Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Searching for Jenna Jameson

I did a quick Google search of B&K to see what showed up and got this!

image

Nice to know that Google considers porn star Jenna Jameson to be a significant component of B&K.  Boots and Sanders, French and Saunders, Boots and Kittens. Whatever. Just not Boots and Sabers. That's a bit suggestive and phallocentric, don't you think? Unlike Jenna.

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Posted by Owen at 1709 hrs
The Blog
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Doyle’s Funny Budgeting

Lance Burri points out that Governor Doyle is exaggerating Wisconsin’s budget deficit

See, Governor Doyle is calculating the “deficit” as if the agency requests are a done deal. As if state agencies will get everything they want, simply by having asked for it. They won’t, or they shouldn’t. If Governor Doyle simply says “no budget increases,” then boom. Over half the “deficit,” wiped out. Fell swoop. Sure, what’s left is still pretty big, but it’s not unprecedented. It’s not historic. It’s not entirely ridiculous in its size. So why, do you suppose, is Governor Doyle out trumpeting the bigger, scarier number? It’s as though he wants a historically, ridiculously enormous deficit. In fact, he probably does.

This is totally unfair for Democrats to usurp the power of fear and exaggeration that once belonged to the Republicans. Next thing you know, they'll be using the fear of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction to tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend.

Maybe Lance is right. It's time to go John Galt.

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Posted by Owen at 0739 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
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Making do

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online.  It’s called, ”Making do.” Here’s a snippet. 

The husband walks in the door with a gloomy face. Gloomier than usual, I mean. The children are working on their Bible homework and offer him a quick “Willkommenes Haus, Vater” before returning to their worksheet on smoting the homosexuals. The husband kisses his wife on the cheek, not the lips, and says, “We need to talk.” They step into the bedroom and close the door. No, they're really going to talk. Get your mind out of the gutter. This isn't a joke, it's a pretend anecdote, designed to fill out a few paragraphs. A few extra words here or there and the column is done and my reputation secured for another week.

Husband: “My company announced layoffs today. I heard it from my boss, Bob Explication. I still have a job, but I’m being cut back to part time. It’s going to be rough for a while. I don't know how I'll squeeze in enough web surfing and blogging during the day. I may need to do some at home.”

Wife: “Oh, dear. At least you still have a job. Herman Hypothetical across the street was let go today. I saw Judy Hypothetical at the store and she was in tears, showing her worries on her face in a simple example of the way that this economy has taken a downturn. They still haven’t paid off the bill from the hospital and she’s afraid they might lose their house. Clearly, they should've been more careful and not had that car accident. They should've shopped around at different hospitals to find the best price on health care as they drove themselves home from the crash site.”

Husband: “You’re right. It could be worse. At least he had the opportunity to choose between healing his broken leg or fixing that gash in her forehead. I also made the mistake of checking our 401(k) today. We’re down 45 percent this year. So much for retiring at 60 and getting that cabin. You know, that hypothetical North Woods cabin sought by all regular Wisconsin folk who enjoy eating deer and decorating with wolves. Follow the logic, Hon: This story is everyone's story. I called my financial advisor and he suggested that everything will be as right as rain in about fifteen years, and that there are some real bargains in the stock market now, so if we had any spare cash we should send it his way.”

Wife: “We’ll be fine. The economy will come back. We’re blessed to still have our health and America will recover. We just have to make it through a tough spell. We’ll make do. We're so lucky to have had President Bush looking over us these past eight years. Those cursed liberals elect Obama, and look what's happened to us. It's a good thing we have lots of ammo.”

Husband: “We’ll need to cut back on some things.”

Wife: “I’ll cancel the cable. I can watch my channel over at Judy's instead of hanging out here all day. Wait, if we cancel cable, can we keep the Internet? Gotta have that. It's the only thing that keeps you out of the kitchen. I can also start hanging the clothes in the basement so we don’t have to run the dryer. We'll all smell like basement in a few weeks and we'll never notice the difference if we all smell the same.”

Husband: “If I skip a Sunday afternoon at the shooting range just this once, I’ll be able to finally get around to caulking the windows and doors to save on the heating bill. Let’s also agree that we won’t get gifts for each other this Christmas. I'll return those pink guns we bought for the girls. OK?”

Wife: “Good idea. Let’s cancel the home phone, too. We can just use our cell phones. The old land line was just too reliable, anyways. I can also buy more of the groceries in bulk.”

Husband: “I suppose I’ll give up my Starbucks habit and make coffee at home. That’s an easy one. I don't know why these cost savings didn't occur to us before. Everything seemed so great just a few months ago! Do you remember that Americans for Prosperity meeting at Miller Park? Everything in the world was hunky-dory. The only thing I worried about in the world was taxes. I’ll see if I can trade in my truck and get something that gets better mileage. No Prius, though, that would be un-American. Let’s cancel the trip to Grandma’s, too. With that savings alone, we can keep blogging for another year at least.”

Wife: “Sir? We’ve managed to find ways to save hundreds of dollars a month and we’ve just gotten started. We’ll just have to be creative and make a few sacrifices. We can do it. We’ll make do.”

Husband: “Yeah, we’ll make do. I love you.”

Wife: “I love you, too.”

Conversations like the one above are taking place all over the nation right now. It’s no secret that times are tight and getting tighter. It's a good thing you have columnists like me and newspapers like this to point that out. We’re going to go through some rough economic times that will last well into next year and possibly longer. Possibly! I mean, if I knew what the market would do, I'd be rich, right?

Families are finding ways to make do with what they have. They are cutting back their spending, putting off purchases, canceling unnecessary services, making the things they have last longer, finding ways to earn a little extra money and generally tightening their belts, complaining about the cost of government services, praising our Republican elected officials, and confirming that their shiny black boots have strong straps, so they can pull themselves up by them.

The good news is that we can do it. To coin a phrase, “Yes, we can.” Americans have proven themselves to be one of the most industrious, resourceful, creative, hearty and optimistic people in the history of the world. Whenever our nation has been faced with a challenge, we have met it. Well, almost all the challenges that we fixed with guns and bombs, at least. Americans adapt and overcome. It’s just what we do.

Choose wisely. Make every dollar count. We’ll make do just fine.

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Posted by Owen at 0732 hrs
Economy + Politics + Politics - General + Politics - Wisconsin
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Time With God

Phelony shares a moving experience.

I came back each week, although I did not take communion until I went to confession. Without too much information, this was very painful for me as I recounted the frailty and sin of my life thus far. I totally left out that wild year when I was 22, though. Maybe we'll cover that next week. I was beginning (and just beginning) to see the accountability that I was missing throughout my life. Accountability that I alone was responsible for. How far off course my life was from what God wants for me, and is according to his laws. It’s hard to face yourself squarely in God’s presence and humbly admit your weakness and beg for mercy and healing. Sincerity is what matters most. And if you can fake that in public, you've got it made. Everyone will know you're totally pious.

We all come short in God’s eye, which is why we are thankful that Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross absolves us. Woe is me. I am but a humble blogging servant of Jesus. He loves my references to body parts and the cognitively disabled. He sees everything, but He completely looks the other way when I roll through stop signs.

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Posted by Owen at 2346 hrs
Off-Duty
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No Oversight of Federal Farm Payments

Your tax dollars at work.

A sports team owner, a financial firm executive and residents of Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia were among 2,702 millionaire recipients of farm payments from 2003 to 2006 — and it’s not even clear they were legitimate farmers, congressional investigators reported Monday. They probably were ineligible, but the Agriculture Department can’t confirm that, since officials never checked their incomes, the Government Accountability Office said.

Farmers are considerably less trustworthy than businessmen. When businessmen get government subsidies to "create jobs" and help erase deficits, we can take them at their word that they are a) businessmen and b) that they created the jobs. Farmers are a completely different story.

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Posted by Owen at 2220 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
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Deer Hunter Finds Shot Wolf

This is inevitable. Put guys with guns in the woods, and they'll shoot whatever moves, just for the sport of it. I mean, it's not like the wolves have guns to shoot back.

Authorities are trying to determine who shot a female gray wolf that was found dead near Fort McCoy in Monroe County on opening weekend of the Wisconsin gun deer season. Conservation Warden Matt Modjeski of the state Department of Natural Resources said it wasn’t clear whether the wolf was killed Saturday or Sunday. The DNR said a deer hunter reported the dead wolf at 2:45 p.m. Sunday in the town of New Lyme east of Cataract, as area known to have a resident wolf population.

Most likely, one of two things happened here.

1) A hunter saw a wolf, felt threatened, and shot the wolf.  Wolves have sharp teeth. Wolves are known for stalking weakened prey. Perhaps the wolf saw the hunter stumble and thought he was old or lame. Maybe the wolf was rabid or even wild. Then the hunter decided that messing with the DNR regarding an endangered species was too risky and took off. It's covered under the same basic rule of law that lets you roll through a stop sign in a bad neighborhood.

2) Someone who considers wolf a destructive animal like a local farmer saw the wolf and shot it regardless of any threat.  It's a little-known fact that wolves love corn.

Either way, is it really worth the expense of a necropsy to find out that the wolf was shot?  It's like investigating and trying a criminal that everyone knows is guilty: What could we possibly learn? Who cares about a dead wolf? The only thing that wolves are good for are decorating items like wall hangings and clothing. I've got a sweatshirt with a wolf on it. Love it. Shows I love nature.

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Posted by Owen at 2111 hrs
Off-Duty + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
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Times Opposes Recreating the Woolly Mammoth

This is quite possibly one of the most idiotic editorials ever written.  It's like the anti-Boots and Kittens, if I do say so myself.

A new research report suggests that scientists may be able to recreate an extinct woolly mammoth from its long-frozen DNA. The most gung-ho scientists think it could be done in a decade or two for as little as $10 million. The deeper question is, should we try?

OK, there are all sorts of biological and ethical reasons why this should be given some real thought before trying it - not to mention the expense for dubious gain.  That $10 million could fund a new officer's mess in an Army compound in Iraq. The editorial makes passing reference to a few of these things, but do you know what the main reason is that we shouldn’t recreate the mammoth?

Global Warming.

The sort of environment it is used to — the frigid wastes of Siberia and North America — are disappearing all too fast. No one is quite sure why the woolly mammoths died out toward the end of the last ice age, some 10,000 years ago. Theories include warmer temperatures that gradually displaced the plants on which they fed, overhunting by primitive man, an accumulation of harmful genetic mutations, widespread disease, or an asteroid or comet colliding with Earth and disrupting the climate. If scientists do bring back a few mammoths, we suspect our warming world won’t look any more hospitable than the one that did them in.

What.  The.  Heck.  (Gosh, do Wendy and I talk the same way or what?) Do the editors at the Times envision vast herds of woolly mammoths wandering the Canadian tundra?  Is global warming (which hasn’t happened in a decade) going to turn turn Siberia into the Sahara?  These are deep thoughts - the very opposite of these scientists, I say. Don't these scientists have any common sense at all? If they recreate the mammoth, and there's herds of them running around, Man will certainly find a way to create a new hunting season for them. If we extincted them once before, we can do it again and this time it'll be easier because we have assault rifles instead of just stone-tipped spears! And they didn't have brandy to keep them warm back then, either.

Good grief.  I feel dumber having read that editorial. 

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Posted by Owen at 2027 hrs
Politics + Politics - General + Technology
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Opening Weekend Harvest Down 22%

It wasn’t my imagination.

Hunters killed 22% fewer deer during the opening weekend of the nine-day gun deer season, the Department of Natural Resources reported today.

It's as if the economic recession has spread to the deers, too.

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Posted by Owen at 1943 hrs
Off-Duty
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Obama to Appoint Monica Lewinsky?

Perhaps Undersecretary of State would be a good fit. Can you believe what Obama will consider?

President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team is reported to be deeply divided over whether to offer a post to Monica Lewinsky, the former White House Intern whose intimate relationship with President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment. Until now, Lewinsky was one of the few high-profile figures from the Clinton Presidency who had not been recruited for the incoming Obama team. Mr. Clinton’s brother Roger is another, though on Friday there were rumors he would be named ambassador to Spain. One group, which includes David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager who has been named his senior advisor, favors the move to balance the influence of the Clinton-era policy people by adding someone with a different perspective.

Well, she certainly has a different perspective of the Clintons.  Get it? These Clinton sex jokes never grow old. Commenters, feel free to go to the well. We know humor when we see it, don't we?

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Posted by Owen at 1726 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Opening Weekend 2008

Once again, opening weekend of the gun deer hunt was extremely successful.  We didn’t see a lot of deer, but nobody got hurt.  That’s the ultimate goal of any hunt...  besides the drinking and the hanging out in your underwear back in the lodge afterwards while everyone's pants and t-shirts dry over the wood stove back at the lodge. Just keep from getting hurt. We just pee off the back porch, sometimes in pairs and competing for distance or style. Just guys being guys. I've loaded up the iPod with some serious man-dance music like AC/DC and David Bowie and early Wham!. We will rock out.

Opening day was miserable.  I hunt with a group of guys on private land.  Nobody saw any deer on opening day except one guy, who saw 11 at a distance and took a couple of shots at a buck for no good. 

Today was a bit better.  One of the guys shot a doe in the morning with a muzzle loader.  I didn’t see a thing except a flash of a tail running off in the distance.  His backside looked manly and strong in the morning light as he ran in the direction of the deer. In the afternoon, we decided to drive a batch of public land across the river.  We went and got a boat and put it in the river.  That was interesting because the river was frozen across in a couple of places and patchy in the rest.  We had to break the ice on the shore to put the boat in.  Then we posted a couple of guys on the bank, boated up the river a ways, and put in on the opposite shore.  The hope was to drive the deer across the river to our shooters.  I got on the boat with another seven guys and went across. Yes, seven guys with guns in a boat, crossing an icy river. We live for adventure, and escapades like this will deliver. (This paragraph was almost Hemingway-esque, wasn't it?)

When we put ashore, we had to break through the shore ice again and scattered up a shale shore.  We spread out at about 30 yard intervals and began the silent drive.  We jumped one large buck on the far side that ran back.  Nobody had a shot at it.  A while later, another buck jumped and ran right at one of our guys.  He pulled up his shotgun as far as his hip and pulled off a shot.  The buck was within five yards of him at full speed.  He managed to hit it right in the chest and it dropped on the spot.  Not bad for a hip shot. 

That was it for the weekend.  One six pointer and one doe.  Ninety seconds of action become a twenty-minute story over more beer. That’s the worst year we’ve had since I’ve been up there.  I spoke to a guy at the gas station and he said that nobody was seeing much, due mostly to the consumption of beer due to the lack of deer. (Did Hemingway ever rhyme?)

Slow year… it happens. 

Unfortunately, due to scheduling anomalies, today is my last day hunting for the season, at least up north.  West Bend's a different story. I look forward to picking up a few more days' hunting in the public park down the road from our cul-de-sac. What's a few hunting laws that say I can't? If I can roll through stop signs when I want, I damn well can hunt where I want. I'm already forced to pay taxes to maintain these eyesores they call parks, why can't I reap the deer harvest there? Public property. I'll dump a bucket of corn on the other side of the swingsets for the deer, and a bucket of candy over by the slide to keep the kids out of my line of fire.

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Posted by Owen at 2148 hrs
Off-Duty
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Obamas Choose Private School for Their Kids

Good to know

“Mrs. Obama is the product of public education on the South Side of Chicago and she believes strongly in the importance of good public schools for other kids,” Lelyveld said.

(Yes, the snarky edit was mine. That's what this blog is about: taking the second-last sentence of a larger news story and making a point. Forget the talk about security, let's talk about the hypocrisy of elected officials who don't want their children kidnapped. Let's talk about my tax bill. Who knows more about public schools than people who send their kids to private school? The special pain we feel allows us to be wiser than school boards. Surely the Founding Fathers did not intend for our great-grandparents to create a system of public schools that would educate the populace.)

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Posted by Owen at 1854 hrs
Politics + Politics - General
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