Dependable Erection

Thursday, December 31, 2009

What gets my goat

You know what really pisses me off?

Fucking activist judges who bend the law to find loopholes to avoid prosecuting murderers.

That really pisses me off?

What's that? Oh, sorry.


Continue reading What gets my goat

Remember Y2K?



Continue reading Remember Y2K?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Or Timothy

Radio host Mike Gallagher recently said, “There should be a separate line to scrutinize anybody with the name Abdul or Ahmed or Mohammed,” and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) raised the idea of profiling people based on their religions.

Baptists, even.


Continue reading Or Timothy

Monday, December 28, 2009


It's the last week of the year, and your inbox, like mine, is probably filling up with appeals for donations. Here's an easy way to contribute, if you're so inclined.

The Network for Good is a one-stop shop for donating to pretty much any non-profit you can name. They provide links to financial statements so you can be sure your donation is being used for its intended purpose, and you can search by charity, by cause, and be region. So what are you waiting for? Send some love to the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, who are going to be very busy in the new year when Durham county's new no-tether ordinance finally takes effect; AnimalKind, who offer low cost/no cost spay neuter options for low income families in the Triangle; or your preferred charity.

Continue reading Char-i-dee

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vic Chesnutt

Rest in peace.

Continue reading Vic Chesnutt

Friday, December 25, 2009

Two words

I've got two words for all the congress critters who think that our current health care system is everything we'd ever need, or for the ones who think that the new system envisaged by the by the bill that's going to go to President Obama sometime in the next month takes care of all the fixes necessary.

Vic Chesnutt.

Merry fucking Christmas, Joe Lieberman.


Continue reading Two words

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mama in her kerchief

And i in my cap had just settled our brains for a 24 hour Christmas Story marathon on TBS.

Let's hope no one shoots an eye out.

And as long as we're hoping, i'm hopingthe news about Vic Chesnutt gets better. He's simply too inspirational to lose this way.


Continue reading Mama in her kerchief

Must be Christmas Eve


Continue reading Must be Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arnold Stang 1918 - 2009


Continue reading Arnold Stang 1918 - 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fry"

File under life imitates art:
The DJs used a crane to drop a turkey carcass through the open roof of a plumbing van that had a vat of burning oil inside. An inflatable snowman stood near the van's open side doors. Clear Channel broadcast the whole thing live from its studio parking lot at 4202 Gandy Blvd.

For the first few minutes, the broadcast focused on a large silver pot smoking on a burner inside the open van. Then the smoke turned to flames that shot through the van's roof.

When the turkey finally reached the pot, flames engulfed the van. Radio employees ran around the van, first laughing, then trying to put it out with handheld fire extinguishers.

h/t to my friends at WUSB-FM


Continue reading "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fry"

The most ironic sentence in the history of language

Saudi political analyst Tawfiq al-Saif says religious authorities truly believe they are helping society by discouraging faith in the supernatural.

Head explodes.


Continue reading The most ironic sentence in the history of language


I can feel the days getting longer already.

Continue reading Solstice

Just askin'

Wonder if Kay Hagan is thinking she could have gotten a better deal for North Carolina a la Ben Nelson if she had played hardball with her vote for health care reform?

And speaking of Ben Nelson, now that he's under attack by the right-wing noise machine, is he going to be asking for liberal groups to support his re-election campaign? Because that would be teh funny.

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Continue reading Just askin'

Friday, December 18, 2009

I hear it's snowing


Continue reading I hear it's snowing

Cinco de Knox

Our friends at 307 Knox Records are celebrating their 5th anniversary with a party at the Pinhook on Saturday night and you're invited.

So go. 8 pm till whenever, and it's free.


Continue reading Cinco de Knox

Magic door!

Opened my front door this morning, and there was a pound of bacon hanging on the door knob. Thank you bacon pixies.

Can't wait to try it again tomorrow.


Continue reading Magic door!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weather event!

City of Durham sez:
To further prepare for tomorrow’s forecast, City employees will begin today distributing a salt-brine solution on high-traffic bridges and overpasses throughout the city limits as well as in the downtown area. Salt-brine solution is a salt and water mix that is sprayed onto the roadway surfaces before snow and ice begins to fall, helping to prevent accumulation from bonding to the road surface.

“We are pre-treating certain high-traffic roads throughout the city,” said Michael Balzarano, superintendent of the Street Maintenance Division of the City’s Department of Public Works. “We hope that the combination of the salt-brine solution and salt-and-sand trucks we have ready to roll will keep our roadways passable.”

The City’s plan of action for clearing or reducing hazards on city streets is prioritized in the following order:

· Bridges and overpasses throughout the city.

· Major arterial streets within the city.

· Streets to essential health facilities, police and fire stations and critical community facilities.

· Routes to two City fuel sites.

· Streets within the central business district.

· Clear access to Durham Public Schools.

· All residential areas with priority initially to passage of emergency vehicles and then to all traffic.

Also, stop at the grocery store to pick up the last of the bread and milk.


Continue reading Weather event!

Bread and milk

I'll be at the grocery store this afternoon. Can i pick you up anything?


Continue reading Bread and milk

Credit where credit is due

A lot of bloggers have been really harsh on Democrats lately. Yeah, it's been deserved, as the wimpiness over health care has been especially painful to watch.

But it's not all gloom and doom. Found this nugget in a story about how wage theft, that is, employers not paying their employees what they're owed, has been on the rise since 2000:
Despite reports from the ground that wage theft is on the rise, the U.S. Department of Labor reported a 25 percent drop in registered complaints from low-wage workers from the start of the Bush administration through 2008, the most recent data available.

A recent Congressional report slammed the Labor Department for frequently failing to investigate or even register some complaints; a bill in the House would extend the federal statute of limitations on some violations to give the department more time to investigate them.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has added about 250 wage and hour inspectors, and last week, the department signed an agreement with the New York labor department, Mexican Consulate and several other groups to create a call center that will provide Hispanic workers in the New York area information about their labor rights.

There's a reason why we kicked those bums out of power. Let's hope Harry Reid can remember that. Barack Obama too.

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Continue reading Credit where credit is due

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The return of the prodigal recycling cart

So last week, on trash and recycling pickup day, my blue, 90 gallon, roll-out recycling cart vanished sometime between 9:30 pm and 9:00am, when i went to retrieve it after our recycling was picked up.

I duly reported this to the city problem solving branch. Today, on trash pickup (but not recycling pickup - we only do that every other week now) a recycling cart was waiting in my front yard when i arrived home from work.

Not just any brand new recycling cart either. This one has definitely been around the block a time or two. There's about a half pint of viscous fluid on the bottom, and a distinct aroma of rancid tuna oil all around this thing. I'm sure it's had some adventures around Durham for the past week.

Oh, if it could only talk.

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Continue reading The return of the prodigal recycling cart


No Republicans are going to vote for a health care reform bill. No Republicans in the Senate are going to vote to bring a bill to the floor for a vote. Democrats are going to own health care going into 2010.

Everybody knows this.

You'd think, then, that the Democratic leadership would realize that compromise, especially with the likes of Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln, is going to be seen by most Americans as a sign of weakness, not strength. After all, if you can't stand up for what you believe in to Joe Lieberman, how are you going to stand up for America against Kim Jong Il?


Continue reading Context/subtext

Monday, December 14, 2009

Group W bench

The wheels of justice, i've been told, move slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. My neighbor today entered a guilty plea to one count of violating the city of Durham noise abatement ordinance in allowing his dogs to bark continuously over a 72 hour period in late September. He was fined $50 plus court costs. No word on whether he'll need to sit on the Group W bench from now on.

But this case marks, to my knowledge, the first conviction in Durham for this violation. I'm also hearing a rumor that Durham PD is getting a bit tired of responding to all of these types of complaints, and will be issuing more citations and fewer warnings for these violations. So if you're one of those folks who live next to or near someone who doesn't care about their barking dog, call 560-4600, the city of Durham non-emergency dispatch number, the next time you have a problem.

And if you're one of those folks whose dog is outside barking for a couple of hours at a time, do the rest of us a favor and bring him inside once in a while. You'll be happy, we'll be happy, and your dog will be happy. And he can protect your house better from inside than from that pole he's tied up to.

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Continue reading Group W bench

Friday, December 11, 2009

If God doesn't want him on the City Council, I'm sure He could do something about it Himself

That has riled conservative activists, who cite a little-noticed quirk in North Carolina's Constitution that disqualifies officeholders "who shall deny the being of Almighty God." The provision was included when the document was drafted in 1868 and wasn't revised when North Carolina amended its constitution in 1971. One foe, H.K. Edgerton, is threatening to file a lawsuit in state court against the city to challenge Bothwell's appointment.

"My father was a Baptist minister. I'm a Christian man. I have problems with people who don't believe in God," said Edgerton, a former local NAACP president and founder of Southern Heritage 411, an organization that promotes the interests of black southerners.

Somehow, i don't see this action as promoting the interests of black southerners, but what do i know?


Continue reading If God doesn't want him on the City Council, I'm sure He could do something about it Himself

This is what democracy looks like?

Come next November, when it's time to elect some new school board members, and i go down to my polling place, and someone hands me a little yellow card with the Durham Committee's endorsements, i'll be sure to remember that all of 18 people voted to elect the Committee's current chair.


Continue reading This is what democracy looks like?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Your next Flomax® ad

Jens Lehmann has been told he was lucky to escape punishment after appearing to urinate behind his goal during Wednesday's 3–1 Champions League win over Unirea Urziceni. The Stuttgart goalkeeper jumped over the advertising hoardings and looked as if he was relieving himself before being interrupted by a Romanian counter-attack.

The Guardian goes on to note:
Lehmann, meanwhile, has announced he is retiring at the end of the season but – as could be expected – he is refusing to go quietly

Let's hope not.


Continue reading Your next Flomax® ad

Recycling carts

At least 3 people in my neighborhood, myself included, found our entire recycling carts had gone missing yesterday after pickup. There's 3 possibilities that occur to me, although maybe you can think of something i'm missing.

1 - Someone is going around before the recycling is picked up and taking the full carts. As the price for recyclables is at a rock bottom, and most of what i've got in my bin is packaging materials anyway, i've got to assume they'd be looking for financial information, account numbers, etc.

2 - Someone is going around after the recycling is picked up and taking the empty carts. I can't think of a single reason why this would be fun, but i'm pretty naive about some things.

3 - There's a defective recycling truck out there that's occasionally dumping the entire cart along with its contents into the back of the truck. Nobody at Solid Waste has noticed this yet.

This being Durham, which do you think is the most likely?

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Man, did i pick the wrong time to get sick. Was that really thunder i heard at 6 am? Y'all know what that means, right?


Continue reading Thunder?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Today at the thrift store

Changed the oil today, so, drove past the DRM thrift store on 55. Picked up The Headliners '63, a Columbia Records sampler. Got that one 'cause it has a Julie London track (Must Be Catchin') and a Brubeck track (Cultural Exchange) and a Ventures' track (Ups 'n' Downs). The Marty Robbins and Quincy Jones cuts were just bonuses. Also Billy J. Kramer's 1964 LP "Little Children" with 3 Lennon-McCartney tunes (Do You Want To Know A Secret, Bad To Me, and I'll Keep You Satisfied, the latter two never released officially by the Beatles); They All Dance The Polka by Stan Wolowic and The Polka Chips, Capitol rainbow label with original advertising inner sleeve (i never knew George Chakiris made two LPs!); and In Harmony 2, which says is a Sesame Street release, but nothing on the jacket or sleeve says Sesame Street. This one has a Dr. John cover of Splish-Splash, James Taylor and Janis Ian originals, and the one track that i bought it for, Bruce's live version of Santa Claus is Coming To Town.

Paid a buck.

For the whole lot. I could have downloaded the Bruce track from iTunes for a buck, and not gotten anything else. But why?


Continue reading Today at the thrift store

World Cup draw

It's the US with England, Algeria, and Slovenia in Group C. Will a win and two draws be enough to make it into the knockout stage?

Group of Death this time around is Group G with Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast along with North Korea. Also interesting are the four colony/colonizer matchups: in addition to the US and England in the group stages,and the Brazil/Portugal meeting, Spain gets both Honduras and Chile in their group. France, in a group with South Africa, Uruguay and Mexico, should have an easy time of advancing, damnit.


Continue reading World Cup draw

Asheville justice?

A while back i noted a story up in Asheville where some motorist took a shot at a guy on bicycle and put a bullet through his helmet.

Here's some more on the judge who handed out a 4 month sentence in that case:
During Peterson's Nov. 19 trial, seven people testified to Superior Court Judge James Downs about the defendant's redemption. In addition to family members, they included his therapist; GO co-founder Dan Leroy; a juvenile whom Peterson had helped; and Detective Louis Tomasetti of the Asheville Police Department's Gang Suppression Unit.

But apparently, Judge Downs wasn't moved. Although he did rule that Peterson's "local support network" and acceptance of responsibility for his crime were mitigating factors, he still sent the young man to prison for 44 months.

. . .

By coincidence, just after sentencing Peterson, Judge Downs heard the case of Charles Alexander Diez, the former Asheville firefighter who fired on cyclist Alan Simons in July. At the time, Simons was walking away from a confrontation started by Diez, who narrowly missed shooting the cyclist in the head. In court, Diez claimed it was a "warning shot."

After hearing testimony about Diez's good character from former colleagues, Downs suspended most of the defendant's 15- to 27-month sentence. He will spend four months in prison.

Really, go read the whole thing. A commenter at the Mountain Express has helpfully posted Judge Downs contact information, if you'd like to let him know just how bad his decisions make him look.

h/t to PC, via Facebook


Continue reading Asheville justice?

Thursday, December 03, 2009


For those of you keeping track, today marks the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, in which a poisonous gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killed some 4,000 people directly, with some estimates saying that as many as 25,000 deaths were ultimately attributable to the leak, with perhaps 200,000 people affected in the form of long-term chronic injury, birth defects, etc.

Google Bhopal, Union Carbide, or methyl isocyanate if you're too young to remember, or click here.

Here's a small way to contribute.


Continue reading Bhopal

Rest in peace, my friend

Ed Hodges, 1919 - 2009


Continue reading Rest in peace, my friend

Dear Chris Dodd

You wrote to me just now:
There's a long debate ahead of us, and the continuing support that you have shown our reform efforts are helping us face the relentless attacks from the Republicans. Thank you so much.

So, y'all have finally kicked Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus?

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Continue reading Dear Chris Dodd

Sometimes I wonder

. . . what our world would be like if the monotheists had never become more than a minor Persian cult.


Continue reading Sometimes I wonder

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well, I taught that weeping willow how to cry . . .

I have a reason to be in Minnesota next spring, and thought that a river trip from Memphis to St. Paul or back might be a fun way to spend some time.

Every Mississippi River cruise line has gone out of business over the past 3 years.

If anybody has any inside information on private excursions, either up or down the river between those two ports, leave a note in the comments, OK?


Continue reading Well, I taught that weeping willow how to cry . . .