Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Monthly Fail Report: November

Many months, I treat you to the latest compilation of filmed dumb mistakes for the past month. Here, I present you with one of many videos showing November's mishaps.
A typical scene in a Fail compilation video. Bicyclist
and skateboarders are particularly clumsy

The purpose of this, of course, is if you're having a moment when you're feeling pretty stupid, you can watch the video and feel better about yourself, at least by comparison.

I've noticed most of these fail compilations, including this one, have a disproportionate number of bicycle and skateboard mishaps. I'd like a study on why this is so

Are bicycle and skateboard tricksters more likely to be stupid? Or just more likely to be filmed? Or do other people who do dumb things manage to avoid being the target of a video, while bicycle and skateboard people embrace the glory of having their failings out there for the world to see? And just who pays their medical bills.

While you're pondering all those questions, go ahead and watch the eight minutes of stupidity on this month's video:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dancing Queen of the Treadmill

I love the woman in this viral video. In an effort to heal an injured knee and be creative, the woman featured in the video below has found a way to make a supremely tedious treadmill workout fun.

I hate treadmills. The scenery doesn't change and time seems to stand still. I'd rather run outside. But I might want to learn Nicole Harris' moves. The video continues to spread like wildfire. Nicole told El Paso, Texas television station KDBC that she's gotten interest from such shows as Inside Edition and Ellen Degeneres.

Maybe it's time Harris markets an exercise video. Hell, it would be a lot better than most of what's out there.

Watch and see for yourself:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dogs Top Notch at Running Free, Greeting Friends

It's been four months since Jackson the cocker spaniel moved into our St. Albans, Vermont house, and of course now I'm the worlds most hopeless dog lover. Always liked 'em, but now I'm obnoxious about it.
Jeff bought me this "Woof" sticker to match the one on
his Jeep, confirming us as dedicated dog lovers.

I'm given to heart-tugging stories about dogs, and every once in awhile, I post my favorites.

Jackson is happiest when he can run full tilt around the yard, chasing frisbees, sticks, bugs and assorted real  and imagined playmates. Almost all dogs are like that.

So now that a video about beagles rescued from a research lab has gone viral, I paid attention. The video shows the beagles, who have never been in the sun or walked or run around on grass, react as their cages are opened for the first time.

These beagles have since been adopted into good homes.

In the video, the beagles are awfully tentative at first, but they soon figure out playing on grassy lawns is The Way It Ought To Be.

One of my favorite moments with Jackson is his greetings. Whether I've been gone three days or 30 seconds his greeting when he sees me is always the same. His tail wags so wildly that his little butt swings back and forth like that of a runway fashion model on wayyyyyy to much speed.

He is bursting so desperately to greet me that you a high pitched whine, and then, the embrace. He jumps up to lick my face, then runs circles around me, stopping every second or so for another jump and kiss. These reunions are exhausting, let me tell you. But they're worth it.

It's just the way dogs are, but Jackson's greeting does feel like I'm being treated like a returning war hero, when in fact I'm just returning from the store with a gallon of milk.

If Jackson gets this excited to see me, imagine the excitement of dogs whose human companions come home from a military overseas deployment.  These really are war heroes returning home. To get an idea of that, check out this video VERY sweet:

A Spin on Leaf Blowers and Chairs?

Here's a useless invention that will have you spinning in your seat. Really, really spinning in your seat.

These guys rigged a leaf blower to an office chair, which sets off, well, a disaster. But at least it's a funny disaster.

People with time on their hands come up with the darndest things, don't they?

Just passing this along in case you're trying to find Christmas gifts for people you hate.

Watch and laugh:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sad Thanksgiving Vermont Fire

On Thanksgiving Day, there was unfortunately a bad fire here in St. Albans, Vermont. A four unit apartment building went up in flames.

There's no right day of the year for that to happen, but Thanksgiving seemed particularly cruel. The thankful part is all six people in the building got out uninjured and there were no serious injuries among the throngs of firefighters who came from as far away as Quebec to put out the blaze.

I was there, and you can see in the pictures and the video how nasty this fire really was.

Thaw Creates Little Vermont Snow Creature

We had a little over four inches of snow here in St. Albans, Vermont the day before Thanksgiving, but warm weather quickly returned and the snow quickly melted.

A remaining pile of snow thawed weirdly on my front deck, creating the little snow creature that you see pictured in this post. A little snow dog, maybe? Maybe a space alien snow creature? You decide.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Was True to Form. Sigh.

As I whined about yesterday, Black Friday turned out just as I expected. We had shootings, fights, pepper spraying and general bad behavior in the big stores as people stormed the malls, decked each other instead of the halls all to wrestled for the ten cheap big screen TV's that thousands of people wanted.

The money quote came from a North Carolina shopper: "The difference this year is instead of a nice sweater, you need a bullet proof vest and goggles."

Some psychologists frown big time on these Black Friday door buster sales. They know the big store owners know that if they create huge crowds and strange hours, cut prices to below cost on some items and only put a handful in stock, it will turn the crowd into a frenzy.

And frenzied people are obviously not rational. So they'll go into overdrive and buy and buy and buy even though they don't want and can't afford what they're buying.

So what if a few people get hurt in the process? That's business.

One of the best looks at this insanity/inanity is a video of a crowd surging into an Urban Outfitters on Black Friday. The person filming the scene is heard to say: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen."

Right on, bro:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Waitstaff Has Had ENOUGH!

Judging by this picture, the wait person at this restaurant just about had it. I wonder what the customer did?

Readers, you can submit your guesses in the comments section.

Black Friday Desperation and Panic Ruins Christmas

Today, Black Friday, the start of that horrible season of desperation and panic, goes into high gear.     Yep, Christmas shopping insanity, or inanity is here.

Actually, it started on Thanksgiving now that many retailers keep pushing their "Black Friday" sales back further and further on the calendar.
A typical Black Friday mob scene

We're not even allowed to enjoy our turkey and cranberries anymore. We have to SHOP! Or ELSE! And dammit, we're not going to let you wait until 2 a.m. Friday to fight the crowds in a cold, windy mall parking lot. No, you now have to shop on Thanksgiving. They'll keep moving it backward through the calendar, I'm sure.

At this rate, Black Friday will fall on the Fourth of July within a few years.

I am continually amazed by how what should be a nice, mellow, friendly and pleasant holiday can be utterly ruined by those twin, oh-so-unbecoming emotions of desperation and panic.

And really, that's what this is driven by. Major retailers have to show their stockholders that they're making money hand over fist so they try, try, try so hard to sell stuff. Their advertisements beg, beg, beg us to shop. And to shop at strange hours of the morning, or on Thanksgiving night. Please, please, please, they say, on TV, on the radio, in print, on the Web, incessantly, constantly, relentlessly. Buy! buy! buy!

You don't need it, you can't afford it, but buy. buy, buy!

If you don't respond to these ads, the retailers and advertisters whimper, your Christmas will be ruined. No, my Christmas will be just fine. It's the store's Christmas that suffers. Not to be harsh, but not my problem.


I doubt you'd escape it even if you moved to Pluto for the next month or so.

Yes, I know retailers want to make money and I'm not rejecting capitalism here. But desperation is not pretty, is it?

That desperation includes many shoppers, and the shoppers' desperation is also completely unattractive. Actually, gross is the word.
This unhinged Target pitchwoman captures the
unfortunate spirit of the holiday shopping season

Yesterday's New York Times had a front page picture of people camped out Wednesday in tents in front of a Texas Best Buy, waiting for Black Friday and it's $200 televisions to begin. The tents looked like some perversion of Occupy Wall Street. Bet these shoppers won't get pepper sprayed or tear gassed, no sir!  Not if their helping the corporate bottom line.

There's even been a report that three families camped out at a Florida Best Buy starting nine days before Black Friday to get their cheap plasma TV.  Don't they have anything better to do?  And if they spent those nine days working, assuming jobs were available, they would have made far more money than they're saving by being at Best Buy early. And isn't camping out in a bleak mall parking lot really, really boring?  I'd rather go without the TV.

At least there seems to be a growing sense that this is all so stupid. Many Americans have had it up to HERE with pre-dawn riots at the front doors of big box stores. Do people really need to get trampled to death for a cheap flat screen TV?

In yesterday's NYT, Cornell economics professor Robert H. Frank points out the insanity of these Black Friday sales. He notes stores try to open earlier than other retailers to capture more sales and more profits.

"But when all outlets open earlier, no one benefits. Few people actually want to shop in the wee hours, and the purchases that do occur are presumably offset, dollar for dollar, by reduced sales during normal business hours," Frank logically points out.
My sister Lynn gave me this beautiful wreath she
hand crafted, proving you don't have to get up at midnight
on Black Friday to give great gifts.
The wreath hangs wonderfully on my front door.

I bet his logic will go unheeded by the retail world.

Frank, inspired by Herman Cain's 999 plan, has what he calls a 666 plan to stop this insanity. It's simple. Impose a six percent sales tax over and above all existing sales taxes for goods sold between 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

Maybe it would discourage Black Friday stupidity. Probably not.

Even if Frank's improbable scenario happens, you can bet the stores will just open Thanksgiving morning and close at 6 p.m, briefly, to avoid the sales tax.

At least a few other people recognize this problem. The New York Times reported earlier this month that even some die hard Black Friday shoppers object to the Thanksgiving shopping. Ya think?

Even some retailers, while insisting on opening on Thanksgiving or a bit after midnight this morning, are acknowledging the unhinged quality of people who feel a need to shop early. Target's holiday ad campaign features a manic woman played by comedian Maria Bamford who trains herself to exhaustion and stays up for days making cakes in the shape of a Target store so she can be in prime shape to bargain hunt early and often.

Unfortunately, I fear there are really people like her out there. She's not coming to my holiday party, let me tell you.

Look, I don't mean to be a Grinch. If you like to Christmas shop, even in near-violent crowds, knock yourself out. And I like to find things that my loved ones would like as a holiday gift, so it's not like I don't want to be generous.

I'm also lucky enough to have sane, thoughtful loved ones who don't kill themselves on Black Friday to get me the latest gadget. Usually, anyway. Already, my talented sister Lynn has given me a beautiful wreath she hand crafted. The wreath makes my front door look absolutely perfect and festive.   

My holiday plea: Can't we all -- retailers, advertisers and consumers -- shut up, calm down, take a deep breath and enjoy Christmas for what it was meant to be? Sure, give people gifts because you care about them. That's part of the holiday. I know this plea will fall on deaf ears, but please, enough with the desperation and panic. Over a flat screen TV? 

I'd rather be desperate and panicky about something else. Maybe the fact I can't fit into my Carhartts after the Thanksgiving feast?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

White and Pretty Vermont Thanksgiving

After a warm autumn, winter finally hit Vermont with a snowstorm the day before Thanksgiving. Like many early season snows, the flakes were wet and sticky, and clung beautifully to the trees.

Photo is what my backyard in St. Albans, Vermont looked like shortly after dawn on this Thanksgiving morning.

The skiers and riders are happy. But in my experience, it seems every time we have a white Thanksgiving, we have a snow-free Christmas. We'll see what happens this year.

Ihe meantime, whether you have snow or not, happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Drunken Drivers Get Badly, Sadly Creative

Holidays, including Thanksgiving, get the police out on the highways en force, looking for drunken drivers.

This Arizona woman was all smiles
after her drunk driving arrest. Earlier, she was in a
much more foul mood, allegedly assaulting
arresting officers.
Which is a good thing, since we all want to have safe travels during the holiday season.

Plus, cracking down on drunk driving gets people off the roads who are dangerously stupid, whether drunk or sober. But especially drunk. Want horrifying, hilarious examples? Well, I'm glad you asked.

The Smoking Gun reported on one drunken driving case, of an 18 year old woman who drove drunk with a missing tire on her car.

Apparently, she got drunk because she was despondent that her boyfriend didn't take her to see "The Twilight Saga:" Breaking Dawn" like he was supposed to.

Well, it's certainly a tragedy that this woman didn't get the chance to see the movie that night. No wonder she drank. I guess that movie is important, but what do I know, as I'm one of only six people on the planet who has no idea what the Twilight Saga is about. Oh well.

Another drunk driver, pictured above, seemed pretty happy when she had her mug shot taken after her recent arrest in Arizona. She does show a sense of gleeful accomplishment in her mug shot, doesn't she?  The thumbs up says it all, doesn't it?

Well, she should be, um, proud, since she did get a lot done during her arrest.  According to, again, The Smoking Gun, our Arizona happy girl told a cop, "I don't have to walk x&8T!! anywhere," shoved a cop while declining to take a sobriety test, kneed another cop in the groin, and kicked and thrashed inside a police cruiser.

Wow! What an active day! Bet you didn't do that much the last time you had your evening cocktail.

So, at least two drunk drivers are off the roads this holiday weekend. There are others lurking, I'm sure, so let's be careful out there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Home Baker's Guide to Birth Control.

The viral video in this post is one of the best arguments for birth control I can think of.

It shows what happens when mom is occupied in the bathroom and a couple toddlers get ahold of a five-pound bag of flour. These kids used the flour to make a mess and simultaneously gave any baking enthusiast a reason not to have more children.

When you watch the video, you'll understand that flour is best used for making breads and cakes,  and not wholesome childrens' entertainment:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pepper Spraying Cop Joins the Troll Club

The other day, I blogged about a YouTube troll who took things a step too far and ignited a firestorm against him that I'm sure was far, far bigger than he ever anticipated.

Now we have that revulsion against Lt. John Pike, the UC Davis cop who is leading the news on most major media outlets this morning for casually pepper spraying unarmed, seated and not particularly dangerous looking protesters. on the UC Davis campus.

At the very least, he ought to be fired, and probably prosecuted for assault. It's true we don't see everything that led up to the pepper spraying, and it is appropriate for cops to use the stuff when they are endangered by a crowd that needs to be subdued.
Lt. John Pike casually pepper sprays protestors at UC Davis.

But the video seems to show he was not in any danger, and was in a pretty relaxed mood. Was he just doing this because it was fun? Retaliating because he had to work at some stupid Occupy protest when he could have been sitting on his couch? Nobody knows.

There will be an investigation, one hopes.

But like our YouTube troll, our pepper-loving buddy Pike is all over the Internet. People know his name, his address, his phone number. Pretty scary. Surely he feels under seige. Which he deserves, at least to an extent.

It's the new way of putting people in stocks, on public display, for humiliation.

Nowadays, somebody does  something wrong, it's all over social media in an instant,  and a zillion people humiliate and threaten him on the Internet. Sometimes it's like killing a mosquito with a nuclear bomb, but there you go. It's the reality, like it or not.

Of course I worry about some hothead hurting Pike as I always worry in this kind of situation. Let's not break any more laws, folks.

I don't know what Pike is like most of the time, but in the video he is the World's Biggest Jerk. I hope nobody else tries to take the title away from him.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Strange, Happy Random Goose Parade Video

Just because I'm in a weird mood, here's a random vidoe of a strange little scene, somewhere. Goose, parades, what more could you ask for?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Raccoon Violence in Burlington, Vermont!

UPDATE: On December 6, the Burlington Free Press reported the raccoon assailant had been caught:


The Burlington Free Press here in Burlington, Vermont is hot on the story of a shocking incident of raccoon violence at City Hall this morning.

Burlington Free Press photographer Glenn Russell
took this shot of Burlington Deputy Police
Chief Andi Higbee removing the dead
raccoon from Burlington City Hall
Thursday morning. 
As the Burlington Free Press reports, a middle-aged woman carried the carcass of a dead raccoon to City Hall, and repeatedly whacked the body of the animal against the doors of the building.

The culprit has so far eluded authorities.  And no, I'm not making any of this up.

The money comment in the Free Press account of the terrorist attack comes from Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee:  He said he could not remember a similar incident happening in recent times.

Well, that's a relief! I'm so glad this doesn't happen often!

Imagine being in a city where people repeatedly smash dead raccoons against doors? What if the violence got more widespread?  I mean, what if people started smashing dead skunks against doors? Burlington is a lovely city, and I'd hate to see it ruined in attacks involving road kill and municipal office doors.

Higbee is pictured in the Free Press article removing the dead raccoon from the crime scene. He looks decidedly unhappy with the task, but thank goodness Burlington has a police force that is so dedicated that they are willing to remove roadkill from City Hall property.

At this point, it's unclear as to why the woman smacked the dead raccoon against the door. She reportedly mumbled something about City Hall's inability to remove injured and dead animals that had been hit by cars on city streets.

Reaction to the raccoon attack has been fast and furious, as social media lights up about the tragic incident. One writer took the Free Press to task, because it played up the stereotype of middle aged women smashing dead raccoons against doors while completely ignoring the rash of young men doing the same thing.

A person on Facebook brought up a larger point: "Where are all the raccoon lovers out there? We need to unite to make sure this death was not in vain."

Most people are horrified by this incident, but not everybody. One person wrote: "I love the smell of raccoon colon in the morning."

The raccoon attack does leave some unanswered questions. Does Burlington have an ordinance against smashing dead raccoons against City Hall doors? If not, the Burlington City Council had better get busy, pronto.

And the woman who did this is still at large. Is she hunting more raccoons as we speak? Should we call in reinforcements to protect surviving raccoons?  Does the raccoon's family need help with funeral expenses? Will I get rabies if I open the door to City Hall?

I'm sure these questions will be answered, and we'll be sure to provide you with an update.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Internet Troll to be PWNed?

Readers of this blog know how much I hate trolls, those living-under-a-rock people who post super nasty comments, videos, etc. because they love the attention. Classic jerks, in other words.

Mostly, these trolls are ignored, because they aren't worth the time of day. But every once in awhile, one of them strikes a nerve.

Like our troll of the day, known as "johnnyb34435" He's got a YouTube channel with lots of videos of his ugly mug spouting stupid crap. Don't watch any of them, they are a waste of time.
Internet "troll" johnnyb34435

Except for this one, which struck the above mentioned nerve. He gets out there and says he dressed up as a veteran on Veteran's Day to get free stuff from people who wanted to honor people who served our country.

Here's the video, if you can stand it:

Well, johnnyb34435 got his wish. LOTS of people are watching this video, with his creepy sociopathic sounding voice, his weird grin and chins flapping beneath his worthless words. In fact, our buddy johnnyb34435 has made a new video, after this one, further trying to antagonize veterans and others.

Normally, I don't give quote, unquote people like johnnyb34435 any attention, but I want to hold this guy up as example. Trolls like him thrive on negative attention. They love the angry comments they get on their videos, blogs, commentary, etc. They get off on it. Maybe it's kind of like an orgasm,  I don't know.

But what people like johnnyb34435 don't realize is, they're playing with fire. If they hit the wrong nerve, as he did, things blow up in their face. It now seems people are out looking for johnnyb34435 and want to teach him a lesson. It's really easy to track down people who post videos on YouTube. I know. I've tried.

Now that he is so much more widely known, there's a greater chance that some yahoo will find him, fight stupidity with stupidity and harm johnnyb34435.

As much as I hate the guy, I'd hate even more for him to get hurt. Violence is bad, and besides, why turn this jerk into a martyr?  But I worry he is now in danger.

On the brighter side, it could well have been a crime that he impersonated a veteran for financial gain, so prosecutors might be taking a keen interest in johnnyb34435's video.  Although, he could be such a wimp that he's just saying he did this, but thankfuly didn't have the balls to pull it off.

If he did commit a crime through his actions, I  look forward to reading news of johnnyb34435's impending arrest.

Escalator Defeats Blonde

The YouTube video title references a dumb blonde on an escalator, but really, dumb people come in all hair colors.

In any event, I don't know if this video is just a set up, or was somebody really this incompetent around escalators. Good for a laugh, though. This apparently took place at Saks Fifth Avenue. You Christmas shoppers especially, watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Debate Fight! You Think We're Bad?

We in the United States this fall have survived several Republican presidential debates. Things would get nasty at times, with barbed comments, flubs, assertions, accusations. You know, the usual. This state of affairs will surely continue until we hit the presidential election in November, 2012.

A year of this nonsense. Sigh.

It could be worse. I found a video of two politicians in Lebanon arguing over Syria. They're speaking in Arabic, but you don't have to understand a word of it to know they really, really hate each other.

I think U.S. debates would be better if they got physical. Wouldn't you love to see Hermain Cain pull Rick Perry's hair? Or Michelle Bachmann slap Newt Gingrich across his pudgy face? Does Mitt Romney have any cool mixed martial arts moves he can try out on Rick Santorum?

In Lebanon, when things got out of hand, somebody at the television station was smart enough to cut to a commercial. But still, neither politician came off as particularly statesmanlike. See for yourself:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Dog Jackson Insists on Frisbee Match.

This morning, Jackson, our cocker spaniel, was a bundle of energy.  Which was problematic, since it was a lazy Sunday morning.
But as always, Jackson was convincing. He wanted to play, and play we did. Below is a photo illustration of what Jackson said once we got outdoors.
 Hey! Let's play Frisbee!
Please? Is anyone there?
Oh Boy, Oh Boy, somebody DOES want to
play! Yippee!

Alaska Storm Reveals Different World

When there's a big storm, local quirks come to the surface more than when the weather is calmer.

Here in Vermont, we'll see snowboarders zigzag down the steep hill on Main Street in Burlington.  Venizen will turn up at the emergency shelter if the storm hits during hunting season, or kick surfers will fly around in Lake Champlain even if the water and air termperature are just 40 degrees.
An image from that big storm in Alaska last week

In Alaska, which had a huge storm last week, we have the following dispatch from Associated Press reporter Rachel D'Oro.

"Hardy Alaskans turned to ingenuity, cooperation, and in some cases, native culture to deal with the worst storm on the state's western coast in almost four decades.

Before the monster hit, hunters in one village dismantled drift racks used to dry seal and fish. Others along the state's western coast performed traditional Eskimo dances seeking good weather. Some brought subsistence comfort foods like caribou and bowhead whale blubber to share at village emergency shelters.
Still others tended to large sled dog teams by turning their dog houses away from the hurricane-force winds that hammered the weather-whipped region.
When the northwest Alaska village of Point Hope lost power in the barreling storm, locals in the whaling community lined their vehicles along a runway and used their headlights and emergency flashers to help a plane carrying repair workers land safely."

Next time we get a big storm in Vermont, I'll surely stock up on bowhead whale blubber!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Cute Animals Can Be Jerks

We all love cute animals. They're so sweet, so cuddly, so pretty, so...OUCH stop that! They can also be absolute jerks, as you can see in the viral video below:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why I Don't Live in Nome

Here in Vermont, we have a reputation for nasty winter weather.

It's not quite winter yet, but often by now, it's cold and gray and rainy and snowy and icy. So it was nice this week as Indian Summer weather settled in, with temperatures in the 60s. I was actually doing late autumn yard work in shorts and a t-shirt. Yeah, it was dark and I had to use a head lamp, but at least it was warm.

Today's weather in Vermont made me doubly glad I don't live in Nome, Alaska. I pick on Nome because the video below shows what the weather was like there last night. That area of Alaska is having its worst storm since at least 1974.

 I got cold just watching and listening to the wind howl through town:  Vermont will look like this soon enough, unfortunately

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The End of the World? Or Just Oklahoma?

It didn't take long for Pat Robertson to say that the Oklahoma earthquakes over the weekend were a sign of the end times.

To Robertson and his ilk, every disaster, or even little mishap is a sign of the end times.  Every time there is bad weather somewhere, it means the world is ending.   So we'd better get in shape, Robertson says, or God or Jesus or somebody will punish us. Kind of like Santa Claus not bringing us presents if we don't make our beds and stop pulling our sisters' hair.
Pat Robertson explains how a random Oklahoma
earthquake means the world is ending.

I guess if we're not good, we will kill somebody in some distant disaster. And remember, you have to be good in the way Robertson, et al think you ought to be good.  Better research Robertson's morality and follow suit, or else!

Could anything be more pathetic? Keep warning about the "end times" in a futile attempt to keep us in line. Robertson continually does this  end times schtick so tirelessly, and tiresomely. Does he actually think he has that power of persuasion? Or that God talks to him about how He likes to unleash random disasters on unsuspecting humans because it's fun or something?

Yes, there are gullible people that follow Robertson and those end time types, but really.

By Robertson's logic, if somebody in Vermont likes the fact that gay marriage is legal here, the end result will be, I don't know, a typhoon in North Dakota or something. If somebody is "bad" in, say, New York, why do the nice people in Tulsa have to bear the cost of some jerk sinning in Schenectedy?

And don't even get me started on Harold Camping and his repeated warnings of the impending end of the world.

Maybe it's just Oklahoma that's ending. Yesterday, the day after the worst of Oklahoma's earthquakes, some nasty tornadoes spun through the state, and flooding hit other sections of the state.

 And so far this year, Oklahoma had its sharpest cold snap on record, one of its worst blizzards, one of its worst droughts, the hottest summer ever and a nasty spring tornado season that was hard to bear even by Sooner State standards. God hates Oklahoma. Well, actually no. The state has just had really, really bad luck in the weather department. At least the Weather Channel has been winning big time with storm footage from Oklahoma, so there's that.

Where I live in Vermont,. things are tranquil. It's been sunny lately,  mild for early November, and there have been no earthquakes or tornadoes.  So are we Vermonters better than the folks in Oklahoma? Or will a plague of locusts descend on Oklahoma City tomorrow because I sit here in St. Albans, Vermont thinking about what a moron Robertson is?

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Burlington Monday for the Birds

The photo in this post is one I shot early Monday afternoon. A bird waits patiently on her friend's shoulder as the woman feeds a parking meter in downtown Burlington, Vermont.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cool Bird Video

In Britain, there are some amazing starling flocks, and people are trying to understand exactly how these abruptling shifting flocks work.
A starling flock. Image from Telegraph UK

I thought of this phenomenon because I stumbled upon a bit about these starlings in Andrew Sullivan's Daily dish blog.

We don't have anything that I know of like it in Vermont, so I'll just have to satisfy myself watching the number of wild starling videos on YouTube. Here's one of the better ones:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oops. Truck Driver's Bad Day

Right in front of my office building in downtown Burlington, Vermont yesterday, a truck driver finished a delivery at a nearby restaurant. He either didn't put the lift on the side of the truck back under the vehicle, or it slid back out once he started moving.

The truck driver didn't notice the problem until it was waaaayyyyy too late. The lift crashed into an SUV, which was pushed into two other cars. The SUV is pretty much ruined, the other cars have minor damage.

You can see some of the damage in the photo I took in this post.

But the scary thing was a woman an little girl were at the back of one of the cars that got hit, and almost got smushed between the bumpers of two cars. The woman had a leg injury but looks like she'll be OK. The girl, maybe four or five years old, wasn't hurt.

I'm sure the truck driver had some 'splainin' to do to his boss. Hope he doesn't get fired. Though this is awful, we are all prone to bonehead moves.

Here's hoping none of us do anything particularly stupid today.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Wardrobe Malfunction" Shocker

Wednesday, there was a court ruling on the famous "wardrobe malfunction."

This dates back to 2004, when Janet Jackson accidently exposed part of a breast on national television during the Super Bowl half time show as she sang with Justin Timberlake. The question since then has been whether this indecency, such as it was, deserves hefty fines.
The tragic wardrobe malfunction of 2004.

This has been litigated since 2004?  You wonder why nobody has been able to just move on. Gawd.  The people involved sound like those stereotypical naggy wives who still complain about her husband's boorish behavior at that New Year's Eve party back in 1979.

How much money has been spent on these court cases? How many zillions of hours have droned away in law offices and hearing rooms, over a millisecond flesh exposure. I'm sure some of the law firms are happy with all this. Think of the billable hours!

Do people other than the attorneys and the networks and the government workers creating growing piles of paperwork and bytes really care about this?

I've noticed that ever since this incident, I haven't seen a lot of sexiness during Super Bowl half times, at least until this year, when they took a chance of sorts with the Black Eyed Peas, Usher and Slash.  But in the years after the Wardrobe Crisis of '04," they've booked the likes of Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.

There's a lot of talent in that list, but nobody most people really want to see much exposed skin.  Then again, there's probably a number of people who don't want to see Janet Jackson give us another flash. 

The world probably has three people left who are still distraught over Jackson's very, very minor minute of exposure? Know how to make these three peoples' heads explode?   Make the 2012 Super Bowl teams play the entire game naked.

That'll show 'em.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rich Hoarders?

Here's an interesting perspective that's been making the rounds on Facebook and other places.

It certainly is worth considering in these days of Occupy Wall Street and other concerns about the economy and monetary inequality

What do you think of the statement about hoarding? Accurate? Unfair? Silly? Awesome? A rallying cry? Class warfare? Something else?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kardashian Trouble Spreads

Oh, hell, I'll put up something about the Great Kardashian Divorce Tragedy of '11 since everybody else is doing the same.

For the three people in the world who are uninitiated: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries got married a couple months ago, and got paid a zillion dollars to do so by having a reality show or something built around it.

The Kardashian family tends to do that. They don't have anything going for them, at least in my opinion, except for an extreme talent for putting themselves in the public eye and milking it for all its worth.

So Kardashian and Humphries got married and got their zillions. Very nice.

A whole 72 days later, Kardashian filed for divorce.

The news of the divorce set the media awhirl and a-Twitter, with breathless updates on why this couple are leading such tragic lives. After all, a divorce between rich young people is much, much worse, than say, war criminals killing children in Africa, or starvation, or senseless murders, or even another Lindsey Lohan pratfall.

The news is coming so fast and furiously (It's important, after all!!) that some news outlets are not updating their Web sites properly. An example is in this post: The image shows a Web page announcing this terrible divorce with an advertisement begging people to watch the thrilling Kardashian/Humphries nuptials a couple months back. Oops.

Well, nothing good ever lasts.  Some marriages last 60 years, some last 72 days. Whatever.

Buzzfeed had a great list of things that lasted longer than this marriage.

My favorite on the list: the Kardashian/Humphries engagement lasted 85 days, or thirteen days longer than the actual marriage.

I wonder if people who gave them expensive wedding gifts will get their stuff back. Maybe Kardashian will mistakenly send me a gold plated blender she might have gotten from somebody else.

One can only hope.