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Exit ArchiveArchive for September, 2006
Permalink Comments Off on Healthy Food for Everyone!Comments Off on Healthy Food for Everyone! By

Carol holding ice cream in front of ironic sign

Carol and I are at the Fair today. Dr. Bob’s IS healthy!

Disney 10-Year Pin

Next Tuesday will be my 10th anniversary here at Disney. As an employee. In actual fact, October 27th (I believe that’s the day) will mark my 12th anniversary here. But those first 2 years, I was temping. Disney doesn’t count that.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this when I get my plaque. Yes, not only do I get the snazzy name-badge pin seen above, which I snagged because I just saw it sitting there in my boss’ office, but I get a plaque. That’s still in my boss’ office, since he’s supposed to present it to me at an off-site location event. Yes, those are the rules! He can’t just throw it at me as we’re passing in the hallway. He said the instructions were clear: Off-site! Like a dinner out. Or something. I vote for bowling. Or at least some Ski-Ball.

I think Disney must be one of the only companies left that at least makes some materialistic token effort to award long service. My boss, for instance, just got his 15-year Sorcerer Mickey statue. Yes, statue. It’s a 10½-inch-tall, heavy, metal-and-wood thing. Pretty nice.

Being here so long has me thinking many, many things. So expect a post on that next week.

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Actually, I don’t mind saying, “Mr. President, may this country tar and feather you and call you mean names.”

Or go to Crooks and Liars, which has a transcript, QuickTime, and WMV. Thanks to Alan for this.

Taken from my car last night on the way home:

Traffic Sunset

This was on Burbank Blvd. at Sepulveda, heading toward the 405. The photo is cropped but otherwise unaltered. Click the pic to see the high-res image, which is more interesting than this tiny one.

To all you potential boyfriends out there, I have to apologize in advance. I know, I often wish I could have the comfort of someone to be with, to do things with, to share with, and I’ve tried to find someone. It’s been a dry few years. My searching has not been successful, and I know that it is my fault. But I have only just now figured out why I have been so strangely unavailable. I’m already in love. Yes, I just realized it, like a shock, and it makes perfect sense.

I am in love with Apple.

It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true. Apple has been there, like a great friend, for years… hell, since I was a kid! Apple taught me to create, program, write. Lemonade Stand! Apple Basic! The 80-column card! Through childhood, through college, through the big move to L.A., Apple came along to support me, listening to me complain on my Mac via e-mail, my blog, iChat, making me feel happy with just the right kind of music at the right time on iTunes, letting me create movies and CDs to share with other friends, helping me drown my sorrows with online buying sprees… Yes, Apple was even there while I rummaged around the Web in Safari, answering who knows how many online personal ads. It never laughed at me once.

It’s not been a one-way friendship, oh, no. I have been there to give succor to Apple since day one, defending its honor and integrity, singing its praises to all who would listen. But I have been too blind to this new level our relationship could attain. That steadfast friend who helps me in just about every facet of my life tried to get me to see, gave little hints here, little hints there, but I was blind. Well, I have smelled the Aqua. It’s time to recognize my feelings, that I have always been smitten to Apple’s every Core. My love has been with me nearly all my life.

My revelation came to me this morning, when I was forgoing important work to hang minute-by-minute on every new announcement, large and minuscule, pouring out of Steve Jobs’ lips. Updated iPods. A beautiful and elegant new iTunes. The tiniest MP3 player you could imagine. A device to finally get all my entertainment from my Mac to my TV! iPod games! Gapless playback! A painfully gorgeous new iPod ad! Style! Beauty! Technology! Oh, sigh!

Everything Apple does is just about the coolest thing in the universe. Okay, sometimes it stumbles, but even its stumbles are infused with freshness, creativity, and effort. Apple tries! It tries so hard! And I have to admit now that I am smitten with such toils. It has won me over. I love it for its faults, I love it for its successes. I take it as it is. Isn’t that love?

So I’m sorry, future significant others. I’m too busy, too enthralled, too entranced to pay much attention to you now. I know it means I may miss an opportunity or two. The man of my dreams may come and go, but I’ll be too busy admiring the album art on my iPod as I listen to Sufjan Stevens, or I’ll be engrossed in my NetNewsWire, awaiting any hint of the Apple Phone I hope to get as a present one of these Christmases. I apologize for the pain my aloofness, my ignorance of your presence will cause. But love is love, and I’d be a fool to ignore it any longer.

I love you, Apple. I want to be yours forever.

Apples of My Eyes

The first shoot for the Tanya/Robb/Kathy project was today, and it was fookin’ awesome. I so want to talk all about it, but I won’t except to say that it was a fookin’ great day. I can not thank them enough for asking me to be a part of it.

I will also offer this picture, a little teaser of what’s in store.

LFTI Episode 1 Olive Spread

It was my privilege and honor to work with those olives, those pimentos, and that fookin’ great label. Robb’s created many fookin’ amazing labels for the project. Okay, so people got a little testy—in a completely jovial and light-hearted way—when I kept holding up the shoot to make sure my olives and pimentos were all in order. But I assure fookin’ everyone that it will have been worth the fookin’ effort.

Thanks again, guys, and congratulations on today. Here’s to all the fookin’ work to come. It’ll all be worth it.

So if yesterday’s post contained good news, and the post before that contained bad news, this post contains some mixed news.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released reports yesterday (on Friday, a day you come out with stuff to bury it in the news—I learned that on The West Wing!) concluding that, among other already known facts, Iraq and Saddam Hussein had no connection to Al Qaeda. Okay, so duh. But considering Bush just used that excuse again defending himself (see yesterday’s post), it’s pretty helpful that official documentation came out concluding this.

Why is this mixed news? The good news is that Bush and his cadre of nasty little friends are, little-by-little, getting caught for their misdeeds. The bad news is that their misdeeds have pulled the wool over the eyes of most Americans, making them look stupid, and, worse, causing insane amounts of harm to America in the form of disastrous anti-American sentiment and tens of thousands of deaths through unnecessary war.

You can read about the Senate reports at Reuters [story no longer available] and, before they start charging for it in the archives, at the Los Angeles Times[story no longer available… at least for free]. The Times buries a very interesting and important fact in the last paragraphs of the article (another tactic to make sure most people don’t get the info):

The Senate report also offers new theories as to why Hussein’s regime was unable to convince U.N. inspectors before the U.S. invasion that it no longer had stocks of illegal weapons.

A recent CIA analysis concluded that Hussein was stunned by the aggressiveness of weapons inspections after the 1991 Gulf War, and ordered the covert destruction of undeclared weapons and documents.

In the process, Hussein destroyed the very records U.N. inspectors sought a decade later when putting pressure on Iraq to account for its illicit weapons.

“The result was that Iraq was unable to provide proof when it tried at a later time to establish compliance,” the report said, citing the CIA study.

Of course, Bush and friends knew that already, you can be sure of that, but how could we have possibly gone to war in Iraq without ignoring all the facts?

The Times story also has this fantastic comparison of senior administration officials statement and facts from the new report:


A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee found no evidence connecting Iraq to weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda:

* * * * * *

On connections between Iraq and terrorists

“We clearly know that there were in the past and have been contacts between senior Iraqi officials and members of Al Qaeda going back for actually quite a long time.”

Condoleezza Rice, Sept. 25, 2002

“We are especially concerned about Iraq because of the developments we see with respect to [Hussein’s] weapons of mass destruction, because he has in the past, for example, had a relationship with terrorist organizations, has provided sanctuary in Iraq for terrorist organizations of various kinds.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, Sept. 9, 2002

Committee finding:

“According to debriefs of multiple detainees—including Saddam Hussein and former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz—and captured documents, Saddam did not trust Al Qaeda or any other radical Islamist group and did not want to cooperate with them. Hussein reportedly believed, however, that Al Qaeda was an effective organization because of its ability to successfully attack U.S. interests.”

* * * * * *

On Iraq’s desire and ability to acquire nuclear weapons

“Saddam Hussein promised the U.N. that he would destroy and cease further development of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and that he would submit to unrestricted inspections. He has flatly broken these pledges, producing chemical and biological weapons, aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapons program and working to develop long-range ballistic missiles.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, Sept. 27, 2002

Committee findings:

“Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Information obtained after the war supports the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s (INR) assessment in the NIE that the intelligence community lacked persuasive evidence that Baghdad had launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.”

“Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessment that ‘Iraq has biological weapons’ and that ‘All key aspects of Iraq’s offensive biological weapons (BW) program are larger and more advanced than before the Gulf War.'”

“The ISG [Iraq Survey Group] uncovered no evidence indicating that Iraq maintained a stockpile of chemical weapons or had been producing chemical weapons. Since the spring of 2003, coalition forces have discovered approximately 500 filled and unfilled degraded chemical munitions. All of the munitions appear to be pre-1991 CW [chemical weapons] and not part of an active weapons stockpile. Postwar inspections of the sites suspected of having a CW role revealed that they were likely used for the production of non-CW dual-use materials, and had a limited capability to restart the manufacture of CW.”

* * * * * *

On Iraq developing unmanned aerial vehicles for delivering weapons of mass destruction

“We know that he has been working hard on developing a means to disseminate those weapons. We have evidence that he has been looking at aerial vehicles.”

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Sept. 8, 2002

Committee finding:

“Postwar findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessments that Iraq had a developmental program for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ‘probably intended to deliver biological agents’ or that an effort to procure U.S. mapping software ‘strongly suggests that Iraq is investigating the use of these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.’ Postwar findings support the view of the Air Force, joined by the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] and the Army, in an NIE published in January 2003, that Iraq’s UAVs were primarily intended for reconnaissance.”

In case you are keen to read the original reports, you can find them here:

Postwar Findings about Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments and The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress. (Warning: Big PDFs!)

This is all very interesting, if not at all surprising. This is absolutely the time when one half of the country can say to the other half, “We told you so!”

And we did tell you so! Over and over and over. We told you in 2000, when we could tell what an idiot and a sleaze Bush really was. We told you in 2001, after 9/11, when Bush’s actions began to turn to vengeance… financially-lucrative retribution. We told you in 2003 before Bush started the Iraq war. And we told you time and again as the war has dragged on. As each and every piece of Bush’s lie-spawned tale of terror and attack has been refuted and shown for the nonsense it is, we have told you.

Yet 43% of you, according to the Times article, STILL think Iraq had something to do with 9/11! Many, many of you still support the war, and still support this son of a bitch as our President.

What is wrong with you people?

The answer to that is easy, but multi-faceted. It has to do with laziness and weariness, I know. Oh, it’s so much easier to give a shit about Taylor Hicks than it is about the thousands of people who’ve been killed in the wars we’ve started after 9/11. I know, it’s so easy! But come friggin’ on, you louts! Really, what does it take to get any of you mad?

I know, abortion. Gay marriage. Stem cells. No, somehow, these are items to enrage and beg for calls of morality from God’s fat ‘n’ lazy couch brigade. But the killing of over 2,500 U.S. troops and wounding of almost 20,000 more in Iraq, the death of over 41,000 Iraqi civilians, these are not facts that enrage you.

George got all foamed at the mouth when he was talking about 3,000 of our citizens being killed in 9/11 (again, see yesterday’s post), and yet here we are killing so much more than that in a war that has no roots in 9/11, no roots in Al Qaeda, no roots in anything of any significance other than it makes some of us very, very rich.

Half of us know Bush and his jack-ass friends are horrible people. We could tell this from the get-go. I could cut the rest of you a little bit of slack for not being very good judges of character back in 2000, but not any more. You’ve all tried so very hard to keep George a good man in your minds, despite that the universe demonstrates otherwise. Your brains must be tired of the charade. Really. Come on. Enough of this ignorance and hollow patriotic support. You can have an American flag stuck to your car and still dislike Bush.

Come on, wake up. You can do it. Be brave. Have a spine. Let yourself be angry. You’ve been good about being angry at so much that doesn’t matter. Well, it’s time for you all to get angry about something that does. Because I don’t want to be back here in 2008 telling you that you all should have seen the tragedy in Iran coming…

Since yesterday’s post was so annoying, I thought I’d collect some good news for today! I wrote this whole post out once already, but lost it when the RealPlayer installer closed my browser. Oops. No, it was my fault. It asked me first, but I just wasn’t thinking. As punishment, I’m going to stay here at work instead of going home to watch The Tick so I can re-write the entire post. So here goes…

To start with, you are not alone! Nope. According to this article, most theater patrons are in favor of jamming cell phones in theaters. I myself would also be in favor of a slapping law. If you text message or talk on your cell phone during a play or movie, each other patron would be allowed to slap you, briskly, four times across the face. It may not be very Ghandi, but it sure would be fun!

Speaking of laws and the governments who can ignore them, hooray for Federal Judge Garr M. King for allowing another lawsuit against the NSA to move forward. Can we throw these activist judges a thank-you party? What do activist judges drink? Do they enjoy party games? Twister? Naked? In butterscotch pudding? I’ll bet they do, those wicked, wicked activist judges!

Speaking of activism, what’s not to like about saving the environment? What’s not to like about rechargeable batteries that work like alkalines? Nothing! Nothing, I tell you! Ah, finally… no more guilt using the nose hair trimmer!

Speaking of nose hair, it’s the 40th anniversary of that Tribble-riffic show, Star Trek. Lore Sjöberg, formerly of The Brunching Shuttlecocks and now, it seems, creating new Flash animations at Bad Gods, got to have a lovely chat with William Shatner on this very special occasion.

Speaking of the Heimlich maneuver, since I did close yesterday’s post with a funny tidbit, I’m going to close this happy post with a potentially annoying tidbit. But, hey, come on, when Georgie Bush gets handed his own bullshit back to him on a platter, it’s damn happy reading in my mind. You can actually hear GB flounder and sizzle with anger, thanks, once again, to Democracy Now. Click here for the audio file (it’s a RealAudio stream, unfortunately), and start listening at 15:10. It’s worth it. If you simply aren’t a lover of audio-visual stimulus, here’s the transcript in boring ol’ text format (I added back in all his uhs and stutters and the note on his anger):

AMY GOODMAN (DEMOCRACY NOW HOST): On Monday, he [President Bush] admitted the Iraq war is straining the psyche of our country, but vowed to stay the course. A reporter questioned him about why he opposed withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

REPORTER: A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn’t gone in. How do you square all of that?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I square it, because, uh— imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was, uh— uh— paying suiciders— uh, to kill innocent life, uh who would, uh— who had relations with Zarqawi. Imagine what the world would be like with him in power. The idea is to try to help change the Middle East.

Now, look, I di— part of the reason we went into Iraq— uh, was, uh— the main reason we went into Iraq at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. Turns out he didn’t, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction. But I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq, and I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda. And so my question— my answer to your question is, is that— imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that, uh, ha— uh, had so much resentment and so much hatred that three— that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

You know, I-I’ve heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived, and then, you know, kind of that we’re going to stir up the hornet’s nest theory. I-i-it just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned. [Suddenly vitriolic] The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were—

REPORTER: What did Iraq have to do with that?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

REPORTER: The attack on the World Trade Center?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Nothing, except for it’s part of— and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a— uh, Iraq— the-the-the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody’s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th, uh, were ordered by Iraq.

Speaking of idiots draping themselves in the flag, Tanya was right: Pictures are more fun! I hope she enjoys this one of a God-damned, America-hating, activist flag-desecrator naked guy (sans butterscotch pudding).

American Flag with Firm Ass

Today is chock full o’ annoying news to delight the infuriation centers of the brain.

First off, Clear Channel is asking that the relaxed rules on station ownership be relaxed even more. Why? Because how can a fat man get even fatter if his pants only have a 96″ waist?

Next comes news from George B. himself, a consistent source for annoying news. He admitted that we did (“did”?) indeed have secret prisons overseas for holding terrorism suspects. Gee, quel suprise. He also pretty much insults the Supreme Court, says that anti-torture laws are vague and keep our guys from “doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way,” and asked Congress to pass legislation that will make it okay to try by military tribunal pretty much anyone, including Americans. If you can stomach it, read the transcript here. Or if you prefer a more progressive slant, read a transcript from today’s Democracy Now.

Want to enjoy some more RIAA fun? Good! Well, a defendant in one of those ridiculous RIAA music file swapping cases has asked that an independent third party be allowed to examine her hard drive for the evidence the RIAA seeks instead of sending it directly to a party of the RIAA’s choosing. Sounds entirely reasonable, but of course the RIAA does a little legal whiny dance, pounding its little fists on how unfair the world is.

Finally, some levity, though the levity arises from sour milk. The Onion still has some quality left in it, as their story on the dedication of the ground zero 9/11 Memorial Hole demonstrates. Wanna know what’s been going on and why we only have a hole there? Believe it or not, I’m going to send you over to USA Today for a fun interactive Ground Zero Development delay map! Fun and 9/11! They go together like over-eager 5th anniversary media coverage and tact!

Keen readers of this ether-bound discourse will be aware that I was away at Lake Powell over the recent Labor Day holiday. While I am not yet back in L.A., I was keen to post something tonight, as I had two spare “keen”s to use up before they got confiscated by the TSA.

SSneaky (who also goes by the name of SSneaky) said in a comment to the relevant post that good ol’ L.A. was hot, hot, hot over the holiday. Well, while Lake Powell was also, by any standard of measurement, hot, hot, hot, it was not as hot as you’d think it might be in the middle of the desert. (I almost typed “dessert.” Yum!) No, the sun was hot, but the air had a wonderful breeze that made it perfectly fine. Though my sister might have something to say about me calling it “perfectly fine.” But she can start her own blog!

Here, then, is a sneak peek pic. (Click on it for a larger version.)

Coyote as Seen through Binoculars

This was me experimenting with taking pictures through a pair of vintage (according to my dad) WWII binoculars. Within the cartoony circle, do please note a coyote, which creature made an appearance across the water from our campsite two days in a row. My parents said they had never seen coyotes in all their years camping on the shores of mighty, mighty Lake Powell. But late one night, the cry of the coyotes in Ultra-Proximity SupraSurround 360° sent a chill down all of our spines. (It also sent two of our party scampering for the boat in fear, but we won’t mention that.)

I promise to put a Lake Powell page up soon. I wager it will rival last year’s. And by “wager” I mean “no bets, please.”