Friday, May 13, 2005

Googling is awesome.

Here is a midly amusing time waster. Estimated time wasting potential: 1 - minutes.
Go to Google's image search and type in your name. If you have a common name, try your first and last name. Click Search Images. Browse the results and find the funny/interesting/disconcerting ones, or maybe the image that comes up first, like this one for my name. See, it's fun! Post them in the comments section. If you get an overly-long URL like this: copy it from your browser and go to Tiny and paste it in their box to make it tiny, like this:
Are there any out there that are actually you? Set your Google preferences to get unfiltered results, and you may find out that you have a namesake doing dirty things on the internets. Here is another image for me. Have fun!

Closing military bases is the new BRAC, but not awesome.

SecDef Donald Rumsfeld is expected to announce a huge round of military base closings, or Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), in the Pentagon's lexicon. This is a change in infrastructure to meet the new demands of "war against extremists and other evolving 21st century challenges," DonRum said.
Hmm...closing military bases during wartime? That makes about as much sense as huge tax cuts in a weak economy.
Meanwhile, communities wait with bated breath to find out if the nearby base is on the chopping block.
Rumsfeld pledged to help the communities and workers that will be displaced by the process. "The department will take great care to work with these communities, with the respect that they have earned, and the government stands ready with economic assistance," he said.
Yeah, we'll see about that. Once the neocons decide that you are no longer useful to them, you are cast aside like a rotting carcass. Thus is the fate for the communities soon to be sucked into the BRAC hole. The good news is, the skeletal remains of the moribund military bases can be resurrected as oil refineries! Yay! another gift to BushCo. oil buddies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The color-coded terror alert system was not awesome.

I am shocked *gasp* to find out that the Bush administration was often at odds with the Department of Homeland Security about when to raise the terror alert level. Bush politicizing the War on Terrorism? Nah. It was merely a coincidence that whenever his poll numbers got low or he wanted to shift the political focus, Tom Ridge or John Ashcroft or Robert Mueller would shuffle out there and warn us of "credible Threats."
See this visual aid courtesy of JuliusBlog.
Check It: August 1, 2004, Secretary Ridge said:
Reports indicate that al-Qaeda is targeting several specific buildings, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the District of Columbia; Prudential Financial in Northern New Jersey; and Citigroup buildings and the New York Stock Exchange in New York...While we have raised the threat level for the financial services sector in the affected communities, the rest of the nation remains at an elevated, or Code Yellow, risk of terrorist attack.

This is interesting for several reasons. This alert was based on intelligence gathered three years prior to August of 2004. So it kinda seemed like they had these hole cards they call "credible threats," that they could reveal to us whenever it was politically convenient. The Democrats were just wrapping up their National Convention in Boston, and the Republicans were gearing up for theirs in...yep, New York City. Look at me! Look at me! W seemed to have said.
Hmmm. Fear monger much?
This particular alert, in my opinion was a preemptive move to minimize the expected "bounce" in poll numbers that usually registers in the week following a candidate's official nomination. Also, if this was such a "credible threat," why was W's family, Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki at the CitiGroup Center (one of the terrorists' targets) on August 3, 2004? WTF?
Notice that they only changed the terror alert level for "the financial services sector in selected communities," but the rest of the country was a-ok! That is when the color-coded terror alert system seemed to lose its last vestiges of credibility with the public, and Tom Ridge started thinking about quitting.
It seems he called "bullshit" on the silly color alert system at about the same time we did. With W's poll numbers sagging to unprecedented levels, they're gonna have to find a new tool to scare/enthrall us with. Maybe they could catch a low-level Al-Qaeda brown-nosing coffee fetcher and say he's a top A-Q general? Oh, wait, they already tried that one. Where's the uptick in polls now, be-otch?? A better question is, where is Bin Laden?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Decemberists are Awesome.

Found this the other day, courtesy of Large Hearted Boy. It's The Decemberists on NPR Live from DC's 9:30 Club. Saw these guys in my town a coupla weeks ago. It was great to hear some new songs off their latest release, Picaresque. Here's a video for 16 Military Wives, Quicktime required. More from NPR's All Things Considered.

Also, i just ordered Colin Meloy's 33 1/3 Series book about the Repalcements' Let It Be
One of the greatest moments of College Rock in the 1980s, Let It Be had a huge impact on the fans who fell under its spell. For [Decemberists frontman] Colin Meloy, growing up in Montana – a state that’s strangely missing from the tour itineraries of almost every band – the album was a lifeline and an inspiration. In this disarming memoir, Meloy lovingly recreates those feverish first years when rock music grips you and never lets go.

I'll let you know how it ends.

You know what else is Awesome? Republican hypocrisy.

From one of my favorite places in all of the internets Salon's War Room Get a site pass - alls ya gotsta do is click on an ad.
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What's red-lining the Awesome-O-Meter today?

Man, i just can't stop listening to the Crystal Skulls album, Blocked Numbers. They're a four piece from Seattle and this is their debut record that came out in March. May i kindly suggest that you go and get it today? It's an easy-listening, layin' around in the summertime with your girlfriend kinda record with Steely Dan-esque jazzy pop grooves througout.
I'm not a shill for the band or their label, just a fan that wants to make it easy for you to get what's awesome. Call it a public service. Get on the bandwagon now, so when everybody starts talking about them, you can say, "i was down with them way back in May!" Their label page: here Their official site: up in here Two Mp3 samples on their official site here
You can also get a copy of Headphones' album from Suicide Squeeze, too. In fact, they offer both titles for the low, low price of $20, and that's a pretty good deal, cuz that album is good too. Headphones consist of Dave Bazan, Tim Walsh, both of Pedro the Lion and Frank Lenz of Starflyer 59. Lyrically, these songs deal with many of the same themes as Pedro the Lion records, but are arranged mostly with electronics, rather than guitars/bass/drums. Ordinarily, the word "electronic" would turn me away when it comes to choosing what music to put into my head, but i was willing to give this one a spin, given who they were. I'm glad i did.