Saturday, April 30, 2005

It's Incredible!

Today I finally watched The Incredibles. I found the DVD at the library.

I can sum this movie up in one word:


Or maybe:


This. Movie. Rocks.

Let me say further this: I cannot begin to fathom the amount of work that went into making this almost 2-hour-long animated movie such a fine work of art, but it was GREAT!!!

I realize that this is a short post, but let me explain by saying that I wanted to get to bed early, so that I could be at Best Buy as soon as they open tomorrow to buy my own copy of this DVD.

It's Incredible!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Idiot Boy is at it Again

DUIbya (tm) stumbled his way through another press conference tonight. He gave his plans for destroying Social Security and enriching his Arab and Wall Street budd--er, I mean, Restoring the fiscal stability of social security and solving America's energy woes.

At least, that's what we're supposed to believe.

Here's a few highlights:

"I propose a Social Security system in the future where benefits for low income workers will grow faster than benefits for people who are better off."

Translation: If you make more than $45,000 a year, prepare to live on only half of that once you retire.

"In the near term, we will continue to encourage oil-producing nations to maximize their production. Here at home, we'll protect consumers. There will be no price gouging..."

Translation: We will continue our massive dependence on foreign oil, and do absolutely nothing to reduce our consumption or look into finding alternative forms of energy. Meanwhile, we will pay lip service to trying to control high gas prices, while we watch our oil buddies get richer and richer.

"I think people are opposing my nominees because they don't like the judicial philosophy of the people I've nominated. Some would like to see judges legislate from the bench. That's not my view."

Translation: We oppose judicial activism unless it works in our favor.

How in the hell did this man win re-election?!

One thing that struck me during the press conference was that several times while answering a question, he would give a sudden start, then start saying something completely different. I think the earpiece that he wore during the first debate has been modified so that now it gives him a little shock whenever he starts getting off what Karl Rove has told him to say.

I'm just sayin'!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Making Up for Lost Time

Yeah, I know. I haven't posted in almost a week. I've been busy, OK? STFU already!

Now that I've got that off my chest, let's catch up, shall we?

Saw Sahara last week. Here's what the movie had in common with Clive Cussler's book:

The Title.

OK, there were a few other things, like the names of the main characters, but that was about it.

Seriously. I can see why Clive Cussler sued the producers.

Warning: Spoiler coming. If you haven't seen the movie yet, but plan to, STOP READING NOW!!!

Anyhoo, near the end of the movie, our intrepid heroes attempt to shoot down a helicopter with a civil war era cannon! Now I'm the first to admit I'm no expert when it comes to military tactics, but I'm pretty sure that trying this would be akin to trying to hit a mosquito with a slingshot.

But hey, this is Hollyweird. At least at the end of the movie there was Penelope Cruz in a skimpy bikini. Muy Caliente!

Hmm. Short entry today. I could write more, I suppose, but i'm just too lazy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Time Magazine is Clueless, Part 2

So. Fresh from performing a hummer on DUIbya (tm), Time Magazine takes his dick out of its collective mouth and replaces it with Ann Coulter's.

And as the COVER STORY!!!

Memo to Time Magazine:


First you declare the worst President in recent history your "Person of the Year", and now you have a cover story canonizing the bitchiest Right Wingnut there is.

I mean, this is the woman who wrote in her column after the September 11th attacks that we should invade all the Arab countries "kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity"

She also had this to say about Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11:

"There's Michael Moore, who has said he hopes more Americans will die in Iraq. His movie, "Fahrenheit 7/11" as we call it, apparently supports the Times' view that life in Iraq was better, sunnier, happier under Saddam Hussein. Moore has also accused the American people of being the stupidest, most naive people on the face of the Earth. And after last weekend, he's got the box office numbers to prove it!"

Now, I've watched Fahrenheit 9/11 a few times, and in no part of the movie, nor in his subsequent statements since then, has Michael Moore ever said anything that she accused him of saying.

BTW, there will be no more quotes from bitchwoman, since reading more than one of her columns would probably cause my head to explode. I'm sure you can find much more crazy quotations of hers elsewhere. I would suggest you google the words "Ann, Coulter, Horrible".

And yet this bleach-blond dominatrix is now being held up as a someone to be admired and respected.

For example:

" one on the right is so iconic, such a totem of this particular moment. Coulter epitomizes the way politics is now discussed on the airwaves, where opinions must come violently fast and cause as much friction as possible. No one, right or left, delivers the required apothegmatic commentary on the world with as much glee or effectiveness as Coulter."

And the article continues:

"As a congressional staff member 10 years ago, Coulter used to help write the nation's laws (now THAT'S scary). Now she is far more powerful: she helps set the nation's tone."

And that tone seems to be, "Liberals! KILL THEM!"

So in conclusion, let me just say this to Time Magazine:


10 Years Ago Today

Not all terrorists are manufactured overseas... Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

Great Americans? I Don't Think So!

AOL has announced the nominees for the "greatest American" have been selected. And I have to ask: What bunch of CLUELESS MORONS selected some of these people as nominees?!!

Let me give you a few examples:

George and Barbara Bush
George W. and Laura Bush (Are you starting to sense a theme here?)
John Edwards (but NOT John Kerry. Hm.)
Brett Favre (but no other Pro QB's)
Bill and Hilary Clinton(fair is fair)
Tom Cruise (come ON!)
Ellen Degeneres (ditto)
Hugh Hefner (we should all admire senior citizens who walk around in pajamas all day!)
Michael Jackson (and we should all admire child-molesting freaks)
Rush Limbaugh (just like we should admire fat, pill-popping hypocrites)
Madonna (the singer--because we should also admire slutty women)
Dr. Phil McGraw (Dr. Phil?! Are you KIDDING?!)
Michael Moore (I like his films, but I don't think he belongs on this list)
Condoleeza Rice (Because failure should be rewarded, dammit!)
Martha Stewart (as should breaking the law!)
Sam Walton (founder of Wal-mart--and destroyer of small towns everywhere)

Admittedly, there are some who do belong on this list, like Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Thomas Jefferson, Jonas Salk, and Thomas Edison, just to name a few.

But that's my biggest problem with this list. They are lumping idiots like George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh in the same class as people like Jonas Salk and Thomas Edison.

Seriously. Who has contributed more to American society?

Jonas Salk invented a vaccine for a hideous disease that left tens of thousands of people crippled for life. He made it possible to eradicate the disease almost completely.

Thomas Edison invented or inspired many of the technological marvels that we take for granted today.

On the other hand George "DUIbya" (tm) Bush lied his way into a war and has gotten thousands of people killed. And yet still somehow CONvinced 51% of Americans that he deserved four more years of doing the same. And now he is working to destroy Social Security, a system that has worked fine for over 70 years now.

And he is helped in his cause by Rush Limbaugh, a pill-addicted radio host who spends three hours every weekday lying through his ass to millions of listeners. He's one of the reasons Bush was re-elected.

In short, I think they need to re-think some of their choices for this list.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The End of Days

These days, everyone from Jerry Falwell to The Pope seems to be weighing in on the supposed coming of the apocalypse/rapture/end of days/etc. that is supposed to be coming any day now.

Numerous books, both fiction and non-fiction, have been written on the subject. Several movies have been made about it. NBC is running a limited-run series on it.

Of course, the thing I find MOST interesting about the whole thing is that it seems to be a great way to make money!

Personally, I don't believe in it. I think if the world DOES end, it will be because of some man-made disaster, NOT because of Divine Intervention.

Of course, you could argue that the architect(s) of said man-made disaster was actually guided by the hand of God, but I think if God wants to make it clear that He was responsible for the destruction of man, he'd be a lot less subtle about it.

Our world will continue to exist, as it has for thousands of millenia, with or without us. In the meantime, all we can do is hang on for the ride and hope we don't fall off.

As far as armageddon actually occurring, talk to me again when the Cubs play the Tigers in the World series--and the Cubs win it with a four-game-sweep!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...

...take me out to the Crowd!

The Toledo Mud Hens ( home opener was last night. I was there. I nearly froze my ass off in the process, but I was there.

The Mud Hens have been around, in some form, for over 100 years now. They're the most famous minor league baseball team in the country, in my opinion (an opinion, by the way, shared by a lot of others!)

And three years ago, they started playing in their brand new stadium in downtown Toledo, to usually sell-out crowds. It got to the point two years ago that the crowds at Mud Hens games were larger than those at the Tiger games, the parent club of the Mud Hens (that was the year when the Tigers came just one game short of setting the record for worst record of any major league baseball team)!

The new field is awesome, by the way. It seats over 12,000 people and is equipped with all the modern conveniences. It has brought the downtown area around it back to life, at least during the baseball season. It's an investment that has paid off big time, and if the Mud Hens can stay good, it will continue to pay off.

Let's go Hens!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Hitchhiker's Guide

Finally! They made a movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

I can't wait to see it!

But, of course, I'm worried. As I said in an earlier post, I hate when Hollyweird takes a very good book and turns it into a crapfest of a movie, usually because about the only resemblance between the book and the movie is the title.

And from what I've seen in the internet trailers, there may be a lot about the movie version of T.H.G. that has nothing to do with the book (for instance, who the heck is that guy with only half a body and a bunch of little mechanical legs?!)

I am a big fan of all the H.G. books. I must have read all four books in the "trilogy" at least a dozen times. They're just plain hilarious!

An aside: I know, I know. There was a fifth book that came out a few years ago, but I didn't like it.

At any rate, I plan to go see this new movie. But I will be VERY disappointed if it deviates too far from the book.

I realize that it's often very hard to cram a 500+ page book into a two-hour movie, but, geez, at least try to make it as close as you can. That's all I ask.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005


I know. You're probably thinking, "What the heck kind of title is '$19'?!"

Well, Chester, let me explain. Today after work I needed gas, so I filled my tank. And $19 is how much I spent to fill it up.

I know. You're saying, "So what?!"

Well, again, let me explain.

I drive a 1998 Ford Escort SE. It has approximately a ten gallon gas tank. And over the 6+ years that I have now owned this car, I have NEVER spent more than $15 to fill my gas tank, even with the needle sitting on empty.

Until today, that is.

You see, gas in my area is currently, on average, about $2.20 a gallon, and I understand that we're actually a few cents below the national average. That's just scary. I mean, is there any reason to be grateful to be only paying $2.20 a gallon for gas. I sure don't think so.

Why is gas so expensive?

Could it be because oil has become more and more difficult to find and extract, thus increasing the price?

Could it be because Congress refuses to pass legislation mandating a higher MPG standard for all vehicles sold in the United States?

Could it be because the current President and Vice President of the United States are both former oilmen who will do absolutely nothing to harm the profits of the industry of which they are both former members?

Could it be because our civilization is addicted to gasoline as surely as a crack user is addicted to rock cocaine, and we will pay any price for gas, no matter how outrageous it is?

Could it be that the oil companies are raising prices simply because they can?

Could it be all of the above?


(Begin rant) Where is the outrage, people?! Do you enjoy getting fucked by the oil companies, for Christ's sake?! Why are you all bending over and taking it?! Do you like spending sixty fucking dollars to fill up the tank of your SUV?! Are you all truly so God damn dumb?! (End rant)

Let me say this very clearly so there is no misunderstanding:


The only way things are EVER going to change is if you get off your lazy asses and DO SOMETHING!!

Alas, I am merely a Voice in the Crowd. Sigh.

OK, I'm better now.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Breakfast Sandwich from Hell, Part 2

Recently I posted an entry about Burger King's new mega breakfast sandwich. And Katbanshee posted a comment about the creepy commercials BK has brought out to promote them. Recently I saw one of said commercials. And I have to ask one question:


Let me describe this commercial (but I should point out this will be vague--I have only seen it once.)

A man wakes up. He gets out of bed. He looks out his window. He sees a man in a plastic Burger King costume standing outside. The costumed man offers one of BK's new sandwiches to the man. He takes it and eats it. Cut.

Let's analyze this, shall we?

Imagine if you will that you wake up in the morning. Outside your window is some stranger wearing a creepy-looking costume. He holds out a very nasty looking sandwich to you. What would you do?

Me, I would slam my windows closed and call the cops!!

And I have to believe that would be the reaction of just about everyone else.

So again I ask, who are the marketing geniuses that came up with this ad campaign?

Probably the same guys that came up with the commercials that had a guy waking up next to a guy wearing said creepy costume (remember those?--the tagline was "wake up with the King").

I have to say that if I woke up next to some guy wearing a creepy looking costume, I'd hit him over the head with the nearest heavy object and run screaming from the room!

Memo to Madison Avenue: Guys in creepy-looking costumes invading your privacy = BAD!

(I know. I used the words "creepy-looking" a lot! So what?!)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Why I like The West Wing

So. The West Wing season finale was last night. The stage is set for next season's election between a moderate Republican senator from California (played by Alan Alda) and an idealistic young Democratic congressman from Texas (played by Jimmy Smits). I guess the writers figure the only way to beat a California Republican is to get a Texas Democrat.

An Aside: Hmm. A young, somewhat politically naive Texas politician is running for president, and his running mate is an old veteran politician with a somewhat shaky past and a history of heart problems. I know art imitates life, but geez--do they have to be so obvious about it?!

Of course, I want to see the Jimmy Smits character win. Even if Alan Alda's character is the most likeable Republican character I have ever seen, I simply have trouble believing that, in this day and age, a politician like him even exists--especially in the Republican party.

But I will still tune in to watch next season. Why? Because I think the show is AWESOME! And here are ten reasons why, in no particular order:

1) Josiah "Jed" Bartlett--This is the President we all wish we had. Intelligent, reasonable, honest, moral, even-tempered, and, above all, willing to put aside personal and political gain and actually work with Republicans and Democrats alike to make everyone's life better.

2) Martin Sheen--This guy is a class act. 'Nuff said

3) Intelligent Women--On most shows like this, the female characters are designed to be little more than good-looking window dressing. But there has never been a dumb Bimbo on this show. And, with this season's naming of a female to be chief of staff, it has given women even more prominence on the show.

4) Excellent writing--with the current crop of so-called "reality" shows and sitcoms that rely on sight gags and crude humor, it's nice to know there are still a few good writers left in Hollyweird. I can't begin to count the number of times an episode of this show has left me nearly in tears.

5) The First Season--From the pilot episode to the season-ending cliffhanger, this show hooked me and never let go. In the pilot episode, Jed Bartlett storms into a meeting with some religious conservatives, proceeds to dress them down for failing to denounce an extremist religious group, and then tells them to get their "fat asses" out of his White House. I stood up and cheered. Imagine our current president doing something like that. Yeah, right.

6) Ethical Republicans--In this day of Tom DeLay, George DUIbya Bush, and Bill Frist, it's hard to think that ANY Republican can be honest and ethical. This show, however, has developed its Republican characters so well that you almost like them. Almost.

7) The excellent supporting cast--The producers of this show have taken great pains to ensure that every single supporting part, regardless of how minor, has been cast with actors or actresses with actual talent, as opposed to simply good looks.

8) Dule Hill--Over the course of 6 seasons, his character has evolved from the position of presidential errand boy to one of a strong and confident Washington Insider. And he has matured as an actor as well. If he can avoid being type-cast, he has a good future in Hollyweird.

9) Stockard Channing--There may have been someone else who could've been better at the role of First Lady, but I can't think of anyone at the moment.

10) Toby and Josh--the perfect pair of political insiders, who know politics inside and out, and who know exactly how to work behind the scenes to get the job done.

So, that's why I like it. And why I will continue to watch it until the end.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The movie Sahara opens in theaters on Friday. It's based on a book by Clive Cussler. I plan to go see it. But I'm worried.

Let me explain. I am a big fan of Clive Cussler. I've read all of his fiction works, and a couple of his non-fiction works. I was sad when he announced he was giving up writing. And while I have to admit that his ideas sometimes got a little far-fetched, they were nevertheless entertaining.

But recently, I heard that Cussler had sued the producers of the movie, after they apparently changed the movie script without his approval.

Apparently the lawsuit didn't stop the movie, since it's coming out in two days. But I'm worried that it will deviate too far from the book. And I will know if it does, since I just finished re-reading it two weeks ago (I re-read it to refresh my memory since the movie comes out soon.) I just hope that they haven't changed it so much it no longer bears any resemblance to the book. And if you don't believe it can happen, just go read Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger then go see the movie of the same name.

Or The Bourne Identity.
Or The Bourne Supremacy.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Legacy of John Paul the Second

27 years ago, I remember watching on my 12" black and white TV as white smoke flowed from that rickety-looking chimney on the side of the Sistine chapel, signifying the election of Karol Wojtyla as the next leader of the Catholic Church. I believe my thoughts at the time ran something along the lines of, "what's all the fuss about?"
(In my defense, I have to point out that I was just a kid at the time!)

Now, more than 27 years later, the man who became Pope John Paul II has shuffled off his mortal coil, as it were. By all accounts, and based on my own personal observations, he was a charming, charismatic, intelligent, media-savvy man who new how to wow a crowd and remained active in all matters of the church almost until the end of his life. And as his body gradually began to give out on him, he transformed his own personal suffering into a lesson in the suffering endured by Christ in the hours preceding his death.

John Paul II has left an indelible mark on the history of the Catholic church. Millions, if not billions, mourn his death. I mourn his death. And I am glad that his suffering has ended at last, and that he is now surely in a better place.

As I have said before, I am not a Catholic. So I would like to believe that I can play the part of the detached observer as I look back on the legacy of John Paul II

(At this point I should probably warn you that if you are offended by criticism of the late Pope, you should probably stop reading.)

Speaking as the aforementioned detached observer, I have to say that for all his great accomplishments, John Paul II also undertook some actions that harmed the church. And while you may think it is wrong to speak ill of the dead, I want to point out a few issues where I believe he came down on the wrong side:

* He was wrong to discourage the use of birth control in overpopulated, poverty-stricken countries--what do you think causes that overpopulation and poverty?

* He was wrong to allow no discussion of the ordination of women--has everyone forgotten that Jesus had a mother?

* He was wrong to allow no discussion of the issue of priestly celibacy--Saint Peter was married, for cripes sake!

* He was wrong to participate in the church's long-running cover-up of the abuse scandal--Seriously: How bad does it have to get?

* He was wrong to encourage America to keep its borders open to immigration--how many immigrants has Vatican City taken in lately?

* He was wrong to maintain stringent secrecy in the affairs of the Church--Didn't he say that the Church should be made with walls of glass?

These are but a few errors in judgment he made. But he was, after all, only human. And humans make mistakes. The wise ones learn from them.

I'm not saying John Paul II was not a wise man. Far from it. He was much wiser than I am. He simply did not allow for the possibility that he might be wrong on occasion. That is not a failing that any knowledgeable individual can possess in this day and age.

A few days from now, when the Cardinals meet to select the next Pope, they have a golden opportunity to select someone who can seriously address the issues that threaten the future of the Catholic Church, perhaps the most serious of which is the aging clergy, and the growing lack of interest in Catholism by the younger crowd.

So, keeping that in mind, I have a few suggestions for the new Pontiff:

* Allow priests to marry. Almost every other organized religion in the world not only allows its clergy to marry and have children, but encourages them to do so.

* Allow the ordination of women. 50% of the world's population is female. It's time the Catholic Church changed to reflect that fact.

* Allow some forms of birth control. The best way to reduce the abortion rate is to reduce the rate of unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.

* Be more tolerant of other religions. Accept the fact that not everyone worships God the same way you do. I'm sure He doesn't mind. You shouldn't either.

I realize that I am by no means the first person to suggest any or all of these things. Nor, undoubtedly, will I be the last one to suggest them. Nor do I expect the next Pontiff to give them any more thought than the last one.

But a man can dream.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

My Final Word on the Schiavo Case

How sad. Two days after she died, and her case is already below the fold of my local newspaper.

I would guess that a year from now, no one will remember the name "Terri Schiavo".

And I would hope that that is the way the family would prefer it to be.

But I know better.

I know that the Republicans will be working her legacy for every last vote they can get from it, and every last dollar they can raise from the knee-jerk Republican pro-lifers.

I have a simple message for all of you aforementioned pro-lifers:

Wake the fuck up! The Republicans are using you! They don't give a shit about your cause--they're just milking it to keep your vote!

I guarantee that four years from now (or longer), abortion in some form will still be legal. It's the only way Republicans can hang on to the vote of people like you! If you REALLY want to reduce abortions in this country then start encouraging intelligent and quality education for everyone. Education is the best way to decrease poverty and ignorance, which are some of the root causes of unplanned pregnancy.

And STOP supporting Republicans! They are not on your side! They just pretend to be!