Friday, August 29, 2008

Smoking Loon Pinot Noir

Smoking Loon Pinot Noir is this week's selection for Booze Of The Week.

It's the end of the month, and as we all try to stretch out that paycheck over the last weekend of the month, you will find this to be an extraordinarily affordable wine at $9.99 retail that consistently over-delivers. Finding a pinot noir under $10 is tough, finding a good one is even tougher, and finding a good one that is from California nearly impossible. This wine delivers on all counts.

Dark, ruby red in color, it has a strong nose with lots of cherry. On the tongue it's got strawberry, cherry, a tinge of black pepper and a bit of oak and it ends with a smooth, excellent finish.

I know you're thinking to yourself that red wine in the summer doesn't sound terribly appealing, but this wine is very light, not at all heavy and makes fine summer drinking. It can also be paired with most foods as it's not at all overbearing. It's a great wine for sipping while you cook and then drinking with your meal.

Give it a try, and as always, please let me know what you think.

And The Viking Vote Goes To.....

Just in case you were wondering which way the Viking vote is leaning.......
Thanks to Luq for the most awesome photo.

So McCain goes with a VPILF.....

Just to be clear from the outset, ya, I'd hit it.

Also, I wish I were the one clever enough to come up with VPILF, but alas, that ship has already sailed and you can visit the VPILF website. God bless the internet.

That aside, wow, what a choice. Sarah Palin, the Republican Governor of Alaska. I generally dislike the small-state running mate (see: Joe Biden) because I've always thought a VP adds little to a campaign if they can't help you carry a couple states you wouldn't have otherwise. That was part of my dislike of Obama's biden pick, and it rings true here as well. Everything else about this pick makes McCain look like a genius.

All the lip service at the convention aside, I'm not convinced the Hilary voters are jumping on the Obama bandwagon, and I think it's very, very possible that a women veep behind an old man with health problems could draw a fair amount of the aforementioned disaffected Hilary voters. The media is running with the fact that she hunts/fishes for some reason, I think the bigger point is that she's a mother of five including a child with Downs and a child getting shipped to Iraq in a few months. Women tend to be more emotional voters than cerebral ones (i swear i read that somewhere) and I can see her playing that story to garner a nice chunk of female voters.

Furthermore, she's got the right kind of views for the conservative base of the GOP. She's pro-life and pro-gun. Not that the latter matters, all the nutjob far righters really care about is abortion-and now she gives the McCain ticket credibility to them on it.

Which isn't to say it's a perfect choice. She does take away the inexperience attack the McCain camp is consistently leveling on Obama, and it remains to be seen whether or not she will be as effective an attack dog as Biden, but I think the positives far outweight the negatives for McCain. She also does have some supposed expertise on energy on account of being the Governor of Alaska, but I'm not sure how that will translate to the campaign proper.

In short, I think it's a bold and genius pick from McCain. I think this election just got a lot more interesting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ok, Enough About Politics

Although I do want to thank Paul for the banter back and forth we've had regarding Obama the past few days, and especially for the snippets he sent me today (see: comments) and for the discussion on Obama's energy policy that I will get around to having with him at some point when work isn't so busy.

Speaking of work being busy, you know what with it being end of month and tough to sell much wine in Texas in August regardless, today I will just leave you with an interview I found fascinating. It was mentioned earlier today on The Hardline and I thought I'd dig into it a little further once I got home, and now I think I might just buy the book. Or wait for T-bone to Netflix the movie. You know, one or the other.

Point is, knowing Hitler never had any children I never gave much thought to whether or not Hitler had other relatives, let alone relatives in the United States. And I think the part at the end where the great-nephews made a pact to never pro-create so as to end the Hitler bloodline was pretty interesting. You can find the following here at CNN.


(CNN) -- Adolf Hitler left no offspring when he died in his bunker in 1945. But he wasn't the last of the Hitler line. He had a nephew, William Patrick Hitler, who grew up in England, moved to America, and had three sons.

The story of those Hitlers is told in a new documentary, "The Last of the Hitlers," based on the book of the same name by British journalist David Gardner. CNN's Paula Zahn spoke to Gardner on Tuesday's "American Morning."

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Very remarkable story to share with you now. There are three brothers who live normal, anonymous lives with their mother in a modest house in Long Island, New York. But the three men have a darkly unique heritage. They happen to be the great nephews of Adolf Hitler, the last known living relatives of the murderous tyrant.
A new documentary, called "The Last of the Hitlers," tells the story of the brothers, and their bizarre pact with each other never to have children in order to sever the bloodline of their infamous relative.

The film is based on the fascinating book of the same name by journalist David Gardner, who joins us now from Los Angeles, California.

So David, how did you find these brothers?

DAVID GARDNER, AUTHOR, "THE LAST OF THE HITLERS": Well, it was a long journey. About 1995, I was working with a news agency in New York, and I was asked to try and track them down, track down William Patrick Hitler, who was Hitler's nephew. There had been some cuttings, old newspaper cuttings, from before the Second World War, and that's pretty much the last anyone heard of him.

So, I kind of started with a phone book, looking under Hitler in the phone book. Didn't get very far. It was a long journey. Took me about four years to find the family.

ZAHN: And once you found them, what proof did you have that these men were actually related to Hitler?

GARDNER: Well, for a start, I had birth dates, and documentary evidence before I actually approached the family, and then when I actually knocked at their door, this is the first time anyone had actually knocked at their door for 50 years. So it was something of a shock to them, but William Patrick's widow confirmed that her husband was indeed -- or had indeed -- been the nephew of Adolf Hitler.

ZAHN: Sorry -- sorry. I was just going to refer back to the head shots we just saw. There didn't seem to be any overt physical resemblance to Adolf Hitler. What were the similarities you found, if any, between these nephews and their uncle?

GARDNER: Well, I think that is the point. Apart from a very vague resemblance in looks, these -- this part of the family is so far removed from Adolf. They've lived all-American lives. They live in a small town in Long Island. ... They were born in America, and these are the American Hitlers, in effect.

But they've lived very different lives to the one that the Fuhrer lived, and indeed, a different life than then one their father lived. Their father actually grew up in England, spent six, seven years in Germany in the 1930s, where his uncle gave him a job, and then he came to America just before the Second World War, and the family's been here ever since.

ZAHN: Tell us a little bit about this blackmail letter that you learned of. Who had the letter and what did it tell us?

GARDNER: Well, William Patrick, as I said, was working in Germany in the '30s, and he'd gone there hoping to benefit from his uncle's position. At that time, having a Hitler in Germany, there was a good chance he was going to get a good position, but he found that he was kind of knocked around -- he worked at a lowly bank job, he worked in a car factory, never really getting any decent money or any position. He sent a blackmail letter to Adolf, basically saying: If you don't give me a better job and treat me a little bit better, I'll go public with the speculation within the family that Hitler himself had a Jewish grandfather.

ZAHN: Whatever became of that threat?

GARDNER: Well, in fact, Hitler kind of bowed down to it, this lowly nephew, and did give him some money, which is kind of curious. I mean, of all the terrible things that Hitler did, the one person that stood up to him seems to have been his own nephew, and who went away with the equivalent now to a quarter-million dollars.

ZAHN: Let's talk about the reality of the lives these nephews live. Did they all change their names so they could live in relative obscurity here?

GARDNER: Yeah, that's the case. In fact, when William Patrick, Adolf's nephew, came to America, he went on to serve in the U.S. Navy and fought against his uncle. But after the war, obviously, it became clear that having the name Hitler was not a good thing to have. And he changed his name, and went on to have -- to marry, have a family, and they lived in total anonymity. That was for the last 50 years.

ZAHN: And David, is it true the nephews signed a pact making the agreement that none of them would ever bear children so that the bloodline would basically stop with them?

GARDNER: They didn't sign a pact, but what they did is, they talked amongst themselves, talked about the burden they've had in the background of their lives, and decided that none of them would marry, none of them would have children. And that's something that -- a pact they've kept to this day.

ZAHN: Well, it's amazing, it took you four years to find them. The story is absolutely fascinating, as is the book. We very much appreciate your getting up at this ungodly hour on the West Coast to join us this morning.

GARDNER: It's a pleasure. Thank you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Barack Might Just End Up My Homeboy

Alright, I guess it's time for me to go on the record here, and admit something I'd rather not. I don't hate Barack Obama. I don't even dislike the guy. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I rather enjoy listening to the man speak....he's a great orator and his rhetoric can be quite inspirational. After 8 years of a President whom couldn't speak his way out of a paper bag, it's a fantastic change of pace. I even agree with the man on a fair amount of issues, but before we get into those, let's get into what has led me to this point.

I used to adore John McCain. Atleast I thought I did, and while that adoration might have been due to a lack of scrutiny is very possible, at the tail end of the 20th century and in the 2000 primaries I thought John McCain was the man. The first time I ever cast a ballot in a federal election, it was for John McCain in the GOP primaries. When he got bounced in said primaries, I quickly ran back to the far left and cast my vote in the general election for Green candidate Ralph Nader (how many voters in America voted for McCain and Nader? I bet I'm one of like five). I was, and still am, sickened by the role of special interest money in politics (sure, there is money funneled in by good causes like teachers groups as well, it's not just Big Oil or Tobacco), and while McCain/Feingold was by no means perfect, it seemed like a nice starting point for a solution. I respected that John McCain shared my disdain and sought to fix it, and in the process reached across the aisle to do so. I also respected that John McCain was a veteran and a POW, and more than anything I respected the speeches and straight forward manner in which he campaigned in 2000. Sure, some of that Maverick thing was spin from his campaign, but he played the part so well. Whereas George W. Bush's campaign tried to play the cowboy angle making Bush more like a Blazing Saddles cowboy than Wyatt Earp, John McCain really did come off as the freewheelin' straight talkin' cowboy.

What's not to love?

And since the 2000 election, he had maintained that persona. I actually did agree with him that we needed to stay in Iraq (if you're going to go to war, then you've got to finish the job, even if I disagreed with the war in the first place), and when he came out against the Bush administration on torture, I was again elated. Of course then came the last six months, where that John McCain somehow died and was replaced with a GOP puppet that parrots each and every one of the failed policies of the past eight years. I don't know what happened, and I can't pretend I'm not extoardinarily disappointed-but the writing is on the walls, and it's clear that this isn't the John McCain of old.

Thing is, at the same time I've been intrigued by Barack Obama all along. When Obama was in Dallas I attempted to go (failed), and while I was a McCain supporter I was curious to see what Obama was going to bring to the table. Now this wasn't something I'd readily admit, being a recovering liberal (I will get into the actual politics in a bit), I found that it was far more enjoyable-and informative-to chastise the members of the Cult of Obama and see what sort of opinions and facts shook loose while at the same time doing my own research on the side. I was one of those few voters that was actually planning to go into this process open minded.

My biggest beef was never really with Obama himself, but moreso with the Democratic party. I'm a left leaning moderate, but I absolutely hate the Democratic party. Not only have they repeatedly proven their incompetence, they're the type of folks that get behind nanny state programs to satisfy the uninformed housewives screaming, "but what about the children?" instead of tackling real, modern, and important issues. As Gorbachev found realized, speeches on class warfare and promising to make this world a better place one smoking ban at a time doesn't work-I want substance and a plan, and the Democrats have been unable to give any sort of coherent plan for anything since Clinton crafted one himself. The 2000 election never should have been as close as it was, and 2004 gave us one of the worst campaigns in the history of campaigning with John Kerry-these people can't even get elected, how the hell am I supposed to trust them to govern? But I digress;

I still have severe reservations that Obama is a populist by word only, that these speeches are going to end up being pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and that when he is elected, he will settle in as President and instead of Big Oil getting it's day in the sun Trial Lawyers will. That he will do what the Democrats and Republicans do when they win power, which is namely just shift the power to a different group of special interests. But if I put that skepticism aside, I do see an engaging and progressive President. Sure I'm mildly annoyed when on his website he lists Disabilities just below defense and the economy on his issues (not that I have a problem with the handicapped getting into libraries, just that i don't think that should be among the Presidents primary concerns).

But I am not only willing to give the man a chance at this point, I am leaning towards him. I still shudder at his plan to leave Iraq before the end of 2009, but I back him on privacy and civil rights. I think his energy policy, especially with the breakthrough in Solar Energy Storage last month, shows a lot of promise, even if I hate some of the environmental measures. And while I laugh at his claims that he's concerned about the national debt and paying it down, especially while he touts nationalized healthcare, I do believe he's got the foundation of the most advanced policy regarding technology well, ever.

In short, it's pretty much a split for me, I disagree on issues with him just about as often as I agree. And yet, that's somehow more than the new John McCain. So I'm guessing it's time to choke it down, and accept that Obama is the better choice-even if he's not the best.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters

Alright, so after hearing the buzz for the past few months, including a feature on "Bad Radio Reports," and getting stiffed by a friend who Netflix'd it and then returned it before I called him to borrow it, I finally got around to seeing King Of Kong this afternoon.

For those of you maybe unaware, the film follows Steve Wiebe a science teacher from Redmond, WA as he decides to try and attain the world record score for Donkey Kong, completely unaware of the politics of competitive gaming, and unaware of what a douchebag Billy Mitchell is (the guy pictured above, and that picture doesn't begin to express his asshattery).

Billy Mitchell and his nerd minions (as though I've got room to talk, but shit, I'm the Fonz compared to these guys) take this very, very seriously and will stop at nothing to stop this new guy, whom seems totally normal with a family and two kids, from breaking Billy Mitchell's Donkey Kong record which has stood since 1982.

I don't want to say too much, I don't want to spoil it-it's too awesome. Grizzly Man and Timothy Treadwell was a good documentary, but this one is great. The cast of characters and their motives are just so insane. The lenghts they go to both getting and stopping the record, the rolling eyes of Wiebe's wife as she puts up with it all, and the self-importance and low grade fame Mitchell and his people assign themselves is priceless. The director does a great job projecting Mitchell as the antagonist.

It's good stuff, not terribly deep but a fascinating and lighthearted documentary most anyone who's every played Donkey Kong or Pac Man could enjoy.

EDIT 08/25: As it turns out the Grizzly Man Returneth as The Grizzly Man Diaries, another documentary using Timothy Treadwell's grizzly bear footage, will air on Animal Planet beginning August 29. Awesome.

And the winner is.......

.....Joseph Biden, whom in this picture looks like an older Val Kilmer. Can't you see him with the thin mustache claiming that he's your huckleberry or saying, "Wyatt" in that southern drawl that epitomizes pretty much the best role Val Kilmer ever played? I sure can.
But I guess that's burying the lead. The story is that, inexplicably, Barack Obama has chosen Val, errrr, Joe Biden the senior Senator from Delaware and known plagiarist, as his running mate. The pundits are claiming it is meant to bolster his "foreign policy credentials" because of the high ranking Senate committees he's chaired.

Well, why didn't you just say so. Now I understand completely why a guy campaigning as an outsider and promising change would nominate a career politician (sixth longest serving time amongst current Senators) that was just talking shit about him mere months before. But I guess sacrificing the entire campaign platform is so totally worth it when you'll win Delaware. I mean, it's Delaware....they've got crab cakes and....umm, I was gonna say Dunder Mifflin but I think that's New Jersey. So Delaware has crab cakes, and now Obama has Delaware. I think they also have a lot of Philadelphia Eagles fans in Delaware too, so when Obama needs people to throw snowballs filled with batteries and cheer on life-threatening injuries, he's got that covered to.....and crab cakes.

It's a running joke that the Democrats can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and I'm like a proud parent watching them do it again. It's so sad it's funny. Which isn't to say that Obama is going to lose this election, I mean considering his opponent....well maybe this is just Obama handicapping himself, you know, to make it a fair fight.

But, just in case you wanted a better reason to dislike Xerox Joe, you know besides my incipid ranting, he is pro-RIAA and anti-privacy. Haven't found anything about him regarding Net Neutrality, though he did vote for the Iraq war. So ya, we've got that going for us. I gotta say, I'm pretty damn disappointed in Barack Obama today.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Booze Of The Week - Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc

So as part of expanding my blog from it's myspace beginnings to the intertubes at large, I wanted to debut a weekly column that would highlight my professional expertise. So every week I will post a new item, be it beer, wine, or spirits that I'd like to suggest you give a try. If you've had it, please let me know what you thought....and if you haven't, well why not pick it up, give it sip, and them let me know what you think.

Much like good food, part of the joy of good drink is discussing and sharing it with friends. And since it's part of my chosen career to try new things, I felt it would be appropriate to then share the best with you, dear reader. So without further adieu, this week's Booze Of The Week is Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc

Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite summer wines. While some middle-tier Sauvignon Blancs tend towards a more round and fruity style, this one maintains a very nice crisp citrus taste that finishes nicely, not evaporating in your mouth within seconds, but instead lingering so you get to truely experience it. And the best part? It generally retails right around $9.99, the juice most certainly outperforms it's price point and is a great value.

I think it's a fantastic pre-meal wine, opening up your taste buds for the meal ahead. That said, it also pairs very well with a meal, especially seafood. The lemon, lime, and gooseberry flavors blend seemlessly with sushi, fish, shrimp, and scallops. And while most people would go with a Riesling for spicy food, I've had this Sauvignon Blanc with Vietnamese food a couple times and it's a perfect compliment-it's heaven with a spicy shrimp imperial roll.

It's from the California Appellation and the winemaker is Mick Schroeter. And while Geyser Peak also makes a very nice Cabernet Sauvignon (their 2003 vintage especially was fantastic) and a nice Meritage, the Sauvignon Blanc is the best known of their wines, and for good reason. Nicely chilled, it's an absolute delight. So grab yourself a bottle, and let me know what you think-I think you'll love it.


I know we've all had them, but today was just one of those days. You know, those days. A quick timeline, if you will indulge me;
7:30a: A call from the office hits my voicemail, informing me that 18 cases of mine had been rejected by an account. I assume they've got the wrong salesman since I sent nothing. You know, since they're doing inventory today.
8:00a: A call from my district manager informing me that I have approximately 20 cases of product shipping to said account today, and that I need to be there to build the display. Oh wow, that explains that.
8:01a: I call my direct superior asking him wtf is going on. He said it was just sprung on them, someone dropped the ball and forget to inform an entire sales force and their management that 20 cases were auto-shipping.
8:02a: I curse the day.
10:30a: I get to said account. I get chewed out by the reciever whom says they will continue to cut the cases if they get re-shipped. I then get chewed out by the store director asking me why the fuck would I try and send 20 cases they don't need on their inventory day.
10:31a: I explain to said store director that I didn't know they were coming, and had literally just found out after they'd already been cut. He says he got the memo on them from corporate, but doesn't want them despite their being a mandatory program, and to come back and see him tomorrow. I explain that they're going to automatically re-ship and that it's going to cost me $20 off my paycheck if he doesn't take them, he tells me it depends on his mood in the morning.
11:30a: Get to a couple account near South Dallas on Lamar, orders are terribly small. Get reminded by the buyer that they would be larger if we hadn't lost The Wine Group as a supplier. I /facepalm as I cringe again at the money that's costing me, needing no reminder.
12:00p: Lunch. It's good.
4:00p: Get home, decide it's time to deal with the boxes and boxes of crap from my childhood and teenage years my father decided to dump on me due to his remodeling. Sort through them.
5:30p: Realize it's gotten strangely warmer. Then realize the A/C isn't working. Awesome, just awesome.
7:30p: A/C still isn't working. It's really fucking hot.
9:00p: This week's episode of Burn Notice comes on. Sure it's hot, but it's a good episode.
10:01p: Burn Notice is over, and somehow it keeps getting hotter. Outside is nice, inside is miserable.
11:15p: My computer has crashed thrice during the last hour due to over-heating in the gfx card. TF2 is ruined for the night.
11:45p: I realize my only sanctuary is on the patio with the fan on, get a 6-pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to entertain me along with cellphone internet.
And there you have it, one shitty day. Although here we are at 2am and the A/C is finally working again, so bed has me in it's grips.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No Deliverance

So inspired by the review in today's Quick (now you see why i hate it? cost me $16) that likened it more to Rubberneck than to their other records, I picked up a copy of the new Toadies record "No Deliverance" this afternoon. No, I didn't just pick up a copy, I actually bought a copy after T-bone guilted me into my ethical obligation, namely that you don't pirate local music. Fine. So i stopped into Good Records and have spent the afternoon listening to it as I worked.

I've been through it about three times now. It's good, but I wouldn't say great. If memory serves, and it's going to have to because I'm too lazy to do actual research (although you're welcome to correct me), when Rubberneck came out it did so to little fanfare. In fact, the record was considered a flop sales-wise until some radio station in Florida picked it up and put 'Possum Kingdom' in regular rotation. A few months after that it caught on and slowly got national airplay, eventually resulting in the record going platinum a couple years after release.

The reason I wrote all that was to convey this point: Rubberneck was so damn good that it couldn't be held down. It wasn't a seminal record in the way Nirvana's Nevermind or Mudhoney's Superfuzz Bigmuff spawned an entire genre of music but I don't think you could do any sort of credible collection of '90s rock music, especially post-grunge, and not include 'Possum Kingdom' and mention of Rubberneck. It was that good.

So for me to pick up No Deliverance and expect anything close to that, well, it was foolish. I had my expectations simply set too high. Which isn't to say this is a bad record, because it most certainly is not, and in fact it does have some qualities reminiscent of Rubberneck. Gone are a lot of the effects and polish that were on Hell Below, Stars Above with the band returning to a more raw sound with just basic distortion. The records do sound similar. The songs are good, not great, but they've got some catch to them and they're guitar driven. Which is almost an insult to the fantastic drumming Mark Reznicek does on the record, and it's not meant to be. I think it's his best work to date.

I think my biggest complaint, and others may very well disagree, is the way Todd (now apparently Vayden Todd for some reason) screams through the entirety of several of the songs. I like his scream, but with the Burden Brothers (and probably from live shows) he picked up this penchant for screaming through the entirety of songs, instead of singing and using the scream for effect (think: "Do you wanna die?" in 'Possum Kingdom' or the climax of 'Away'). It just makes the songs sound forced, and more than anything it makes them just run together. For what it's worth, Dave Grohl has started doing the same thing with the Foo Fighters, and it's turned me off of them as well.

In short, I will say this. If you like the Toadies, you will like this record. If you're lukewarm on them, you will probably be lukewarm on this. Compared to the crap that passes for mainstream radio these days (and you kids get off my lawn!), it's really good and I could totally see seventeen year old me loving this record. Twenty-six year old me thinks it's good and has some good tracks (I dig 'So Long Lovey Eyes' and 'I Am A Man Of Stone') and was worth the listen, but it's not going to change my life.

Is McCain as shallow as Bush?

This op-ed from Jack Cafferty for some reason resonated with me when I read it earlier. For all his faults, Bush's being "simple" is the one that just drives me the craziest, and I'd never really considered McCain in the same light. And so for a guy currently undecided between McCain and the Cult of Obama, it really made me think and has me finding myself leaning closer and closer to Obama the farther we get in this election. Anyway, here's the article in it's entirety (who cares if it's considered bad-form to re-print an article in it's entirety):

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on
vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office
either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.
His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.
Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California. I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up.

Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand. Asked about his greatest moral
failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it
was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation.

Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech
as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years.
Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers
culled from the same speech he delivers every day.
He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it. He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is
worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he thought an income of $5
million was rich. One after another, McCain's answers were shallow,
simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none. Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval
Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the
Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being
admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again
whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.
He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly. I am sick and tired of
the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too
complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and
grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul. George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself. He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in
debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our
government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been
a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country
ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic
one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like

Sunday, August 17, 2008

'Boon: Get You Some

Praise be to God! If you've ever doubted the existence of God, then this weekend's weather in Dallas should be all the evidence that you need. After all, only a kind and merciful God would deliver us from the miserably hot, humid, and smoggy days that usually make up August in Texas and instead give us highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s with some rain and a nice breeze(nevermind that he's a spite filled and vengeful God when giving us the heat in the first place). As I sat on my patio this morning having a cigarette, it felt far more Portland, OR than Dallas, TX. And it was awesome.

Diety praising aside though, I heard a nasty little rumor at last night's Baboon show at the Doublewide. Namely, that it might very well have been Baboon's final show. Now I am out of the loop, and this wouldn't be the first time the demise of Baboon has been rumored, but I heard this from a pretty good source (whom I won't name publicly so as not to throw her under the bus). And while it was a great show in front of a surprisingly packed club, it would most certainly make a me a sad panda if the rumor turns out to be true. I'm going to go with my gut and guess that it's not true, but it wouldn't surprise me if the end were nearing. Then again, we've been saying that for five years now.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me Chinese, Me Play Joke

Being the "racially insensitive" person that I've been described as being (i consider it equal oppurtunity mockery) and having the maturity of a child, as I've also been described, has meant that even as an adult I remember those little "racist" rhymes I think most everyone heard at some point during childhood. You know the ones,

Me Chinese
Me Play Joke
Me Go Pee-Pee In Your Coke

or, if the person in question were to claim that they in fact, were not Chinese, you could substitute;

Dirty Knees
Look At These

They're not terribly clever little rhymes, it's just that upon hearing them as a child they've somewhow managed to survive all these years in those precious few brain cells that alcohol hasn't destroyed. I may have fogotten basic math, but I'll be damned if I'd forget this. And with the Olympics going on in China, well they seem quite relevant.

Now what is funny about this, is that a while back I was enjoying BaD Radio as I do most everyday, and Dan brings this up on the air. Thing is, Dan grew up in Cleveland. Bob was also familiar with it, and Bob grew up in Wisconsin. Not to mention, they're a few year's older.
I can understand most everyone having the common experience of say, as a child, looking at a globe and seeing Niger and giggling (although I'm guessing the black kids might not have done so). That seems like it would meet the logic requirements for most any 8 year old boy, it could very well be universal. But the rhymes, how did they make the rounds?

There was no internet. And I can't imagine that they were prominantly featured on Saturday morning cartoons, even if it was a less uptight time. I can see some word of mouth, but how could there be enough word of mouth between kids to travel such a distance? So how is it it that a mid-30s man from Cleveland, a mid-30s man from Wisconsin, and a late 20s man from Dallas could all have had an experience with the same childhood rhyme?

It's something to think about. Especially if this guy walks up and offers you a coke.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hello, And Welcome

Hello, and welcome to Static and Wine, a blog about nothing. Well atleast nothing too serious. If you're looking for a blog featuring a half dozen liberal and conservative pundits throwing statistics and graphs at each other whilst debating healthcare policy or why John McCain is or is not the devil, well, then this isn't for you.

This of course isn't to say politics and dare I say, even healthcare policy, won't come up as a topic, it's just that I'm not one prone to the pseudo-intellectual circle jerk. Debate and discussion are awesome, beating each other over the head with meaningless statistics until every has tired head? Not so much.

This blog originated here on a Myspace page back in 2005. The entries below are copied from the past few months (if you want to read the entire archive, you can click on the link), hence their poor formatting, but it does give you a feel for what this is about. One thing I am planning to add is a booze of the week entry every friday, in which I suggest something either new or something that just sounds good, and accompany it with some history of the product.

I welcome any and all comments and criticism. Thanks for stopping by, and hope you've enjoyed reading (or ignoring) what you've seen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh, and a few more things....

Just a few more things.....
1) Congratulations to my brother for graduating from UNT this past weekend. Way to go, now go get a job.
2) I'd mentioned in a previous blog that it's nearing 10 years since I first saw the Flametrick Subs....I think that was like 3 shows ago. That said, the show Friday in Denton was awesome. Boiler Room was packed, the show was great, the crowd was into it, and they played 'Tijuana Cat Toss' at my request, which was made even more awesome by Bubbles looking at me halfway through the song and asking, "does this ever get good? this is taking forever." Whatever dude, I loved it.
3) Besides the bad joke that LSU hired Russia to invade Georgia so they could lock up the SEC early, which only this guy even gets, this whole Russian conflict thing is pretty interesting stuff. It takes balls to time your invasion with the Olympics, but Russia has been waiting patiently, like a passive-aggressive lover, for years to get back at the US for how we reognized Kosovo's independence. And with Bush leaving office and two other wars ongoing, Putin knows we are nothing but a paper tiger at the moment. I'm really curious to see how this is all going to shake out. It's already better drama than the Olympics.
4) Speaking of the Olympics, is there any television event that is more marketed towards women? Gymnastics is considered primetime programming? Seriously? And in the winter it's Ice Skating. I'll pass.


As a general rule of thumb I, like most people prefer not to go out on Sunday nights. And if my complete lack of semblance to anything productive today is any sort of indicator, that's a rule I should probably maintain in the future. Last night though, it was a rule I broke. A night that began as, "oh? it's Emily's birthday? Sure, I will join you for dinner." quickly devolved into a Sunday night bar crawl. I mean sure I managed to scam a few free drinks for myself, and it's awesome that Chairman Mao was driving, but when your neighbors ask how your night was, with that menacing intonation that you were obviously under the influence, the next day.....well, you know that it was a bad idea. Granted, a really fun bad idea.
At this point, I'm sure you're asking yourself, why is it that I care exactly? I mean, so you tied one on last night, what else is new? A fair question, no doubt, and one I would undoubtedly be asking as well. And if you don't live in D/FW I can't really give you a reason to care. However, if you do, I have one reason:
You see, after the Old Monk, as we're driving to Cosmo's I see the sign for Barcadia, a bar I'd read about in Quick (I hate the dumbed down news in Quick, but the rag is great for telling you where there are drink specials), so I ask Ivan to pull over, and it just so happens we run into Colton and Karen as they are going in there as well. So we hit up Barcadia.
Such a cool freaking bar. I mean as far as bars go it's pretty standard, there are tables and chairs and a bar that dispenses alcohol. The decor isn't even terribly unique (although I did like the pin up posters). But what they do have, is two walls lined with 1980's arcade cabinets that cost just a quarter a piece. So with your G&T or your Harp, you can also get a handful of quarters and go play Skee-ball, Star Wars, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, Dig Dug, Gallaga, Pac-Man and another dozen or so relics of our collectively mispent youth. I did QQ a little that they didn't have a tabletop Donkey Kong (and then I pondered what happened to the one that used to be Karma in Denton), but seriously, how freaking cool is that?
Cheap drinks, and instead of listening to some half-ass Journey cover band that the bar passes off as entertainment, you can grab a drink and some quarters and re-live your childhood, except this time through a nice alcohol-induced haze. So ya, if you're ever looking for a new bar....give it a try.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Anal Sex & Super Mario Bros.

Want it from behind while you play Mario?
This is courtesy of T-bone whom for some reason has been searching Craig's List. As I should be, on account of needing a new bed frame. The detail and obsession that goes into this is genius.
Want it from behind while you play Super Mario Brothers ? - m4w
Date: 2008-07-02, 2:35PM EDT
Do you love to play Super Mario Brothers on the Classic Nintendo System? Do you like to get tagged from behind while you do it? This is the post for you then. You must know your way around the game before we meet, must be open to anal sex, also able to fake an orgasm is a plus. I will send you the address to a hotel and a room number. When you arrive the door will be open. Please come in close and lock the door and close the shades if they are still open. I will be in the bathroom and the door will be closed. Turn on the TV and the Nintendo. Remove all of your clothing. Turn off all lights in the room and kneel down on the bed so you are directly in the light of the TV. You need to be facing the TV with your butt in the air pointed toward the pillows on the bed. Press the start button on the controller when you are ready. I will hear the sound and turn the light off in the bathroom and come out. You will not look directly at me, only look at the TV. When the first level starts I will begin to finger you and lick you. I will be using lots of lube as well. When you reach the end of level one, make sure to trigger the fireworks. This is vital to the entire experience. I must hear the fireworks. When level 2 begins and Mario walks into the pipe, I will penetrate you. You may say things like, "MORE", "HARDER", "YES", "FUCK ME", but nothing else. I will continue having sex until the level ends. DO NOT take the secret level skip. If you die I will pull out and spank you until the level restarts. When you reach the flag you must again trigger the fireworks, and also orgasm. I will pull out. When the 1-3 starts I will penetrate your ass. You are allowed to say something like "OH GOD", "YES", OR "IT HURTS" no other conversation is allowed. When level 1-4 starts I will alternate between holes as I see fit. You may beg me to cum inside or outside of you, depending on what you want. When boss falls and you reach the princess I will pull out and blow my load where you have convinced me I want too. You may then say something like "Thanks", "It was great", "I loved it", "Don't stop" If I am impressed you may continue playing and I will continue to pleasure you. If I am not, I will turn the Nintendo Off and return to the bathroom. At this time you may clean your self with the towel that is beside the bed. Turn the lights on, redress yourself and leave. I may come back out and talk to you as you dress but the conversation will most likely be short and revolve around scheduling another time to get together.
Location: Orlando
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 740493470
Now tell me there isn't some comic genius behind that. As the Guinness guys with the awesomone mustaches' would say, "Brilliant!"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sometimes, You See, I'm Wrong

Sometimes, you see, I’m wrong...
I'm the first to admit that I can be wrong. You see, personal responsibility is a goes both ways. Me being wrong? That's a fairly common occurence. In regards to this blog entry I feel as though I must redact myself. I've been trying to avoid doing so for a few weeks/months now, but tonight I was called out....again...and by this douche. And even my own brother.
So yes, maybe 23 April was a *little* early to call out the Rangers. Maybe it was a little early to be so angry. Maybe, as it's turned out, they aren't actually quite that bad. Ya, they're in the Wildcard Race, and yes.....they're 5 games over .500. I've been as riveted by the offense, and the walk-off/come from behind wins as all of you. I've been watching, just like should know, you get my text messages.
In short, you're right, they're not that bad. I cry, "uncle!" I give up.
They're still the worst franchise in professional sports, with the Clippers as their sole competitors. And during that first month, they were absolutely those regards I was right. But I've got to admit, I didn't think in a million years that POS team would morph into this one, which has been a joy to watch.
In other (sports) news, last night was the first professional football game of the season. Sure it was a scrimmage, and yes it was full of spares, but it marks not only the end of the off-season, but also the beginning of the best part of the year....for the next 25 Sundays there will be NFL football on television. God Bless America.
Ya, this entry was very sports-centric. I try to keep them few and far between, and again, you have a back button on your browser. And there's a really good episode of Mythbusters on.