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"The frightening power of Harvey's filthy lies makes me tremble like a Frenchman. I frequently wet myself in terror and... Oops... damn." - Glenn Reynolds

"Tact is a stranger to you. I like that." - Chris Muir - Day By Day

"The man is a FREAK and a WEIRDO!" - Vigilance Matters

"The nicest thing about having Harvey around is that he makes the raincoat flashers look suave." - Rocket Jones

"...a very, very sick person." - She Who Will Be Obeyed

"pervert of renown extraordinare" - Practical Penumbra

"He's a really nice guy even if he is a little bit weird and creepy sometimes." - Reflections in d minor

"Curmudgeonly Old Coot" - BigStick.US

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Bad Money

  Thursday, July 31, 2003



I at least click on every Carnival of the Vanities entry, and I do my level best to read the whole thing. Partly to give the piece a chance (maybe it gets better after the author warms up, I think optimistically), and partly as an exercise in self-discipline (it builds character to perform unpleasant tasks).


In a lot of entries, mostly the political ones, the author just goes on and on, piling too-long adjectives on top of passive verbs on top of "kill-me-now" length sentences lasting 8 or 10 lines. Endless chains of prepositional phrases leave you alternately screaming for air and begging for mercy. "Please, God," you pray, "just one witty metaphor, a line of white space, ANYTHING!"


But sometimes, despite intimidating length, I'll follow a post to the far-distant end. Usually because the writer understands that it takes more than subject-matter wisdom to keep the reader awake. It takes variation in sentence length, and occasional bits of surprising, non-standard language usage. Just as your mind starts drifting, your hit a speed-bumpy, beautifully-turned phrase, and you perk right up with an amused "Heh. Gotta remember that one."


American Digest has this in spades. Via CotV #45, I've reacquainted myself with a blogger who first entertained me with his New Blog Showcase entry. This time he pens a windy post relating the news media to the symptoms of ADD. But this wind is that sweet, cooling, summer-evening-out-on-the-deck breeze, and not the fetid-fumes-off-the-landfill waft that one often gets from bloggers who have "something to say".


He's impressed me mightily on 2 separate occasions, and onto the blogroll he goes.


posted by Harvey at 10:08:44 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I hate getting my hair cut.


It's not that I want to be some shaggy-headed hippy freak, or anything. I do keep it short. It's just that I hate the time in the chair. I'm a busy guy, I've got a lot to do, I'm not getting richer in the process of getting my grass mowed, and can you please just get me out of here so I can get on with my life?


I used to got to random, conveniently-located hair salons and just tough it out. After all, there's something not entirely unpleasant about having a woman gently stroking your scalp, even if she isn't standard Playboy issue.


But oh, the hot-knife torture of dead-dull conversation between we've-got-nothing-in-commons. I just couldn't stand it.


Eventually, though, I found a place where the process was practically pleasant. A barbershop. Preferably with some guy who's been cutting hair for at least 20 years. Instead of brainless yammering about 6 months of "beauty school", I get an entertaining monologue about quality guy stuff: sports, cars, sports, politics, and maybe some sports, too.


A decent-looking 'do & witty banter. Can't beat that.


Via CotV#45, comments further (and much better) on what a wonderful world it can be when you have the right pair of hands wielding the scissors. If you like your barber, you might want to hand him a copy of it along with his tip the next time you pop in for a little off the top.


posted by Harvey at 9:54:54 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I find Socialism somewhere between disagreeable and repugnant, depending on my mood. Mostly repugnant, because I have an engineer's heart, and I HATE things that don't work.


Via CotV#45, I've found Reflections in D Minor's very apt metaphor for Socialism's central flaw:



This is why so many artists and intellectuals - genuinely intelligent people - believe in socialism. It's a beautiful system; it's logical and moral but, like many beautiful and well conceived works of art, it cannot exist in reality. Trying to make socialism work in the real world is like expecting the physics apparent in an M.C. Escher drawing to work in the real universe.



She goes on from there in elegant fashion. It's a good read. Short, and full of creamy, sensible goodness. Stop by & you'll see what I mean.


posted by Harvey at 9:48:09 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I've wanted to say something about the passing of Bob Hope, but I never felt up to the task. I mean, yet another piece of sappy, blogospheric tripe about "he was a great entertainer, he supported the troops, blah, blah, yadda, blah"?


But, over at Reflections in D minor, I found someone who found the words for how I feel:




So what was it that made Bob Hope one of those special people? He made movies but he wasn't a great actor. He told jokes but he was not the funniest person ever to get up on a stage and tell jokes. All those trips to entertain the troops in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Gulf War I - every Christmas for years and years and years - must have a lot to do with it. But I think that his personality and humor had a great deal to do with it also. His monologues were full of innuendo but never profanity or indecency; teasing insults but never mean-spiritedness. And there were the eyes - sometimes a look was all he needed to get a laugh.



Bob Hope was subtle. That was his strength. And I don't think there's anyone alive today on the comedy circuit who plays that technique. I don't know if he ever actually made me laugh out loud (and I watched a LOT of his TV specials in the 70's since Dad ran the house, there was only one TV, he liked Hope, end of discussion), but I know he was a class act and I know he at least always made me smile.


And I know I feel sadness at his departure.


posted by Harvey at 9:44:11 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, Two-Face crushed Batman & Robin into a bloody paste, blew Riddler's head off during a mood swing (hey, he came up tails), overthrew the US government, and issued new currency more suitable to his Empire's theme.


posted by Harvey at 9:31:59 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Frank's got the poll up for Group F. I'm in it. Please go vote now. Don't worry about trying to figure out which one's mine. Just vote for the best entry.

Which is mine ;-)

Polling closes at 7:21am Friday, Central Time, so move fast.


posted by Harvey at 9:22:38 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Wednesday, July 30, 2003


I hate country music. The twangy accents, the mopey subject matter, the overly-simple melodies and the single-beat drum riffs all combine to make me nauseous.

Naturally, I married a woman who loves country music.

So, because I love her, and because (to give due credit) them rednecks really got a way with a song title, I'm linking this list of amusing country song titles.

Found via Carnival of the Vanities #45, which is now up at Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics.


posted by Harvey at 10:57:37 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


In the comments to this post, Susie asked if I see a lot of bills.

I'd say roughly 1 out of every thousand. And I used to enter them all (I've entered 434 of them so far), but lately I just haven't had the time. Too busy surfing the blogosphere in search of new material....

... Uh, I mean, serving my valued customers by addressing their banking needs.

Anyway, if you do see one, I strongly recommend taking the time to enter it for two reasons. First, it may help a child learn something. I got an e-mail once from another Georger, thanking me for entering his bill, because he uses to teach his children about how money circulates.

Second, sometimes it's just cool to see where your bills have been. My favorite was 2 relatively new bills that had arrived in Wisconsin together. According to WG, he put them into the same soda machine (one for a Dr. Pepper, one for a Mt. Dew) a few hours apart.

In Georgia.

How they stayed together all those miles still puts a "damned if I can figure it out" look of puzzlement on my face whenever I think about it.

Anyway, go there and enter any bills that you find. You'd be surprised just how far a dollar still goes these days ;-)


posted by Harvey at 10:12:36 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Dean scored himself an interview with the BEST damn political cartoonists on planet Earth: Cox & Forkum. They're entertaining conversationalists, and the interview is heavily sprinkled with some of their best work.

A "do not miss" if ever there was one.

If for no other reason than to attempt to discover the meaning of the phrase, "curious green ideas sleep furiously"


posted by Harvey at 9:55:14 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Another one for brother Roy. Who should really get a blog of his own. He's the best story-teller in the family and he's got 20 years of sea-stories under his belt. Stuff like dog-burgers, the wrong way to extinguish an "eternal flame", and choosing the best time to point a loaded shotgun at a superior officer.

Anyway, Cold Fury links to Kim DuToit, who gives some hot tips on what ammo to use in your favorite "home defense piece".

HINT: see what your local cops are using.

There's also some sage advice on how to keep your kids safe when you have guns in the house. Go take a peek.



posted by Harvey at 9:46:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Someone finally figured out how much caffeine is too much, and the Photodude is spreading the word.

I'm dedicating this post to my brother Roy, who once told me "I'm fine after my second pot of coffee in the morning....yes, I said pot."


posted by Harvey at 9:35:55 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Susie was kind enough to point out that The Lemon has updated. He'd taken a long pause after issue 17, and I feared the worst. But he's back, and still cranking out delicious right-wing satire. It's like The Onion for people with short attention spans. Drink alert in effect. 


posted by Harvey at 9:23:28 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


My brother Roy sent me this and I just couldn't resist sharing:


The old American gent arrived in Paris by plane. At Customs, he fumbled for his passport.

"You have been to France before, Monsieur?", the Customs officer asked sarcastically.

The old gent admitted that he had been to France before.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready for inspection!", snapped the irate official.

The American said that the last time he came to France he did not have to show his passport.

"Impossible! You Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France."

The old American gave the Frenchman a long hard look. "I assure you, young man, that when I came ashore on Omaha Beach in 1944, there wasn't a Frenchman anywhere in sight."



posted by Harvey at 9:16:47 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Frank is a little sensitive about typos in his posts. More specifically, he doesn't appreciate being treated like a grammar-school dropout in the process of having them pointed out in his comments.

Hmpf! He should just be grateful that he has readers who love him enough to comment at all. Personally, I can never get enough (I'm looking at you, Susie). Of course, that could change if the trolls ever find this place.

Anyway, he gave me one of those "a-ha!" moments when he mentioned why bloggers tend to make typos:


You see, before you write something, it first appears in one’s mind as the spoken word. Instead of very carefully typing each word out and pausing to make sure it's spelled correctly and make grammatical sense, the subconscious quickly takes over and takes the spoken thought in one’s mind and transfers it to written language using a number of heuristics it has picked up throughout the years. It is extremely flawed. It will often write the wrong homophone (and forget the question mark for a question... but that's neither here nor there). That's why there is a thing called proofreading. The problem with blogging is that I want to get a post out quickly, and thus I am forced to proofread right after writing. That usually doesn't work too well since what was meant (not typed) is still fresh in mind.


Very true, very obvious once it's pointed out, but I never would have thought of putting it just that way. It's just one of the many reasons why IMAO is one of my "gotta, gotta, gotta" daily stops.


posted by Harvey at 6:31:21 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Run for your lives! Abe's got Rabbititis!


posted by Harvey at 4:20:01 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


The Bonfire's burning again, and these atrocities can't burn fast enough (especially my disaster). Wizbang's put the torch to a 4th pile of bloggery badness, and it's an event not to be missed. Remember to check the comments for my disclaimer, too.

Personally, though, I think some people are actually sending good posts, and should be flogged for violating the Bonfire's spirit.

Heh. Purple polar bear.


posted by Harvey at 3:58:13 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Susie came in third in Frank's contest. What a crock. Obviously she had the best answer, because everyone knows the answer to communism is capitalism - lots of it, and right now, if you please. It was the one I voted for.

Anyway, she's feeling a little sad, so I'm posting this link in a clumsy effort to cheer her up.


posted by Harvey at 7:29:30 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Time to reach for the Extra-Strength Clearasil Pre-Prom Party Pack.


posted by Harvey at 6:29:13 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, July 28, 2003


The most important thing I learned during my long, hideous year in law school was how to write prose so convolutedly turgid that it would snap a double-espressoed jackrabbit into a 12-year coma.

Another thing I learned was that each of the three governmental branches possess certain characteristics which are specifically appropriate for making particular types of societal decisions.

Ok, so I didn't actually learn that. More like I did some semi-somnambulistic scrawling in a notebook, which I later stared at until uncomprehending blood poured from my eyes in an attempt to assimilate this and many other seemingly random professorial assertions.

At any rate, Boots & Sabers has a brief, clear discussion of what the legislative and judicial branches are good for, in the context of a post on some pending Wisconsin legislation giving gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits.

If only my teachers had had Owens penchant for clarity & brevity... *sigh*.


posted by Harvey at 10:53:39 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Once again, I'm reminded of just how big of a winner I picked in the wifey SuperLotto. For those of you "not so lucky", or those (like me) who just want to see how the other half lives, I give you a web site dedicated to the exploration of inter-gender petty disputes:


a sample:


Margret doesn't like to watch films on the TV. No, hold on - let me make sure you've got the inflection here: Margret doesn't like to watch films on the TV. She says she does, but years of bitter experience have proven that what she actually wants is to sit by me while I narrate the entire bleeding film to her. 'Who's she?', 'Why did he get shot?', 'I thought that one was on their side?', 'Is that a bomb' - 'JUST WATCH IT! IN THE NAME OF GOD, JUST WATCH IT!' The hellish mirror-image of this is when she furnishes me, deaf to my pleading, with her commentary. Chair-clawing suspense being assaulted mercilessly from behind by such interjections as, 'Hey! Look! They're the cushions we've got.', 'Isn't she the one who does that tampon advert?' and, on one famous occasion, 'Oh, I've seen this - he gets killed at the end.'

Go, and enjoy either the cushy joy of snooty blessing-counting, or the cold comfort of "at least I'm not the only one." Whichever camp you fall into, you'll have a damn good time.

(Hat tip to Boots & Sabers for the pointer)


posted by Harvey at 10:34:16 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


One of the very few things I learned in high school was the bare-bones mechanical technique for writing a persuasive essay. The basic method is to concede that your opponent has some valid points, then refute them to at least some degree. Finally, you conclude with your strongest argument.

Boots and Sabers has an excellent post, wherein an opponent of a proposed Wisconsin concealed carry law does a 4.0 job of conceding the pro-CC argument, but then proceeds to confusedly wet his pants and wander off to play in traffic (rhetorically speaking).

Before I read this fuzz-brained editorial, I thought there might be an actual argument against concealed carry of which I was not aware. But since this bit of ignorant drool was considered publishable by an ostensibly serious, large-circulation, for-profit newspaper, I'm beginning to think maybe I was wrong.

Which makes me very happy, in an annoyingly smug sort of way.


posted by Harvey at 10:22:29 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Group D's responses are up, and the Group E question has been posted:


Everyone knows my solution to random ninja attacks. In 200 words or less, describe your own solution. Remember, while people hate getting randomly attacked by ninjas, they also hate high taxes, so try and keep your solutions cheap.


The only thing more powerful than a ninja’s stealth attack is a Frenchman’s annoying cowardice. Since the French lost all their land to Uganda during the bombing of Paris, we might as well bring them here to protect us from Ninjas. I envision the following scenario:


Ninja: Soon I will randomly attack an innocent American…


Frenchman: Bonjour, monsieur Ninja.


Ninja: Gah! Don’t sneak up on me like that!


Frenchman: Pardon moi, but I sense that you are superior to me. Please accept my surrender.


Ninja: Uh, look buddy, I’m kinda busy randomly targeting Americans right now. Can you come back a little later, maybe?


Frenchman: Non! I am cowardly and must surrender immediately!


Ninja: No, seriously, I’ve got this evil plan to carry out, and… *sniff*… DAMN! Is that smell coming from you?


Frenchman: Oui! It is part of our national odor! I am most proud of it! But I would be even more proud to be your prisoner.


Ninja: No! Go away!


Frenchman: But I give up!


Ninja: Leave me alone!


Frenchman: At least call me a coward.


Ninja: SHUT!… UP!


Frenchman: I look most handsome in prisoner’s garb.


Ninja: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH**GAAK** (impales self on sword in despair).


posted by Harvey at 9:50:17 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



There was an old Twilight Zone episode where an old man got 4 wishes. His third was for political power. He wanted to rule a foreign country without having to worry about ever being voted out of office. He wound up as Hitler, in April of '45, in a bunker.

His face was covered in sick, doomed sweat, and he trembled in terror at the prospect of his imminent demise. Whenever I think of Hilter, I like to think of that look of terminal fractured despair. It makes me feel better.


Someday soon, American forces are going to catch up with Saddam, and, as with his sons, they'll probably kill him way too fast, leaving me feeling less than satisfied. However, Bigwig over at Silfray Hraka has an imaginative post giving a snapshot of what might run through that bastard's mind in the few short hours between his discovery and his death. It's a dark, psychological scenario, laced with the sensations of cobwebs and rotting meat, providing a schadenfreude-laced thrill of knowing how an evil man will suffer, no matter how quickly the end arrives.


If you want Saddam to die slowly, but fear the disappointment that he won't, this piece is the next best thing.


(hat tip to the Emperor for finding this for me)


posted by Harvey at 9:07:01 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


...smoked two joints, and wrote this little song.


posted by Harvey at 8:52:43 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Sunday, July 27, 2003


My beloved wife and my favorite mother-in-law (I have two) hadn't heard about the above-mentioned story. So, in the interest of entertainment, I'll just link to the ScrappleFace satire on the subject, wherein a link the the actual story can be found.


posted by Harvey at 10:49:24 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Being very currency oriented, I must say that if I were ever going to open my own cheese shop, this product would be the special every day. (via CotV#44 and thanks to Greg at My Life as a Fisher)


posted by Harvey at 10:17:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



While in the Navy, my least favorite question was, “So, what do you do on the Enterprise?”. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to vent on the topic, it’s just that there’s honestly no normal, everyday, civilian equivalent in terms of which to describe the experience. I worked in the engineering spaces, which equates vaguely to “somewhere under the hood of the car”. It was hot, noisy, hot, smelly, hot, dirty, and hot.


Did I mention the hot part?


The closest I could get was in one letter home to my girl, with something along the lines of, “You’re in Arizona, it’s August, you have no air conditioning. You run upstairs, look at a couple dozen thermometers & write down the readings. You run downstairs & do the same. Repeat twice an hour for four hours, remembering to add in the smells of hot metal, hot oil, and the reek of your own foul sweat.”


For his part, LT Smash does a much better job of describing life in the Iraqi sandbox, and even the most pampered civilian will come away feeling amused, educated, and, most of all, grateful that it’s not their job. Go read.


posted by Harvey at 9:44:14 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Via the New Blog Showcase comes this beautiful piece from Matt at Blackfive. First, a bit of light criticism, in that the setup is overly long, and the first part probably should've been in a separate post and shortly summarized before the more relevant part of the story. However, this in no manner takes away from the pants-wetting funniness of the pay-off line, and I still recommend it as a must-read for anyone who has less-than-favorable feelings about the French.

Drink Alert in effect.

posted by Harvey at 4:29:58 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Granted, I don't know the gritty inner workings of Google, but how the hell did my blog get hit during the search for "cover of Playgirl july 2003"?


posted by Harvey at 4:06:25 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


No matter how big of a hurry you're in, remember to buy the Valentine's Day card BEFORE you start writing your heartfelt message of adoration.
posted by Harvey at 4:02:14 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Saturday, July 26, 2003


With the Sacagawea coin proving to be wildly unpopular, the Treasury rolls out the "new" Golden Dollar, complete with the hard-to-counterfeit "missing corner" security feature.
posted by Harvey at 10:26:17 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Friday, July 25, 2003


There's a certain type of post that I wish I had time to make more often, because I think it's an effective and entertaining technique. If it's done well, it makes for the kind of story that people can't stop talking about. Unfortunately, if it's done badly, it's boring and stupid.

Here's how it works: describe a seemingly unimportant event in your life as the opener, claim that it relates to a fairly broad and (seemingly unrelated) topical issue, and then describe a logical progression of thoughts and/or events that links the two in a reasonably amusing or engaging manner.

My prose is a little ham-fisted and un-conversational for this to be my strong suit. That, and I'm more of a quick-hitter than a long-story-teller. But I still recognize it when I see it somewhere else, and when it clicks clockwork-smooth, I slip into drooling fan-boy mode.

As now.

Via CotV #44, Joe at Attaboy connects new speakers for his truck with PC brown-shirtliness.


[slow, spreading smile] ...It's a long story... and a damn fine one. Go take a peek.


posted by Harvey at 10:43:38 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Via CotV #44, Jeff at Caerdroia (honorable host of CotV #43) says nice things about the Declaration of Independence, noting that life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness were listed as being "among" man's rights. He then gives a spot-on list of the amongs.

Reading it really gave me that tri-cornered hat, fife & drum feeling. I found myself nodding & saying things to myself like, "yup, uh-huh, mmm-hmm, damn right!, they really should've put THAT one in writing, too" and so forth.

Get your Yankee Doodle on & check it out for yourself.


posted by Harvey at 10:21:15 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I've been saying for years that the Middle East needs to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century to join the rest of the civilized world. But I've had my doubts as to whether it was possible, considering that the region is weighed down by the 20-ton battleship anchor of primitive Islamic beliefs.


Via the CotV #44, I've discovered hope at Graham Lester's place. He discusses how Christianity's brutal early factions (Catholics and Protestants), as well as Judaism, while blackened by centuries of cruel bloodshed, eventually embraced their kindness ethic, and did away with their need to impose revealed truth by the sword. My favorite part:




"The debate between truth and kindness was not solved by each side slamming down quotations as if they were cards in a game of snap. It was solved over time through experience and reflection. There is no reason to suppose that Islam will not take a similar course to Judaism and Christianity or that there will not come a time soon enough when the distinction between Christian, Jew, and Moslem is entirely a matter of theology".




I don't know about the "soon enough" part, but he makes good arguments that the first steps in positive Islamic reform have already been taken.


A highly recommended read.


posted by Harvey at 9:59:52 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Down in Alabama, they put on a play called "Day of Absence", during part of which black actors put on "white-face" make-up.


Personally, I think that's almost as funny as the "Fightin' Whites" logo.


But I also feel that it's deeply wrong. Actors should never be allowed to use make-up to change their appearance. That's like lying. There should be a congressional investigation to see if anyone was deceived by this play. What kind of country would this be if we couldn't trust actors to tell the truth?


They should've gotten Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins to star in this production. At least they're honest.


posted by Harvey at 9:55:52 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Sarge has an excellent post on who the folks in the military really are. They are not the shining heroes the Right makes them out to be. They are not the villians the Left forever casts them as. They are just good Americans trying to do a hard job.

The beating heart of the piece:


We came from somewhere. We came from you. Everything that you are, we are. Every quality and value found in American society is present here as well. We're thieves, liars, bigots, idiots, bullies, racists, rats, sneaks, backstabbers, hypocrites and ignorant fucktards. We're also helpers, workers, gardeners, readers, lovers, builders, do-gooders, fixers and philanthropists. Each one of us, just like you, has a full range of emotions and an entire spectrum of qualities and characteristics, both good and bad. They help define what we are like and no single attribute (or a set of related attributes) defines who and what we are. The great secret, that no one seems able to comprehend, is that we are just a bunch of people trying to get by the best we can.


Reminds me a bit of Shylock's "I am a Jew" speech [see quote #5, no direct link available], except not written in Elizabethan thou-speak.

If you liked the heart, go check out the liver, spleen, kidneys & other vital organs.


posted by Harvey at 9:40:21 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Official Catholic Priest Hush Money

posted by Harvey at 9:24:37 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


The group C answers are up at Frank's place, as well as the group D question. My prediction is that the ultimate winner is going to come from group C. There's some solid comedic talent in that bunch.

Anyway, the Group D question:

"In 200 words or less, describe the best way to kill a Communist."



posted by Harvey at 6:46:49 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Thursday, July 24, 2003


Steve over at Little Tiny Lies has his version of a Rumsfeld press conference annoucing the splatterization of the Hussein boys. It's not Frank's World, but it's very likely the next universe over.


posted by Harvey at 9:08:44 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Over at Blog of Xanadu, there's a discussion of how to tell good armies from bad armies by watching them march (Hint: bad armies swing their arms like demented windmills, good ones stick with sychronized footwork). I asked the opintion of an old high school buddy of mine who knows way too much about things military, and he commented as follows:


Quoth the blog:

"Crapulent Armies have a fancy march. They high step, or goose step, or they
hang one arm stiff at their side. Maybe they swing the forearm across their
body, swing the arms ridiculously high, or do a fancy stall-step. Either
way, they try to dress up their military incompetence with fancy marching.

So if you want a snapshot view of the Armies, look at how they march on
Parade. US and British forces use a very basic step. Iran, Iraq (formerly),
and North Korea make it a fancy step and high swinging arms. The Soviet
Union was guilty of the same thing -- and their battle doctrine has been
proven to be pretty crappy."

IIRC the fancy arms-swing crap that the arabs all do came from the British
early in this century when they called most of the shots in the Middle East.
In defense of Her Majesty's armed forces, they never did the kind of
exaggerated half-circle thing that we see the arabic military and police
forces do on parade when we see them on TV.

I think what is more telling about the quality of a military is whether or
not they have a Praetorian Guard -- the Revolutionary Guards (Iran),
Republican Guards (Iraq) -- that is provided with better training and
equipment because they are politically reliable while the regular Joes get shit.

With respect to the goose-stepping, the Germans did that and they were
hardly "crapulent." In fact the really good goose-steppers - the Schutz
Staffel - were generally the worst of the hard-asses on the field. Also I
would refrain from judging Soviet military doctrine as harshly as the blog
does because we have not tangled with it directly. We and our allies and/or
proxies have only tangled with people who followed it to various degrees of
competence. Advised by the Russians does not equal Russians in the field.

As far as crappy arab armies go, I think the biggest problem they have is
the apparent inability to train anyone to use the sights on their weapons.
There were many battlefield reports swirling around before the whole
low-intensity thing got started recounting an outlandish reliance on the
spray-and-pray technique, followed by quick liquidation at the hands of an often
numerically smaller group of Marines/Army who could aim.

It is unfortunate that the current crop of nasties seem to have either
learned the lesson or been taught by someone smarter (like Al-Qaeda).
Bummer. But nice work on the Hussein brothers by the Screaming Eagles. Heard
one report that says they used a TOW to pop the front door on the villa.
Only made the Husseins a little extra-crispy.


In short, it's the shootin', not the swingin'.


posted by Harvey at 7:23:41 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Dismissing the internet as "a buncha high-falutin', new-fangled Yankee snake oil", the folks at G's Ice House in Deer Park, Texas, decided to go with only the first half of the "wheresgeorge" approach to customer outreach.
posted by Harvey at 6:31:15 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Wednesday, July 23, 2003


I got a wild hair recently and actually tried, as mentioned in the Simpsons. Turns out Fox owns the site, and placed content on it to match what was described in that episode.

As an added bonus, they have a "Feed the Badger" flash game which bears a slight resemblance to a Happy Tree Friends Smoochie. If you don't know what that is, don't ask. It's sick and wrong. If you do know, then you're probably my brother Tom.


posted by Harvey at 11:07:27 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Steven has been called many things.

"Brief" has never been among them.

Until now.

Since the "America vs. Psycho-Islam" drama has been in high gear for over 22 months, and Mr. Den Beste covers it with stunning clarity in a mere 15-minute read, I think I can still sleep with a clear conscience tonight if I say that he has written a brief essay on the "Bush lied" meme. If you ever intend to have an intelligent discussion on the War On Terror, you need to have this piece under your belt.


posted by Harvey at 10:51:55 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Sweet Susie (by the way, would you mock me too horribly if I said I kinda missed all that pink?) points toward the drink-alertest post I've seen in a long while. She missed the permalink, but it's understandable. It's not actually on the front page. You had to go to the archives page and link it from there.

Anyway, a long, sad tale of a man, a small fire, some food, and a big fire. Rinse. Repeat.

Moral of the story: I really didn't want pancakes anyway.

Set down the beverage & go see what I'm talking about.

ADDENDUM: Is it just me or does Judith Light look a LOT like Twisted Sister's Dee Snider in that picture?

posted by Harvey at 10:38:07 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Or maybe the Hussein boys are actually ex-Ba'athists this time. Either way, I like this Reuter's story for the following quote:


There was delight among people in Baghdad as the news from Mosul filtered through to the capital, but at least one man voiced disappointment that Uday, who ran much of Iraq's media and sport, had been killed.

"I don't want him dead. I want to torture him first," said Alaa Hamed.



posted by Harvey at 10:07:00 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Pfizer experiments with subliminal advertising for Viagra


posted by Harvey at 9:53:47 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Carnival of the Vanities #44 is up at Da Goddess's place, this time with a hospital theme. Hospitals are supposed to be all about helping & caring & healing, and since I'm all about billing, I got set off in my own little section. I feel like a Dilbert accounting troll :-(

Don't worry about me, though, go visit the pretty lady in the white stockings & see what she's got to show you.



posted by Harvey at 7:15:53 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Tuesday, July 22, 2003



Ah, the group C question is up:


“In 200 words or less, name your least favorite species of monkey and explain why you dislike that monkey.”


I’m a staunch individualist, and consider it morally wrong to judge an entire species by the acts of a single monkey.


But I hate every damn gorilla on the face of the earth.


I once went to the zoo with a fine lady with whom I had not yet been “intimate”. All was going well until we hit the monkey house. While standing in front of the gorilla cage, one of the females waved her hairy red ass in the male’s face, which offer he naturally accepted.


For all of ten seconds.


Normally not a big deal, I suppose, except that, since my best scoring-line is “how about some hot monkey love?”, his exhibition of Frenchman-like staying power pretty much put the old (FLUSH)*gurgle* on my romantic prospects.


I will not forgive. I will not forget. Gorillas must die.


posted by Harvey at 10:53:41 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I'm sensing a little frustration at Frank's place.

Back in my Navy days, I was trained in the polite and courteous use of the English language, so I'm not sure what some of those Anglo-Saxony-sounding words mean, but I still found President Frank's State of the Union Clarification Address entertaining.



posted by Harvey at 10:04:42 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Right Wing got clipped because there were no women in his America's Greatest list and he explains how much he doesn't care.


Personally, I think he's right to not be concerned. After all, women have been kept barefoot & pregnant for most of American history, so of course the "greatest" lists are going to be single sex.


As my beloved wife pointed out to me, women have only had the chance to be great in the political arena since they got the franchise in 1920, and in the business world since the 70’s. Men have been playing in the Greatness big leagues since the dawn of time.


As far as American history is concerned, men have about a 150-year head start in shaping events, so their dominance in the survey is to be expected.


It's the same reason New York City has produced more great baseball players than Liberal, Kansas. It's just statistics, and it shouldn't be taken personally.


By the way, my beloved wife also suggested that having some famous quotes attributed to you could be a good litmus test for greatness, and went on to note that, except for a few gems from Mary Kay Ash, she couldn’t quote a single female off the top of her head.


posted by Harvey at 9:52:59 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Frank drops a little something in Earth First!'s tip jar.
posted by Harvey at 6:22:07 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


David over at Sketches of Strain just had the customer from hell.

I recognized her. She was just in the bank a little earlier.

If you work with people, take a peek & see if you recognize her, too.


posted by Harvey at 6:45:18 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, July 21, 2003


Wizbang is cooking up his third helping of barbequed blog vanity. I expect it to be truly atrocious this time around, and I'm proud to say that I did my bit toward making it a more wretched hive of scum an villiany.


posted by Harvey at 10:51:40 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Over at Right Wing News, there's the fun (albeit grossly unscientific) poll results from a (non-random, not-statistically-significant) cross-section of bloggers on "The 20 Greatest Figures in American History". I tend to agree with the results, except I have 2 questions:

1) No Ayn Rand?

2) What the hell is that power-mad, Constitution-for-toilet-paper lunatic FDR doing in the top 10?


posted by Harvey at 10:19:29 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I found this in a book a few years back & thought it was interesting enough to save. It's also tangentially relevant to the last post, so I thought I'd share this, too.


All Egalitarians are educated publicly up to the age of 21, with no opportunity at
this stage to earn enough to save. All men then work for the same wage till 65,
when they retire on full pay; women work for only 20 non-childbearing years, but
in those years get equal pay with the same pension rights. Inheritance is
forbidden. But all earners and all pensioners save exactly 10 percent of their
incomes, which savings are invested in state bonds yielding 10% compound
interest. This rather high rate perhaps compensates for the absolute embargo on
all capital appreciation. The roundness of the figure also simplifies the
arithmetic, as do two further stipulations: that the net reproduction rate has been
unity for the past 85 years; and that everyone dies on their 85th birthday. So
how much of the privately owned wealth in Egalitaria is owned by the richest
10% of the whole population? The answer seems to be that the wealthiest 10%
of Egalitarians (who by definition are all the men aged from 68 to 84, inclusive)
must now own about 74% of the privately owned wealth.”

-Antony Flew, “Thinking Straight,” p.91



posted by Harvey at 10:06:59 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I saw that headline again. I see it about once a year. Something about the growing gap between the rich & the poor, blah, blah, blah. Every time I see those words or hear someone quote that hoary old canard about the rich getting richer, etc., I get that same rough-hand-squeezing-my-intestines feeling and I just want to lay down until it passes.


Once, about 7 years ago, I was angry enough to bleat at the local newspaper about it. Now I'm just tired. But I'll share the angry part, for what it's worth:



"I was disappointed to see your paper running yet another AP story lamenting the "gap between the haves & have-nots" and quoting some doom-crying academic type predicting "unmitigated disaster" if the situation doesn't change.


I see nothing to lament about. America's capitialist society is extrememly just. The reason the "haves" have so much is that they plan their lives long-term, make a habit of keeping their promises, and spend a portion of their leisure hours fine-tuning their job skills.


The "have-nots", by contrast, are usually also the can-nots, will-nots, plan-nots, and think-nots. Were they to put forth the same kinds and degrees of effort that the "haves" do, they would reap similar rewards.


A growing "gap" between the two groups means only that the rich are working more diligently, the poor are still sitting on their butts with their brains shut down, and both groups are getting exactly what they've earned.



Harvey Olson"




Seven years later, I'm still training hard, the "have-nots" are still glued to the idiot box, and everyone's still getting what they earn.


Some things never change, and honestly, I kinda like it that way.


posted by Harvey at 9:56:25 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I'm still waiting for my turn to come around on Frank's contest, so I thought I'd take a whack at the group B question to pass the time:

In 200 words or less, describe how bombing Paris will help Uganda's economy.

All France has going for it is it's lush, fertile wine fields. The only problem is that French wine, while good, is also annoying and cowardly as a result of being too near the French. My theory is that, if you bomb Paris just right (perhaps enlisting those devilishly clever boys at MIT for technical assistance), you can create an explosion that will peel up the wine country in one huge carpet and have it KER-FLUMPF into place in Uganda. Without the French influence, the grapes will grow brave and tasty, catapulting Uganda into wine-soaked prosperity. 


posted by Harvey at 9:29:54 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


George was surprised by his after-life destination, until he remembered that, even though he'd confessed to his father about the cherry tree incident, he'd neglected to get that one cleared with the Big Guy Upstairs.

posted by Harvey at 9:14:04 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Sunday, July 20, 2003


2 things:

First, my wife hit the garage sales this weekend, and found your missing pink:


Second, I just wanted to say "thanks" for all the encourging comments. I know I called them copper, but they're pretty darn golden to me :-)


posted by Harvey at 10:32:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Being uneducated in the finer points of the art, George gets a little crazy applying the clown make-up.


posted by Harvey at 10:13:44 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Saturday, July 19, 2003


Monica's first President.


posted by Harvey at 9:24:16 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Friday, July 18, 2003


Just breezing around, and I think I finally found a keeper. American Digest's entry, "The Sunday New York Times Lite". Sharp, zippy one-liners, one after another. I don't even read the NYT & I find this bit amusing.

Then I perused the rest of his site. I swear, he's like the bastard offspring of Frank J. & Bill Whittle - alternating between interestingly long-winded and bite-your-tongue-so-you-don't-laugh-out-loud-and-get-stared-at funny.

It's hard to believe he's new. I'd swear he was born blogging.

posted by Harvey at 11:16:42 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Michele speculates a bit on the bizarre possibilities involved in some bands doing covers of other band's songs. For example: Quiet Riot doing Toni Basil's Mickey, or Glenn Frey doing Funkytown.

Even better, in the comments, there's a link to the Covers Project, which has lists of "cover chains" ("a set of songs in which each song is a cover of a song by the band who covered the preceding song"). You can also look up individual artists to see who they've covered and who's covered them.

Longest chain? 157 songs. My favorite 3 link series? Joan Baez to Pat Boone.

Via Judas Priest.


posted by Harvey at 10:08:08 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Via an old high school buddy, I've found out that there's now a video available of Metal Storm, that million round per minute gun I mentioned before.

It's over with too darn quick, but it's still a beautiful sight.

There's also a closer look at this sweetie over at the Weekly Standard, including a comprehensible description of the technology that makes it work.


posted by Harvey at 9:45:28 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Boots & Sabers has a link to Toothbrush's piece on the virtues fighting back against the "race" box when filling out forms. Since I consider race to be an irrelevant construct, I'm glad to see it.


Mostly, though, I just want to brag about how far ahead of the curve I am on this issue. Way back in '94, during my college days, I wrote a short piece for the campus rag about my experience with the race box on one of the UW's forms. I'll share it with you.



"Maybe I'm just confused, but I was always under the impression that UW-Whitewater didn't discriminate on the basis of race. Something about the law and equal opportunity.


So why does UW-W have a block specifying my race/ethnic classification on my advance registration/student information worksheet?


And why does UW-W have a block requesting my race/ethnic classification on it's undergraduate admission application?


Am I supposed to believe that that information will never be used for the purpose of racial separation, segregation, or discrimination? What other purpose could it possibly have?


Anyone who prefers that UW-W not be able to hold this particular threat over his/her head can go to the Admissions office and politely request of the counter person that the racial/ethnic classification be deleted from their record. I did it recently, and it took less than five minutes, start to finish.


It feels good to be a human being again instead of just a color."



It's still a good feeling, and I strongly recommend the same action any time you come across that noxious little box.




UPDATE: on a related note, Right Wing News has his favorite Walter Williams quotes up. They're all priceless, but this line really sums up the whole race issue for me:


"In my book, race might be an achievement, worthy of considerable celebration, only if a person was born white and through his effort and diligence became black."


posted by Harvey at 9:08:49 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I don't usually read stories about the plight of the Cubans. Mostly because I'm  already aware of the big picture and don't generally feel the need to go out of my way to gawk at someone else's misery.


But I do hit all the posts at CotV, so I came across this piece at Babalu and was impressed. It's short, human, and  perfectly illustrates the horror that Cuba became. It does so with a description that is casually conversational and makes you feel  the wrongness of it, instead of merely saying, "it's wrong."


Go have a gawk.


posted by Harvey at 9:03:24 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



No matter how closely you follow the instructions, spam-based get-rich-quick schemes just never seem to work.

posted by Harvey at 7:38:06 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Mean Mr. Mustard is hanging up his blog so he can concentrate on his studies. He's a conservative at Berkeley, which makes for some interesting stories.

Having been a libertarian at UW Madison, I can understand.

Now he's headed for law school (still at Berkeley), so it only gets harder from here. He's heading into hell.

But I expect he'll come out on the other side wearing the Devil's teeth on a necklace.

Godspeed, Russ.


posted by Harvey at 7:53:15 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Thursday, July 17, 2003


Frank has set the group A flaming hoop alight, but I'm in group F, so I can relax for a while.

But I did actually think of what could be Aquaman's shining moment:

The leaders of Iran, North Korea, and France are all trapped in a burning building. Aquaman races inside to save them. Since his powers are limited to breathing underwater and talking to marine life, all of them would die.

Therefore, in this situation, Aquaman would be a great superhero.


posted by Harvey at 9:46:27 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME








posted by Harvey at 9:28:47 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


If this keeps up, pretty soon you'll be able to make your Swiss Cheese holes any size you want

Via American Realpolitik, it seems that there is actually a small, but determined, group of House members who want to want to get constitutional on some bureaucratic asses, and force Congress to pass all regulations instead of delegating their power to federal agencies. This could be interesting if it grows legs.

Best part: my Representative, Paul Ryan, is co-sponsoring this. He's actually on the same list as Ron Paul (the only Congressman I've ever thought really deserved the job).

It just warms my heart to see a local boy make good.



posted by Harvey at 7:14:06 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Wednesday, July 16, 2003


VodkaPundit has an informative bit on a US plan to put the screws to North Korea without actually going to war. It involves making all sorts of aggressive, but not threatening, military moves so that the NK's have to stay on alert and use up their dwindling supply of resources to support their troops. He comments, "What I like about 5030 is that it throws Pyongyang's strategy right back in their faces. North Korea has survived, in large part, by being unpredictable, nutty, and seemingly dangerous. If they see the victors of Afghanistan and Gulf Wars I and II acting the same way, it might -- might -- just get them to settle down a bit."

I say right idea, but why screw around with this lame pussyfootery?

If you're gonna do it, do it right.

Just Nuke the Moon.


posted by Harvey at 10:59:47 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Right Wing News lists his favorite female bloggers, and, in the comments, someone asks:


Hmmmm....someone asked me how it felt to be included on the "you're pretty good...for a woman" bloggers list. Of course the person who included me was a lefty blogger of some note. The person who asked me was a conservative and obviously doesn't feel that differentiation on the basis of race or gender is necessary. So why would you as a conservative feel the need to differentiate by gender?


Why? To have an excuse to fantasize about gorgeous women blogging in lingerie. Duh-uh!



posted by Harvey at 10:51:10 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I always thought minorities were too quick to cry "racism", but, via this week's Carnival of the Vanities, Jeff has an excellent piece suggesting that there might be a valid explanation for it. I don't know how broadly his analysis actually applies, but he makes an interesting point and makes it very well. Read it and decide for yourself.


posted by Harvey at 10:27:28 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I'm not a Christian, but there are certain portions of Jesus's story that I do find inspiring, as I do most stories of men willing to bear great burdens and make great sacrifices for a cause they believe to be right and just.

I didn't like "The Greatest Story Ever Told". The acting was blanketly wooden throughout, and Max von Sydow delivered his lines like a French waiter delivers courtesy. However, I did enjoy "The Last Temptation of Christ", because Willem Defoe presented Christ with a believable range of human fear, doubt, pain, desire, joy and love that I could relate to on a personal level.

There's a strong buzz about the upcoming movie "The Passion", which tells the story of Christ's last 12 hours, and is directed by Mel Gibson. His goal is to make the portrayal extremely accurate, including having the characters speaking Latin and Aramaic.

There will be no subtitles. The images will tell the story, and the words will be superfluous. Or at least that's the target. Gibson says: "Hopefully, I'll be able to transcend the language barriers with my visual storytelling; if I fail, I fail, but at least it'll be a monumental failure."

Having seen the trailer via a link from American RealPolitik, I must say that Mel's got a good shot at hitting that target.



posted by Harvey at 10:20:35 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


PhotoDude, who's been a daily stop for me for I don't know how many months now, has seen fit to place me on his blogroll under the heading of "Make Me Laugh". His blog is chock full of good writing, relevant links, perspicacious observations, and talented photography. Among other things he's taught me, is that technology has evolved to the point where a digital camera can actually take more detailed pictures than film, and that Cynthia McKinney was a complete asshat.

I haven't been tickled this pink since the day I found out I was getting out of the Navy two days early because my nominal discharge date fell on a Sunday [insert giddy, rhythmless white-boy happy-dance here].

posted by Harvey at 9:53:07 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Susie, from Practical Penumbra, is test driving a new blog called Impractical Penumbra, with a gentler color scheme apparently designed for my pleasure. Of course, now it's just plain drab, and could perhaps use a dash of fuschia around the borders to give it that "woman's touch".

Oh crap. I've gotta stop watching "Trading Spaces." I think I just channeled Laurie.

By the way, for those who watch Buffy, have you ever noticed that Laurie bears some resemblance to Glory, in name, appearance, and degree of evil (as manifested by some of her more bizarre design schemes)?


posted by Harvey at 9:34:58 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Wisconsin's governor, Jim Doyle, is a swaggering, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood.


In yet another example of power-hungry perfidy, he's "not gotten involved" in the Tyson strike by directing Wisconsin's Department of Corrections not to do business with any employment agency that refers workers to companies involved in a strike. Boots & Sabers has the sordid details. Take a look if you've got the stomach for it. 'Tis not pretty.


posted by Harvey at 9:07:23 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Finally, some good news on the education front: 100% of Wisconsin high school seniors surveyed were able to correctly identify George Washington as the first President of the United States*

*NOTE: This survey was conducted in accordance with the requirements of Wisconsin's "No Call" list, which may have affected survey sample size.

posted by Harvey at 9:00:31 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Tuesday, July 15, 2003



The brights are being discussed again. I mentioned them here. They're taking well-deserved criticism here and here. It's a smarmy, arrogant, condescening term. The obvious objection being that believers in supernatural forces are, by implication, "dim". This may occasionally be true, but the same can be said of any other stereotype. It doesn't make it's use appropriate. 


Another objection I have, along with the above, is that the term simply isn't needed. The topic rarely comes up in discussion, so  it provides no real convenience over such phrases as "I'm a mechanistic atheist," or "I'm a materialist" or even "I think paranormal claims are a bunch of crap."


If you're gonna make up words, make up words we actually need, like one for those twin ridges of skin between my nose and upper lip. Next time I get hit there it *would* be convenient to be able to say, "Ouch! My trosbmnaul!"


Let's see if these people are "bright" enought to do that.


posted by Harvey at 6:08:01 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Susie's "bad post" is over at the Bonfire. I actually thought is was pretty good: short, concise, focused, & pithy. It said what it needed to say and then shut up.

My affection for this piece may or may not have anything to do with the fact that, when my co-workers notice I'm having a rough day and they ask me if there's anything they can get for me, I inevitably reply, "a bucket of whiskey, please."

Be sure to look for my bad haiku in the comments.


posted by Harvey at 5:41:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Inspired by Andrew Sullivan's example, Andrew Jackson steps prettily out of the closet.


posted by Harvey at 5:35:23 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Frank posted the first of many flaming hoops through which I must jump in my quest for a permalink. It involves a scientific experiment to influence Google's search results. So if you're wondering about the Liberal Assclown blogroll link, now you know.

Ready for step 2 now....


posted by Harvey at 5:25:35 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, July 14, 2003


Over at Wizbang, you can find my entry in Bonfire of the Vanities #2. Unlike the Carnival of the Vanities (#43 is coming up Wednesday at Caerdroia) where you put your best foot forward, BotV has you planting yourself face first in the pig pen by offering up a link to your worst entry.

I can't say whether my entry is, objectively speaking, my absolute worst, but it was pretty freaking lame by any yardstick.

If strong of stomach ye be/Go forth, look, and see.


posted by Harvey at 10:47:54 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


The New Blog Showcase has ended for last week, and, although I didn't win, place, or show, I did finish closer to the top than the bottom. I also got a lot of attention and went from a Microbe to an Amphibian in one week. It was a fun ride, and I just want to thank everyone who linked me. I'm sure to be stopping there again to see the up-and-comers so that I'll be able to say, "Yeah, I knew them before they were even famous".

Remember, the New Blog Showcase runs every week, so don't forget to check it out.

posted by Harvey at 10:38:50 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Frank is having a contest (with currently unknown rules and activities, much like a blogging version of Fear Factor), and I'm gonna give it try.

But first, I'm gonna grease the skids a little by helping along Frank's Instajihad

Point one: Glenn Reynolds is evil. Evil people often have hordes of evil ninja minions available to do their evil bidding. Frank must protect himself from the evil ninja hordes (if he waits for them to attack), and he must be able to conquer them (if he goes on the offensive). Therefore he needs a weapon of great power. Behold! I give you:

The Samurai 3000 Ninja Sword

Point two: Before Glenn Reynolds can be defeated, he must first be weakened. His power as a higher being comes from his popularity. His popularity can be sabotaged by spreading lies about how evil he is. Therefore I can help soften up the enemy with this piece of eye-witness testimony about Glen's evil puppy-blending habit:


"Glenn tricked my into following him home by offering me crystal meth, then he tried to put me in a blender."


By the way, Frank, if I strangle a hippy, can I get a permalink?


posted by Harvey at 10:21:59 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I first learned about David's Sketches of Strain via the Carnival of the Vanities #42 at Winds of Change. I finally got a chance to breeze around his blog and discovered that the writing which I loved so much was present in great abundance. I'm going be keeping his link handy from now on.

I also discovered this bit about that OCD seizure that occasionally possesses one while getting dressed.

I admit, there have been times when I've wasted 5 minutes looking for *that tie* when I should have left for work 5 minutes ago. I suspect that this condition may be more widespread than the author suspects. If you've ever been late to work because you were busy selecting clothing, go read this one.

If you haven't, then go read it to learn how the other half lives.


posted by Harvey at 9:45:07 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I made Susie sad with my ungracious remarks about her color scheme. Personally, I thought she'd be impressed since I didn't call the colors "blue" and "pink". I mean, how many guys know any color names besides the Crayola 8? Anyway, I'm going to make it up to her.

First, I'll give her some blogroll gold.

Second, some pictures of men in kilts.

I hope I'm forgiven now.



posted by Harvey at 9:28:03 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


George jots a quick note to remind himself not to always be so darn serious when chatting with foreign dignitaries.


posted by Harvey at 8:26:05 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Sunday, July 13, 2003


Via the Emperor, I've discovered that anyone can now be Big Brother's Big Brother. I quote from the site's front page:


In the United States, there is a widening gap between a citizen's ability to monitor his or her government and the government's ability to monitor a citizen. Average citizens have limited access to important government records, while available information is often illegible. Meanwhile, the government's eagerness and means to oversee a citizen's personal activity is rapidly increasing.

As the government broadens internal surveillance, and collaborates with private institutions to access data on the public, it is crucial that we maintain a symmetry of accountability. If we believe the United States should be a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" it is of central importance to provide citizens with the power to oversee their government. At least as much effort should be spent building tools to facilitate citizens supervising their government as tools to help the government monitor individuals.

And what a tool they have. Pull up a chair & see what your duly elected bureaucrat has been up to.


posted by Harvey at 11:49:16 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Steve over at Little Tiny Lies has probably the *best* response ever to the Nigerian e-mail scam. Drink alert in effect, so set down your cup & swallow before clicking the link.


posted by Harvey at 11:40:36 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

When life hands you hippies, make T-shirts.


posted by Harvey at 11:34:35 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Alexander Hamilton stars in:

Grizzly Adams: Reloaded


posted by Harvey at 10:30:46 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Saturday, July 12, 2003


Precision Blogging gave me my first permalink. I checked out his blog, and, well, I'll try to be gentle.

Not his fault, but it's on BlogSpot, so getting the whole page to load can be a dicey proposition.

The posts, while occasionally witty (I especially liked the "double dyslexia" question), feel too abrupt. Fleshing them out with relevant links might be helpful.

Finally, will you for the LOVE OF GOD please change that retina-befouling template color?!? Here are some alternative suggestions. Doesn't matter which one you pick, as long as it's not what you have now.

P.S. If you decide you really like blogging, do consider getting off Blogspot.


posted by Harvey at 11:07:14 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Most blogs have a tip jar. But, as Cox & Forkum recently pointed out, most tip jars stay empty. The problem is that, although the readers enjoy the material on a blog, they have no idea what an "appropriate" contribution is.


I have a simple rule of thumb to solve this problem. If something you read on someone's blog makes you as happy as eating a large pepperoni pizza, you should tip the blogger the same amount that you'd tip the pizza delivery guy. Say about $2.


The beauty of this rule is that it can be scaled conveniently both up and down, consistent with your financial situation and level of enjoyment.


Say you've got $10.35 in PayPal and you read something mildly amusing somewhere. Drop in the $.35 and say, "that was as refreshing as a double espresso on exam day eve. Here's a little jingle for your jar."


Conversely, if you want to go high, you can always say, "that was as thrilling as that unnamed service recently provided to my by Trixie, the Times Square Wonder Hooker. Here's $50, and it was worth every penny."


Which raises the question of when to tip.


First, consider that blogging is generally more about ego than about making a living. The coin of the blogospheric realm is attention, generally given in 3 forms: comments/e-mail, temporary post links, and blogroll permalinks. Think of them as corresponding roughly to copper, silver, and gold, respectively. Once you've exhausted payments in the local currency, something green becomes more appropriate.


Gates & Buffet can afford to tip for every good entry on every blog they visit. I can't. But there are 3 times when I think some jar jingle makes sense:


1) Make me laugh out loud. If I just snarfed coffee all over the monitor & everyone at the bank is staring at me like I'm a lunatic, that's worth tipping.


2) Change my mind. If something is so persuasive or thought-provoking that I'm forced to re-open the closed book on one of my convictions, that's worth tipping.


3) Long-time daily read. If, in the absence of the first 2 criteria, I still find myself stopping at a site every day for at least 3 months, that's worth tipping.


Your criteria may differ based on your financial situation and laughter threshold.


So, now that you know how to do it, go forth and thank the nice bloggers who make your day so wonderful.


posted by Harvey at 10:13:34 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Boots & Sabers linked to me, thanks to the New Blog Showcase (still time to cast your link-vote for me). It's apparently a partner blog, and I'm not sure which one's Boots & which one's Sabers, but it looks like Owen is the more loquacious of the two. Owen, like me, lives in Wisconsin, and, much to my delight, enjoys ripping our beloved Governor James ("call me Jim") Doyle for doing stupid things. Best line (so far) "Jim Doyle is like [a] chair made of yellow play-doh, he always looks like the ass of the last interest group that spoke to him"


There's also a story about a consignment of Ernie's favorite bath-time friends being lost at sea for a decade, as well as a link to the least coherant blog on the internet. Go take a look.


Oh, and Owen's Showcase entry is here. I wonder if he's read Atlas Shrugged more times than I have?


posted by Harvey at 10:00:27 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



For the curious or just plain nosy, here are the high points of my life so far:


1966 born - 8th (and final) child, 7th son.

1985 graduated high school

1985 joined the Navy as a Nuke

1987 attached to the USS Enterprise

1991 left the Navy (honorable discharge)

1992 started college as an accounting major

1995 finished college as a finance major

1996 started law school

1996-1997 hated law school

1997 quit law school

1998 quit my pizza delivery job (which I'd had pretty much since I started college) to work at a bank

1999 married

2003 still married, no kids (or plans for any - wife concurs), 2 dogs, 4 cats


If anything else exciting happens, I'll let you know.


UPDATE 9-28-03:


If you're wondering what I look like, here's a little something to help with the mental imagery:


I've been told that I look like the following people:

Michael Gross (the dad on Family Ties)

Christopher Lloyd (during his "Taxi" years, not his more famous role as Doc Brown in "Back to the Future")

Abraham Lincoln

So basically, 5'10", 160, high forehead (hairline receding, but no bald spot - Rogaine seems to be working so far), dark brown (almost black) hair with some random gray strands coming in at the sides, brown eyes, and neatly trimmed full beard (still all brown).

Hope that helps.

Oh, and of the 3, Michael Gross is damn near a spot-on match. But I have more hair, less gray, and a fuller beard. Still, if I had that pic on my driver's license, I don't think anyone would question it.

UPDATE 11-3-03: Jen Lars has an interview with me, where all manner of dark details may be discovered.


posted by Harvey at 9:42:41 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Technically, it's not "graffiti" currency, but I just like the serial number.


   "Okay, wait.  If you guys are really us, what number are we thinking of?"


posted by Harvey at 9:34:14 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


She linked to me. She linked to everyone in the showcase. I don't feel special :-(

I'm linking back anyway.

Having looked around a bit & peeked at the archives, I'm sensing a little OCD here. It's not my cup of tea, but if you think Martha Stewart got shafted & you're as deeply into this case as Cookie Monster is into baked goods, this blog is a good resource.



posted by Harvey at 6:17:43 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Susie over at Practical Penumbra gave me a link for the New Blog Showcase, so I'm sending one back her way. I scrolled around a bit. Good points: she likes Frank J., and the overall tone of the short but numerous entries (nice for us ADD types) gives a sense of her personality. Fun, flirty, cheerful & charming. Going to her place is like going over to your one friend's house with the "cool mom". Although I get the impression that the mother in question might be Mrs. Robinson, so be careful if you're going over there wearing a kilt.

Bad points: a color scheme (salmon and teal?) that gave me a visual sensation akin to peeling duct tape off my (very hairy) forearm. Of course, I'm a guy, so what the hell do I know about colors.

Anyway, go look. Unless you're a Scotsman.

posted by Harvey at 5:49:01 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Via Technorati, I discovered Norbizness giving my blog a positive review in his comments on this week's New Blog Showcase. Well, maybe not positive. Only 5 out of 10. But he thought almost everyone else sucked more, so that makes me good, right?

I scrolled around a bit and left with 3 impressions: sad politics, amusing descriptive phrases in his posts, and a huge Simpsons fan, with "best of" quotes from recently aired episodes. So I rate this one a 6.6 out of 10, 'cuz 2 out of 3 ain't bad.


posted by Harvey at 7:07:12 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Friday, July 11, 2003


Tiger reviews the New Blog Showcase and basically gives a high passing grade to my Sea Story (4.0 on a 5.0 scale). Biggest complaint: slow load times with all the pictures on my page. Fair enough. However, Wednesday night (7-9), the RadioUserland server had some "issues" where the page would take several minutes to load (even via my cable modem), which may have contributed to the problem. Thursday it seemed to be back up to speed, but then my comments had disappeared. Thursday night & everything was normal. I just hope RU isn't getting all BlogSpot on me. I'd hate to have to learn enough HTML to use Movable Type.

Anyway, read his reviews so you know which entrys to avoid. And remember to link the Sea Story so I don't make too pathetic of a showing come Monday.

posted by Harvey at 11:45:24 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Arnold Schwarzenegger goes back in time to free the slaves in:

Terminator 4: Rise of the Republicans


posted by Harvey at 7:27:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Apparently CBS is saying that Bush lied about Iraq trying to buy uranium. In his State of the Union Address, Bush said “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Which the Brits did say, and they continue to say even now. So where's the lie?

(Tip of the hat to Right Wing News for bringing this one to my attention)


posted by Harvey at 7:50:50 AM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Thursday, July 10, 2003


Considering how Mary Todd had been acting lately, Abe figured that this was as close as he was going to get to "laid" for quite a while.
posted by Harvey at 11:07:10 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Wednesday, July 09, 2003



I have a picture of my wife that I keep in a folder in my filing cabinet. She'd kill me if I posted it, so you'll have to settle for a description. It's a picture of her painting our old house, and was taken back in August of '99. The place had an indented corner in the back, and she's standing in the 90-degree angle formed by the section of wall facing west and the section facing north. She's finished the west wall (leastwise, as high up as she could reach, leaving the top part for me), and is about halfway done with the north wall, the paintbrush frozen in mid-stroke. She's wearing sloppy, baggy sweats, splattered with white, and her hair is pulled back in a "no one's going to see me anyway" ponytail, with the front bangs doing their Sam Sheepdog thing in front of her face. She's giving me that corner-of-the-eye glance and that bemused "why the hell are you taking this picture?" half-smile that only a woman indulging her man's most inexplicable whim can give.


I have pictures of her looking like a Cosmo cover-girl, too, but this is the one that I cherish more, and this is the one that I'd spend the most time crying over if anything ever happened to her.


It was taken 4 months after we were married, and it captures everything about her that I love best.


When we decided to move out of that drafty old shack, she insisted that we had to do something about the exterior color, which was the brownish-pink of a diseased salmon. After pricing both siding and a professional paint job, she breezily announced that we would be painting the house white (it was the cheapest color) and doing the work ourselves. With great effort, I managed to choke back my gut reaction of "just exactly how insane are you, anyway?"


My wife has a knack for breezily announcing major projects without considering potential roadblocks (the obsessing over which is my forte), but I'd already learned that she was right to do so about 90+ percent of the time. So paint we did.


3 weeks later, the house was white & we did eventually sell the place. Mostly, I concede, on the merits of the nice paint job.


But when this picture was taken, we were still in that scary middle part where the task, at times, seemed impossible to complete, yet too much had been done to turn back. The cake was half-baked and there was no separating the ingredients anymore. I was still counting obstacles and fearing that they might be insurmountable.


But not her. In this picture, in that indulgent smile & glance, I see the hope & love & optimism, the cheerful supportiveness, and the unshakable faith in a never-ending chain of better tomorrows that is my wife's greatest gift to our marriage. I looked at a half-painted wall & saw the mess, the trouble, and the tiny spots that the brush had missed. But she was seeing the bigger, better house we'd be living in someday; the exciting life, filled with adventure and travel; and the endless, joyous future she’d share with the only man she's ever loved enough to proudly call "husband".


When I look at that picture, I remember everything that's good, positive, optimistic, loving, and supportive about her. And on this day, our 51-month anniversary (yes, I still count and cherish every month), I look at that picture, remember why I married her, and remind myself, yet again, that she is, unquestionably, the best thing that ever happened to me.


posted by Harvey at 11:04:55 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Just wanted to thank Rana of Frogs and Ravens for giving me some linky-love in the TTLB's New Blog Showcase (just a reminder, there's still lots of time to slather me with link-votes, folks). While being repulsed by my politics (and too nice to use the word), she was at least amused by the Graffiti Currency and I have to admire her open-mindedness. Classy lady, that one.


posted by Harvey at 10:53:47 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



I love good writing. By "good", I mean when an author can talk about a feeling and make you feel it yourself (see my comment on Finding the Still Point, below). Not by so simple a process as saying "I was tired" and then leaving it up to you to remember a time of tiredness in your own life. This is the crude, beginner's method and leaves it up to fickle chance whether you'll recall the time you spent 12 hours in the Arizona desert doing hard time breaking rocks with a sledgehammer, or merely the time you felt a little nappy after lunch.


Via CotV #42, I’ve discovered that Sketches of Strain knows tired: "the feeling of having slogged back and forth a cubic ton of food, drink and dishware, of being sticky up to your elbows from handling plates of half-eaten food and (shudder) dirty silverware". He goes on from there to describe a hard day in the catering business in such exquisite detail that you can almost smell the withering reek of the swill bucket.


The point of this piece is to relate how the blessing of good music can make even the bone-weariness he suffered melt like snowflakes, and I think he makes this point well.


One personal reason I liked this piece so much was that I did a lot of time in food service while working my way through college. Pizza delivery, to be precise, but I also did do my fair share (and then some) of sanitizing the pizza-makers' chaos after a psychotic 5pm-2am shift, and I could really feel what it was like to be inside his skin during clean-up hell.


If you've ever done food service, you'll probably get the same feeling. Go take a look.

posted by Harvey at 10:44:02 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Someone please tell me why the hell people still use traveler’s checks? When Karl Malden (and his nose) were pimping those things 30 years ago, they were a great invention. Safety, security, wide acceptance - they had it all.


But why bother now? Between debit card terminals at every checkout & ATM's being so ubiquitous that you can stick your card in a stray dog's mouth and pull cash out from under its tail, they've outlived their usefulness.


Not to mention how much bother they are to use outside the States.


Yet 2 or 3 times week, I still have folks trundling into the bank for these troublesome antiquities.


"How much do you need?"


"Oh, $100 in 20's, please".


Good God, man! If you're too afraid to carry $100 in cash, maybe you should just go home, huddle in the closet under a blanket with a Louisville Slugger nearby, and wait for the muggers there.


Someone who's that paranoid shouldn't be outdoors anyway.


Sure, I'm just surly because completing the purchase involves a ghastly pile of paperwork on my end, but I still say it's time to grab the plastic & start enjoying all that 21st century America has to offer. Get with the times, people!



posted by Harvey at 10:06:38 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Today is Frank J's one-year blogiversary, so stop by, say "hi", give him some linky-love (or even some jingle for his tip jar) and enjoy the best damn Dirty Harry homage ever.


posted by Harvey at 9:55:57 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


The Department of Homeland Security has revealed this key piece of evidence linking bingo-playing grandmothers to a terrorist plot targeting the US Treasury.


posted by Harvey at 9:51:39 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Tuesday, July 08, 2003



I entered the New Zealand Bear's New Weblog Showcase contest, and one of the requirements for entry is to link to 3 of the other contestants. I’m chafing a bit at the thought of boosting the competition, but a deal is a deal. I'll try to say something nice, but no guarantees. Oh, and if you liked the Sea Story, make sure to link to it if you’d like to help me win. Now for the competition:


Finding the Still Point


Actually, a fairly decent piece. She gets you in a particular state of mind by describing a difficult yoga pose & goes on to relate how that feeling of balance relates to events in her life. It's well written prose that really gets the feeling across. I feel like I'm right there inside her tights with her.………um.……… yeah…… well, anyway, the only complaint I have is that she could've done a more complete job of summarizing specifically what Dorothea is doing for her so that the concept of "balance" would seem more concretely relevant. Dorothea’s post is pretty vague, and so the conclusion felt like it was lacking a little punch.


Noted With Relief


A standard blog entry technique, which I use myself, is to introduce a piece of someone else's writing, quote the piece, and then add a touch of one's own insight. Here, it's a case of "2 out of 3 ain't bad". He mentions a Robert Bartley piece in the WSJ, then quotes it, but fails to follow up with what he thinks it means in either his own life or relative to the world at large. The entry is incomplete, uninformative, and uninteresting as a result. He appears to do this a lot on his blog.


We're not going to beat Dean


This starts off well enough, some commentary on Howard Dean's much-vaunted ability to raise money via the internet, but it soon wanders off-point, devolving into a spreadsheet of Democratic fundraising numbers. This probably should've been broken up into 2 different posts, each being a little more focused & tightly written.



One more, “just because” I don't feel like being nice any more:


just because you can does not mean we will


There was a time, many years ago, when I wrote in all caps. I figured it was faster, and it saved me the embarrassment of failing to capitalize proper nouns. Fortunately, someone was kind enough to take me aside and inform me that it really would be better if I WOULD STOP YELLING WITH MY KEYBOARD ALL THE TIME and type like a normal human being.


This blogger has taken the opposite approach to qwertyian laziness, and screwdrivered off the shift & caps lock keys. Frankly, it's flat out a disservice to your readers to eschew proper grammar & punctuation. It makes the piece difficult to read with any degree of fluency, and it distracts from the message's content by focusing the readers attention on the message's form. Not that this particular Luddite screed against genetically modified food would be any more convincing even if it were written in a readable format. Overall, it’s just poor form, poor reasoning and a damn poor entry.




My piece, on the other hand, has vivid imagery, colorful descriptions, a link whose relevance is immediately apparent, and a witty visual punchline.


So, if you’re a member of the Bear’s Ecosystem, remember to link the Sea Story.


posted by Harvey at 11:30:41 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


CotV #42 is up at Winds of Change. A wonderful collection of the best things written by people desperate for attention. Including me. Personally, I consider the Carnival to be the perfect way to kill that dead time at work between when I finish my normal blog rounds and when I get so bored & desperate for something interesting to read, that I start typing random strings of letters into Google.

Ummmm.... not that I ever have time to surf at work, of course. I'm MUCH too busy serving my valued customers to even CONSIDER non-work-related internet activity while on company time.


posted by Harvey at 10:49:05 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Proof that Saddam is still alive, and harboring a touch of bitterness.


posted by Harvey at 10:36:13 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Monday, July 07, 2003


What's this? An alternate universe where Arnie teams up with George W. to overthrow the malignancy of California Governor Gray Davis? A place where the horror of "End of Days" doesn't exist?

That does it! Color me gone! I'm going to Frank's World!


posted by Harvey at 9:25:50 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Apparently this corner of Hell's 10th circle is what I have to look forward to. Can't wait.


posted by Harvey at 9:20:51 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


As restitution to my beloved wife for my intemperate comments about LTD here,

I offer this:


   She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
   Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
   Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
   Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
   And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.
   "Cash, check or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. "So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked. "No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me, so I figured this was the most legal evil thing I could do to him."
   I know I'm not going to understand women. I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root, and still be afraid of a spider.



Can I stop sleeping on the couch now?


posted by Harvey at 9:16:53 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Tipping like a drunken sailor, Kim du Toit leaves his mark at Visions.


posted by Harvey at 8:45:28 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Sunday, July 06, 2003


Kids, don't be like George. Just say "no" to drugs.


posted by Harvey at 6:06:51 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I grew up on Warner Bros. cartoons, and always wondered about the ACME company. They served a small, but important, niche market, mostly comprised of predatory cartoon animals looking to inflict damage on smaller, weaker (and usually craftier) cartoon animals. Not unlike the LTD catalog, which serves female office workers looking to inflict low-grade wood & ceramic "gifts" on their friends.

Now that the complete ACME catalog is on line, Michele offers some suggestions on what to order, as well as what to do with your treasures after the big green truck drops them at your doorstep.


posted by Harvey at 5:59:40 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Steve over at Little Tiny Lies does a good job of ripping the Nanny State a new one in regards to New York's smoking prohibition. My favorite line:

"Banning smoking at restaurants and bars is like banning yelling at football stadiums or orgasms at cheap motels."

The rest of it is pretty good, too, so go read.


posted by Harvey at 5:48:56 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Michele did a nice job of mocking Kraft's decision to change their packaging & advertising to encourage people not to snarf Oreos like a starving sow. Her point being that portion control is an individual responsibility (or perhaps the parents' in cases involving small children).


On the other hand, The Inscrutable American (via the Emperor) posted a very up-close and personal look at one particular drug-addled teen prositute, and conclued that the problem here is a lack of 28-day programs to help crackies kick the rock. Or, perhaps, not enough eviscerated drug dealers.


Personally, I lay the blame elsewhere. On her need to turn to prostitution for the fast money needed to cover her habit, I blame the illegality of the drug itself. Take away the black market aspect, and the drugs become affordable on a legitimate salary. No need to turn to another high-profit criminal endeavor to support the first one.


But mostly I blame the teen herself. Her situation, while tragic and heart-rending, is the direct result of numerous bad decisions she's made every day for years. Primarily the one she made to try the stuff in the first place, but also subsequent decisions to keep using it. The fact that she chose friends who encouraged her self-destructive habits didn't help, either.


She's now bound in chains that she herself forged one decision at a time, and it will take much larger and tougher decisions to break those chains, if they are to be broken at all. I sincerely hope she finds the courage to do that.


But in the end, I just can't look at this situation & say "poor baby, what have they done to you?" I can only say, "what have you done to yourself?"


posted by Harvey at 5:44:47 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Saturday, July 05, 2003


Ryan apparently also has excellent penmanship.


posted by Harvey at 9:49:25 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Friday, July 04, 2003


You tell 'em, Andy


posted by Harvey at 10:54:26 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Thursday, July 03, 2003



For years, I thought to myself, "I ought to get into shape", but I never got around to it, because whenever I'd read up on the topic, I felt overwhelmed & turned off. The advice always seemed overregulated; crammed with instructions & details & numbers. But I didn't want to spend my time reading manuals & memorizing instructions, I wanted to DO something.


Finally, I just said "screw it," climbed abord the dust-covered exercise machine in the basement & moved in whatever way seemed to strain the muscles that felt the flabbiest. I develped a routine that made me feel used, tired, & spaghetti-limbed and now I'm content.


The good thing here is that now I'm doing *something*, which beats the hell out of the nothing I was doing before. I've got the habit, and perfectability is still a future option. I'm in a far better place than I was before.


I suppose part of it is stubbornness, a need for control. The desire to not have someone else tell me how to live my life, even if it's for my own good. A need for independence and self-determination. It's that teen-age rebellious streak that never seems to go away. An urge to spit & say "bite me". Part of the American spirit, I guess.


Over at American Realpolitik, there's a piece that describes how that urge to "write the script of your own life" really is what separates America from every other country on earth. It's an inspiring read, just in time for Independence Day. Go forth & enjoy.


posted by Harvey at 11:30:53 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



When I was 26, I bought a car on my own for the first time. That seems kind of late in life for that event, but it had something to do with spending 6 of 8 prior years in the Navy and using the USS Enterprise as my preferred form of transportation. After a few cursory external glances & a short test drive, which should have red-flagged the mechanical monstrosity, but which I blithely shrugged off as "probably just needs a tune-up", I plunked down $700. Many hundreds of dollars in repairs later, I finally finally traded in my money-pit for $40 and that salutory, albatross-free feeling.


In retrospect, I'm glad it happened. All that cash bought invaluable wisdom, and, although I still buy cheap used cars, I haven't been rooked like that since.


Via Mean Mr. Mustard, I've discovered that Michele, in her infinite cruelty, wants to deprive others of learning the similarly valuable lessons which can be so easily garnered by losing a few small body parts in fireworks mishaps. Although I cannot condone such gross thoughtlessness, I can at least console myself with the notion that anyone who can't understand the simple equation of "explosion + proximity = ouch!" will be too damned stupid to heed her cute little signs anyway.



posted by Harvey at 11:27:51 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME



Scrappleface, with his usual stlye & wit, mocks Wal-Mart's new anti-gay-discrimination policy by proposing that the negatively fragrance-enhanced could be the next protected class. Nice bit.


Speaking of which, the hygenically challenged seem to be disproportionately drawn to my teller window. I work in Wisconsin, and it's farm country here, but jumpin' manure buckets, Farmer Brown, could you at LEAST wash the damn pig dumpings off your hands before you come in to do your banking? I realize you're acclimated to the odor, and you probably don't understand why everyone in the lobby is coughing & turning green, but my smile might look a little more sincere if there was just a little less of Babe's colonic fingerpaint on your shoes, pants, shirt, hands and deposit slip.


And what are YOU laughing at Mr. Is-my-SSI-direct-deposit-in-yet? You're "disabled", you "can't work", you "need" that $1500 a month of government bum-grease to live on. Tell you what. While you're busy pissing that money away on the beer & smokes that cling to you in a month-thick stink cloud, and between watching HBO for 12 hours a day, running up your $100 cable bill, maybe you could squeeze in a little time to buy some soap and a copy of "Personal Hygiene for Dummies".


This year, I don't want a raise, I want nose plugs.

posted by Harvey at 11:24:24 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


Might have worked better on a $100.

posted by Harvey at 11:21:14 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Wednesday, July 02, 2003



From the Fort Atkinson, WI police log, June 28 2003:



"11:41am: A woman reported that there were a number of "globe balls" located at the intersection of Robert St. and Riverside Dr. by the Fireflies sculpture.


An officer responded and located approximately 12 "globe balls" with the addresses where each had been taken from. All were returned to their owners."



No word on what happened to France's balls yet, but I understand they're still looking. Maybe they're under a rose bush somewhere...
posted by Harvey at 11:17:46 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I assume that this bill's previous owner also had a dresser drawer labeled "drug storage area" containing a box of needles labeled "for injecting heroin".
posted by Harvey at 11:12:48 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME


I don't collect currency (nothing GOOD anyway), but I often find nice bills at work, and I sell them to people who do collect, so I am in touch, to a degree, with the currency collecting community. The following was posted by Fred Murphy on the newsgroup rec.collecting.paper-money. The topic at hand was some poor collector who got his inventory stolen at a recent paper money collector's convention, but I think the points Fred makes are well-put, and apply broadly to anyone who owns valuable portable property:


Security rule #1:  No matter what the value of your inventory, whether in
the shop or on the road, it's 100% profit for the person who shoplifts,
burglarizes, or steals it from your car on the way home from the show.

Security rule #2:  The cost to you to maintain the value of your inventory
and protect it from any of the above is constant vigilance and the wage you
pay to have someone keep that vigilance.  The cost to steal it is the time
the thief has to wait until you stop watching.  See security rule #1.

Security rule #3:  Rules one and two are not likely to change until the
legal owners of the inventory are allowed to shoot to kill any time someone
tries to steal that inventory.  This may be a bit harsh for shoplifting, but
it gets the criminals' attention, and is 100% effective in combating

It also changes the profit picture for the thief.  Instead of being a 100%
profit for time invested, it becomes a much fairer exchange of life for
product, just like everyone else has to give up their life to earn a living
to pay for what they want.



posted by Harvey at 5:36:33 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

  Tuesday, July 01, 2003





Way back in my Navy days, after spending 40 long, judge-sober days at sea, we finally pulled into the Philippines for 4 relaxing days in the single man's paradise of Olongapo City. Olongapo is situated right outside the Navy base there (which, sadly, closed in the early 90's), and specialized in the type of entertainment that sea-weary sailors tend to enjoy - loud rock & roll, pretty girls, and alcohol by the tanker truck.


My first night off base found my buddies & I bouncing from one bar to the next along Magsaysay drive, piling up empty bottles of San Miguel beer, screaming "WOOOOOOOOO!" at the bands until our throats were tattered ("another San Magoo will fix that. WAITRESS! Another round!"), and making the kind of broken-English conversation with the local working girls that most people only hear somewhere in the second half of "Full Metal Jacket"


Along about 2am, I staggered semi-consciously back to the ship, pausing now & again to yark up a gallon of beer, my last seven meals, and bits of my spleen & pancreas. Somehow I made it back to my berthing area to bed-spin my way into a dreamless semi-coma.


Four hours later, when reveille sounded, I pried my sleep-sticky eyes open, remembered where I was and most of how I got there, and realized that I felt more or less exactly like this:








posted by Harvey at 11:05:03 PM  permalink    Crappy Broken Radio Comments (do not use) [] trackback []  HOME

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