Thursday, October 19, 2017

World's Biggest Anti-Take A Kneel Guy A Hit On Social Media

Talk about insincerity!
A little hypocritical maybe?

The photo in this post went viral this week. It shows a guy at the NFL New England Patriots vs. New York Jets game wearing a "I Stand For the National Anthem" shirt.

As you can see, though, he decided to take a break and sit down, using the American flag as a picnic blanket for his fat butt.

The fact that he's drinking beer out of a straw is a nice touch, too, but that's besides the point.

So let's see if I've got this straight: If a black NFL player kneels during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans, that's totally disrespectful. If a white guy gets tired walking around with his warm, flat beer, he can use the American flag to sit on to keep his butt comfortable.

Got it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Might Be Possible To Shut Off Those Annoying Gas Pump Video Ads

I'll have to try this: It might be possible to shut off the
sound of those annoying ads at newer gas pumps. 
I came across something today that I want to try the next time I fill up the gas tank of the Tacoma.

Lifehacker, via Reddit, says it's possible to shut of the blaring ads and news headlines from the video monitors that are popping up like crazy at newer gas pumps.

All you have to do, the theory goes, is push either the top right or the second to the top right button next to the video monitor on the gas pump. This is perfect for people like me, who don't want to be constantly bombarded with ads no matter what I'm doing.

The video will still play, but at least you can turn your back on that.

Of course the drawback now is this news is out, so I'm sure they'll redesign the gas pumps so you won't be able to shut off those awful ads when all you want to do is buy some gas.

We'll see how this goes.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Postman Dutifully Delivers Mail To Neighborhood That's Not There Anymore

A postal worker delivers mail to a neighborhood that
no longer exists after the California wildfires
One of the strangest videos I've seen coming out of that California wildfire tragedy is one you'll see here:

It's a United States Postal Service van delivery mail to a neighborhood that was completely incinerated by the wildfires.

It seems stupid at first, but then I'm thinking what else was the guy to do? The mailboxes were still somehow intact.

I guess he just hopes the people who lived in those destroyed houses will come back. Maybe even get a millisecond of normalcy back in their lives by checking their mailboxes.

Here's the spooky video:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saturday Night Live Hits Perfect Note With Aldean Cold Opening

Jason Aldean captured just the right tone during his
cold opening appearance on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live very often seems to know how to strike the right tone when the news gets tough.

SNL did it again last night.

Last week, we had the massacre in Las Vegas.  Jason Aldean was on stage at the country music festival in Las Vegas when the gunman opened fire, killing 58 people. Aldean wasn't physically hurt, but certainly shaken.  

There was the prerequisite snarky comments on gun control during the Weekend Update segment, but the cold opening of SNL last night got it just right.

Saturday, Aldean did the cold opening for Saturday Night Live, honoring the massacre victims and nodding to Tom Petty, the rock great who died last week.

He then performed Petty's defiant classic, "I Won't Back Down."



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trolls And Bots Are Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I got an ugly surprise on my Google News feed on
an ugly news morning the other day. 
Monday morning, I got up early, went to my computer, and went straight to my Twitter feed.

There I saw my first hint that a horror had occured in Las Vegas overnight. I wanted to learn more immediately, so I went to Google News.

Of course, the top story was the atrocity in Las Vegas that claimed 58 lives, plus the despicable gunman, who killed himself.

But this post isn't about Las Vegas. Under "related stories" about the Las Vegas massacre was this "top trending" headline: "Jessica Simpson Nude Pics."

Yep, some awful troll apparently gamed Google's algorithms or something to place that nude pics thing in the top news, for profit, obviously. And I'm sure if anybody was stupid enough to click on that link, they got a computer virus or malware.

We all know now that Russians and maybe some other creeps influenced the 2016 election and very likely help a lot in getting Trump elected by inundating our Facebook and Twitter feeds with fake ads, fake news and all that to boost Trump's chances and hurt Hillary Clinton's.

As The Guardian points out, YouTube had its own problems with trolls and hacks gaming the system. Early this week, if you were on YouTube and searched "Las Vegas shooting" many of the top videos on the subject were posted by wacko conspiracy theorists who said the mass shooting was fake, and a false flag to take our guns and rights away, or something.

So YouTube was giving a platform for all these nutjobs. YouTube says the videos comply with their standards, which may be true, but really. On the bright side, my YouTube search of "Las Vegas shooting" was a little better, with the top hits mostly consisting of reports from legitimate news sources or videos from eyewitnesses.

I don't know how to fix all this,  but that's the big flaw in all these web sites and social media is they're automated, and algorithms, whatever they are, guide us to what we see.

Which is why none of us can ever serendipitously just wander around YouTube or search engines like we would in a book store, seeing what pops out at us.

Nope, we've done a web search, or we've watched a particular YouTube video, and now the algorithms steer us toward similar videos or searches. You can look at something else if you have something specific in mind, but if you're just sort of searching for whatever interesting pops up, you can't just stumble on something cool that's unrelated to your past searches. You can't discover new things. You're stuck.

And what about those ads that follow you around. Say, for example,  I bought some athletic shorts from Under Armour online. Now all I get ads for those very shorts following me around for weeks. Why would I want to buy shorts that I just bought? If an advertiser must advertise, the least they and their algorithms could do is advertise something else from that company that I might be interested in. But no: Buy more shorts! Buy more shorts!

It's why we can't have nice things.

Again, I'm no technology, internet or social media genius. But I like to think for myself. The tech companies think I'm incapable of doing such a thing. And it's terribly insulting.

And in the case of the Russian bots and fake ads and news, very dangerous.

Friday, September 29, 2017

French "The Voice" Contestant Wows With A Twist On The Village People

This woman, on the French version of "The Voice" show
us the right way to do the YMCA.
As people who read this blog thingy know, I'm one of those hopeless people who's a fan of some talent competition shows on TV, with "The Voice" being one of my favorites.

I missed the season debut of "The Voice" this week, so I was rummaging on YouTube to see what happened, and there's was some great auditions here in the Great Old U.S. of A.

But as you know, every place in the universe, probably including Neptune, has a "The Voice" franchise, and I stumbled upon some recent auditions from France.

One of them was by a woman named Nathalia, who did a version of the Village People song "YMCA"

The original song has frankly become a tired cliche of a tune that is played at every bad wedding you've been to. However, Nathalia turned "YMCA" into something flirty, gorgeous, new, powerful, playful, soulful and sexy.

As you might know, during "The Voice" auditions, the judges, all musicians, sit in chairs with their backs to the stage so they can't see what the performer looks like. They must rely just on what they hear. If the judges like what they hear, they press a button and their chair turns to face the performer.

Not surprisingly, all four French "The Voice" chairs very quickly turned for Nathalia.

Here's the video

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sportscaster Dale Hansen's Comments On NFL "Take The Knee" Is Required Watching

WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen just gave us an epic
takedown of Trump and his NFL protest nonsense.
There's a great sportscaster at television station WFAA in Dallas named Dale Hansen who's been there forever.  

The man is awesome. I first wrote about him in this here blog thingy back in 2014, when he came to the defense of Michael Sam, an NFL draft pick who was openly gay, something that would hurt his chances of become an NFL player

Hansen shredded the anti-gay bigots who would keep Sam out of the NFL spectacularly.

Hansen has done a lot of other great commentaries over the years, but this time, his words are required reading, or at least the video of him delivering those words are required watching. That video is at the bottom of this post. You HAVE to watch it.

This time, Hansen takes on Trump's appalling criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest violence against African Americans.

Here's just on excerpt, which gives you a taste of what you will watch:

"It has not gone unnoticed that Trump has spoken out against the Mexicans who want to come to America for a better life, against the Muslims, and now the black athlete. But he says nothing for days about the white men who marched under a Nazi flag in Charlottesville, except to remind us there were good people there. '

And when he finally tried to say the right thing, not one of them was called an S.O.B. or should be fired. We have white men in America who wave the Nazi flag and the Confederate flag and he's concerned about taking a knee because it disrespects this flag. We use that flag to sell mattresses and beer. We wear it as a swimsuit. We wrap our bald heads in a flag bandana and stick it in our pants, because we disrespect the flag every day."

Here's the video:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trump's NFL Protest Statement Sticks In My Craw More Than Usual

NFL players in pretty much all of Sunday's game
took the knee in solidarity against Trump
Donald Trump doesn't like it when people disagree with him. And he always sounds off on it.

We should be used to it by now. And the latest dust up should be just another in a long series of stupid Trump sideshows. But for some reason, the NFL protest comments Trump made in Alabama just stick in my craw.

And everybody else. He stepped in it, and everybody is rebelling. It's amazing how many NFL games today are doing the whole kneeling and locking arms thing in defiance against Trump.

Friday night, it was NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest how police often treat African-Americans.

As related in the Daily Kos:

"'That's a total disrespect of our heritage. That's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,' he said, encouraging owners to act. 

'Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flags, you'd say, Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired,'" Trump said to loud applause.'

So a peaceful protest - protected by the First Amendment - is a bad thing that should be criticized, but marching menacingly as a neo-Nazi white supremacist in Charlottesville is OK?

Twitter the cable "news" outfits and other outlets have been a shoutfest ever since the comments made the light of day.

Once again, Trump - or one of his evil, dumb minions, are trying to get people fired from doing something completely benign: Peacefully protesting, without causing injury, harm or a lot of disruption, really.

That's really something. And so un-American.  A president trying to get private employers to fire people who have viewpoints that he doesn't like.

In the grand scheme of things, when things like Trump's warmongering with North Korea, the suffering of people in post-hurricane Puerto Rico, and Russia's meddling are going on, a jerk like Trump insulting NFL players is not the biggest crisis in the world.

But this has really touched a nerve.  People really cherish the right to speak out, even if they disagree with others speaking out. Sure, some of the right wing wackos on those cable shoutfests say the NFL players who 'take the knee" during the national anthem are somehow disrespecting the flag, which is nonsense.

They actually ARE respecting the flag by participating in their own way to improve the nation. Efforts to make this a better nation are by definition patriotic.

But Trump only cares about his ignorant base. So he caters to them, because the deplorables can only understand the red meat Trump throws at them.

The National Review admits this:

"(Trump) takes a commonly held sentiment - most people don't like the NFL protests - and states it in an inflammatory way guaranteed to get everyone's attention and generate outrage among his critics. When those critics lash back at him, Trump is put in the position of getting attacked for a fairly commonsensical view. 

Of course, NFL owners firing players on the spot for protesting isn't necessarily common sense, but this where 'seriously, not literally' comes in. Since everyone knows that owners aren't going to do this, Trump's statement registers for his supporters merely as forceful opposition to the protests, not as a specific plan of action."

The flaw with this argument is the critics seem to outnumber the base. A lot of people who once disliked the NFL protests suddenly see their value, or at least can muster some sympathy for them.

Which is why the number one hashtag on Twitter overnight and today has been #TakeTheKnee.

That even NFL owners who supported Trump and even donating to him are not happy with the so-called president's whines.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who previous called Trump a very good friend, said he was "deeply disappointed by Trump's comments."

"I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal.... Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is impactful."

At today's Detroil Lions game, not only did the team take the knee, so did singer Rico Lavelle when he finished singing the national anthem.

Donald Trump loves to cause division. It diverts attention from his misdeeds. So the more we argue among ourselves, the more he loves it. He started another big argument. And he did it classlessly, as usual, by using words like "bitch" and such.

It seems people are still more united than he would like. A few Trump partisans are appalled by the NFL protests, yes, but most of us are watching the First Amendment at work at NFL sidelines of all places.

That's a great thing to watch.

Guess that makes me a proud bitch!

Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.

To be clear, Colin Kaepernick's "crime" is protesting systemic racism and police brutality. Trump called him a "son of a bitch" tonight.

Trump on Kaepernick: son of a bitch!

Trump on Nazis: they're bad but like lol idk 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Guy Smashes Windows And Gets Instant Karma

Not entire sure if the video in this post is legit or fake or real, but it proves the adage that sometimes instant karma can strike sooner than you'd think.  

Judging from the comments in Polish, I think this happened in Poland. Not sure when. Some idiot decides to randomly start smashing out shop windows.

Another guy tries to stop him, but the window smasher almost beats up the the guy who tried to stop him. The guy who tries to stop the vandalism backs off and appears to be calling police on his cell phone.

The window smasher continues his handiwork, and then, decides to run away. And then.........

Watch the video:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Worst Campaign Ad Ever? Here's A Contender

A scene from perhaps the worst campaign ad ever
The video at the bottom of this post could be the worst campaign ad ever. And a lot of people agree with me. 

Democrat Dan Helmer is running for a U.S. House seat in Virginia.

So he put up an ad that is a parody of the scene in the movie "Top Gun" in which Tom Cruise sings "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' to Kelly McGillis in a bar, and then everybody in the bar joins in.

Here, we have Helmer in the bar singing "You've Lost That Centrist Feelin." to an actor playing his opponent. Rep. Barbara Comstock.

Yeah, it's as bad as it sounds. Watch if you dare:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Simon And Garfunkle Parody Sum Up Trump

Quite a little Simon and Garfunkel parody here
Funny, I don't remember the classic Simon and Garfunkle song "Sounds of Silence" starting this way:

"Hello darkness my old friend  
It's time for him to tweet again. 
but first he'll have to check in with Fox news
'cause that's the only place he gets his clues..."

Yep, the song has been reworked for the Trump era. It's done by the Parody Project, who have a YouTube channel featuring classic songs redone and parodied to tweak our tweeting president.

Some more sample lyrics:

"That's how things get planted in his brain
where they remain'
and it confounds the science.
The problem is he's not alone
He tweets to people on the phone
that global warming is a giant hoax
perpetrated by the liberal folks
and he hires people that all think the same
that play his game
and it confounds the science."

Here's a couple of Simon and Garfunkle Trump parody videos from this outfit. The first is the "Sounds of Silence reworked to become "Confounds the Science" as described above.

Next we have a parody of "The Boxer"

Friday, September 15, 2017

This Smart Dog Knows How To Get Ready For A Walk

This very smart dog named Ziggy knows how
to prepare to go out for a "walkie"
Ziggy the dog insanely loves to go for walks, and when his human companion suggests they take one, Ziggy gets ecstatic.

However, when you go for a walk, you have to take certain things with you.

Ziggy is smart enough to know just how to prepare to go outside, as you'll see in the video below.

The video is something like seven months old, but has recently gone even more viral than it was.

Very entertaining:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Alex Jones Is Looking To Hire. Sane People Need Not Apply

Would you work for this guy? He's hiring. 
I love picking on Alex Jones because he's such an easy target, and let's face it, I'm a bully.

The latest news, as reported in the Huffington Post and other news outlets, is Jones is looking to hire more employees at his batshit InfoWars network.

As the Huffington Post notes, a lot of people had a lot of fun making tongue-in-cheek  "job inquiries" on social media.

Some of my favorites:

--- Does your insurance plan cover chemtrails?

--- I will have my lizard people send uou my resume via chemtrail, as we discussed earlier telepathically.

 --- Do you provide tin foil hats, or do I have to provide my own?

--- Does the commitment have to be court-ordered, or is voluntary commitment sufficient?

--- What is the preferred number of false flag jobs a candidate needs in their resume?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Irma Emergency Sign Language Interpreter Not Up To The Job

The guy in the yellow shirt was definitely not qualified to
be a sign language intepreter duirng an Irma briefing.  
Often during important announcements and press briefings, you'll often find a sign language interpreter there, too, relaying the crucial information to people who are hearing impaired.

In the video you'll see below, the interpreter clearly wasn't up to the job. You'll hear what the Manatee County, Florida emergency manager has to say, and what the sign language interpreter in the yellow shirt was relaying.

For instance, the emergency manager said, "You need to be safe." The interpreter came up with "Need to bear monster."

To be fair to the intepreter, he was not a professional, and he knew it. He was just some random guy who works as a marine rescuer for Manatee County who happens to have a hearing impaired brother.

The emergency operations center asked him to intepret, he said no because he was not qualified enough, but they coerced him into doing it, with disastrous results.  So it's not really the fault of the guy in the yellow shirt.

Advocates for the  hearing impaired said the county should have used the services of a company that provides certified interpreters. One was available, says ABC News.

But here's the video anyway:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

At Least Eight Years Of Selfies Manages To Make Compelling Video

Sometimes, people who take a lot of selfies seem, well, self-absorbed.
Hugo Cornellier of Montreal took a selfie every day
since he was 12 and put them all together in a
really neat video

But in some cases, the whole thing turns out pretty cool.  

Such is the case with Hugo Cornellier of the Montreal area of Canada. Starting at age 12, he took a selfie every day. Through at least this past August. 

Pretty much all of the selfies are of him sitting in front of the computer, a fairly expressionless look on his face in each photo.

In these nine or so years, he amassed 2,500 or so of these selfies. 

Cornellier then compiled them into a really cool video. The video starts with him, age 12 as I said, boyish and young, and passes through time as beards come and go, haircuts grow long and short. 

One of the fun things about the video, which you can see at the bottom of this post, is the changes in the hair. It looks like he's being windblown a bit. 

To make the video cooler, he manually stabilized the images so that his face is in the exact center of the video's frame, according to  Even as the background shifts, Cornellier is in exactly the same spot. 

The video ends nicely with the day he got married, and those photos are a departure from the 2,500 others. There's just a few images of enjoying his big day with his new bride.

Here's the video:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Gays Did It

This wacko says Texas was devastated by
Hurricane Harvey because The Gays Did It.
I notice this repeatedly with every disaster.

The religious nutjobs all blame The Gays whenever there's a calamity. It's like clockwork.

It's as much of a cliche as TV reporters getting blown away while yelling into a camera on a hurricane-blasted beach.

We saw "The Gays Did It" with Hurricane Harvey and we'll surely see it if Hurricane Irma turns out as bad as feared.

Here's an account from Right Wing Watch:

"Extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson is joining other radical religious right activists in declaring that Hurricane Harvey is God's judgment on Houston and other cities the refuse to repent for their embrace of 'sexual perversion.'.....

"....Swanson said it is no coincidence that Houston was hit by this storm because 'it was persecutiving pastors and churches' and recently had a 'very, very aggressively pro-homosexual mayor. On top of that, the Texas legislature recently failed ot pass a bill 'that would have prevented cross-dressing men from using the women's restrooms' because 'they wanted to encourage the abomination of men attempting to dress lie women and women to dress like men.'"

Phew! That's a lot to unpack.

I'm sure Swanson and his ilk are too snowflakey and just plain flakey to sit down with someone to see if we can pick apart their logic.

But I would love to get in the same room with him and force him to answer these questions:

If God hated the former lesbian mayor of Houston, why now with the flood? She's not the mayor anymore.

Surely, some of Harvey's victims did not vote for that former mayor and some probably supported the failed "bathroom bill" in Texas in which transgendered people would have been prevented from using restrooms that go along with their current gender.

So why were your allies victimized by Harvey and by extension God, Mr. Swanson?

The Harvey flooding and devastation was, if anything, even worse in Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas. Those cities are pretty conservative and I think neither ever had a gay mayor (but I could be mistaken)

So why the suffering in Port Arthur and Beaumont?

Why is it always The Gays that prompt God to unleash disasters on unsuspecting cities? Why doesn't God also smite cities that have adulterers, liars, sinners, etc. Only the Gays. Makes me suspect you think God might be a self-loathing closeted gay person. Is that what you think?

Today, Right Wing Watch told us about another loathesome "preacher," Jim Bakker, who used Houston to say The Gays Did It and to hawk his line of survivalist products.

Hey, nothing like making a buck off of God's imagined wrath, right?

All this is meant to get the general public to hate gays, because The Gays seem to be causing one cataclysm after another. I can't believe that these purveyers of The Gays Did It don't realize that nobody is buying it, and everybody is laughing at them.

Probably even God is laughing at them at this point.

Even people who don't really believe The Gays Did It rejoice in bringing it up. The odious Ann Coulter got a lot of heat after Harvey when she Tweeted:

"I don't believe Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that's more credible than 'climate change.'

Okey dokey.

The former Houston mayor, Annise Parker responded via Twitter: "Darn it, I thought no one knew I had super power over weather."

As a gay guy, I wish I did have such power.  I want to be one of the gays among those Gays Who Did It. Of course I would never want to unleash a disaster on anyone, including these weird "religious" nutcases. Nice weather for everyone, but with enough well-timed rain to prevent droughts.

I'd make exceptions, though. For the Gays Did It preachers and hucksters and swindlers, I would impose on them a lifetime of  low, dark overcast, fog and freezing drizzle. And nothing else.

There's plenty of real-life blame to go around for weather disaster. It's legitimate to blame the randomness of nature, bad luck, poor planning and development decisions, recklessness, even global warming.

We all know that most of us wouldn't want to make deadly disasters worse than they already are. Most of us have an impulse to help, which explains the many millions of dollars from so many Americans that are pouring into Texas for hurricane relief.

A few people like to make things worse, though. Or at least more bizarre. Like The Gays Did It crowd.

They're their own weird little disaster.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Gospel At Hurricane Shelter Is Just The Right Light In Moment Of Darkness

Victoria White (in the white dress) gave Hurricane Harvey
evacuees a needed and incredibly helpful dose of gospel
this week in Houston. 
Sorry I haven't been around much on this here blog thingy. I've been focusing on Hurricane Harvey on my sister blog, Matt's Weather Rapport.  

Today, I'm back with, well, a Harvey update.  

In a video that's gone totally viral, a group of gospel singers led by a woman named Victoria White lifted spirits in a Houston-area evacuation center. 

I'm definitely not a religious man, but you've got to find comfort where you can. Kudos to Victoria White for providing this totally needed dose of medicine to a roomful of people who had just reached the lowest point in their lives.

The video of what happened is below. (Kleenex alert with this one.)  Notice how the people in the shelter join in on the song. They all needed that.

After the video went viral, White had the following to say. Again, I'm not religious but this woman speaks the truth!

"I had no ide this was being recorded, but God had a plan!... Not only did He want to love on those gathered in Lone Star Expo Center who suffered loss at the hands of Hurricane Harvey, but He wanted to love on people across the world who were dealing with tbier own personal storms! That's the kind of loving God we serve - the kind who is equally concerned for the masses and the individual."

I'm not trying to get political here, but if I did believe in a God, White's version is the one that seems closest to reality. And not the God some so-called religious leaders espouse.

Thank you, Victoria White and the rest of these gospel singers. You brought a glimmer of joy to the people in Houston who needed it most. And we all need a glimmer of joy now and then even if our lives are going pretty well.

Well done,  Victoria!

Here's the video:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Already! My Fifth Wedding Anniversary. Happy Times Fly By

Jeff and I marry, August 26, 2012.
Here's an open letter to my husband Jeff to note our fifth wedding anniversary which is today.

Dear Chief:

They say time flies when you're having fun, and as far as I'm concerned our marriage proves it.

I can't believe it's already been five years since we got married. Life goes by fast, especially when I have somebody like you in my life to make it so awesome.

I've learned to savor every day, as I know things will keep whipping by us, even as we settle further into the wonderful routines of marriage.

Big life events blindside us every now and then. We both lost our fathers since we've gotten married. I lost a job, gained another. We've watched each other gradually turn a little older. We deal with our mini-crises that all couples face. The furnace breaks. We need a new roof.

We manage.

We manage because you're always there to keep me propped up. Since Day 1, you've been the one to steady me when I worry too much, or when I wrongly begin to see my glass as half empty.

Because with you, my glass is always full to the brim. And I'm not talking about the glass full of beer I sometimes have in the evening.

What's full is my life. With you. It's unimaginable to think what I would be like right now if you hadn't come into it.

You remember when we first started dating  all those years ago I resisted.  You persisted. Thank God you did.

This will sound odd, but as I resisted you way back then, thinking I didn't deserve someone as fine as you, lyrics from an old Eagles song kept nagging at me.

"You'd better let somebody love you before it's too late."

So eventually, I popped the question. And on August 26, 2012, we married. Thanks to you, it wasn't too late. It wasn't too late to be in love, to have you, this big hearted, kind, strong, smart, compassionate loving man in my life.

You know I'm grateful every day.

Five years in, we are kind of an old, married couple, aren't we?  You've remodeled the house to truly make it a beautiful, comfortable home. I'm coming along nicely with the garden projects outside.  You inspire me to spread beauty, so I'm just going to keep planting those flowers until I'm no longer capable of doing so.

The dogs bark, telling us they're hungry, so we feed them. Then we all go out for a dash around the yard. All great moments in life, again because you're there with me.

In the evening, we sit in front of the TV, gnashing our teeth in anger when Rachel Maddow explains the latest Washington scandal, or we marvel at the teenage ventriloquist on "America's Got Talent," or thrill to the athletes on "American Ninja Warrier."

All routine stuff. But really, it's not routine. Because you're sitting there with me.  It's all something to embrace and savor. I lose my concentration with what Rachel is talking about - it's not important anyway. because you're there.

So I sit on the couch and stare at you as you sit in your nice big easy chair. And I  think about how empty my life would be by comparison if you weren't taking the journey with me.

Yes, this message was mushy and gooey and oh so sticky sweet, but it had to be said. I also understand this message is similar to the one I gave you last year on our anniversary.  I feel the same as last year toward you, only even more so.

You've made me a much better man, and nothing compares with the joy of being in love with you.

Happy anniversary, Jeff!  I feel so lucky to love you more and more each day.

Love, Matt

Thursday, August 24, 2017

This Is The Most Unflappable New Anchor You'll Ever See

Over in Britain, ITV anchor Alastair Stewart interviewed a mother about her childrens' milk allergies.

One of the toddlers took over the set. Stewart was incredibly calm in the storm. If he was able to do his job amid this chaos, he can do anything.

Watch this viral video. It's funny:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Watching People Watch The Eclipse Was Part Of The Fun.

People watch Monday's solar eclipse at Burlington,
Vermont's waterfront park. 
Up here in Vermont, we didn't get a total eclipse of the sun yesterday. Just a partial one.

It was still neat, but of course not as wild as being in a total eclipse.

The most fun up here was watching people watch the eclipse.

I went down to Waterfront Park in Burlington to find a festive atmosphere as the eclipse got under way.

It was a hazy day, with smoke from Canadian forest fires giving a brassy hue to the light. As the eclipse progressed, obscuring up to 60 percent of the sun, the hazy blue sky took on a grayish tint.

A woman looks through a hastily made contraption to
view the solar eclipse Monday in Burlington, Vermont.
The brassy light became kind of a sickly yellow tan.

Sounds awful, but it was fun, as people in the park peered through eclipse glasses or watched the spectacle through home-made cardboard contraptions.

I didn't have either of those things, so I was content to duck under some trees, and watch the dappled sunlight that passed through the leaves of the trees form crescent shapes as the eclipse developed.

There was some of the inevitable price gouging. Somebody was selling eclipse glasses for $20 a pair at Waterfront Park.

As you can see from this post, people had a lot of fun. It was an excuse for an impromptu party.

An entrepreneur sells eclipse glasses
for $20 a pop in Burlington Monday
Scroll down for a couple more photos.  

A man enjoys the view of the solar eclipse,
safetly behind special glasses, at Waterfront
Park in Burlington, Vermont Monday

Monday, August 21, 2017

Surprise! White Supremacists Are A Bunch Of Doofuses.

The best thing we can do with our current crop of young
American Nazis and white supremacists is
mercilessly mock them. 
What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month is no laughing matter, but you can't help but mock some of those white supremacists who caused such havoc.

Mockery is one of the best ways to erase the so-called legitimacy of awful subsets of people like that, and luckily, the white supremacists make it easy.

Chris Cantwell, was caught on film by Vice in Charlottesville, talking tough about how he doesn't think Donald Trump is racist or anti-Semitic enough because he let his daughter Ivanka marry a Jewish guy - Jared Kushner.

Cantwell is later seem sobbing like a little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar because he feared he might be arrested for his actions in Charlottesville.

Too bad, baby. You gotta own what you do.

Fun fact: Cantwell was also part of "Free Keene Squad" a few years back in which he and his fellow band of "saviors" harassed parking meter readers in Keene, New Hampshire for some reason.

We also have the reporting on how the white supremacists are taking DNA tests, you know the ones you can get through outfits like, the ones that tell you what your background is.

These idiots took these tests to prove their ever so white, non-Jew bonafides, except the tests keep proving the morons have Jewish and African blood in them.

Bummer, dude.

This past weekend, we had the humiliation in Boston, when the alt-right wingers held their so-called Free Speech Rally. Something like 30 of them showed up, compared with, oh, I don't know, 30,000+ counterprotesters.

Talk about being outnumbered!  An organizer of the Free Speech rally said it kind of fell apart on them.

Ya think?

For a closer, let's watch two videos to send our white supremecists on the way. The first, by Sandy and Richard Riccardi, is a sweet song called "Tiki Torch Nazis," to commemorate the idiots in Charlottesville more than a week back.

The second shows how a tuba can really deflate a Nazi march.

First, "Tiki Torch Nazis"

Now, even better, is the tuba. Video is from a couple years ago, but still relevant. The "Flight of the Valkyries" is a nice touch:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

No, The Eclipse Won't Poison Your Food And Won't Mean You're About To Die

If you haven't heard that a total solar eclipse is going to cross the United States on Monday you really have been living under a rock.
No weird space aliens or anything are going to
get you during the eclipse, so relax

Everyone who has seen such an eclipse says it's just an amazing experience as the darkness descends. It is otherworldly, and probably for some a little scary. That's understandable.

What isn't quite as understandable is the beliefs some people still hold about eclipses. NASA felt compelled to put out a fact sheet to debunk some popular theories as to what might happen.

For one, you won't go blind during the eclipse, unless you insist on looking directly at the sun as the eclipse unfolds.  Some people apparently think blindness happens just if you're in the path of it, ignoring all the people who remained just fine and eagle-eyed after they experienced an eclipse.

Then there are wackier notions. An eclipse is really just a shadow. The moon gets in the way of the sun, so you can't see it, and things go dark. It's that simple.

So, no, there won't be any strange, dangerous radioactive or cosmic rays killing us, poisoning our food if you prepare it during an eclipse, or killing your fetus if you are pregnant. So fix that sandwich during the eclipse and if you're a mother-to-be, go out and look at the event. Your kid is going to be fine.

I can understand that in ancient times, before we understood what eclipses are, that people would think the world is ending, or that something bad was about to happen. After all, who'd expect to be out on a sunny day and then the  sun suddenly decides to gradually fade to black. Pretty weird, huh?

Still, a few people nowadays have a bad experience shortly after an eclipse and think the celestial event caused it. When really the bad experience was just random bad luck.

So no, if you get sick after the eclipse, it's probably because you used spoiled mayonnaise when you made that sandwich during the eclipse.

Eclipse paths are random, and some areas over time have seen them more often than others. Here in Vermont, the last total eclipse hit parts of the state in 1932. A total eclipse is scheduled for northern Vermont in 2024.

Which means a corner of northeastern Vermont will have seen a total eclipse twice within a century.

However, as I listened to VPR yesterday, I learned the poor city of Rutland, Vermont keeps missing the path of total eclipse.

Rutland last had a total eclipse in the 1300s and won't have one again until the 2300s. So about 1,000 years.

Sorry, Rutvegas.

Monday, August 14, 2017

1940s Anti-Fascist PSA's Getting New Attention After Charlottesville

A 1940s-era anti-fascist PSA has become
newly relevant, unfortunately.
Back in the 1940s, as Nazis tried to take over the world, the U.S. government released a bunch of public service announcements and films denouncing fascists.  

Made sense then.

Makes sense now, especially after Charlottesville and when we have a president that pretty much gives a wink and a nod to the Nazis and white supremacists who caused death and heartache over the weekend.

There's a 17-minute version of the film you can see by clicking on this link from The Atlantic. 

There's another video, below, that's a more streamlined version of this very relevant clip.

In both versions of the film, we hear words from a blustery fascist American politician that we are now hearing some version of today:

"I see negroes holding jobs that belong to me and you. Now, I ask you, if we allow this thing to go on, what's going to happen to us real Americans?"

The loudmouth then blames blacks, Catholics, Freemasons and immigrants for the nation's problems.

In the clip, a young man is almost persuaded by the rhetoric until the idiot speaker mentions Freemasons, as he's one.

Then a man with an eastern European accent - an immigrant from Hungary who became an American citizen - schools the younger man on just how dangerous this rhetoric is.

The clip should be required viewing for all of us. Here it is:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Charlottesville: When White Supremacists/Nazis Snowflakes Turn Violent

A striking image from Charlottesville today: A black
cop trying to keep the peace while racists and the
KKK rally behind him.
It's a horrible day in Charlottesville, Virginia as a bunch of white supremacists and Nazis descended into town, and as of 1 p.m., there had already been violent clashes between these turds and counter-protesters.

Many of the so called white nationalists (read complete ass wipes) are toting guns, so it'll be a miracle if nobody gets killed.

I'm technically a target of theirs, too. Yeah, I'm a white guy, but I'm also gay. Last I heard, some of these jerks were chanting "Fuck you, faggots," at counter protestors. 

The Nazis that descended on Charlottesville last night with torches was a nice touch, too. Nothing like a good old revival of the violent KKK to cheer things up, right?

It does take two to tango, and if there is violence and fights, it's the fault of both the KKK types and the counter protesters.

However, the white supremacists are the aggressors here, and the stupidest people are the ones that think they'll get their way through violence and intimidation. Exhibit A of this stupidity is on full display in Charlottesville today.

And everybody, please start calling them the alt.right. They're not cool, like or alt.whatever hipster trend is out there.

Call them what they are: white supremacists, Nazis, horrible people, whatever.

Meanwhile, we set a low bar for President Trump, so given that low bar, I have to appreciate Trump for condemning the violence today.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has understandably declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville, so that the state can aid in keeping the level of violence down.

Even if Virginia and police manage to keep injuries and destruction to a minimum, that doesn't solve the bigger problem.

We all hear about terrorism perpetrated by Muslims, in America and abroad.

But so far, it seems we Americans have more to fear from white supremacists terrorists than Muslim extremists.

In June, we learned from The Nation Institute's Investigative Fund and The Center for Investigative Reporting's Reveal that most terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between January, 2008 and the end of 2016 where perpetrated by right wing extremists.

The problem is when a Muslim does something hateful, it's called terrorism by politicians and many members of the media. When a white guy does something similar, it's dismissed as just a lone nutcase.

But the database we got in June shows that 115 of the 201 terrorist attacks cited in the report were carries out by right wing extremists. This includes people like the supremacists, militias and "sovereign citizens."

Another 63 cases were done by Islamic extremists, and 19 were from left wing extremists, wuch as ecoterrorists and animal rights militants.

So when you hear ultra conservative snowflakes whine that they're being terrorized by maurading liberals, don't believe it.

The white supremacists can be violent, no doubt about that. But oppressed? Don't think so, bud.  Maybe get smarter, shut your trap when you want to spout hate speech and mind your own business and then you'll be more successful in life.

The reason nobody is hiring you is not because there's a big affirmative action thing going on. They won't hire you because you're a complete turd.

Still, complainers gotta complain. One incident crystallizes this. According to Gizmodo, idiot white guy Richard Spencer, en route to the Charlottesville shindig, said he stopped at a restaurant but they wouldn't serve him. He says it was based on his viewpoints, that he was being treated like African Americans attempting to go to lunch counters in the 1960s.

But the real reason why the restaurant wouldn't serve Spencer is because at the time he stopped by, the eatery wasn't serving anybody. It was morning, and they don't open until 5 p.m. The place was closed.

Restaurants tend not to serve would-be patrons when they are closed, dude.

Anyway, here's hoping the white supremacists in Charlottesville display their extreme dimwittedness today for all the world to see, all the while avoiding this devolve into violence.

However, as I write this, I just learned a car slammed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacists, and there are multiple injuries.

Let's all work together to call out all the white supremacists, expose them to harsh daylight of reason, and watch them wither away.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I like Minions, But Stephen Miller Is The Worst Yet. Thanks, John Oliver

John Oliver's right. The odious Stephen Miller is
really an evil minion.
I'm a fan of the minions from the "Despicable Me" franchise.  

You know what they are: Those googly-eyed cartoon characters that resemble yellow pills and get in all sorts of trouble.

Now I have to re-think my fandom, thanks to John Oliver.

Stephen Miller, the odious, self-absorbed evil Trump aide, really, really looks like a minion, John Oliver points out.

He's right.

Check out this clip of Oliver, which ends inexplicably with footage of an enthusiastic Seattle gardener, I guess to sweeten the bad taste in your mouth left my Minion Miller.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

What If Obama Said What Trump Said?

I hear this a lot: 
This Obama impersonator said things Trump actually said
on Real Time With Bill Maher last night.
The result was jarring

Republicans keep their mouths shut when Donald Trump says something outrageous, but imagine if Barack Obama said the same things. They'd go ballistic.

Bill Maher went with that last night by hiring an Obama impersonator to say some of the things Trump said. It's jarring. But fun.

Here ya go:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Solar Eclipse Of The Heart

Lots of people are getting excited about the big solar eclipse that will cross the nation diagonally from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21.

Most of the rest of us, including us here in Vermont, will see a nice partial eclipse, which will be cool.

To get in the spirit of the event, we have a great parody of Bonnie Tyler's 1983 classic and odd music video of her song "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

This time, though, we get an odd, but fun video, "Solar Eclipse Of The Heart." Totally worth the watch:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mooch And Trump Conduct The Hubris Symphony

UPDATE: New York Times says Scaramucci already OUT as communications direction. Was only named 10 days ago. That was quick! 


In case you haven't seen it, somebody at the Daily Show notices that new former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci and Donald Trump, both New York douchebags, also have the same hand gestures while talking.

As the title of this post suggests, watch the two of them conduct their national disaster.

Here's the video:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Dog Gets Beautiful Sendoff, Military Honors For Service To U.S.

Cena and Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung. Cena, a brave military
bomb sniffing dog, died this week and was given complete
military honors.
I'll start right off that this post has a high Kleenex alert, so get your tissue ready for this one.

We all know that us Americans must really take care to honor our military veterans. It's a cliche, I know,  but an important one. 

This week, proper honors went to a veteran named Cena.

Cena was a bomb-sniffing dog during combat in Iraq, serving honorably and bravely with Lance Cpl Jeffrey DeYoung of Muskegon, Michigan.

According to MLive:

"During that time, DeYoung carried Cena across rivers. Cena kept DeYoung warm during cold desert nights. DeYoung threw his body over Cena's while under heavy fire from the Taliban. And when DeYoung lost seven friends during the course of three weeks, Cena was there to comfort him."

Except for a four year separation, when DeYoung was redeployed separately from Cena, they've pretty much always been together. DeYoung says the companionship has lasted all of his adult life.

For the past three years, Cena and DeYoung were back home in Michigan, still the tightest of military buddies. True brothers in arms.

Recently, Cena, age 10, was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. This tight bond between Cena and DeYoung would have to end, at least in this physical world. Cena had to be euthanized.

Here's what DeYoung wrote on Facebook the day before Cena passed.

"Words cannot convey what I'm feeling and thinking. I want to run away and not face what I must do. But he needs me to be strong and set him free. He has blessed my life with love and admiring.

Because of him, I got to have a family. Because of him, I was able to live. May God forgive me for what I do tomorrow. And may the Lord greet you with open arms and a nice ear scratch.

Goodnight my friend, goodnight my brother. May you rest your head tonight knowing how loved you are and how dearly you will be missed."

In the last of countless acts of kindness DeYoung showed toward Cena, he made sure the dog was given full military honors at a ceremony in Michigan this week.

Cena went for a last ride in an open Jeep so he could feel the wind on his face one last time. Then, Cena and DeYoung boarded the USS LST 393. Cena was euthanized and Taps was played.

Hundreds of mourners turned out to the ceremony.

I think I speak for millions to thank Cena and DeYoung for their service. 

Here's the video:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Guy Barely Escapes Death At The Hands Of Molten Steel Snake

In this scree shot, a guy comes inches from death
from a ribbon of molten steel shooting out
of equipment at a steel factory. Yikes!
Sometimes, in steel plants, a bit of molten steel gets caught on rollers.

This causes more molten steel coming from the furnace to burst out in the form of a long snake like ribbon of hot melted steel that can go anywhere.

Of course, if you're hit by something like this, you're dead.

Watch how close this guy came from dying a really horrible death. It's from December, 2016

H/T Boingboing:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Say What You Want, Extreme Wacko Right Wing Is Imaginative

Liz Crokin has some, um, interesting theories about
the Democratic National Committee.
The people that brought us "Pizzagate" have an even wilder theory now, and boy is it entertaining.

And they're winning the competition to come up with the most far-fetched theories possible.

Pizzagate was the theory early this year that to the wackos, indicated by John Podesta e-mails, that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton were running a child sex ring out of the basement of a Washington DC pizzeria.

Among the other nonsensical parts of this story, the pizzeria doesn't even have a basement.

But, whatever.

Now, they've gone further with their theory of the evils of the Democratic party.

Here's the scoop, as Right Wing Watch tells us:

"Right-wing columinst, commentator and conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin is fully committed to the conspiracy theory that there is a massive global satanic pedophile ring run by high-ranking government officials, powerful business executives and celebrities which regularly engages in the ritual sexual abuse and murder of children."

Right Wing Watch goes on:

"Crokin said that the average person simply cannot comprehend the fact that 'one third of the government' is part of a satanic Illuminati cult that sexually abuses, kills and eats children, but 'that's what these people do.'"

She said all this does seem unbelievable, but the John Podesta emails prove that it's happening. Crokin does not explain how those Podesta emails prove it, but whatever.

It's actually hard to follow how all this grew into Pizzagate and beyond, but this how Crokin's "logic" apparently works. 

The Democratic National Committee emails were hacked during the 2016 campaign, and this included emails to and from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta.

Many of the emails were innocuous and referred to dinner plans, sometimes involving pizza.

Somehow, Crokin and the other right wing wackos decided the word "pizza," particularly the phrase "cheese pizza" was code for "child pornography" since both phrases have the same first letters in their words.

Podesta also communicated with the owner of that Washington DC pizzeria, so the conspiracy was born.

Yeah, I don't get it either.

A lot of other people apparently "get" it, though, as YouTube videos of this theory and social media posts got lots of followers who apparently believe this shit. A guy even traveled up from South Carolilna and opened fire on the pizzeria to stop the child sex ring.

If that many people are that stupid and that gullible, God save us.