Voted "Best Blog With No Readers", 2009 Blogspot Awards.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And a Happy New Year

Akkerman's a little out of tune as usual, but stay with it.

Why Speed Cameras Don't Work

Simple enough. Speed through a camera trap, then claim these clowns put a picture of your license plate on theirs. Same type of car? They found a friend with the same car you have.

The state has the burden of proof-- they have to prove it was your car. Print out this article and take it before the judge. Instant acquittal. This is why they set the fine so low, with no points on your license. They just want you to mail in the money, knowing that if you challenge it, the state will lose.

Take my advice: print out the article, and show it to the judge. Instant acquittal-- even if you're guilty as hell. Speed cameras were bogus from the start. They're just moneymakers for the state and the companies that build and operate them. Do your part and help eliminate them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gold-digger of the Year Award

(the couple, in happier times)

It's hard to find lists of top gold-diggers, but a few names come to mind: Brooke Gordon, Anna Nicole Smith, Heather Mills.

Add this one: Marie Douglas-David.

$53,000 a week? That's seriously high-maintenance. I hope she was worth it, George. I really hope she was worth it.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Grinch of the Year Award

Goes to:

Winning entry: No Christmas cheer as recession gathers steam

Despite the best efforts of those in the bad-news media to cast a pall of gloom over our holiday, there's plenty of Christmas cheer to be found. It's too bad the ace reporters at Reuters can't find it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Break

Exams and stuff.

I'll post when I can.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wrong Again.

Rolling Stone recently published their "Top 100 Singers of all time". As usual, they're wrong about everything. It reads more like a list of "who's got the best publicists" than who the best singers actually were.

The fact that Bob Dylan (above) was #7 should be enough proof.

But wait-- here's more. Karen Carpenter had a voice worth its weight in gold, and snuck in at #94. Art Garfunkel is another with a stupendously good voice-- he was #86.

But what's worst of all are the sheer omissions. Deep Purple's Ian Gillan is totally omitted-- and he had a better voice than Robert Plant (#15). Yes, he did.

No, it gets worse. More total omissions: Lena Horne, Stewkey, Arthur Brown, Cher, and Marc Bolan. All of them worth including. Yet somehow they found room for Lou Reed. I'm sorry, but Lou Reed couldn't even sing. At all. Period. End of paragraph.

But the worst omission of all is a woman who could give their #1 a run for her money: Shirley Bassey. Completely omitted. Rolling Stone is sad. I'm calling Rolling Stone sad right here. Sad. Wrong about everything.

If you have a subscription, cancel it. I'm serious. You're just wasting your money.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Eyebrow Thing

I have no idea where it came from, but along the way I realized that I find a certain type of eyebrows very attractive.

I like them thick, straight, and dark. A few examples:

Comedienne Sarah Silverman:

Supermodel Kathy Ireland:

Actress Ilona Staller, AKA Cicciolina:

The reverse is also true; I detest thin, arched, plucked brows. Paris Hilton comes to mind. No need to post any pictures of her.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I hate the terms "survivalist" and "survival". They bring to mind images of Grizzly Adams living in a log cabin, or worse, militia nuts playing war games in the woods.

Terms like this do nothing to help you and me through times of trouble and woe. "Preparedness" is a lot closer to being an accurate description. You have to be prepared for catastrophe.

I recently discussed this topic with an ordinary guy who told me he'd "just take (his) chances". I told him I used to think like that. I figured that if big trouble came, it would be in the form of a Russian missile with a nuclear warhead. You could decide to either die slowly of radiation poisoning or walk outside, face the blast, and hope for a quick and relatively painless death.

Experience has taught me otherwise. Hurricane Katrina was an eye-opener for many people. It's much more likely that any crisis we will face won't be of the life-and-death variety, but of the cold-wet-and-hungry variety. A little preparation will go a long way.

In the coming days, I'll have a few more posts on this topic.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Panorama: University of Maryland

(click for bigger. MUCH bigger.)

This is a panorama taken from the top of the top of the parking garage behind Cole Student Center at the University of Maryland College Park campus. You can see Byrd Stadium and a good bit of the campus to the South.

I wanted to take a picture of the inside of Cole. I was there to take an exam. It was a great place for a panorama, but one person had "concerns". That's all it takes to shut you down these days.

Lessons learned:

1. If you're around any people, at least one will have "concerns". Be prepared. Whenever you take pictures in public places, it helps to know your rights. Bert Krages, an attorney, has put together a very helpful guide to your rights as a photographer.

2. Whenever they shut you down, you will have gone though all of the steps of setting up your tripod, leveling, getting your exposure just right, etc... It's very frustrating. If you just snap a quick shot, you'll probably get away with it, but when you start setting up your tripod, people are much more likely to pitch a fit. I think I'll try quickie non-tripod panoramas in the future.

3. When the weather limits your outdoor time, get your camera set up as much as possible before you go outside. That seems obvious, but it deserves mentioning. I used an auto setting here because I didn't want to adjust the manual controls with numb fingers. You can see the differences in exposure settings, especially in the sky.

4. The horizontal level of your camera is important; the vertical level, not so much. If the best part of your view is below you, tip your camera down. When you adjust your stitches, you'll want to pull together the parts that draw attention. The sky isn't as important as the ground.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Too Sexy

Apparently, Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame is too sexy for Disneyland, even when played by the C-list rejects preferred by the Magic Kingdom.

Just one look at the devilish rogue and girls will lift their shirts. This has caused the powers that be to throw the Captain overboard. They've fired all of their Captain Jack actors in the name of family-friendly entertainment.

Now you know who to dress up as next Halloween-- and it works as a date movie too. I can affirm this from my own experience. Get that Keith Richards thing going, and they just can't help themselves.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Move the Ball a Little

The old saying goes, "Offense wins games; defense wins championships." The Redskins aren't winning enough games right now, and at 7-5 are looking like they'll miss the playoffs. They either have to move to the NFC West or put up some more points.

Going into this weekend, they have scored just 208 points. Four other teams have less than 208 points each, and their combined record is 6-42-1.

The defense is strong and special teams are good, although field goals have been shaky lately. This contributes to the lack of points, but the real problem seems to be the play calling. How can you have the best running back in the league, a strong and healthy offensive line, a Pro Bowl-quality QB, a bunch of good receivers, and not score touchdowns?

I say, be more aggressive. Just one failed third down conversion will stop a drive. If you're forced to make a lot of third downs, you're going to have a lot of stalled drives. Try to get first downs in two plays instead of three.

Give Portis the ball more, with less of the two-yard grinders. Give him the chance to break a few and he will. Campbell is a good runner; give him more keepers and QB draws. He's a big guy; he can take a hit. Throw downfield, not to the sidelines.

That's my advice as an armchair play-caller, and I have an undefeated record.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Taken from a Daily Mail article, but never mind the ring-- look at those eyes.

I prefer brown eyes, and that is exactly the shade of brown I like best.

Someday soon I'll discuss my eyebrow fetish, too. I have a thing for a certain type of eyebrows. I'll explain later.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Joy

I've been saving this one. Clark Griswold would love it.

It's Apollo 100, but without the cat this time.

Once again, turn it up.

Reading List

  • Man Is Wolf to Man, by Janusz Bardach
  • Don't Swallow Your Gum! by Aaron Carroll & Rachel Vreeman
  • Instant Replay, by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap
  • New York, by Edward Rutherford
  • The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson

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