Thursday, June 30, 2005

Live 8 Photos: From Awareness to Action

Albert will be covering for Philly Future and his blog, Philly. That's cool enough. But I think this part, selling the photos of Live 8 he takes and donating the profits to charity, is really noble. He says:
Also, as I noted in my post over on Philly Future, I'll be selling prints of some of the photos I'll take at the event and donate the profits to a charity to help make poverty history.
This is exactly the kind of attitude we need to solve this big problem - awareness that moves to action. I'll be in line to buy photos. Rock on, Albert!

George Bush: We must invade Spain now because gay marriage threatens democracy...and democracy is on the march.

Spain legalized gay marriage yesterday. Shortly after the historic 187-147 vote by the Spanish Congress, George Bush gathered his closest neocon advisors in the Situation Room and demanded solutions. "Spain's not all that far from Iraq, right, boys?" was what one source, who asked for anonymity, said the president asked as he kicked off the meeting. The source also said that the president said "We must invade Spain now because gay marriage threatens democracy...and democracy is on the march."

When asked about the private session later, Vice President Dick Cheney growled at reporters something about "F**k off!" and then said "9/11, Osama bin Laden, Iraq, Spain." Cheney, who is the father of a lesbian daughter, said, "Those Spanish think they're so good at fighting. Bullfighting, that is. I always knew they were a little light in the loafers. I mean, who else besides the sickos who want gay marriage would watch men in VERY tight pants carry around a pink cape. That's Queer Eye for the Matador Guy if I ever saw it. And we're gonna kick their fairy asses."

Calls to the SECDEF went unanswered. DEVELOPING.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tom Cruise, Pseudoscientologist, in 30 Seconds

Check out Tom Cruise's pseudoscientologist career going down in flames during his interview with Matt Lauer. TVgasm has distilled this important story down to its 30-second essence. Best. Background. Music. Ever.

George Bush's Speech: Ignorance is Bliss, and The President is a Very Happy Man

President Bush gave a speech last night. Demonstrating that ignorance is bliss, Mr. Bush said about the war in Iraq:
In the past year, we have made significant progress. One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people. In January 2005, more than 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair, and took time on -- and took place on time. We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard, and rebuilding while at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven, but progress is being made.
This panel from Zencomix, which also has background on the Downing Street Memos, is the best summary of the president's speech that I've seen.

UPDATE: Attytood reminds us what the speech was supposed to be about - Iraq. And Will also reminds us that GWB is still trying to link Al Qaeda and 9/11.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Live 8 Drinking Game

This Live 8 Drinking Game on Philadelphia Will Do is brilliant. I'm still laughing.

Liberal hunting permit

Check out this photo of a "Liberal hunting permit" on Blatherskite. Incensed, indeed.

Bush fiddles while Iraq burns

George Bush is on prime time tonight trying to bolster his sagging support. Sure, it's easy to divert the American public's attention away from the quagmire in Iraq with the Social Security "crisis" and other programs-of-the-week. But the fact is that Iraq is a mess. Note to Dick Cheney: This car bomb yesterday in Kirkuk doesn't quite appear to be the work of insurgency in its "last throes."

Last Century Just a Theory, Activists Say

I don't know who wrote this, but it's telling:
A political action group in the state of Kansas is applying pressure on the Kansas State Board of Education to ban any and all references to the twentieth century from school textbooks, a spokesman for the group confirmed today. The move to ban the twentieth century came up in a series of contentious school board hearings this week as the group loudly complained that the state's current textbooks are rife with references to the controversial century, which they say may or may not have happened.

"These textbooks state unequivocally that the twentieth century occurred, as if that were a proven historic fact," said Gordon Lavalier, the group's leader and spokesman. "The simple truth is, the twentieth century is and has always been nothing but a theory." If the group gets its way, starting in the fall of 2005 Kansas students would be taught from newly reconstituted history books that end in the year 1899.

Among students at Kansas City's John F. Kennedy High School, which the group has demanded be renamed William Jennings Bryan High School, reaction to the ban on the twentieth century was mixed.

"If the twentieth century didn't happen, does that mean I have to give up my iPod?" asked junior Carolynn Bevins, 17. But sophomore Zach Golloway, 16, was more upbeat about the news: "If it means that we have to learn a hundred less years of history, that would rule!"

Elsewhere, actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes denied that their romantic relationship was a publicity stunt after a trailer for their wedding appeared in over 3,000 theaters.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Live 8 is in five days

Wear a white band on July 1; Global call to action against poverty

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty is asking for all people concerned about worldwide poverty and hunger to wear a white band on July 1. Any kind of white band. Here are the details.

Tractorcade 2005: Bet you never heard of something like that on the East Coast

I was in "flyover territory" for a few days. My wife's niece was married on Saturday in Iowa and we spent a few days driving halfway across the country. That made me think, "Hey, there's a whole country out there beyond the East Coast." I was born and raised in the Midwest, so I knew that...just a travel note.)

Anyway, one of my wife's uncles told me about a three-day tractor ride he just completed with over 500 other drivers across Iowa called Tractorcade 2005. Honest to gosh, this sounds really cool. They have three major classes, with tractors going either 12, 15 or 18 mph depending on their age and provenance. Drivers travel over 155 miles in three days and are feted in towns across Iowa. My wife's uncle told me he likes the 12 mph class: "You get to see a lot more when you're going slowly," he said. Every once in a while it's good to remember that.

Driving across Ohio this morning

I'm going to create one of those Where in the World is Frank? maps when I get home. I've been in lots of places lately...guess that's not all that different for many weeks, but I'm driving back to Philly from Iowa...yep. Got east of Cleveland late last night. Should be home by mid afternoon. Back to regularly scheduled programming then. And I'll tell you about the Iowa Tractorcade. Really.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ever had a Maid-Rite? It's an Iowa Specialty

Have you ever eaten a Maid-Rite? It's like a hamburger, minus the formed burger part. As they say:
From our humble beginnings of a restaurant owned by a man with a dream of serving great tasting food, the sandwich that was “TOO GOOD TO BE A PATTY” was established. Maid-Rites are cooked in a delicious special seasoning in our special cut of ground beef and served on a warm home-maid bun.
I'm in Iowa for a wedding and decided that I had to have one of the regional specialties. Yummy. (Especially ironic, too, considering I said I'd write about restaurants in New Orleans, New York City, and Amsterdam, which I've visited in the last three weeks. But it's Maid-Rites that make it to the top of my list.)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Tom Cruise: from Movie Star to Freak in 3 Easy Steps

Remember when Tom Cruise was a huge movie star? Like three weeks ago? Now he's a freak. First the Oprah thing on the couch. Then the Katie Holmes proposal in Paris with a press conference two hours later. Now the rambling about Ritalin on The Today Show with Matt Lauer. Crazy.

Check out the Tom Cruise Parse This on The Tattered Coat. Tom's sounding like a nutbag.

UPDATE: You can read the transcript of the Matt Lauer interview here.

Those insipid "We support our troops" ribbons

I drove across most of Iowa today and saw my fair share of those "We support our troops" ribbons on the back of cars. And do you notice that most of them still have their Bush '04 stickers on their cars, too? I wish I had one of those "My troops kicked your troop's ass" kind of sticker a la "My kid beat up your honor student" sticker. There must be something more clever to say. Thoughts?

On another note, I still laugh when I see those ribbons on the backs of cars because of the post on Pax Romano's Ramblings that says, "We support the guy in China selling these idiotic magnets."

More on ADD: What do Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and the Iraq War have in common?

My friend, Vin, sent me this one on the heels of my daily posts about Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Michael Jackson. Most of those posts end with a question: Do you know there's a war going on in Iraq? This comic tells the story perfectly. Cheers, Vince.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Travel season

Okay, I have a 6:20 AM flight to Chicago this morning. Hopefully, I'll have an internet connection and can get back to regularly scheduled programming at iFlipFlop. As a side note, I'm watching CNN at 4:44 this morning...and Lou Dobbs has a piece about illegal immigration. Do you know that the Border Patrol has arrested over 800,000 people at the Mexican border so far this year, including over 98,000 "other than Mexicans." So while George Bush and company are pretending that America is safer, the fact of the matter is that the fox is in the hen house. And now I'll go surrender myself to TSA, where I will be required to show ID to board an airplane even though there are no laws on the books saying that I must show ID.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Blogging in Bryant Park

I'm in NYC today for a client meeting..and it's a beautiful day. I'm sitting in Bryant Park using NYC's free wireless ('s, actually). Here's a snap I took of the northwest corner of the park. (Getting used to my new Nikon D70S.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Collective ADD, Part 2

Low Culture has a very interesting post titled Moving On with the subtitle, OTHER SHIT WE'VE ALREADY FORGOTTEN ABOUT BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT IT WAS BEST TO MOVE ON IN THE CULTURE WARS, THE WAR ON TERRORISM, ETC. It's a chilling read. But, hey, I wonder what's happening with Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson today?

Play The Tattered Coat's "Parse This" Game

Head over to The Tattered Coat to play their latest Parse This game.

Iraq War ADD

Just a reminder to myself that George Bush sent us into war in Iraq, where over 100,000 Iraqis and 1,700 American soldiers have been killed. It's easy to forget about the war in Iraq, what with all that news about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and all. I suppose BushCo is counting on Americans having Iraq War ADD. Isn't there something else to watch? I'm bored is what they're counting on. How else can we explain Dick Cheney's assertion that the insurgency is in its last throes?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Straight out of Compton

Have you heard this one? Musical juxtaposition.

Why go outside when we can stay inside...and blog?

This post is the spawn of two posts I enjoyed very much this weekend, this post on Blankbaby about a Schrodinger's Cat t-shirt and one on Blinq titled Gorgeous. All that led me to this t-shirt, the companion piece to Blogito ergo sum.

Um, you can buy the shirt here.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Tag, you're it, said Howard at The Smedley Log

Howard at The Smedley Log tagged me with this book meme. It's good to be a little introspective once in a while. Here are my answers.

1) How many books to I own?
I own more than 1,000 books. One summer I went on a tear and bought over 250 books. I have big blocks of books on certain topics: business management, science, travel writing, fiction, world travel, language study (I'm pretty decent in French, Dutch, and German. I also can read quite a bit in Spanish and Italian...the sum effect of studying Latin for all those years in Catholic school.), journalism, and poetry.

2) Last book I bought?
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. People who are complaining about their jobs being outsourced had better wake up. This book, the follow up to The Lexus and the Olive Tree, says the world is already really small. And complaining won't work. Those who say internationalism is impossible are being passed by those already doing it.

3) Last book that I read?
I just finished A Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I actually read it twice because there were so many statistics in there and I wanted to commit many of those to memory. Bryson is one of my favorite authors, and his book A Walk in the Woods was one of the funniest books I ever read. People don't tend to laugh out loud when others are not around because laughing is a social response - LOL notwithstanding in IM chats - but that book had me rolling on the floor.

4) Five books that have meant a lot to me?
Thriving on Chaos by Tom Peters. This book broke the mold on how to write a management book. Peters was at his zenith at the time this was written, and his ideas were truly revolutionary (and practical). I used a lot of the ideas in this book in my work life.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book was Covey's PhD thesis that synthesized his research about American leaders. And it made sense. Covey brought back storytelling as a way to teach and train American workers.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. "Be in the scene" is a phrase that stays with me still. This book is one I read every few years, and I'm still surprised by my reaction to it and astonished and chilled by the ending. Zen is a true story and a good one about life trajectories.

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve made me gasp the first time I read it. Shreve is a talented writer and this one, in my opinion, is her best.

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. I probably read this book more times than any other one in my life. (I was just mentioning that it's funny how I'll watch my favorite movies dozens of times - The Big Chill, for instance - but tend to read books only once.) I got hooked on science fiction back in the 1960s, when the genre held real promise. (I've since not read much sci-fi...too much time with HiFi, stir fry, and WiFi.)

5) Tag five people who haven’t played.
I'll have to think this one through. Sheryl reads the most of anyone I know, so she'll be on the list. Bill has some varied interests and I think will play along. I'm going to tag Sarah and Mark because they will have some interesting perspectives. And I'll ask The Tuna. I'll post their answers here if they play along.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Terri Shiavo is not dead; or, Jeb Bush is an idiot

I'm watching the CBS Evening News, where the lead story was about Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) and his pandering to the religious wrong. Bush the Idiot gave a press conference today about Terri Schiavo, questioning Michael Schiavo's recollection of when he called 911 - ELEVEN YEARS AGO! Bush says there's a question of when Schiavo called the police and that "there's a gap in when he called." Because these idiots were proven wrong this week when Terri Schiavo's autopsy clearly showed that she was blind and in a PVS, now they're nearly accusing her husband of murder. Bush said, "This needs to be investigated."

GODDAMN BASTARDS. This actually gets me shaky. I cannot believe that they just can't let this go. Wouldn't it be great if Jeb would apply this level of bull-dogging to why his brother has sent over 1,700 American soldiers to their death in Iraq?

Need a reminder of the horrors of war?

I don't have the heart to post the picture. But take a close look at this picture of an Iraqi kissing the corpse of his 10-year-old brother who was killed by U.S. troops. Read the story and look at the picture here.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

What's the difference between a Bactrian and Dromedary camel?

Jennifer Love Hewitt shows her two humps to a Bactrian camel in this AP photo. In other news, Katie Holmes is still the smartest and most fascinating woman alive (according to Tom Cruise and People Magazine), and over 1,700 U.S. soldiers are still dead from the War in Iraq.

One last Terri Schiavo story

Terri Schiavo's brain was found to be the size of a peanut during her autopsy. Blind, too. Her parents' brains were also found to be the size of a peanut. They're blind, too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

All Salute George Bush

You just can't make this stuff up. Here's the George Bush "If you're not with us, then you're against us" salute. From Yahoo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

We went to war because George Bush couldn't spell Afghanistan

From the great mind of my buddy, Bill. He titled this one, "How It Happened."

Michael Jackson Found Not Guilty; Still a Freak

Why does this picture of Michael Jackson remind me of that character on Saturday Night Live who used to put her hands under her armpits and then sniff her fingers? Ah, Eau de Little Boy.

Back in the USSR

Okay, it's the USA, but The Beatles didn't write a cool song like that about the USA, so I'm going with it.

I'll gear up and get posting again in the afternoon. Have to ease slowly into having an unfettered internet connection. It's liberating...kind of like not blogging for over a week. I'm sure I can find something snarky to blog about in a couple of hours. Lots of good stuff to read before that.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Okay, four days without an internet connection is the pits

Ugh...the trip's going well, but I'm going out of my skull without an internet connection. Will have more of one tomorrow...worst thing about blogging is that one week and it feels like you're missing out on the world.

On a side note, I was going to just post an entry a day with the title "Go ask Alice." But then I thought that seemed too nuts (and way too far from the truth...this is a business trip with all the incumbent pressures of working in a foreign country).

Friday, June 03, 2005

Leaving for Amsterdam

I'm leaving for Amsterdam and will be gone for 8 days. And for the first time since iFlipFlop has been in existence, I'm going to walk away from it for a few days as well. I'll blog if I can, but my internet accessibility is shaky at best. I lived in A'dam for a couple years, so it'll be nice to be back for a visit. I'll snap a few pix. Cheers.

Know who this is?

A small and insignificant prize awaits the first person who correctly identifies this woman.

Public service announcement: There's still a war going on in Iraq

George Bush and Co. would like you to forget that there's a war going on in Iraq. It's easy to forget with all that important stuff going on domestically like the Social Security Crisis (hey, where did that go?), the filibuster "nuclear option" (hey, where did that go?), and man-on-dog sex (there's always room for Santorum). Um, 825 innocent civilians and American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since April 28, when the new Iraqi "government" was installed.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Your mother told you it would make you go blind

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all

Go ask Alice
When shes ten feet tall
And if you go chasing Viagra
And you know you're going to stall

Viagra packaging will now include a warning that it can make you go blind. Didn't your mother tell you this years ago?

Quote of the day: Thinking or Prejudice?

A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.
- Edward R. Murrow

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Philly for Change Meetup is Tonight

Philly has the details.

Book Burning by Wingnuts

Spin Dentist at The All Spin Zone has A List of Books, Freeper Style. Creepy to see what the wingnuts consider harmful to our society. The thing they're most afraid of: thinking.