Things I Don’t Believe In

The Tooth Fairy.

The Easter Bunny.

Astrology.

Elections as a viable means of ensuring the will of the people will be heard and obeyed.

Intelligent design. 

Ann Coulter.

Oil futures prices dropping to a sane price in my lifetime.

Commercials as anything but annoyingly stupid exercises in moving stupid people to do stupid things with their money and their tiny minds.

Aliens.

9/11 conspiracy theories.

Birther conspiracy theories.

Moon landing conspriacy theories.

ANY conspiracy theories.

Right wing political theories.

Game theory as a viable means to create policy.

Internet privacy.

Real world privacy.

The financial system.

Companies in the oil business.

People in the oil business.

The concern that American businesses have for the American people’s health and well being. 

Coors. It’s not beer, it’s beer flavored water.

Starbucks.  It’s not coffee, it’s crap flavored water with added caffeine.

My own superiority.

Bullshit.

Pat Robertson.  He isn’t real. He does not exist.

John Boehner.  He isn’t real. He’s a life sized 3-d animatronic howdy doody that got painted orange.

 The positive power of the Republican party.

The positive power of the Democratic party.

Patriotism.

Political indifference.

The concept that the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.

Aging gracefully.

Cats are clean animals.

People are on the whole nice and good.

People are on the whole nasty and evil.

People fit into neat categories.

The world.

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

I’ve Been…

     I have been somewhat inactive on the writing front the last few days.  I’ve been somewhat busy living my life, just hanging out with my wife, doing ordinary house husband stuff around the house the last few days.    No worries really though.  I’ve applied for a dozen jobs over the last few days, paid a bill or two, done food shopping, dealt with 17 inches of snow the smart way, by staying the hell away from it, to the point of not running the last few days, even though if i really wanted to I could have.

    I’ve been a little annoyed over the lack of response from people over at legal services NYC, who i presumed would be of some help in helping me declare bankruptcy .  I called them over a month ago, got no response, for a long time, called them again last week, STILL haven’t heard from them.  I am annoyed at the complete lack of response from these people.  I only just found a free alternative to them today, a very little while ago, so I’ll be hitting that soon.  Seeing how they are lawyers though, they won’t be open until Monday.  I guess if you can’t move fast, you move slow. 

   I’ve been watching the news a fair bit, as is my wont.  I’ve watched with trepidation as the market has gotten more volatile, and has started to dive a bit.  I’ve watched with ambivalence as the last of the Kennedy’s leaves the house of representatives.  I don’t even know why, I like Patrick Kennedy, but his retirement honestly just doesn’t move me.  I giggled when the climate change deniers said Global warming doesn’t exist (or some such) because we got snow in winter.  I watched with pride as the Space Shuttle finally got back into space.  I watched as a Luger at the Olympics died, took a turn too tight, came out of it too high and fast, came off of his luge and the track, and slammed into an uncovered steel pylon with the back of his head and neck at 90 mph.  I heard of shooters at a college in Alabama killed 3 people.  Death always gets top billing, doesn’t it?

     Dammit.

    I lost connection to teh intarwebs for the first time in a long time.  But the people at time warner cable were much better than the people at Verizon people ever were whenever I had problems with them when I still had DSL.  

  … I’ve been better, I’ve been worse.  No worries.

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   Nothing more from here. Go to sleep.

Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote:  It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life — those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest people.  Brutus Hamilton

Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you opportunity to commit more.   Mark Twain

Slightly Off Color

       My stuff first, sports after.

     A happy viddy from Ray Maxwell w/ Leo Laporte.  There is a reason I am leading off with this viddy.  My monitor, it fails.  I had some kind of malfunction at around noon on Super Bowl Sunday.  The power went on my phone, my cable, lost my Internet.  Don’t know what happened, whether a power surge or spike (there is a difference between the two BTW), or Roddy the disaster cat got back behind my computer and did something to the cables back there, or whatever, crashed all of it.  When I turned everything back on, The color on my monitor crapped out.  Red is black, there is a light blue tint to my screen.

    I’ve tried everything I know to fix it.  My wife, who is significantly smarter about this stuff than I am, has tried everything she knows, to fix it.  If you have any ideas, by all means, drop me a line and lend me a hand.

     The curious thing about this though, is that if I put the screen in digital mode, I think I’d need extra wires to actually run it digital, I’m not sure, it is perfectly OK.  I’ve tried downloading new drivers for my GeForce Nvidia 6150le.  Nuttin.  No luck at all.  I’ll put it too you like this. The viddy above, on my monitor, Leo and Ray look…vaguely jaundiced, or more accurately like a crappy colorized B&W movie.

     BTW, If your science chops aren’t up to snuff with Doc Maxwell, keep moving, you’ll get lost, fast.

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      Onto sports.  Congratulations to The New Orleans Saints!    WHO DAT GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS!  Not the Colts apparently.  The Saints played one helluva game, what I saw of it.  I have to be honest, I missed a bit of it, despite the fact that there really wasn’t much going on.  I watched early, and saw the Saints struggle a bit, and to be honest I thought the Colts would just roll at that point.  I didn’t really change my mind about that when the Saints got those two FG’s and made it a 4 point game going into the half.  I saw the brilliant play call, the onside kick, and felt a momentum change. 

     Honestly it was at about point that things pulled my attention away from the TV.  I didn’t really catch all that much of the game from that point.  I missed the Shockey TD, but I did see the Tracy Porter INT.  That was a great adjustment by Porter to come to the ball and beat Reggie Wayne to the ball. 

     BTW, I nailed the Saints point total!  I…kinda goofed on the Colts points though.  I had the Colts scoring 25 points more than they scored.  Oopses!  But like I said, My head said pick the Colts, but I wanted to see the Saints win.  Gotta feel good for the long suffering New Orleans Saints fans.

    Now if only the Cubs could get themselves a world series championship… well, let’s not go that far.  THAT’S asking a bit much.

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     A second Viddy from Doc Maxwell, then I am done.  This is actually the episode prior to the one I put at the top of this post.  If you are a big science fan, you can watch this show live 5:00pm on Thursdays on TWIT live. 

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    Later!

Today’s nuggets, by Richard Dawkins, via wikiquote:  Never say, and never take seriously anyone who says, “I cannot believe that so-and-so could have evolved by gradual selection”. I have dubbed this kind of fallacy “the Argument from Personal Incredulity”. Time and again, it has proven the prelude to an intellectual banana-skin experience.

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.

Killing Time

    This is just a quick one, a few quotes, a viddy or two.  Just some light entertainment for me while my wife watches (and I listen in the background) to Bette Davis in the movie “Dark Victory”  For those who don’t know the movie, a trailer from the movie follows.

  And yes, that is Humphrey Bogart before he broke as a major Hollywood star… and Ronald Reagan, America’s favorite B actor…He had a career afterwards…I don’t remember in what though.  😛

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   And now for something completely different:

    I am going to guess that every politician on earth has read the thing I am going to write about.  A happy way to twist your opponents words the way you want to, written by Arthur Schopenhauer. 

    38 ways to win an argument.  Listen to the talking heads in the media, all the politicians and business leaders in this nation.  You will hear Mr. Schopenhauer’s 38  ways in the background.  Tell me, you’ve heard this one in action, have you not?

11 If the opponent grants you the truth of some of your premises, refrain from asking him or her to agree to your conclusion.
Later, introduce your conclusions as a settled and admitted fact.
Your opponent and others in attendance may come to believe that your conclusion was admitted.

   Not saying it’s bad or anything. Far from it. It is an argument strategy, nothing more.  I’d never seen them put quite this way before I first saw it.  Here’s another favorite of politicians, douche bags, and businessmen and women everywhere.

24 State a false syllogism.
Your opponent makes a proposition, and by false inference and distortion of his ideas you force from the proposition other propositions that are not intended and that appear absurd.
It then appears that opponent’s proposition gave rise to these inconsistencies, and so appears to be indirectly refuted.

   I watch the crap show “Morning Joe” several times a week, and Joe Scarborough LOVES this bit. Uses it every single time I watch, and invariably uses it to burn democrats, and defend Republicans.  THAT is why I really dislike Scarborough, the use of purposeful intellectual dishonesty to distort reality in front of millions of people every day.  Annoys the shit out of me.

    But I digress…

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    Nothing Important here.  THIS bit, however is REALLY Important.

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   Joe Scarborough SUCKS.  A viddy from 2008.  Young Turks, Rachel Maddow kickin ass, Joe Scarborough being a dick, what more could you ask for?

   That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, by Mahatma Gandhi, via wikiquote:  An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.  Mahatma Gandhi

Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.

A man of truth must also be a man of care.

Reindeer Droppings

    I’ve had a pretty long day.  A good one but a long one.   I got back from the Family Christmas party a while ago, and I tell ya, it took a lot out of me.  And I wasn’t playing around with the kids as much as I usually do, so I don’t have that as an excuse.  I did hurl my little brothers son around the place a few times…well, not hurl per se, more hold the boy and run back and forth with him pretending like he was flying.  Flying into walls, well almost into walls, as well as flying into other people, and generally tossing the boy around like a sack of potatoes.  He was a giggling mess, I was as well, twas cool.

    To go back in time a bit, I woke up early, before 9,  after getting to sleep late, after 3.  I was up making chili, helping my wife make “Italian cookies”, ya know, breaking eggs on my forehead, punching the dough for the cookies so you could see a clear fist print in it, while making with the Bruce Lee sound effects (and yes my hands were clean, I may be a nut, but I’m not a dirt-bag) and other such joyfully weird things. 

     The chili I made was not very hot this year, not the 5 alarm, nasal passage clearing, taste bud destroying, hemorrhoid inducing psycho death chili that I normally make.  It was actually almost exactly Wendy’s knock off chili.  Ya know, 2 meats, pinto beans (which is where much of the flavor comes from), a few tomatoes, a few onions and some garlic, some jalapenos.  Brown the meat, drain, add the other ingredients + one cup of water, simmer for 45 minutes and yer done.  Easy. 

    The cookies took longer to make, just because we made 8 cookie sheets worth, and it takes ten minutes per sheet + prep time.  But it’s worth it, those f****** cookies are delicious.

    Like I said, doing all that took til 3 am. Set the alarm for 9.  Woke up a few times during the night, thanks to cats taking covers and space.  Woke up groggy, made the coffee, fed the cats, turned on the computer, looked for a job for a few minutes, played a few games, woke up the wife, and headed out to help prep the hall.

   Woke her up too late because I got caught up playing games on the computer.  Didn’t realize I had let that much time slip.  Silly husband, games are for kids.  Read some news next time, jackass.  LOL

    I walked down, carrying my chili.  It’s maybe a half a mile, and only takes a few minutes to walk, and it wasn’t too bad out.  When I got there, I was surprised to find that no one else from the family was there.  I had beaten everyone there.  Kewl.  Waited a few minutes, and My mom and dad showed up followed shortly after that by my younger brother and his wife. We put down table cloths, put out dip, blew up balloons, gave food, sterno, utensils, plates and other such amenities to the guys at the hall, ya know, set-up.  Blowing up the balloons actually took up the most time.   I am apparently slow at this, and it was my job to blow up, tie, then attach to string the balloons.  Everyone ended up pitching in, and everything got done relatively quick. 

    At about this point in the proceedings I got an offer to go to a skate with the Rangers for tomorrow, a meet and greet kinda thing and I turned it down. I should have said yes.  I didn’t.  I have clothes to wash tomorrow.  Not a real reason, you say?  I need to wash my best work clothes, which I wore this week to two interviews, and want clean just in case more interviews come my way this week.  Job stuff comes first.  Work before pleasure, first, last and always.

     Plus, my skating skills are nearly nil, and I would be hella embarrassed to have to have my wife pull my stupid ass off of the stupid ice every other minute with every single New F****** York Ranger on the team watching me fall on my ass and giggling at my stupid ass. 

   If I want strangers to laugh at me in public, I’ll go on a f****** reality TV show.  But I digress…

    After this, I picked up the wife, with cookies and XM receiver in tow, and got down to the serious business of relaxing with family. Relaxed and social. Me.  No, really, me.  Serious!  Twas fun, truly.   A ton of different conversations that I will not repeat here. If your family you know what happened, if your not, you don’t need to know.  ‘Nuff said.

    We sang Christmas carols, badly, especially me.  I was loud, happily loud, off key, and generally just slightly off time.   Loud is just what I do, loud worked there so I go with it, off key isn’t what I aim for, but with my voice too deep for the highs and not deep enough for the lows kinda gives me no choice in the matter there.  The timing i do on purpose, I time it the way i think it’s supposed to sound, with the proper syncopation, at least what I think is proper syncopation, not just singing with the crowd of family who are always metronome steady.  That’s just me. 

    The twelve days of Christmas is just us Jumping around screaming like banshees and generally having a fun.  A big fun. 

    One disappointment for me this year.  Every year, until this year, we’ve sung “O Come All Ye Faithful” Including the Latin versus (adeste fideles)  I am about the only person who knows the Latin on this one, me and a few aunts and uncles.  I was ready to go.  No go this year though. 

    Ah well.  No worries, I can sing it here to my wife.  I think the marriage will survive it.  🙂

    Had the annual guess, in which one aunt, the same aunt every year (she’s cool, we’re cool, it’s cool, just not naming names) buys something, writes out a few hints as to what it might be and then we have to try to guess what it is.  If several people guess, those names are put in a hat and one winner is drawn (been a while since that happened) If no one guesses all the adults pay and a name is pulled at random and random drawn name wins (as I recall) Rarely is there one winner, when there is one (again, as I recall).   This year, I had no idea, not an original one, so i put down one that I knew was wrong, just to have my name in the hat.  I believe it was  “A festive assortment of holiday cheeses and meats.”

   No one gets my crappy jokes… which is why i rarely tell them.  🙂

Santa invades Japan

    ANYWAY… to make a long story even longer, there aren’t too many people who have pulled off more than one win.  I have won once, in a family tradition that spans the length of my entire life, where I have been guessing at this since 1985.  My wife won the first year she did it, she won a bike. She couldn’t use it, because she was living in Boston at the time and we couldn’t ship it, too expensive so we kept it here.  Guess who won this year.

    My wife.   And what is the gift? A nativity scene, an actual, large outdoor nativity scene.  Too bad we live in an apartment.  What we are doing with it is this.  This year my younger brother is going to have it on his front lawn.  I floated the idea, and my wife accepted, that we can do a draw to see who gets to have it on their lawn next year.

     There was a moment of stupid from me regarding this happy nativity scene, but i will not tell that story here. 

    Food we ate early, and I ate as much as I could(didn’t write about it because me getting fat seems uneventful).  Had about 2345987324 pounds of food. Chili.  Pasta.  Meatballs.  Turkey. Stuffing.  Potatoes.  NOMS, MANY NOMS!   Big FAT rhino now! FAT! Happily fat!  Gonna have to start running again soon, or else there gonna have to roll me to the f****** park.  LOL.   But i digress…

  We had coffee.  We had cookies and other assorted pastries.  We packed up and we left, fat and happy after the annual Christmas party.

   A long, but happy day.  Hope, you all had fun, I did.

The Rhino Relaxes

       I, despite being pretty ill at this point, am actually having a pretty good day. 

    The weather outside is frightful…and I love it.  It’s in the low 30’s right now, there is just a little bit of snow falling, whipped by a light but persistent wind in the direction of what little traffic passes by Das Rhino’s small one bedroom apartment, the snow is covering the vehicles and the grass, but it is just not cold enough for it to stick on the roads . You know what the best part of that weather is? I’m inside that roasty toasty warm apartment watching the snow fall very gently to ground. 

   

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    Max Baucus recommended to the White House that his girlfriend, Melodee Hanes become a U.S. Attorney.  She turned down the job before they were able to give it to her, so she could get a job elsewhere in Washington in the justice department.  In a move that surprised no one, the RNC has asked, nay, demanded that the Senate Ethics Committee explore Baucus’ inclusion of Hanes among three candidates he recommended to the White House, despite the fact that no laws have been broken. 

   Does it really surprise anyone that a party that would consider purity tests for its own people would demand that someone who has done nothing wrong, either legally or ethically be investigated, because they don’t like it, because it offends their sense of impropriety?  This the party of Larry Craig, of Mark Sanford, of John Ensign?

  I don’t know that max is a good guy.  I can’t say that I side with his seemingly business first, people second approach to health care.  I truly dislike the way he protects the rich as chairman of the Senate committee on Finance, and he has voted FOR the bush tax cuts in 2001, amongst other things.   I am not sure that I like the guy all that much, but c’mon, cut the guy some slack.  This is bullshit what the republicans are trying to pull here.  I can see going after him if he was screwing someone else’s wife and tried to pay the family off to keep things quite like ensign did, but the guy put his girl in a pool of three people for a job and then pulled her name back out.

   The RNC needs to give it a friggin rest, the bunch of gestapo wannabes.

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      A few hours ago I finished doing a great many quizzes/tests, on a site www.yourmorals.org and frankly, I’ve been having fun doing them, but then again I’m the kind of person who has fun doing quizzes.  I didn’t really learn anything there, I pretty much knew that I’m liberal, but the damned thing told me that I am actually more neurotic than the average test taker, by a fair bit. LOL.  And ya, I know I’m one big emotional roller-coaster(that being what neurotic means), most people are and more than they admit I think, especially the ones who don’t “Like drama”, but the part that surprises me is that my roller coaster is apparently steeper and faster than the average persons.

    Kewl. If life is a ride, the least you can do is have it be an exciting one.  😛

   It should also come as no surprise to all my regular readers (all 3 of you) that, according to these quizzes anyway, I come out less agreeable than your average person, that I am a great believer in social justice, and that don’t believe in fate but do believe in free will, and I couldn’t give a rats ass about flag burning as a political issue, and that I care less for intra-party loyalty than the average liberal.

    Nice.  I’ve done 19 quizzes, I’ve got 19 more to go.  Seeing how the vast majority of them are of a political nature, you can be sure that I’ll be finishing this stuff up tonight.

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  A pair of happy viddys from George Carlin.  Watch and enjoy.

  You have no rights.

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That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s nugget’s, pulled more or less at random from Wikiquote:  When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.  Colin Powell

That which exercises reason is more excellent than that which does not exercise reason; there is nothing more excellent than the universe, therefore the universe exercises reason.  Cicero

Whenever the true objects of action appear, they are to be heartily sought. Enthusiasm is the height of man; it is the passing from the human to the divine.   Ralph Waldo Emerson

…And Played The Occasional Chord

It’s been a slow and relaxed day here in rhino manor.  This is a list of most of the stuff I did today.

Woke up, turned on the computer

Fed the cats

Had a 1/2 gallon of coffee

Ran 7.6 miles in 1:00:25

 Worked out

 Took a shower (after all the sweating i did, the wife would’ve kicked me the hell out if I hadn’t)

 Cleaned out the cat boxes

 Cleaned cat food off of the kitchen floor

 Watched some not very good football

 Read some political news on politico.com

 Went to monster.com and hotjobs.yahoo.com to look for work (the looking for work portion of the day isn’t done and is never done until i get a job)

 Signed up for a work at home thing, a rare reputable one, to fill time and make a few bucks while I’m home and not working full time.

 Plugged in the Christmas lights and enjoyed the subdued lighting for a minute.

 Made dinner (Beef stroganoff)

 Washed the dishes

 Fed the cats

 Drank Coffee

 Cleaned the bathroom sink. (it needed it)

 Watched some more not very good football

 Checked my fantasy football team 

Checked my fantasy hockey team

 Wrote some small things here on the “rhino nugget” and “running commentary” pages

Was astounded by the amount of hits I’ve gotten over the last few days, over 2,800 the last 2 days, thanks in large part to Christmas pics and posts and whatnot. (a few gift ideas over here)

 Made sure that my paypal account is still active  

 Fed the cats

Signed up for quantcast

 Looked for work on craigslist, got annoyed that there are no new job listings this week, then found a new one when I gave the system a final look through, and responded to it. (fingers crossed)

 Played canasta and keno on Pogo, and vampire wars on facebook (VW is starting to get old)

 Listened to Christmas carols on XM on the computer,

 Wrote this…

 And played the occasional odd chord. 

Like I said, a slow day.  No wonder I’m getting fat. 

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Gonna go do a Lil more looking for work, just in case I missed something,  play a bit more guitar, and finish this blog.

Have a good one.  Later!

Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote: Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.   Bertrand Russell

It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life — those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest people.  Brutus Hamilton

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.  Robert A. Heinlein