Archive for November, 2008


November 30, 2008 Leave a comment

During my first semester teaching the Sabres were doing well. In fact, they were doing better than they had in a long time. A new goalie by the name of Ryan Miller had shown his fortitude replacing an injured Martin Biron and offensively the team was really coming together. This would be the year when the Sabres were knocked out of the final round of the playoffs by the Carolina “What the hell is hockey?” Hurricanes. A student in my class called me a bandwagon jumper because I was excited about the team, he called everyone in the city bandwagon jumpers. He was just one of those people that had to hate something if everyone liked it.

He was/is a bandwagon jumper as well, just the wagon going in a different direction. When I last talked about hockey the Sabres had started the season with a lossless streak that ended from the hated Ottawa Senators. Two weeks ago we were in second place in the Northeast with 9 wins and only 3 losses. With Ovechkin pulling an Obama and visiting his dying mother in Russia, we (with myself and fiancee in attendance) mopped the floor with Capitals 5-0. Then things went bad.

For two weeks the Sabres lost every game. Some of them badly, some not so bad, nevertheless the games were losses. This caused the local hoopleheads to start clamoring for heads. New goalies, new players, maybe Ruff has been coaching for too long, etc. This attitude prompted my friend Alice to put as her away message this “GET OFF THE FUCKING BANDWAGON IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT. GO FUCKING SABRES!” (emphasis her’s)

Last Wednesday the losing streak was snapped by a win against division leader Boston, then a great win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (despite the fact that the Sabres had to play against both the Penguins and the Refs), last night a loss against Montreal. Now, they are good again. The hoopleheads while not calling for blood anymore, aren’t happy. Like a 13 year old playing Halo, they want a flawless record and playoff contention locked up by game three.

Well guess what assholes? This isn’t football, this is hockey, where a 20 minute period takes 30 minutes and the teams play more than 4 times a fucking month. This is a long season, and a five game losing streak isn’t the end of the fucking world. Especially when that streak ends at game 20, in the second month of the season. So to reiterate my friend’s position: “FUCK OFF.”

That year, when my student called me a bandwagon jumper, we had the playoffs and the President’s Cup locked twelve games before the season ended, it was boring. I’m not looking for a repeat of last season but come-the-fuck-on there are a billion games left before you can smugly talk about how you rooted for them the whole time.

Deadmoneywalking stalwartly posts his Notre Dame reviews every week–win or lose, because he’s a fan and while he doesn’t seem to have much hope for some of the games he isn’t talking about how they suck and need to scrap the whole team. Our goalies are not bad, our offense isn’t either, the defense needs some work but overall we are playing much better than last season. Look at the fucking records. When we won the first game of the season we did better this season than we did after game three of last season.

Statistically every team in the NHL is going to lose five games. Every team is going to have some sort of losing streak, it fucking happens. My wagon carries Sabres fans win or loss and Canadian Beer if you don’t like it get the fuck off.

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November 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Imagine you are watching a television show, something that you are pretty into. It doesn’t matter what it is, only that it captures your attention and necessitates that you concentrate on the show. Then, at the bottom of the screen an image flows forth occupying the bottom quarter distracting you. An important point is missed, but even if you are using TiVO or DVR you can’t go back and rewind it because what you needed to see is being blocked by this banner.

The banner itself is reminding you that some other show is premiering a new episode, or a new series is beginning, or it just seeks to remind you what channel you are watching. I know, from my history as a video production major when the best time for a commercial is…when the show isn’t currently fucking airing.

When I’m not watching movies on the television I’m usually watching something on one of three channels: History, History International (or shit that the History Channel aired six months ago), or National Geographic. Unlike my viewing of reruns of Married…With Children, wherein I don’t exactly need to rapt with attentiveness, it’s nice to pay attention when the “Naked Archaeologist (that’s going to have to be a different post)” explains why this thing-blocked-by-the-banner is proof that King David conquered the whoevers. 

It’s not like I need to be told during the commercial break and during the show that Ellen Degenerres is having a fucking variety show. This is obviously a way to circumvent the way that viewers with DVR and TiVO are circumventing the commercials. It is ruining the episode by both being distracting and robbing me of vital information when I watch my documentary/history shows.

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Zone Pricing and the Big 3

November 24, 2008 1 comment

Special two parter today. Have you ever wondered why a gas station in your part of town charges upwards of 25 cents more per gallon than a gas station of the same company three miles down the street? For instance the closest station to my apartment has gasoline priced at 2.29 while on the same street across the city the gas is priced at 2.09. It’s a system called “zone pricing,” that allows the prices to be changed by the owning companies. This doesn’t reflect the average mark up by the gas station itself, moreso how much that station is charged for gasoline.

New York State, in a rare fit of actually doing something, has decided that this will now be illegal. It’s not a simple response to higher gas prices, it’s a response from complaints by gas station owners who asked the state to look into it ten years ago, when gasoline was high at 1.50. New York is the first state to render this practice illegal but I’m sure more states are going to follow suit as the new law just makes common sense and impedes the limited market pricing that has a moderate effect on the price we pay. Good job state senate (something I’m not at all used to typing).

Nationally, the big talk is about whether the government should bail out the Detroit auto makers. I’m against it. I’m against it because for the last ten years (at least) American automotive companies have resisted changing an outdated business model and now comes the ferryman to collect his coins. It’s getting to the point where I feel that incompetence is being rewarded.

For example, Ford relied on sales of its Taurus car for years as a staple of its financial intake. They did this to the point where they built a factory in Georgia to make the Taurus and nothing else. When sales of the Taurus began to decline in the mid 90s that particular factory had to cut workers as it was designed with only that car in mind. In contrast any Japanese or German auto factory can produce any car that company sells. If the Toyota Camry stops selling, the machines have to be reprogrammed and some assembly line rails refitted but otherwise the factory can still run. They have been doing this for years.

That type of working model is what separates the foreign businesses from the domestic ones. The foreign companies seem to make the attempt to improve their business even if they are doing well, while the Detroit firms have been resting on laurels that have long since wilted.

I’m not a car guy, I drive a Pontiac that has been fairly reliable. So I don’t relish in the failing of these companies, so it is not with any joy that I say let them die. There is a point however where we cannot hand these people a bucket full of money if they don’t plan on doing anything differently. If the government is going to bail them out, they should get a restructuring plan in writing making them liable for repayment in return for the cash. Anything else is polishing the brass on the Titanic.

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Monkey Update

November 21, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s been awhile since I have written about little Gwendolyn. That is because there haven’t been many changes. Mostly it’s the little things, small increments of development that are a bit daunting to realize that this little thing is a person. We still don’t have an eye color, I guess that is normal, but it alternates between a light greyish/blue color and a darker brown. The brown is what I am expecting her eyes to settle on given the color of her mother and I.

I believe that I have mentioned the odd skin tone she has. Both, her mother and I, are pale. I have something of a tone to my skin but it is very light, Gwendolyn has an olive complexion that must be my fault as none of Laura’s family has anything even close.

At just over two months old she is as long as a 4 month old already too big for some of her clothing. Yet, just like her parents, there is almost no width to her. She’s like a snake, all length and no girth. No teeth, and just getting hair she’s a little bit of cute.

For the most part she can’t really do much. Which leads me to shake my head noting with disdain that I used to be that helpless relying solely on the benevolence of others just to maintain basic survival. Her screeches have almost developed into discenable tones, but saying that one day just makes it false the next day.

Her behavior is completely simian, which leads me to the wonder how people can look at a baby and still doubt that man and ape have a common ancestor. When I hold her she curls up, gripping my chest with her hands. I have seen chimps do the exact same thing. Although chimps don’t have the half smile, joker grin, and frown that my little monkey has. I’ve almost gotten her on a regular eight hour sleep cycle at the end of the night. If she falls asleep at midnight I can reliably feel that at 8am she will be up hungry (and completely angry) ready for one of us to feed her. Although as an added treat if I feed her in the morning it’s time for reruns of Married…with Children for us to watch.

Another intersting thing to watch is her hand-eye coordination. It’s simply not there but it is a work in progress. She swipes at stuff often missing completely, but always connecting with the cat when it gets close enough. I would like to say that the weft of her mind is beginning to show in her eyes when she can’t do something, but it’s hazy in those chameleon like globes. On the bright side, we don’t have to support her head anymore, she’s got that under control.

There should be a picture here:

Categories: personal update

Thank You

November 20, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been called many things in my lifetime: asshole, villain, devil, professor, scholar, jerk, etc. However, one thing that I have not been called with any frequency is “liar.” Of course, some of you out there may have your thoughts as to instances where this is untrue and I would be lying if I said that I never spoke a falsehood with the purpose of deceiving. One of my virtues, there probably aren’t that many, is honesty.

With all that being said I wonder about the occasions wherein I have to write “Thank You” cards. Tonight Lux and I finished said cards from a baby shower that took place just prior to the baby’s birth. Yes, it has been awhile, but I feel that having a new baby gives a little breadth on being late for these things. I don’t understand the purpose of the card when I have expressed my gratitude to the person in person.

So people had given us gifts at the soiree, Lux and I, thanked them at the same time (relatively) in person, to the exact person(s) who gave them. Yet, to hear it from some people, that is not enough. They need it in writing or else I haven’t been proper.

I wonder if, like the funeral home industry, some magazine article from long ago isn’t behind this. Practically it would seem that the card is appropriate if the gift was either given or received in absentia. Writing and sending a card at that point would be an exercise in propriety and not an unwelcome one at that. Yet, these cards, for those people I have thanked already, are a chore. One that was put off for any particular reason that came up. I appreciate the numerous and generous gifts that were given to both Lux and little Gwen. It’s very nice not to have to buy clothes every time she grows, which is frequently as she is just over two months old and already as long as a four month old; but this excessive thanking and this trial that makes it seem as though if I don’t send the card people will stop liking us.

I probably sound bitter. Part of that is based around the fact that I try to hard with the cards. Attempting to cram some story or unique fact into everyone. That pressure added to my avoidance of the task. In any case, they are done and I can go back to thinking that people might just once believe me when I tell them something as I am so used to.

Advice to Democrats

November 18, 2008 Leave a comment

Congratulations you took power in the US government. It’s a big step, and something that you really haven’t been used to for a long time.  I remember the Republican wave in the early 90s where you lost the Senate and now you probably have it back. This time you also have the presidency which should make things easier, but being the Democratic party you will find a way to fuck it up. Although this blog had thrown it’s support behind our current president elect, long time readers will remember that I have long criticized the Democratic party for a lack of spine. Currently they are doing two things that should remind this country that while the GOP has made a recent mess of things, the Democrats can’t sit on their laurels because they have a quality of self-destructiveness that rivals the NY Mets.

The big question among the party concerns the fate of Joe Lieberman. Lieberman, an alleged independent, is in trouble with the Democrats because he actively campaigned for the McCain/Palin ticket. This was especially bad because the party sent Obama to help him win when he was in political danger a year ago. Lieberman shows a disloyalty to the party that he was once a member of and now the Democrats don’t know what they should do with him. He chairs the committee on Homeland Security, a relatively powerful committee. The Democrats think that they need his vote because it would make the Senate immune to fillibuster. However, his vote is more likely to be non-consequential as the Democrats need 60 and even without Lieberman won’t be able to get it. Franken has to win his recount which is proving to be less than probable.

The Democrats are notorious for not having the courage to do what is necessary. Lieberman, they assume, has them by the balls so the debate is how to punish him without offending him. As the Florentine would advise, you can’t. What they should do is punish him, hope he is offended and joins the Republican party. Then the Democrats could campaign the ass off whoever runs against him and eliminate him from all committees possibly relegating him to do commentary on one of the major news channels. The thought is to put him charge of less important committees which would keep him in the fold but remind him that he broke the rules. This is clearly a mistake as a person is not likely to forget the power they once had and will seek revenge. He has broken his allegiance previously why would he remain faithful?

Before you start writing posts about how I must be hypocritical to have recommended Lieberman as the better pick for vice president than Palin on the McCain ticket I direct you to He was better pick to suck in the moderates for the GOP. This current recommendation has nothing to do with the previous one.

So far Obama hasn’t made too many mistakes regarding his transition picks or his cabinet. I am wary over rumors that he might select Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State (as of the time of writing nothing has been official). That is bittersweet for me, sure i have to deal with her in the national sphere but no longer would she be a sand bagging Senator for my state. I think we can all watch with abated breath these two errors go down. The Democrats must remember that all the power they just won, wasn’t because of their good work or virtue but because the population was just getting increasingly sick of the GOP. It was a negative vote not a positive one.

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Categories: current events, politics

petans suck

November 17, 2008 Leave a comment

petan: (n) a person who is a member of PETA.

It’s too easy to post the PETA acronym as People for the Eating of Tasty Animals and make that the point of the article. So I won’t do that. I also won’t use the fact humans possess canine teeth, teeth with the specific function of tearing meat, as evidence against the moral vegetarian argument. Nor will I simply post a rewording of this article in all its brilliance. Instead, I will write about their hypocrisy.

I used to cringe when people told me that they were vegetarians, it was almost as if it offended me personally that they didn’t eat meat. I realize that I merely identified myself as an omnivore and somehow a person’s choice to not eat meat put that in jeopardy. That’s how it ran in my head, and now I realize that is ridiculous. What should it matter to me if a person is a vegetarian, vegan, or whatever? It shouldn’t and doesn’t.

I like meat, in fact I would prefer to only eat meat, but biology does not allow it. I have molars for grinding vegetables so i must move on. It’s my fault really, this post that is, on facebook a friend sent me a PETA application invite. Instead of hitting ignore like I usually do, I wrote back essentially the same thing as the first sentence of this paragraph. Then, today she wrote back.

She wrote back that she hoped I become reincarnated as a cow, kept pregnant all my life, pumped full of hormones and then have my throat slit. I suppose that this is supposed to make me empathetic to the plight of the cow, but it doesn’t. What it does is make me curious about how a person, being a member of an organization opposed to the inhumane (notice the word “humane” and how applying it to animals is a bit inappropriate) treatment of animals would wish that I would die, then be reincarnated to be tortured and killed again. Someone forgot to check out the consistency booth.

Secondly, PETA is also attempting to build a museum to showcase Lobsters. They are opposed to the eating of the insect of the sea, so buying a retired jail to display the ocean bug will convince people that eating it is immoral and they will stop. Rather than campaign so that homeless children will have a place to sleep in Maine, they would rather spend the money on a creature with a hard exoskeleton, long antennae, and numerous legs. A creature that does NOT have the brain capacity to feel the type of pain necessary for it to have empathy for us. The only reason that a Lobster isn’t considered an insect is because it lives in the ocean.

Last week, PETA decided to protest by throwing flour at Lindsay Lohan because she, on occasion, wears fur. So the PETAns think that we should not eat, or wear the by products of animals; but flour, a non-meat food source, should not be used to make meals but thrown at celebrities by a group desperately in search of news coverage. I can’t believe that this group is causing me to defend Lohan. Instead of making bread that can feed those homeless children it’s wasted on a celebrity that might think it to be coke.

I hope that in my friend’s rejection of all things animal cruel she turns off her electricity since the Niagara Falls power plant chews up some fish. Or rejects antibiotics because after all diseases are living things too. No other creature puts a different species before its own, that includes thrill-killing dolphins and cannibal squid.

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