Thursday, November 30, 2006

Half a Pica Exclusive:

Scientists praise endangering of North American species

BERKELEY, Calif. – Scientists at the Berkeley University of California released their annual list of the planet's most endangered species. Topping that list was the North American White Male.

"Generally, a species being on the list is cause for great concern," said Dr. Jane Dough, UC Berkeley biology department. "We usually celebrate when a species, through the conservation efforts on the part of liberal-minded, eco-conscious, realists everywhere, make it off the list. However, this is probably the first time in the history of our list that the entire campus, heck, the entire city was ecstatic over a species being on the list."

Immediately after the list's release, conservation groups across the nation began to argue with the findings.

"Come on," said Greenpeace spokesperson I. M. Aschmuck. "I mean, look around you – the North American White Male is still everywhere. Hell, I'm a North American White Male. As much as Berkeley, and any right-thinking person would want the species to be endangered, I'm afraid it simply isn't so."

Defending their findings, Dough said that while the species may still appear to be quite prevalent, the NAWM is actually beginning to exhibit traits of other species. "The species is endangered not so much because of dwindling numbers, but because of their assimilation into other species. We've noticed the North American White Male is beginning to far more resemble the East European White Male; there is also a significant number who are beginning to exhibit traits of the North American African American Male."

"It's truly a wonderful thing," Dough continued. "We all know that the North American White Male is the most destructive species that ever lived."

But not everyone is happy.

"How can this be a good thing?" wondered John Smith, president, Average White Men. "Remember when the East European White Male was distinguishable from the female of the species? It wasn't that long ago, people!"

If the Berkeley findings are accurate, the NAWM may be facing extinction within the next four years.

"The political landscape does have a lot to do with it. Our school system has been stripping our boys of the evil, evil masculinity for many years now. A robust renewal of this system, under the proper political slant would speed along the process," Dough said. "And how can that be a bad thing?"

Smith, and his Average White Male organization have answered the findings with a conservation plan that involves zealous amounts of couch-sitting, football watching, deer hunting and truck driving. Baseball cap and T-shirt wearing are optional, but, according to Smith, can only help.

"This is the preservation of a species. We hope our plan helps reverse the trend, but if we see a continuation of the trend over the next couple of years, we'll have to take more drastic measures. Moonshine production and horrible firework injuries are ready to be implemented at any time."

UPDATE: The story continues to develop. Conservation groups have pointed to this story as evidence that the NAWM is alive and strong in Berkeley itself. However, Dough pointed out that this is a sub-sub-species of the NAWM called Crazy Berkely Ashamed of their Whiteness Male.

© Half a Pica Distance News Service

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh yeah (Heroes)...

I have been meaning to blog this for a while, and just now have gotten around to it. I swear I almost wet myself because of this news: Christopher Eccleston to join cast of "Heroes."

The Doctor Who from the first season of the revamped season. I mean ... that's cool beyond words. Like, cool in a scanner head explosion kind of way. It's almost too much cool for a head to contain.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More heroics

So ... last night's Heroes. Thoughts?

It was cool to see some Sylar backstory, but it wasn't much of anything I hadn't suspected. The whole "eat your brain for the power" thingy seemed pretty evident.

Nicky's dual personality history was good, and Hiro's lost in time episode was cool. Honestly, I found the Petrelli brothers' story most interesting. Lots of cool motivation there.

So ... thoughts?

Holy Jeebus! I'm busy!

Working with newspapers, it is very common for your submissions to be too short or too long. It's generally not a big problem. It's easy to add some fluff to pad something or to cut lengthy tales. Occasionally, you get extremes. Submissions that are so short, they are barely news briefs. They barely contain the who, the what, the where, when and why. And sometimes you get something terribly long. An essay. Something that the author must have been extremely proud of because he kept going on and on and on for no apparent reason.

And sometimes you get the extreme-extreme. Like when your service branch gets a new chief of staff/commandant and they send down a 14-page monster for you to run in your newspapers. Not negotiable. Must run. And, oh, yeah, you can’t really condense it either.

Holy crap! Today has sucked.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back to work

I hope everyone had a good weekend and are recovering well from your turkey comas.

We spent Thursday together and Friday we went to Macon. Saturday, I began Fall Cleaning. Yes, I know. It's supposed to be a Spring thing. But I got inspired and had the time. I spent the majority of the day getting rid of stuff in our outdoor storage shed. It took a good quite a while to get it clean and to separate the stuff I was going to keep from the stuff I was going to junk.

We also have a storage shed I have to go through. I pulled out all of our Christmas stuff Saturday and almost everything else in there, in my opinion, is junk. We haven't used it in a year and it can go.

I hate being a pack rat. I'm horrible about it. It's one of the things we want to work on over the next few weeks -- reducing our stuff. We want to make our footprint smaller. There's just so much junk we don't need. And it's hard to get rid of it. Not just the physical labor (although that can be intense) but also psychologically. As you try and get rid of stuff, you think, "Oh, wait, I can use this some day for this, or this, or this ..." and you wind up never getting rid of it. So, my new way of thinking is if I haven't used it, it's gone.

Any advice or sympathies?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Macon rocks

Shamelessly stolen from 'ospreydesign's' flickr accountI had never been to Macon before and that's where we went yesterday. There is a very neat Museum of Arts and Sciences we wanted to visit.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was great. Not a huge place, but very nicely put together. There is an art exhibit area, a planetarium, and a kid's learning section. Of course, we spent a huge amount of time in the kid's learning area. It was quite fun.

On the way, I saw a billboard for the Georgia Music Museum, and plan to hit that some time in the very near future.

Check out the Macon MAS website.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish the blessings of God upon everyone. I am thankful for each and every one of you and for this great world upon which we live.

I pray that we can see past our differences to the fact that we are all human.

Oh, and knowing that a tryptophan coma is coming doesn't make it any less powerful. I'm off to nap soon.

Take care guys.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

whistle - whistle - whistle ... wah - wah - wah ... It's a ghost town here

The day before a holiday, this place clears out around noon. An hour after noon and it's dead. There's hardly a green-suiter in sight (the Marines get off at noon) and many civilians took leave (or took advantage of military bosses not being around).

It's funny really.

The internets is flying with no one being on the network :)

Takin' it eeeeeasy ... takin' it eeeheeeheheasy

Nothing. Got nothing.

I mean, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but I got nothing. I don't even have any good Thanksgiving stories to tell. Most of my holiday memories from the past involve going to my grandparent's house in Louisiana and having a huge meal then going outside and getting cut up by riding the three-wheeler through the nearby woods.

There have been some good ones here and there. The military usually has food collections for the younger, lower-enlisted military folks. I've benefitted from it and, later, have donated to it. It's a great way to take care of your own.

So, thinking about it, I guess I'll talk about something really important to me -- food. I am not a big fan of turkey, or bird of any kind. I'll eat it, but it's not my favorite. Give me a ham.

Even though I've cooked plenty of holiday turkeys, I've never had one come out quite like I would have liked it. I've smoked 'em and baked 'em. Last year, we fried one. I think I'm simply not fond of the meat.

But cranberry sauce! Oh, I love Thanksgiving for the cranberry sauce. Ask me, I think craberry sauce is a underutilized food stuff. I could eat this jellied mash all the time. I don't know why we don't.

Green-bean casserole ... a staple of Thanksgiving around our house. I hated it as a kid (except for the Durky onions, of course!) but I learned to love it when I grew up.

Pecan pie ... how can you not have pecan pie? Pumpkin is all right, but pecan is where it's at.

So, what foods do you like to have?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Exploding tops ... not of the girls gone wild variety

So, we finally did the Mentos and Diet Coke thing. It was cool, but I wished I'd planned it a bit better. I had some problems getting the 4 Mentos in the Coke (the amount the Mythbusters said was the best) at the same time. If I'd rigged up some kind of cylinder ... oh well.

Exploding Coke is always fun.


Heroes. I can't say that I'm not happy that there's been some progression. But there certainly wasn't as much as I would have hoped. If they keep this up, they're going to frustrate their audience in the same way Lost has done theirs (which, I guess are about the same).

Going back to explain things in the past is cool though. I do look forward to that. I am wondering if stripper chick is possessed.

Informal poll: Did stripper chick paste her ex-husbands head?

And any comments are, as always, are welcome.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's getting drafty in here

OMFG. I agree with Charlie Rangel. I should probably have my head checked.

I don't agree with him on the why, but I certainly do believe that the U.S. should have a draft. In fact, I think it should be taken further than that. I think we should institute some kind of conscripted service for EVERY citizen of the country. I further agree that the kids would have the option of serving in the military or some other kind of government service.

Of course, I don't feel this way because I think the government would think more about comitting to a war. I feel this way because I think everyone would care a good bit more about their country if they have to serve it.

I think that if you hit a certain age range you should have two options: Serve or move.

Check it out y'all

I almost forgot, make sure to head over to Faster Than The World today to catch my most recent All About the Guitar article.

Plenty of great things going on over there.

A great weekend

I hope you all had a good weekend.

In the Cullen household, it was hectic, busy and the culmination of a lot of preparation. My oldest girl appeared in her first community theater show -- a production of "Annie Jr." She played "Tessie," the orphan who says the "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness" lines. I was under the impression that she only delivered the line once, but Tessie has about four or five lines throughout the show. It was pretty doggone cool.

I must give props to the Albany Junior Theater group. They put together a great show and a good cast -- especially Miss Hannigan. A senior at a local high school played the evil oprphanage mistress and she was phenomenal.

Performances were in the theater of a local community college. I was also very impressed with the theater. I really didn't think the school had such great facilities. Wish they'd have more productions there. It would also be a great place for a jazz show.

What was really nice is that my parents came in from Louisiana to see the show. My kids were really psyched about that. This was the culmination of six weeks worth of long weeknights for my 7-year-old. I am very proud of her.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Would be a great trend ...

Macon, GA's Fox 24 has decided to drop the OJ Interview from their network.

It makes me sick to my stomach that there are people that still pander to this sick man.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The horizon

Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. Other times, you get to mow those bitches down and see the good times ahead on the horizon.

Waiting on pins and needles seems to be a theme for some of us blog-folk lately.

I guess, when we're hoping for something good, all we can do is hope and pray and not lose sight of what's going on in front of us right now.

Perhaps I'd better not be too hasty in knocking down those trees.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A tsunami

Wow. I really hope the wave peters out, but that is really scary and particularly topical to my life right now (I'll let y'all know sometime in the future).

I wish the people of Japan (and anyone else who might be in the path) the best. Please obey all safety messages!

UPDATE: Well, that was thankfully a minor event.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shave the Cheerleader

So ... Heroes.

I am happy that they went a lot further toward answering questions than Lost would have, but it still wasn't very fulfilling. And having memory chick get knocked off was kind of depressing.

My wife and I remarked that in Lost, it would have taken the Indian dude five episodes to open that damn drawer. ;)

It seems to me that the only person who can stop Silar would be the guy who can stop time, you know? Or, maybe, the power-copy guy.

Your thoughts?

Open discussion. Go.

I'm not sure this is going to make sense...

... But please bear with me, I need some advice.

When you're attempting to reach a goal, you set up steps to accomplish along the way. Each step in the process brings you closer to that goal.

So, let's say you have a seven-step process and you're currently at, say, step three. Suddenly, an opportunity to skip to step five falls in your lap. But, not accomplishing steps three and four may come back to haunt you later. But, you can still accomplish steps three and four while at step five, it will just delay things a bit in the short term.

Would you skip ahead?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Don't forget ...

To visit Faster Than The World today. My weekly Because I'm All About the Guitar is up and, as always, there is plenty of other great stuff to check out.

Let me tell ya ...

Even long weekends go by like they're nothing when you all of your time is occupied doing things you don't really want to be doing.

Let me explain.

My oldest is in a local production of Annie Jr. The play opens this coming weekend. The producer asked me if I could do the programs for the play. Not something I thought would be a big deal. However, I didn't take into consideration all the "shout outs" that would be in the program and all of the different fonts I'd be using. It took FOREVER to get this thing done.

On top of that, I had a large research paper to do.

Weekend went flying by.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dear Everyone Who Does This Wrong:

When referring to U.S. Forces, the term "soldier" is not generic. The term soldier refers specifically to someone serving in the Army.

Here's a primer for you:
U.S. Army = soldier
U.S. Air Force = airman
U.S. Navy = sailor or seaman (snicker)
U.S. Marine Corps = Marine

According to AP Style and all-but recent convention, the only one of these nouns that is proper is "Marine." However, it has become common among the services to capitalize Soldier, Airman and Sailor also.

Generic terms for all services include: service member, military member, troop (which is always refers to more than one person, and is specifically used to define a company-sized element in U.S. Army Cavalry units).

Please listen. Current and former military folks alike laugh at you when you make the mistake.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Two points of note

#1: Happy 231st Birthday, U.S. Marine Corps! Eat cake and be merry Devil Dogs.

#2: I have the day off work. Neener, neener, neener.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A good morning

My boy will be 16 months old this month. Ever since he's been old enough for us to put him in his own crib and go to sleep on his own, I've done the same thing every time I put him down. I giev the sign for "I love you" and tell him "I love you," then I give him the "rock on" sign \m/ and say "Rock on!"

He's been mumbling for a while. He says Moma and daddy and a few other words. He's been giving a mumble "I love you" for a while. This morning, for the first time, he raised his fist and said "Rock on!"

I am so happy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Magical healing powers

That's the bullshit we're all about to get spoon-fed. The things that have been going pretty well over the past several months, suddenly the MSM is going to start telling us about how, miraculously, the economy's healed, and such.

All hail the Dems magical healing powers!

Man, I wasn't going to post any more political shit for at least another year and a half. I mean, I was going ot wait for the next election stuff. But Rumsfeld, man. I can't ignore that. Too much, too soon. Too damn much.

Guess I need some of that magical healing kool-aid.

Time to buy a gun*

So, votes were cast and the chips have fallen. Not where I'd like to have seen them fall, but that's part of the democratic process. Sometimes your point of view is shared by the majority, sometimes not.

Oh well.

Dean's World commenter Scott Harris made a funny in a post at Dean's:

I suppose that's the difference between Republicans and Democrats. When Democrats lose, the whine, and promise to protest in the streets.

When Republicans see the country going to hell in a hand basket, they go buy a gun.

Oh well, the next two years should be interesting.

*As though we need a reason.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Help us, Kerry-wan, you're our only hope

Stickied through Nov. 7
Really. What did that dumb ass expect? That'd we'd just sit down and accept his explanation? 'Cause, you know, he's been so forthcoming and honest with us so far. And he's really shown his support for the troops thus far. I mean, to say something like that is bad enough, but then to not even apologize to the troops? OK, he did, eventually, but first he had to be approached by HIS OWN PARTY! They kicked him off their campaign stumps. GOD, what an assclown.


The front page of our daily fishwrap features the following headline: Low poll turnout expected.

The story, written by a staff writer, never explains how or why Georgians are expected to stay away from the polls. The lead paraphrases the headline and then goes into a lengthy rundown of Georgia elections up for grabs.

This is a case of a bad copy editor. Someone too lazy to look past the story's lead to find out what the story actually says. But it's also the fault of the writer, because he did include the information in his story with no attribution for that fact.

Further proof, to me, that the feeling among the LWM is "Republicans, please stay home."


Monday, November 06, 2006

Historic elections

On this day in 1860, one of America's greatest presidents was elected:

Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote but handily defeated the three other candidates: Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, a U.S. senator for Illinois.

Your vote counts. Please get out and vote tomorrow.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Insanely thorough music meme*

Name your top 10 most played bands (they say on iTunes, but since I don’t use it, I’m guessing):
I’m doing this at work, so my selection is a bit limited, but that’s probably a good thing.

1. Dream Theater
2. Reverend Horton Heat
3. Ramones
4. Joe Satriani
5. Pink Floyd
6. Motorhead
7. Megadeth
8. SOD
9. Liquid Tension Experiment
10. The Beatles

What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
“Ace of Spades.” Couldn’t even tell you when or where, but I’m pretty sure is was with a good friend of mine who introduced me to a lot of that music.

What is your favorite album of 2?
Lucky 7, but Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em is a very close second. There isn’t much by RHH that I don’t like.

What is your favorite lyric that 5 has sung?
Jeez. How does one pick one favorite Floyd lyric? Um, I always liked “The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older.” Then there’s “Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?”

How many times have you seen 4 live?
Never, and I feel bad about that. Joe Satriani has long been one of my favorite guitarists. I honestly don’t know why I’ve never made the effort to see him. I will say this – I wanted to see the G3 recently and they didn’t come close enough to me for me to feasibly see a show.

What is your favorite song by 7?
Sheesh, with the hard questions and such. Hmm. "Looking Down the Cross."

What is a good memory you have involving the music of 10?
Sitting by the railroad tracks with two buddies at age 15, drunk on grape Mad Dog and singing “Happiness is a Warm Gun.”

Is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
Joey Ramone’s version of “What a Wonderful World” is kind of poignant, but I guess that doesn’t really count. I kind of listen to the Ramones because they are the antithesis of sad, you know.

What is your favorite lyric that 2 has sung?
Heh. “When your knees start to squeeze and you open your eyes, my whammy bar shakes and … satisfies.”

How did you get into 3?
Good lord … I had a friend that was moderately into punk and I was really into metal. He would play the Ramones and I just really dug ‘em.

What was the first song you heard by 1?
“Pull Me Under,” their only big MTV hit.

What is your favorite song by 4?
Right now it’s “Just Like Lightening” off Super Colossal. Amazing song.

How many times have you seen 9 live?
Never and I’ll never have the chance.

What is a good memory you have involving 2?
Disneyworld. We took a trip to Mickey Mouse land at the beginning of this year and RHH was a good portion of our road trip music.

Is there a song of 8 that makes you sad?
“Fuck the Middle East” because we have yet to do so.

What is your favorite album of 5?
Probably Animals closely followed by Wish You Were Here.

What is your favorite lyric that 3 has sung?
“Now I’m a guy for the CIA. Hooray, for the USA.”

What is your favorite song of 1?
“Stream of Consciousness”

What is your favorite song of 10?
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” followed closely by “In My Life.”

How many times have you seen 8 live?
Never and I’ll never have the chance.

What is your favorite album of 1?
Scenes From a Memory

What is a great memory you have considering 9?
I only got into LTE in the past couple of years, so my best memory is discovering this great music.

What was the first song you heard by 8?
“United Forces”

What is your favorite cover by 2?
“Folsom Prison,” a happy version that is odd but very good.

*I picked this up kind of randomly and the person I got it from referred to this meme this way. I have to agree.

The last time we were bombed on our own soil ...

We went in like we were there to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And we were all out of bubble gum.

This Day in History: In 1941, the Japanese Combined Fleet receives the order to bomb Pearl Harbor. 34 days later ... a day that would live in infamy.

Are our wars too politicized now? Of course they are.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Advanced voting rocks

Here in Georgia, you can vote early at a centralized voting location in your county. I went ahead and performed my civic duty yesterday afternoon.

I gotta say, it was awesome. There were already 20 people or so there, but it only took me about 45 minutes from start to finish. I'm very glad I decided to go early 'cause I couldn't imagine waiting for the lines that form on Nov. 7.

Now I've just gotta wait until Nov. 8 to see how my vote panned out.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This day in history, and today

Six days folks. Six days.

Remember what history tells us about unfair taxation:

On this day in 1766, British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act.

In the face of widespread opposition in the American colonies, Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America.


Parliament would again attempt to force unpopular taxation measures on the American colonies in the late 1760s, leading to a steady deterioration in British-American relations that culminated in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.

This day in history.