Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Heckler – the documentary


I watched the movie Heckler over the weekend and it has stuck with me.

Jamie Kennedy, stand-up comic and actor, interviews fellow performers, critics, and hecklers about the ugly act of heckling.

I don’t drink and I don’t want attention directed toward me in public so I can’t imagine yelling “you suck” at a comedy show. It’s just rude.

But there’s the other side of heckling which I found thought provoking.

Blogs and bloggers.

The magic of a blog is that anyone can be a critic.

The evil of a blog is that anyone can be a critic.

This includes me.

It’s easy to forget that people, including celebrities, have feelings.

Have I ever wronged someone purposely on this blog? Maybe.

Looking back I did refer to Vincent Gallo’s movie The Brown Bunny as the "worst movie ever made" and a "corn-studded turd of a movie." I stand behind that assessment. I explained it and I didn’t say anything about Gallo’s worth as a human being so that’s nice.

But it’s easy to get into the habit of crapping all over someone you don’t know.

So new rule: I’m going to reserve the right to criticize but will attempt to be constructive or at least not abusive.

For instance - Senator Ted Stevens. Uncle Ted. He’s done many good things for this state. He’s probably a nice man. He is, however, a convicted felon and should resign from office if he has the fortune of being re-elected next week.

Then Sarah “Skinny G” Palin can appoint herself as the replacement Senator and continue on her national political career. It’d be a win-win.

Friday, October 24, 2008

“B” is for Big Fat Liar

bslady** update 12:30hrs ** she's a confirmed liar. But she's also mentally ill so I'm taking her name out of the story.

McCain Supporter Robbed With Knife At Bloomfield ATM

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh police are still questioning a 20-year-old woman who said she was robbed and assaulted at an ATM in Bloomfield because of her political views.

(name redacted) , of College Station, Texas, said she was using an ATM at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached her and put a knife to her throat.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the robber took $60 from (name redacted) , then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using a dull knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.

"She further stated that the male actor approached her from the back again and hit her in the back of her head with an object, she doesn't know what the object was, causing her to fall to the ground where he continued to punch her and kick her and threaten to 'teach her a lesson' for being a McCain supporter," Richard said.

Richard said the woman refused medical treatment after the assault, which happened outside the view of the bank's surveillance cameras. More Here


For those playing the home game, here are some clues:

1) she’s robbed at knife point at an ATM then the guy noticed the bumper sticker on her car and got medieval on her face. Hmmm, why would someone risk a successful armed robbery to go back for seconds?

2) the “B” scratch is superficial. The sort of superficial that would leave a mark but no permanent scar or damage.

3) the “B” is backwards as if done in a mirror

It would be more disturbing if I was wrong but I’m betting my bottom dollar that this woman made up the story.

Reeks of a finger found in Wendi’s chili.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voters: Alaska Needs Sarah Back!

Sarah “Skinny G” Palin has created quite the media storm with her background, level of experience, and governing style. I know I just posted that there was nothing left to say about her but whether you like her or not, I want to make this simple plea:

DO NOT VOTE HER INTO FEDERAL OFFICE

The reason is simple.

She is the best Alaska has to offer and we cannot afford to let her go.

Her track record speaks for itself:

  1. She’s a maverick who took on her own party and won the governorship based on her high level of ethics. While in office she has broken no ethics laws (rules violations, schmules violations, no laws were broken). See: Investigator: Palin abused power, Anchorage Daily News

  1. She’s a master of foreign relations: Alaska has remained free from Russian attack for her entire administration, ostensibly because Vladimir Putin is afraid of rearing his head toward her.

  1. Her husband is an influential member of an Alaskan Native tribe so this keeps her in the know on the special issues of Alaskan natives because (according to http://www.johnmccain.com/about/governorpalin.htm ) “Through Todd’s Yup'ik grandmother, Alaska’s Native heritage plays an important role in their family.” If she becomes vice president then there will be no Alaskan Native voice in the Governor’s mansion. See: Natives Claim Palin neglects issues, Anchorage Daily News

  1. Also from johnmccain.com, “As the mother of a special-needs child, Governor Palin has pledged to all those families with special-needs children to be their advocate in the White House.” She already has a proven record of championing the cause of special-needs children in Alaska (if by championing you mean she has cut budgets of state agencies which help special-needs kids. Can’t very well coddle them, right?)

  1. As Governor, her entire family has dedicated their time to conducting state business. This work by her husband and children was all done for free (except travel expenses which the state paid for) see: Palin office defends charging state for children's travel, Anchorage Daily News

She’s young, she has vast executive experience (just ask her, she’ll tell you), she just started that 40 Billion Dollar pipeline project thing. It’s clear that we still need her.

Please don’t take her away from us!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blabbity Blabbity Blog

I haven’t kept up with blog posts lately. Partly it’s because everything I would windge about is sort of off limits.

I can’t post about most work stuff because it’s way too easy to figure out who I am with just my first name and my job title. Plus I’d never have anything bad to say about work because that would be wrong.

I can’t post about Sarah “Skinny G” Palin because I don’t really have anything to add to the conversation. It’s all been said. Good, bad, true, false. Criticizing her further would be like kicking a puppy. Oh yeah, and I’ll never vote for her again. I’ve been disillusioned. At this point I feel sorry for her kids.

I’m going to Atlanta in November for the National Crisis Intervention Team Conference. It should be fun but it sucks that I can’t get any more time off so Kelli and I could make a vacation out of it. I like going to new places but I’m not exactly thrilled by the idea of flying for an entire day each way. Life in Alaska I guess.

Could be worse. I could live in Wasilla.

I’m not hopeful about the economy.

On one hand I’m something of a Socialist. I love the idea of nationalized healthcare and free education and food/shelter/jobs for the hungry/homeless/unemployed. In the UK they get taxed up the wazoo but they have excellent health care. Best I can tell they have decent roads and schools too. There are advantages.

On the other hand I’m cool with capitalism. Big governments have big bureaucracy and therefore big problems. Individual entrepreneurs are the backbone of our country. By the same token the banks and mortgage companies and large corporations involved in the whole mortgage-backed securities and commercial dept obligation nightmare can choke on their own vomit.

This bailout plan, while keeping us afloat (which is a good idea,) rewards these same banks and big corporations who screwed everything up. It’s socialism for rich folks and free market capitalism for poor folks. That doesn’t seem fair.

I’m not hopeful about the situation in the Iraq or the Afghanistan or the Pakistan or the Russia or the Georgia or the Ukraine.

How can we get all up in Russia’s grill for invading Georgia, a sovereign nation, when the USA invaded Iraq, also a sovereign nation?

Who would have thought that 20 years after the end of the cold war we’d be the biggest debtor state and have a bad reputation in a lot of the world and Russia would be rich and cocky?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Madness, Mayhem, and a Side of Slaw - The Verdict


The robber I posted about February 29, 2008 has been convicted and sentenced to a YEAR in jail for the spork attack.

Spork assault nets man prison

Anchorage Daily News

A man who stabbed another man with a spork, a combination fork and spoon, earlier this year in what police said was an attempted robbery was sentenced Thursday to a year in prison for felony assault. (read the rest of the story HERE)


Heres' the original tale and my take on it:

Robber wields spork, police say

A man accused of attempting an armed robbery with what appears to have been a spork was arrested Monday night, when police say they placed him at the scene of the crime through the use of KFC bags, according to Anchorage police.

Police responding to the intersection of 11th Avenue and Turpin Street at about 10:30 p.m. were told the robber tried to grab at the victim's watch, managing to unlatch it but not get it off his wrist, police Lt. Paul Honeman said. The suspect fled without stealing anything, he said.

Police located an intoxicated Peter Albert, 52, a few blocks away with a small pocketknife as well as a backpack containing a KFC bag and some sporks -- plastic spoon/fork hybrids, he said.

Police found other KFC products discarded at the scene of the robbery, Honeman said.

Though the victim reported the robber was swinging a pocketknife, the weapon may have in fact been a spork based on the four parallel scratches officers found on the victim's side, Honeman said. Police have not ruled out a knife was used, however.

Albert was being held at the Anchorage jail in lieu of $5,000 bail on a charge of first-degree robbery.

I'm not suggesting it would be fun to be shanked with a spork but if you examine the contents of any random bag of KFC I wonder how far down the list the spork would be in terms of things which are deadly.

1. chicken injected with enough fat and chemicals that, while tasty, it will make your poop turn green.

2. mashed potatoes, corn, baked beans in sauce - carbs carbs carbs

In fact, that stick they use for the corn on the cob is probably more deadly than the spork.

Yet its just this kind of resourcefulness which gives me hope for the survival of society. If this suspect had used his ingenuity for the forces of good we'd already have solved this global warming problem and I'd be spending my time sharpening sporks to fend off all the polar bears.

Or not.


photo: http://blogs.townonline.com/somerville/?p=11241

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Herb Shaindlin 1930 - 2008

Tonight we mourn the loss of Herb Shaindlin, an icon of Alaskan radio and among the very best journalists in our state's history. He will be greatly missed.

His children have set up a MySpace site at www.myspace.com/herbshaindlin
In their words:
"We wanted to give the public who loved our father so much
a place to share and send their wishes.

Thank you to everyone who listened to and watched Dad
all the years he was doing what he loved so much.

He loved journalism in its purest form.

He loved being the center of attention.

Most of all he loved making people think."





I'm going to take this opportunity to re-run a story which many readers originally thought was a eulogy. Although it was not intended as such, it serves that purpose today.

originally posted October 2, 2005:


Herb Shaindlin’s talk radio program "The Public Opinion Hotline," which aired on AM 750 KFQD for most of my life and certainly all of my formative years, educated me in more ways than I have time to list on this post so I’ll give you just a few examples:

One is that Herb’s program introduced me to the works of Stephen King, Tom Lehrer, Spike Jones, Robert Service, and many other artists. One taste of each of these artists led to exploring most of their works and works of similar artists. In this way he set my compass on the course I have taken ever since.

The second is that he told stories of his life. Many of these stories rattle around in my head to this day.

Last night I saw a helicopter fly past my house at relatively low altitude, creating a certain amount of noise in its wake. From its direction of travel (and the few helicopters that would have any reason to fly over my house) I could identify it as the LifeGuard Air Ambulance.





As I watched it pass I had to smile as I was reminded of one of Herb’s stories. If memory serves, the story goes like this:

When Herb was growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he would constantly hear the wailing of all types of sirens: police sirens, ambulance sirens, fire engine sirens. He once asked his mother if the sirens bothered her or worried her because every siren meant that there had been a crime or an accident where someone was probably hurt.

Her response was a surprising “No.” She explained, “Every time I hear a siren I don’t get mad because it is interrupting my peace and quiet; rather I am happy because I know that someone is racing as fast as they can to help someone else. Sirens are a happy sound.”

Ever since hearing this story (at least 20 years ago) I have smiled a little when I hear a siren. And now I smile at helicopter noise too.

Thanks Herb, you are the very best.