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1000 posts!

2/26/2007



I thought I'd miss it, but here it is, my 1000th post on this here blog.

I'd like to thank the Academy, my wife, the kids...Global Warming, most of the world's newspapers, alchohol in general and the Jim Beam distillery in particular for this great honor. I'd also like to thank stupid criminals, bad eighties hair metal, terrible puns and my freind from Bosnia who sends me really bad jokes. I'd like to be the first to thank God that Milton Street is not running for mayor of my town, and for inventing the FM iPod transmitter/charger that I bought for my car. Especially since I drove 107 miles each way today to an appointment that was cancelled. I would also like to thank options traders for running the price of gas up right before I had to make that drive. To sum up, it's people like the TSA, the future NIT champion Villanova Wildcats, TV weathermen, female legislators and, of course, porn stars with freakishly large breast implants that make this blog what it is today and probably will be for the forseeable future...

A place for me to type my half-formed thoughts, badly.

Important Post-Modern Travel Advisory

2/23/2007

Avoid the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Chareston, West Virginia.

Unless you will.

Or haven't already.

Saving Chrysler

Joe Sherlock (click here) has a good idea.

This business will get out of control.

It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Simulations - redux

2/21/2007

I've been following the Scooter Libby trial on the web at Just one Minute and over at Firedoglake. While I was eating lunch yeaterday I was behind corporate firewall and couldn't get to FDL because of a profanity filter, so I was reading the comments about FDL's liveblogging the closing arguments on JOM.

I don't think I've ever had a more post-modern moment.

Can anyone tell me if the closing arguments actually happened? Can you provide evidence? Evidence that doesn't include a simulation? And if not, which of these images is the one that reflects basic reality? Which one is the least distorted? Should I even bother trying to figure that all out? Because by the action of looking for the original reality am I not simply producing more and more simulacra? How long until the simulation I see bears no relation at all to reality and becomes it's own pure simulacra?

Baudrillard said, "Illusion is not possible". In a nutshell the reproduction of all things in movies, TV, radio, toys, newspapers and the internet, in architecture, literature, and art swallows the attempt to simulate. The established order is threatened by simulation. I disagree, I think the established order is manipulated by simulation. Its own version of truth, falsehood, certainty, uncertainty, good and evil are reflected as simulation. So perception, in effect, becomes the meaning. This makes original meaning even more important and reality a goal, if an impossible one.

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Auction Fever, giant uvula, and almost 1000 posts.

2/19/2007

Did you know, that if you drink a little too much and fall asleep on your back with your mouth open, your uvula can swell up to the size of a small beach ball and prctially stop your breathing?

Me neither. Until Saturday night. I had had a couple of beers, and fell asleep sorta sitting up in bed with a bunch of pillows behind me and my mouth open. Snoring away for all I'm worth, Im sure. maddmom didn't notice, some fiend had fed her bourbon. And I woke up at 2am with what felt like really,, really bad post-nasal drip. A quick trip to the bathroom mirror and a short freak-out later I was gargling ice water and smearing my giant-uvula with tooth-ache gel, since we didn't have any sore-throat spray. I fell asleep around 5am (last time I looked at the clock) and when I woke up, nothing had changed.

Thank God for the internet, a little research told me that this happens all of the time, who knew? No one I know has ever said anything about having a uvula the size of a catcher's mitt. There's a couple of things that could cause uvula swelling, so I hedged my bets and took some Benadryl and garlged some warm salt water and that kind of helped the swelling go down, but my throat was sore all day.

What I think happened was a combination of things, I had salted the driveway and when I opened the bag of rock salt I got a snoot-full of salt dust, then a couple of beers, no water before bed, bad sleeping position and viola - dry mouth, huge uvula.

If only that worked for other things.

I had those couple of beers at the Shawe/Pope John silent auction. this year we actually made it to the live auction, usually we leave before then , and now I know why. maddmom like auctions.

We ended up winning three lots, two ski-lift tickets for $50 (all-right), some dog-grooming for $20 (huh?) and a pillow made by Number Two's third-grade class for $100 (WTF?).

So to sum up in mathematical form:

((snowstorm + rocksalt)*(bourbon + maddmom)- $180)/4(beers) + x(pillows) = (big fucking uvula + dog grooming)

I'm also about six posts away from my 1000th post. How about that? I'm posting this now because I'm on the road all week and will probably forget to post a blurb about it.

You know, because you're all so interested.

Also, "uvula" does not equal "meat curtains", buy a dictionary.

Later.

Friday Night Update

2/16/2007

1:00 to go. We're up by 20. Other team put in there 2nd team. This one's done. 57 - 27. Woot!

It's Peanut Butter Jelly time! Penut Butter..uh...uh oh...

Wouldn't you know that we at the McMahonsion would have a jar full of the most pressing health issue of the day (click here) sitting, half eaten, in our pantry? Great Value Peanut Butter, that staple of generic protein has been recalled. Why? Salmonella.

So what came first? The chicken or the peanut?

And don't get all gross with talk about a chicken busting a peanut. That's sick and no one but you would even think about it.

If you are going to laugh wickedly, laugh at the poor suckers who spend a buck or two extra for a smaller jar of Peter Pan only to find out that the BIG BUCKET of GREAT VALUE is the same stuff. Suckers.

So anyway, we have a recalled jar of peanut butter, the kids have eaten half of it and are perfectly fine. I ate an orange this morning and my ass exploded.

I've been riding the Honda all day, thanks to Florida Citrus. Should have had the peanut butter.

Happy Valentine's Day

2/14/2007



For the romantics out there. See the rest >here (click here).

Funny's funny, but my favorite thing about Valentine's day has to be the candy. I love candy. I especially love candy that loves me back, so the little necco hearts were always fun. I can remember in elementary school being very particular about who I gave my hearts to, then agonizing over the meaning of the hearts I got in return. I saved some to this day, little reminders of young love.

Here's one from the first girl I kissed:



Ahhh, young love. This one is from the girl I had a mad crush on in fifth grade:



You know, I bet that girl misses me.

As I got older I gave up on Valentine's day, it seemed too commercial, too planned. Until one cold Valentine's night, when I was waiting for a Trailways bus to arrive in the warm confines of a bar in a bowling alley, I met what should have been the love of my life. Things got a little hot and heavy in the phone booth, and we eventually went our separate ways, destined to but dream of each other each time it snows. Man, what a night. She gave me a candy heart to remember her by, it's all I have left:




Maddmom is the woman for me though, and this Valentine's day, since it was snowing I figured I could re-create the magic of my youth. So I bought her a 40 of flat malt liquor, some cork platform heels, a vinyl miniskirt and a can of Brut. I spread a path of rose petals to the utility room and drank four travel size bottles of Vicks 44. I was ready baby, but since it was snowing and the kids were home from school, she sent the Beast down to the basement where I was lying in a pool of drool with my head on the air handler and my feet inexplicably looped around the water-softener. He gave me her gift, and I was touched.

Iraq to close borders

2/13/2007

Why would they do that? (click here) Do they wat their kids to wash dishes and dig ditches for a living? (click here)

Oh my, I may have to eat crow

I think everyone who has ever read me knows that I have expressed some dissatisfaction with GM cars. It's true, but only because they suck. I have, and will always have a soft spot for the '77 Trans Am, probably my favorite all-time car, firechicken and all. I also love mid 70's Bonneville wagons and of course, the GTO. I even like the new GTO, even though it's not a GTO.

Well, GM is giving Pontiac a rear-drive V8 (click here).

I know, I know. But I want it. Crappy plastic dash and all. If I can get it with a vacuum gaue and Ram-Air, I'd even take the early-'90's body cladding with it.

But it might not turn out that bad.

Check the picts at Autoblog.

I gotta at least test-drive this.

Last one

2/10/2007

This is the my last post on the dishonesty surrounding the "debate" on the run up to the Iraq war. From an admittedly right-wing site Powerline. Comes a reminder that prior to Sept 11, saddam Hussein was thought to be the go-to guy for terror in the Middle East. And that it wasn't just the CIA, NSA, MI5, UN and other government agencies who thought so.

Here from 2000 is an ABC news report:



Now, go on and disagree with tactics and strategy, disagree with the need to stay and fight in Iraq. Go on and think Bush is the Devil and Cheney is his minion. But remember, there was a reason all those people in congress voted for the war, there was a reason the UN wagged it's finger at Iraq and warned of "serious consequences". And it wasn't that the US govenment somehow shanghied every major intelligence agency in the world. If it was that easy, trust me, we would have found WMD all the hell over Iraq.

It's because after 9/11, it was unacceptable to have this mentally deranged freak duck sanctions and UN resolutions and possibly enable another attack on the US. If you think he wasn't thinking of it, you're out of your mind. If you think he couldn't have done it, you're deluding yourself. If you think he had no connections to international terror and yes, even Al-queda, you were simply not paying attention.

Be honest if you don't support the war now, but don't fall for the "Bush Lied" meme, It's dishonest.

And looking at the reporting lately about the run-up to the war, I'd say most of the reporting in the newspapers and on television is dishonest too. And if in this country there is a threat facing the "free press", it's the dishonest reporting from and about this war. Actions have consequences, and as a nut who posts screeds on the internet, I've already been the target of legislation that would limit my right to free expression, please don't make it worse.

Well, I suppose they did manage to correct it..

Extreme Mortman » From Deep Throat To Deep Doo Doo - Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Take Politics Seriously Again (click here)

Another prime example that points to my rant from Thursday. Someone can explain to me how a front page story gets greenlit when the source of the quotes that make the story are not from the CIA source as described, but from a Democratic senator opposed to the war.

Here's another link to a discussion of the problem. (click here)

Keep in mind the reporter, Walter Pincus, has been on this story from way back when he investigated the Joe Wilson nonsense. (click here) It is extremely hard to believe that this was a "story in error", this was BS, pure and simple. That they were able to slide it past the editors at the Post speaks volumes about the slant of the reporting at the Post.

Basically the entire story is a fabrication and not supported by the documents or the source.

To the credit of those editors, they did correct the story, a little late since last night it was the lead on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, FNC's Shepard Smith and probably any other channel not in "all Anna Nichole Smith all the time" mode.

Story's out, it's gospel now.

It makes me wonder how many lies are going to have to be told before everyone believes Bush is a liar?

2/08/2007

Wildcats Repeat As City Series Champions

Wildcats Repeat As City Series Champions :: Villanova (16-7) wins 11th straight Big 5 game

Anyone see Larry Brown at that game? What's up with that?

Anyway, watching Martelli lose made the St Louis Airport Marriott bearable. I don't know what it is about that guy, but I can't stand him. He looks like Young Frankenstein.

I like Drexel this year though, they're playing over their head.

Rest of the year, 'nova has a killer schedule, watch out.

They beat Louisville too, saw parts of that one too, glad Louisville made it to the Big East, I get to see basketball I actually have some interest in.

More later...

Later...


It has been my opinion that the people who run around and assert that the "lack" of WMD's and the fact that Iraq had "no connection" to 9/11 completely invalidates the war in Iraq due to the fact that these were the only reasons for going to war were simply either misinformed due to their choice in media or just not paying attention to the situation during the years between 2001 and 2003.

I was.

For two reasons:
1) I was unemployed until 9/18/2001 when I was hired by my former employer. I had applied for several jobs with the DOD and CIA and I had more than a little interest in what was going on. Especially since the DOD jobs paid more than I would be making at my former job, and I would have had to move. For the record, those jobs weren't filled until 2002, I was a finalist for one, but I didn't want to work on contract.

2) I had three kids at the time, and if I was going to end up in the army, I wanted to know why, know what I'm saying?


Now, I know that there's evidence (click here) that the US sold arms to Iraq, and even evidence that US firms sold Iraq precursers to chemical weapons in the 80's. That's been reported over and over. What's interesting about that is that the people responsible for Reagan's measured support of Iraq v. Iran are the same "realist" that we are now supposed to take seriously since they are part of the Iraq Study Group. People the press would have skewered if they were still part of the administration. It makes no sense to me that the people who can most be blamed for letting the Iraq situation get so out of control before 2003, should be the people we listen to now that Iraq is even more out of control in 2007.

I have a real hard time believing anything actually reported from Iraq, unless it's reported without filters by someone who happens to, you know, be there. (click here)

And I'm not just one of those "I hate the MSM guys" for no reason. For instance, here's a link to the Washington Post's story on the release of the Duelfer Report. (click here) Note the Headline, then the correction. Needless to say, reporting on the Duelfer report was more than a little dishonest. Hell, you can read the original yourself (click here) it's all there, page back and forth.

For a long time the average guy would never have been aware that there was a certain amount of fiction in the news presented on TV and in the paper. All of that was over, we thought. History, a chapter on "yellow journalism" and the Spanish-American war (American Imperialism at the turn of the century, everyone remember that class?). Journalist were professionals now, they have special schools and everything, they would never just make stuff up. But now we know there's a new definition of facts. (click here)

Fake but accurate, quite a catchphrase. But you would think that surely that was just election-year politics, right? Wrong. (click here) Follow the links on that page to see what happened next, I'll summarize here.

There was a big stink. The AP had used an Iraqi Police captain named Jamil Hussein as a source on about 60 articles on events all over Iraq. One of these stories was pretty unbelievable and involved Shia militias destroying four mosques and dragging six Sunni men into the street, dowsing them with kerosene and lighting them on fire. Burning them to death while the Iraqi police looked on. That's some heavy-duty stuff right there. Problem is, what they reported,and what they now say may have actually happened (click here) are two different things. Plus, there seemed to be an issue over the source, was this Jamil Hussein guy for real? Or was he made up? Seems his real name wasn't Jamil Hussein, seems he wasn't in that part of Bagdad. If it was the guy they now say it was and it seems that there's plenty of reason to question any of the 60 or so stories where the AP used this character as a source. At least there is in my mind, you might be satisfied with "fake but accurate".

More to the point, the source of the news that Jamil Hussein was found and now faced arrest for passing information to the AP?

The AP, of course. (click here)

To be fair, I'm not saying that I think there's some big conspiracy to doom the new Iraqi govenment by the AP. What I am saying is that the AP is lazy, arrogant, and trying to work on the cheap. How else would you explain that it took months to send out reporters to check and see if the mosques had actually been destroyed? Shouldn't that have been followed up on in kind of a hurry? Somebody who works for the AP is in Bagdad, right? Or are these stories just phoned in by anonymous strangers?

Let me ask you, suppose you did your job the way that I just illustrated that the AP, the New York Times, CBS and the Washington Post had done. That is, you took a consensus opinion and invented facts in order to justify that consensus, wouldn't you expect to be fired?

Isn't that, in effect, what Enron did? (click here)

Seems to me, consensus opinion has a lot more to do with "feelings" than actual facts. Take this example, my favorite Athiest Socialist, Christopher Hitchens, (click here) has a pretty good takedown of Frank Rich, who has evidently written a pretty dishonest book...

"I don't think we ever said—at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein," Bush said in the spring of 2006. That is technically true, but it is really just truthiness: Bush struck 9/11 like a gong in every fear-instilling speech about Iraq he could."


Now, "truthiness" is a laugh-word invented by Steven Colbert who (along with his friend Jon Stewart and the other heroes of Comedy Central) is the beau ideal of what Rich considers to be the ironic. In this book and in his regular column, he gives "truthiness" a workout whenever he can. He clearly wishes he had coined it himself, and he has kept it going for perhaps a touch longer—may I hint?—than even Colbert might wish. Let us examine it in the present case. The administration did not, in point of fact and as Rich concedes, ever make the case that Saddam Hussein had sponsored the assault of 9/11. It did, however, strongly imply that he might have an interest in, or enthusiasm for, this kind of activity. And many Americans when polled were found to suspect him of an even more direct connection. Well, Saddam Hussein had sheltered the Iraqi-American fugitive who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. He had allowed the internationally-wanted criminal Abu Nidal to use Baghdad as his headquarters. He had boasted of paying a bounty to the suicide-murderers of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The man who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship, a certain Abu Abbas, who was responsible for rolling Leon Klinghoffer in his wheelchair off the vessel's deck and into the Mediterranean, had to be released when apprehended because he was traveling on an Iraqi passport. A diplomatic passport. The Baghdad state-run press had exulted at the revenge taken on America on 9/11. This does not exhaust the "truthiness" of the suggestion that Saddam Hussein might have to be taken seriously as a sponsor of nihilistic violence. Could one even suggest that those who thought so might be intuitively and even objectively wiser than those who thought it crass to mention Saddam Hussein and "terrorism" in the same breath? Not without being jeered at by Rich, who either does not know any of the above facts or who chooses not to include any of them in his proudly truth-centered narrative.


If you haven't yet, go back and read that whole article. Hitchens can write and he says a lot of the things I was trying to say, only he actually succeeds in making his point.

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Lost in a storm

2/06/2007

Hey y'all. Meet me in St Louie!

I am stuck in St Louis overnight. I am hoping to be home tomorrow for the Prince's birthday.

On a related note, does being the father of a 12 year old make me old?

I realise it might be the money (or lack thereof) but I had lunch in a bar full of college girls and not one looked at me sideways. Not that I ever had to call the fire department to hose down the chickas, but this felt deliberate.

I'm depressed now.

And my arthritis is acting up.

Have any of you seen my teeth?

Tomorrow I tie TWO onions to my belt.

Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War - New York Times

2/05/2007

This is no Joke.

Good God.

Shouldn't this guy be on an Arts and Sciences faculty at some community college somewhere?

Truck, car collide on bridge

2/04/2007

Truck, car collide on Madison, Milton Bridge, Ouch.

BTW, that's Madison, Indiana

I'm really suprised that this doesn't happen more often. The first time I came to Madison, the bridge had just been re-opened to two-way traffic. It's eighty or so years old and looks older. When I heard there had been a weight limit on it, I was kinda shocked. I mean, the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia is about the same age and carries a much heavier load, including trains, and it wasn't falling down. Or was it? One day when I was back in Jersey It did catch on fire, so who knows?

But back then I really didn't have any problem driving over the Madison-Milton bridge, I guess I was just used to narrow lanes and congestion, big city-driving and the PA turnpike deadens the nerves. But lately, man. I just can't take traffic. and that bridge is really the closest thing to traffic in this town. Well, except for Michigan Road during school drop-off time for Pope John and Shawe High School.

I'm getting so sensitive to treaffic that last week in South Carolina I didn't get a car, I just cabbed it everywhere I had to go. downtown columbia is pretty compact, so walking wasn't a problem, but next week all my appointments are in "Edge Cities" where I'm going to have to drive. Not looking forward to it.

I'd kill for fast, reliable trains. Granted, they wouldn't go where I need ot go today, but commuter trains running from Chicago to Indy to Louisville, Cincinnati and St Louis would be a great thing.

Satellite-Strapped Rocket Explodes on Platform

2/03/2007

Satellite-Strapped Rocket Explodes on Platform I blame Dirk Pitt.

Hmmmmm...says maddad

2/02/2007

My wife smokes -- I want an annulment

Narcisexercism

About the time I started this here blog, I proved to myself (and to the world) that I was superior to you all by quitting smoking cold turkey. True, that is enough for you to worship and bow and scrape, but for me, well, quitting wasn't enough.

Mainly because I got fat.

But that all changed, for about three years ago I started exercising. Three times a week, 45 minutes to an hour mix of weights and the stepper.

Now, I originally started exercising because I didn't want to die. Then I realized that I was going to die anyway, and now I do it because it gives me something to do besides smoke.

And lord, I desperately want to smoke.

So, besides really, really wanting a Marlboro, this post is being written because I switched to a four-day a week split with emphasis on my core and lower body, and just having finished three sets of squats, I want to puke, smoke, drink and die. All at once.

This can't be good for you.

This guy is who gave me the motivation to get from around 230 to under 190 today.

And there will be a link on the right sidebar to Protien Wisdom, I promised Jeff I'd put it there for his birthday.

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Catholic Schools Week...and the Beast makes a friend

2/01/2007

Before you read this post, it would be good of you to remember that the child I call the Beast has the loudest voice I've ever heard. I guess it's more piercing than loud, but God love him, you can hear him a mile away.

Catholic Schools week brings fun and excitement to the lives of clan maddad. Here at the new and improved McMahonsion we have been up to our ears in Catholic Education all year, but this week, well, I don't have the words.

Sunday, all of the boys who aren't in diapers had parts in Mass. The Prince and #2 did readings and the Beast brought up the gifts. We also had a pancake breakfast in the school cafeteria before Mass, so we we quite concerned that the Beast might crash and burn halfway to the altar. You know, the sugar rush only lasts so long. But he did fantastic and Skippy congratulated him with a not-overly loud, "You DID IT!". When the Beast was on his way back to his seat.

We do our best to entertain at Mass.

Tuesday, all the elementary school students were matched up with students from the Junior High and High School. The Beast was matched up with a Senior. He was very excited.

When maddmom met the kids at school in the pickup line, the Beast could barely control himself. "I got a Senior! He was Cool!" Maddmom was happy for him and asked him who his Senior was and, of course, the Beast couldn't remember. So she asked him to describe the young man.

"He was tall, had brown hair and had red spots all over his face!"

"Oh," says maddmom, "that's just acne."

"What was his name?" asks The Prince. Who, by virtue of being in sixth grade, must approve of anything High School related.

"ACNE!" says the Beast. "I drew a picture!"

Sure enough, the Beast had drawn a picture of himself and his new friend together in class.



What do you say to that? It was, interestingly, quite the topic at the Open House last night.

Speaking of the Open House, the Prince won an essay contest and is going to CYO camp for free this year! Saves us $400 bucks, and more importantly for him, he gets a birthday present this year. How exciting. I'm pretty psyched about that. Camp ain't cheap, which is probably why I never went.

So I gotta call his grandmom and tell her to get shopping.

Oh yeah, Monday. the Beast's calssroom caught on fire. Before school, thank God, but now the Kindergarted is wandering the halls while the classroom is cleaned and repaired. And it's like 30 below this week. Which is nice. The Beast's teacher lost almost all of her stuff, all the books and papers that were in there got covered in some sort of fire retardant chemical that renders them unusable, so if anyone wants to help, drop a line and I'll tell you what to do.