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  Sunday, June 29, 2003


Today’s Graffiti Currency was brought to you by the letter K. Don’t leave home without it.
posted by Harvey at 11:12:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


David over at Clubbeaux has a more of a "let's cut the crap" version of what the Supremes did on the Michigan law school case than I had here Sure, it lacks my insightful brevity, but it makes up for it with venomously accurate poking.
posted by Harvey at 9:39:59 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Or, in this case, a gun. I love the Australians. A bunch of prisoners, exiles & unwanteds who tamed a land and built a civilization revolving around opals and large cans of beer. Not to mention being the only country outside of the UK to really help the US put the smack dab on Saddam's ass. (Yes, I know Poland threw in a handful of special forces, but Australia's PM also made a lot of noise in our support, which gives them extra credit).

Now they've gone & invented a gun that can crank out 1 million rounds per minute. I don't know how they're going to going to carry the ammo (a fleet of kangaroos, I suppose), but God bless 'em anyway.

(Tip of the hat to Right Wing News and Blacksheepnews for helping me find this story.)
posted by Harvey at 7:28:33 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


The Supremes killed sodomy laws recently. Good for them. I'm with the standard libertarian disclaimer that what two consenting adults etc, so I think it was the right move.

But gay marriage? I'm not so with that. I have nothing against the concept. If a same-sex couple wants to have a ceremony that binds them with legal and economic ties, fine. Bind away.

My objection lies in calling it a "marriage". Call it a civil union. Call it a domestic partnership. But don't use the term that has always meant a relationship between a man and a woman.

Mostly because I'd like to avoid the following conversation:

How long have you been married?

2 years.

How did you meet your wife?

I married a man

[clunking sound as my social faux pas hits the floor]

Contrast with:

How long have you been married?

Partnered, actually. 2 years.

[quick recovery] oh... So how did you meet your special guy?

Call me a linguistic purist, if you like. I just think that words have specific meanings, and it reduces conceptual clarity to subsume both these ideas under a single word.
posted by Harvey at 7:28:18 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Shakespeare returns from his visit to the future with his astigmatism corrected and a bitchin' hairpiece, but still no clue on how to choose the proper color when buying Just For Men.
posted by Harvey at 7:28:03 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Doc Weevil has everything you'd ever want to know about playing Iraqi Bastard Poker.
posted by Harvey at 7:27:44 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Silly boy, centrifuge parts are supposed to go under the gardenias. ANTHRAX goes under the rose bushes.

Maybe the reason we haven't found the WMD is that they were hidden where no one would think to look, instead of being placed on a pedastal in the town square.
posted by Harvey at 7:27:22 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. (with apologies to James Joyce)

UPDATE: I wonder if he's any relation to these folks?
posted by Harvey at 7:26:58 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


When you're trying to be funny, you need the right mix of truth and exaggeration. If it's all exaggeration, it's just a lie. If it's all truth, it's just a chemistry book.

Over at People's Republic of Seabrook, there's a piece called "What Democrats are Really After". It's written by a liberal, as an attempt to mock a serious post on a conservative web site. The trouble is, he really does lay out the liberal agenda. He's simply writing a chemistry book, and I didn't find it amusing for that reason. Although I *did* like the line about Ann Coulter. THAT'S humor.

Oh, and the poster at the bottom is pretty good, too. The caption is the truth part and Clinton in uniform is the exaggeration, and I think it really works.

For a more in-depth analysis of what makes humor work, as well as a shockingly honest bi-partisan example, go visit this old Frank J. post. You'll be glad you did.
posted by Harvey at 7:26:41 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Yo quiero crystal meth.
posted by Harvey at 7:26:17 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


In the comments (on the original Blogspot page) to this post, Scott asks how I go about acquiring my choice bits of community-based performance artwork.

I'm not allowed to do transactions out of my own drawer. The bank has a policy on currency accountability that involves dual control, which means I have to get another teller to help me with the transaction. Typically, I'll take the currency I wish to acquire, along with a "cash out" ticket for the total, and give it to another teller who isn't busy at the time. She verifies the amount, makes a corresponding "cash in" ticket for that amount, and sends the 2 tickets down to bookkeeping for processing. This teller now has custody of the cash.

At this point, I step around to the "customer side" of the counter (so as to be visible on the surveilance cameras), and ask, "got change for a $10?" (or whatever's appropriate), whereupon the transaction is completed, just as with any other customer.

As long as custody & accountability are maintained throughout the process, I'm allowed to acquire anything that makes its way into my drawer. One of the two perks of being a teller.

The other being free suckers.

posted by Harvey at 7:25:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


In the comments (on the original Blogspot page) to this post, Corey asks why I call the bill pictures the "daily atrocity", since "atrocity" has some extremely negative connotations which tend to imply something on the order of sacrilege.

Good question.

Short answer: it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I had to call it something, and I wanted it to be descriptive of the damage done, yet I didn't want to call it "graffiti currency", since some of the notes in my collection are interesting due solely to circulation damage, and not through deliberate malice, and hence are not technically "graffiti". I intended it as a bit of ironic overstatement, too, and didn't mean to imply that I consider US currency sacred (although it is pretty darn nifty).

However, Corey's right, and "atrocity" and "celebration" really don't work well together, so I'll be using a different header on those posts from now on. Probably "Today's Graffiti Currency" and, well, um... something else for the notes with heavy circulation damage.

Thanks for the input & please feel free to give more. This blog is a work in progress and I'm still working to develop theme & content.

posted by Harvey at 7:25:23 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Trek Bicycle introduces radical new 4-spoke design.
posted by Harvey at 7:24:55 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Steve has a nice piece on the Supreme Court's decision on quotas (the Michigan law school admissions case) that is informative without being overly legalistic in its explanation.

The short & extremely oversimplified version:

Good news: quotas with numbers are unconstitutional.
Bad news: quotas without numbers are constitutional.
Good news: someday quotas without numbers might be unconstitutional, too.

But do yourself a favor & read the long version, too.
posted by Harvey at 7:24:41 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


This bill has been dipped in:

A) Coffee
B) Tea
C) A frosty chocolate milkshake
D) Don’t ask, don’t tell
posted by Harvey at 7:24:21 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Frank J is right: pointing a Beretta at a kitten *is* funny!

Be sure to check out the comments to maximize your chances of blowing beer out your nose & all over your monitor.

Click the "Gay Bar" link at your own risk. The mental scars will be hard enough to repress, but getting that chorus out of your head... good luck.
posted by Harvey at 7:24:04 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


The new & improved world of children's literature courtesy of Bob from Accounting
posted by Harvey at 7:23:43 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


He’s not just for breakfast anymore.
posted by Harvey at 7:23:06 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


My nephew recently sent me a link to a piece by Brian Riedl called Ten Common Myths About Taxes, Spending, and Budget Deficits. Not concise, but logical, accurate, & chock full of evidentiary goodness. Basically it points out 3 economic truths.

First, There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - TANSTAAFL (thank you, Mr. Heinlein, I love that word). If the government spends a dollar to "stimulate the economy", it has to first take that dollar (plus a little bureaucratic palm grease) OUT of the economy, and probably from a place where it would've produced a higher long-term increase in profit & productivity.

Second, Republicans can piss away your tax dollars just as hard & fast as Democrats. The charts on this point are eye-popping in their profligacy.

Third, Squander Today, Suffer Tomorrow. Most government spending programs do "stimulate the economy", in certain areas, for a short time, but leaving aside the frictional losses mentioned above, you still have to deal with the fact that the spending is almost always focused near-term on consumption, and not aimed toward long-term investment in knowledge, productivity, or infrastructure improvements, which are the basis for growth. It's the old Ant & Grasshopper story.

Not the rosy-cheeked, dumbed-down, hypersensitive PC version that's been circulated of late, where the hungry Grasshopper, after spending his summer popping Ecstasy at rave parties & sweatily gyrating to Techno jams, shows up at the Ant's door (who spent his summer busting his balls at Micky D's, learning the finer points of suggestive selling), and is welcomed with open arms to share the Ant's bounty. No, I'm talking about the original version, where Mr. G gets the door slammed in his face & winds up as eating snow all winter until he dies face down in the gutter, as he so richly deserved.

The government plays grasshopper with it's non-existent Social Security "trust fund" and it's "tax breaks" for people who don't pay taxes (it's not welfare, it's FOR THE CHILDREN). Fellow ants need to get wise & slam the door on this infernal pest.
posted by Harvey at 7:22:40 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Stephen muses on whether too much knowledge can be a bad thing. His example is a literature prof who spent so much time reading the "classics" that his knowledge of what makes literature great interferes with his enjoyment of light popular fiction. He compares this with a passage from Mark Twain, where he complains that acquiring a riverboat pilot's knowledge of the Mississippi's subtle danger signs sapped the appreciation he felt for the river's beauty that he felt when he was ignorant of the hazards.

Matt Howell contends, however, that in his case, knowing more about theater makes him appreciate all examples of it more, not less. I would tend to agree with him in general. I had the same experience with football. I used to think it was just a gang of guys patting asses between bouts of wild frenzy, but once I understood the rules & more about why each player did what he did, I came to enjoy it greatly. I thought of it more as a piece of good performance art (if that's not an oxymoron).

But I think Twain's case was different. Everything he learned about the river was a sign of danger that was to be assiduously avoided. Everything he saw meant trouble. What was originally a sight of geometric or symmetrical beauty was now a liquid Mr. Yuck. The connotations changed, so his feelings about the river did, too. It would be like how I might look at the wires on a bomb and go "Oooh, look, such pretty colors. It's like tasting a rainbow of Skittles with my eyes." Meanwhile, Bob from LAPD Bomb Disposal (with 20 years of professional finger-crossing under his belt) would look at it & go, "oh geez, this things wired to go off on a power interruption. Should I cut the red, green or blue wire? Man I HATE Skittles!"

On the other hand, Bob probably does enjoy his job to a degree. He likes the MENSA-quality mental grudge match between himself & the bomb designer. He takes pleasure in the rough competency of his own mind to rise to the challenge & defeat it. It's the rush of self-esteem & pride that comes from being able understand a situation on several different levels at once and having full comprehension.

This is the sort of feeling, I believe, that Matt is referring to, and I'd bet that Twain felt similarly while he was actually Captaining his craft. The piece Twain wrote was merely examining a slightly differerent aspect of holding the knowledge level that he did.

posted by Harvey at 7:22:15 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


My intial reaction when I saw the Targus keyboard for my Jornada pocket PC was similar to Luke's reaction upon first laying eyes on the Millenium Falcon - a snippy and condescening "What a piece of junk!" It's folded in quarters when it's closed, and when you open it, the 2 center keyboard sections are together, but the two side sections have about an inch gap. "Great," I grumbled, "40 words per minute down the tubes. Hello hunt-n-peck."

However, this sweetie does indeed do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Those sections slide in to join the rest of the keys, cozy as hippies at a love-in. After that, it's all the advantages of a laptop with parts that can be stuffed into 2 pants pockets.

Life is good.
posted by Harvey at 7:21:30 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Yellow Submarine: The Director’s Cut: Ringo gets assimilated by the Blue Meanies.
posted by Harvey at 6:53:23 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


After working as a teller for a couple years, I actually started paying attention to all the paper that my fingers were flailing over. At first, my eyes were only caught by the out-of-the-ordinary bills, ones with blue or red Treasury seals, or interesting patterns to the serial numbers. I imagine most people get hooked on collecting paper money that way.

But the idea of trying to get “one of everything” didn’t interest me. In the meantime, though, I became fascinated with the bills that were REALLY different. What I call graffiti currency.

These are bills that have been written on, drawn on, rubber-stamped, or otherwise imbued with the mark of one of their temporary owners. My collection also includes bills that are mangled, degraded, or mutilated, whether deliberately or through the vagaries of circulation.

In short, my collection is an attempt to answer the question that no one ever asks: “What’s the worst looking bill anyone’s ever brought into your bank?”

Day by day, this blog will bring you the results of this attempt, along with assorted commentary on whatever else is tickling my brain.
posted by Harvey at 6:51:33 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

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