Monday, June 30, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Spring Cleaning.

Today's house cleaning project made possible by the good folks at Abbot Laboratories --makers of Vicodin and Humira. Without their kind support, and the support of viewers like you, none of this would have been possible.

Rubble.

I used to have a mammoth, mind-shreddingly, back-shatteringly heavy stationary tub in my laundry room. It was more a piece of poured concrete art sculpture than it was any sort of home appliance or plumbing fixture. It honestly weighed close to half a ton, and several years ago, when its iron drain started to leak as a result of corrosion nibbling upon its edges, it simply had to go.

There was grunting involved as it was nudged out of the way and in its place was a shiny-new, comically light and flimsy basin of off-white poly-vinyl-chloride, and there the massive old hunk of stone sat like a pharaoh's sarcophagus with its weight slowly sinking the house (if I lived in a pyramid, maybe it'd work).

Anyway, I don't know if any of you dear readers out there have one of these things in your basements. They come with old houses, and when they aren't leaking, they're freakin' awesome. You could hide inside one should a nuclear holocaust rain down upon your world.

Of course, should it come time to look for survivors, well, let's just hope there are enough people alive to lift the thing off you.

In retrospect, I should have just left it. Granted, it was fun whacking the crap out of it with a twelve-pound sledge, but after making 16 trips up the stairs and to the alley with a five-gallon bucket filled with with rubble, I am starting to wonder who received more of a beating.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/30/2008 09:54:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Hey! Want Some Candy?


Haribo macht Kinder Fro! Und Erwachsne eben so!

I remember my first experience with the delightfully fruity candy that was the Gummi Bear.

It was years and years ago, before they were even known of in the United States, and my father brought home bags and bags of these yummy little bears from a business trip to Germany. We were astounded little children, and we simply gorged ourselves silly.

In fact, my twin brother ate so many, he threw up (though he did have the flu as well), and to this day, he can't eat a Gummi Bear without recalling that horrible night he was forced to look down into the porcelain bowl to see a rainbow of mangled little candy corpses staring back accusingly at him.

Now, these Gummi Lighthouses are not the official Haribo product from Germany, but I wonder if my twin wouldn't mind choking down a few of these by sliding them into his mouth and sucking them until they soften a bit.

Maybe I'll have to pick up a bag to see if he swings toward the lighthouse end of the gummi candy spectrum. After all, he's clearly not into bears.

-DP


(via BoingBoing)

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/30/2008 08:35:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Unfair!

So, I stumbled upon this story, and immediately became stabby...
Teen charged with shoving senior off dock
By Aaron Gouveia
Staff Writer
June 30,

FALMOUTH – A 14-year-old boy was arrested yesterday after he pushed a senior citizen off a dock because he “thought it would be funny,” police said.

The North Falmouth teen – whose name was not released because he is a juvenile – was at Megansett Beach when the 2:20 p.m. incident occurred. Police said the boy ran up behind the 71-year-old victim, who was fishing off the dock with his grandson, and pushed him off the dock and into the ocean.

The man suffered lacerations to both knees and lost his prescription glasses, police said.

Although the boy fled into the woods by the Talk of the Town Diner, several people at the beach knew his identity and immediately called police.

Once arrested, the boy was allowed to make one phone call. Police said he chose to call a friend to “brag and laugh” about what he had done. police said.

The boy was held on $1,000 cash bail and transferred to a secure facility in New Bedford. Police said he will be arraigned today in Falmouth District Court.

Read more about this story in tomorrow’s Cape Cod Times.(Link to Story)
And, I mean really stabby.

Now, I know the kid's only fourteen, and as the rule goes, his name can't be released for fear that... well... For fear that people like me will hunt down this little prick and do everything I can to make him regret every second of his fourteen years on this planet.

Even turning him into a cutter wouldn't be enough.

A cutter with an eating disorder still wouldn't do it.

Please release his name. I think the whole community of Falmouth should know who this little bastard is and where he lives. And, if his parents aren't beating him hard enough, let the rest of the town have a whack at him.

You could even make it part of the town festival. And then, everyone can brag to each other while this kid blubbers in the corner.

Now, I'm not a violent person, and I certainly don't condone beating a child, but every now and then a kid comes along who really challenges my notions on punishment for minors.

-DP



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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/30/2008 08:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Infestation!

I figure that since I'm doing this picture thing, I have to put something up here today. I can't say that I'm in the mood, really. It's a gorgeous morning here. It's one of those perfect mornings, actually. It's 70 degrees, there's a hint of a breeze. There's a lilac tree blooming in the backyard to mask the scents usually wafting off the baked hot garbage bins of my neighbors. So, the distractions of sitting outside in the shade with nothing more than a cup of coffee and the morning paper are overwhelming.

So, here's a picture for your Monday:

Freakin' Aliens!

This is one of the many leaves on my maple tree.

It's a nice, earthy green. There are some drops on it from the recent rain. It is, in fact...

What's that? The pointy, little, flesh-colored tongues sticking up?

Well, that's called "spindle gall." It's freakin' creepy, and the result of some sort of damned parasite that, several years ago, found its way to my tree to, thankfully, do nothing more harmful than ugly it up.

The spindle gall is an odd thing, I'm learning. They can spread from tree to tree, but only on this kind of maple and not, say, my neighbor's red maple that's only about fifteen feet away. His is perfectly lush and healthy while mine is lush, healthy and thorny. My maple tree has gone goth, and I can only imagine the conversations those two trees are having.

"Why must you look like that?"
"Dude! You'll never understand my art!"

All-in-all, though, it's just nature doing nature things, and I really can't complain too much. There are ways to combat the gall of the galls, but it requires smearing myself in the blood of a freshly slaughtered chicken and some slick voodoo chanting while spraying toxic, insanely lethal chemicals at midnight during the third full moon of the year, and I just can't be bothered with all that.

So, my tree will remain spikey, and I don't mind. After all, fleshy thorns or not, it still does its job of blocking out the streetlight.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/30/2008 09:42:00 AM

Sunday, June 29, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Buggy bug bug!

Happy Sunday, one and all and everyone in between!

Here's Sunday's picture.

Dragonfly

Look! It's a dragonfly. It was kind of a pain getting this picture as this winged little bastard just kept flitting from one end of the yard to another, and I had the wrong lens, and yadda yadda yadda...

Still... I think it turned out kind of neat. I like the wings. Those things are the epitome of delicate, and they look like they'd just shred to bits in a strong wind.

Well... Time for me to run. I hope your weekends were neat and nifty.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/29/2008 11:50:00 AM

Saturday, June 28, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Don't Let the Looks Fool You.

I think DeafCat is a big fan of speed metal. In fact, I'd say she's probably got a Slayer or a Pantera tune stuck in her head.

Dude?  Do you mind?

It's the eyes, people! The eyes!

I think my only problem with her choice in music is that it tends to make her a little bitey. Then again, she doesn't exactly see straight, and whenever she tries to chomp on me, she usually just winds up biting the couch, the houseplants, or poor, confused DogCat.

Anyway, I liked this one. It shows her right on the verge of going crazy, and what followed after this shot was taken was a confused mess of blurry white fur and the sound of little kitty claws scratching on the hardwood floor as she tried desperately to run five feet to her right or left.

If she wasn't deaf, I'd definitely introduce her to Yanni.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/28/2008 10:38:00 AM

Friday, June 27, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Here ya go!

Here! Have a rose!

Rose season...

Oddly, it looks almost good enough to eat, doesn't it?

Well, feel free to chomp away. There's dip in the fridge.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/27/2008 12:03:00 PM

Thursday, June 26, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Where's Waldo?



Yeah. I know. It's a little bit blurry, but this is actually a 100% crop of a picture of the ants who are still working their way around my lovage plant.



Now, as fascinating as that is, the thing that really caught my eye was seeing my own reflection on the shiny ass of an ant.



Weird.



Freaky!



If you look closely, you can actually see me hunched over getting the shot. And, you can see the clouds in the sky and a bit of my neighbor's roof behind me.



Had I known that an ant's backside was going to be that reflective, I'd have made a funny face or something.



So, nonetheless, this gives me an idea for a photo challenge of my own. And no. I'm not going to send you out to get a picture of you reflected on a bug's butt, but how about you go out and get a picture of yourselves reflected on something other than the usual reflective surface (no mirrors)?



Does that sound like a fun thing to do? You don't have to put any text in there. In fact, don't put any text in there. Let us work to find you.



If you feel like taking part, go ahead and post the picture to your blogs and journals, and leave a link in the comments.



As for deadlines, we'll say Monday or Tuesday. Whichever works.



Have fun.



-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/27/2008 12:34:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] More Glass Things...

Excellent!

Earlier today, the mail came as it usually does (you know. That whole neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor dead of night stuff), and in this batch of mail, I received another handy lens.

It's a 55mm f/3.5 Micro lens, and I'm kind of wound up about it (it's the one on the left in the picture there).

The thing is, it requires a little knowledge to operate since it doesn't really communicate with my digital camera. So, I have to keep things like aperture, metering, exposure, yadda yadda yadda in mind every time I take a shot. It's like old-school photography, and it's actually a hell of a lot of fun and about as far away from point and shoot as you can get these days.

It's a nice, beat-up little lens, and it's about thirty-five years old. It's got some dings and scratches on the outside, but all-in-all, it's in better condition than I was at that age.

That's clear, I think.

See?

That's pretty sharp, and it's nice to see the glass is clean and scratch free.

As far as macro-sharpness, well, I grabbed this shot of the inner working bits of a petunia earlier, and I think it's pretty impressive.

55mm macro test.

Pretty...

For $50, I'm thinking I got a pretty decent deal on this clunky, old piece of pre-disco technology. Of course, I've got a lot to learn about this whole photography thing now. As it stands, however, I don't think I can say a single bad thing about this lens. Now I can see why people have been raving about this thing for the past thirty or forty years.

Ah well... I'm just babbling at this point. I hope your daysare going great, grand, or otherwise good.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/26/2008 01:30:00 PM

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

I think Dent, Arthur Dent said it best when, shortly before his fictional Earth was reduced to cosmic dust in order to make way for some sort of interstellar bypass, he said, "I could never get the hang of Thursdays."

In honor of that, here's today's picture:

Cloudy Night

Trust me, Arthur. I know how you feel. I'm having a rough time getting myself sorted out this morning, and I know that somewhere, lurking in the shadows of my world, there's a list of things that's going to leap out screaming "Do me!"

However, to help my sloth and laziness, Summerfest starts today. And, though I don't have any plans to go yet, it's a pretty decent alternative to doing anything more productive than drinking and listening to live music. It's nice to know that option exists should the urge to run screaming from the house strike. All I'd need to do is hit my bank's ATM to fetch some beer coupons, and this Thursday could easily turn into a Saturday.

I'm sure that little notion will be burning into my mind,and i will inevitably head off to the fest sometime over the next ten days to catch a few bands and whatnots. Right now, though, I just want to put my feet up and do my damnedest to get a handle on this Thursday.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/26/2008 10:44:00 AM

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Seriously?!?

You have got to be kidding me...

White House Refused to Open Pollutants E-Mail
By FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: June 25, 2008

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.
(Full story)
What the flying fuck through fucking, McFucky Town is wrong with these idiots we have in the White House?

I mean, are they twelve years old?

Younger?

Yes. You're right, Dubya. Perhaps the best tactic is to simply cram your pudgy, little, shit-stained fingers in your ears and mumble "na-na-na-na... Not gonna read the bad mails. No bad mails. Bad mails are bad. Not gonna read 'em."

I just can't wrap my mind around the freakin' arrogance and gleaming stupidity of these prattling oxygen thieves we have running our country into the ground.

Gyaagh! It's so damn embarrassing and distressing having this retard in office. And, in light of this latest childish nonsense, I just want to roll up a newspaper and smack the ever-living shit out of our president.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/25/2008 08:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] From the Flowers to the Celery Seed...

So, I've got this lovage plant growing in the garden (Lovage --or Maggi-plant for some of you Euro-folks-- is where celery seed comes from). It tends to get a little huge, and really, I hardly use the stuff when I cook. I know. I should use it more. It's not half bad, and it really packs a whollop in the I didn't know celery had flavor department.

No. Don't ask me how to get celery seed from the thing. I have no idea how to go about doing that. Plus, I can't think of a single recipe out there that uses celery seed. Now, celery salt? Oh yeah. I only know of one recipe for that, and it's damn good bloody mary (although, a friend of mine used to put it on his buttered toast, but I could never really get into that).

Anyway... Where the hell was I?

Oh yes. My lovage plant.

It's next to the ant-infested peonies. And, as today's picture shows, ants really seem to dig celery seed.

They like the celery seed.

Kind of neat, I suppose. I like the little ant coming up the stem to this packed snack bar of munching insects. However, as the picture illustrates, ants are freakin' stupid, since, as you can see in the background, there's a completely ant-free and open buffet right next door.

Anyway, aside from that, I recommend the large version or The Really Large Version (also known as The Big O).

They look like little ninjas.

Thankfully, I the ant infestation is limited to the garden and not inside the house.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/25/2008 10:26:00 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Mistah Bertz, he dead.

On this vast and mysterious planet, what we know is rivaled only by what we don't know. Every time a discovery is made, and a question is safely settled and put to rest, from the dark shadows of confusion and inquiry leaps yet another puzzle or riddle in search of an answer.

Such is it human. We are explorers. It's what we do.

However, over the past week, a lot has been made of the tribe of orange people living in the dark heart of the Amazon.

At first, it was suggested that they were "uncontacted," and clearly the only interaction they had with those from more developed corners of the world was when, from above in their noisy flying dragons with cameras clicking, city folk would buzz the simple, orange tribefolk and send them scurrying to work out any number of neurotic fears in the witchdoctor's hut for months on end.

Nonetheless, lately it's come out that this isn't entirely true, and the existence of that particular tribe has been known for quite some time.

Anyway, I'm happy to say that I recently grabbed my camera, booked a flight out of Brazilia, and flew headlong into the vast and lethal Amazon to see if I could find this tribe to determine whether or not contact with the civilized world had any effect on them.

And, here is what I found:

And thus ends Bert.

We flew in low to get this shot, and, as you can see, the simple tribesman here seems to be sending a message of sorts. I'm unsure what it could be, and I'll let the anthropologists debate it for years to come.

Perhaps they were trying to appease us, their flying, camera-toting gods above with a simple offering of Bert's heart and head?

However, as can be seen by this villager's proud clutching of the still-beating heart and countenance of glee, these are a people who must be approached with caution since it's clear they see death as a gift to those they worship.

In the end, we may never truly know these simple people, and perhaps, it may be best to leave them alone to enjoy their lives as they are. They don't need us.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/24/2008 10:38:00 AM

Monday, June 23, 2008

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

Lots of things are hurting me today. There's the usual aches and pains in my hands and feet, but those things pale in comparison to the heartache I feel upon learning of the passing of George Carlin.

I can't say that he constantly made me laugh with every joke he told, but I can say that on those moments when a joke of his landed, I laughed harder than I thought possible.

My town, Milwaukee, has such an odd history with George Carlin. It was here where he was arrested for uttering his "Seven Dirty Words." I think some of his best fans are here, and in a way, Milwaukee has sort of adopted George Carlin, and we've come to see him as an important part of our city's history. And, because of him, we've all come to understand the value and importance of free speech.

I'm glad he broke a law that desperately needed to be broken, and because of his antics, a lot of comedians today can say what they truly feel. And that is something that should never be forgotten.

So yes. There is some sadness to today. And I am definitely going to miss this very funny man.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/23/2008 02:35:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's a Sunny Monday!

Hey everyone!

Here's your Monday photo...

The Beach.

It's got some of everything: Pretty clouds. A rainbow. Some birds. A little rain.

I took this at the end of my street the other day. I was really hoping to catch some lightning along with the rainbow. Didn't get it though.

Still looks cool, though. Even the wide-angle lens distortion adds a little something to it with that gradual curve in horizon.

Okay. Busy day here. I hope your Mondays are going well and wild.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/23/2008 10:55:00 AM

Sunday, June 22, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Hey! I Won Something!

Hi folks!

I actually won a little --teeny-tiny, really-- insignificant contest on Flickr.

Here's the picture that won:

Foggy Night

I know. It's not much, but it is a bit of good news, and I figured I'd share it.

As for the picture itself, it was taken looking down the street on one of those typically Wisconsin-ish dark and foggy nights.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/22/2008 07:52:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bonus Peony!

Wow. Seems like people are diggin' the previous peony picture. So, perhaps I should put up another perfectly pretty picture of another popping peony for you people's pleasure.

(Excuse me. I need to wipe off the monitor here..)

So, all ham-handed alliteration aside, here's a different peony.

Shredder.

You like, no?

Actually, it looks like it went through the paper shredder. And, if it was orange (do they even make orange peonies?), it'd look like a freakin' blooming inferno!

Instead, this is just a white one, and unfortunately, some of the whites are a little blown out, but I like it.

Still... These things must smell like a corpse. They really attract the bugs.

Well, I'm out. Have a great and spectacular Sunday evening. Try not to hurt yourselves.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/22/2008 04:20:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] You Decide!

I have a question for all you aesthetically-minded folks out there. I'm a plebeian. A simple-minded brute if you will. In fact, my eye for art and beauty rarely runs any further than the center pages of Playboy magazine.

Therefore, since I am clearly unable to appreciate anything on its artistic merits, I figured I'd allow you all to tell me whether or not this image has any artistic worth whatsoever:

switch

I like this picture. It's simple. It's blurry. It's got some neat flare in terms of light and dark, and though it doesn't have a smokin' hot woman standing in her underwear, I think, all things considered, it's got its merits.

So, what do you think?

Art or Not Art?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/22/2008 02:30:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Hello Ladies!

Here's something pretty for you on this warm and wonderful lazy Sunday in June.

Ribbons.

See? It's all pretty and ribbony and stuff like that.

I've got these peonies growing along side the house, and they attract bees and ants and sundry bugs and whatnots. In other words, they are the perfect thing to plant next to a freakin' house!

I'd like to meet the genius who planted them.

Oh well, if nothing else, at least they look kind of nice.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/22/2008 11:03:00 AM

Saturday, June 21, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Switch Hitter versus Switch Pitcher.

Yep. This is pretty freaky in a sort of immovable object meets an unstoppable force sort of way.


Of course, you don't really need to watch the whole video to get the gist of the madness involved. It gets pretty weird pretty quickly.

The thing is, I've never seen a person who could pitch a ball both right-handed and left-handed. I mean, I'm left-handed, and I can throw pretty well. However, if I try to throw something with my right hand, forget it. It's like an instant joke. I don't just throw like a girl with my right hand. I throw like a girl whose suffered some sort of head trauma with a dislocated shoulder and elbow, and I'm lucky if I can get the ball to go three or four feet.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/21/2008 06:17:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] So Long!

Well, now. I just found out my buddy Dawn is going on vacation today. So, that means I have five days or so to postpone the DogCat entry which I was planning on writing. Hooray! I can procrastinate!

Aside from that, apparently, Dawn's going to someplace called Vermont. I'm not sure if this exotic, third-world backwater has electricity, health care or even a telephone, but let's hope it's a fun trip nonetheless. And, let's really hope that Dawn is current on all her shots and immunizations.

Do they have Ebola in Vermont?

So, anyway, that DogCat entry I've been touting?

Yeah. Check back next week sometime. I promise. I will try my damnedest to dig deep and tap into my speedily dwindling sense of humor to find something silly.

Anyway, in light of that, here's a completely Non-Vermont related picture for your Saturday enjoyment. Someday, I promise, I will go to this far-off land of mystery that is Vermont. I will enjoy the natives and try my hardest to embrace their quirky customs and social mannerisms.

Clean those fish.

Would you freeze your fish in this freezer?

I wouldn't. But, you know who would?

People who live in Vermont.

They're hard core that way. In fact, I've heard they eat rust and paint-chips on those odd days when the health department shuts down the Old Country Buffet.

I swear. This Vermont place must be a magical land where anything is possible.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/21/2008 03:14:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Freakin' eh!

Yesterday was pretty nice.

Today? Not so much.

Right now, things sort of hurt. And, I'm just waiting to see if they get worse or if they somehow get better.

Fortunately, to take my mind off things, I just watched Jonathan Rhys-Davies get his face eaten by a sabretooth tiger in some comically low-budget "horror" film on the Sci-Fi Channel.

This movie has everything!

There are the requisite screeching, sex-starved hotties being guided through the brush by a grizzled, knife-wielding, mercenary turned animal-control officer. Lost's Josh Holloway plays Trent, a scrappy young lad who is currently trapped in a cave by a rather cartoonish version of a really pissed-off Tony the Tiger.

So, I'm not certain if someone's will be eaten, or if they may find themselves forced to eat a bowl of cereal. This movie is all over the dramatic map. In fact, as I write this, Animal-Control Mercenary just tumbled ass-over-tea-kettle down a hill for no good reason to land in a something called an unmarked-bear-trap.

That's just bad luck.

However, rather than pry himself loose from the unmarked bear-trap that's clutching his ankle, he's sent his crew of unwashed misfits into the forest to find spears. Because, when a prehistoric, meat-eating beast the size of a Volkswagen is on your heels, a pointed stick is just what you need to make the day better.

Those are tough-guy antics, right there, people.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes.

Things are kind of sore here again, and I'm probably not going to be doing much in the way of typing. I'll try to post a picture, but I can't promise anything. I'm just hoping things get better. The thing is, I seem to have been hoping for that for what seems to be the better part of a decade.

Unfortunately, with the way things have been hurting lately, I've not been able to get out and take too many pictures, so I'll see if I can dig up something entertaining, but I can't promise anything. So, check back if you wish. And, if not, have yourselves a dandy wild weekend. It's officially summer, so, really, what more of an excuse do you really need?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/21/2008 11:32:00 AM

Friday, June 20, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Give it a Shake!

I'm not a huge fan of snow globes, but thanks to the crazy kids at Metafilter, I think I found some snow globes that are an absolutely must have.

Talk about dark!

Unfortunately, they ring in at around $750 a pop for these unique little pieces of fascinatingly morbid kitsch. But, if nothing else, these are my kind of conversation pieces. You throw some of these on your mantle, and well... People are going to talk.

Even better, when these people talk, I think most of them will say something along the lines of "Oh gee! Would you look at the time? We really must be going."

Anyway, these little works of art were created by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz, and I warn you, some of them are pretty creepy, but they are, if nothing else, very original. I suppose if the Addams Family collected snow globes, you'd definitely find these displayed quite proudly.

Neat, huh?

So, who wants to... umm... loan me $750?

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/20/2008 11:28:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I should have just taken up crack.

*sigh*

Well, I bought a new lens.

Actually, truth be told, it's not new at all, and it hasn't been new for at least thirty years or so. However, it was cheap (something like $50 which is a far cry from what its price was thirty years ago, I tell you), and according to those in the know, it's one of Nikon's sharpest lenses ever built. So, I am certainly looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on my 55mm f/3.5 micro (which technically means macro but Nikon has to be different for some reason and use micro).

Now, I honestly can't explain why I ordered this. There's a part of me that really gets a kick out of using all those old lenses on my new digital camera. Not only do they look absolutely twisted in a completely anachronistic sort of way, the quality of some of those older lenses has always been tough to beat.

In other words, I didn't need it, but it was only $50, and sometimes that sort of thing is impossible to pass up.


In other news, the latest version of Firefox has hit the general population, and after futzing around with it for a while, I'm going to say it's pretty damn nifty.

Not only is it a smidge faster than Firefox 2.0, perhaps one of the more interesting upgrades in version 3 is the ability for color management for rendering color spaces other than Adobe sRGB, so photos as they appear in the photo-editing software will look the same in the browser.

Yes. It's a very subtle, and barely noticeable feature which, up until now, only the Safari browser was capable of. Of course, I'm certain eventually Microsoft's Internet Explorer will pick this color management feature up one of these days, but until then, if you're using IE, you're stuck with Adobe sRGB. Granted, you're really not missing much, but you are missing something (for now).

As for the add-ons for which Firefox is famous, the last couple of days I've been really having a fun time running the PicLens add-on (pictured on the right) It's a real blast on sites like Flickr and YouTube as it lays the content out in front of you in a panel of thumbnails whose size can be adjusted with the scroll-wheel, and the left to right movement is operated on a bar on the bottom. And, with a simple click, you can zoom in and activate the content.

For example, what you see here is my Flickr photostream; however, if I were poking around on YouTube, that would be a list of videos, and if I wanted to play one of those videos, I only have to click on it. It's actually a hell of a lot of fun and easy to use. In fact, it's one of those things which is easier to use than it is to explain how to use it.

Other than that, it's the usual add-ons: AdBlock Plus, One-Click Answers, Hyperwords, Greasemonkey, etc..

Well, I think that should do it for now. I was planning on dragging this out, but naaah! You don't need that. Plus, I've got to watch Doctor Who since I missed the 8 PM matinee because I was out walking the neighborhood looking for DogCat who's been gone all day (I found him squaring off with another neighborhood cat, and all is right with the world again).

Anyway, if you've got Firefox 2, you might want to upgrade. Of course, doing so with a young release as this can be a little dodgy since something will most certainly be an issue somewhere. But, so far, on this end, it's running great.

Finally, Barry (Not Bob), the guy on the other side of the pond who takes awesome pictures, said he was thinking about getting a polarizer or an infra-red remote, and to that, I've just got to say, get them both.

The remote for my Nikon was probably the best camera purchase I'd ever made. And, the circular polarizer was just this over-priced hunk of junk I picked up at Best Buy for $15. I'm honestly (and pleasantly) surprised that my fish pictures even turned out, and I'm kind of stunned the polarizer worked at all (I've had terrible luck with the company who makes these filters. I bought a UV filter that just ruined every picture with lens flares and whatnots). Of course, I'd like a better one since I really don't think the one I've got could handle much more than simply cutting through the glare on water, but then those things start getting pricey fast. Still, it's nice to know that I do have this cheap, but functional thing, in my camera bag should I need it.

Okay... I'm off.

-DP

P.S. What's everyone's plans for this weekend? Is anyone taking a limo to a Bon Jovi concert?


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/20/2008 09:34:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Phriday's Phishy Photo...

In a bit of a rush today. For what it's worth, things are good, and I've been getting out trying to do everything that I couldn't really do when things were hurting. So, I've been out, and the clock's been ticking.

Anyway, here's Friday's picture.

More Fish

It's nothing fancy, mind you. This is just one of a bunch of shots I took of the bluegills in my buddy John's pond last weekend. For bluegills, they're actually pretty big, and I suppose it's only a matter of time before we find out whether or not they're tasty! I just think it's cool in that there's the little fish making a play for some bread crumbs, and I don't think he quite understands that there's a bigger fish flying up to eat not only the bread crumbs, but his head as well.

Now, I was kind of surprised these pictures turned out at all. There was a ton of glare off the water, but the cheap-ass polarizer I slapped on the end of the lens just chomped right through all that annoying, unwanted light.

Okay... Lunch is over, and I've got to get back to my madness.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/20/2008 01:11:00 PM

Thursday, June 19, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Djinantoniks?

Awesome.

It's being reported that the latest little Mars rover we sent has just found ice on the Red Planet.

So, you bring the tonic and limes, and I'll pick up some gin and munchies.


-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/19/2008 09:19:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Off to the Land of Wobbles...

Now, yesterday was a bad day as, hour by hour, I grew closer to, and inevitably tumbled over, that line in my days which separate the good ones from the pain-filled pains in the ass.

On the plus end of things, tomorrow is another injection day, and I get to dose up on my Humira which kind of works. I've settled my mind on the simple fact that "kinda works" is better than not working at all, and I tend to go about my day with that notion that even though things could be better, it would also take very little to make them a whole hell of a lot worse.

So, I'm not planning on doing much, if anything, today. It helps that there's a Doctor Who marathon on again, and I can distract myself from the aches and pains by loading up on Vicodin and letting my eyes wobble over Billie Piper's curves all afternoon. And that, my friends, is not too bad.

Anyway, I owe you all a picture or a few. I've been kind of unmotivated lately, and I can't put that all on the aches and pains. I mean, it's summer, and I do like to get out and enjoy these reasonably nice days here in the land o' cheese. Believe it or not, in the few days where the snow is gone and the bug have yet to arrive, Wisconsin can actually be a pretty nice place.

So, here's today's picture, and I hope you enjoy it:

Sputnik

I kind of like this one, and it turned out fairly well. In fact, I've got it set as my desktop wallpaper, and it's kind of neat when it's all big and stuff.

If you'd like to do the same, just click here to get to the big, friendly original-size, then right-click on the image and choose "Set as desktop background."

It's kind of cool in that dandelions are normally these nice, poofy, allergy-attack inducing things, but when they're wet, they look a lot like a bunch of Q-Tips sticking out of a pincushion, eh?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/19/2008 10:53:00 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I Suppose You Could Pray for Louisiana.

They are going to need it in the coming months and possibly years.

Now, lately, I've been trying very hard not to be so critical of religious zealotry; however, after receiving the following in my email, it's going to be close to impossible.

We in the LA Coalition for Science have reached the point at which the only possible measure we have left is to raise an outcry from around the country that Gov. Jindal has to hear. What is happening in Louisiana has national implications, much to the delight of the Discovery Institute, which is blogging the daylights out of the Louisiana situation.

SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has passed both houses of the legislature, and the governor has indicated that he intends to sign it. But we don't have to be quiet about this. There is something that you and everyone else you know who wants to help can do:

The LA Coalition for Science has posted a press release and an open letter to Jindal asking him to veto the bill. The contact information is at the LCFS website.

It is time for a groundswell of contacts to Jindal, and this must be done immediately since we don't know when he will sign the bill. The vote in the legislature is veto-proof, so any request for Jindal to veto the bill must stress that the governor can make this veto stick if he wants it to stick. Please contact everyone you know and ask them to contact the governor's office and ask him to veto the bill. Please blog this. If you have friendly contacts in your address book, please ask them to also contact the governor's office.

We want people all over the country to do this, as many as possible, since Louisiana will be only the beginning. Their states could be next. Here are the talking points:

Point 1: The Louisiana law, SB 733, the LA Science Education Act, has national implications. So far, this legislation has failed in every other state where it was proposed, except in Michigan, where it remains in committee. By passing SB 733, Louisiana has set a dangerous precedent that will benefit the Discovery Institute by helping them to advance their strategy to get intelligent design creationism into public schools. Louisiana is only the beginning. Other states will now be encouraged to pass such legislation, and the Discovery Institute has already said that they will continue their push to get such legislation passed.

Point 2: Since Gov. Jindal's support for teaching ID clearly helped to get this bill passed in the first place, his decision to veto it will stick if he lets the legislature know that he wants it to stick.

Point 3: Simply allowing the bill to become law without his signature, which is one of the governor's options, does not absolve him of the responsibility for protecting the public school science classes of Louisiana. He must veto the bill to show that he is serious about improving Louisiana by improving education. Anything less than a veto means that the governor is giving a green light to creationists to undermine the education of Louisiana children.

You can pull additional talking points from the LCFS press release and our online letter if you want them.

Now we have to get the message out to people. People can contact the governor and and also contact their friends, asking them to do the same. We need to create a huge network of e-mails asking people to do this. Where they live does not matter at this point. What is happening in Louisiana has implications for everyone in the nation. The Discovery Institute does not intend to stop with the Pelican State.


It's from Barbara Forrest, and she's terribly worried about the inevitable and impending collapse of Louisiana's educational system as a result of the passing of SB-733, The Louisiana Science Education Act, which seeks to give the pseudo-scientific nonsense of creationism and intelligent design time in the state's public school science classrooms.

The thing is, this legislation is going to lead to yet another lawsuit since, as was seen in Dover, PA, it's already been proven that creationism and intelligent design violate the separation clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as a result of their blatant religious underpinnings. And, it only takes a moment to realize that religious superstition and Dark Age philosophy have no place in the texts of today's American science scholars.

Unfortunately for Louisiana, Governor Jindal has shown that he is in favor of cramming religious dogma into the minds of the students regardless of the wishes of our nation's founders that this country shall always remain free.

So, sadly, there is little hope to save the free minds and beliefs of Louisiana's children as well as the already strapped finances of Louisiana's taxpayers; however, as Dr. Forrest suggests, there may still be time to open Governor Jindal's eyes to the dark and damaging path that lay ahead for the good people of Louisiana should he not veto this legislation. So, clearly, it's important to write Governor Jindal or call him (225-342-7015 or toll-free at 866-366-1121) to express your concerns and try to convince him to stop this now.

You can find a copy of the open letter written by the Lousiana Coalition for Science here.

Moreover, for the Christians reading this who also wish to save science education in Louisiana, I found a fine letter of concern written by a Christian here.

So, get on that if you can. The people of Louisiana have suffered enough, and the last thing they need is to have the minds of their children crippled by superstition and pseudo-science.

I agree with P.Z. Myers in that it must be made perfectly clear to Governor Jindal that should he have any national political aspirations, the willful destruction of science standards in the Louisiana curriculum will "follow him like stink on a skunk."

Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer also has a lot to say on this.

Thanks,
Dan

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/18/2008 07:44:00 PM

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Tippin' One for the Homeys.

For Today's Picture, we've got a party, of sorts...

Gettin' their drink on.

Yes. It's a summit of Eastern philosophers cracking open a magnum and having a dandy little intellectual hootenanny on my stovetop.

Obviously, Buddha, with his floppy man-boobs, is enjoying himself much much more than Confucius, but, you know, unless you're The Hulk or Godzilla, those things tend to happen when you drink yourself green. Confucius likes to stay somewhat sober so he can stay sharp and get the babes.

Anyway, please use the comments section to caption the conversation these two are having.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/17/2008 09:38:00 AM

Monday, June 16, 2008

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

I had a pretty nifty weekend. I headed out of town and up to my buddy's house in Two Rivers (which, after the rain we had, could probably almost be called One River) to drink beer and watch him put his boat in the water where my supervision was vital.

I do apologize for the short notice and for not posting the daily picture of something of unique importance. I was planning on setting it up to post in my absence, but then I had some troubles, time ran out, and I was left rushing and running. Then, this morning I was at the doc's office getting inspected (so far, everything's about as good as it should be), and now, at 1:30-ish in the afternoon, after three days of bopping around, I am finally sitting down to get back into doing what I usually do (swallowing Vicodin and babbling somewhat coherently).

Anyway, enough of that prattle, here's Monday's picture:

Bee is for backside

I caught a bee!

Actually, it's the business end of the insect, but that's a little more interesting, I think. Plus, it's kind of slick how it's just sort of hanging there.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! And, I hope it makes up for the two previous photo-phree days.

-DP

P.S. Don't worry. I am planning on doing a DogCat entry soon. I know some of you saw the picture and giggled a bit (thanks for the emails, by the way). I've just not been able to get around to writing it. Plus, Confucius has been busy, but I did manage to catch up with him one night while he was sitting on the stove sucking down some malt liquor with his good, green, buddy Buddha. So, I'll be writing about that just as soon as I can. Right now, however, my hands are sore, and I am just going to plop down and watch golf (Insofar as I love watching Tiger play this frustrating game, I'm kind of pulling for Rocco Mediate since I used to kick his ass religiously on the golf game I had on my Commodore Amiga about a billion years ago. So, he's due!).

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/16/2008 01:30:00 PM

Saturday, June 14, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bags Packed...

And I am out of town...

See ya Monday!

Feel free to babble in the comments if you please.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/14/2008 11:03:00 AM

Friday, June 13, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Shocked.

The passing of Tim Russert is one of those losses which simply leaves me aching and gutted inside. I just can't believe it. He was only 58.

This is just sad, terrible, shocking news.

The world of journalism has lost what could very well be its most fair, its most honest, and its most impartial voice at a time when such things are increasingly rare and at a premium.

I was reading his latest post earlier today in which he stresses the importance of maintaining the truth and our perspective in this year's presidential campaign, and now, those words are simply ringing around me right now as though they are a hope that needs to be fulfilled.

Damn it. At a time when so many in the news business insist on doing it wrong, Tim Russert was one of the few who did things right.

-DP




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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/13/2008 02:46:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Hayseed Goes to Washington.

Like Florida, its Gulf Coast partner in concrete-headed stupidity, Texas is always good for a laugh or two.

Take this little article, for example:

Work on Texas GOP's platform stirs passions

09:02 AM CDT on Friday, June 13, 2008
By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

HOUSTON – Robert Hurt went to Washington and didn't like what he saw – nudity in the nation's capital.

"Nude women, sculptured women," he told the state Republican platform committee, which sat in rapt attention.

Of all the evils in Washington that the Texas GOP took aim at this week, removing art with naked people from public view was high on the list for Mr. Hurt, a delegate from Kerrville.

"You don't have nude art on your front porch," he explained. "You possibly don't have nude art in your living rooms. So why is it important to have that in the common places of Washington, D.C.?"

Mr. Hurt offered statistics: He'd heard that 20 percent of the art in the National Gallery of Art is of nudes.

He offered detail: On Arlington Memorial Bridge overlooking the famed national cemetery, "there are two Lady Godivas, two women on horses with no shirt on and long hair."

Actually, they are classical sculptures about war – one called Valor, depicting a male equestrian and a female with a shield, and Sacrifice, a female accompanying the rider Mars. (Full Story)
I love the end bit there. I mean, here we have some uncultured, rabidly-ignorant, Bible-thumping yokel from Texas squawking about the artwork in our nation's capital, and how, in his narrow mind, the memorials, the statues, and the landmarks meant to honor and pay homage to one thing or another from our nation's history can lead to decadence and all sorts of human depravity.

If he's popping his gasket over a couple of naked chicks on a bridge, just wait until this witless , sex-obsessed gomer casts his eyes upon the Washington Monument or finds himself standing, and looking up from Lincoln's wide-stance.

Of course he's a Republican. Of course he's from Texas. And, of course he's a Christian. And, of course he's filled with all sorts of self-righteous indignation over things which extend much further into humanity and reality than his poor, pitiful, terrified, little mind can ever grasp.

It's art. Get over yourself, or go back to your spartan, unadorned life in Texas.


-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/13/2008 11:59:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Friday... A Picture...

This one's for Barry.

Framed Nimbus.

A while back, Barry brought to my attention the whole notion of a "cloudscape," and at first I thought he may have been kind of batty. I mean, it's a cloud man. They show up from time to time, and attaching the suffix "scape" to them just strikes me as the kind of thing crazy people talk about in between looney-bin garden time and arts & crafts.

It's like that pastel-coated nightmare, Sandra Lee, and her constant stressing of what she calls "tablescapes." Seriously. It's a freakin' dinner table. If you're going to sit there eyeballing a bunch of inedible madness piled upon a surface where food should be, you're going to starve, and the incident report will read "Killed by tablescape."

Then, I looked a little closer at these cloud things.

They are kind of fluffy.

They've got a lot of character.

They can look menacing and awesome and, I hate to say, somewhat pretty.

So, I guess I can embrace Barry's cloudscape idea, and it's probably for the best since it's not stopped raining here in Wisconsin since I turned 40.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/13/2008 09:12:00 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Wreckin' ur Braynz!

Hi. Look at this:

Comfy Chair

Is it freakin' you out? Are you feeling a little dizzy? Does the world no longer make sense to you?

No?

Damn!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/12/2008 04:16:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Falling? The Sky? It's Falling?!?

I just found out that FEMA is in town, and I unfortunately I keep missing them. I mean, how cool would it have been to have my picture taken with a FEMA Peep?

Now, thankfully they are here since, once again, the tornado sirens are heralding a few more storms plowing through our area, and, from what I gather, the FEMA-Peeps might not have a whole heck of a lot of first hand experience. So, as things descend into a madness of lightning, thunder, high winds and damaging hail (again), it'll be good that they're here. Maybe a tree will fall on their truck, and well... I'd like to be the one standing there telling the FEMA-Peep that perhaps they should call FEMA for help.

Keep in mind, I'm not picking on FEMA. After all, I think they do a heckuva job.

Okay... I'm off to ready myself for this next assault. This time, I refuse to be caught unaware, and Mother Nature won't get the upper-hand! I've got my mop and a fresh clip of Vicodin in my pocket! Bring it on, beyotch!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/12/2008 03:11:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Is There No End?


Hi everyone.

Today's a bad day on this end. I've got a lot of the usual aches as well as a few new ones, and now, the tasty cherry topping is that some sort of previously unknown allergy has worked its way into my head. I blame the mold in the wet basement, btu I'm not 100% sure of that. Still, in other words, I'm a mess.

However, since I'm not in the mood to write, I figured I'd point you to a pretty fantastic bit written by John Scalzi regarding the picture you see on the right.

Like I said: I laugh at Fox News. They deserve nothing more. And, I thank John Scalzi for helping me find the humor in the unabashed ignorance of Fox News. So, do yourselves a favor and click the link and enjoy the little read.

If you still watch Fox News after that, then you deserve to be laughed at for a very long time.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/12/2008 12:01:00 PM

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Terrorist Fist Jab?!?

Umm... Fox?

Hello? Fox News? Are you guys paying attention over there?

I'm not sure if you are, but I'm thinking you might want to sit down and have a little talk with your perky little muppet E.D. Hill about things like reality, terrorism... You know? Shit like that.

I mean, take a look at the first few seconds of this video:




I mean, do you guys even TRY to hide the fact that your entire network is nothing but a right-wing propaganda machine captained by a colossal douche who's teaming with a school of brainless pilot-fish you call journalists?

Seriously, people. "Terrorist, fucking, fist-jab?!?"

You have got to be kidding. The mind just staggers at the dizzying inanity of the folks at Fox. And, they call themselves a news outlet! And, people actually watch and gobble up this pablum as though it had some sort of connection to reality or current events or even freakin' journalism!

Gyaaagh! What a monstrous embarrassment this comically unqualified piece of mindless fluff E.D. Hill is.

Terrorist fist jab?

Terrorist... Fist... Jab...

Really, people. Try to wrap your mind around that. It's just not possible. It sinks Fox News to a level I've never imagined. These people are fucking morons! Do they sit around inside some little playpen and come up with this nonsense?

I want to know who crammed the idea of a terrorist fist jab into the empty head of E.D. Hill. She couldn't have come up with it herself. There's no way a career-oriented woman would ever broadcast such gleaming stupidity. So, where did this come from?

What Fox-flunky concocted the notion that bumping fists together --like hundreds, thousands, millions of sports people, bar patrons, etc.-- is something that should be tied to terrorism?

Holy fuck! Fox News is dumb!

Yowza! I feel sorry for anyone who watches Fox News.

Really... I can only laugh.

Terrorist... fist... jab...

Gyaagh!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/10/2008 03:43:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Tuesday's Picture...

Hiya! I've not been able to get out of the house much over the last couple of days since I've been mopping and doing my part to clean up the big wet mess in the basement. So, you're just going to have to settle for yet another picture of the result of the rain.

Waterfall of...

This is the waterfall in the park by my house. This thing was just roaring when this shot was taken the other day. It was deafening.

Okay. Now I've got to go tinker with my computer. It seems to be acting up. However, I've found that the easiest way of fixing pretty much any computer issue is to wave one or two slices of cooked bacon over the keyboard while humming whatever random song you may have in your head.

Yeah. I know. Who knew?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/10/2008 11:08:00 AM

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


Here's a quick list of Rep. Dennis Kucinich's 35 Articles of Impeachment. Oddly enough, I had to pull this list from the... (drum roll please)... Belfast Telegraph. You'd think that when a Congressman unloads not only 35 Articles of Impeachment, but the supporting evidence as well, there would be some media interest in places other than Belfast, Ireland.

On the other hand, perhaps Rep. Kucinich's wife should have given the speech. I believe she's shiny enough and attractive enough to catch the eye of our embarrassingly shallow and superficial mainstream news outlets.

Only one of these accusations needs to stick, and the funny thing is, depending on Scott McClellan's scheduled testimony on June 20th, at least one of these does have that chance.

Ah well... I can't say that I agree with all of these. In fact, out of 35, there are maybe seven that I believe warrants impeachment. But, here they are:

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy Article

XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to " Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture Article XX Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws Article

XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders



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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/10/2008 10:21:00 AM

Monday, June 9, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Chimpeachment!

Right now, instead of watching House, I'm actually getting kind of fired up watching CSPAN's broadcast of Dennis Kucinich unloading his 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush.

Now, I know a lot of folks will say that it's far too late in this dreadful administration; however, one of the real perks of impeachment is that, if I recall correctly, the president loses his ability to pardon whomever he pleases, and this could do a lot in terms of accountability.

It's actually a largely fascinating thing to watch, and it's a shame that the major news outlets are refusing to show you what could, conceivably, be a very important event in our nation's history.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/09/2008 08:31:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Splash... splash...

Here's photographic proof that all you really need in the summer months to keep kids occupied is a big enough puddle.

Puddles.

I've currently put up a photo set on Flickr of some shots of the flooded creek running through my town after the weekend storms.

They were bad.

They were very, very bad storms, and Wisconsin took a beating, but as these storms rambled over us here, I was also thinking about my friends on the other side of Lake Michigan. I know full well that what goes through here only manages to regain strength out over the lake, and they can pound the crap out of the folks over there. So, I do hope that everyone affected by these monster storms is fine and dandy and dry.

Aside from that, today is just an endless task of mopping this nature out of my basement. Normally, since the new roof and bigger gutters were installed, it's stayed dry through some nasty weather. However, these storms were far too much for them to handle, and when the rain is falling as hard as it was here, the ground was almost instantly saturated, and when that happens, I mop.


-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/09/2008 11:48:00 AM

Sunday, June 8, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] WTF?!?

Yowza! Eddie Haskel John McCain is a deluded, pandering, befuddled, little nitwit...



I mean, just watching this poor dumb fool ramble out this collection of gibberish is stomach-turning and saddening. This is a man who is seeking a job which requires him to protect and uphold the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and here he is proudly announcing to all that he, like his predecessor, not only does not understand a damn thing about that founding document, he is voicing his intent to violate his sworn oath of office if elected.

I think Republicans should be disgusted and embarrassed to have this moron representing them. Of course, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. After all, this is a hollow man who believes a war built on lies and deception is a "good" thing for America and her citizens. It's so good, in fact, it should continue for a hundred fucking years.

Really, America. You don't need this. You don't deserve this. And, you'd have to be a drooling, prized, idiot to want this walking disaster of a human being to represent your nation.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/08/2008 12:31:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Sunday's Picture.

Hey folks! Sorry about not putting a picture up yesterday. The day just got away from me what with trying to come to terms with being 40 now. I was out picking up some Geritol and Matlock DVDs (I'm going with Matlock over Muder She Wrote).

Anyway, to make up for it, I'm going to post a particularly nifty shot I took the other day so none of you get stabby or anything. So, Enjoy!


Crow

Neat, huh?

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/08/2008 12:13:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Letter to Those Behind Me...

Dear Drivers,

Hi. How are you? Things good with the kids?

Excellent!

Now, if you haven't noticed, we here in Southeastern Wisconsin have been getting a little rain over the past couple of days. Actually, it's a lot of rain, and that's why I'm writing.

You see, Driver, I was out last night on my way to a birthday party (for me. Yay!), and you, as well as several of your fellow drivers, were following me. Now, I know you probably got excited when you saw me drive through a particularly deep puddle. However, what you seemingly failed to understand is that I have a Jeep. I have about eight to ten inches of clearance. Also (and this is the cute thing), my Jeep's engine has a snorkel about four feet above the ground beneath my hood. So, when I see three feet of water, I tend to drive through it with little to no trouble. I'm just a little crazy, ya know?

You, my overly sane friends in your little cars, should not. Trust me on this. When I'm taking waves over my bow like those whacky kids on that Deadliest Catch show, and the water is pouring in through the bottoms of my doors and my ankles are getting soaked, the absolute last thing you should do is believe for one second that you can follow me.

You can't.

I will say, however, it was fun doubling back to push your little cars out of the pond that showed up where the road was supposed to be. Unfortunately, because of this, I was late to MY party. So, you owe me cake!

Thank you,
Dan

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/08/2008 11:02:00 AM

Friday, June 6, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] D-Day!

Well folks, today's my birthday. And yes. The never-ending strides of time have driven me into 40 this time around, and I'm honestly not too sure how to feel about that.

Anyway, I'm going to be off the remainder of the day trying to figure out how to act like a 40 year old. If you've got any pointers, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Aside from that, for your enjoyment, here's a picture that is entirely un-birthdayish.

Pearly Web.

See? There are perks to living along the lake. The fog really makes the world a weird place.

Now, I am off to hunt for cake! Have a great day, everyone!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/06/2008 08:58:00 AM

Thursday, June 5, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Yaaarrgh!

Today, in between the intermittent moments where electricity is running through the veins and capillaries of the house, I am currently shaking my fist at technology. We had some big, nasty storms plow through here last night, and things are all a little dodgy.

Fortunately, I'm on a laptop, so if the power does disappear, I won't lose everything. Still, when the power goes bye-bye, it takes my router and everything else with it. But, at least I can cower in the darkness and click and clack away on my machine with minimal loss.

Anyway, I'm off today. I've been in a weird mood the last couple of days, and I'm just going to blob in front of the TV and stare at the static since, for some weird reason, my cable just went out. So, I'm just going to pretend I'm watching a massive battle between white ants and black ants.

Right now, they look about even, by the way.

So, you all have a great day, and I'll catch up with you tomorrow.

Peace out, folks!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/05/2008 03:06:00 PM

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Cutting a Rug... Big Time!

So, you think you can dance?

Take a look at this.

Trust me. You can't dance.

I wouldn't last five seconds doing this. In fact, the last time I moved like that, I was falling ass over tea-kettle down a very steep hill. There was no music. It was just me, some wailing, and the constant refrain of my body slapping a muddy slope.

Still... It was fun. But, it wasn't anything close to dancing.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/04/2008 10:32:00 AM

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Tempus... Tempus... Fugit!

Yes. I'm running around today, and, unfortunately, most of my running has been complicated by a mountain of aches and pains and what have you. The weather here took a turn from the Monday's 80+ degrees into something cold, gray, rainy and miserable. So, I'm thinking that most of the trouble is the result of that.

Anyway, for today's picture, here's yet another shot of my birdbath:

Fugit II

This is yet another of those accidental shots. I was shooting into the sunset to get some cool ambient light, but I forgot to adjust my camera settings. So, I wound up with a ridiculously fast shutter speed and, to compensate, the camera raised the ISO to a very high and very grainy 1600.

So, it's really noisy from shooting at 1600, but I think the noise really adds a lot to this shot, and it helps to accent the sunbeams and lens flare.

Clearly, if I had shot it as people are supposedly supposed to according to the "experts," this picture would be kind of mundane. So, it just goes to show you that, sometimes, doing it your own way is the best.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/03/2008 01:09:00 PM

Monday, June 2, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] What Can Blonde-Star Do for You?



Here's a story courtesy of KUTV.com and the whacky kids over on Fark.
Woman Calls Orem Police To Free Her From Her Locked Car
Automatic car features are supposed to make life easier for motorists, but they may be leaving some people without the know-how to do things the old-fashioned way. That’s what happened to a driver in Utah County who became trapped inside her own car.

A woman called Orem police Friday afternoon needing help because her battery died and she was locked inside her car.

When police arrived, they found the woman sitting in the car, unable to get herself out. She couldn’t hear the officers instructions through the rolled-up windows so she motioned to them to call her on her cell phone, according to police.

Once officers were able to talk to the woman on the phone, they were able to tell her how to manually operate the slide lock mechanism on the inside door panel to open the door and free herself.

“I'm just glad she had a cell phone to call for help,” an officer said.
Umm... It's hard to say what I would have done had I been in the officer's position. I'd have probably helped the poor woman, but, to be honest, it wouldn't be easy since I'm certain Darwin would have been on my shoulder whispering in my ear, "Dude! I've totally got this one."

Of course, the whole thing reminds me of how I like to take the doors off my Jeep and drive my friends around. Whenever we park somewhere and get out, I always make it a point to tell them to lock the doors. Surprisingly, the girlfriend/ex-girlfriend handles this well, and just simply says "whatever, stupid." However, more than a few of my chums have been suckered by my silly little antics, and they just look at me with a funny sort of panic and confusion and ask "how?"

Still... locking yourself in your car takes a special kind of daft, methinks.

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/02/2008 02:58:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Oops!

Bored?

Well... Take a look at the 150 Funniest Resume Mistakes.

Currently, my personal favorite is the individual who proudly “Finished eighth in my class of ten.”

-DP


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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/02/2008 01:32:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Coffee?

I must do as Dawn says, or suffer the consequences, and seeing as how she lives in New Jersey, I'm pretty sure she's got a mob connection, and those consequences could probably find me in a nice pair of cement shoes at the bottom of a river.

So, for Dawn...

Water

Unfortunately, this picture is not a picture of coffee. However, after looking at it, I suppose it could be.

What it actually is, is a picture of my little, gurgly, garden fountain that was so horribly blown-out and over-exposed, there was pretty much no saving it. So, I cranked everything to the darkest it could possibly go without completely blacking it out, and I kind of liked what I wound up with.

Still, it's not coffee. Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm not sitting here wishing my garden fountain was pumping piping hot coffee through its plumbing instead of dirty water. I mean, how awesome would that be? I could have one for hot coffee, and I'd set up another one for cold beer. I'd probably be the coolest kid on the block.

Then again, it is outside, and well... I don't trust my neighbors. I'm sure they'd clean me out since they're nothing but a bunch of dumb, beer-swilling rednecks with sticky, Kool-Aid mustachioed children and dogs that yelp into the wee hours.

Anyway, I hope you like it.

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/02/2008 01:11:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Kablooey!

Hi folks. Apparently, the internets are all a bungle today since, somewhere in the bowels of Texas, at a little node on the information stupor-highway called ThePlanet, decided to conk-out and go all asplody in what was, from what I gather, a rather large and destructive explosion.

So, as it stands, things are going to be wonky for a while if you've got something running through that data center. For instance, some of my StatCounter stats are contained there, and I guess that's been making page loads somewhat difficult here on Blogger (the AOL journal's stats are apparently somewhere else. But, seeing as how they never call or write, I haven't any idea where they are).

Of course, this means nothing to you unless you're having troubles (Blogger's been kind of hit or miss today, but I'm not 100% sure if it's connected).

Anyway, in honor of today's chaos, your daily photo is a possible dramatic recreation of the event's at ThePlanet data center.

Flash Inside the Box.

Now, kind citizens! Carry on, and enjoy your Monday!

-DP

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Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/02/2008 12:42:00 PM