taco shop psychic
mincing is for garlic, not words...

Thursday, November 28, 2002  

232. Damn, now I feel guilty...

There seems to be an internet craze going on called de-linking. This is better than any blogopera I've personally been involved in, but it has left me with what I think is a hollow feeling of guilt. Here is one side of a current popular argument (everybody is linking to it -- well not everybody, but you get the idea) in the blogosphere and here is part of the other.

I got mad at one of the people I link to once, so I decided to delink them. Well, not mad per se, but disappointed. Something this person said was just stupid (in my mind) beyond the point of opinion. I decided however, that it wouldn't be fair to delink that person, no matter how stupid I thought the argument was.

So I delinked everybody. The ultimate in cocooning, fuck everybody else, whether they like me (or even think like me) or not. My rationale was that if I could no longer recommend that person to other people, then I could not recommend anyone, since my judgment was now suspect. I still regularly visited most of the people that I had linked -- I kept them in my favorites list.

Lately I threatened to drop Jim Miller from my blogroll. But I didn't knee-jerk it, and emailed Jim to make sure that I was understanding what he said correctly and why I thought it was wrong. He thought it over a bit, modified his post and was a gentleman about the whole thing -- more than I was, I'll admit.

On the other hand, I am not a gentleman, nor do I pretend to be. I call something stupid when I think it is stupid, unless I have a rare flash of tact. I was fully prepared to be wrong on the issue I had with Jim, and fully prepared to apologize for it. Hell, I've been wrong before, I'll be wrong again, and at least in the context of blogging, it's not fatal.

The bottom line is that the blog belongs to that silly woman, and she's fully entitled to delink whomever. But I think she's stupid and even more unbalanced than I am (if that's even possible) and you'll never see a link to her in my blogroll.

posted by Tacoshop | 3:16 AM

Wednesday, November 27, 2002  


First of all, my late Tuesday Too:

1.) What's the longest time you've gone without posting an entry in your blog/journal? What was or is the reason behind your dry spell?

Oh, I have no idea. I think I went about three weeks or so because I got pissy about something.

2.) Are you "going over the river and through the woods" for thanksgiving, or is the gang coming to your place? Perhaps you have something to be particularly thankful for this year. What is it?

Nobody is coming to my place. I don't like having to come up with something to be thankful for because I'm a curmudgeonly bastard and I really have a hard time coming up with one. Like now. I guess I'll be thankful for the poor people that read my rants and screeds.

3.) All those bumper stickers that say, "I'd rather be...", what does yours say?


Now that that's out of the way, a couple of things.

I think that the notion to check the trails of Saudi money to terror ties is a good one. I suspect, however, that Princess Haifa would not have given money to terrorists had she known they were terrorists.

I was listening to a poetry writer being interviewed on some show NPR carries on Sunday (which as I understand it is when their uber-liberal stuff that they contract out for airs) and I sure wish I knew who it was. She said that the potential war in Iraq "violates everything [she] ever learned about democracy". This led me to wonder what exactly she learned about democracy that was so different from what I learned about democracy.

I'm getting really pissed off about the whining on the left about the electoral college. Had the result gone the other way, with Bush winning the popular vote and Gore winning the electoral vote, these people I think would be awful damn smug. I think this shows their lack of morality -- if you wouldn't be upset that it could have screwed Bush, then you have no right to be upset that it did screw Gore. Be consistant.

I ran the van out of gas today. Damn, now that was a good time. It ran out of gas while I was on the way to the next gas station, (go figure) on the main drag running through this end of town. My brother and I pushed it a couple of blocks to the parking lot of an Ivar's (that's a popular local chowder house -- we don't have Long John Silver's up here because if they ever were here, old man Ivar Haglund ran 'em out of business). Since this made him late for work, we called a cab.

The cabbie was an interesting fellow, a Turk that had wanted to join the US Navy in '96 but was turned away for being too old. Really a bummer too, he seemed like a keen fellow. I told him that he could pursue that line of study -- if he was interested in that line of work as a civilian -- at the Seattle Central College Martime campus they have down there on the locks. Sure is better than driving a hack. He said that before me, he had made a total of seventy-five bucks for himself in the fifteen hours he had already worked that day.

My brother had mentioned to me that there is a disappearance in the common popular culture of anything having to do with the working class. He noticed it really by listening to eighties music such as the Stray Cats and Madhouse -- that these were really good examples of where the popular culture focused on the little guy. He has a point there, I think, and I have a much larger frame of reference to draw from in this regard. In my mind other examples of that era spring forth, such as Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel (especially with "Uptown Girl") and Men at Work. He reckons that the focus has largely disappeared from the working class because in the urban centers of America, that class has largely become non-white. The rise of shows like Law & Order and (to a lesser extent) NYPD Blue kind of mirror this as the victims or criminals represented in these shows generally crept upscale with each new season.

I've got some ideas on what might be ailing the Democratic Party to some extent, but I'm going to gel my thoughts on this a bit before I post them.

posted by Tacoshop | 2:45 AM

Tuesday, November 26, 2002  

230. Miscellanea.

I have to commit this recipe down so I don't forget it. I made a new dish tonight, and I have no idea what the measurements of anything I put in it are, but it went something like this:

I started with three frozen boneless chicken breasts. I knew this would be a problem, so I opted for some stovetop skillet baking. I took my stainless steel skillet, poured some light olive oil in it. I spooned in something like three heaping teaspoons of minced garlic (I buy this by the one pound jar, love garlic) and then I tossed in a chicken boullion cube. This started to make a mess quick, so I poured in a cup (or so) of water right after I put in the hunk o' chicken -- all three breasts were still frozen together. This is when the stroke of genius hit -- I poured in some (no idea how much) yellow curry powder. I fryed this on real high -- in order to get past the frozen chicken. While this was going on under a lid, I started peeling three red potatoes. I sliced the potatoes very thin and tossed 'em in the skillet. I took half a large Mayan onion and sliced it and tossed it in the skillet too. I cooked all of this, making sure the chicken got to 180° for a minute or two before dropping the temp back to medium, for about an hour. I had to add a cup of water halfway through. I served this on a bed of pasta I cooked with another boullion cube. I seasoned the chicken liberally with red and black pepper. It was quite tasty.

posted by Tacoshop | 2:01 AM

Sunday, November 24, 2002  

229. That's some blunder alright...

I might have to drop Jim Miller from my blogroll. He has written another post which contains something that seems supremely stupid. Granted, I did not hear this interview, so maybe I'm missing something, but if you can't call the Speaker of the House, which is a member of congress, a 'Congressman', then I sure would like to know why. After all, a 'Congressman' is traditionally a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as is the Speaker of the House, if I recall correctly...

Update... I sent Jim an email on this (much, much nicer than what I wrote here, I'll admit) and he updated his post. I still don't get why there should be a distinction, however. It's a medieval lament -- like saying you can't call my never-been-married best friend by the title of 'Miss' because she has a doctorate.

posted by Tacoshop | 12:26 PM

Friday, November 22, 2002  

228. Damn, I'm Tired.

Just got done with a search mission. We didn't find the missing person. We did find an 18 year-old banging his 16 year-old girlfriend in the passenger seat of his rental car though. Too damn funny, more on this tomorrow sometime.

the full update... So there I was, in the middle of the Australian Outback with only a meat cleaver and a thimblefull of water...no wait, wrong story.

So last night, I responded to a page for a lost person. I went to the scene and helped set up shop. My mission last night was to shadow the duputy in charge, so wherever he went I went. He decided at one point that he needed to have a better look at a part of the search area. So we loaded up into his cruiser and set out. We went through the grounds of a school pretty thoroughly and we were almost ready to turn around when the deputy decided to check out a car that was in the parking lot at the back of the school. He shone his spotlight into the vehicle and what did we happen to spy but the back of the head of a guy face down in the fully reclined passenger seat. The back of his head moved into and out of view a couple of times and then he looked up at us and squinted at the light. He kept going though. He stopped when he saw the deputy getting out of the cruiser.

So the deputy goes and gets him out of the car (after the young man had located and redonned his trousers) and tells the object of the young man's affections to get dressed. He finds out that the young man is 18 and the young lady is 16. Sixteen is the legal age of consent in this state, but as she is a minor the deputy is obligated to take her home and inform her parents. He gets all their information, pulls the now fully-clothed girl out of the car and away from the young man to query her to confirm she's not actually a rape victim. He lets them get back in the car and then comes back to the cruiser to run the license plate. It comes back clean, and is owned by a major rental car company (I couldn't help but guffaw at this). So he calls the girl's parents.

The person that picked up the phone on the other end said that she was the girl's sister and that their parents were not home -- there had been an emergency at their grandmother's requiring the grandmother to go to the hospital in Everett, and the parents were there. The deputy acknowledged this and pressed 'end' on his cell phone. He tapped the cell phone antenna to his teeth, staring intently at the back of the girl's head as she sat in the car.

"Did you see that?" he asked. I confessed that I did not. As it turns out, that was the point. The cruiser was aimed at the center of their car, right off the passenger rear quarter. The girl's head hadn't moved an inch and was resting against the glass of the passenger-side window. Her hair was draped over her head in such a way that she could have been talking on a cell phone without betraying that to us, which is what the deputy figured she had done.

He went back to the car and told the young man that the young lady's family was undergoing a family emergency so it would be for the best if she went home. She tried to protest, but the deputy was having none of it. He instructed the young man to drive her home; we would follow. The young suitor asked if he was going to be required to stay around when they got there. The deputy responded in the negative, as since he was 18, he was free to go, and actually the only reason why the deputy wasn't transporting her was because there was no room in the cruiser (it was chock-full of search stuff).

The parents were very bleary-eyed when the deputy returned their daughter to them.

This incident opened my eyes to a couple of things, the most interesting of which is the role the car plays in the life of the average American youth. This was something I missed out on, as I wasn't eligible to get a license until I was 18, and by that point I had grown so accustomed to the Frankfurt transportation system, I felt I didn't need a car. This was the rule for most students in my school rather than the exception -- in my high school there were one thousand students and a total of three parking spaces for student-owned cars to park in. They were never full. When I was 18 and busy screwing my 16 year-old girlfriend, we had to be far more inventive as far as locations of assignations went.

The other thing is the cell-phone. Can you imagine the balls this girl had to lie to a cop like that? I'll bet you she's been busted before and has used that ploy successfully.

While we did not locate our missing person, he has been seen and positively identified in Seattle today, so that ended well as well.

posted by Tacoshop | 4:21 AM

Thursday, November 21, 2002  

227 Spiffy cool.

Prospective cervical cancer vaccine covered here.

posted by Tacoshop | 6:01 PM

226. "Lu Cat Food Company...How may I direct your call?"

One day when I was about seventeen I called my mother at work. Mom was paranoid about then, and she was worried that the government was listening to or taping her incoming phone calls (sounds wacko I know, but this kind of thing was pretty commonplace on our military bases in Cold War Germany) so she said she'd call me back.

So I hang up and wait. Phone rings.

"Joe's Bar and Grill! Howdy y'all, what ken I do fer ya?" This was not something I was given to do when I was a youngster, so I figured that would make it even funnier. It was so random of me.

"Was?!" was the response I got. Turned out it was a wrong number; some woman working at a financial services desk at a bank in Switzerland trying to dial a number for one of her clients -- also in Switzerland. She spoke enough English to communicate with me and we had a good laugh at what had happened. Damn bizarre tho.

posted by Tacoshop | 1:38 AM

Wednesday, November 20, 2002  

225. I hate it when that happens...

You know I had that very nice post in 223, and I completely didn't say what I wanted to say. The thing I was trying to convey was being 'anchored' to reality and mundanity all these years via these phone calls and emails to my best friend.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:16 AM

224. This was going to be a rant.

Yesterday morning, the absentee ballot counting had the initiative to expand the monorail down by three votes. Count 'em: one, two, three. Today was the final day of counting, and with each day of absentee ballots since the election, the monorail's support had dwindled. I was extremely saddened by this, and was reminded of it when I went to Jim Miller's site and saw his dismissive post regarding the monorail.

So, for the last hour I have been getting my ducks lined up to put the rhetorical boot to the ass of the anti-monorailers. I got all my statistics to refute Jim's claim of cost-effectiveness all lined up and finally dropped over to the Times' website to check to see if they had an updated count. They did.

Screw you, Marge Simpson, we're getting a fucking monorail! Yes, it is going to be expensive to build. Yes, it's going to take time to have a real impact on the lives of the average commuter. I don't expect that it will ever reduce traffic density, but I suspect that it will not make matters worse.

I often talk here of my time in Frankfurt growing up. Granted, Frankfurt is a world away, in a socialist country, but there are a lot of striking similarities between there and here. Frankfurt is 650,000 people, with a greater metropolitan population of 3.1 million. Seattle is 540,000 people with a greater metropolitan population of 3.1 million. The population densities of the two cities are roughly analagous as well, with Frankfurt having 2,621 persons/sq. km. and Seattle having 2494 persons/sq. km. Traffic is somewhat similar as well, except I remember there being much more distinct rush hours in Frankfurt. Here in Seattle, the traffic starts at 5:30 AM and ends around 11 PM. I remember Frankfurt's streets being dead around 8PM, except downtown. But the absolute kicker is this: here is a picture of Frankfurt's current train system -- just the train system, not the buses.

This is Seattle's current train system.

Needless to say, you can get a bit further on Frankfurt's. In fact, Frankfurt's transportation system is so thorough, I was able to get most anywhere within the state of Hessen in a timely manner. When I turned legal to drive, I had absolutely no desire to get a driver's license. I was back in the States for a year before I bothered to get one, and even then, I got it only so I could move from Twentynine Palms to Camp Pendleton. The German state of Hessen is roughly the same size as King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties put together.

At some point in time we are simply going to need to have some sort of light-rail in place if we want this city to continue to remain viable, and it's not going to be cheaper if we wait. People aren't going to just up and flee Seattle anytime soon. It's good that we finally got our heads out of the sand about this, even if it was by the narrowest of margins.

posted by Tacoshop | 1:36 AM

Tuesday, November 19, 2002  


I have been fighting for several hours on what to call this post. No luck.

I phoned my best friend the night before last from a payphone out on 15th. It was my second attempt; I had tried to call from a phone on Denny Way, but the mouthpiece was evidently broken. That avenue is a fairly busy one, three lanes in each direction, linking downtown Seattle --well, the tony Belltown neighborhood-- to Ballard and beyond that, Crown Hill. The phone itself was in a dilapidated red booth in the parking lot of a shuttered and abandoned Burger King. I suspect the lone car in the parking lot aside from my van was a homeless person, who at least had the shelter of a Chevrolet Caprice. While talking, a drunk girl -- she looked all of seventeen -- staggered by with her head down, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. When I drove home, I noticed in my rearview mirror a cop in a prowl car slowing down to pick her up as I passed her. She had no idea anything or anyone was there.

The whole experience is something that I used to go through on a regular basis. I've done the call the best friend thing from pay phones on three continents, always fighting traffic noise, or airport noise and watching the drunks go by. This of course, after going through the whole process of finding an empty phone that worked.

In Germany, I used to save up money -- I tried to get about one hundred Deutschemarks in five mark coins -- so I could call her. The phones could only hold so much in the kitty, so as it ran through a five mark piece and dropped it into the money box, I'd feed another in until I was out of coins. The kitty held 12 coins, I think. The phones had a digital display to tell you how much money you had left and would decrement the total by ten pfennigs as the alotted time for each ten pfennig block would click by, ker-klick, ker-klick, ker-klick, about as fast as you can read that aloud. It came out to about eight or ten bucks a minute, if I remember right.

After I enlisted, I was able to call her once from Parris Island. We were given the opportunity to make one phone call during boot camp. I seem to remember that the phones wouldn't let me call my folks in Frankfurt and my best friend wasn't home. I felt sorry for myself and extremely alone, even though I ought not to have. I was extremely jealous of the rest of my platoon who were able to talk to their friends and family. I was truly amazed when the drill instructors let me have a second opportunity at that phone call. I don't think that one got through either, but that wasn't so important as the fact that somebody understood.

In Twentynine Palms, finding a working and empty phone was the most difficult part. I would walk all over the base to try and find one. Eventually, I discovered a pay phone that was hardly ever used on the weekend, and that one worked well until they started to lock the fence that the phone was behind during non-duty hours. Calling my best friend was easier than calling home in Frankfurt, because invariably the phone would disconnect on an international call after the first six minutes.

Camp Pendleton had a different sort of thing. There, I was able to make use of a trailer that had a bunch of phones in it. I'd give my id and bankcard to the woman at the counter and she'd assign me a booth. After my phone call, she'd see how much time I'd used and deduct it from my bank account.

Japan was a bit different yet -- you purchased cards that you stuck in the phone. This was the first time I'd seen such a thing. Also, not all cards worked in all phones. You had to know whether you were dealing with the yellow-phone company, the green-phone company or the orange-phone company. No wonder cell phones have become so big there.

Since then, we've pretty much exclusively used the Internet to keep in touch, which is certainly easier. But it lacks the sheer quest involved that made communication such a cherished thing between us. I think I will always turn a little mushy every time I hear her say, "Hello?"...

posted by Tacoshop | 5:43 AM

222. Tuesday Too.

Tuesday Too

1.) Chad has been writing/talking about alternative forms of government. What's your take on a "new government?"

A beneveolent monarchy with me as the ruler. Off with their heads! In all seriousness, I'd really not change anything (or much of anything) on the national level, but on the state level I either want the legislature set up like the national model or unicameral. Like I mentioned earlier, Washington state's Senate elects via the same districts that the state house does, which short-changes the smaller counties -- anything that isn't King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane or Clark.

2.) The last Harry Potter film ignited a "whirlwind of controversy." What's your opinion; is Harry Potter dangerous to children?

Snicker, ha, no. The evening news is more dangerous to kids than young Mr. Potter. Many religious texts are far more dangerous, I think.

3.) What do you think of this ("What would Jesus drive?")?

It's funny, when I clicked on that link, my gf had just awoke and was on her way to the bathroom. She instantly said he'd drive a Suburban. I think that's absolutely hilarious, considering she had no idea what the site was about.

On one hand, I really don't care too much about the whole issue. Any point I would take would be extremely hypocritical, since I drive something far 'worse' in this this regard than an SUV -- it's bigger, heavier and only has one passenger seat. Indeed, I enjoy knowing that my vehicle is bigger than any stock SUV, so I guess I'm a really bad man. On the other hand, I've got the six-cylinder!

As for me, I think he'd drive one of these or even better, one of these!

posted by Tacoshop | 4:38 AM

221. Des asked me to take this quiz...

Congratulations, you're Seattle, the Emerald City.
What US city are you? Take the quiz by Girlwithagun.

There were two questions that for me could have been answered one of two ways, so I went back and changed them, and this is what I got.

Congratulations, you're New Orleans, the wild city.
What US city are you? Take the quiz by Girlwithagun.

I'm willing to bet someone is getting a good chuckle out of this...

posted by Tacoshop | 2:11 AM

Monday, November 18, 2002  


I must be in tune with my powerful feminine side.

Or more men watch than Kinsley realizes.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:11 PM

219. Work, damn you!

Gotta love blogspot.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:29 AM

218. Disqualified.

If you go here, you will see Jim Miller's (and somewhat also Sam Nunn's) opinion on the original Gulf War vote and the presidency (or in Jim's case, any high office that makes foreign policy). To sum, "...opposing it should disqualify a person from the presidency, or, I would add, any other position making foreign policy".

Now, I supported that war. I support this one, if there's going to be one. But, Jim and Sam, that flat-out has to be one of the stupidest pieces of bullshit I have ever read. The notion that how a lawmaker voted, however detestable, should somehow automatically ultimately preclude them from making future foreign policy decisions is not a hallmark of American government, (thank-your-pocket-deity, if applicable). That is tantamount to saying that Sam Nunn should also not ever be president because he cannot seem to grasp the basic principles of your average high school government or civics class.

"It is bad enough to be wrong on such an easy question; it is even worse, once proved wrong, not to admit your error."


posted by Tacoshop | 9:16 AM

Sunday, November 17, 2002  

217. Continuation of 213.

So back to my political rambling.

God, I feel so sorry for you people that actually take the time to read these posts.

So anyway, the conservatives have in recent years fed a drive to privatization of government, or rather a privatization of many government services. I suppose that this has been because the increasing costs of doing business have made government less and less productive per tax dollar spent, after adjustment for inflation. Or it's a desire to keep more money in their wallets. I've also heard that government should be run more like a business.

The problem is that government, run more like a business than government, can't be expected to accomplish much. The reason for this is what came and smacked me in the head -- there is no competition. So there is no compelling reason to think that a government run like a business will institute reform and serious self-assessment any more than a government run like a government. And isn't a monopoly supposed to be bad for these very reasons?

So, that's why I came up with my alternate form of government. Government via lowest bid to the people. But you know, I can't imagine it working well either. It's hard to believe that there would be any true competition between the two competing governments. More likely we would see some sort of collusion between the two, and that's just another form of a monopoly. In many respects it's a lot like what we have now.

In sum, government is not business, and should not be run like one. It should be run like government. In the cases of the universities (or other government agencies) the real remedies are to hold the people that run them accountable, not to attempt reform via knee-jerk tax cuts.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:32 AM

216. SAR Pics

I be the one sitting on his ass in both pics. Michael B. Fearnehough is the fellow standing in the top pic.

posted by Tacoshop | 12:09 AM

Saturday, November 16, 2002  

215. How Seattle Politics Really Work.

Check this story out. Now there's a mayor I'm not supporting in re-election.

I implore anyone who reads this site to not fly Alaska Airlines if they can at all avoid it. Alaska used to be a real good company from what I understand, but they really seem to have gone downhill. All you need to do is search for the term Alaska Airlines on the Seattle Times website to see why I'm suspicious of them.

posted by Tacoshop | 8:42 AM

Friday, November 15, 2002  

214. Note to self:

Line up your ducks before you run off your mouth.

Oh well, I may have been wrong(ish), but I'm at least honest about it!

A pyrrhic victory, at best.

posted by Tacoshop | 10:11 PM

Thursday, November 14, 2002  

213. Something to prove that I'm still a Democrat.

I got to thinking about alternate forms of government, and I came up with one today. I have no idea what it would be called; technically it's still a representative democracy. But let me use my state as an example of how it would work.

Please note I am not trying to say this is a better way, just different.

Washington state elects their Senate and House from the same districts. Effectively, we currently are trebly-redundant with legislators -- two representatives and one senator are elected from each district. I have no idea why this is done this way. The national political model is obviously different, since the House of Representatives caters to larger states and the Senate to smaller ones. In Washington, this concept is squarely turned on it's head, as the major players politically are always King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane and Clark Counties -- basically anywhere smog checks on cars are done -- which are the respective counties for Seattle/Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, Spokane and the Portland satellite city of Vancouver.

So, in my alternate reality form of government there would be two capitals: Oly and Spokane. Either go unicameral or elect one more senator from each district and make it bicameral -- because you're going to be needing four legislators from each district. Why? Becuase we're going to redundify the state government!

So let's say that you have all of the legislators that fill 'Position 1 seats' go to Olympia and all the 'Position 2' seats to Spokane. The nifty offshoot of this is that you have instantly redundant government in case of emergency. The other thing, the main thing, is that you now have truly competitive government. In addition to the ballot choices that people have to make regarding what legislators they want, they also now have to choose which government they want. The Spokane and Olympia governments would have to pitch a package to the people. I envision it something like this: "If you select the Spokanians, we will work at strengthening the I-90 corridor, more money for transportation, especially roads and we're going to do it for x amount of dollars!" The Olympians would say, "if you elect us, we will work at mass transit, the I-5 corridor and improving trade dialogue with China and the rest of the Far East for y amount of dollars!"

You're probably wondering how I came to get to this point of thinking. Or you're not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. You see, I laughed at a woman in the comments on her blog about something she said. It probably was not a nice thing to do. I mean, she seems like a nice enough lady, but I don't consider myself to be terribly politically correct and just as I feel that people's blogs are for them to rant/rave/whatever, if those people furnish commenting ability, I feel no compunction whatsoever in laughing at them if something they've said seems funny to me. Ultimately, at the end of the day, they have the power to ban me or delete my comments, but that's getting kind of sidetracked.

I've been chewing over a piece of something that Rachel's rant kind of enlightened for me. I had not really realized it before, and I've never heard anyone else talk about it, and it has something to do with the ideal conservative model for running government. Rachel was lamenting about how her tuition has risen steadily over the last four years, in addition to the tacking on of fees resulting in utlimately a product (her education) that was no better (at best) than it was four years ago. The reason I found this hilarious is that four years ago, Geo. W. Bush was her governor and was getting ready to run for president on what was largely an anti-tax platform. Remember what made him so qualified to do so? I did, and it was three billion dollars worth of state tax rollbacks under his leadership, the bulk of that being in 1999 with a $1.85 billion tax cut. Somehow, Rachel's ire didn't extend past the university that was raising all this money on the backs of students like Rachel. Quite clearly (at least to my eyes) the tax cut and Rachel's state university tuition are related. But that doesn't mean she isn't right.

The university (or any other state organization) is going to try to replace lost funding any way they can, which is what leads to user fees for government services. Recently, due to tax-cutting initiatives here in Washington state and the artificially enhanced energy crisis, the UW was going to try to tack on a fee for the use of electricity on campus. They were resoundingly and rightly told that this was tuition was for, but that doesn't obviate the need for the money. At the same time this was going on, our famous football coach, Mr. Rick Neuheisel, -- a man that hasn't seemed to find a recruiting violation he doesn't like -- was getting an extension on his million-dollar per year contract. Quite clearly then, tax cuts do not equal in practice what they aim to accomplish, which is government fiscal responsibility. If you can quantify it, the 'fiscal responsibility factor' out of necessity probably does rise, but as is evidenced by things like the Neuheisel contract does not reach a point of being 'responsible' by most any measure. Rather, it results in 'user fees', or worse yet, higher user fees.

Looking forward, it is easy to speculate that at some point the tax pendulum will swing the other way, and we will be genuinely spending too much of the people's money. I imagine however that most of these new user fees will not disappear when the pendulum goes all the way to the left, rather taxpayers wallets will likely be double-dipped.

More later. I'm off to bed.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:55 PM

212. Too Cool.

I learned something new from Hestia today.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:26 AM

211. Random News.

1. Microsoft also has video arcade games strewn throughout the hallways.

2. Good for King County. 'Initiative co-sponsor Tim Eyman was furious.
"The language of Initiative 776 is crystal clear," he said yesterday. "Clearly, the idea of representative government is lost on them."
' And the last time you were elected to any office was exactly when, Mr. Lie-man?

posted by Tacoshop | 6:18 AM

Wednesday, November 13, 2002  

210. Utter Dweebery.

Reminder: When you choose to disagree with something someone says in the comments section of another person's blog, put your own name in the 'name' field of the comments box, not theirs. After all, stupidity such as this tends to deflate the power of your reason and intellect a bit.

Time to go back to bed.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:24 AM

Tuesday, November 12, 2002  

209. Interesting Poll Results...


Best quote: "Even a majority of Democrats in the survey say their party is too liberal."

Gee, ya think anyone that considers themselves to be the liberal elite (like Katha Pollitt or whatzername, the next House Minority Leader) are going to let this influence their attempts to take the party to the left?

The problem with the extremists (on either side) is that they are loud and can be difficult to ignore. They're still extremists, though.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:33 AM

Monday, November 11, 2002  

208. If, for some bizarre reason...

...any of my readers happen to be teenage girls (snicker-ha), I highly recommend you read this insightful piece by BeerMary. Simply a must read.

posted by Tacoshop | 6:05 AM

207. Veteran's Day.

Today is the day we are supposed to reflect on the subject of the people that served in service of our country. Even though today is America's Veteran's Day, it couldn't hurt for people in other countries to thank a veteran if they happen to know one. I suspect most people do.

Yesterday was the USMC's birthday as well as the anniversary of the Fitzgerald sinking. I posted on the latter rather than the former because no-one else seemed to be covering it. Maybe they're saving their strength for the thirtieth anniversary, maybe they realize that this ship is just one of six thousand commercial vessels that have sunk in the five Great Lakes. Either way, last night, my brother and I toasted both the Corps and the Fitzgerald last night down at Hale's Ales.

Here are some of my favorite pieces of American military history:

Berlin Airlift: This was the USAF's finest hour, in my book.
Battle of Monte Cassino: A good illustration of the pitfalls of frustration.
Bataan Death March.
The First World War. The one we're starting to culturally forget.
Korean War Project. The other one we're starting to culturally forget.

And a good site for military families:

Sgt. Mom's.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:40 AM

Sunday, November 10, 2002  

206. S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

Today is the twenty-seventh anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. For eleven years, the Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest ship sailing on the Great Lakes. I had the opportunity to read the Marine Accident Report a few years ago, and a few things have always struck me about this incident. One of the estimations was that the ship went down in as little as ten seconds. Another interesting thing was that when the Arthur M. Anderson, the ship nearest the Edmund Fitzgerald's last known location, radioed for help there were three Norweigian ships that felt the waves were too harsh to attempt any rescue operations. Those ships play in the North Sea, which as I understand is regarded as some of the most treacherous water anywhere.

Quite a testament to the power of Lake Superior.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:30 AM

Saturday, November 09, 2002  


Arts & Letters Daily linked to a piece by Katha Pollitt of The Nation in their weekend edition where she takes Christopher Hitchens to task for leaving the staff of that magazine a few weeks ago. Much of it (IMO) is dull, bland and uninteresting stuff (unless, of course, you happen to be able to count either or both Hitchens and Pollitt as acquaintances, which I of course cannot) except for this paragraph here where she writes,

"As the polls, which show declining support for war, should suggest, many people oppose military action in Iraq who are not leftists. They are the troops at those big demonstrations--ordinary people from unions and high schools and churches, piling into buses with their handmade signs. Why? They're afraid of big casualties, American and Iraqi; they fear it will turn the whole region into a bloodbath; they fear Saddam Hussein will attack Israel, and Israel will strike back; they believe it will mean long-term occupation of Iraq, with terrible consequences for our own society; they fear it will backfire, increasing terrorism against the United States and fueling Islamic fundamentalism. They think it's a substitute for, and diversion from, the more difficult task of going after Al Qaeda. They oppose the whole concept of pre-emptive war, and see it as a violation of international law that will license other countries to do the same. They don't like the bellicose tone of the Bush Administration, distrust its constantly shifting rationales and apparent willingness to go it alone. They do not believe, as you apparently do, that the Administration cares about Iraqi democracy or the Kurds--who, by the way, are hardly united in welcoming the prospect of war."

As a bit of a mental excercise, I've decided to dissect this a bit.

a. Evidently the polls that show that a declining support for the war are not the same polls that people voted at a few days ago. Before September of last year, this country -- well, that segment of it who paid attention to such things -- was engaged in an often furious debate over substantive domestic issues such as drilling in ANWR, federal judgeships, the death penalty, gun control, the role of religion in schools, prescription drug coverage and the deregulated energy market of the westernmost states. These issues have neither been resolved nor have resolved themselves. There is no reason to believe that the GOP has come up with a winning silver bullet strategy on any of them. Aside from the failing economy and the war on terrorism, really nothing new has been presented in the grand national policy debate. This set of facts, coupled with the near-constant assertions from the left that war talk is one of the factors that decided the election would tend to belie this.

Let me put it another way. In the weeks before the election, we were treated to several nice protests across the country that assured us that this was what democracy looked like. Now that the Democrats have lost resoundingly, I have started seeing missives from the loudmouths on the left that they feel they are not represented in government. If I recall, there were more than a few remarks to that effect on that AngryDems site I linked to above.

I'm at a loss as to what to write here. Either a sarcastic, "this is what democracy looks like?" or a sarcastic, "this is what democracy looks like!". I guess you can take your pick. Let me remind you, I voted (almost) all Democratic this election, as I always do.

b. The anti-war left are not the only ones afraid of big casualties. The left cannot monopolize dread, no matter how much they seem to try.

c. If the murder of one million citizens by their own government does not already qualify as a regional bloodbath, then I am at a loss as to attempt to describe what does. As has been noted time and time again, this regional bloodbath is at least -- at the minimum -- partly our fault since we once supported Saddam.

d. If we take our ball and go home, does the Iraqi threat to Israel diminish? I cannot fathom this logic.

e. We blew up a car in Yemen this week. Has anyone heard of any Muslim leader denouncing this attack? Hmmm..., me either. So, I guess the question is, why should we fear more reprisals than we already have to deal with? We were not engaged against any Muslim enemies on any signifigant scale before September, 2001 -- save for the patrolling the no-fly zone -- but evidently we had something to worry about. Muslim terrorism is hardly a new thing for America, whether it's the assassination of Robert Kennedy or the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut or the attacks on September 11th. If we didn't attack Iraq, the terrorism wouldn't stop. If we stopped the sanctions against Iraq, the terrorism wouldn't stop. If we completely left the Middle East, the terrorism wouldn't stop. I therefore don't understand the logic of not invading Iraq to avoid further acts of terror. It simply does not wash.

f. The last I checked, the war on terrorism was called the 'War on Terrorism', not the war on al-Qaeda. Saddam Hussein encourages terrorism, funds terrorism and has his own terror camps -- and has had them as early as the Carter administration (according to Claire Sterling in her book The Terror Network, from 1981). Trying to limit the war on terrorism simply to al-Qaeda is a bit disingenuous, because that's not what it is, and it never has been that. Clearly any world leader who has the disposition and means to support terror on the scale that Saddam can needs to be handled somehow. Should we really just ignore him and leave him to his own devices?

g. Is this really a pre-emptive war? After eleven years of flouting a cease-fire? It really seems like a large lull that is overdue to expire. Put another way, if this potential action in Iraq is a pre-emptive war, then that means the sanctions have really meant nothing all these years -- because they were built upon UN resolutions that really meant nothing -- which was built on a cease-fire that really meant nothing. The cease-fire, if I remember right, was the end to a war in which we played a reactive, not a pre-emptive role.

Another way to look at it is to ask at what point after Desert Storm was Iraq suddenly in the clear? What's the statute of limitations on UN resolutions? The most interesting thing about this letter is the timely date it was posted -- the day before the US-brokered resolution unanimously passed the vote of the Security Council. Now, I cannot believe anyone expected Syria to vote in favor of it, but the timing of this letter suggests that Pollitt expected it to fail, thereby forcing the administration to go it (mostly) alone if it wanted to put its money where its mouth was. Now we have to wonder how a US-led war in Iraq can possibly be judged to be against international law -- although I have no doubt in my military mind that several people on the left in the coming days are going to suggest just that.

Which brings me to another point. I've been getting suspicious as I've been watching international politics over the last fourteen months that the left has been trying to bait the administration off on a Security Council red herring. I've started to suspect that the adamant demand that we take the case before the UN was made because no one -- not you, not me -- actually expected the council to approve it, much less without an abstention. It makes me wonder what roadblocks the left will attempt to throw in Bush's way -- if they even can at this point, being minority in both houses now.

h. And finally, the Kurds. You know what? This was the opportunity the Dems missed. If the Democrats had been able to realize that Bush had them between a rock and a hard place, they might have been able to co-opt the war issue and make big gains in these past elections, because it would have given them a message. I suspect that if they had played up the plight of the Kurds and other oppressed Iraqi peoples, they would have alienated their base and driven them on this issue closer to the center. They might have then been able to better deflect the Wellstone and McDermott fiascoes, since they would then have had a war message with which to build on. As it is now, if they continue to waffle on the war, then they are in danger of disaffecting the vast middle of the voter base and handing them to the Republicans or even Libertarians. It was a Democrat that committed us to the first world war, the second world war and Korea, all of which were to ostensibly save just peoples from oppression. It's not like they don't have history to build on in this regard.

posted by Tacoshop | 10:13 AM

Friday, November 08, 2002  

204. So who else...

was absolutely astounded by the Security Council today?

posted by Tacoshop | 8:02 AM

Thursday, November 07, 2002  

203. Questions. Answers.

Ganked from Eden's So Anyway.

1. Are you an innie or an outie? Innie.
2. Have you ever worn bell-bottoms? Not to my knowledge. It could possibly have happened if my mother dressed me in some trendy hip baby clothes back in 1970, but seeing as my mother wasn't really the trendy, hip type, I rather doubt it.
3. Have you ever written a song? I made a tune with Acid once.
4. Can you make change for a dollar right now? No. I'm flat broke and have been for days.
5. Have you ever been in the opposite sex's public toilet? Yes. I used to have to help the lone woman in our platoon clean the women's head in our platoon offices, way back when I was in the Marine Corps. Up until this point, no one ever inspected the women's head because they were men. Since no one ever inspected it, and no one ever cleaned it, the first week I helped her get the place squared away it was rather nasty.
6. Have you ever smelled your own feet? I can often smell my own feet and make everyone else within ten yards smell my feet simply by removing my boots. Oddly, this is one of the reasons that compelled me to stop wearing socks.
7. Do you like ketchup on or beside your french fries? Besides.
8. Can you touch your tongue to your nose? No.
9. Have you ever been a boy/girl scout? Both. (Can't wait to see how many comments I get on this one.)
10. Have you ever broken a mirror? Yes.
11. Have you ever put your tongue on a frozen pole? Yes.
12. What is your biggest pet peeve? Stupidity, either in myself or others.
13. Do you slurp your drink after its gone? I paid for it, I'm getting all of it out of that glass.
14. Have you ever blown bubbles in your milk? Yes. For a time I blew bubbles in all my drinks. I was about six or so.
15. Would you rather eat a Big Mac or a Whopper? Big Mac.
16. Have you ever gone skinny-dipping? I was conned into this once, in a public hot tub with multiple other men and one single woman. It was her idea.
17. When you are at the grocery store, do you ask for paper or plastic? I tell the checker to use whichever is more convenient for them. It's catching on, I've started seeing other people return the same response.
18. True or False: You would rather eat steak than pizza. False. I can eat a lot more pizza than steak. Cheaper too.
19. Did you have a baby blanket? I believe I did, yes. My guess is that it was yellow.
20. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? My junior year in high school I took sewing shears to my hair as an act of rebellion and to push people away. That sounds more antisocial than it was -- I was being hit upon heavily at the beginning of my junior year by a gaggle of the best-looking girls in school and I couldn't deal with it.
21. Have you ever sleepwalked? Once when I was about five, I did while I was feverish with strep. I urinated on a white chair, thinking I was at the toilet.
22. Have you ever had a birthday party at McDonalds? That was for rich kids.
23. Can you flip your eye-lids up? Possibly, but I've always been so disgusted by the practice that I've never tried.
24. Are you double jointed? I think most people are in some fashion, whether they know it or not.
25. If you could be any age, what age would you be? I really liked 18. I especially liked August, 1988.
26. Have you ever gotten gum stuck in your hair? No.
27. Have you ever thrown-up after a roller coaster ride? No.
28. What is your dream car? Ferrari 512 BB, the old Ferrari supercar from the eighties.
29. What is your favorite cartoon of all time? The Powerpuff Girls. Especially the one where they spoof the Beatles.
30. Would you go swimming in shallow waters where, one year earlier, a shark had attacked a child? I would not take that into consideration, no. That being said, I'm naturally not buoyant, so I don't swim anywhere there's a lifeguard, unless it's a public pool. It's embarrassing to be pulled out multiple times because they think I'm drowning, especially concerning I can outswim nine-tenths of all lifeguards I've ever met.
32. Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit?No.
33. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, which would you do first? Take off my seatbelt.
34. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? Yes.
35. Can you pick something up with your toes? Yes. There's a decent possibility my toes are longer than your fingers.
36. How many remote controls do you have in your house? Cable box, mom's TV, gf's TV, gf's DVD player, PS2. If we have any more than that, they don't go to anything.
37. Have you ever fallen asleep in school? Yes.
38. How many times have you flown in an airplane in the last year? Zero.
39. How many foreign countries have you visited? I live within two hours of Canada, never been there. I lived within an hour of Mexico for four years, never went there either. I have been to Germany, France, Holland, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Somalia, Djibouti, and Egypt. Most of those were very briefly.
40. If you were out of shape, would you compete in a triathlon if you were somehow guaranteed to win a big, gaudy medal? What point is it if you were guaranteed winning?
41. Would you rather be rich and unhappy, or poor and happy? I'm happier poor. I still want to try and be rich and happy tho!
42. If you fell into quicksand, would you try to swim or try to float? Float.
43. There is no #43 Piffle.
44. Do you ask for directions when you are lost? More than occasionally, not quite often.
45. Have you ever had a Mexican jumping bean? No.
46. Are you more like Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland? I never read Alice.
47. Would you rather have an ant farm with no ants or a box of crayons with broken points? Crayons.
48. Do you prefer light or dark bread? Light.
49. Do you prefer scrambled or fried eggs? Scrambled eggs are fried.
50. Have you ever been in a car that ran out of gas? Several times. Twice in one day even.
51. Do you talk in your sleep? Every once in awhile.
52. Would you rather shovel snow or mow the lawn? Snow.
53. Would you rather be bitten by a poisonous snake or constricted by a python? I've been constricted by a python.
54. Have you ever played in the rain? Yes.
55. Which do you think is more dangerous: an angry bear or a hungry white shark? I'll say bear.
56. Would you climb a very high tree to save a kitten? Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree? Have you ever seen a cat skeleton at the base of a tree? Me either.
57. Can you tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator? No.
58. Do you drink Pepsi or Coke? Coke.
59. Whats your favorite number? 1.
60. If you were a car, would you be an SUV or a sports car? SUV.
61. Have you ever accidentally taken something from a hotel? No.
62. Would you blow your nose at the dinner table? I have in the past.
63. Have you ever slipped in the bathtub? Yep.
64. Do you use regular or deodorant soap? Deodorant.
65. Have you ever locked yourself out of the house? Yes.
66. Would you rather make your living as a singing cowboy or as one of the Simpsons voices? Simpson voice.
67. If you could invite any movie star to your home for dinner, who would it be?
68. Have you ever gotten a truck driver to honk his horn? Her horn. Yes.

69. Which would you rather live with: a huge nose or crossed eyes? A huge nose.

70. Would you hang out with someone your best friend didn't like? I believe I live with someone my best friend doesn't like.

71. Would you hang out with someone your best friend liked, but you didn't like? I've done this, but not with this current best friend.

72. Have you ever returned a gift? Never.

73. Would you give someone else a gift that had been given to you? Only if I had gotten good use of it myself. Some things should just be passed from one person to another.
74. If you could attend an Olympic Event, what would it be? Bobsled.
75. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Three.
76. If your grandmother gave you a gift that you already have, would you tell her? Possibly.
77. Do you sing in the car? Badly.
78. Would you rather jump into a Dumpster or into a vat of honey? Depends on what was in the dumpster.
79. What is your favorite breed of dog?I've become quite fond of the Basenji.
80. Would you donate money to feed starving animals in the winter? I do, regularly.
81. If you were a bicycle, would you be a stingray or a mountain bike? Moutain bike.
82. What is your least favorite fruit? As a general rule, I hate fruit.
83. What kind of fruit have you never had? As in the food? Can't think of any.
84. If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick? Fred Meyer.
85. What brand sports apparel do you wear the most? Diadora.
86. Are/were you a good student? Hell no.
87. Among your friends, who could you arm wrestle and beat? Most of them.
88. If you had to choose, what branch of the military would you be in? You mean you don't have a choice now? ;) If I had been able to, I'd have joined NOAA.
89. Would you ever parachute out of a plane? If four engines went out on a two-engined plane, I'd consider it.
90. What do you think is your best feature? No idea.

91. If you were to win a Grammy, what kind of music would it be for? I don't think there's an electronica category.
92. What is your favorite season? Winter.
93. How many members do you have in your immediate family? I have two parents and one brother.
94. Which of the five senses is most important to you? Sight really is a miracle.
95. Would you be a more successful painter or singer? Painter.
96. There is no #96. I'll pick item C.
97. How many years will/did you end up going to college? Zero.
98. Have you ever had surgery? Yes, double hernia, face sewed back together after car accident, pinky repaired after I tried to cut it off with a folding knife.
99. Would you rather be a professional figure skater or professional football player? Skater.
100. What do you like to collect? Empty Diet Coke cans.

posted by Tacoshop | 3:27 PM

Wednesday, November 06, 2002  

202. An Interesting Quote...

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the
press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of
speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the
freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves
beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the
protester to burn the flag." ~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sergeant, USMC

I came across this by cruising blogs that I'm not accustomed to visiting in this aftermath of the Democratic Party falling through last night's electoral floor.

This was part of a response in a series of emails between an Air Force Academy cadet and a professor in Chicago, which at one point was quite acrimonious.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:35 AM

201. Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Ichiro!

Was that some election or what? So I wonder what's going to happen now that the country has lurched a bit to the right.

The Dems were really screwed going into yesterday, it's just that no one had any idea that they were screwed that badly. They really were caught between a rock and a hard place in this election, between the economy not being the issue with the voters that it ought to have been and their lack of foreign policy. I think the latter came about because they couldn't determine where their constituency was on the issue -- mostly because I seem to think the Dem constituency is sharply divided on it.

I was listening to NPR coverage of it most of the night, and I got a good chuckle from two callers they put through (not at the same time of course) -- one was arch-conservative and the other was arch-liberal. Sheila, the liberal, called in to complain that the Dems had no program. I suspect she meant platform, but hey, 'A' for effort. She loudly lamented that we now only had one party in this country.

Nah, bullshit. We do have two parties here, it's just that you couldn't bring yourself to agree with either of them, you twit. Maybe if you were not so busy trying to foist your untenable and unrealistic expectations of a liberal American utopia on the Dems, they would win more elections. The reasons people become disenfranchised and don't vote is because they are unreasonable and expect to find a candidate that exactly matches how they feel on an issue. American voters can get anything else tailored specifically to them, but they can't get exactly what they want in a candidate so they stick their lip out petulantly and don't vote.

The conservative caller was none other than Ben Stein, who repeatedly lamented that he could not fathom why the African-American vote overwhelmingly was Democratic. Ben, you may know quite a lot of trivia -- so much that your money on your show is seldom in danger -- but if you can't figure out that the last Republican politician to do anything substantial for Black America was Lincoln, well then on a scale of one to ten, I'd have to say you're about an idiot. Give or take.

At least one GOP official (in Georgia) credited part of their surge on the Democratic congressmen that went to Iraq. Go figure. Speaking of which, the last I looked, Baghdad Jimmy's neophyte, daft-looking and Republican challenger made off with 21% of the vote. That's quite amazing, I did not expect her to get out of single digits. I wrote in Ichiro Suzuki for this position, since I couldn't bring myself to vote for either of these knuckleheads and I never ever will cast a vote for a Green or Libertarian candidate.

It looks like the Monorail won, but so did I-776. I can't wait for the state to fall into the fucking ocean from too much traffic. All four Seattle City charter amendments passed, which I don't think is a good thing. The two incumbent judges on the state supreme court won re-election, which is bad and bad, respectively. I-790 won, but I don't think that this is going to be good for the taxpayers.

So, the state's going to hell, the country is going to hell (I'm dreading the rush we're going to get for conservative federal judge appointments), but we're finally going to extend the forty-year-old Monorail.

posted by Tacoshop | 2:32 AM

Tuesday, November 05, 2002  

200. Tuesday Too

Tuesday Too
1.) When was the last time you really had fun? What were you doing? Are you someone who can have fun alone?

I often have fun. Fun for me can be riding around in the van or walking around QFC debating politics with my brother. Playing video games is fun. SAR is fun, although it's guilt-inducing to admit you're having fun at the sometimes catastrophic expense of others. Fun can be easy to find, but on the other hand it can be elusive as well.

2.) Are you going to vote today, and do you know the major differences between the candidates? Does the balance in the senate and the house figure into your choice? Neither senator in Washington is up for election, so not there, and as I mentioned earlier, my representative is the morally malodorous Baghdad Jimmy McDermott, who owns the safest seat in the house. I am not going to vote for him today, and I hope to never have to again. I can surely see however, that it could be a real moral issue for me if his seat were not so secure.

3.) Is there something extraordinary going on that you've failed to notice?

Indubitably. I am observant, but not an oracle.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:16 AM

199. A Public Service Announcement From My Girlfriend!

My gf ranted in another forum but wanted me to pass this all on to you so that you will not fall into the same trap.

"The Sick Things People Drink... (Or Who the FUCK comes up with this crap?!?)

Ok, I'm sick, we've established that.
I've got nyquil, I've got my holistic herbal teas et al.
So I go out, cruising the net looking for drink recipes.
Now what I had in mind was in the realm of toddies, or hot buttered rum, however, the only actual liquor I have sitting around, that lends itself to this sort of thing is brandy.

So armed with the knowledge of what I have available to me, I hit the net looking for some Hot Brandy toddies.
Let me tell you, I found a lot of great info, that I of course couldn't use, and some of the drink names out there, damn.

Fuzzy Asshole springs right to mind, a disgusting combination of hot, black coffee and hot peach schnapps.

What I finally found was a drink called a Hot Brandy Flip, a nice, simple toddy.

2 Ounces of Brandy
1 tsp simple syrup
1 egg

Combine ingredients in blender, then pour into a saucepan and heat.
Damn, that's so fucking easy! I thought to myself, and sure enough, it was.

The end result however is something that looks less than consumable...
An Irish coffee mug, full of what appears to be a semi liquid form, flamable custard.

Who the FUCK comes up with the shit? "

I'm the one who actually made it, and as I scrubbing the first abortive batch out of the pan, I couldn't help but wonder if this concoction wasn't the Flantasy Flan from Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Flantasy Flan!

Eat Flan-tasy Flan!

E a t F l a n t a s y F l a n! Flantasy Flan!

posted by Tacoshop | 2:37 AM

Monday, November 04, 2002  

198. Still More Things Simmering in My 'Crackpot'...

8. Tim Eyman is the devil, incarnate. How much you want to bet that despite being discovered to have been a fraud twice now, Tim Eyman's pet initiative, I-776, will pass.

For those of you that are not Washingtonians, Mr. Eyman is not an elected official. Were he that easy to get rid of! No, this man is Joe Average (or as average as you can be when you own a $400,000+ house and drive a Lexus) and he has taken it upon himself to send the message of our state's oppressive tax burden to Olympia. As he and his group of other self-serving, greedy fucks like to point out (with handy statistics from places like this) Washington State has the second-highest overall tax burden of any state in the union.

That's quite a statistic, isn't it?

What they neglect to mention is that if you just look at the state and local portion of those numbers, Washington's rank falls to 21. That means that the taxes that Eyman and his ilk are trying to cut are not what is causing us to be ranked second overall, those are clearly fedeal taxes. If you think about why that is, the answer should be obvious - individual federal taxes are tied to income and capital gains for the most part, and Washington doesn't have the former and can't tax the latter, as far as I know.

Further proof can be found on Forbes' list of the four hundred richest Americans. The only state with more capital represented on that list than Washington is California. California has roughly eight times Washington's population. The next state after Washington is New York, and the city itself has far more people than are in all of Washington state.

The net effect is that the tax reformers are shooting at the wrong targets. They're doing so largely as a result, I think, of getting handed a small number of large tax bills per year -- Washington tends to generate revenue from individuals from big-ticket purchases like houses and cars -- rather than have things like an income tax. There is not even an income tax on businesses in this state, which I was surprised to learn.

Now the anti-tax people are saying that local government is cutting services, such as road maintenance (always a problem in rainy environments), bus service, libraries, education, parks and recreation, etc., etc., out of spite to all the voters that voted for these initiatives. Somehow they have completely missed the point that a fair chunk of local munincipalities budgets are funded by statute -- in other words, there are large chunks of local budgets that you cannot underfund or someone (like the federal government) sues you.

It just pisses me off.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:16 AM

Sunday, November 03, 2002  

197. Crackpot Chad, pt. 3

7. I may want Saddam to go, but George sucks too. There is a way to 'win' an anti-war argument these days. By 'win' I mean actually take a stance that faces moral reality, and not the fantasy land most people who blindly oppose American action in Iraq wish they could create. We need to be serious about Iraq. And by serious, I mean that if we do go to remove Saddam, we put in a government that works for it's people. We need to know beforehand what we are going to put in place, and we need to know that we're not building another Castro. In short, we need an Iraqi Karzai.

That being said, we need to not pull the bonehead stunts that we've pulled in Afghanistan. I'm not talking about the serious and too numerous bombing errors. I mean that we need to somehow come up with a national government that works and works in at least most of the country.

I guess what I'm getting to is the question of why are we arming warlords in Afghanistan? Is this really the right way to go about things? Didn't we learn something about this in Somalia?

So, even though I do support Saddam's ouster, I too have reservations. I really hope I'm just paranoid.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:27 AM

Saturday, November 02, 2002  

196. Oh Happy Day! Oh What a Glorious and Beautiful Day!

I just sent this email off...

Thank you so much for bringing back Arts & Letters Daily! I understand you're now under the Chronicle of Higher Education and they must be thanked as well, but I'm not sure who there to send thanks to , so you guys get all the credit.

I've been an avid fan of aldaily since about three weeks after it went live and I was very upset to discover it was dormant. I just informed my brother of the news as well, and we are having a toast in your honor, as we did on 6 October.

It did not take long for me to miss your publication. Indeed, I must confess that I pilfered the list of links in your lefthand column and put them at the foot of my weblog so that in case aldaily was not able to return, such a handy reference would not be lost to the web community (by which I mostly mean myself).

I am going to go remove them now, as I promised to do if Arts & Letters Daily was resurrected.

Thank you ever so much!


posted by Tacoshop | 2:20 AM

Friday, November 01, 2002  

195. Crackpot Interlude

When you first got on the Internet, what did you do? When I first got on, the only thing I could use was telnet and FTP. I had no real access to the web in 1995, and I spent hours online at work after everyone else had left.

If you have a masochistic desire to know what it is that I'm talking about, find the telnet client on your machine, it probably has one. In Windows, there is a client called telnet.exe. When you run it, there will be an option called Connect. Under the Connect menu there is a selection called Remote System -- select that. Port should be set to 'telnet' and Termtype to 'VT100'. Under hostname, use 'bbs.isca.uiowa.edu' and login as a Guest.

Tis a blast from the past for me. Maybe a few others as well...

posted by Tacoshop | 4:56 AM

194. Crackpot Chad, cont'd

4. Music. Popular music went steadily downhill with the advent of grunge. I hate grunge. Since Cobain's death, music has done nothing but slowly improve, overall. The only thing that really is holding modern music back at this point is the predeliction for whiny rock.

5. Race relations. You reap what you sow. You know what's really stuck in my craw? Slavery reparations. Why? Because they aren't necessary. Or rather, they shouldn't have been. In my mind, that's effectively what affirmative action was about. Now with the continual reversal of affirmative action in a period that wasn't really quite ready for it, the drumbeat for reparations grows. Already some munincipalities (like Chicago) are caving in to the slavery reparations crowd. The sad thing is that it's just a panacea. If (when?) the reparations are paid out, nothing is going to come of it. There will be a small blip in the income of black people, but I'll wager that it's not going to really improve their lot any. Places like Seattle and Chicago and other screwy northern communities that you would expect should know better are still not going to be 'communities' in the truest sense because they will still be segregated. A big thank you goes out to the stupid fucking Libertarians (like Eugene Volokh, who claims to have helped written the initiative for this) who seem to think the playing field is equal for this travesty.

Let me put it another way. I regularly drop my brother off at school in the mornings. His entire collegiate career in this state has occurred since we repealed affirmative action in our universities. Can you guess how many African-American students I've seen in all the times since I've been on campus?

Fucking zero.

6. 'Baghdad Jimmy' McDermott. This man, (along with whatzisname Bonier of Michigan) are guilty of treason. At the least, they have done more against their country than John Walker Lindh ever did. Where's a damn firing squad when you really need one? The saddest thing is that his seat is the absolute safest in the House of Representatives. Gah!

More crackpot ideas later.

posted by Tacoshop | 1:09 AM