Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SF Bay Guardian, Ron Paul, and Barf Bags

Please have your barf buckets ready. I recently attended a movie and there was another movie showing that required a warning to the effects of "This movie can have unintended side affects such as those experienced from a roller coaster. Some viewers have been known to feel motion sickness." Well, the fine folks at themacinator.com would like to warn the readers in advance that though this post will not feel anything like a roller coaster, it may indeed induce nausea, vomiting, and general disgust.

I was peacefully enjoying my lunch today, when I flipped open the San Francisco Bay Guardian. This is one of those independent weeklies. It's fluff, really, but I expect it to be responsible fluff. I found its cover today to be irresponsible fluff. The cover had a clip out guide, with this content but in a more visually pleasing format. Basically, it said, if you vote Democrat, vote for Obama, and if you vote Republican vote for Ron Paul. It has no reasons for it, and no reasons for voting for Ron Paul that I could find in whole issue. If you go online, you can find the reasons, which will be discussed later.

First, though, let's get down to business. Ron Paul. Really?? It's bad enough that a local store I shop at supports him. What does Ron Paul stand for? Well, he may be a Republican, but he's really a libertarian. Sure, libertarians have some interesting things to say (besides "get off of my property"), but there's something about Ron Paul that goes beyond the interesting and into the down-right scary. Let's spell it out:

*He does not vote for legislation unless he sees it as expressly endorsed by the constitution. This is particularly timely, seeing as I just posted about The Good Ole Days. So much has changed in the last ten years- I'm sure the Dead White Men who wrote the constitution, oh, a few hundred years ago, had legislation in mind that would literally address, for example, these changes.
*No income taxes. None. Gold standard if possible.
*(Personal favorite here:) Only 2008 candidate to have received a coveted A+ from the Gun Owners of America. Living in Oakland, I am always on the lookout for candidates who are eager to arm the Average Angry American. I'm glad the SFBG is, too, since SF has recently seen a rise in violent crime.
*Unsurprisingly, he is extremely anti-choice, and since he's so "pro-Constitution," believes all social decisions should be left up to the States.
*"Nonintervention." I love this code-word. It's awesome. I prefer to call it "Isolationism," which history has shown to be a very effective political strategy. Ron Paul would like to withdraw from the UN (who needs them?!) and NATO. He thinks NAFTA and the WTO suck, because they're not "free trade" they're "managed trade." Well, I don't like NAFTA and the WTO too much, either, but I don't like the direction Paul goes in here: denying entry to "illegal aliens" even better, ending amnesty. So people are being tortured and persecuted in other countries. That's their problem dammit!

There is more where that came from, but I'm about to go follow my own advice and use my seat as a barf bag. So here is my issue with the SFBG. Apparently, if you research the issue, the SFBG believes that voting for Ron Paul is a "protest vote." Says the SFBG:

He's been associated with some statements that are racially insensitive (to say the least). He clearly shouldn't be president.
No, really? Interesting take after putting this man on the front page of a weekly that is distributed all around the Bay Area, with no caveat, just an "endorsement." Here is why the SFBG thinks he deserves a protest vote: He's against the war.

Paul is absolutely correct that if we stopped trying to police the world, ended the war on drugs, and quit negotiating trade deals that favor multinational corporations over American families and workers, we would be a far more free and prosperous nation.
So, if can hold onto our gag reflex long enough to be single-issue voters, and we believe that a protest vote is the way to go, (and we pretend that we're all anti-war registered Republicans, since in the primaries, we have to vote our party in California) then we should vote for Ron Paul.

I leave you with this, from the good Doctor Ron Paul, who believes in the dignity of human life, as long as you are born in the United States:
As an OB/GYN doctor, I’ve delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion. Many of you may have read my book, Challenge To Liberty, which champions the idea that there cannot be liberty in a society unless the rights of all innocents are protected. Much can be understood about the civility of a society in observing its regard for the dignity of human life. (http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/life-and-liberty/)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh, the Good Ole Days...

I know I'm not that old, but one of the recurring things I think about is how things change so quickly. Mostly, I think about literal "things," like technology and stuff we use on a daily basis and can't imagine life without. Here's a sample:

Parking Meters:
Remember when parking meters weren't digital? They were more manual, analog, even. The little hand just ticked off your time. Then they went to fancy-pants digital ones that were broken more often than not. You put your money in, they flashed how much time you had (usually like 2 minutes per coin), and then flashed red when the time was expired. Or flashed "out of order" if they were broken.

And there was always the awesome Berkeley tradition of chopping the heads off of the meters, regardless of old-school or new-school style. Then, the parking enforcement people themselves came and severed the heads themselves. Decapitated, block by block, in Oakland and Berkeley. Some of them, they just sucked the brains out, leaving empty shells of meters behind. Instead, they installed those "pay first, put receipts in your windshield" kind.
These are nice in some ways- you don't always have to have 8000 quarters handy, and you don't have to worry about getting a bogus ticket due to broken meter (this happened to me yesterday). On the other hand, it's really easy to park and forget to buy a little receipt thingy, and it can be frustrating to walk half a block to buy a ticket. But, I'm sure the day is coming soon when I forget that the green and red tabs in meters ever existed.




Digital Cameras:
This one is huge, and so ingrained now that I think it's really easy to forget it.
Sometimes when I think of life pre-digital, I feel like the dude behind the curtain, telling my subjects to hold it, no, REALLY hold it, for about 7 minutes, unblinking and unsmiling, till I can get the frame just right. And remember the expense of film, and getting film developed? I was never even crazy photography girl, I just liked to take pictures sometimes. But it was pricey to do that. Now, I can take hundreds of photos to get just one good picture, and that's free. Everyone's a photographer now, which has it's upsides and downsides, I guess. Things like shelter photos have improved adoptions vastly in combination with the internet: people from all over can see what animals are in the shelter and identify lost pets or pets they may be interested in adopting. A good photo can help the animal out the door. On the other hand, I'm nostalgic, and a little suspicious. I spend hours poking around on flickr.com, with all of these awesome photos, and I can't help wondering: are these pictures real? What is "real" now, when it comes to photography? If a picture was created digitally on a digital camera, and was moved to a computer, and then digitally manipulated, how far can it be digitally manipulated before becoming something else entirely? And how do I know when looking at it if the photographer saw anything remotely resembling what I am seeing now? And does it matter?


Cell Phones:
Man, I fought this one for a long time. I'm still fighting this one, in my own way, as I have the smallest, jankiest phone that I can find. I desperately want this phone that I've seen a couple times on info-mercials on the TV at my parent's house, but I think they only sell it to old people who are incapable of using cell phones designed for people of my generation. I'm close, but not close enough. I'm capable, but barely. It's got like 3 buttons, and one dials the operator, who, according to the commercial, says "Hi, Nice Mrs. So-and-So, who can I connect to you to today?" Anyway, I don't have that phone, I have the one with only the numbers 0-9, and like two other buttons. It doesn't take pictures, it doesn't receive pictures, it doesn't connect to the internet, it doesn't do anything else fancy. My best friend taught me how to send text messages a couple years ago, and I have mastered that enough to be obnoxious about it, but that's about it. I have seen a couple of iPhones and I will say, they're pretty cool, and I've been tempted to look things up on the internet when I'm out and about, but the temptation leaves me when I think of what a cell phone addict I have become and what a cell phone addicted society in general we've become. Remember when we walked down the street, just walking, not talking to people on the phone? Remember when we could drive without making phone calls? Remember what it was like to go to work and not talk to anyone not work related because we only had a home phone and we didn't check our answering machine till we got home? And I still can't get over the camera phone thing. Remember what it was like to just SEE something and not need to see it though a cell phone? I was at an A's game last year with fireworks afterwards. This was one of the most surreal events ever: thousands of people seated on the field and thousands of tiny blue screens pointed towards the fireworks. It was like they couldn't see the show if they weren't taking phone pictures of it.

Julia Scheeres: Jesus Land

My quest to finish the "unread books A-Z in order" was derailed for a bit as I struggled for weeks with a DeLillo book and gave up. I skipped ahead to "Jesus Land," which I've been looking forward to reading. The memoir of a brother and sister growing up in a unique midwestern family, this book is almost impossible to put down or forget about. Julia and David grow up in a strict Calvinist family which includes two adopted black children in a time when this is considered not only bizarre and outlandish, but unacceptable. Scheeres looks back on the racism that she and her black brothers (especially her brothers) face from within and without of the family. The children's lives take bizarre turns as they are eventually shipped off to a reform school in the Dominican Republic and mom is left happily alone with God as her only family.

Scheeres life is told heartwrenchingly, and she honors her brother, and their bond, in a poignant and often humorous way. The events are so odd that they must be true, but it's almost hard to believe that life can be so cruel: adults "disciplining" the children in their care, children refusing to see past the ingrained racism of their parents, and more. The bond of these two children, raised as brother and sister but rarely treated as more than outcasts who happen to be living together, is what keeps "Jesus Land" from being the most depressing book on the shelf. Don't miss it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mobile Advertisements

Remember when cars were just cars and buses were just buses? You had to look in the yellow pages to find a dog walker or a daycare or a construction company? There was the occasional car with a "for sale" sign in the window or a number spray-painted on the back windshield, and buses sometimes had those ads on their butts, but that was about it. I remember one time I got in an AC Transit bus, when they were using for school buses to my elementary school, and it had been turned into an ad. Head to toe, like a end-to-end freight car. The windows were all tinty from the inside. I think it was for one of those Pepsi flavors that never took off, or Mountain Dew, maybe. We were a rolling posse of kids advertising tooth rotting beverage. Sweet.

Now everyone has those little metal magnetic signs that I guess they can take on and off of their vehicles. SUV's and trucks seem to be the worst, with the exception of PT Cruisers (another one of my "who DOES that?" questions, but for another time): it seems like you can't have a PT Cruiser without having a little metallic sign advertising something. I can't figure out: do people really suck in consumers with those signs? Are they trying to recruit people while they're driving? Because it really only works when you're stuck in traffic, because you shouldn't really be craning at people while you're driving, trying to find out if they're the best deliverable meals in town. Or are you supposed to write down their phone number while you're passing by their parked car, like on the street, or in the driveway? What happened to anonymity? I don't really want people peering in or at my car, but I guess money is more important, right? Stare all you want, as long as you buy stuff from me...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Possessed Her?

I just learned that Alanis Morissette made a cover of the Black Eyed Peas "My Humps." Now, many people find the original song exceedingly annoying, but I happen to like it. It's funny, in a parody-of-itself kind of way. The Alanis Morissette version is bizarre. It's identical to the original, except in slow-mo. Then I watched the video. It's even more bizarre. First I watched the Alanis version, then I watchted the BEP version. I'm probably the last person in the first and second world to see these, but I don't have a TV. Hilarious. Check it out:



The A's: The Good News and the Bad News

The Oakland A's are a constant source of drama in my life (and in any A's fan's life). They're never quite good enough to get complacent about and they're never quite bad enough to rule out. This next year, they might be just-that-bad, though. The bad news: Kotsay, who I loved; Swisher, who made me roll my eyes every time he came up bat; Haren, a typical A's pitcher: so good and so young; and Magic Marco have all left for greener (read $$) pastures.

The Good News: My ex-boyfriend (now happily married) Huston Street has been signed for a year, and my current boyfriend, Kentucky Joe Blanton, has also been signed for a year. Another year in paradise (or something like it) with the Green and Gold.





Thursday, January 17, 2008

They Say it's Not True...

... but I have a feeling my parents wrote this:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Iris Chang: The Rape of Nanking

In my quest to get through all of these unread books, I picked up "The Rape of Nanking," an unread war book that has been on my shelf for years. I read a lot of distressing books (see the recent entries on the books about US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan), but this is the first book I can remember that gave me nightmares. I did not have distinct nightmares about the atrocities mentioned in the book, but about war in general. If you have a few days, and the stomach to do it, read this book.

Leading up to and during World War II, Japan waged war on China. The war lasted from the early '30s to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's eventual surrender. We don't hear much about this in the US, and Chang writes that honestly, even if we lived in Japan, we wouldn't hear much about it either. Holocaust denial is considered beyond the pale here, but in Japan, who was responsible for over 19 million Chinese deaths during the war years, denial of the events is commonplace, and even expected. The events described in the book- the takeover of the Chinese city of Nanking by Japanese forces and the subsequent atrocities- are still considered by the Japanese to not have happened at all, or at best, to be the result of a few misguided individuals. (Is this ringing any too-close-to-home bells, yet?)

Chang's extensive research shows that the 300,000 Chinese who died (estimates vary on the exact number, but this is the figure that Chang uses most often) did not die do to the mistakes of any individual. She describes a culture of emperor-worship and of the need to aggress into China. She tallies individual atrocities and group ones: rapes of old women and severed heads, and "killing contests" proudly published in Japanese newspapers. A few brave foreign residents set up a "safe zone" in the heart of the city for Chinese residents and refugees that the Japanese refused to honor, and Chang calculates that without this zone, no resident of Nanking would have survived the brutality of the conquering Japanese.

And then, most poignantly for me, Chang talks about why the massacre happened and why it has been largely forgotten. "The Rape of Nanking" was written 10 years ago, before the series of abysmal wars that Bush Jr. is fighting, but many of Chang's points could be in Coll or Hersh's epilogues: "A third factor was religion. Imbuing violence with holy meaning, the Japanese imperial army made violence a cultural imperative every bit as powerful as that which propelled Europeans during the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition." (218) Chang writes that "civilization itself is tissue-thin... the sheer concentration of power in government is lethal- that only a sense of absolute unchecked power can make atrocities like the Rape of Nanking possible." (220) And finally, Chang calls us to task on becoming numb to the horrors that we see daily on the news, the Internet, etc:

And there is yet a third lesson to be learned, one that is perhaps the most distressing of all. It lies in the frightening ease with which the mind can accept genocide, turning us all into passive spectators to the unthinkable. The Rape of Nanking was front-page news across the world, and yet most of the world stood by and did nothing while an entire city was butchered... Apparently some quirk in human nature allows even the most unspeakable acts of evil to become banal within minutes, provided only that they occur far enough away to pose no personal threat. (221)


After hearing how individuals risked their lives to tear rapists off of women's backs and kick looters out of the safe zone; how they guarded the last hospital in Nanking from the Japanese and fought back from 37 bayonet wounds, this is a particular challenge. What choices will we make when faced with far away evils? What will we stand for, and what will we fight? How close to home do atrocities have to be for us to say something? Who has to commit them? Where do we draw the line?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Update on themacinator

Remember how I got this awesome computer? Oh, about 6 weeks ago? It's dead. And I'm pissed. Awesome computer is not supposed to be dead 6 weeks into awesome computer's lifespan. I am trying to get the awesome computer fixed, but in the meantime, I am M.I.A., and not happy. I can be reached at NewiMacCausesUlcer@gmail.com (or the usual places).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A. Manette Ansay: Blue Water

Back to alphabetical reading, here. My friend in Hawaii sent me some books and so I got sent back to the beginning: the "A"'s. Although always grateful for reading material, I'm not recommending or holding onto this book. I suppose it might be good vacation reading, as long as you're not on the beach: there are a couple of slightly scary scenes that might make you never want to swim or boat again if you were reading it too close to the surf.

Basic plot line: older couple have kid, lose kid to drunk driver who happens to be former friend of protagonist, couple struggles to pull together the pieces by buying a boat and setting to sea. Pieces come together, fall apart again, resettle. I wasn't particularly convinced by the couple, or by the boat stuff, which read as a little too "researched", or even by the loss of the son. And I was really annoyed by the few pages where a minor character went back and forth being named "Lauren" and "Laurel." Editing, anyone?

Not a terrible book, and I suppose I am getting crotchety- there is definitely a place for "light" reading, or family fiction, or whatever this is, but I just couldn't put aside my cynical side long enough to relax and enjoy it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Darkness Continued

Remember the New Yorker article about Darkness? Basically, we are blotting out all of the stars, and darkness, through inattention and carelessness to our lighting structures and usages here. This came up for me again during the month of December where every town and building was strung up with vast amounts of Christmas lights. Some still are. I'm sure there is some reason we do this, but I haven't quite figured it out, as it seems like a enormous waste of energy and a great way to forget that there is a natural world out there.

Anyway, I stumbled across this article the other day in the Sacramento Bee: Truckee is seeking to limit its outdoor lighting in order to preserve the darkness and stars.

Truckee fears its star power is in peril
Planners may toughen outdoor lighting rules to preserve night-sky view.

By Todd Milbourn - tmilbourn@sacbee.com

Last Updated 5:59 am PST Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A1

TRUCKEE – For years car bumper stickers and license plate frames traveling roads along the north shore of Lake Tahoe have trumpeted this mountain town's motto: "The stars shine brighter in Truckee."

The local tourism board may want to update its promotional materials.

Today those stars – and the planets, comets and the Milky Way – are dimming in the night sky, clouded by a glow from the area's expanding constellation of shopping centers, streetlights and billboards.

"Used to be, when you went outside the sky would be so beautiful you couldn't help but look at it," said Sharon Pruitt, a Sierra College astronomy professor who has gazed at the heavens from Truckee for 17 years. "Now you don't notice the night sky at all."

Light pollution is an emerging political issue in Truckee, an old Sierra Nevada logging town-turned-resort community whose unspoiled setting has been the source of its cachet.

Town planners are researching restrictions on the use of outdoor lighting, exploring the use of shields and lower-intensity bulbs, and keeping lights closer to the ground. Truckee already has rules on outdoor lighting but will consider a tougher ordinance this year.

"The night sky here in Truckee still is pretty spectacular," said John McLaughlin, Truckee's community development director and a supporter of a new ordinance. "We want to keep it that way."

In doing so, Truckee would join a growing list of towns and cities cracking down on light pollution. Flagstaff and Tucson, Ariz., as well as Davis all have stringent light ordinances on the books. Even sparkly Los Angeles has shown interest, asking residents to shut off non-essential lights earlier this year, if only for an hour.

Anyone who's ever flown in an airplane at night can envision the problem, said Eric Larusson, a former Truckee planner who is pushing the issue. The same yellow glow that makes cities visible from a plane makes stars invisible from the ground. Light intended for a parking lot or a sidewalk is instead shooting off in every direction, ruining the contrast that makes many stars visible.

"When I look down and see all these lights are shining up at me, I realize what a waste," Larusson said, recalling a recent night flight over Truckee. "It's all just wasted energy."

The most offensive lights are often installed in the name of security, McLaughlin said. Businesses figure the more intensely their store or parking lot is lit, the less crime it will attract. So they attach massive high-pressure sodium lamps, even though much of that light misses its target and diffuses into the night.

But research on lighting as a crime deterrent is inconclusive.

A 1997 study by the National Institute of Justice and presented to Congress offered the example of a brightly-lit ATM. While the light may make the customer feel safer, the report found that light also makes the customer more visible to a potential criminal.

"Who the lighting serves," the study concluded, "is unclear."

Downtown Truckee is a far cry from the Las Vegas strip, or Reno's Virginia Street. But it is increasingly bright.

On a recent evening, dozens of vintage lampposts lit up the restaurants and niche stores along downtown's historic district. The lamps may be intended for the sidewalk below, but they are unshielded and cast an indiscriminate orange glare into the sky. Not that it mattered much on this night – the only twinkle visible in the stormy night was the falling snow.

Sitting behind the counter at one of downtown's brightest businesses, the ConocoPhillips 76 gas station, Kraig Selph said he likes the idea of "country lighting." As the lit-up 76 globe spun outside, Selph explained how he moved to Truckee two decades ago for the rustic charm, only to see the town slowly morph into a busy resort, not unlike Aspen or Vail, Colo.

Selph's only concerns are that any new light restrictions don't compromise safety – or a sales pitch.

"You want people to see the price of your gas when they drive by," Selph said, chewing the idea over in his head a moment: "But I guess that's so long as it's lower than the next guy."

Truckee's light pollution problem isn't created just by light sources in Truckee. The glow of Reno's 24-hour downtown is visible to the east.

Jack Sales, a light pollution activist from Citrus Heights, said light can distort a nighttime view hundreds of miles away. For instance, light from Sacramento is visible at Mount Lassen – nearly 200 miles away.

Sales, Northern California's representative member of the International Dark-Sky Association, said some local cities have done better than others in regulating light pollution. Davis and Elk Grove, and Nevada and El Dorado counties all have "good words" on the books

Sales' Web site, www.skykeepers.org, chronicles efforts to corral urban lighting.

Sales said he'd like to see Truckee take a cue from Davis' 1998 ordinance and require all light fixtures to include shields that prevent light from spilling upward and outward. He stressed that any ordinance should not include a grandfather clause.

Light pollution may not get the attention of, say, a polluted river or an endangered species, Sales said. But losing sight of the night sky is an environmental tragedy all the same.

"We lose something of our heritage and ourselves and our humanity," he said. "The night sky is a cultural resource that transcends time and place."

About the writer:

  • Call The Bee's Todd Milbourn, (916) 321-1063.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Another Update on the Storm

My coworker took some amazing pictures of the storm on Friday. Photo credits Daniel Corbett."Just another tree hugging Prius-owner."

Seymour Hersh: Chain of Command

Recently I read (and blogged about) Steve Coll's book "Ghost Wars". This was the depressing and enlightening (though not altogether surprising, except in a manner of degree) story of the US, especially CIA, involvement in Afghanistan from the 70s to September 10th, 2001. Seymour Hersh, like Coll, is a New Yorker journalist, and he picks up where Coll left off,on 9/11/01, and ends in 2004, a little before the time of writing. Famous for his integrity as an investigative journalist, Hersh leaves no stone unturned in the story of how the U.S. managed to "win" a war in Afghanistan, launch and lose an unwinnable war in Iraq and lose all claims to moral righteousness in the space of a few years.

Hersh traces the despicable proceedings in Guantanamo with suspected terrorists from Afghanistan, and the decisions to use these mechanisms in Iraq, though they had produced few results. He quotes a White House official as asking rhetorically: "Why do I take a failed approach at Guantanamo and move it to Iraq?" That is just what Rumsfeld chose to do, however, and stretched the realm of reasonable policy even further by using dubious information-gathering techniques (i.e. torture). Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch told Hersh that "if you can't do it at your local precinct, you can't do it at Guantanamo," but by all accounts in "Chain of Command" this advice was not heeded (p. 20). Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and friends operated outside of the law and/or changed the laws to meet their needs. Further, they did not feel that the foundation of American democracy- checks and balances- applied. One of the key programs leading to abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib was the violation of the Geneva Conventions by "Special Access Programs." As Hersh writes:

Only a few members of the House and Senate leadership were authorized by statute to be informed of the program, and, even then, the legislators were not provided with little more than basic budget information. It's not clear that the Senate and House members understood that the United States was poised to enter the business of "disappearing" people. (p. 46)


Are you disturbed yet? Because we haven't even gotten through the first section of "Chain of Command" yet. Hersh details how torture became routine, how Rumsfeld managed to pass the buck onto a bunch of under-trained kids and how every major figure in the war managed to escape the scandal with no major injuries, and insinuate that the U.S. is probably still routinely violating the human rights of most of the "prisoners of war" that the country is holding in custody. He explains the way that the President and Vice President managed to wage a war (or two) by manipulating intelligence to fit ideology. And then he discusses lies, and liars. He exposes the lie of the WMD for what it really was: a falsehood repeated often enough to become perceived as truth. When ideologues are in power, the truth is irrelevent:

What went wrong? How did such an obvious fraud manage to move, without significant challenge, through the top layers of the American intelligence community and into the most sacrosanct of presidential briefings? Who permitted it to go into the President's State of the Union speech? Was the Administration lying to itself? OR did it, in this and other cases, deliberately give Congress and the public what it knew to be bad information? When and how did the message- the threat posed by Iraq- become more important than the integrity of the intelligence-vetting process? (p. 206)


We then learn about the secret Special Forces , and the way that Rumsfeld operated (or bungled) the military in Iraq. One official quoted in "Chain" described the difference between what was really happening in Iraq and the reporting of what happens as follows: "They always want to delay the release of bad news- in the hope that something good will break." (p. 285) There's honesty for you. Citizens are funding an outrageously expensive war based on bad intelligence in the hopes that something good will happen. Quite inspiring. "Chain of Command" has given me nightmares. This book is a must read. It's readable, if you don't mind being depressed, or shocked-and-awed. All of my worst fears about Bush and Co. have been confirmed. Disgusting.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Tanner the Lab (Barbie Style)

Somehow I forgot to move this over here. Make sure you pee before reading this so as not to pee in your pants. Or maybe you won't think it's funny, in which case, you'll know just how weird I am.

ok, maybe everyone saw this when it came out (and before it got recalled for deadly poop). but seriously, this thing is the funniest thing i have seen in so long.

apparantly, barbie got a dog. a lab, it appears. barbie likes to feed the lab treats. then the lab needs to poop. barbie then cleans up the poop with a poop scooper. good girl, barbie! the funny part ensues: a) the lab, named "tanner" does not squat when he shits. pull his tail, and he poops. this cracked up me and my coworker to no end today. he poops like a horse, not a lab. i tried to convince my coworker that all labs poop this way, but she wasn't buying it. neither was i, really. b) the lab poops the same thing he eats. oh, no! so bad! c) this toy was recalled because the poop was TOXIC! not just to tanner (duh) but to small children as well!



there is really nothign like this picture. i love it, and my use it forever as my "make lauren laugh in moments of deepest, darkest depression" picture.



now, if this isn't enough, there is also a fabulously bizarre promotional video of tanner shitting at the dog park. i mean, mattel really thought this out!

Barbie's Dog Takes a Dump

Posted Aug 16, 2007

Update on Severe Weather

I posted this morning that I was about to enter a Severe Weather area, but that I didn't now what that meant. Well, I do now. It means that I spent a good portion of the morning walking dogs in the closest thing that San Francisco has to a hurricane. Wind was blowing the rain sideways, tree branches were falling, glass was shattering, it was a nightmare. I saw cars totaled by tree branches, restaurants closed due to destroyed windows, and all sorts of other mayhem. I wore two raincoats (on top of each other), a hat with ears, and a scarf all day long, and I was always drenched. I ran my socks through the dryer twice, but that didn't help. A nice coworker loaned me some sweats so I could dry about 20 pounds of water out of my jeans, which pretty much saved the day. When I sat down on chairs, small oceans formed underneath me. It was a disaster. But every dog got walked 3 times before 12:30, so I think I was successful, if not a little foolish and stubborn.

This is kind of what it looked like:
(not my photos)


Around the corner from where I was walking:


At least I got to pee inside. Ask World Best Kids about that one...

Severe Weather Alert

There is a "severe weather alert" today in San Francisco. I don't know what that means except that it sounds like the trees are falling down outside, and it's also pouring. What I *do* know is that today, starting at 7 am, I will be walking dogs all by myself in this severe weather alert, until 4pm. And I'm missing my hat with the ears. Think warm, cozy thoughts for me.