Friday, November 28, 2008

Leesa's Mailbag: Issue 1

I was looking at some things I did on my blog last week, and here are a couple of things that did not stand the test of time (they ended up being sort of lame):

1. YouTube Reviews. I started writing YouTube videos in December 2006, initially because I discovered it for myself and I wanted to give people exposure to their videos. I try posting them on Saturday, and you can see previous reviews by clicking on my YouTube label. But then I got bored with it. Perhaps I will write a YouTube video review every once in a while. We will see.

2. Web 2.0 Commentary. I have start writing certain blog entries that deal with Web 2.0. Mostly blogging and vlogging stuff, but I hope to add value to this important topic.

I think the YouTube reviews were lame for two reasons: (1) writing about homemade videos is more boring that watching homemade videos, and (2) I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos. The reason Web 2.0 fell out of favor was that I really did not know a lot about it.

Well, I am trying a new weekly, monthly or semi-annual blog entry called "Leesa's Mailbag." It will depend on the interest. Over the last few years, people have emailed me with questions, and I have answered them on an individual basis. Now, I think I will answer them on a blog entry. Perhaps Friday. Not sure I will get enough questions to do this often, but I will try to answer questions. Sort of an Ann Landers with attitude. Just write to the following email address:

Here are some questions answered in recent comments:

Knot wrote: I used to have a friend who told some of the most convincing stories. Not sure how many of them were real, but I guess 60% were false.

Leesa's answer: It is simple math. If you know what percentage of them were false, you can calculate the percentage of them which were real. The calculation follows:

Real % = 100% - False %

If 60% were false, then 40% would be real. But don't worry, love, congress has the same problem when balancing the budget. Of course, their confusion costs us money.

Funny thing was that I looked at a bunch of other answers I gave, and they were all not funny and a bit boring. Now I am wondering if doing this will be sort of like my other endeavors (see YouTube Reviews and Web 2.0 Commentaries above).

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new Blogger gadget (I think they call them widgets) called "follower." I actually found a blog using the widget who had no followers at the time. That made me sort of sad.

And I got a question on followers: Anonymous wrote: how does this follower thing work?

Leesa's answer: Looks like Google/Blogger has a new widget for this. They wrote about it in August, actually, but I am sure many of us don't read "The Official Blogger Buzz."I think it is a way to stalk people. It might not be as satisfying as going onto their page and refreshing every few minutes, while cackling maniacally, but it still does the job.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Percenters

Last week, I wrote about something I overheard in a fast food joint. Larry had the following observation:

There is a different number motorcycle gangs use to describe themselves, its the "1%" often inside a diamond, or "One-Percenters", which comes from the Brando movie "The Wild One", where when asked about the life depicted in the movie, the American motorcycle assoc said that the 1% of these bad characters give motorcylcing a bad name.

My current wife was a friend of Sonny Barger, the Oakland Hells Angel Chapter founder. She was at the Altamonte festival when they were providing security for the concert for the Stones. While living in the Oakland CA area, she meet lots of entertainers that liked to associated with them, Willie, Waylon, Kris, Johhny and Hank Jr.

And Larry has an interesting point.

We all have our experiences; we tend to assume that what we have experienced is "normal." From an old stats class, I translate normal to "68% of the population."I think that is one standard deviation for a normal distribution. But we aren't all normal; at least I don't think I am normal.

For instance, let's say you go to a football game. Georgia verses Georgia Tech. You notice that the Georgia fans are a bunch of animals. You assume all Georgia fans are animals. But that may not be the case.

Similarly, at work, one of your coworkers happens to be lesbian. She is also a Goth and perhaps Wiccan as well. You may conclude that all Goth-Wiccans are lesbians. And you would be wrong. Sure, they may have books on Gerald Gardner, and even have a large stash of porn, but that does not make it so.

Our minds really try and reconcile what we experience with what we believe. If one of your arch-enemies does a kindness to you, you might believe there is an ulterior motive.

What is the lesson to learn from this? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps, however, if you are a member of a group that is quite visible and you do stupid stuff, perhaps your actions will be painting a picture for those of us who are not embedded in your group.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Straying in a Relationship

Years ago, I strayed in my relationship with my husband. At the time, I was unaware as to why I strayed. Through a bit of counseling, some powerful psychotropic drugs, and several heart-to-heart conversations, we started working in the right direction.

When I did not really know I strayed, I could tell my husband was not heading to the divorce lawyer but was thinking about it. He would deny this to this day – but I can tell. I think he was this way for two important reasons:

1. I really did not understand why I went from loyal wife to cheating hussy. And if I didn't understand why I did this, I can't fix this in our relationship. I would not normally use "fix" but I am thinking from his point-of-view.

2. Until he found out, he had not a clue I was cheating. My actions towards him did not change while I was cheating, so I am sure he was unsure if he would pick up such clues if I began straying again.

These two things, more than anything else, really kept us from seeking some sort of closure for my infidelity.

I did do some things right. I owned up to the indiscretion. I listened to him talk about how it made him feel, even though I wanted to interject certain facts in my defense. I got professional help quickly – and as luck would have it, I found a faith-based counselor that really helped me to see things in a way that spoke to me.

Almost a year after my affair was made known to my husband, he strayed. I knew he did from the start – I read him so easily. It took him about a week to fess up after I dropped a hint that his behavior had changed.

In a way, getting over his indiscretion was easier to do. His reason (more of a vengeful, you cheated so I wanted to try it out/hurt you) was simpler to address, and since I knew the signs, he knows he will probably not be able to get away with it if he tries again. He also knows that we are all out of chances. Two strikes, if you will.

I have shared my story to a co-worker who I knew was getting friendly with someone else in the office. I told her, in unglamorous terms, about my own experiences. She cheated anyway. She got caught eventually, and then quit the company. Not sure if she is still married. She did say that she wish she would have listened to me, but things just continued to happen. Yeah, I have been there before.

Not sure why I wrote about this today . . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eavesdropping at a Fast Food Restaurant

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a fast food restaurant – part of a large chain. It was the middle of a Saturday, and I was just grabbing a bite to eat at a location I do not frequent. Actually, the location was in a "bad part of town." Not bad enough for me to hold my pee and continue to the next area, if you know what I mean.

So I was sitting by myself, reading a book and eating. I always carry a book or two in the car. I don't mind eating by myself, but need to have a diversion. I almost always have a book in the car, a stack next to my bed, and others casually thrown throughout the house. When I was in school, I would buy Oxford Pocket Classics – can you imagine having a book, a classic, in your purse? Oh, am I geekish.

I am reading and here a rather large man taking to a family of four. I am going to call the big1 man Frank. Not sure he is a Frank, but let's just do it to give him a name. Everyone deserves a name.

In the course of talking to the family, Frank learns about a guy they mutually know. Frank says that he was the other guy in the backyard story. Non-descript, I know, but that's what he said at first.

Then he talks about some associates, associated with a club known as the 81s. And he asks the family if they know what the 81s are. Luckily for me, they don't know, and he said the numbers represent the letters in the alphabet. But he says nothing more. HA, and I think of things it could be. It didn't take more than a minute to think "Hell's Angels."I could have googled it if I was at work, but the ol' brain still works.

Over the course of the conversation, he goes back to the backyard experience. A little more light is shed. He told the family that he knew they would be okay because "they can't do ballistics on shotguns."

Instantly, I casually look for the entrance. All clear. This guy is freaking me out.

I stay planted because I am interested and afraid.

I hear more about Frank's life – that he held a gun at someone's head because they touched his jacket. And he was not mad at the guy; he just did not want to be touched. Or how he would fight with others. He was a rough guy.

And I can't get it out of my head that he admitted to others that he and a friend killed two people in a backyard. I start to think about what to do with this information. How do I inform the police without having him know anything about me?

And then I remember something else he said. That he had a try-out with the NY Jets. Not that he tried out with them, but that they called him. I have known a couple of football players. They would have dwarfed this man. He played nose tackle and center. I can't remember which is which – I mean, one is defensive line, one is offensive line. But I can't remember which side of the line plays bigger. Point is, the guy had to be lying about the NY Jets. Not sure if he was lying about the backyard.

Just makes me feel better to have that as a possibility.

1 A bit overweight, and I am being a tad kind, actually – not helpful, I know, when I am describing a scene.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fish and Chips without the Fishies

I was told about a story of Sperm Donor shortage in the UK. The first thing that leaped to my mind was, "why the heck did the guy forward the article to me". I mean, does he want me to know because if I somehow travel to England and want to get knocked up while visiting a sperm bank, there may be a line? Okay, so this may not be about me personally, and I almost lost interest. Almost.

But then I started thinking. Dangerous, I know, but I started thinking about sperm banks and related problems.

When I was in college, I knew a couple of guys who would donate blood every six weeks or so. I think they were paid $12 for their donations. The blood was tested, or course, and it went into circulation. And these two guys I knew did it for the beer money. I mean, they were broke, but they would donate a pint every month or so to get beer money. Plus, as an added bonus, they could get wasted really quickly after they donated. Not the brightest bulbs, mind you. Perhaps they are managing hedge funds (and making millions) now.

I gave blood as well, not as often, and all I would get is a cookie and a white t-shirt. Perhaps some juice. And a warning not to do anything too strenuous for the next 24 hours. I would donate twice a year, at the times when blood bank trucks blocked the entrance to the library. They shamed me into giving. A good friend of mine was 102 pounds and anemic. I envied her at blood bank time.

Now I don't know a lot about sperm banks. Only what I have read in porn. And I would imagine you still don't get the cream of the crop, no pun intended, when you ask for sperm donors. I mean, you are asking for guys to masturbate into a beaker to old tittie magazines for money.

And it just occurred to me that some of these guys are making donations frequently. Perhaps for beer money. And they are not just donating a bit of semen. They are donating genetic material that actually may make a person. I mean, some alcoholic may be donating his genetics to a whole classroom of children. And he may be doing this every time he needs beer money.

With blood, you have to wait every 6 weeks for a new donation. With sperm donation, I don't think the wait is nearly as long.

And if two products of artificial insemination meet and marry. Well, they could be genetic siblings. I am not sure there is a term for "unintentional inbreeding", but perhaps someone ought to think of one. I mean, Dolly the Sheep was created in Scotland. I mean, I am a geographically challenged American, but Scotland is part of the UK, right? What is it with the UK and avoiding sex to make babies? Must be a Church of England thing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

On Marriage

A witty blogger I rarely follow wrote about her 2-1/2 year anniversary. Okay, when I was married, I celebrated my one month, two month, and six month anniversaries. At almost three months, I became a bit nauseated at the monthly anniversaries – the gifts were just not worth me cooking a fancy dinner, getting in a nice dress, and spending a lot of time on hair and makeup, coordinating lingerie, etc., when we ended up dancing horizontally. New hubbie basically showed up for a nice meal, a pretty wife and a night of passionate sex. He actually liked the anniversaries. Imagine that?

I still don't understand a 2-1/2 year anniversary. But that's okay. I also don't understand why people will pay a dollar to vote for someone on television but don't vote for a governor, senator or the president.

But you know, Jill is sort of lucky. She found her husband and they were allowed to get married.

But you know, there are lots of people who don't get the opportunity to get married. I was looking up marriage laws, and I was surprised to find that Mississippi had a law that you had to be 21, unless by parental consent. Some of the states say "written parental consent," and my mind leaps to signing one's own report card in school. Why not sign some type of consent document as well.

But I am not talking about minors. I am talking about the whole Proposition 8 deal that was in the news lately. Not my state, but certainly I have been thinking about it. Living in Georgia, I really should not care what they do in California. I like states rights. For me, if a state wants to make the death penalty illegal, that's fine by me. Same thing concerning marriage. Sort of, I guess. I mean, if I get married in Georgia, I want to make sure I am married in California, Florida or South Dakota. Can you imagine your spouse going to a meeting in Nevada, and your marriage not being valid in that state? I mean, all of those hookers and single women/men? Ouch.

For me, my religion says "man + woman" for marriage. I don't agree with it, but I also think the Pope's hat looks a bit outdated. What 'cha going to do? But my church also believes that gluttony is a sin. And I think it is fine that McDonalds sells a bunch of fat. I mean, the French fries are to die for. A slow death, clogged arteries and all.

I think the government should regulate marriage, but not stamp morality on the issue. I mean, tax marriage – the American thing to do. And I think everyone ought to be able to pay more in taxes, get bored in a sexless marriage, and be eligible for a nasty divorce. Sort of how this guy ended up, rich and alone after a marriage from hell.

American dream, baby. Let's don't discriminate because of body parts.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PSA: Oil Fires

You know, how you get some junk mail. I got one recently, with this movie attached. It is a PSA for Oil Fires. By posting it here, I don't think I am violating any copyright agreements. A bit frightening, this is.

Friday, November 14, 2008

$700 Billion Mistake: Won't Help Foreclosures

A few weeks ago, I wrote something about the $700 Billion Bailout. I was driving to work one morning last week, and I heard something about how the first chunk of change was going to help people fend off foreclosure. Now, perhaps the money will help loosen up some business credit, but I would like to dispel any notion of this money helping struggling homeowners.

I mean, most of the people who have their houses near disclosure are living close to the edge. I mean, if they weren't close to the edge, they would be making their home payments. Make sense?

But let's look at this from the point-of-view of someone who doesn't have very good credit and is making a house payment. To make this example concrete, I am going to make up some numbers. Let's say a family of four purchases their dream house a three years ago. They pay $200, 000 for the home, which is at market prices for the time. Maybe before the market crash, the homeowners looked on Zillow and saw that the house appreciated to $210K (5% in one year!). Now, however, the house is worth about $150K. The people made payments, each payment, at the first of each month. Now, they look at the equity they have in the house, and they are up-side-down. Perhaps they now owe $195K and the house is worth only $150K. The homeowners don't have good credit, and now they can either bail on the house, or keep paying on an asset that is depreciated and probably will not appreciate anytime soon. Not-stellar credit and even if you take a major hit on your credit, it gets forgotten after 7 years. If the homeowner keeps paying, it is not certain that in 7 years, they will be in better financial shape. Sure, the bank can sue the homeowner for the difference between the amount owned and amount the bank gets after foreclosure. But will the bank get anything from the person walking away from house? Doubtful.

Now the auto industry wants only a sliver of the $700 Billion. The problem, however, with the auto industry is that they are bleeding billions every quarter, and their business model is not about to change anytime soon. I don't really know if this is true, but some PhD on NPR said something to that effect last week.

Anyway, we are spending tons of money to fix a problem, and what we are doing is paying for bonuses and paying to solve rich people's problems. This is Medicaid for the rich, pure and simple. And we don't want to know.

Guess I will open my 401-K statement. That is something I have been putting off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Class Warfare

I read an article the other (it was the other day when I wrote this, but this stayed in my draft folder until today) day in a magazine about marriage between classes. It is in a magazine that I normally don't read – I read it probably twice per year – and the article was trite, not-well-written and got published. I really think the only reason the article was published was for the title of the article and the picture which accompanied the article, a red stiletto next to a work boot. Perhaps the magazine wanted to use the picture and had to find an article to match.

I don't want to go into the article, but what I realized from the words was that some feel like there are still class distinctions in the United States. This is a fairly un-American sentiment, and a sentiment I did not believe exists.

I was brought up in a working class family, and although we did not make sandwiches for Dad who spent time in the mines, we were definitely not living comfortably. But even though I am not well-off, I have mixed in Upper Class company once in a while. And those with money – I am talking real money – they see themselves a bit differently than the rest of us.

I have seen the following concerning wealthy individuals:

1. They seem to believe they deserve their wealth, even if it is inherited.
2. Many feel that wealth comes with a burden. That money has a host of responsibilities and problems associated with it.
3. They seem to equate wealth with class. Can we all just say, "Oops. We can see the problem with this assumption." Two examples which come to mind (and how else would they be related) are OJ Simpson and Rush Limbaugh. Both are wealthy, and both lack class.

When I look at people, I don't see different classes. I mean, the reason behind the Campbell's soup artwork (Andy Warhol) is that whether you are a millionaire or some struggling food stamp family, you eat the same type of soup. Okay, since Andy Warhol painted these soup images, there have been lots of changes in food, and now if you are wealthy, perhaps you can get a better can of soup. But Warhol was interested in the fact that some threads reached across classes.

In college, I had a friend who was rich. And he would "cry on my shoulder" about all of his responsibilities. Things I could not understand about. All this while I was working through school, wondering if my paycheck would cover books this semester. Through it, though, I never once thought that he could not understand my concerns about money.

One thing that bugs me is when people assume they are smarter than me for whatever reason. Because they have money. Because they have power. Because they have influence. Because they have double-D boobs. Because they know HTML.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sports and Politics

NCAA Football Top TenI captured this image a couple of weeks ago, I think. I was going to write something about rankings, perhaps talk about the BCS. Well, I have no idea what I was going to say, because I never wrote anything down.

A week ago, President-Elect Obama had this to say on Monday Night Football: "I think it is about time we had playoffs [in college football]. I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this and that and the other. Get eight teams -- the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff."

 BCS Top Ten for November 9, 2008Some football fans credit this statement, on the eve of Election Day, putting him over the top. Me, I think it was more to do with politics, or the fact that W. Bush sucks.

I am very much in favor of a playoff, mostly because my team is Georgia Tech, and if we slide in at number 8, we may have a shot at winning a national championship. It could happen, a heck of a lot more likely than us going 12-0.

I want to say something philosophical and deep about football, but that sort of ruins the game. Am I right or what?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Accounting Refugees Unite

You know, every once in a while, I get something in my inbox, saying something like, "Hey, Blogger Chickie, join this cause to save the world. The flavor of the week this week is Refugees Unite."

At first, I thought perhaps I would write something about Cheerleading Refugees uniting. But then I would have to endure the guys talking about cheerleader bondage. And I really want to help someone.

So I looked through my recent memories, and I figured out that no one seems to help accountant refugees. I mean, let's say you help some CEO bilk millions from retirement accounts, slush funds, or wherever you could pilfer money for the well-deserving CEO. I mean, in industries where the government does not subsidize CEO golden parachutes for malfeasance. So if you are in big oil, and you are moving money around. Pretty soon the FBI busts into your private residence and suggests you cooperate or else you will be a resident in another gated community. But this new gated community is state-sponsored. So instead of rolling on your CEO, you flee for Mexico or Tuvalu.

Now, these poor accountants are in foreign countries, left with just the clothes on their backs and the stacks of unmarked bills in their suitcases. A pity.

I say we start some sort of fund for these guys. I mean, they probably don't have English cable television or Diet Dr. Pepper, or online banking. A true pity.

Please cue the violin music. Any of you wishing to donate to this fund can deposit money for this worthy cause.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Blogging is Like Anal Sex

The other day, without any provocation from anything I have written, Joe made the following statement: "Blogging is like anal sex. That analogy sprung to mind, but I have no idea how to tie it all together. Can you work on that for me?"

I will take this opportunity to see if I can convince you that blogging is like anal sex. Let's lube up and begin.

The reasons that blogging is like anal sex.

1. People just don't admit they do it. I mean, how many of us who blog once, twice, three times per week will even admit reading blogs, much less writing about them. When asked about it, one may say, "Blogging? I have heard about it, but I have never really thought to do it."

In the same vein, while some mentioning of sex can be seen in even polite company, I have never heard someone even jokingly talking about sex around the poppie hole.

2. It is just not natural. When I was in school, we had health. I learned that you ate food with your mouth, that your teeth start the digestive process, then down to a bunch of tubes, to the stomach, to a bunch of other tubes, and exits out the anus. I always laughed on the inside when I had to write "anus" on a health test. The point is, when I was in health, we talked about the anus being the exit for the food after the nutritious stuff was taken into the body. There was nothing said about it being a secondary entrance for a guy's penis. I always laughed on the inside when I had to write "penis" on the health test.

Blogging is not natural either. I mean, when you think of writers, you think about someone writing for a newspaper or magazine or, better yet, writing a book. I wonder if the people who wrote all of those various tests on Cosmo were laughing when they wrote them. Expressing yourself by writing is one thing; blogging is not natural.

3. It is just – so dirty. Blogging can be really dirty work. I mean, if you look at some of my own work and the work of others, some of what we write about is painful, dirty. I label this as cathartic, but others may see it more as dirty. Raw emotions can be dirty.

Anal sex is also dirty. And we all can guess why. 'Nuff said.

4. It is too hard to do every day. But if you don't do it very often, starting can be painful. Just read that last sentence again and again. It is too hard to do every day. Blogging, it is too hard . . . . Anal sex, it is too hard . . . . Do I really need to spell this out for you? Didn't think so.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Blog Following and Anal Sex

If you have not guessed, I have been a bit distracted lately. Not bad distracted, but distracted from everything blog-related. Actually, this has been an evolutionary process, and I have been more dispassionate the last year to eighteen months.

By dispassionate, I don't mean I don't care at all. I usually care so damn much about things that interest me. For instance, when I was first blogging, I would hit 20 or 30 blogs per day, making comments about half of them. Witty comments too. And not about panties or cum stains (hard to believe, I know), but about living with loss, hand regeneration, bio-nuclear engineering, and pop tart art. I fancied myself the Michelle Angelo of blogging (yeah, I know it's Michael, but there did not seem to be a bunch of well-rounded women in the Renaissance period (I mean, Bottochelli's female models were rounded, but not well-rounded).

Anyway, there is a sort of new feature called Blogger Following. The feature lets readers/viewers publicly subscribe to your blog and, if you want it, can add a "Follower" list to your blog so that people can see who follows your blog. It lets you know who is reading, and they don't miss a single sentence fragment. I don't know if I want to add a follower list – it looks cool, but sadly, I only have one follower. I mean, an army is a cool thing, but an army of one, well that seems to be fairly pathetic. Incidentally, that is also the US Army's current tag line. Oopsie.

The following is a clip from an HBO show called Lucky Louie. It is making its way around, and although I don't particularly like the subject, I was rolling on the floor laughing. Perhaps because I don't like the subject (anal sex). It's of an adult nature, so it is tasteful (unlike some of my posts).

I don't know why I am mixing these two very different subjects – just say my medication levels are off, perhaps. Oh, and I am not sure you should mix anything with anal sex – that has led many a person to the local emergency room. Remember, don't replace light bulbs while engaging in anal sex. It goes badly for those involved, but it does provide wonderful joke potential.

The first post after the election – deals with leaders and anal sex. Makes sense to me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Advice

Today is Election Day. All over the country. And I have heard a lot about how it is our duty to vote. But you know, if you don't know how many Supreme Court justices we have in the US, if you don't understand something about the issues, and if you get your advice from bloggers, I don't want you voting.

You see, ill-informed votes dilute other people's votes. I mean, if you have given it some thought. Even if you looked at the candidates mascots and figured which would beat the other in an ultimate fighting match (Obama went to Columbia, the mascot is a lion; McCain graduated the United States Naval Academy, the mascot is a goat), I am betting on the lion making cabrito out of the goat. The point is that I want people to think before they vote. But not real random thoughts. I don’t want a voter saying, "Well that McCain supporter had nice tits. I think I will vote for McCain."

I want voters to come up with cogent arguments that make sense in your world view. I mean, I don't care if the methodology is bizarre – just that you have some rationale. Let's say you make your living on insider trading. Well, if you thought McCain would be tougher on adding people to police insider trading, vote for Obama. Or if you are a military contractor doing business in Iraq and am afraid Obama would get us out of Iraq (I find this a bit doubtful), then vote for McCain.

But if you have no clue who to vote for, don't practice drunken voting. Just don't vote. And if you want to lie about it, then you will have something in common with most candidates. I don't think a vote for Obama or McCain means the end to civilization as we know it. That was last election.

So if you don't want to vote for president, just pass. And if people want you to go to the voting booth with them (perhaps a candidate entices you with booze or a ride anywhere in the city), then vote. But just vote against all of the ballot initiatives. Most of them are just something about raising taxes (or bonds to build this or that). Sure, occasionally it will be on another issue, but since the initiative is poorly written anyway, you probably won't be able to figure out what it says. And we have survived all this time without the initiative, so what harm does it do for not passing it?

Me, I am going to see what soft drinks each prefers to make my choice. But have a system people. We don't need no more hanging chads.

My prediction (made on November 3, 2008): Obama will win 46 of 50 States. It will be an early night for those setting up camp on the couch with a pint of Häagen-Dazs and the remote.

Oh, and this just in. Someone sent it to me - so I don't have a real source - other than the wire itself.

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. (AP) - A nudist community on Florida's west coast wants to establish the first clothing-optional polling site. The Caliente Resorts, located in Pasco County north of Tampa, has approached election officials about the idea.

Nothing in state law would prohibit it, but the supervisor of elections says he is opposed to creating any new precincts before redistricting in 2010.

Gives another meaning to the term "hanging chads."

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Ten Commandments

Grant, an occasional reader and wonderful writer, wrote something on Halloween that was not satanic, overtly mocking, or had any pictures of hot Asian women in miniskirts. He wrote about religion. But not in a "why doesn't your Savior get a haircut" sort of way. More like in a way where several freshmen political science majors could plagiarize his blog, quoting him as "a senior white house official".

Grant's thesis, as follows: "Here in the Southeastern portion of the United States a lot of the Christian propaganda slingers make claims that our laws are based on the ten commandments." I have taken all of the wit out of the thesis, basically so I look clever and sexy, and Grant looks like an accountant with morals. Yeah, some accountants have morals. I have read about them. Okay, I haven't. But based on the number of accountants in the United States, there have to be some with morals.

Okay, I had to go back to Grant's site to cut and paste the Ten Commandments – and there was mention of a miniskirt in his blog. Well, at least I know it is him. [edited in: The bolded parts are from Grant's blog, and the rest is crap I made up and pawned off as fact. I added this after knot made a comment that made me think I was cutting and pasting all of Grant's blog from this point forward.]

The reason I took his 10 Commandments is because I don't know all ten of them. You see, I am Catholic. All I remember is not to have sex before married, or until the guy is really, really frustrated. Anyway, Grant gave very good reasons why most or all of these commandments have no relevance to our current government, and I thought it would be interesting if I tried the exact opposite approach, that the commandments are entrenched in our government.

#1: Do not have any other gods before me. The US Government can be thought of as a god. Our money has the words "In God We Trust" emblazoned on its money, but we are really talking about the US Government. If you have a peek at the government, it grows. When President Carter decided to make two new cabinet posts (the Department of Energy and Department of Education). These two departments have grown a lot over the years, and I don't know too many people who think we have a better energy plan or our education is any better since establishing these two departments. Clearly, the US Government thinks they are god, and the government knows best. So this commandment is clearly entrenched in the US Government.

#2: You shall not make or worship a false idol. You see, the government, according to the above, is the true idol. The government gets more power when you rely on it, when you take their handouts. And I am not faulting anyone from taking handouts. I mean, when I turn 65 or 72 or whenever I am eligible for Social Security, I will be filing my paperwork. But the Government doesn't want us to build our own businesses (why else would they tax them the way they do?), to form communities where we don't depend on Social Security (the Amish, for instance). No, our Government does not want us to worship other things.

#3: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Again, if the US Government is a god, then why do you think we enacted the Patriot Act? To catch bad guys? Right. How about having something where we can spy on our own? Oh, and as a bonus, we can imprison those who are against us. Bonus.

#4: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. The Sabbath is not necessarily Sunday. For our government, there are several of these days. We call them Federal holidays. Try mailing a letter or depositing money in a bank on those days. Even some public transportation is extremely scaled back.

#5: Honor your father and your mother. Okay, again, "father" and "mother" are actually the President and Vice President. Mom and Pops. Seems you can't burn these people in effigy. I remember in school that the founding fathers burned King George III in effigy. Hell, if W. had a son named George, think of the parallels. Oh, I am off on a tangent again. Anyway, the Government doesn't like free speech if it involves fire. Think flag burning, yelling fire in a building. I could go on and on. Hey, now that is a great title for a blog. Again, a tangent.

#6: You shall not kill. This rule is for individuals, not municipalities. I mean, who hasn't read an article about some rookie cop shooting a ten-year-old with a lime green squirt gun. Oh, and this is the law of the land, as long as you don't count Texas. In Texas, you can kill someone if they are on your property holding your television set. Apparently, a TV set is considered a deadly weapon. I gave an argument for this one, but admittedly, this is my weakest argument thus far.

Mini Skirt the Size of a Headband#7: You shall not commit adultery. I think this means you can't say, "Government, fuck yourself." Say government, bomb, George Bush, and anthrax on the phone to someone. See how long until some ATF guy with a 'tude knocks down your door. It may not be illegal, but if they can put you in jail without you seeing a judge, er, I think that is a bit worse than something that is illegal. I mean, you still screwed.

#8: You shall not steal. You can't cheat on taxes. That is like stealing from god. Not cool, illegal, and how they nailed Capone.

#9: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Don't lie in court. Sort of like the above, except they nailed Martha Stewart (she really needed nailing, in more ways than one). They couldn't get her for those stupid doilies she makes on camera or the bitch she is, so they got her on lying.

#10: You shall not covet your neighbor's swag. I actually had to look this one up. I did not know what a swag was, but I am guessing it is a female stag. Bestiality is illegal, immoral and messy.

Okay, so I just argued the opposite of Grant. And I filled in all the blanks. Oh, and you know what is sort of funny, other than my one stalker (yeah, Grant, I have a stalker and you don't) and a few other people, the only people who will be reading this are freshmen political science majors and people surfing for Asian girls in miniskirts. And that's called limited freedom of speech, baby!