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Thursday, February 27, 2014

You Might Be Watching Too Much Fox News If........

1. You are OUTRAGED at how Obama has shredded the Constitution but can’t name any rights you’ve lost since January 20, 2009.

2. You think record breaking cold weather in the middle of winter disproves “Global Warming.”

3. You think record breaking cold weather in the middle of winter disproves “Global Warming” but record breaking heat waves in the summer are just a fluke.

4. You hate Obama for the almost 1700 American lives lost in Afghanistan under his watch but have no idea how many died in Iraq before he took office (Hint: more than 4000).

5. You call Afghanistan “Obama’s War” but ignore the entire first eight years of it.

6. You think there’s no way Chris Christie knew about the scandal unfolding in his own office but Obama clearly knew what a small IRS office in Cincinnati was up to.

7. You think 4 Americans dying in Benghazi is “the worst tragedy since 9/11.“

8. You denounce Bill Clinton as an adulterer but give a pass to David Vitter and Mark Sanford because they apologized.

9. You are both convinced Obama is a secret Muslim and still go into a frenzy when someone mention Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

10. You really do think Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist that drinks beer, eats pork, attended church for years (ARRRGH! Rev. Jeremiah Wright!), had his daughters baptized, had bin Laden killed and has had more terrorist leaders assassinated than every president before him combined.

11. You think bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 because he ordered the attack but Obama gets no credit for bin Laden’s death because he only ordered the attack.

12. You swear that Obama is coming for your guns.

13. You’ve been swearing that Obama is coming for your guns since before he was elected.

14. You swear that Obama has actually reduced your right to own guns but you can’t explain how.

15. You have ever used the phrase: Obama’s Katrina to describe something that was not the bungled response to a major natural disaster.

16. You’re positive Obama isn’t a true Christian but then got mad he had too many Christmas trees (no, seriously, that was a thing).

17. You think Muslims are terrorists and religious fanatics but think protecting gay kids from bullies is an attack on your religious beliefs.

18. You constantly complain the liberal media takes things out of context but you’re deeply offended that Obama said “You didn’t build that.”

19. You think that ACORN stole the 2008 election. Maybe the 2012 one as well.

20. You think “voter fraud” is an actual problem but can’t explain how cutting early voting stops it.

21. In 2009, cutting the $1.4 trillion deficit in half was the most important thing in the world but in 2014, you could care less about how much the deficit was cut (Hint: in half).

22. You hate Obama for not having served a day in the military but voted for Mitt Romney.

23. You think Obama is the laziest president ever for taking so many vacation days but “forget” that it’s less than a third of his predecessor.
23a. Never mind how many days he took, the president shouldn’t take vacations during a time of  crisis!
23b. Never mind that Bush took vacations during two wars and a recession! Obama is   spending tax payer money to loaf about!
23c. I said WHO CARES that Bush took more than three times as much vacation time? It only counts when the black guy takes a vacation!

24. You think Obama embarrassed America by bowing to other heads of state but forgot about the time Bush held hands and kissed Prince Abdullah.

25. You think Obama is terrible for the economy while the stock market continues to hit all time highs.

26. You think the stock market hitting all times highs doesn’t mean the economy is improving but you still believe in Trickle Down Economics.

27. You claim you don’t believe in Trickle Down Economics but insist that increasing taxes on the rich will hurt the economy.

28. You’re outraged OUTRAGED at Obama for not unilaterally launching a full scale war on Iran but call him a warmonger for joining an international coalition to stop a massacre in Libya.

29. You think Obama is “dumb.”

30. You really think a Harvard graduate is “dumb.”

31. You really seriously think a Harvard graduate and a former president of the Harvard Law Review is “dumb.”

32. You think Obama hates white people which would include his white mother and the white grandparents that raised him to be President of the United States.

33. You think Obama is a criminal mastermind that has broken dozens of laws involving thousands of government workers but no one can actually prove anything.

34. You think Obama is an absolute idiot who has broken dozens of laws involving thousands of government workers but no one can actually prove anything.

35. You think Climate Change is a vast liberal conspiracy to destroy Capitalism.

36. You claim evolution is a liberal hoax but still take your kids to their yearly flu shot.

37. You claim science is just a religion but do not think twice about boarding an airplane.

38. You think the private sector can completely replace government investments but you’re OUTRAGED Obama ended the Space Shuttle program.

39. You think using a teleprompter means you are stupid. But only if you happen to be the president. It’s OK for everyone else.

40. You think being asked to drink an extra glass of water a day is tyranny.

41. You think being asked to do more community service is tyranny.

42. You think being asked to help the poor get health insurance is tyranny.

43. You think being asked to let women choose to use birth control is tyranny.

44. You think being asked to respect other religions is tyranny.

45. You think being asked to leave homosexuals alone is tyranny.

46. You think being publicly shamed for your racism is tyranny.

47. You think not allowing criminals and the mentally ill to buy guns is tyranny.

48. You think allowing everyone to vote is tyranny.

49. You think Obama exercising his constitutional authorities is tyranny.

50. You grew up in America and think you actually understand what real tyranny is.

Addicting Info

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

David Byrne Covers Biz Markie's "Just A Friend"

Talk about your mash-ups! David Byrne, former lead singer of Talking Heads covered Biz Markie's 1980s hip-hop classic "Just A Friend" last night at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.

And even more surprising, he actually pulled it off fairly well.....Although I don't think there's any wrong way you can do this song.....

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gatorade Cola

A short lived competitor in the cola wars, Gatorade Cola was introduced in the late 1960's. It was made and distributed by the RC Cola company for Stokely-Van Camp, the then-makers of Gatorade thirst quencher drink.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Red Balloon (Le Balon Rouge, 1956)

I've always loved this little French movie. For three reasons.

First, there was almost no dialogue whatsoever in the film. This was not uncommon in classic French cinema. The visuals say everything.

Second, it's a whimsical little story about a little boy and a balloon he finds in the street.

Third (and especially.) This was the LONGEST film in the A/V library at my elementary school back in the 1970s, clocking in at just over a half hour.

Almost missed it for the third time when the substitute teacher filled in and she didn't know how to run the film projector (long before VCRs and DVD players, plain ordinary Bell & Howell 16mm film projectors and white pull-down screens that hung over the chalkboard were mandatory equipment in every classroom.) I happily took care of all that for her (nudge, wink.)

Most films we had rarely ran longer than 15 minutes. A half hour film like The Red Balloon was a godsend.....
When she left in the middle of the film to talk to another teacher in the hallway, I stopped and rewound the film to the beginning, starting it the second the classroom door opened. She stared at me rather suspiciously the rest of the film, knowing I had thrown a deliberate wrench in her schedule. Whatever kept us from doing school work and gave me cool points with the rest of the kids....


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Big Mouth Billy Bass

Invented in 1998 and sold originally in Bass Pro Shops, the Big Mouth Billy Bass was THE redneck novelty item of the early 2000s. They were originally equipped with motion sensors and when an unsuspecting person would walk by, the Big Mouth Billy Bass would wiggle it's tail, turn it's head towards the person and sing cover versions of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and "Take Me To The River". The motion sensor was later replaced by a red button (as I heard it, after some people with heart conditions and anxiety disorders had complained.)

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Benihana" Marilyn Chambers (1977)

Following on the heels of '70s porn star Andrea True, who scored a massive Top 40 hit with "More More More" (as The Andrea True Connection) in 1976. Fellow porn actress Marilyn Chambers tried her hand at disco-pop music, hoping for similar success. 

Oh well. Nice try.

And yes, it's all true, Marilyn Chambers was also the fresh faced young mom on the early '70s boxes of Ivory Snow laundry detergent (above.) Once Proctor & Gamble found out about her porn career, the box was quickly redesigned with a different model (below.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

....And meanwhile in Sochi....

Sochi is running out of pillows http://www.vocativ.com/02-2014/sochi-running-pillows/

The honey is so fresh, it's still got bees in it!

People like me will never get a break in Sochi.


Every hotel room has these. I think the top left gizmo is a closed circuit radio. In Stalin days, the Soviet Union made them mandatory in every apartment and hotel room and ran a wired feed of the main government radio channel. Over the air radio wasn't made legal in the Soviet Union again until after World War II. North Korea still uses a similar system and as I've heard it from my Russian friends, you could turn them down to a low volume, but you could NEVER completely turn them off.

This is not beer. Or tea. Or apple juice. Or that either. It is water.

Add caption

This picture of Putin is the closest you'll ever get to a TV in some hotel rooms.

Watch for open manholes.

This is not bottled water.

The Canadian team housing: Feels like home?

Doors that lock from the outside.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Remember this game? Next to Jenga, it's my personal favourite skill game.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


After 35 years of smoking cigarettes, I've finally kicked that habit.

I started "vaping", or puffing electronic, or e-cigarettes.

My reasons were simple. Regular cigarettes are insanely expensive, I never actually liked the taste or smell of tobacco myself - even after 35 years. Plus, having had two minor heart attacks, a near fatal bout with pneumonia and breathing problems, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have enough other health problems and if I can knock just one of my worst demons out, I'll have accomplished a LOT. I also had a lot of encouragement and support from those closest to me - some whom have begged me to quit for years.

And after nearly losing a close friend to esophageal cancer last year, that was the last straw.

But quitting was next to impossible for me. And in fact, I probably never would have even taken on the habit if my mom hadn't forced me to smoke a whole pack as punishment for catching me smoking. So parents, for God's sake, do NOT make that mistake with your own children if you catch them smoking.

I've tried the cold turkey approach, patches, gum, lollipops, everything. I heard about e-cigarettes, but I always thought they were too expensive and didn't do anything. And I knew nothing about them. But one of my friends said he was going e-cigarettes and I pretty much decided to join him. Another friend recommended Caterpillar Vapes, where she ordered her e-cigarette kit and she told me it was so good, she hasn't craved a regular cigarette since.

So I ordered. I hoped for the best, but expected the worst. At the rate I was going, I resigned to the idea I was going to die next to a pack of cigarettes.

And it not only lived up to my lowest expectations, it exceeded my highest. For the first time in 35 years, I do not have a pack of cigarettes and a lighter on or near me.

In other words, a fucking miracle has happened.  

E-cigarettes have a LOT of advantages. First, you're not smoking, but inhaling a water based vapour.

Regular cigarettes create smoke and odours and eventual discolouration of the walls, ceilings and furniture over a long time. This was brought home to me shortly after my mom died and I had to clean off the light fixture above her kitchen table where she smoked for 13 years. The smoke residue had discoloured once white elements of the fixture into a dull golden brown. And cleaning it was one of the grossest jobs I ever had to do. And it really makes me sad that my mom didn't live to see these. If she knew the difference e-cigarettes can make, she would have switched in a heartbeat.

E-cigarettes create vapour that looks like cigarette smoke, but it's actually a vapour that disappears quickly and does not linger because unlike tobacco, it contains no tar and discolouring oils. It's no different than a water based air diffuser. Or even ordinary cooking odours. The vapour and odour of an e-cigarette disappears in seconds.

If you're still smoking regular cigarettes, you REALLY owe it to yourself to make the switch to e-cigarettes. Not only is it VASTLY cheaper than smoking regular cigarettes (which now cost nearly $10 a pack in Washington State - you don't need to buy a pack a day, you don't even need lighters or matches. You just press a button on the battery of the e-cigarette and inhale. And there's a HUGE yearly savings in that.)

E-cigarette smokers don't leave butts, empty packs and ashes everywhere. They don't smell bad. And in rental housing where smoking bans are becoming more and more common, they are completely unnoticeable.

And my starter kit has already paid for itself in the first week of use.

Total $69.03....Same price as a week of cigarettes. With no mess, odour and hassles.
Best of all, you don't have to put up with the usual tobacco flavour. E-liquid flavours come in an INCREDIBLE variety. From Roasted Marshmallows to fresh fruit and drink flavours - I even found one that tasted like roasted hot dogs, although I don't think I'm that adventurous. But if you prefer a tobacco flavour, they have those too.

Nicotine levels of the e-liquids also vary, depending on the kind of cigarettes you smoked - there are also nicotine-free varieties.

I smoked full flavours, so the nicotine level in my e-liquid is 2.4. Medium is 1.8. Lights is 1.2 and Ultra-Lights is 0.6. My goal is to gradually lower my nicotine levels over five years to zero. And eventually put the e-cigarette kit away for good.

The benefit to me is it simulates the feel of smoking, without the tar, stink, ash and chemicals of regular cigarettes. As a writer, taking a drag is a necessary activity for me every paragraph or so. And there's no worrying about burning down the cigarette in the ashtray. Or having to smoke the whole cigarette outside and then come back and write. Which only increased my smoking of regular cigarettes.

How it works:

There are two main components to an eGo e-cigarette (my brand). I ordered this kit. Which contains two 900mAh batteries, which holds more than enough charge per day for my needs. There are also higher 1,100mAh batteries for heavier smokers and 650mAh batteries for lighter smokers. The gist with this kit is you can charge one while using the other.

There are four cartomizers. A cartomizer is what holds the e-liquid. You unscrew the mouthpiece and pour the e-liquid at a 45 degree angle at the sides, not at the hole in the center, which is the air hole which you inhale from with the mouthpiece on. The silica fibers of the coil head inside the cartomizer is what absorbs the e-liquid and when you press the battery button, it heats the cartomizer, creating the vapour. The coil heads have to be replaced every so often, so I bought 4 extra coil heads. The extra cartomizers also have coil heads and I have used the same cartomizer and coil head (and the same e-liquid type) for a week and a half and so far so good. You can also use the different cartomizers to hold different flavours of e-liquids for variety.  

This is a 30ml bottle of Tropical Joy flavoured e-liquid. And in a week and a half of use, this is how much I used. Did I mention this bottle cost $7.69? A pack of the cheapest cigarettes at my closest grocery cost $8.10 and is gone in a day. And I have a second 30ml bottle of tobacco flavoured e-liquid. (Your own use may vary.)

And now the flipside.....

E-cigarettes are a gray area in the health and public regulations. It's not smoking, but it's still not kosher to be vaping in mixed company. There's lots of concern whether it will lead kids to smoking actual cigarettes, but after 35 years of pack a day smoking, I absolutely do not see why. Cigarettes do not come in all these flavours. And there are nicotine free varieties you don't have to inhale, some non-smoking dieters use these to curb cravings for sweets.

But there are also social nannies and misinformed politicians who will try to make access to e-cigarettes and e-liquids difficult. If someone is under 18, I can see it. But for older smokers trying to quit or looking for a tar free alternative, it's crazy.

I think e-cigarettes are probably the best thing yet to help smokers kick the habit. And I'm already feeling the benefit. I breathe easier (although for the first few days, it took a while for my lungs to adjust), my mood was stable, I wasn't going crazy like I did without regular cigarettes. And now regular tobacco smoke is becoming irritating to me. But to create laws against e-cigarettes would increase tobacco usage again. And I want to stay on the course I'm on now.

And my friend was right. I haven't craved a regular cigarette since.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Trapper Keeper

Let's face it. In high school back in the '80s, a Trapper Keeper was MANDATORY. No kid would be caught dead without one. 

In 1980, Mead invented the Trapper Keeper. The folders were three sided, preventing papers from falling out. The metal rings in typical binders were replaced by easy slide-open plastic rings in the Trapper Keeper, eliminating painful binder pinches. The original Trapper Keepers had brass metal snap-close buttons. These were later replaced by velcro.

Until the Trapper Keeper, you carried Pee-Chees. While iconic, Pee-Chees had one major flaw; papers often fell out of them, leaving a nightmarish mess on the hallway floor in front of your locker (often with just seconds to your next class.)  

And woe to the kid who got picked on - the bullies would just walk all over his/her papers.

They originally came in three plain colours, blue, red and green.  

In 1984, new designs were added, making Trapper Keepers even more cooler than ever. But most kids liked to cut through the clear plastic outer covering and slip in their own illustrations.

And even today, I STILL use a Trapper Keeper. I find they're PERFECT for keeping important papers. The look has changed with the times and velcro close has been replaced by strong magnets, but fundamentally, they're as trusty as ever.