Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ski Jumper Sans Skis

Brokeback Quailhunt

Brilliant parody from Ace of Spades!

Brokeback Quailhunt

SCENE: Two friends, DICK CHENEY and HENRY WHITTINGTON, share a tent in a marsh. A fire burns as they eat pork and beans out of cans.

DICK: Well, that was a good meal.

HENRY: That's the most words you've said since we've been out here.

DICK: I don't talk much. (tosses bean can aside) Well, guess I better get back to the quail-blind. Want to wake up early to get the early bird.

HENRY: Don't go tonight. It's going to storm. Spend the night in the tent.

DICK: The tent?

HENRY: Sure. It sleeps two.

DICK looks conflicted.


Dick and Henry sleep in seperate sleeping bags.

HENRY: Damn, this cold air is making my elbows hurt. Old football injury.

DICK: I can put some Tiger Balm on it.

Henry extends his arm. Dick begins massaging in the hot salve. They look meaningfully into each other's eyes.

Then Dick takes out a 28 guage shotgun and shoots Henry in the face.

They both fall back into their sleeping bags, spent. And Henry, bleeding profusely from the face and neck.

DICK: No one can know about this thing of ours.

HENRY: Yeah, no one. They wouldn't understand. No one can know... except the emergency room team at the hospital. I think some birdshot just slipped into my carotid artery. It's on the way to my heart. I may have a minor atrial fibrilation.

DICK: A special friendship'll do that.


SCENE: After parting ways for some time, Dick and Henry depart from their wives to meet again in a quail marsh.

The friends shake hands, happy to see each other again. Then they hug, manfully, but passionately.

Then Dick takes out a shotgun and shoots Henry in the hip.

Dick and Henry both collapse into the marsh grass. Dick, because he's spent from the overpowering emotion; Henry, because his hip is badly wounded and he's lost 90% of the blood-flow to his right leg.

HENRY: Dick... do you think it's possible that one day we'll come out here, be "special friends" together, with no cares and no worries... and you won't shoot me with your shotgun?

DICK: Maybe. One day. When the world is ready to understand this thing of ours.

HENRY: When do you think that will be, Dick?

DICK: Ever see Blade Runner?

HENRY: Yeah.

DICK: Sometime after that.

HENRY: I can't wait.

Henry passes out from shock. Dick cradles his head.


SCENE: Henry is arguing with his wife about another upcoming quail hunt.

HENRY: We're just friends! That's all it is!

WIFE: I looked at your gun the last time you got back! It hadn't even been fired!

HENRY: I never got a chance to fire it. Dick shot me within ten minutes of getting there. I spent the weekend in the ER.

WIFE: I think it's just sick... you spending all this time with your "friend," him shooting you. It's... not proper.

HENRY: You don't understand. You can't understand!

Henry leaves in a huff.

As he exits the front door, a tear flows from one eye. And then a steel birdshot flows out, expelled by his tear duct. He wipes the birdshot away.


SCENE: Henry and Dick sit before a fire, beside a calm river. Dick chews on beef jerky; Henry uses tweezers to pluck birdshot out of his ass.

DICK: This jerky is delicious.

HENRY: It sure is. It's the best in Texas.

DICK: Mmmmm.

HENRY: You can say that again. (pause) Dick... I hate to ask again, but... How long you think it's going to be before you stop shooting me in the face and buttocks?

DICK: If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it.

HENRY: Yeah, you keep saying that. But, see, we can fix it. You can just stop shooting me. It's not difficult. You just stop pointing a shotgun at me and blasting away pieces of my body.

DICK: There ain't no reins on this thing we got goin' here.

HENRY: See, again, I don't even know what that means. I just think we should, A, tell the world about our special friendship, and B, try to avoid you spraying birdshot into me every time we get together.

DICK: The world wouldn't accept that, Henry.

HENRY: Well let's focus on "B." I'm pretty sure they'd accept that.

DICK: Two guys... going off into a marsh... neither one of them coming back with a gunshot wound. It just wouldn't look right. People would get to talkin'. Engagin' in all sorts of rumor and innuendo.

HENRY: I don't know if I agree. I think the world is a-changin', Dick.

DICK: It hasn't changed that much. If you don't come back with a decent sized shotgun wound on you, what are people gonna think we were a-doin' out here?

HENRY: I don't know. Talking. Hunting. Guy stuff.

DICK: That's just crazy-talk, Henry. We both know what they'd say.
(pause) I'm going to get some more beans.

Dick goes back to the tent and comes back a moment later.

HENRY: You got the beans?

DICK: Yeahhhh, I done got 'em.

HENRY: Those aren't beans. That's a 28 guage shotgun.

DICK: Are you sure?

HENRY: I've come to know its silhouette pretty damn good.

DICK: I'm almost positive these are beans. Let me check the label.

The shotgun BLASTS, blowing off bits of Henry's scalp.

DICK: Something wrong with these beans. They've got a hair-trigger or something.

Henry smiles with the warmth of friendship, and also because he's delirious from a concussion and bleeding headwound.

HENRY: I've been thinkin'... maybe we should stop gettin' together for quail hunts. Maybe we should try fishin'.

DICK: Fishin'? Fishin's for homos. I ain't no homo, Henry.

HENRY: I know that. But maybe we could just try.

DICK: If it's important to you.

HENRY: I think it is. Could you put a tournequet around my neck? I think I'm about to pass out.

Dick smiles and and begins strangling Henry with a rope.


SCENE: A fishing boat on a placid lake. Henry lies upon the boat's bottom, bleeding profusely from a wound in his abdomen.

DICK: I told you fishin' wouldn't be no better.

HENRY: It would have been... it was going so well. And then you shot me again.

DICK: Had to. That trout you pulled out of the lake was fixin' to bite you somethin' ferocious. Had to take him out before he got to you.

HENRY: You missed the fish entirely.

DICK: True, but the shotgun blast kinda stunned him, right before he fell back into the water. He didn't bite you.

HENRY: He bit me. A piece of my abdominal muscle went floatin' in the lake, and I saw him eat it.

DICK: That son of a bitch...! I won't let him get away with that! (he grabs his shotgun)

HENRY: Please, put the gun down.

DICK: But the fish...! That son of a bitch ate part of my friend!

HENRY: Dick, please, don't. Put the gun down. You're not going to shoot the fish. I don't even think you're going to pretend to aim at him. You're just going to point the gun directly at me and shoot me.

Dick smiles with overpowering affection.

DICK: You know me so well.

HENRY: Why aren't you putting the gun down, Dick?

Dick pulls the trigger.


SCENE: Much later. Dick and Henry are now much older; Henry is a high-powered Texas attorney, Dick is Vice President of the United States.

Henry has once again been shot by Dick.

Dick visits him in the hospital.

DICK: I'm sorry, Henry. But do you see now? You see how people have set their tongues a-waggin'? The media won't stop slandering us. I told you folks'd never accept this special friendship of ours.

HENRY: Again, I hate to be Johnny One-Note, but I don't think it's the friendship they mind. I think it's the repeated shotgun-maimings.

Dick sadly shakes his head.

DICK: You've always been so naive, Henry. (smiling) I brought you a present.

HENRY: This present... seems to be about three and a half feet long. And 28 guage wide.

Dick unwraps the gift.

HENRY: Nurse...!

Dick moves the call-nurse button away from his friend's hand.

DICK: Can't have the nurse in here, Henry. She'd never understand this special thing we got goin'.

HENRY: I think I'm about done with this special thing.

DICK: I wish I could quit you. I mean, I wish I could quit shooting you.


Dick fires the gun.


Singin' the Blues!

I love to play the blues and I found this helpful guide at Dash's site-Classic!


If you are new to Blues music, or like it but never really understood the whys and wherefores, here are some very fundamental rules:

1. Most Blues begin with: "Woke up this morning..."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes - sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch...ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or anywhere in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and Nawlins are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the Blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the Blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

11. Bad places for the Blues
a. Nordstrom's
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. golf courses

12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it.

13. Do you have the right to sing the Blues?
Yes, if:
a. you're older than dirt
b. you're blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied
No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived
d. you have a 401K or trust fund

14. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston could have. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the Blues.

15. If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine
b. whisky or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee
The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. Perrier
b. Chardonnay
c. Snapple
d. Slim Fast

16. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

17. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

18. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

19. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Jennifer, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

20. Blues Name Starter Kit
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.)
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Pegleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

21. I don't care how tragic your life is: if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues, period.

Friday, February 24, 2006

One of the Greatest Sports Stories Ever

Click on link above and be sure to check out video!

This certainly inspires confidence!

H&R Block reports tax miscue, lower net, cuts view
Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:14 PM ET

By James Kelleher

CHICAGO (Reuters) - H&R Block Inc. , which provides tax advice to millions of Americans, made an embarrassing confession on Thursday. It goofed on its own taxes.

The company, which is in the middle of its make-or-break season preparing other people's tax returns, said it had underestimated its own "state effective income tax rate" in previous quarters -- meaning it owes another $32 million in back taxes.

As a result, H&R Block said it would restate previously reported earnings going all the way back to 2004.

"It wasn't particularly material," said Alexander Paris, an analyst at Barrington Research in Chicago. "And it's not particularly unusual. A lot of companies are going back and reviewing their controls because of Sarbanes-Oxley and finding tax errors. But for a company like H&R Block, it was particularly embarrassing."

The company also cut its forecast for full-year 2006 earnings, blaming, among other things, "a slower start to the tax filing season than in previous years."

But it acknowledged it compounded the problem by introducing a new technology that went haywire -- and sent a quarter of a million customers to rivals.

H&R Block shares went sharply lower in extended trading after the company issued its earnings report -- which was a disappointment in itself.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based company said fiscal third-quarter net earnings fell 69 percent to $28.8 million, or 9 cents a share, from $92.3 million, or 28 cents per share, during the comparable quarter last year. Revenues for the quarter rose 12 percent to $1.2 billion, the company said.

Analysts expected H&R Block to report earnings of 26 cents a share on sales of $1.19 billion.

"It was definitely a disappointment," Paris said.

The company said its poor performance in the fiscal third quarter resulted from legal settlement costs related to its controversial early refund program and from a smaller-than-expected seasonal surge in filings by U.S. taxpayers.

But in a conference call with investors, Mark Ernst, the company's chairman and chief executive, said the slow start was exacerbated by "self-inflicted wounds."

Ernst said software-related technology problems left the company unprepared for a surge in January filings by taxpayers expecting refunds and "created a hole out of which we're working to climb."

He said the problem "cost us 250,000 clients" that were "unable to be recovered."

The company said a new software distribution system introduced in January had caused its offices glitches that would be fixed for a day, then pop up again. It said the problems left some offices unable to process taxes.

That isn't the only hole H&R Block dug for itself. The tax-related goof and restatement will also drag down previously reported results for 2005 and 2004 by an estimated 9 cents a share, the company said.

H&R Block, which also provides home-loan and investment services, also cut its 2006 earnings forecast to a range of $1.65 to $1.85 a share, down from its previous range of $1.90 to $2.15 per share. It blamed the slow start to the tax season, as well as continued weakness in the mortgage market, for the reduced forecast.

H&R Block shares fell $1.87, or 7.4 percent, to $23.32 in after-hours trading on Inet.

Out of Town

Heading down to Charlotte this P.M. for the annual Rodbuilder's Show. Hope to return with tons of goodies to use when the weather warms and thoughts again turn to fishing. There are dozens of vendors from all over the U.S. who truck stuff to Charlotte and damn sure don't want to lug it back, so there are bargains galore-late Sunday afternoon, they'll almost pay you to take it off their hands. Be back Sunday night with a truckfull of good stuff!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Perils of "Spell-Check"

Two poems illustrate the basic problems with spell-check-both easily made it through.


I have a spelling checker -
It came with my PC
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh -
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing.
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud.
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are knot aloud.

And now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know faults with in my cite;
Of non eye am a wear.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed to be a joule.
The checker poured o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

That's why aye brake in two averse
By righting wants too pleas.
Sow now ewe sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear for pea seas!

And another:


Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques for my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased to no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Hat tip to Powerline!

What was the #1 Song on the Day you were born?

Check here-Mine is "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" by Perez Prado-who the hell is Perez Prado?


Got my Danish Flag Bumper Stickers today in the mail!

Free Speech Alive and Well in Austria

While I'm on my free speech soapbox, let me point you to a complete travesty in Austria-it appears there you can be locked up for 3 years by expressing a crazy, unpopular opinion-that's it! The very nation-state that gave us concentration camps and extermination of Jews by the millions now declares it to be a crime if you express an opinion, delusional or not, that this did not happen. Figure that one out! Great idea-Let's turn idiots into martyrs!

Holocaust Denial Gets 3 Years In Jail
VIENNA, Feb. 21, 2006(AP) Right-wing British historian David Irving has been sentenced to three years in prison by an Austrian court, which convicted him of denying the Holocaust — a crime in this country once run by the Nazis.

Irving, who had pleaded guilty and insisted during his one-day trial that he had had a change of heart and now acknowledged the Nazis' World War II slaughter of 6 million Jews, had faced up to 10 years behind bars. Before Monday's verdict, Irving conceded he had erred in contending there were no gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

"I made a mistake when I said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz," Irving testified, at one point expressing sorrow "for all the innocent people who died during the Second World War."

Irving, stressing he only relied on primary sources, said he came across new information in the early 1990s from top Nazi officials — including personal documents belonging to Adolf Eichmann — that led him to rethink certain assertions.

But despite his apparent epiphany, Irving maintained he had never questioned the Holocaust.

"I've never been a Holocaust denier and I get very angry when I'm called a Holocaust denier," he said.

Irving's lawyer immediately announced he would appeal the sentence.

"I consider the verdict a little too stringent. I would say it's a bit of a message trial," said the attorney, Elmar Kresbach.

Following the verdict, Kresbach told reporters that if actually sent to prison, Irving would likely not serve the full three-year term because of various factors, including his age.

State prosecutor Michael Klackl declined to comment on the verdict. In his closing arguments, however, he criticized Irving for "putting on a show" and for not admitting that the Nazis had killed Jews in an organized and systematic manner.

Irving appeared shocked as the sentence was read out. Moments later, an elderly man called out: "Stay strong, David — stay strong," before he was escorted from the courtroom.

Irving, 67, has been in custody since his arrest in November on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 in which he was accused of denying the Nazis' extermination of 6 million Jews.

Earlier Monday, he told journalists he considered it "ridiculous" that he was standing trial for remarks made 17 years ago.

Handcuffed and wearing a navy blue suit, he arrived at court carrying a copy of one of his most controversial books — "Hitler's War," which challenges the extent of the Holocaust.

Throughout the day, Irving sat quietly and attentively in the stuffy courtroom.

Irving's trial was held amid new — and fierce — debate over freedom of expression in Europe, where the printing and reprinting of unflattering cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad has triggered violent protests worldwide.

"Of course it's a question of freedom of speech ... The law is an ass," Irving said.

Both the defense and the prosecution also addressed the issue.

"He is everything but a historian ... he is a dangerous falsifier of history," Klackl said, calling Irving's statements an "abuse of freedom of speech."

Gotta Have One of These!

If you haven't tried this razor (click on link above), you don't know what your missing. I guarantee you men will actually look forward to a morning shave.

If You Steal Someone's Wallet, Make Sure She's Not an Olympic Athlete

Hockey player runs down pickpocket

TURIN, Italy -- Gina Kingsbury is as fast on her feet as she is on her skates, especially when her wallet is stolen.

The 24-year-old forward on the Canadian women's hockey team ran down a pickpocket who took her wallet while she was shopping with her mother in downtown Turin late in the first week of the Games.

After buying souvenirs at an Olympic merchandise store, Kingsbury and her mother Marlise stopped at a pizza place and Kingsbury was placing her order at the window when the woman serving her started yelling and pointing.

A man who had been standing behind her started running away.

"It just clicked that he had my wallet and I didn't hesitate," Kingsbury said.

The 5-ft.-8, 137-lb. forward chased the culprit about 40 metres with Marlise running behind her loaded down with shopping bags.

"I caught up to him pretty quick and put my hand on his shoulder and as I turned him he right away gave me my wallet back because I don't think he wanted the public to see," Kingsbury said.

"I was so stunned that I had my wallet, that I didn't look at him, didn't say anything, I just grabbed my wallet and walked away. I don't know what I would have done if he didn't give me my wallet."

Kingsbury is relied on for her penalty killing and forechecking abilities on the Canadian team, which plays for gold today, so those skills came in handy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Top 10 Cheney Excuses

Top 10 Cheney Excuses

10. "Heart palpitation caused trigger finger to spasm"

9. "Wanted to get the Iraq mess off the front page"

8. "Not enough Jim Beam"

7. "Trying to stop the spread of bird flu"

6. "I love to shoot people"

5. "Guy was making cracks about my lesbian daughter"

4. "I thought the guy was trying to go 'gay cowboy' on me"

3. "Excuse? I hit him, didn't I?"

2. "Until Democrats approve medicare reform, we have to make some tough choices for the elderly"

1. "Made a bet with Gretzky's wife"

Hat tip to Dash!

More Good Sense from Dr. Helen

The wife of Glenn Reynolds has her own blog now and she writes from a psychological perspective. Check out her site-here's her latest on the short-sighted appeasement to this cartoon nonsense.

Need a Welfare Check? Just Threaten to Riot
"If you reward cruelty with kindness, with what do you reward kindness?"

You would think that governments as well as people in general would understand that appeasing and rewarding negative behavior doesn't work. It's basic psychology 101--but one that not even most psychology professors understand or put to use. And apparently, this concept is foreign to many of the politically correct persuasion outside the classroom as well--for them, their feeling of moral "superiority" trumps human nature and causes liberals to turn a blind eye to justice and acts of violence.

In Bruce Bawer's new book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within,the side effects of the appeasement of Muslims by the Danish government are clear--as their government pumps more and more welfare money into the pockets of disgruntled Muslims, the rate of violence against "infidels" there increases.

Bawer points out that in Denmark, Muslims make up only 5% of the population but receive 40% of welfare outlays. Many of these immigrants are told by their leaders that Muslim law gives them the right to "cheat and lie in the countries that harbor them." They are told to view the benefits they receive as jizya--the tributes that "the infidel natives of Muslim-occupied countries are obliged to pay to Muslims in order to preserve their lives." And the welfare offices in Denmark can be the setting for violence--termed "culture clashes" by Danish journalists. "Some clients lay waste to social security offices and hit social workers--not out of frustration but because they've learned that bullying gets them what they want. The Danish government is not repressive; welfare workers tend to be sympathetic and eager to help. Many immigrants perceive this as weakness, and exploit it, 'tyrannizing' the social workers." The Danish solution? More PC behavior--get translators to translate not only between languages but between cultures. Yeah, that will work.

Having worked with social security disability clients for 15 years, I can tell you that human nature is the same all over. The more competent clients who had held jobs and had truly bad misfortunes happen to them were often kind and treated me with respect. Those who had never worked, been fed a steady diet of entittlement and justification of the "system owing them" from family members and society were the most abusive, often threatening me or treating me as an object to be used to get them what they wanted (not that it worked one way or another--I just wrote an objective report regardless of threats etc.). I learned to talk in a big booming voice that commanded authority and never swayed from speaking in an objective manner-of-fact tone. Once the potentially violent client saw that I was not intimidated by threats or strong language, they often settled down and cooperated. Too bad European countries haven't learned this lesson--appeasement of violence doesn't work.

I think the last paragraph of Bower's book summarizes the conflict of the PC Danish approach to conflict best:

"The irony was tragic: .......having instituted a welfare system meant to safeguard every last one of them from so much as a moment's financial insecurity, and having built up a culture of extraordinary freedom and tolerance that promised each of them a life of absolute dignity and perfect equality, postwar Dutch men and women had raised up their children into tall, strapping, healthy, multilingual young adults--
...and yet they'd turned a blind eye to the very peril that would destroy them."

Dutch cartoons anyone?

Let's Just Give them the Keys to the Skyscrapers!

If we let these animals intimidate us in to giving up our most sacred of rights, whre pray tell, does it stop? Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe gets it right:

When fear cows the media

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | February 19, 2006

THE PHOENIX is Boston's leading ''alternative" newspaper, the kind of brash, pull-no-punches weekly that might have been expected to print without hesitation the Mohammed cartoons that Islamists have been using to incite rage and riots across the Muslim world. Its willingness to push the envelope was memorably demonstrated in 2002, when it broke with most media to publish a grisly photograph of Daniel Pearl's severed head, and supplied a link on its website to the sickening video of the Wall Street Journal reporter's beheading.

But the Phoenix isn't publishing the Mohammed drawings, and in a brutally candid editorial it explained why.

''Our primary reason," the editors confessed, is ''fear of retaliation from . . . bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do . . . Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and . . . could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year-publishing history."

The vast majority of US media outlets have shied away from reproducing the drawings, but to my knowledge only the Phoenix has been honest enough to admit that it is capitulating to fear. Many of the others have published high-minded editorials and columns about the importance of ''restraint" and ''sensitivity" and not giving ''offense" to Muslims. Several have claimed they wouldn't print the Danish cartoons for the same reason they wouldn't print overtly racist or anti-Semitic material. The managing editor for news of The Oregonian, for example, told her paper's ombudsman that not running the images is like avoiding the N-word -- readers don't need to see a racial slur spelled out to understand its impact. Yet a Nexis search turns up at least 14 occasions since 1999 when The Oregonian has published the N-word unfiltered. So there are times when it is appropriate to run material that some may find offensive.

Rationalizations notwithstanding, the refusal of the US media to show the images at the heart of one of the most urgent stories of the day is not about restraint and good taste. It's about fear. Editors and publishers are afraid the thugs will target them as they targeted Danny Pearl and Theo van Gogh; afraid the mob will firebomb their newsrooms as it has firebombed Danish embassies. ''We will not accept less than severing the heads of those responsible," an imam in Gaza preaches. ''Whoever insults a prophet, kill him," reads the sign carried by a demonstrator in London. Those are not figures of speech but deadly threats, and American newspapers and networks are intimidated.

Not everyone has succumbed. The Weekly Standard reproduced the 12 cartoons, and some have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Sun, and even Spare Change News, a Boston biweekly sold by homeless people. But there has been nothing like the defiance shown in Europe, where some two dozen publications in 13 countries have run the cartoons, insisting that they will not allow thugs to decide what a free press can publish.

Journalists can be incredibly brave, but when it comes to covering the Arab and Muslim world, too many news organizations have knuckled under to threats. Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, a veteran foreign correspondent, admitted long ago that ''physical intimidation" by the PLO led reporters to skew their coverage of important stories or to ignore them ''out of fear." Similarly, CNN's former news executive, Jordan Eason, acknowledged after the fall of Saddam Hussein that his network had long sanitized its news from Iraq, since reporting the unvarnished truth ''would have jeopardized the lives of . . . our Baghdad staff."

Like the Nazis in the 1930s and the Soviet communists in the Cold War, the Islamofascists are emboldened by appeasement and submissiveness. Give the rampagers and book-burners a veto over artistic and editorial decisions, and you end up not with heightened sensitivity and cultural respect, but with more rampages and more books burned. You betray ideals that generations of Americans have died to defend.

And worse than that: You betray as well the dissidents and reformers within the Islamic world, the Muslim Sakharovs and Sharanskys and Havels who yearn for the free, tolerant, and democratic culture that we in the West take for granted. What they want to see from America is not appeasement and apologies and a dread of giving offense. They want to see us face down the fanatics, be unintimidated by bullies. They want to know that in the global struggle against Islamist extremism, we won't let them down.

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is jacoby@globe.com.

Here's my contribution:

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Great Winter Weather Rant from Livey

at Northwoods Woman. Nothing's more therapeutic than a heartfelt rant-I would post it in it's entirety because it's a classic but it contains a generous share of "F" words. Get over there yourself and while your there, look around a while!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bullhead Creek

My closest trout water when I lived in north central North Carolina was about 60 miles northeast at Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain is a 600 foot high granite dome outcropping that rises abruptly from near the boundary of Wilkes and Alleghaney counties on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a rustic park-hiking trails, waterfalls and a large white-tail deer population that is off limits to hunters. The main stream running through park, cold and clear, is the East Prong of the Roaring River. For the most part the main park road follows the river's path from about five miles in to the park exit-probably a distance of eight or nine miles. For you western folks, this is something you would never call a river. Its average depth as it rolls and spills over pea gravel and medium-sized smooth, round rocks is about 12 inches-there are places where it is ankle deep and some plunge pools that might be five feet deep, but these deep pools are rare. This "river" spans at most 10 yards from bank to bank, which makes herculean casts unnecessary and even decent fly casting not a great priority to catch fish. The stream is heavily canopied and not the place for a bunch of fancy "false casting." If you make a decent backcast, you need to drop it on the water cause your next backcast will most likely be retrieved from a tree. The great thing is that the stream is stocked heavily in March and April and until the first week in June, it's all catch and release-in NC, we call this program "delayed harvest." From June to Labor Day, the banks are lined with bait fishermen and "cornflingers" who don't give one shit about sport, they just want to fry up a rainbow, regardless of the size. By July, the creek is pretty much cleaned out and the water warms enough for swarms of grinning, pasty-white toothless locals to float the river in tubes, digging Vienna Sausages out of pop-top cans and flinging chicken bones up on the banks. The river was restocked in October and reverted back to catch and release till the next June.

There are several feeder streams in the park that trickle off other mountains and hills and also hold trout. These streams for the most part are not stocked, feature small native brook trout and require hours of stooped-over hiking to reach the largest populations of these wild, beautiful specimens. An eight incher would be considered a monster, but they dart and dash like hummingbirds and their color is truly stunning.

One of the feeder creeks is called Bullhead Creek. Before the park was formed, this small stream with it's headwaters high up near the Blue Ridge Parkway was the location of a private club, the Blue Ridge Fly Fishers, that managed and operated the stream with a "beat" system that has roots deep in English fly fishing tradition. The stream has eight "beats" or sections, which are assigned on a first come basis-you signed a ledger at the old clubhouse, dropped a small fee in the envelope and the section was yours and yours alone for as long as you cared to stay that day. You signed out when you left and others could sign in. Each beat was distinct and the beauty of this particular stream, other than the fact you would not be bothered by others fishing your assigned water, was that the fish in this creek grew to gargantuan sizes due to being fed twice a week with trout chow. This small flow probably averaged a foot deep and no more that 20 feet across, but looking down from the path to the upper sections you would see 30-inch rainbows and browns finning and feeding. One day I was fishing and unbeknownst to me the Park Ranger flung in a large spray of trout chow right at my feet. Huge trout came out from under trees and rocks beating the water to a froth for close to two minutes. The unexpected commotion scared the hell out of me-I didn't see him but I'm sure the ranger was laughing his ass off. The next minute, the fury was over and all you could hear was trickling water. Before you got to the first section their was a place called the "Club Pool," a thirty-foot diameter, clear plunge pool that was full of medium to large trout of all sizes. These trout stayed there until they could be relocated farther up. This area was fairly open and a good place just to warm up with some false casting and occasionally hook one of these torpedos on a three weight rod and 8X tippet and have some fun. Beat One was a short section with huge boulders-not one of my favorites. Beat two was my favorite because it had long stretches of flat flow and also a lot of pocket water and it also allowed you to locate the large fish from the path up above, then go down and try to sneak up on them. Beat Three was actually a feeder stream of Bullhead called Rich Mountain Creek, a pain-in-the ass heavily canopied stream that contained wild brook trout and a million rhodedendrons whose tough, thick leaves would grab and hold a fly like no other vegetation I've seen. Beat Four was short and rocky but OK in a pinch, just as was Beat Five. Beats Six and Seven were long, beautiful and easliy fished sections that could be fished all day without hittlng all the prime spots. Section Eight went on for miles and miles ending up near the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway-I never made it anywhere near the top.
Althought these trout could reach monstrous sizes, they were also old and wise-there wasn't a fly they hadn't seen and they would sit there finning in plain sight and you could drift a fly and a dropper right by their nose and not get a look. If they suspected you were there, and with me, lining them and flailing the water with the rapidity of a Japanese restaurant table chef chopping celery, it wasn't much of a secret-they would develop a full-blown case of lockjaw. One afternoon I made a good two thousand casts upstream into a little waterfall with a bead-head nymph. Lulled into a stupor, I was paying no attention when my line came tight. At the business end of the line was a 12 lb. rainbox and he was pissed, to say the least. With no place to go, he did the only thing he could-streak downstream like a rocket. I watched in horror as this beast went between my legs, the fly line and backing whistling downstream burning my crotch. My back was to the fish and my fly rod was between my legs, the tip-top five feet behind me. I lifted a leg and turned around to regain proper fishing position and dignity when the behemoth came streaking back upstream at the same high rate of speed, and you guessed it, streaked right between my legs again, twisting me into another "pretzel." After one more trip downstream and up and countless leaps, the thing finally wore itself out and I pulled the barbless hook out of his blunt, angry snout. He resumed his station at the base of the falls while I sat down panting and sweating like a Sonoran Desert mule.

If you ever get the chance, don't pass up Bullhead Creek-the best $12.00 you'll ever spend.

New Music

I love discovering "new" music-I came across these guys, Clumsy Lovers, from Vancouver, in the last few days. Great mix of Celtic and Caribbean. Click on the link for a look at their new video-cool sound, kinda like Barenaked Ladies with a banjo!

Good Question

Blogger Emily Zanotti asks the $64,000.00 question: "Why is it that they get their shorts in a knot over Muhammed cartoons, but have no qualms about eating him as a pastry?"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Don't Mess With Granny!

Hat tip to Kathy.

What passes for fine fashion

The ACTUAL fall line of clothes from designer Gareth Pugh from Style.com. Anyone who either buys or wears this crap should be denied the right to vote. Make sure you view the entire slideshow for maximun suckage. My personal favorite is this cretin-

Click to enlarge!

Things That Make You Feel Less Manly!

Bunk Beds
Disney World
Drinking Hot Tea
Non-Halogen Lamps
Thinking Babies Are Cute
Personalized License Plates
Being a Girl's "Best Guy Friend"
Minor Chords
Discount Cards at the Grocery Store
White Zinfandel
Board Game Night
Cheese Club
Holding Hands
Getting Promoted at Work
Men’s Tennis
Wearing a Scarf
The Priesthood
Crest Whitestrips
Putting a Box of Baking Soda in the Refrigerator
Attempted Murder
Different Shades of White
(Eggshell, Ivory, Porcelain)
Birthday Cards, Especially When They’re On Time
Eye Contact
Using a Lint Roller
Spoken Word Poetry
Phone Calls to Catch Up
Men's Pajamas
Disposable Cameras
Lip Balm
Picture Frames With Words on Them
Protein Powder
Stretching Before a Workout
Any Bottle of Wine That Costs More Than $10
Pet Ferrets
Laying Out
Fabric Softener
Potted Plants
White Jeans
Nailing a triple toe loop
Foreign Films

Things That Make You Feel Like a Man!

Shirts and Skins
Being Color Blind
Thinking About Surviving a Natural Disaster
Carving the Turkey
Knowing How to Tie More Than Three Knots,
But Not Bragging About It
Having YOUR Chair
Knowing the Infield Fly Rule
Wearing A Hard Hat
Taking the Points
The Smell of a Locker Room
Eating an Entire Pizza
Math Without a Calculator
Dunking A Basketball
Not Understanding Sports That Are Judged On Style
Punching A Wall
Athlete's Foot
Calling Your Friend a “Dumb Fuck” as a Term of Endearment
Destroying Nature
Hugging With One Arm
Sticking Out Your Chest in the Mirror When You Get Out of the Shower
Drinking Bourbon
Keeping Emotions Suppressed
Low Fives
Killing an Animal
Speaking into a Bullhorn or Walkie-Talkie
Going To The Barber Shop
OWNING the Remote
Opening jar lids for women
Spitting Out Blood
Watching a Chuck Norris Movie
Catching a Foul Ball Without a Glove
Building Things
Breaking things
Packing No Toiletries
Sailing the High Seas
Walking It Off
Going up on the Roof
Pissing Out a Fire
Laughing at the WNBA
Crashing A Car
Hitting ONLY Driver at the Range
Going Bald
Controlling Fire
Jumping Up To Touch an Awning
Hurting Someone By Accident
Lifting Something Heavy
Drinking milk right out of the container

Feel free to add your own!

I Told You I'd been busy

Pics of the new bass rod built for friend's political campaign auction. Click on for larger view.Posted by Picasa

Let the posting resume!

I've tried to put some stuff up but for the last month I've been quite busy, which ain't bad at all in January and February-makes these cold, damp gray days go by faster. In addition to my regular job, in the last 30 days I've done 111 hours of teaching and also managed to build a couple of fishing rods so a good friend of mnine who is running for District Attorney in another part of the state can auction them off and use the proceeds in his campaign. It's hard to fathom that in two weeks it will be March and from there you can actually see spring. It's supposed to be in the low 70's here tomorrow, capping off an unusually warm week and I might sneak out and see if the fish are stirring in the shallow water at low tide. It'll be nice just to run the boat for the first time this year. I'll also post my Friday fishing story on time tonight and look forward to reading Pete's.

Classic Headlines


  • Crack Found on Governor's Daughter

  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

  • Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death

  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

  • War Dims Hope for Peace

  • If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

  • Enfield Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

  • Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

  • Hospital Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

And the winner is....

  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Monday, February 13, 2006

Friendship is like peeing in your pants-Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

Valentine's friendship thought shamelessly purloined from Joan who stole it elsewhere.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Remove the Sons of Bitches From Your Life"

Great advice from Steve at Hog On Ice. We all know these people. If you do not excise them from your life as you would a cancerous tumor, they will eventually drag you down and kill you. They are inveterate hypocrites, backbiters and that's their good qualities. By virtue of mental illness or sheer meanness, the only pleasure they derive from life is to stir up shit and laugh while it plays out. They have a fundamental inability to be truly happy for themselves or anyone else and get their only joy in life from lobbing monkeywrenches into other's happiness. I too would rather have a leg lopped off than to relive childhood-all I can say is that I made it out alive, "bloodied and scarred, but alive," and a thousand times wiser for it. From that "experience," I have developed as a defense mechanism a "radar" so finely calibrated that I can detect bullshit, phoniness and those that traffick in misery at a thousand paces. Enjoy Steve's great post-bittersweet, poignant and tinged with hope.



The wedding was very nice, although I was pretty uncomfortable. While it is true that I lost enough weight to get into my tux, I am still somewhat fat, and my chest has ballooned up from the exercise I've been doing, so basically, I was unable to move my arms all night.

I would have danced, just to keep from looking weird, but I couldn't remember anything. I worked at learning salsa for two years, but ninety percent of it has vanished from my memory. I was able to remember a little merengue. Some people thought I had fallen asleep because I was sitting at the table with my eyes closed, trying to remember how to dance.

Some people were not put on this planet to dance. That's how it is. If I'm ever foolish enough to take up with a woman again, and she wants to dance, we'll go to my salsa instructor and figure it out, and then when she needs a fix, I'll take her to a club to shut her up. But I don't see myself keeping the floor hot at any more Cuban weddings. I did it once; I guess that will have to suffice.

Ivette's dad and her younger brother Jose spoke. Jose got all emotional, telling her how much he loved her. I sat there staring, realizing how much I had missed out on because my sister is such a hateful piece of crap.

There has been so much misery in my family. And none of it was necessary. No one was born deformed. No one was severely mentally ill. No one was an invalid. Or poor. In fact, we were all smart and talented. And white. And American. And affluent. My family's misery was caused not by bad luck, but by immaturity, selfishness, cruelty, and shortsightedness. By stupidity.

The funny thing is, I'm not like that. I'm not an angel, but I get along with people. I enjoy doing things for people I love. I like helping people. I like giving. I don't have to have the biggest piece of pie all the time. It doesn't bother me when someone else gets a little attention. We don't have to always watch the TV shows I want to watch. If you do something dumb, I don't feel like God appointed me to hammer it into your head over and over, until you have to leave the house because apologizing won't make me stop. I don't believe in being unfaithful. I won't steal from you if you leave your checkbook lying around. I'm not sadistic. I won't get pleasure from holing up in my room, thinking of ways to make other people dislike you or feel contempt for you.

I just don't cause problems that make people miserable. I am not a son of a bitch. I'm not saying I'm perfect. Just that I never, ever contributed to my family's problems in even the smallest way. I do not understand the inner workings of people who make life miserable. I may inconvenience you with my eccentricities. I may annoy you with my opinions. But no one has ever called me mean or abusive or envious. No one has ever had to walk on eggs around me. No one ever had to say, "Shut up. Here comes Steve."

A lot of people look back fondly on childhood. I wake up every day thrilled to be an adult. I still feel relief, knowing no one can mistreat me now. If you asked me whether I would rather relive my childhood or go to prison, I would have to think very hard before I made a choice. I guess I'd have to go with childhood, but only because prison carries the threat of gang rape and beatings.

If you told me I could relive my childhood or lose a leg, I'd tell you to start cutting, and that is no exaggeration. I could not face it again. For some reason, I started thinking about my childhood last night while I was trying to sleep, and I felt real pain. I listed horrible memories in my mind, and it surprised me how many there were. The pain kept me awake an extra hour and a half. It was the strangest sensation. Like having a broken bone, except that the pain was in my mind.

It's bad when things don't work out for people. It's bad when you and your wife try, but you end up with an unsatisfying marriage. It's bad having a job you don't like. It's bad when you have kids, and you do what you can, and they do what they can, and they still don't turn out the way you wanted. But misfortunes like that don't compare to the ones people inflict on themselves through stupidity. How can you face God at the end of your life, knowing you ruined everything for yourself and everyone around you, and that it was all due to deliberate, proactive measures you took for no good reason?

I'm sitting here now, afraid to try to imagine what our lives could have been. I'm actually afraid. I'm very happy these days; I've mastered happiness as a skill. I've learned where to look for it and how to hold onto it. I don't want to make myself unhappy by imagining a better world that could have been. I know I'll remember imagining it from now on, and I'll be unable to prevent myself from comparing it to what has actually happened.

I don't understand people who are not like me. I know what goes on in the minds of selfish, abusive people, but I don't understand how they can stand to be that way. How can you not know it when you're nothing but a source of needless suffering? How can something which is so obvious to everyone around you be imperceptible to you? Surely you know. You just lack empathy. That has to be the answer. To some degree, you have to be a narcissist or a psychopath.

Anyway, Ivette has a wonderful family. I'm sure they have their problems, but they all seem to be on each other's side. They celebrate each other's successes. They're proud of each other. I can't imagine what that must be like. I'm not saying the members of my family were never good to each other. Just that it was not consistent. It was inadequate. And poisoned by the many harmful things that were done. You can't fertilize a tomato plant once a week and pour bleach on it once a day and expect to get tomatoes.

I take pleasure in the knowledge that there are healthy families like Ivette's. I look at families like that, and I think, "Those people are like me; that's the kind of family I'd have if everyone in my family were like me." I've heard that during the Depression, people loved hearing about wealthy celebrities, because it comforted them to know that while times were hard where they were, somewhere far away, someone else was having a third Martini or being measured for a bespoke suit. I can understand that. I really enjoy seeing nice people do well, and I'm trying to do well, myself. There's still time.

Take my advice. Do your best to remove the sons of bitches from your life. I don't care if they're your brothers, your fathers, your sisters, or what. Remove them. It's like rolling a car off of a piece of sod. Just as the blades that were under the tires will straighten and grow, you'll gradually feel the strength and hope flow back into you. And don't forget to pray. I don't think anything works out in the long run without prayer.

I feel like the catcher in the rye. Trying to save people from lives of misery, by tossing out a few words that aren't likely to be read and understood and applied. Silly idea, I suppose. But every once in a while, someone reads a message in a bottle. Can't hurt to try.

Somewhere in South Carolina

This place was found by Joan at Walk This Way-Drop by her fabulous site and while you're there, wish her a happy 50th birthday!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"Indedibly Etched"-Fishing and Memory

I have a saying that I stole from some book I read over ten years ago-"Everytime you go fishing, at least one thing will happen that you will remember all your life." I have found that statement to be true in the extreme. I happen to be blessed with a fantastic long-term memory- (my short-term is lacking-for instance, I can remember our phone number when I was in first grade but I cannot locate my car keys at this time). All my fishing experiences, down to complete minutae, still reside somewhere in the recesses of my brain and a mere a mention of a place or time sets loose a torrent of detailed memories of the trip-what rod I was using, what reel I was using, who I was with, what the weather was like, what fly or bait was used, where the fish was caught and how many were caught. These experiences are recounted as if they happened that very day- as if they were the product of hypnotic trance. As my fishing buddy Scott likes to say, these experiences are "indelibly etched" in our brains. No shit!

I can tell you that I caught my first trout on a fly that I tied in 1993 in the East Prong of the Roaring River at Stone Mountain State Park directly across the dirt road from the trail that leads to Widow's Falls. I was using an Orvis 6'6' 4 weight rod with a Battenkill 3/4 disc reel. I was by myself and against the basic tenets of dry fly fishing, I was letting the fly float downstream of my position , not casting upstream and having the fly drift back towards me. I was using a fly called a bivisible tied on a size 12 hook and the fish was a stocked 12-inch rainbow-oh yes, it was the first week in May.

I can remember a float trip on the Snake River in Idaho with Scott and Mike Bradford and Ervin Brown where the weather in July began as hot and sunny but by the end of the day we were motoring the driftboat through a sideways freezing rain. I remember the sandwiches the guide fixed on the side of the river for lunch (I picked out the banana peppers) and I remember beaching the driftboats on a gravel bar to fish a 200 foot-long riffle where the fish rose with reckless abandon to gulp down the sulfurs (ephemerella dorothea) that rose from the pocket water.

I remember the three of us walking down a hill and fishing the Yellowstone River, standing in between boiling "paint pots," drifiting weighted nymphs in a deep back-eddy while the caddis flies were so thick we sucked them into our noses by the thousands. You can put up with that if you're catching large "cutbows," which we were.

I could drive right now to the exact rock on the Madison River below Slide Lake where every evening the caddis hatch came off at the exact same time and everytime I swung a caddis pupa across the stream it was violently nailed by a rainbow trout. I remember negotiating the steep sagebrush-covered slopes of the Gardner River Canyon near the northern border of Yellowstone Park and fishing the fast moving pocket water with big, bushy Royal Wulffs while a herd of elk grazed not 50-feet away.

I remember, and how could I ever forget, unfolding a brand new 10-foot cast net and throwing it over a huge school of menhaden. In my haste, I had forgotten one important step-putting the loop over my wrist. Scott and I watched as the green rope disappeared to the bottom of the 30 foot channel, never to be seen again. After the initial shock, we horselaughed the entire rest of the day and to this day still tell this story with glee. Cast net-$133.00. Having your friend watch you throw it into the water and disappear on your first cast-priceless!

I remember the exact details of every tailing redfish I have caught while wading grass flats at high tide. I can tell you the rod it was caught on and also the type fly I used. I can recall every detail of a South Carolina cobia trip year before last when we boated four weighing 55, 40 35 and 25 pounds respectively. I can show you the rubble from which I yanked out a 6 pound flounder last summer; the place where the bluefish went crazy one afternoon in the river; and the place on the South Platte that I hooked a huge rainbow that ran downstream between my legs and almost spooled me before me and the guide could chase it down and land it.

I do not say these things to brag-I have more times than not come home without getting so much as a nibble. I also remember those times as if they just happened. I say them to demonstrate the power of experience, especially shared experience. If I never fished again, I would be able to fish for the rest of my life by simply recalling and reliving with friends our precious time on the water.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Fish Story later today

Sorry Pete-1 day late-been up to my ass in alligators this week.

Put your money where your mouth is-Support Freedom of Expression by buying Danish Products

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Iowahawk Cartoon Parody-A Classic

Stand Up for Freedom of Speech

Go to Fatwa Me and sign the online petition.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Olympic Skewering

Tom Knott of the Washington Times deflates NBC's Katie Couric and Bob Costas, the tiny, insufferable gasbags who will be providing Winter Olympic coverage and also reacquainting TV viewers with the mute button on the remote. Enjoy.

By Tom Knott
Published February 8, 2006

One of the fundamental problems of the Turin Games, besides the treacherous snow and ice in the absence of D.C.-inspired storm team coverage, promises to be the nauseating presence of Bob Costas and Katie Couric.
Costas and Couric are the Ken and Barbie dolls of NBC, a pair of half-pints who exude a smug, condescending air behind their plastic smiles and pseudo-charm. They are television's version of fingernails dragging against a chalkboard.
NBC's bosses certainly would beg to differ, and they undoubtedly have the results from a zillion focus groups to support their assertions. The corollary is that there apparently is a market niche for everyone, the unpleasant and the like.
Costas has evolved into the conscience of just about every sport there is, including professional wrestling. The latter goes back to his interview with Vince McMahon, who appeared interested in squishing Costas like a bug at one point during the exchange.
The ego of Costas is larger than the person, and we can debate whether that is a significant phenomenon, given the severe physical limitations of the person.
Costas imagines himself to be an intellectual, amusing as that is, considering that sports rarely rise above the grunts and sweat of the principals. And that includes those who deconstruct the games in decibels that hurt the ears.
Costas used to traffic in wit and irreverence. Now he is a fountain of sober thought, of what it all means, as if it means anything, and the joy of the moment becomes subservient to the chatter.
Costas and Couric are certain to bring us the so-called uplifting saga of a one-eyed athlete who overcame a dead grandmother, dead dog, dyslexia, irritable bowel syndrome, a stroke and three heart attacks. For good measure, the athlete also nearly choked to death on a chicken bone in the days leading up to the Greco-Roman Alpine Synchronized Ice Fishing competition.
This weepy foray is intended to entertain and inform, plus connect us to the dreams of the performer, which is really in the intrusive company of Jerry Springer, only without the flying chairs. Most maudlin details are better left unsaid.
Costas and Couric endeavor to champion the proud athlete from a dusty village in a faraway land. You can take that as a threat to your viewing pleasure.
Couric is no longer perky, just pedestrian, as she fills the air with observations best left to trivia games.
Did you know that Finsteraarhorn is the highest peak of the Bernese Alps?
Hmm. Please tell us more.
As a beacon of blab, Couric has refined the art of saying a lot about mostly nothing, which is what the Winter Games are to those Americans who usually see ice only in their drinks and refrigerators.
Figure skating is said to be transcendent to a degree, if only because of the appeal of the garishly dressed peacocks on ice, and that description applies mostly to the men.
NBC is planning to air 416 hours of the Winter Games, which comes out to 241/2 hours a day. That is a lot of Costas and Couric, one as grating as the other, each compelled to fan the flames of interest with insights that provoke the primal-scream urges of the less cultured.
In their defense, curling is always a tough sell to the masses, forever taken aback by the sight of a broom and bowling ball, or whatever the thingamajig is called.
A one-armed curler, if there is one, would celebrate the indefatigable nature of the human spirit.
Costas and Couric are indefatigable as well, the bane of the events.
They aim to provide context to the Nordic Combined Snowball competition, even if no context is necessary. Perspective, too.
Voice-over: That puts it all in perspective.
Or not.
Costas and Couric undoubtedly will feel obligated to help viewers get through the eye-moistening ordeal, whatever it is.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just a Thought

I was just thinking-If I was suddenly motivated to say, burn the flag of Denmark to rectify some presumed cartoon blasphemy, pray tell, where would I get such a flag? How do there happen to be thousands of these flags laying around in the heart of the muslim middle east and yet, I've not once laid eyes on one here in the free world? Did the downtrodden middle eastern masses at once use their Amazon Prime accounts and get them shipped next day air for $3.99-it appears that was not an option, at least not on this item. Spontaneous eruptions of protest and violence-I don't think so.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Amazing Sidewalk Art

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Too Much to Resist

Those incredibly " offensive" cartoons.

The measured response from the "religion of peace," includes torching the Danish embassy in Damascus.

Support the brave souls who stand up to this nonsense.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Fish Story Friday-The Passion of the Cast

I promised my friend from Michigan, Pete Venlet that I would join in weekly with a Friday fishing post. Here’s the first installment, which is not really a fishing story but sets the stage for some:

I started flyfishing in 1991-I do not know why. I do know for damn sure that it was not because of that movie-you know the one I'm talking about. That's right, "A River Runs Through It." I know this because that movie did not come out until 1992 and I also thought that it sucked, unlike the book which was wonderful. I hated it because it was basically a heaping more syrupy sentimentality than sport-like a fishing show that might be shown on the Lifetime Channel. I disliked it for the same reason I disliked "Field of Dreams," which was not a baseball movie, but in essence, a soap opera featuring ballbats and cornstalks. Also, if I watch a baseball movie, I don't want to it be a backdrop for Holly Hunter to screech at the good people of Iowa about book censorship. Not unless that somehow becomes an occasion for her to be felled by a screaming liner off the shin, then I'm OK with it-but I digress. Oh, yes, fishing.

I probably would not have taken up fly-fishing after seeing that movie and after seeing the short-term hysteria and fad surrounding it. For a time it fattened the wallets of fly shop owners-shops overrun with wannabee yuppie flyfishers who loaded up on fancy rods, reels and vests-people who looked liked they walked through an LL Bean store and everything stuck to them. Most of them, I sure, never darkened the bank of any stream for any length of time, preferring not to get their $500.00 waders wet or their fly line slimed in any way. I'm confident they found out quickly that it took work to learn how to cast and read the water and unlike fishing in ponds, trout fishing was often a lot of casting and hiking with nothing to show for the effort. And I know they discovered that no matter how perfect they looked in their fancy outfits and no matter how powerful they were at work, most of the time they were getting consistently out-foxed by a 10-inch salmonid with brain the size of a pencil eraser. By 1995, most of these "movie fishers" were gone from the scene- on to other habits and pursuits that were now more trendy. I was just getting hooked- the love of standing in a mountain stream waving a stick led to me buying flyfishing books by the hundreds, tying my own flies, taking trips out west to fish the great waters of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, then it was on to building my own rods, then saltwater flyfishing, then angling for a job on the coast to do even more of it. It’s funny that I can trace almost all of my passsions and life’s decisions since 1991 on the fact that one night I picked up an Orvis catalog and decided I needed to buy a flyrod-for some reason, in my first 35 years that idea had not once crossed my mind, then all of a sudden, I had to have one right then-next day air at that. I stared at that catalog until I was stupid and weighed my options like I knew what the hell I was looking at. I decided on a 6 foot, 6 inch, 4 weight rod called “the Flea,” because I planned to fish the small, canopied streams at a state park about an hour away. I flailed the park waters to a froth for at least a year before I caught my first fish-a freshly stocked 10 inch rainbow that came out from nowhere in a six-inch deep riffle to grab my fly and streak upstream, jumping and leaping several times before I admired it, slipped out the hook and released him back. I’m still firmly hooked, 15 years later.

Next week-fly-fishing and memory.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sorry for the anemic postings

Very busy lately with work and teaching at night. Back tomorrow with something. Later!