Archive for June 15th, 2006

Spiderdipity

I’m kind of pissed off at spiders right now. I wanted to get a higher-quality version of the spider photo below, so on my way home from softball last night, I checked to make sure the spider was still there, then went to get my tripod so I could make a nice long exposure with a low (non-grainy) ISO. Spider’s still there, wandering around at the edge of the web. But by the time I actually get the camera and tripod in place, the spider is gone, apparently never to return. Must be a Law & Order fan or something.


I’ve attempted to brighten the web up a bit… so to speak. (Click pic for larger view)

I figure as long as I’m out there, I might as well try to get a shot of my favorite saint, all illuminated. Trouble is, my tripod turns out to be not-so-stable when the camera is oriented vertically, so it tends to pan downward on long exposures. And the short exposures just weren’t bright enough. But as it happens, the most blurry photo actually came out… kinda cool. So the photo mini-excursion wasn’t a total loss.


It’s St. Hurley St. Ralph, the patron saint of motion sickness!
(Thanks to spocko for the correction)

10 comments June 15th, 2006 at 11:35pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Corruption Bad!

About bloody time:

House Democrats, determined to make an election-year point about ethics, voted to strip Rep. William Jefferson of his committee assignment Thursday night while a federal bribery investigation runs its course.

Members of the rank and file approved the move after Jefferson refused for weeks to step aside on his own, and despite claims by some members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he was being treated unfairly.

Officials said the vote was 99-58. The action must be ratified by the full House, and Jefferson left open the possibility that he might at long last relent and surrender the seat on his own. I dont want to speculate, he said.

(snip)

Asked if he thought race was a factor in Pelosi’s decision, he replied, “It’s not happened before. The first time it’s happening, it’s happening to an African-American.”

It’s also the first time a Congressman has been caught with $90,000 of bribe money in his freezer. It’s. Not. About. Race. You. Corrupt. Wanker.

That being said, Mollohan really should step down from Appropriations as well. I know this is a bit cynical, but this is a golden opportunity for the Dems to demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are the party with zero tolerance for corruption.

1 comment June 15th, 2006 at 09:14pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Wankers

Countdown Countdown

Crap. Crap crap crap crap crap. I think Operation Get Rid Of Keith Olbermann But Make It Look Good has begun:

Keith Olbermann‘s vacation isn’t going so well.

He was forced to apologize yesterday after more of his E-mails found their way to my inbox and exposed the host of MSNBC’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” as insulting and frequently obscene in an acrimonious exchange with two viewers who taunted him.

Olbermann’s antagonists, who asked not to be named, repeatedly claimed in their June 8 E-mails that dead Al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was Olbermann’s “hero,” prompting the television star to advise: “Hey, save the oxygen for somebody whose brain can use it. Kill yourself.”

After I forwarded that and other E-mails to an MSNBC exec, Olbermann wrote: “I apologize to anyone who might take offense at my part of this correspondence. It goes without saying that I should not have replied to these abusive and hateful E-mails, but I wonder how many of us could receive literally hundreds of them questioning our patriotism, religion and ethnic origin, without succumbing to the natural wish to confront such hate?”

Here are some examples of Olbermann “confronting hate”:

o “Given how far you are from knowing your a- from your elbow about my industry, you couldn’t be stupider, wronger, or dumber …”

o “Go – your mother.”

o “You ‘Americans’ still watching that evil f- O’Reilly?”

Apparently, they are. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly draws six times the viewership of his 8 p.m. weekday rival.

Lovely. This is the same Lowdown wanker who publicized Keith’s e-mail calling Rita Cosby dumber than “a suitcase full of rocks,” and he certainly sounds like he’s on a mission.

Keith needs to be really careful here: I think MSNBC is just itching to get rid of him for all the agita he gives their corporate and Republican masters, but they know they can’t just get rid of their highest-rated guy without some pretext. And Keith (with a big assist from Mr. Grove) may have just handed it to them on a silver platter.

Oh, how I hope I’m wrong, but this has the fishy, manufactured smell of a classic Republican ratfuck operation.

Crap.

8 comments June 15th, 2006 at 11:59am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Wankers

Purrvivor?

I am both fascinated and appalled…

In “The Real World” tradition, 10 cats are sent to live in a swanky apartment specially designed with felines in mind. It’s stocked with an aquarium, scratching posts, loft beds and even a backyard with barbecue. The “cat-testants” – picked from shelters and rescue groups in 10 cities and tended 24-7 by members of the ASPCA – compete in various challenges to prove they are Meow Mix Material, such as purring, catching toy mice and falling asleep.

Voiceovers add a splash of drama and fun, although any onscreen romances have been nipped in the bud (each pet is spayed or neutered).

(snip)

In the Aug. 18 finale, the judges’ pick of the litter is crowned feline vice president of research and development at Meow Mix in charge of taste-testing new products.

Viewers also can visit www.MeowMixHouse.com to vote for the Viewer’s Choice, who also lands a job with the company. And everyone leaves a happy kitty, because each former stray is sent home to a loving family with a year’s supply of Meow Mix.

This may be the first watchable reality show since 70s House. It probably doesn’t hurt that the episodes are only three minutes long…

1 comment June 15th, 2006 at 08:57am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weirdness

Toastmentum

Ooo, now this is really encouraging (by way of firedoglake):

Want to know why supporters of Sen. Joe Lieberman are planning an independent bid? A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Lieberman leading primary challenger Ned Lamont (D) by just six percentage points, 46% to 40%.

There are some issues with the poll, such as a small sample size (218) and large margin of error (7%), but the results are a clear sign that Lamont is gaining traction.

Wow. By my informal and uninformed calculations, those numbers would put Lamont in striking distance already, by virtue of much more energized and motivated turnout. In that same post, Jane quotes an e-mail from Colin McEnroe which makes the opposite point, i.e., that Lieberman’s superior organization could win him the turnout battle. This is certainly possible, but here are two reasons why Lieberman may not have an edge here:

1) How do you make GOTV work decisively in your favor in a primary? They’re all registered Democrats, so how do you know who to target? Couldn’t Lieberman’s organization simply end up turning out Lamont voters?

2) I’m not expert on this, but I have frequently heard unions described as a huge and experienced resource when it comes to the “ground game” – and Joementum may be losing them.

I’m very, very hopeful right now. As I’ve said repeatedly before, we really need this win. Not only would we get rid of Lieberman’s reliably Republican vote in the Senate, but taking a high-profile scalp like Joe’s would announce the netroots’ arrival as a force to be reckoned with. (Underlying message: Vichy Dems, watch your butts.)

I’m sure there’s lots that can go wrong between now and the primary, and if there are any Diebold and/or vote suppression shenanigans, you can be sure they’ll be in Joementum’s favor, but if this trend continues for another two months, it may not matter. And if the “D”SCC supports Joe even if he bolts the party and runs as an independent, we should target Schumer next. Completely worthless status quo toady.

June 15th, 2006 at 07:09am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Polls

Wednesday Softball Blogging – I AM MIGHTY… Inconsistent.

I did pretty good for a Wednesday this week: 3-for-7 with my first-ever Wednesday home run, 3 runs, and an RBI. I think part of my batting problem may have been the bat I was using. After a couple of typical crappy Wednesday at-bats, I switched to an old-school Easton solid-hunk-of-metal kind of bat that was maybe a bit on the heavy side, and immediately smacked a line drive into the left-center gap that went all the way to the wall for a home run. I hit the ball with authority my next two at-bats (it really is a great feeling when you hit the ball perfectly square on the sweet spot), but right at people. Then I started trying to place the ball, which I should never ever do.

Defense was good except for when the sun was directly in my eyes, which was pretty disastrous. I managed to not get killed, go blind, or let the ball get past me, so I count it a success, and I did make some good catches and throws. I look forward to seeing what happens when I use the Easton bat and just try to make solid contact for a full game.

Current Stats: 10 games, .554 BA (31-56), 1.018 SLG, 7 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 19 runs, 22 RBI.

Career Stats: 37 games, .570 BA (143-251), .761 SLG, 24 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 80 runs, 62 RBI.


How not to finish off a rundown.


I just love the spectator who has no idea how to react…


Here’s what I look like grounding out! Posted by Picasa

3 comments June 15th, 2006 at 01:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Softball


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