The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sam Being Cute

I almost missed this moment, Sam went and did this on his own, totally not staged!

Dylan's New Album

Dylan delivers another great sounding album with a voice that is somehow cryptic and clear at the same time. It has been a while since I have had the chance to see him live. I been to three of his shows all were worth it and all with my old friend Ryan Maguire. Here is a list of my top Five Dylan Albums.

1. Blonde on Blonde (1966)
2. Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
3. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)
4. Blood on the Tracks (1975)
5. Time Out of Mind (1997)

Will the Karr Debacle Lead the Media Addicts to Rehab? Don't Count on It

by Arianna Huffington

Channel-surfing last night's wall-to-wall TV coverage of the decision to drop all charges against John Mark Karr was like walking through the halls of a drug rehab center -- everywhere you looked, you saw addicts unable to break their addiction.

All in the MSM -- well, all except Nancy Grace -- know how sick they are for continuing to talk and talk and talk and talk about this case.

But they just can't help themselves. They know they shouldn't do another eight ball -- they know, after all, this guy is not the killer -- yet they go on and on and on.
The sad thing is, they can't even enjoy the cheap buzz of dishing out the titillating trash -- you can see the embarrassment on their faces as they reach for the ersatz-breaking-news bottle. As I wrote about scandal-addicted newshounds during the Robert Blake bacchanal: "They're like Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in the last reel of Days of Wine and Roses. They're no longer drinking to get high; they're just hoping to avoid delirium tremens -- which in TV-land translates to 'big time ratings slump.' You know, just a little pick-me-up to 'take the edge off.'

But the 12-day Karr bender is worse than any of its lampshade-on-the-head predecessors. Worse than OJ, worse than Robert Blake. At least those media circus clowns were connected in some way (wink, wink) to the crimes in question. Karr is nothing but a disturbed wannabe -- the walking, talking embodiment of a non-story (or, perhaps, a minor mention buried deep inside the pages of the Rocky Mountain News). Instead, the media tumbled down the 12 steps and embarked on a frantic binge that saw countless articles and hours of airtime devoted to the minutest details of the life, times, and airplane menu of a pathetic murderer manqué (Fried king prawns and roast duck -- oh my!).

In one of the creepiest displays of schizophrenic TV I've ever witnessed, Nancy Grace, captain of the lurid crime cheerleading squad, managed last night to conflate for a few fleeting moments the war in Iraq with the Karr scandal. At the end of yet another show devoted exclusively to the Karr nonstory, Grace sought the reassurance of her guest, People magazine staff editor Larry Sutton, that she wasn't going to have to go cold turkey on the Karr/JonBenet juice.

GRACE: Larry Sutton, do you really believe it's over with John Mark Karr, yes, no?
SUTTON: Over as far as JonBenet, yes. Over as far as, will we be wanting to learn some more information about him when he goes to California? No, we`ll be following him.

After breathing a sigh of relief, Grace jumped into a hurried salute to a fallen soldier in Iraq:

GRACE: I want to stop for a moment to remember Marine Corporal Paul King, 23, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. He joined Marines straight from high school, receiving multiple honors, including the Purple Heart. Recently wed, King loved riding motorcycles with his bride, Rebecca. Paul King, still just a baby, American hero.
"Still just a baby." Sound like anyone else you know? Just in case we didn't get the link, Grace tossed in a quick tip of the hat to the kids on the Little League World Series-winning team from Columbus, Georgia*, then ended the show with a familiar photo of a forever six-year-old JonBenet.
I guess even Nancy Grace knew she had to devote at least one percent of her show to something more important than Karr and JonBenet -- provided, of course, she ended with JonBenet.

So will the media wake up from this lowly high with a booming hangover and reach for a box of Head On ("Apply directly to the forehead!")? Don't count on it. Indeed, just turn on your TV. The addicts are already mainlining the story of fugitive polygamist Warren Steed Jeffs.

I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but don't you find it just a tad suspicious that Jeffs was busted the day after the no-match DNA test signaled the beginning of the end of the John Mark Karr feeding frenzy?

*The team was from Georgia, not Ohio.

(I apologize for even mentioning this story on my blog, but after two weeks coverage of this disgusting and irrelevant tale I thought it to be a noteworthy low for cable "journalism". I love that photo of Rita Cosby peering in the police van like a crazed animal, she one of the worst cable news has to offer, second only to Nancy Grace. It is obvious to me, as it has been to anyone who has read about this infamous case, that the Mother (Patsy Ramsey) committed the murder and got off because she and her family were rich and powerful. All the evidence points to someone inside the home, specifically the ransom note. Even in 1997 this case was not worth all the media hype it is getting today. I pixled out Karr's face because I'm sick of seeing it.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

U2_Life on a Distant Planet

The rarest of the rare U2 songs from 1979. Wicked Sweet!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sam at the Aviation Fair

Sam & Simon

Two of my best friends visited us earlier this month with their son, Simon. This is as still as I could get these two to sit, as you can see they where having too much fun.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"Rob Liefeld drinking game"

I guess this Comic Store called the Million Year Picnic in Cambridge, MA created a fun Drinking Game based on Rob Liefeld comics.


Read any comic both drawn and written by Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood, Brigade, etc.)

Take 1 drink for every time the following occur:

clenched teeth
mouth open really wide in battle cry
action shot where background is just abstract colored space
leg of running/jumping character positioned so that you can only see thigh
spray of bullets that doesn't hit anybody
large gun that shoots colored blasts of indeterminate nature
character or team moves into/out of another dimension or otherwise warps
character seeming to fly, who cannot actually fly
character who is not invulnerable casually jumps out of plane/space ship
indoor floor that is colored green, silver or red

Bonus round: when a new "team" of enemies or allies is introduced, take 1 drink for each correctly-predicted member:

exactly one big guy
exactly one woman
exactly one flying guy
exactly one character with black and white face makeup
exactly one robot (robotic nature may not be immediately obvious)
exactly one black guy with gun and no discernible powers
white male leader, regular size, with gun and no discernible powers

In addition, 1 drink must be taken for every team member who wears segmented metallic rings around their arm-shoulder joints.

The maximum number of drinks for a new team appearance, 14, has been documented (during a reading/drinking of Brigade #2). The successful completion of any Rob Liefeld issue under these rules, however, has never been recorded.

(I stole from a blog called Ben & Alice. I think only my Comic Book friends will get a laugh from this post. I love Liefeld's campy art and two dimensional characters. Lots of fun.)

Check out Liefeld's Official Web Site

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

James Dobson of Focus on the Family continues to blur the line between Church and State. Reinforcing the Religious Right lie that America is a Christian Nation and fearing the GOP may lose seats in the House come November FOF's sister organization Focus on the Family Action will be handing out voter guides at Churches in several states including Michigan. While Dobson's "Action" organization is not a tax-exempt organization, Focus on the Family and the churches both groups seek to influence are 501(c)(3)* charities. Dr. Dobson's Focus on the Family claims to be Champions for the American Family but are nothing more than a political cog for the GOP. It is strange that they continue to support a party that has done nothing to protect their "values". In fact the current GOP has only weakened the middle class family and increased poverty. It is poverty that drives abortion rates and creates dysfunctional families but reducing poverty is not one of FOFs larger concerns. Fighting the Gays and creating myths about "Activist Judges" continue to be their primary focus. I can only hope and pray that Americans will wake up this upcoming November and vote for real issues.

*To be tax-exempt as an organization described in IRC Section 501(c)(3) of the Code,,id=96099,00.html, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the purposes set forth in IRC Section 501(c)(3) and none of the earnings of the organization may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Currently Reading: Freakonomics

Everyone I know has either read this book or wants too. The authors have a blog and it looks just as interesting as the book. I'm also reading C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet, both books read fast but it is still taking me forever because I'm a full time Dad. Sam is doing awesome. I will have some new photos soon. I am too tired to blog about anything else. I ran around the block today for exercise. I have not run seriously since late fall of 1994 when I was a senior on my high school's X-Country Team. Now that I have quit smoking for over 2 years, I want to eat better and exercise. The local Farmers Market has got me on a good diet, I think. Plus I drink water instead of soda most of the time. Enough of this boring post, go read something interesting.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Survey: America's 'culture war' may be exaggerated

Published: Friday August 4, 2006

The extreme emphasis placed on America's 'culture wars' may be just that: extreme, according to a new study based on a poll of 2,003 American adults released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life late Thursday, RAW STORY has learned.

"Americans cannot be easily characterized as conservative or liberal ontoday's most pressing social questions," the Pew study reveals. "The public's point of view varies from issue to issue."

"They are conservative in opposing gay marriage and gay adoption, liberal in favoring embryonic stem cell research and a little of both on abortion. Along with favoring no clear ideological approach to most social issues, the public expresses a desire for a middle ground on the most divisive social concern of the day: abortion," according to the Pew Forum study.

In an article entitled "Culture war" in America may be overblown: poll, Reuters noted that "[o]n five prominent social issues -- abortion rights, stem cell research, gay marriage, adoption of children by gay couples, and availability of the "morning-after" pill -- most Americans did not take consistent stances."

"Just 12 percent took the conservative position on all five issues, while 22 percent took the opposite stance on all five," Reuters reported. "The bulk of Americans had mixed opinions."

Some key findings from the study, as noted in a Pew Forum press release:

"A clear majority (56%) continues to oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry while 35% express support, but just three-in-ten favor a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. A growing number of Americans see homosexuality as an innate trait people are born with, and a 49% plurality now believes a person’s sexual orientation cannot be changed. While a slim majority (54%) favors allowing gay couples to enter into civil unions, only 42% believe gay couples should be allowed to adopt children," the study finds.

"Abortion continues to split the country nearly down the middle. But the large majority in favor of finding “a middle ground” on the issue extends broadly across the political and religious spectrum. Only one group expressed unwillingness to find a middle way. Two-thirds (66%) of those who support an outright ban on abortion say there should be no compromise. In contrast, two-thirds of those who want abortion to be generally available are ready to seek a compromise," says the study.

Link to full study can be found here

[I can not believe they are going to cancel the culture war. Next they will be telling us there is no Gay Agenda or a War on Christmas. Come on America, these are the bullshit issues we need to be focusing on right now. It is not like there are more important wars or any real social problems right now. We need our president and congress to focus on serious wedge issues, like flag burning and dirty words on radio&television. If we don't Fox News will not have enough polarizing talking heads to fill one hour of programming. I was so looking forward to the James Dobson/Jane Fonda Death Match. Its not too late. Go Team Secular Humanists!]

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Heat and a Rant about Mel.

It has been unbelievably hot here as it has across the country. I can not remember Michigan being this hot for such a long time. Since friday it has been scorching. The air conditioner is busted in my car. I have other more important repairs and the summer is almost over so why bother.
The is a thunderstorm to the north-west of us and we have been watching it from our back window. It is too far off to hear it but the clouds are huge and illuminating with fierce lightning. Far-Out!
Is it any surprise that Mel Gibson is an anti-Semitic? His father has established himself as a extreme holocaust denying nut, it is too bad his son could not overcome that. I have never been able to muster any enthusiasm or excitement for any of his movies. Brave-heart was too long and, as usual, Mel was over dramatic. Watching him act is like watching some highschool drama nerd try to impress his peers. It saw about twenty minuets of The Passion of Jesus Christ. It was a bunch of sadomasochistic crap. The blood and gore was so exaggerated it was cartoonish. I have seen Quentin Tarantino use more restraint. The part of the film I watched, and what I gather from others who stomached the entire film, Gibson focuses more on the Gory than the Glory. One of these days I'll have to try to watch the whole film and give a more complete rant.
Stay Cool.