being called Welsh?"

"I'll have to check with HQ on that one."

"The Polish do wonderful things with cabbage, sir."

"Fine! The Polish will be called Dutch, and the Dutch will be called Welsh. All in favor?"

"Aye!"

"Aye!"

"Mexicans?"

"Mexicans are Italians!"

"Swedish?"

"Swiss."

"Oh. We like the Swiss. They do good things with Ikea."


Yup. Another Sunday in Dumb America.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/27/2008 10:50:00 AM

Saturday, January 26, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Let the Scars Fade and the Healing Begin...

Thank you, FCC. I'm still battling the deep emotional pain and never-ending nightmares as a result of the hedonistic obscenity I'd seen on an episode of NYPD Blue on that fateful evening five years ago. Indeed, it's a freakin' miracle I can even make it through the night after seeing that woman's fleshy bits bouncing around on my television screen.

Fortunately, I have alcohol, and if I drink a lot and leave the lights on, I manage pretty well...
US network faces $1m nudity fine

NYPD Blue ran on ABC until 2005

US television network ABC may have to pay a fine of $1.4m (£707,000) for airing an episode of NYPD Blue which depicted female nudity.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said the 2003 show had "multiple, close-up views" of a woman's buttocks before the US watershed. (Full Story)

How did America survive these many years by allowing such willful decadence across our airwaves?

In closing.... Enjoy a little song and dance:
div#main{overflow:visible;}


Oh yeah. That's the good stuff.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/26/2008 12:59:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] An Observation...

Most mornings, my newspaper comes neatly-folded and wrapped in a nice, pink, plastic bag. Sometimes, however, I get a treat for being a loyal subscriber, and my paper comes wrapped in a different plastic bag with anything from NyQuil to laundry detergent tucked inside a nifty little pouch.

We like when the paperboy brings us NyQuil. We like free drugs with our morning news. It's the precious!

The laundry detergent? Not so much.

Anyway, this morning, when I grabbed my paper from beneath its usual tomb of ice and snow, I noticed it wrapped in a special plastic bag proclaiming the myriad of wonders of Quaker Oats, "Eat oats like a horse! Run a marathon, and live longer like Barbaro (too soon?)."

Now, since this was the morning, and since, like most mornings, I am utter junk when I drag my corpse around the house while waiting for my coffee maker to do its thing, I just sort of shrugged and tore into the great gift of food I held before me.

Inside the plastic pouch was something called a Healthy Harvestâ„¢ Dark Chocolate Chunk Chewy Granola Bar and a much smaller plastic pouch containing Healthy Harvestâ„¢ oatmeal (I think it was maple and tuna fish flavored, but I wasn't really focused at the time, and I'm currently too damn lazy to check).

Anyway, like an idiot, I tore open my granola bar, took a bite, and damn near broke a molar since, this is Wisconsin, and only lost settlers and the Donner Party leave their food outside in winter.

Seriously. This thing was like eating an oatmeal popsicle. And, when I tried dunking it in my coffee to thaw it out (hey! It made sense at the time), the damn thing fractured like a glacier in the summer sun, and a hunk sank straight to the bottom of my mug with a disheartening flat thunk that mocked me for my ritualistic morning stupidity.

Throughout the next hour drinking my coffee, the dark, brackish depths of my favorite mug slowly released its charge as an occasional oat or piece of what I think was rice floated up to bob on the surface until I was drinking some sort of sick, twisted coffee-oat-mocha w/ cinnamon and brown sugar. It was a damn abomination of everything I hold dear.

When I go into a Starbuck's, I order black coffee. I'm a simple man with a simple mind and simple tastes. And, every time I order, some perky teenage barista inevitably looks at me as though I am sort sort of cave-dwelling, unwashed heathen who is far too barbaric to understand the myriad of refinements such as the delicacies of foam, caramel-drizzles and god knows what other cloyingly sweet chaos they infuse into a simple cup of coffee.

But, I digress... I'm also a bitter man who enjoys coffee for what it is --liquid freaking crack. Nonetheless, you don't need to hear my rage about a god damned six-dollar cup of coffee.

Now, I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that there's probably a great many of you who, when making oatmeal, use things like milk or water. In fact, I'm thinking that never in your wildest dreams did you ever once think to make oatmeal with crappy, too-damn-strong morning coffee. These things just don't seem to dance across the minds of most normal people. Hell! Even the craziest of fools would probably think it's a rock-stupid idea.

Not me. I figured the damn thing was breakfast in a mug --a new and exciting energy drink. Like coffee-flavored Red Bull with hints of oats and rice and, most importantly, chocolate. It should have been yummy.

It wasn't.

Not... even... close...

Even NyQuil tastes better than the nonsense I was dumping into my head. It was like coffee with nature in it. I didn't want to hug any trees after eating this chaos. I wanted to stab a hippie with the jagged, frozen end of my remaining bar o' granola that now, though still a block of ice in the middle, was now starting to thaw on the outside covering the palm of my clenched and angry fist with a gooey sap of melted chocolate, maple syrup and god knows what other sugary madness they packed into that tiny little bar of breakfast magic.

The moral of the story?

Do not eat free food you find on your porch in the dead of winter. It will always only end in tears. Or, at least, wait for things to thaw.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/26/2008 10:41:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Better... So Much Better...

This morning is both good and bad... First, I woke up at 6:30 for some bizarre reason, and though I'll probably never know the reason why, I'm okay so long as I've got my bucket of coffee to guzzle. But, that's the bad.

Let's not dwell...

The good news is that it's freakin' 20 degrees!

Spring has sprung.

Sure... sure... It's still January, and it's supposed to snow today to remind me that spring doesn't begin for the next two months. I can handle that, though. After all, it's going to rain on Monday, and whatever fluffy white nonsense falls today will be quickly melted once the drizzle begins to drop.

Take that, winter! I hope it burns!


Okay... I need to go wake up and stuff. How are you all doing today?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/26/2008 07:15:00 AM

Friday, January 25, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Art of The Apology...

Whenever I hear an apology, there are two things I always ask myself:

First, do I really believe the person making the apology actually understands why he or she is issuing the apology in the first place?

And, secondly, what's the likelihood of the slip-up happening again?

Considering that, take a look at John Gibson's apology regarding the comments he made about the death of Heath Ledger:


"I'm sorry that some took my comments as anti-gay...."

Let's see here... He's sorry that people mistook his comments. He's not sorry for making the comments, he's not sorry for the hurt he's caused to Ledger's family, friends and fans. He's just sorry that people like you and me couldn't understand why we didn't share his feelings that Heath Ledger's death was so damn funny.

The fact that he's also pawning things off as "anti-gay" is an insult and a feeble attempt to find some level of simpatico among the gay-bashing troglodytes watching Fox. In other words, he's saying "See? I said a bad thing, but I'm anti-gay so all is fine and dandy because you're anti-gay too."

The funny thing is, I didn't find Gibson's comments to be anti-gay to begin with, and I'll go out on a limb and say that the majority of people disgusted by his senseless muttering probably share my feelings as well. It's one thing to broadcast your ignorance by bashing homosexuals and pissing people off and hopefully apologizing accordingly. But, it's a whole different kettle of fish to claim a man killed himself because of the stock market or Democratic presidential debate and try to pass it off as somehow being anti-gay.

So, obviously, John Gibson doesn't really understand a damn thing, and I doubt the reality of the public outrage will ever truly make it past that beaming, silver helmet of stupidity on his empty head.

Will it happen again?

Hmm... I'll let you guys wonder about that. But, I wouldn't bet against it if I were you.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/25/2008 05:05:00 PM

Thursday, January 24, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] He Just Rolls That Way...


I'm kind of surprised DogCat actually rambled his way outside today in the frigid cold. Lately, he's just been busying himself with becoming one with the couch. Of course, he wasn't outside long. He pretty much just walked down the sidewalk to the front of the house where I let him in the front door.

Apparently, in his confused kitty brain, a new door equals a new house, and I pretty much live everywhere!

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 08:41:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Two Articles...

Here are two things that were in my mailbox this morning:
Transplant goal 'one step closer'

Scientists appear to be a step closer to transplanting a kidney without the need for a lifetime of drugs.

Two separate US techniques have seen recipients recovering without the need for powerful drugs, which carry many side-effects - including a cancer risk.

Unless the organ comes from an identical twin, the body's reaction is to reject it as a foreign invader.

UK experts said the findings were exciting, but warned a lack of donor organs remained the principal problem.
[Full Story]

That was the first story on two different approaches to transplant research. It's worth a read, I think. But, then there was this other story which just sort of blew my mind:
Transplant 'miracle' for teen

Article from: AAP
By Tamara McLean
January 24, 2008 02:05pm

A YOUNG transplant patient has defied medical science by spontaneously switching blood types and taking on her donor's immune system

NSW teenager Demi Brennan is believed to be the first person in the world to completely accept a donated organ to the extent where her immune system entirely changed.

Demi, now 15, suffered liver failure and had a liver transplant at the age of nine in 2001.

Several months on from the transplant, her doctors at Westmead Children's Hospital say they were shocked to discover her blood type had changed to match the blood type of her deceased male donor.

On closer inspection, specialists found that stem cells from thedonor liver had penetrated her bone marrow, effectively resulting in a naturally occurring bone marrow transplant.

Her doctor, Michael Stormon, said she was able to come off the anti-rejection drugs which most transplant patients needed to take for the rest of their lives.
[full story]
Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure where to go with this story. I'm not a doctor. I don't play one on TV, and I sure as hell know nothing about biology, hematology, and any other "ology" you can think of. One thing is certain, and that is that it stresses the importance of stem cell research (and you should also have that little sticker on your driver's licenses). But, what's most fascinating is that who knew it was entirely possible to change one's blood type and immune system?

The human body. It's freakin' weird sometimes, huh?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 11:08:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Stay Classy, Fox "News."


It's a bit strange when celebrities die, isn't it? To me, the shock is somewhat tempered by the very fact that the person was a celebrity, yet the shock does ring in rather varied volumes. For example, had I awoke the other day to find out it was Britney Spears rather than Heath Ledger found dead, I can't say I'd be shocked insofar as I'd be disappointed. After all, her collapse has been public and more maddeningly annoying than anything.

As for Heath Ledger, I don't know how he died, and I'm not even going to speculate on it. I just know he was a good actor who took on challenging roles and through the sheer force of his talent, he made the role he was playing and the film he was acting in better.

However, to see him as an actor is one thing. And, to see these celebrities as simply public figures lacking any and all humanity is also one thing. But, it's important to remember that regardless of his celebrity or the roles he played, Heath Ledger was a father, a son, a brother, and a human being. And, to the few who truly feel his loss, not as an artist, but as a human being, this has got to be a horrible time.
A source close to [Michelle] Williams told PEOPLE the actress was "devastated" upon hearing the news. She and Ledger split in September, but they both agreed that parenting their daughter came first.

"I can't believe Matilda is going to grow up without a dad, without knowing her father," another source told PEOPLE. "And that Michelle will have to deal with having a daughter who's lost her father. She's a survivor. She'll make it, but it's going to be hard. Her first concern is going to be Matilda."
[link]
That's perhaps the most troubling thing, I think. His daughter will not only grow up without a father, but there will also be a very public record of her father's passing for her perusal any time she wants. And, sadly, she will find people judging her father not as a person, but based simply upon the roles he's played. To them, he doesn't dwell within this sphere we call humanity. In their minds, Heath Ledger was nothing more than a piece of movie equipment.

And, this is what brings me to John Gibson of Fox News (courtesy of the good folks at Think Progress --who also have an audio copy of Gibson's remarks up at their site):
Throughout the course of the show, Gibson continued to bring up Ledger’s death while discussing current events, jokingly claiming that current events may have caused him to commit suicide.

On yesterday’s drop in the stock market:

GIBSON: Maybe he had a serious position in the market.

TOM SULLIVAN: And possibly today, he looked at the window and said…

GIBSON: “Oh my God.”

SULLIVAN: His name’s not Keith Bledger, right?

GIBSON: He was depressed about yesterday’s downturn in the world stock markets.

On the Democratic debate in South Carolina:

GIBSON: Apparently Heath Ledger was suicidal and his friends saw it coming. I think he watched the Clinton-Obama debate last night. I think he was an Edwards guy, cause he saw his Edwards guy was just completely irrelevant.

I don't know if what I feel is disgust, embarrassment or what have you over Gibson's odious comments. To know that I share a planet with this troll is disappointing. To know that a media outlet encourages this man's lunacy would be comical if he wasn't such an irrelevant, inhuman slug.

It's clear I don't have the acumen to understand why Fox would support such brainless, childish, behavior. However, the folks at News Hounds are encouraging people to write to Fox News to voice their complaints, and I do agree that it's a good idea. Unfortunately, I doubt anything will come of it since, let's face facts, this is Fox News we're talking about here, and they don't make a point of hiring clear-headed, competent, or even sane human beings. And, it's clear the people at Fox obviously care little to nothing about family since they would openly mock the death of a little girl's father for their own twisted amusement.

As I said, I just don't know how to feel about sharing a planet with people such as John Gibson. It's one thing to joke amongst your friends and have a giggle at this unfortunate incident. But to go out of your way to concoct a story and fabricate the causes of this man's death for no other reason than to broadcast your own inhumanity and lack of compassion is just not worth listening to.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 09:16:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Pick One!


Let's see if I can interpret this...

Right now, apparently, it's "Fair and -3" degrees. However, today the high temperature is going to be 8 degrees. But, at the moment, it's 9 degrees.

For god's sake! Why the hell do I live here?

I think at this point, I'm just going to say that today is Saturday. I give up!

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 08:07:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Going to Be a Weird Day...


The above is a screen-shot of what I saw in my Quotes of the Day RSS feed. I found it to be a little silly (and if you can't read it, click the picture to see the bigger version).

Anyway, it's still ridiculously cold here in the Land of Cheese. I woke up and my thermometer read "-0.0" degrees. Yes. That's a negative nothing. And, while I made coffee and wobbled around the kitchen, I was so annoyed by this odd notion that I took my rage out upon an innocent cookie (chocolate chip). It was kind of tasty first thing in the morning, and I whole-heartedly endorse eating cookies for breakfast. After all, what is a cookie if not "enhanced toast?"

Following that little slice of madness, I damn near shattered into bitter little shards as I stepped out to forage in the snow for my morning paper. After failing miserably, I came to the conclusion that I really couldn't care less about current events, and if need be, I'll read the damn thing sometime in August.

Well... I've got to get some caffeine into my system before I turn into an immovable drooler. The temperature now is three below. That's not too bad. That's pancake weather. However, I'm not entirely convinced that my getting out of bed this morning hasn't simply made things worse for the world. Normally, the temperature's supposed to go up in the morning, isn't it?

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 05:13:00 AM

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Brainless Day With Brainless Things.

Last night, I slept like a rock --a very awake and alert rock. Granted, that sort of thing is considerably odd for a rock, but if you're a human being trying to impersonate a sleeping rock, it's difficult to attain true rock status when one is tossing and turning and, worst of all, making noise. After all, rocks, as a rule, are generally pretty quiet and unassuming, and if you've ever been out for a walk and maybe stumbled upon a boulder saying things like "damn! Why can't I sleep? What freakin' time is it? Maybe I should just go play Tomb Raider until I pass out," I'd imagine you'd be pretty freaked out.

I'm a little off my noggin today, it seems. I blame it on lack of sleep, not nearly enough coffee in my system, and the fact that this frigid weather is starting to gnaw upon the tiny shreds of what sanity remains. When I dragged my carcass out of bed this morning, it was three degrees outside. Since then, it's lept up to a balmy seven degrees.

So far, today, the only plan is to write for a bit. Then, once I finish that, I'm thinking of heading out on a two-block death march of ice and suffering to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription of pain killers to keep the inevitable chomping ache of frostbite at bay.

Yes. My life seems to have turned into a freakin' Jack London novel. I'm the whiny guy who's about to freeze to death while the bears look on and drool.

Maybe I should get a dog. As it stands, I've got a cat who, up until today, actually acted like a dog. However, for the first time in ten years, he actually used the litter box rather than go outside to deposit a load somewhere on the neighbor's property.

That can't be a good sign.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/23/2008 09:01:00 AM

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Enjoy!

Here! Have some Paolo Conte to help get you through the vast, gray void of winter's nothingness:



It's wunnerful...

See ya all tomorrow!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/22/2008 08:41:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Racing... And Running...

Today's one of those days where everything starts off slow and painless; however, as the minutes and hours tick away, the tedious minutia of life starts to lift the lid and boil over the sides of the cauldron of steaming madness I've got simmering in this life of mine.

First off: I have a doctor's visit in a couple of hours, and though people are generally supposed to go into these things with a nice list of curious questions to ask, I've got nothing. In fact, the only question I've got is why the hell am I here, anyway?

So, since I'm busy and stuff, I'll leave it to you guys to come up with things I should ask my doctor.

Don't worry. He's a smart doctor, and a nice guy too. He enjoys reading mystery novels and fantasy novels. Granted, that doesn't make him medically smart per se, but at least it's nice to know that he actually can read --which is a bit of an improvement compared to a few of the other medical professionals I've had previously.

After that, it's boring, garden-variety running around; however, I may light my head on fire just to make things interesting. After all, I've noticed that when flames are shooting off the top of a person's head, they tend to attract a lot of attention. And, though I'm not usually an attention whore, I think this sort of thing could really go a long way in getting me to be a little more outgoing.

Anyway, I've got to get screaming out of here. Hope you have a wicked, wild day.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/22/2008 09:56:00 AM

Monday, January 21, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] What a Difference a Year Makes...

I just remembered that there's only one more year left until we can drag that heap of useless quasi-Texas toad shit out of the Oval Office (actually, it's one day less than a year, but who's counting?).

It's going to be a long year though. And, I'm sure our moron president will probably create a nearly endless series of irreparable disasters in his bumbling and stumbling wake. He's not a smart man. He's not a successful man. He's not even a brave man. George Bush never was, and it's clear he never will be. He's a spineless, washed up, delusional, Bible-thumping, barely-sober frat-boy who isn't qualified to operate a bag of pretzels much less lead a nation.

Anyway, if you're looking for something to brighten your Monday, just keep that in mind, okay?

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/21/2008 12:36:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] This is Disturbing...

Still... Bring 'em on, man!

22


-DP
Update --The original link in the widget was broken, but it should work fine now.  If it doesn't try this one:  http://www.howmanyfiveyearoldscouldyoutakeinafight.com/
If that doesn't work, I'll burn the place to the ground! 
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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/21/2008 10:18:00 AM

Sunday, January 20, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Oh Well...

Hey... To those of you who sent them, thanks for all the nice emails expressing condolences for the Packers' big loss of the big game.

The thing is, I'm not terribly smashed by it. Yes. It would have been nice to win, of course, but the Packers-Giants' game was flat-out, without a doubt, absolutely the most painful thing to watch. In fact, I just wanted the game to be over so I could switch on the History Channel to watch some show about the destruction of the earth and feel better about things.

As for the game itself, the Packers just looked and played terrible, and the Giants, though not looking much better, played considerably more inspired, and when I saw Brett Favre coming out of the huddle with a hand-warmer over his nose and mouth, well, it doesn't take a genius to realize that it wasn't going to be a good day for him. He just looked miserable out there, and I think the cold was really getting to him. After all, it was getting to me, and I was all warm and toasty inside with beer and stuff.

Next year?

Who knows?

The Packers are a really young team, and I think they surprised a lot of people --including themselves. So, I'm looking forward to next season (actually, at this point, I'm pretty much looking forward to any season that isn't winter).

Anyway, thanks again. But, you know, I'm not going to jump off a bridge or anything. Besides, the nearest bridge to me is in the park, and if I threw myself from it, I'd fall maybe three or four feet onto a frozen creek. At worst, I'd slip and bump my head. So, I'm safe, and there's always next year. Or, the year after that. Or... Well, you get the point.

In other news, I hope all your weekends were great and goofy, and I hope no one found themselves on the business end of a hostage situation.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/20/2008 09:21:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Whoa... Bubble Rings!

Dolphins are just too freakin' awesome, as this video shows.



- Click here for another funny movie.


Aside from that, it's five-below here... But, watching dolphins play with bubbles does warm things up a bit.

Enjoy!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/20/2008 07:37:00 AM

Saturday, January 19, 2008

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


Man...

It's a weird morning. I've only been awake for maybe a half an hour so far, and already, things seem to be a little nutty.

For example, I'm sitting here at the moment thinking about the big, hulking freezer chest in my basement that's just sort of sitting in the corner, doing its thing keeping food and stuff solid. It's handy. It's got a goose and two ducks in there that I really should get around to cooking someday. But, that's not what this is about.

Today, it's colder outside than it is inside my big freezer, so I'm pretty sure the poultry in my freezer is slightly better off. It's five degrees below zero with a wind chill of minus 25. So, if nothing else, so far this morning, I haven't really noticed a whole lot of positive things since getting out of bed.

I've come to the realization, however, that the cold is probably why Canadians are such damn nice people. I like Canadians. How could you not? They're all pretty decent, polite, they've got good food, and they like beer... good beer.

But, they've got a hidden agenda. I think, in the Canadian mind, they want to be nice to people who live in warmer climates in the hopes of being adopted and taken home to a nice life someplace where a person's head doesn't explode when they step outside to pick up their morning newspaper. And, who could blame them?

There's cold, and then there's just plain stupid cold, and we here in the Land of Cheese are stepping precariously close to the realm of stupid where only crazy people like the Donner Party live.

Tomorrow, there's the Packers' game, and of course I'm going to be watching and screaming at the TV and doing everything I can to root for my team, but it's going to be stupid cold, and I'm pretty sure they'll be showing a lot half-naked crazy Cheeseheads braving hypothermia and frostbite while the announcers say things like "This is what football is supposed to be like."

Will it be a fun game?

Oh yes.

But, it's going to be cold. And, I'm sure you're going to hear a lot about the cold, again, and again, and again...

I don't like negative numbers. In fact, if I learned anything in college, it's that negative numbers in something like, say, a checking account, are bad and should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, my thermometer only has a Celsius and Fahrenheit setting, and mornings like these make me wish it would display things in Kelvin since, not only would I like to know how close my Jeep is getting to turning into a Bose-Einstein Condensate, but I would also like to wake up with ice on the windows, and see that the thermometer is reading a nice, comfortable 265 degrees above zero.

After all, let's face it, when you see temperatures like that, you think margaritas, you think Mexico, you think gosh, it's hot! I think I want to just sit in the chair with a cold beer. But no. It's still cold, but it's not the sort of cold where the freakin' thermometer is mocking you every time you step close to a window.

Anyway, I'm off to find a way in which to make this morning make some bit of sense. I suppose it doesn't help that I'm watching some comically cheesy movie called Snakehead Terror where people are running around shooting killer fish that wander into their homes and beach-front cabins like Chevy Chase's infamous Landshark from Saturday Night Live. Right now, some teenage girl with a dead eye is blasting a shotgun wildly at a fish infestation that's eating her boyfriend while waiting for Carol Alt to either get naked or save the day.

Yeah... It's still not making a damn bit of sense.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/19/2008 09:32:00 AM

Thursday, January 17, 2008

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

I saw this on Dawn's blog, and it damn near killed me with laughter.


And then, Dawn had to go and post some pictures of her own pets doing random pet things, and, if you haven't been able to tell by now, I really can never leave well enough alone. But, to prove my therapy is working, I only messed with one picture. So, enjoy:

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/17/2008 02:52:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Sign of the Apocalypse?

Now, it's a little strange for Hall & Oates to be canceling dates for their tour. However, what's even stranger is the excuse:
[T]he now-cleanshaven John Oates is busy working on a new cartoon in development about the superpowers of his formerly famous mustache. Seriously. (full, tragic story)
Umm... Yeah. You read that right. You didn't wake up and mistake blotter acid for your coffee creamer. And, though that bagel you had this morning may have been a little dodgy, you're not suffering any sort of odd hallucinations. They actually cancelled some shows because Oates, in all his oaty glory, is making a cartoon about his mustache's super powers.

Excuse me, but I think I need to go stick my head in the microwave.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/17/2008 02:23:00 PM

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Gonna Be a Long, Long, Long Time...

Thanks to the folks at Fark, this morning, I was reminded that it was 30 years ago that the "Greatest Moment in the History of Televised Entertainment" was broadcast, and after watching, I'm going to have to agree... And, thanks to YouTube, I get to share it with all you kids out there who were too young to remember. Enjoy!




Awesome!

Of course, I can't watch that without immediately thinking of this "modern classic" thanks to the folks at Family Guy.


Watch More Videos Uploaded by www.bebo.com/chriscalver100



And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...

-DP

P.S. Yes. I am feeling rather stupid today.

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/16/2008 09:08:00 AM

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Christians? Care to Explain This to Me?

I was just over visiting PZ Myers' Pharyngula, and I found a disturbing little story about how "presidential" candidate Mike Huckabee is actively seeking not to save America, but to flat out destroy it and whatever freedoms we may have held dear.
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view." -Candidate Mike Huckabee

Astounding. This god-soaked lunatic is actually advocating tearing up the U.S. Constitution so as to require all Americans live beneath his pseudo-Christian theocracy embracing the delusions of a single chosen mythology.

How in the bloody hell did America get to this disgraceful point? How is altering the Constitution so as to pimp the Christian God showing any respect to those of this nation who don't believe that mythology? And why, in the 21st Century, are we even having this conversation?

Look, if Huckabee wants to create a Taliban-esque, pseudo-Christian fascist state revolving around his own pathetic religious extremism, perhaps he should pack his bags and head to a country with considerably fewer innate and valued social freedoms. We like America. We love our Constitution. When Christians (or any other religion) call for throwing away our nation's founding document so as to solely embrace their worthless god, we should not turn a blind eye to what can only be seen as sedition and outright treason.

Now, I've said it before, and I will say it again, you so-called Christians who whimper and blubber about how you are being persecuted for your poor beliefs should understand that, so long as you continue along this path of rewriting our nation's history, of seeking to overthrow our nation's government, and of stifling the religious freedoms of this country's citizens, you will, most certainly, see persecution unlike anything your religion has ever seen.

I wish these statements of Huckabee's would sink into the thick skulls of America's Christians. I wish they could take a moment to see what it is he is actually seeking. He's not looking to be president of this nation. He's looking to be no different from an Ayatollah, an Imam, or some such ridiculous religious figure head. And, when they see this, or hear the comments of what Huckabee is actually advocating, Christians should hang their heads in shame at how they've chosen to dismantle the very freedoms that made America great.

There was, at one time, room in this nation for all people of all religions. And, now, Christians are actively seeking to ruin this nation on the shoulders of this maniacal, insane zealot who, even before being elected, openly states that he will violate his sworn Oath of Office:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
I think, in light of these comments, America (and Christians) should call for Mr. Huckabee to remove himself from seeking the office of the President of the United States. After all, what Huckabee is seeking is not the presidency, but he's attempting an all-out coup against the freedoms America's citizens enjoy.

Disgusting. I think most rational Americans would feel the urge to puke at the statements of Mike Huckabee. However, it seems from the way so many are throwing themselves before this lunatic, Christians are blind, dumb, and utterly worthless when it comes to any sort of progress in America.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/15/2008 04:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bucket Post!

This is for Paul. His wife is in the hospital donating a kidney, and Paul, the poor confused sod, can't find his precious bucket. So, I'm going to help.


No? Well... How about this?

Amnesty is a good thing.
Getting warmer, methinks....
Uh-oh... It's "Teh Mawb!"

Yay! He can haz his bukkit!

By the way, here's the sole result for a Google Image Search for Paul's Bucket:

No wonder why he can't find the damn thing. The bucket's in a bloody fortress!

And now, a gratuitous display of large boobs for your enjoyment:


My best to Paul's ridiculously brave wife, and her brother. I hope for a speedy recovery for both.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/15/2008 11:21:00 AM

Monday, January 14, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Ooops... Must've Missed the Memo.

Hey! Here's proof than even Homeland Security doesn't really know dick about the much maligned Transportation Security Administration.

Six years after Sept. 11, it's easy to get complacent and forget that we asked for (and expected) greater protection. Yes, the connection between a baby's shoes and our personal security can seem obtuse. We forget the day that "normal" suddenly wasn't. Perhaps that's a blessing; we can't and shouldn't live in constant fear and distrust.

But we can be respectful to TSA employees who are doing their duty as it is given them (even if it doesn't make much sense to us) -- and patient with other travelers who have forgotten what led to this. And we should know that there is more going on behind the scenes than most of us will ever know.

After standing near TSA employees for hours and watching the process up-close, it all makes more sense to me. There is a method behind the apparent madness of airport screening. Screening regulations, such as the "3-1-1 rule," reflect extensive research about current threats and aren't just random attempts to make us appear safer (3-1-1 means you can include three 1-ounce liquids in a single quart-size bag in your carry-on). Also, the screener's job is harder than it looks because it requires constant attentiveness balanced by courtesy. (Full story)
Wrong! Please step aside ma'am. Homeland Security or not, the TSA would like to have a word with you, and you're going to miss your flight. Here's the TSA's definition:
Make Your Trip Better Using 3-1-1
3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

Ooops. And, who is this potential threat to our airways? Well, it's Mary Hanson from theScience and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. And, she thought it would be nice to play TSA screener for a day. Unfortunately, either a legitimate TSA screener neglected to teach her this simple, yet painfully ridiculous rule in the War on Moisture, or, most likely, the TSA screener doesn't quite understand the rule his or herself.

That, umm... doesn't really make me feel any safer.

Hey! Homeland Security? The next time you send out some low-level drone to shill for your abstract and downright silly policies, could you at least make certain that they know what the hell they're talking about? And, for god's sake! Stop blaming the passengers. We asked to be safer, sure. But we didn't ask for a bunch of bumbling nitwits who fear bottles of baby formula and see a potential explosive in a hunk of cheese. And, we sure as hell didn't expect to be held accountable for yours and the TSA's ridiculous flights of fear-laden whimsy.

Think about it. If I follow Homeland Security's description of what is allowed on a flight, the TSA will not allow me on the flight.

Can I have Mary Hanson's phone number, please? After all, if I get held up for violating some arbitrary rule in the war on wetness, I want my TSA screener to call her and have it actually explained by someone in Homeland Security.

Sincerely,
DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/14/2008 02:50:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Umm... err... Huh?!?

Now, I'm not anywhere near an expert on Middle Eastern politics, but I'm thinking this isn't really going to help anyone:
Bush Delivers Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia
By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press
Posted: 2008-01-14 11:59:11
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom, delivered a major arms sale Monday to a major ally in a region where the U.S. casts neighboring Iran as a menace to stability.

Bush's talks with Saudi King Abdullah also were expected to cover peace between Israelis and Palestinians and democracy in the Middle East.

The administration was notifying Congress of its intent to sell $20 billion in weapons, including precision-guided bombs, to the Saudis. It is "a pretty big package, lots of pieces," national security adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters on Air Force One.
(full story)
This will end well for everyone, I am sure. In fact, I give it about a month --maybe two-- before things start flying around. I mean, this is pretty much like giving the most psychotic bully on the playground a handgun. Eventually, he's going to get bored and start squeezing the trigger.

The troubling bit is that I don't really see how forking over twenty-freakin'-billion dollars worth of weapons to a country whose citizens are responsible for the greatest attack in America's history is any step toward keeping America safe from the nebulous threat of global terror. If anything, giving this gift of death to the Saudi's has the veneer of being a reward for the staggering death toll of 9-11, and it's as if our nation is essentially saying "thanks, guys!"

Add to this the fact that Bush is on some quest to establish "peace" in that region, and the hypocrisy is astounding.

I don't know. If anyone knows a good locksmith in the DC area, perhaps we can change the locks on the White House while our idiot in chief is out of town. Then, when the asshole is picking up his belongs on the front lawn, put him in chains and leg-irons and haul him off to The Hague to be tried for his support of terrorism asa result of arming the very nation who harbors those who wish to do us harm.

Then again... As I said, I don't know Middle East politics. Maybe this is just seen as a nice sort of olive branch fruit-basket to the people of Saudi Arabia? Maybe Bush is just saying, "Please don't send any more of your people to attack us. Here. Have some nice, shiny bombs! Please like us."

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/14/2008 12:40:00 PM

Sunday, January 13, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Awsome Octopus!

I love this video. Make sure you stick around until the end to see an octopus do something pretty freaky amazing.

Link to video

(sorry, J-Land.  I can't embed the video on AOL Journals.  It's definitely worth a watch, though.)
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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/13/2008 05:28:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Guten Morgen...

Sunday, 7:22 AM CST.

I can not brain now. I have caught teh dumb.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/13/2008 07:21:00 AM

Saturday, January 12, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Cheese Smiles...

Hey! My Packers won. They even had a little help from a slight bit of lake-effect snow (or the "Ghost of Vince" if you'd like to be spooky. I mean, it was 63 degrees earlier this week, so, no one expected a freakin' blizzard).

Now, I'm not in the mood to type, and I probably should find some foodstuffs, but since I'm here, I may well share some thoughts about the upcoming games. I want the Jaguars to beat the Patriots, Indianapolis to beat San Diego, and, most importantly, the Giants to beat the Cowboys so, next week, we can have bonus football in Green Bay! After all, without football, there really isn't much to do in Green Bay. It's too warm for ice-fishing, and really, how much bowling can one person do before they lose their minds?

Aside from that, I hope your weekends are all fine and fun.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/12/2008 07:11:00 PM

Friday, January 11, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Happy Friday!


Yeehaa!

It's Friday, and, quite possibly, as you leave your offices, cube-farms or what have you and blaze a trail to your nearest happy hour, some of you may very well resemble this mob.

In my world, this picture here is what every Friday should look like when the whistle blows and the clocks are punched (hard). Cars should be overturned and flaming, papers and crap should be strewn about the street, and bodies. Oh my god! The bodies of the weak should be scattered around waiting for Saturday morning's pain-filled sobriety.

In other words, mayhem would be nice. But, "casual Friday" office-zombie mayhem would be better.

Anyway, since it's Friday, and since I'm kind of curious (in more ways than one, I suppose), I'm going to do my usual thang and ask you all what your plans, if any, are for the weekend?

Is anyone robbing a bank?

As for me, it's going to be football, beers, fried food, more beer, more football, and probably a few hours of sleep tossed in just to keep myself from going more insane. After all, the weather this weekend is going to be typical Wisconsin yuck. It's going to be cold, and it's going to snow. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that, after not seeing the freakin sun all week, I'm going to wake up Monday morning with some sort of moss growing on the back of my neck.

And, not to complain too much, but that shit is really hard to shave off. It's green, it's smelly, and it clogs the blades. It's probably better to just dunk my head in a bucket of lye and take a belt sander to the stuff.

So, anyway, in case I decide to take the weekend off from this blogging thing (ya never know), I hope you all manage to have a good one this weekend. And, remember: Yo udon't have to be good, but you really should be careful.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/11/2008 12:10:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Slow News Days?


I knew there was a reason why I found myself sleeping better than I usually do. Nothing newsworthy has happened in the last two days.

The top stories right now, on Friday, happened on Wednesday, and since then, apparently, nothing has happened.

Don't worry. I know that AOL is pretty glitchy these days, and sometimes pages load all wonky and weird, but it's still a lot of fun for my easily amused self to giggle at these goof ups.

It really does take very little sometimes.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/11/2008 09:48:00 AM

Thursday, January 10, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] How You Doin?

Now, since some of you have asked how things are going on this end, I figured I'd take a bit of time to try and chisel out yet another update to answer those questions. It's nice that you guys ask, and it means a lot.

Still... Not much has changed. I'm still hanging out in limbo with little or nothing being done. I did send off a pile of forms for my doctor to sign and send on to the Humira people to see if I qualify for some sort of trial. Obviously, I have little hope that these forms will find their way to her wretched claws, and they will most likely be passed around that office from one incompetent potato-head to another until the big, burning orange thing in the center of our solar system collapses in upon itself and everything dwindles out of existence.

Yes. It sucks. But, on the plus side, when some alien explorer stumbles upon this cold, dead rock many billions of years from now, maybe they'll unearth my tattered and yellowed collection of unsigned forms and marvel at the fact that humanity made it as far as it did.

So, there's that.

Aside from that, however, there's still a hell of a lot of pain with which I'm dealing. And, I still don't think it's sunk in that I actually paid $1,700 for two very small, seemingly insignificant doses of this chemical voodoo that may or may not work.

I suppose that's kind of crazy now that I think about it. After all, I don't even like to gamble. I mean, even bingo played beneath the buzzing florescent beams in a church basement is still a little too risky for me. I like the "sure thing," and taking this sort of chance I suppose is nothing but a sign of genuine desperation.

I guess pain and suffering can make people do crazy and insensible things. After all, look at Rambo. Or, better yet, Bruce Willis. If I were shot, stabbed, and kicked in the face more times than I had teeth to knock loose, I think I'd just give up, call it quits, and let the bad guys win. Take the money, boys! I'm off to see the dentist.

Anyway, I suppose if you ask me how I am doing, I guess the answer would be something along the lines of saying that I'm just simply coasting into some sort of unknown. But, it's a painful ride, and right now, I am half-tempted to make a run to the emergency room to see if I can request an old-school remedy to take the aches and pains out of the joints I need to use.

Years ago, Dr. Daniel McCarty, the Rheumatologist I used to have was perhaps the most brilliant physician I'd ever met. He literally wrote the book on this disease I fight every day, and one day probably a decade ago, when I was in a heap of pain, he injected Novocain directly into the bursa of several of the knuckles of my fingers and toes (I think it's the MCP joint and whatever its equivalent is on the foot that I'm too lazy to look up at the moment), and oh my freakin' god! It was the most painful experience I'd ever put myself through, but in the end, it was absolute, instant magic. And, after a day or two, once the feeling came back in my fingers and toes, they were, in a word, normal. And, they stayed that way for about four or five years if I remember correctly.

So, if you're duking it out with some nasty arthritis, this is an effective, but temporary, solution; however, in this day of pills and wonky chemistry, I don't know if there are many doctors out there who are even capable of such an out-dated form of pain management. The technique itself involves a good sized needle and the tedious, time-consuming swapping of the lubricating fluid within the joint's bursa with the Novocain. It sure as hell isn't a long-term solution, and it should pretty much only be done on those digits you use the most and want to continue using, but it worked and kept me sane for a while.

Anyway, that's what I want right freaking now. I mean, narcotics work quite nicely and they are really yummy, but they make me blurry, and I need to be able to get things done without blowing myself up.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure if I go to my local ER and request such a procedure, I worry that such a request would cause some twitchy, little resident to wet his pants, shave his head, and move into an ashram for a few years while he ponders his education and his life. And, well, that would make me feel guilty.

So, I suppose I'm doing okay. Things aren't too bad, but they sure could be a hell of a lot better. And, I'm hoping they get that way soon enough. But, it's frustrating, and stressful, and dealing with people who have been hired into positions for which they are wholly unqualified is so damn trying, it does actually take a lot out of a person. Let's face it, currently, the teenage girl who works the local drive-thru has better listening and comprehension skills than the doctors with which I am currently dealing.

Well, I think that pretty much sums it up. Right now, I'm off to investigate this thing called lunch.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/10/2008 10:46:00 AM

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Since I Got Stiffed by Santa...

Who would like to buy me this:


Pay no attention to the price. I mean, really, let's face it, it's the thought that counts, right? And, a hundred and ninety thousand thoughts would count for a lot. In fact, I might even name a puppy after you.

If it helps, just think of it as a really nice clock radio.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/09/2008 05:35:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Well, Now....

I'm thinking this would be a little awkward, don't you?
Man spots his wife during visit to brothel
‘I was dumfounded. I thought I was dreaming,’ he tells Polish newspaper
updated 35 minutes

WARSAW, Poland - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. (Full Story)

Umm... It's kind of hard to take sides on this one, isn't it?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/09/2008 09:36:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Breaking News?!?


Umm...

Well... I suppose...

Maybe it could be one of those major breaking news stories, I guess. After all, apparently the world hinges on Posh Spice's dressing habits, and as her knickers go, so goes the world, right?

Seriously, though...

When I see things like this, I just want to slap someone. This isn't news. This isn't even interesting. This is like jingling a set of shiny car keys in front of Jessica Simpson. It's a distraction.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/09/2008 09:01:00 AM

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

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

Sorry...

Don't shoot me...

I meant to start off the day with a post explaining to the good folks in Ohio that they should unplug their bathroom toaster ovens, drain the bathtubs, and put the razor blades down and go grab a drink.

Really. I know you love your Buckeyes, and since I am a fellow Big Ten alum, I really was hoping that THE Ohio State University could bring a little respect to a conference that has been ridiculed and unfairly judged as unworthy all freakin' year by anyone with a voice and a loose comprehension of the game of college football.

Oh yeah... I'm looking at you, Kirk Herbstreit!

No. I don't know why, but I'm sure it's somehow all your fault. Maybe you graduated too early? I mean, you really should have taken some time off after high school (like twenty years) to see Europe or hike across Australia or find the meaning of life.

But, you didn't, did you?

Nope. You played, you graduated, you grew up (which is something most OSU graduates rarely do, man), you started a wonderful family, and you got a job talking football on ESPN. Yay for you!

You selfish, over-achieving bastard!

I mean, Brett Favre is the same age as you, and he's playing in the NFL. So, the thought of you playing with the kids, knocking them around, and actually winning the Big Game isn't all that hard to imagine.

So yes. Solely for the simple lack of anyone else to blame, I'm going to blame Kirk Herbsteit for bringing this shame upon the Big Ten by getting an education as opposed to playing football.

Now, I know students at THE Ohio State students can turn into an unruly, torch-wielding mob in a matter of seconds, so please don't march on Mr. Herbsteit's house. After all, it could just be that Jim Tressel didn't really have a good game plan going into last night's game. Or, it could be that LSU was a more talented better coached better team luckier team last night.

Nonetheless, look on the bright side all you kids in Columbus, OH. If nothing else, now you've got a reason to drink until September. Just, be careful. I don't want your entire student body to turn into a collection of depressed, booze-swilling cutters.

See? Nothing but love from a Badger.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/08/2008 12:18:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] He's Still Not a Journalist...

By now, you've probably heard about little Billy O'Reilly's shoving match with one of Obama's body guards. It's really not worth getting into because: A) It involves Bill O'Reilly, and B.) It involves Bill O'Reilly.

On the other hand, the utter douchebaggery displayed in this video is pretty much what one would come to expect from The Factor and Fox News in general, and, of course, it's damn funny:



I think Barack Obama's got a pretty decent reason for ignoring Fox News, and I really do wish more candidates would follow his lead. I mean, "anti-Betsy Ross?!?"

What in the bloody hell does that even mean?

Let's face it, the slow and steady decline of Fox News is a direct result of their being buried shoulder deep in the feculent back ends of the Bush Administration for the last seven freakin' years, and now, they can't embrace any candidate anywhere since every single one, aside from the crumbling Giuliani, is wise enough to realize that distancing themselves from these idiots in the White House is a really good idea.

In other words, they are nothing more than a propaganda machine that's lost its voice.

That's a nice thing...

Anyway, back to O'Reilly.

I don't understand where he gets off calling himself a journalist. He's no more of a journalist than Regis Philbin. But, for little Billy O'Reilly to call someone's actions "low class" are not only laughable, they're hysterically laughable. I mean, this is a guy who, in his response defending his actions, asserted that the man blocking his path was lucky he wasn't smaller.

In other words, little Billy O'Reilly is so "high class" that, not only can he not act like an adult in a room full of adults, he can't really pick on anyone his own size or larger in defense of his twisted definition of right and wrong, and he subsequently has to resort to petty, vapid threats to make his case.

In my world, I think we call those kinds of people "bullies."

Personally, I couldn't really care any less about O'Reilly. The guy is the proverbial turd in the punch bowl of respectable journalism. He's a talking head, and he should stay that way, safe in his gleaming tower of oblivion. For Fox to allow that moron free into the general population is simply asking for trouble as a result of stunts such as this. And, these stunts are what passes for journalism in the bloated, self-absorbed world of Bill O'Reilly and Fox News. They simply haven't the slightest hint of integrity, ethics or decency when it comes to truth, facts or legitimate reporting.

Anyway, one thing to keep in mind is that, at no time during that whole little scuffle were Bill O'Reilly's Constitutional rights in jeopardy. He was well within his rights to move elsewhere, and he should have. However, as his desperation to speak to Obama consumed him, O'Reilly found it necessary to single out the biggest man in the room and pick a fight under the notion that his shot was being blocked.

And, after much whimpering and whining at the hands of journalism's Golden Turd, Barack Obama is now forced to confront O'Reilly to either explain the actions of his staffer or apologize for them when he really shouldn't have to.

It's a pretty common stunt these days for those who claim to be journalists yet lack the slightest hint of talent and integrity. Create a situation where you can screech about how you're being persecuted, then demand that the people "persecuting" you explain their actions.

Seriously, folks. It's no different than sticking your head in the oven, and then writing a letter to the company who makes the oven demanding to know why the gas has made you dizzy when other, more intelligent people who keep their heads out of the oven don't really have such problems.

In other words, Billy: If you weren't such a bloated, self-aggrandizing, self-absorbed, ego-stroking, gas-bag, perhaps people would take you seriously, you witless hack.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/08/2008 07:31:00 AM