Monthly Archives: December 2004

Belkin's Nazi Gaffe

As you know, I'm moving to Mexico in a few days. Before then, this entire apartment needs to be cleaned and put into storage. Part of that involves me cleaning this dank urine soaked hellhole — sorry, peepee soaked heckhole — of the many boxes of old computer parts that have been converted into pot ashtrays and unceremoniously kicked into hiding under one desk or another.

But in my cleaning, this Belkin “SurgeMaster” case caught my eye. It's not quite an SS logo, but let's be honest — in today's era of cultural sensitivity it's a surprise to see this slip past the graphics department without someone saying, “hey, that makes me a little uncomfortable.”

Anyway, if you've read this far, I suppose the time wasted is your own fault. I warned you in the first paragraph that you're reading the ramblings of a dude surrounded by psychotropic ashes.

Got a Commander Keen tattoo?

[Via rebekah] One of the most popular gaming tattoos I get are Quake tattoos (although 8-bit cool is a growing menace). It's actually something I've wanted to do an article about, but getting people to talk about their Quake tattoos has been difficult, frag now, talk later and all… Anyway, the CEO of id Software is running a “best tattoo” contest. Click the picture for the full details:

Short version; email a copy of your id (Quake, Doom, Keen, etc.) tattoo picture to with the subject set as “TATTOO” so it gets filtered correctly. Winner gets something or other.

Shirt ideas… anyone?

Still scratching my head on what to do for an end-of-the year shirt… Jon suggested I use Chinese revolutionary clipart to get inspired. Unfortunately that's no more doing it for me than czech book covers or sitarsploitation album covers. So once again… if anyone has any bright ideas…

Lake Ontario Fog

I think on the whole winter is a thing I will miss, at least after a while in Mexico, where the bottom of the Baja barely deviates ten degrees yearly. It's not so much the cold I'd miss as the visuals… Snow of course, but more so subtle things like fog over an almost freezing lake. I tried to take a picture of it off the balcony; it's not entirely easy to photograph through a pair of binoculars!

LED lights are the way to go

I was reading earlier about how light emitting diodes (LEDs) are now able to replace incandescent lightbulbs in most situations (more) — not only are they brighter, but they consume less power and create far less pollution. As a point of trivia, if you could change all the lightbulbs in America to LEDs, you'd save enough money to give every American that wanted it a “free” university education. Plus it would allow America to shut down 17 power plants… there are an endless number of “little” things like this that could revolutionize the way people live.

Not that they will ever happen, or at least not any time soon. I think that people in America (and probably people everywhere in the world), don't see very far out of their own class — to illustrate, did you know that between ten and twenty million Americans still don't even have telephone service (more) due largely to poverty (to make it worse, often in geographically harsh regions — although if it can support a ski chalet, no amount of money will stop phone service from getting there). As a point of trivia, there is virtually no home in America that does not have a TV… not that watching TV helps lift people up out of the darkness. That clip is from CNN and Fox — if that's what's being presented as journalism, how are people supposed to become informed?

But then, some people just don't want to be helped… Religious sensibilities have gotten so out of whack that homeless shelters are turning down donations because they come from “the wrong kinds of people” (more). Yeah, I'm sure that guy fresh back from Iraq (more) would rather be homeless than take money from strippers with hearts of gold. I mentioned last week about Bush getting behind the ban on gay books (more; I guess the business bans aren't effective enough), but I wanted to mention another Alabama story.

As you know, courthouses were told that they couldn't put up monuments of the Christian ten commandments. So now these nutcase judges are printing the ten commandments on their robes as a general “fuck you” to the heathens (more).

[Judge] McKathan told The Associated Press that he believes the Ten Commandments represent the truth "and you can't divorce the law from the truth. ... The Ten Commandments can help a judge know the difference between right and wrong."

[Former Alabama Chief Justice] Moore said Tuesday he supports McKathan's decision to wear the Ten Commandments robe. "I applaud Judge McKathan. It is time for our judiciary to recognize the moral basis of our law," Moore said.

If you want an ancient basis for law, you don't have to look at the Judeo-Christian mythos — ever heard of Hammurabi? In any case, as far as I'm concerned, as soon as a judge starts sayingh they're ruling on cases based on superstition, they should be instantly and without question fired.

Did you know that at this point over a million Americans have served tours of duty in Iraq (more), and that a third of those have been asked to serve more than one tour? Understand that number. Understand that the casualty rates (as in kids having their hands blown off) are higher than they were in Vietnam. I read a lot about how the kids dying in Iraq are just there to escape crappy lives in America and maybe get money for school… this story illustrates all too well how you can't cure one wrong with another.