Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Money money money money

Wow. Feels like we've been gone forever. Thankfully, in our absence, stupidity has continued to flourish amongst the criminal elements of our society.

What's that? You need proof? You don't simply believe it this time? Well, how about when someone decided to use marked bills to pay their court fine?

As it turns out, these thieves weren't willing to take the risk to steal the money from a safe, or even from a cash register. Instead, they got their bills from a restaurant. More specifically, a restaurant that had a tradition of placing signed money on their walls. After all, it was a way for them to show off on the types of clientele they could get in.

But that's not all. Aside from just having bills that had received signatures scribbled on them by various eaters, many of these bills had another distinguishing characteristic. Many had the name of the restaurant stamped onto them. It's not like seeing the "Where's George?" markings on a bill. Well, it might have been, but we're going to assume that these stamps didn't include a website.

We've never been thieves, but we've seen a lot of movies dealing with this subject, and other subjects of an even more illicit nature, and even we've learned that you always try to get unmarked bills. Obviously, these guys have never seen a crime movie.

Either that, or they were so disturbed by the guy who had his daughter model for his nude Sarah Palin painting that they had a temporary leave of their senses.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Under suspension

Anyone who's been following political news recently will know exactly what the McCain campaign announced yesterday. For those that don't know, here's a quick recap.

In light of the economic crisis, he's suspending his campaign. That's right, folks, we won't see McCain commercials, interviews, debates, or fundraisers until we've got this whole bail-out thing figured out. Or until his staff change their minds, and go ahead with business as usual. But hey, it's the thought that counts.

On one level, suspending the campaign (if only they'd actually done what they claimed) would be something that could be applauded. Instead of partisan bickering, this could have been a chance for McCain and Obama to put aside their frantic rush towards the White House and work together, with the rest of Congress, to pass some sort of a plan. Then, once everything was taken care of, they could have returned to the campaign trail, with both being able to tout that they reached "across the aisle" to stave off a total recession.

Well, aside from the fact that Obama didn't follow McCain's lead, and aside from the fact that McCain is continuing campaigning (just more quietly), the timing of the "suspension" is a little off. After all, it comes right on the heels of polls that show McCain losing the lead he'd gained with Sarah Palin (who is totally not a witch, we've come to learn). It's also right before a debate that even his own aides felt he stood a good chance of losing. Oh yeah, and the VP debates scheduled for next week might need to get pushed back, because the McCain campaign thinks that Palin may be "unprepared" to debate Biden. You know, because he has things like experience and qualifications and an actual platform.

Sadly, in today's overcharged political world, even a suspended campaign will yield political results. Will this be a chance for the GOP to pounce on Obama's continued time on the trail as a sign that he's just power hungry? Will the Dems point to McCain suspending his campaign as a sign of weakness in the face of adversity? Will it give all of us a chance to figure out just why we've been putting up with this for the last couple of years?

We'll find out some of those answers tomorrow night at the debate. Provided, of course, that everyone shows up. Maybe David Letterman should be brought in to moderate.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pity for PETA

We admit, we look at PETA with some sorrow in our hearts. After all, the cause that they've championed seems like a a great one. Who doesn't like animals, and wants to treat them ethically? Especially since we're animals! We want to be treated ethically, too!

Unfortunately, far too often, the message that they're trying to get across gets lost in the stunts that they pull to spread that message. Whether it's pseudo-porn stars (or actual porn stars) proclaiming that they'd rather go naked, or just your average, off-of-the-street hot girl sitting in a cage or taking a shower on a public street, the people at PETA have figured out that sex sells, but people get so flustered by the possible sighting of breasts that they forget about making sure that their steaks came from pampered cows. Or that they shouldn't be eating steak in the first place.

Well, leave it to PETA to continue their fixation with secondary sex characteristics in human females with their latest request, this time aimed at Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Instead of using cow milk, the good folks at PETA have requested that B&J start using human breast milk instead. After all, according to PETA, a wealth of illnesses have been linked to cow milk. The people at B&J seem to think that a mother's breast milk is best used for her child.

Now, while we definitely have to applaud PETA for once again showcasing their incredible outside of the box (but inside of the bra) thinking, we really have to wonder if they put any research into this. While we aren't mothers ourselves, we've talked to more than a few, and they all pretty much have the same thoughts with regards to producing breast milk, especially when they're doing it away from the actual baby. And that thought tends to be, "Ouch". Given that humans don't generally produce milk randomly and regularly throughout their adult lives, this could lead to a severe ice cream shortage, which would only serve to anger people who just want a spoonful of Cherry Garcia.

By the same token, think of the potential new flavors that Ben & Jerry's could introduce. Oprah Ripple. DeGeneres Nut Crunch. Chocolate Chip Madonna Dough. And the ever popular One Spoon in Paris.

We're losing our lunch just thinking about it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let's change together!

That cry seems to be one espoused recently by the GOP, at least with regards to the upcoming debates. Sure, every time that a debate happens, there's discussion about what exactly the ground rules are going to be, but, largely, the rules are left in place from previous debates. That won't be the case with the Palin-Biden debate upcoming. It seems that the McCain campaign is a bit concerned that longer Q&A sessions will leave Palin exposed and on the defensive, so the rules are being changed.

Well, you know, this just seems fair. After all, Biden does have a lot more experience in politics than Palin. He's more well-known, and his positions have been fairly easy to locate for years, whereas Palin is still recreating herself from being the small-town "pitbull with lipstick" that she was even as governor of Alaska. So it just seems right to give a little consideration to her. Especially since we've seen plenty of news conferences and interviews with the candidate that allows her to explain her qualifications and views.

Wait. She's in a blackout that's almost as bad as the one Texas is currently dealing with from the hurricane. Sure, she's had her interviews with various news organizations, but either the reporters have been lobbing softball questions, they've been in the GOP pocket (we're looking at you, Hannity), or her confusion and lack of information about certain key topics has been glossed over. When it comes to a straight-up news conference, well, you can throw that right out the window. Admittedly, she's had one more recently than her running mate, but still. Going this long without allowing the media to find your flaws is, in many ways, an admission that the flaws are worse than you want to accept.

This is a time where we, as the American voter, should step up and make our voices heard. Is the Obama/Biden ticket the best possible choice? We have no idea, honestly. After all, you can't possibly make an informed decision on these things when one side of the equation refuses to actually play any sort of a hand and let people know their thoughts. Are there bigger issues out there for people to worry about? Yes, very much so. Still, we should be able to demand that the people trying to run for public office allow themselves to be displayed for the public eye. And we should be able to demand substance from that exposure. It's great that we can get pictures of the candidates shaking hands with world leaders. Now it's time to know what went on behind closed doors.

After all, if we can find out everything about a random celebrity, can't we get that same information about a politician?

Monday, September 22, 2008

A simple no

Everyone who's ever thought about asking another person to marry them has been saddled with anxiety over exactly how they want to do the asking, and what the answer might be. Some people mitigate this by creating a cozy, romantic, out-of-the-way location where the askee might be more open to such a suggestion. Others prefer to propose in a large group, hoping that more people around will help assure the answer they hope for. Still others will simply lean over on the couch one night, say, "Hey, do you want to marry me or something?" while proffering a small box.

Actually, maybe that last option we looked at is the reason why a Florida woman ended up arrested after a marriage proposal resulted in a fight. But not just any fight. After all, when knives are thrown, the fight has escalated to a higher level. Maybe it all started because the askee wasn't happy with the method.

Still, it's hard to imagine what could possibly go wrong that would lead to such a fight. Sure, we've all heard stories about wedding parties spending the night in prison for getting a little out of hand. Heck, we've all probably been to a wedding here and there where we're surprised that the police haven't been called. But a proposal? We think that's the first time we've heard of this. Of course, it's possible that someone's sibling was mentioned, or an indiscretion from the past, but even the worst rejection is not something that generally leads to cutlery being tossed.

If only Dane Cook could be here to mock the events, too. Except he'd do it a lot louder, and keep repeating the same jokes (and the word "sangwich") until people laughed.

Oh yeah. And he's been evicted. Oh, poo...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of September 15, 2008

Friday. Another day, another dollar. But hey, it's the end of the week, so we get to roll with our awards posting. So let's get started!

In Soviet Russia, Coupon Cheapens You Award
According to a recent study, you should be careful where you use your coupons. It just might make all of the people near you feel cheap. Instead of frugality, and a sense of trying to make money stretch further, coupons apparently convey an overall attitude of "I'm too good to pay full price for this." It should be noted that this study was conducted in Canada, and they discovered that the better looking the coupon user, the less likely that the stigma will spread. As a direct correlation, every time Amy Winehouse used a coupon, the entire block felt cheaper.

A Buggy Trial Award
Turns out, when you and your fellow deputies raid an Amish community, they may retaliate in very modern ways, with a lawsuit for $35 million. The lawyer for the Amish claimed to be "confused by your modern conveniences." We just wonder if that $35 million is in Amish dollars...

Support Single Moms Award
Some lawyers know all about modern conveniences. Some know so much about them that they try to refresh old customs, such as haggling, or exchanging work for work. Just a tip, though. Don't exchange work with strippers. You know, unless they're putting themselves through law school, in which case you're just giving them sound mentoring advice.

Worst Punishment Ever Award
Well, the punishment itself probably isn't so bad. Sure, the guy has to stay in his house, but, well, he owns a comic book shop. Stereotypically speaking, he's only lost one place to go to. A more fitting punishment might have been to force him to watch the first three Star Wars movies on endless repeat, while trying to analyze their good moment(s).

Anything Cops Can Do Prayer Can Do Better? Award
Have you ever thought that things in your community were just getting too dangerous? Were you concerned about the size of your police force as is? Did you want to take matters into your own (clasped) hands? The community of Burlington, IA did, as they began 40 days of prayer to help curb crime. Jesus was planning a response, but was mugged on the way.

All My Rowdy Candidates Award
It's official. Barack Obama wins! And just what does he win, apart from a year's supply of Turtle Wax? He wins the coveted "Candidate I'd Most Like to Watch Football With" trophy. Meanwhile, John McCain remembers when they didn't use all of those sissy "pads".

Check Mate Award
What do you do when you become a chess Grandmaster at the age of 14? If you're like one particular Russian brunette, you go on to become a model, and use your bikini shoots to promote the game. We can't wait until curling tries the same tactic.

PaCain Award
How do you know it's a bad week for John McCain, aside from the football thing? His running mate has started referring to their campaign as hers. Naturally, McCain responded by calling Tina Fey, thanking her for accepting his request to be the GOP VP nominee.

And that wraps up our awards for this week. We'll see you next Monday. Until then, stay safe out there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Wow. We've surpassed 600 posts. And, well, a fair number of those posts have been at least somewhat political in nature. Of course, we're currently dealing with some very interesting political times, as we're in the final months of GDub, and we don't have a clue yet who's going to take his place.

What we do know, however, is that we won't be meeting with the President of Spain no matter what John McCain says. Sure, he's open to the idea, but meeting with the President of Spain is like meeting with the Emperor of St. Paul. No such person exists. Of course, this is all coming shortly after the Mack Granddaddy of the campaign decided that he wouldn't meet with the Spanish Prime Minister, using words that almost sounded like he was discounting any sort of partnership with the country. Good to know that we don't want to build bridges in the international community, because, otherwise, McCain's comments could have been seen as being a bit foolish and misguided.

And why would we want to create ties to other countries? Our current administration seems to be fairly set on recreating a Cold War with Russia. After all, why else would Condi Rice be going around, proclaiming Russia as being on the brink of "self-imposed isolation and international irrelevance" for their actions against Georgia. And hey, even Mack Granddaddy had something to say about that, pointing out that countries shouldn't invade each other in the 21st century. You know, unless their flag has a certain number of stars on it, preferably between 49 and 51.

To be fair, we would be attacking Obama on these topics, too, but he actually seems to want to get some sort of global partnership going. Yeah, like that's going to work. Oh well, back to reading emails.

What? It's not like we're reading hers to find out what she's being doing without a secure connection.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A nickel for every time

Well well well. It looks as though a truck in Florida decided to try its own style of economic rejuvenation. And it did so in a tragic way, as the accident between two semi trucks resulted in one death.

Oh, and almost $200,000 worth of nickels scattered across the highway.

You know, if we had a nickel for every time that we read a story like that, we'd have, um, one nickel.

On the flip side, if we had a nickel for every time that the candidates flipped their positions on the economy, negative ads, foreign policy, or religion, we'd need another couple of semis full of nickels to reach the quantity we'd have earned.

Florida state troopers reported quickly to the area, partially to help the victims of the crash, and partially to make sure that people didn't start scooping nickels out of the grass, off of the freeway, or anywhere else they may have landed. It should be noted that representatives from AIG, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, and Local Crackheads 114 all were dispatched to the area, hoping to bolster their economic futures somewhat.

The first three groups retreated to wait for government bailouts, something that the candidates think is a horrible idea until it becomes a really good idea.

And we thought we were having a long day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Surprise surprise

A recent survey has shown us results that we just couldn't possibly have expected. Well, we could have expected them, if we only took some time to look at things such as media consumption, popular websites, and economic indicators. It was a survey similar to asking people in Green Bay if they like the Packers; plenty of people in the area would give answers ranging all the way from "Yes, definitely" to "Very much so."

But this survey wasn't looking at sports, or even adults. It was a study done to see how many kids play video games. And, shock of shocks, it seems as though right around 97% of them have admitted to playing regularly.

Wow. Color us surprised. We just never thought that kids were playing video games. Sure, we've been doing that for much of our lives, but we just thought that it must have been contained within our generation. Don't tell us that the kids are still out there listening to that rock and roll music, too. We just couldn't handle that.

But that's not all. Of course, the study also looked at the differences between boys and girls and how they choose their games. It also examined how easy it is for the kids to get their hands on games aimed at adults. Sure, parents are checking (sometimes), but that's not often stopping the kids from playing the adult games. After all, kids are sneaky, resourceful, and they can power themselves on sugar, while adults still need things like coffee.

Boy, we're just shocked by this whole thing. Specifically, what we're shocked by is that there needed to be any sort of study performed of this nature. Of course kids like playing video games. Haven't we noticed that children seem to be spending less and less time outside, and that their waistlines are growing? Has nobody paid attention to the fact that video game sales seem to be continuing to do well in this country, when most other aspects of the economy are falling apart?

So what's next? Most people enjoy sex? Dogs really do prefer steak? John McCain is found to be old by most respondents? Seriously, Science, if you're going to be busy on one end of the world with the LHC, could you at least take some time on this end of the world to research something that isn't common knowledge to people?

You know, just in case you accept suggestions as to how to do your job.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Priorities shift

We're going to mostly avoid politics today. After all, we've still got a month and a half before the election, and we're pretty sure that we'll be fatigued by the end of the run. All we've got to say today, like some others have said, is Mr. McCain? You seriously might want to back off if even Karl Rove thinks you're being too nasty.

But that's not why we're here today. Instead, we're going to look at something that's plaguing children. No, we're not talking about the over-exposure to characters like Elmo or the lack of quality (and dangerous) games and toys. We're talking about something far more sinister.

We're talking about bullying.

Specifically, we're talking about bullying as a health issue. And, according to the National Poll on Children's Health, bullying is actually a bigger worry than being overweight. Which is rather unfair, given that being overweight as a child will often lead to further bullying. Now, we understand that bullying can lead to severe emotional problems, confrontation, and a lack of motivation. We're just going to posit for a moment that being overweight can also lead to these situations.

So, yes, we do think that these parents are fully in the right to be concerned, but we're not sure on the ranking. Given all the problems that can come with obesity, we'd actually hope that the parents would be more concerned about that. After all, in most cases, the most damage a bully can do is to cause a child to feel bad. All being overweight can do is lead to heart problems, diabetes, under-developed muscle mass, and excessive bullying.

Ah, there's the catch. It should also be noted that, quite often, obesity follows familial connections. So there's a good bet that an overweight child will have an overweight parent, and it's hard to break out of that mold. It's like the children of smokers in some ways. Except no parent ever tried to make their son or daughter feel better after having been called a name with a quick comforting Camel.

Something like that calls for cupcakes all around. Preferably with chocolate frosting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of September 8, 2008

Ahoy there, folks. We don't have a lot of time today, so this will probably be a condensed version of our awards. Besides, we seem to be loading ourselves up on politics during the week, and that's definitely having an impact on what else we're finding. Want proof? Let's go!

Ready to, Um, Do What Again? Award
This goes out to VP Nominee Palin. Admittedly, we didn't see her interview last night, but we've read about it. And heard about it. But hey, who are we to say that someone who doesn't know some of the basic things that the potential next VP should know is unqualified? Oh, that's right, we're voters.

Only a Theory Award
But there is something that Palin seems ready to do. She's more than ready to make a tenuous link between Iraq and 9/11. You remember, that's the connection that's been debunked by even members of her own party. Of course, it's entirely possible that the connection she was trying to make is that she was putting on lipstick one day at 9:11am, and was thinking, "I rock and roll all through Alaska". Either that, or she believes, like the Blues Brothers, that she's on a mission from God.

Partisan Man, Partisan Man Award
Of course, before we get too deep into things, we need to give a nod to the media for this award. That's right. According to an ex-Clinton aide, the entirety of the media is coming across as partisan. We just can't understand why they would say that, what with FOXNews prepping their "McCain as President" war rooms, and MSNBC practically declaring Obama the Messiah. We just have to wonder if IFCNews is looking towards Nader.

First Step is a Doozy Award
Moving away from politics, we give this award out to a man who was running from the police. He saw a small wall ahead of him, and decided to leap over it. Unfortunately, the wall was on one side of a 200-foot drop. Bugs Bunny couldn't be reached for comment.

It's Getting Hot in Here Award
We've all heard plenty of inventive reasons why people should be let off the hook for crimes committed. The most recent one? Blaming the potential for global warming. That was the excuse used, successfully, by people who had caused extreme damage to a coal-burning plant. Oddly enough, this is also the excuse used by Al Gore when in his private jet, flying to his overly air-conditioned home.

Derby Time Award
Seriously, people, how many times do we have to tell you not to drink and drive? And how many times do we have to remind you that, if you are going to try and do those things, you shouldn't decide that an impromptu demolition derby was the best plan? And this is why so many of us don't have nice things. Or driveways.

Well, that wraps up our awards for another week. We'll be back next week, hopefully with a little more frivolity to fill our plates. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We could spend another day talking about the sheer ridiculousness of what's going on already in the Presidential campaigns, but we know that we've got another couple of months to deal with all of that. We could talk about the LHC and CERN, but, well, we're not physicists, and all we would be able to do is stir up more fear and speculation. So instead, we're going to return to looking at the insanity around the world.

First up, and rather fitting for a return of sorts, we're pleased (and by pleased, we mean terrified) to see that the $54,000,000 pants are back in the news. Not content to take up court time once, and certainly not content to cause the plaintiff to lose his job as a judge, the pants have reared their ugly head one more time. Somehow, an appeals court was foolish enough to decide that the lawsuit had some grounds, and are allowing it to be tried again. For those that have forgotten, these are the pants that were supposedly lost, then returned, then discovered to be wrong, before the owner requested a ridiculous amount of money, basically putting a family dry cleaner out of business. And yup. We all knew that fashion repeated itself, but this is crazy.

But not as crazy as an event that led to three dead, and two critically wounded. In South Africa, a bar brawl broke out, resulting in the shootings of many involved. What could have caused this fight?

A conversation about the size of one man's genitalia.

That's right, folks. In a world where there are obviously more important to fight about, and where most people would be hard pressed to come up with something that deserves a shooting no matter what, these guys decided that they needed to come out firing after having their manhood slandered. Not that feeling the need to shoot up the place really helped convince anyone around that maybe they weren't compensating for anything.

After all, you know what they say. You can put lipstick on a penis, and it'll just get you slapped by your girlfriend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Going halfsies

Wow. There are some news outlets that are completely up in arms over the realization that the McCain/Palin campaign isn't necessarily being completely truthful. They seem to like starting with Palin's comment of "Thanks but no thanks on the Bridge to Nowhere", and move on from there. Of course, some sites, like the Huffington Post for example, are taking the time to collect these reports from other news organizations, so that they can be in one easy-to-find location. In the spirit of full disclosure, here's a little message for the news organizations out there.

Obama/Biden are doing it, too.

Sure, you're not seeing anywhere near as much of what the Democrats campaign is engaged in. For one thing, both Obama and Biden have been very willing to meet with the press to help spread their message. And sure, that message has changed over time, but at least they've come forward. The intense scrutiny directed on the McCain/Palin campaign may be coming from the fact that Palin has yet to appear before the media for questioning (although that will be remedied, theoretically, tomorrow), but it's also coming from a position that, honestly, a fair number of news companies have a very partisan leaning. We notice that FOXNews isn't talking about the half-truths of the McCain campaign. We also know that they have a strong GOP base, and don't want to disturb those waters, much like other news organizations have with the Democrats.

But, as we pointed out earlier, both campaigns are doing it. After all, that's exactly what politicians do. They phrase their words to appeal to the broadest base possible, and, well, if appealing to that base involves some creative wordplay, then so be it. Why this should be any more of a concern (or a story) when it's coming from one party as opposed to the other is beyond us.

Would we like our politicians to speak truthfully all of the time? Honestly, no. There are certain things that we really would rather not learn. In a time of campaigning, it would be nice if they would represent themselves a bit more honestly, but we don't expect that to actually come to pass. After all, if they have to start being truthful about themselves, then they might be forced to be truthful about their opponents.

And the last thing that this country seems to want is open and honest debate on the issues.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Display of faith

Generally, when we talk about faith in politics, we're talking about the GOP. Sure, the Dems will mention their religious upbringing, but faith and God are usually playing fully for the Republicans. And yet, today, we find an article that illustrates the kind of faith that Obama has. No, it's not faith in a higher power that we're touching on, but faith in the American people.

The faith that Americans aren't stupid enough as a whole to be swayed by people redefining themselves because it's politically advantageous.

Mr. Obama, we applaud your faith in people. We wish we could hold ourselves to the same level of faith, but, well, we've been writing this blog for a couple of years, and through this we've seen plenty of examples that showcase an overwhelming lack of intelligence on the part of the American people. And we also remember that, individually, a person can be quite intelligent. The more people you add to an equation, the lower the overall intelligence seems to get.

Don't believe us? We look back at the election of 2004 as a prime example. The sitting president was one of the least popular of all time. People were upset, and looking for a change in the power structure. His opponent, while not the most shining candidate, should have been able to win simply on the notion of, "Hey, I'm not the guy you don't like." Attacks flew, and at the end, what happened? The guy that the vast majority of the country hated was still in power, and the rest of the world started wondering if we all ate paint chips for breakfast before voting.

Seriously, though, we really do applaud Obama's faith in the people, and we'd love to see him proven right. We would love for the American people to look at a candidate claiming to change their position for votes, and see through the sham. We'd also love to see the citizens of this country stand up to partisan news outlets, and expose them for their problems. And yes, we'd even love to see people no longer need warning labels to let them know that coffee is hot, paint is not for drinking, and that ladders might result in falls from elevation.

However, until that time, we need to remember that, as a group, the American people really are willing to suspend their personal intelligence if it allows them to satisfy other thoughts and desires. And, because of that, anyone appealing to the wisdom and intelligence of the people should really reanalyze their strategy, and figure out how to include more flashing lights and dancing girls.

After all, people really love dancing girls.

Monday, September 08, 2008


We had a couple of options for stories today, after we'd waded through a pile of them. In one, we were prepared to mock overly sensitive driving instructors for failing people because they drove through a puddle. Sure, she soaked a pedestrian, but she also astutely pointed out that avoiding the puddle itself could have caused an accident. So we were fully prepared to talk about that article.

And then we found one about alternative spelling, and how dangerous it can be.

For the record, we actively believe that people should be taught how to spell properly, and that they should try to keep that skill sharp as they get older. Sure, in this age of computers replete with spellchecking software, it isn't as important for people to remember the old spelling rules, but they should still make an attempt. It keeps the mind focused, and allows you to gather more information, while disseminating it in a proper fashion.

But we also don't think that alternative spelling will result in words not having any meaning whatsoever. Anyone who's ever engaged in a text message conversation knows that, by changing (or eliminating) parts of the spelling of certain words, you can still get the point across. It's none of our faults that English has so many homonyms scattered throughout our language. Oftentimes, even if misspelled, the context of the sentence around the word will help determine which definition is being used.

Besides, language needs to keep changing, at least incrementally, to remain vibrant. The English language itself has changed quite a bit since the days of William Shakespeare (truth be told, it's changed even since the turn of the 20th century). This keeps it alive, and keeps it from becoming Latin. By having phonetic spelling, it might actually lead to the creation of new ideas, new words, or, at least, new ways of putting those ideas and words together. Otherwise, we're left with a rigid structure, and, possibly in time, a dead language.

Just as long as people don't all resort to "leet speek". We just don't think we can handle that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of September 1, 2008

Well, now we know what Denver felt like all last week. We're still fighting off the hangover from this past week's worth of celebrations (any day we made it out of St. Paul, we considered that a celebration), and we've got our air (mostly) clear of tear gas, so we're just going to jump into the awards.

Take it to Heart Award
So was anybody watching (or listening) yesterday evening, when VP-wannabe Palin was announced, and the Heart song "Barracuda" was played? Yeah, apparently, Heart isn't so keen on that usage, and have requested that McCain stop using it immediately. Which is fair, since a more fitting artist for Palin would be John Cougar... meanwhile, we're just surprised that anyone from Heart was aware enough to notice.

An Odd Punishment Award
Since Russia attacked Georgia, other countries have been getting irritated and speaking their minds. The US talked about not invading sovereign territories, Poland set up a missile defense, and the UK has refused to allow bagpipers to attend a Kremlin celebration. Russia has since responded by saying that plenty of its own citizens are remarkably proficient in strangling cats.

Doing it Wrong Award
What would you do if your advances were spurned? Well, if you're like most people, you'd find someone else who might appreciate your pick-up line about eggs in the morning. Unfortunately, a man in Pasadena decided that the women he was interested in just didn't understand his dedication, so he chased them down. In his car. Yeah, we're going to guess he was compensating for something, too, since he wouldn't be able to penetrate the women any other way.

Lactose Intolerance Award
A woman in Devon, UK, was attacked by a group of thugs, who proceeded to surround her, and pour pints of milk over the woman's head. The cheesy attack was led by four individuals, who are now being sought by police before they can curdle up another plot.

Walk This Way Award
A Scottish researcher has recently determined, with the help of his research team, that a woman's gait and vertebral rotation can indicate how difficult she finds it to achieve orgasm. Men across the planet scoff, then start figuring out just what the heck "vertebral rotation" is.

A Heavy Tax Award
The state of Alabama is leading the way with regards to health insurance for their own employees. Starting in 2010, unless some severe weight loss happens, a "fat fee" will be enacted. Because of the announcement, Kate Moss and Calista Flockhart are now being considered for high-ranking government positions.

My Eyes! Award
Some things should never be shown in 3-D. Naturally, we're thinking about most of the programs on the Discovery Channel, and a fair number of the shows created for Animal Planet. We also have to say that the porn industry is just another area that 3-D should be left alone. However, the technology may soon be reaching the field that made "Deep Throat" famous for something other than ratting on Nixon. This coming from an industry that shouldn't really be so quick to embrace high definition.

Well, that wraps up our awards for this week. We'll be back next week, as we watch our town revert to the normal state that we've grown accustomed. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Have it your way

Leave it to politicians to engage in double-speak at every opportunity. Of course, the news media can be good at it, too, as was evidenced by a recent Daily Show piece where Jon Stewart detailed changes in views by some of the correspondents at FOXNews (as part of his RNC coverage). Naturally, however, in the wake of Sarah Palin's acceptance (and odds makers still betting that she could be off the ticket by November), it's now time to think of the children.

Specifically, according to the GOP, think about the children by not thinking about the children. Unless, you know, they want you to.

That's right, folks. Because it doesn't matter at all when it comes to how able or prepared of a politician Palin is, the GOP would like everyone to back off of the Palin children. Stop running stories about them, stop wondering about the choices that the kids have made, and certainly don't bring up the "p" word (or mention the guy responsible for the "p" word). After all, it's unprofessional, and they don't have anything to do with the campaign.

The thing is, we agree with that concept completely. Our problem? When it's politically advantageous, and when there's a chance for a great photo opportunity or just when they think it might look pretty, the GOP is trotting out the Palin children at every chance. Take, for example, what happened at the RNC, after they'd already complained about the spotlight being unfairly trained on the kids. They then made a point of using them to garner further applause an acclaim, pulling them on stage.

True, Obama's family has been used as well. It's a nice moment, and allows us to see the candidates as real people, not robots. They have a family that they love and that loves them in return. And yes, families on both sides of the political spectrum have been used (or exploited) for political gain ever since the first photograph. Still, it just speaks of hypocrisy to protest about the use of the family, and then do it yourself for your own ends.

Here's an idea, and it's just a little crazy. How about, instead of panicking about how people are using their children during a campaign, why don't we just put a moratorium on families entirely. Instead of looking at a candidates genetics and bloodline, why don't we just focus on what they can bring as a politician, and as a leader?

Oh, wait. Because then we might start getting a clue about where they stand. And we just can't have that, outside of pre-approved soundbites.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

No isms there

Well, this really comes as no surprise. People are questioning the choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. There are even gambling houses setting odds on whether or not she'll withdraw from the race, with some of them showing 8:1, where yesterday they had guessed at about 20:1. So it only makes sense that McCain and staff would step forward to try to battle a lot of the questions.

Unfortunately for all of us, they seem to have taken the tactic that the only reason people are questioning Palin is because she's a woman. And, well, those Republicans just won't stand to see a woman treated badly (unless, of course, she happens to hold strongly to beliefs like pro-choice and other things that the GOP is against). Heck, they aren't even afraid to call the extra scrutiny what it truly is: sexism.

Wait. Wait just a minute here. We're expected to buy that? Well, if that's the case, then every attack by the GOP against Obama is obviously based in racism. After all, we can't just have one "ism" in this election. Heck, we should find out if we can get some more.

The reason that the Obama camp is attacking Palin is simple, and it has very little to do with her gender. It has everything to do with her politics, and the fact that she's a relative unknown. Sure, she's been governor of a state really close to Alaska, but that's vastly different from being elected to the House or Senate. Oh, and she's been governor for a very short time. Even completely ignoring the issue around her daughter (which everyone should, as it doesn't play into the election or her qualifications), people just don't know much about her. And, we have to admit from our stance, what little we've heard doesn't fill us with confidence.

Here's another part of the problem. McCain harped on Obama not having the experience necessary. As a response to that, he proceeded to pick someone with even less experience on the national level to be his potential number two. Oh yeah, and the guy's had some serious health problems in the past.

Ultimately, there's one simple reason that Palin is coming under this intense scrutiny right now. Nobody outside of Alaska really knows anything about the woman (and, according to reports, that includes her running mate's camp), and the best way to find answers that you're hungry for is to ask probing questions. And yes, sometimes those questions come across as attacks.

Is Palin qualified? Can she weather the storm? Will she be able to debate circles around Joe Biden? We won't know these answers unless we ask.

That, Mr. McCain, is not sexist. That's wanting to be knowledgeable, so that we can help contribute to an informed democracy.

Now, if you'll excuse us, we have to get off of your lawn.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Vanishing act

First off, we do have to take a moment to remember another of the list of celebrities that have passed on. Mind you, more than a few people have no idea who this person is by name recognition alone, but we know, and we give our thoughts to the family of Don LaFontaine. May Don be introducing movies in the afterlife.

In a world where the police have no partitions between the front and back seats of their squad cars, a lone criminal fought against odds to achieve some measure of freedom. In a time where the police left the car running, the prisoner was able to slip free from the cuffs and get into the driver seat. This past August, a woman was captured, arrested, left alone in a running vehicle, and later found at a crash site. "Police Error", only in Canada.

Yeah, we couldn't help but try and give a little tribute to Don.

Anyways, this story is something we're glad to include. Sure, we love our stories about stupid criminals, but we do believe that, over time, that does cast a bit too harsh of a light on the criminals themselves. Thankfully, every once in awhile, we find a story like this, showing that the police themselves aren't always using the most intelligence that they can scrounge up.

Here's the most shocking thing to us about the whole story, though. Prior to this incident, the police in the region didn't have any regulations about leaving suspects in a running vehicle. You'd think that something like that wouldn't need a specific ruling, as common sense should probably allow you to realize how bad of an idea it could be, but, obviously that isn't always the case.

On the plus side, the woman didn't get far. Although it probably wasn't the first time that she was handcuffed while inebriated.