Winning at Google

This evening I noticed that I had a visitor to my blog from Grenada. This was exciting in and of itself, but even better was how they had made it to The Cheese Rind. I encourage everyone to do a google search for wearing a mustache and click on the 2nd result. That's right, #2!

I have moved up to #1.

Sweatering Thru Lunch

It's been a busy morning. As you can see, some things have changed around here. What hasn't changed is my regular double-decker PB&J that I have for lunch almost every day. The double-decker technique (BREAD - jelly - peanut butter - BREAD - peanut butter - jelly - BREAD) was perfected long ago at the Gainesville, GA Super 8 Motel and results in the ideal balance of fillings:breads. I've been bringing this for lunch for about 4 years now. That sounds boring and childlike I guess, but I still look forward to my sandwich (and a yoghurt, and sometimes a fruit of some type) everyday. So I don't see any reason to change my routine just yet.

The Sweater: another in my series of blue v-necks.



Tommy, Your Pants are Ready.

Early on in our relationship Tommy saw me sew a button back onto a shirt of mine. This was during the hallowed days of 420 W. Gorham, so there was probably a Kings of Leon album playing in the background. Also, there's roughly a 45% chance that Rishi was cooking fish in the kitchen and Alex was either on the phone with his crazy ex-girlfriend or on the phone talking about his crazy ex-girlfriend. Anyway, this seems to have turned me into the guy who knows how to sew. Or, alternatively, Tommy's personal seamstress seamster. Over the years I've worked on a number of projects for him, including a jacket of which I'm particularly proud. The latest being these jeans, which had worn out in the "sensitive area".

As you can see I am no master sewer [watch your pronunciation here], but more of a utilitarian one. Besides, I'm better known for my dog covers.

On a related note, is the fact that I mend another man's clothes something I shouldn't share with the world?


The Internets are Stealing My Life

I was screwing around in the blogosphere this morning when I came upon the best Valentine's Day card I've ever seen at suicidefood

Other sites I've wasted time at this morning:

crummy church signs
best of craigs list
Overheard in the Office
A Gallery of Walls
unnecessary quotations


Phone Redox

I was talking to Jobonga last night. During the course of our conversation, in which we both continued to claim that we had nothing to talk about, a couple of familiar topics came up.

1. Scrabulous: This is a big part of our lives right now. I am fairly proud of my record in Scrabulous. Of the 30 games I've completed I have only lost 1, to one Jessica Hindman. Jessica is studying non-fiction writing at Columbia and has the dubious honor of being one of only 2 people in the world that have incited my wrath during a Scrabble game (the other of course being Ms. Moschenross and her defiantly errant use of QUO ). On the other hand, I think I'm probably the only one to have done that to Joanna, I mean jobonga, with the infamous JANITOR play back in 2002. There was no illegality involved in that though, just coercion.

Anyway, this is the final board of my one loss (yes, I take pictures of my Scrabulous boards, just like my Scrabble boards). And it is quite possibly the most amazing scrabble board I have ever been a part of. The center horizontal wasn't crossed until the last 4 plays of the game. Stressful. Most importantly, notice I only lost by 3 points.

2. Ugly People: I saw a cute girl making out with a shockingly ugly boy yesterday on campus. It happened right in front of me and their visual disparity stopped me in my tracks.

3. Sweaters: Joanna still hasn't provided an accurate count of her knits, but after taking stock of my closet this morning I feel much better about my sweater position.



A simple white sweater, in front of my entire sweater collection.


Maps! Coloring! Voting!

Today I present to you a map. One might be tempted to call it a mash-up, but that would imply that there was something technological about. Or maybe that Google was somehow involved. Neither of those is true. What it is is a map of the election wards in Madison (plus Monona, Shorewood Hills, and Maple Bluff), color coded by the percent of the Democratic vote Obama got yesterday, according to the Dane Country Clerk's Office. There's nothing really surprising about this map, except maybe that Obama actually won every single ward in the metro area, and that Maple Bluff was so heavily Obama-ian. I expected more establishment out of them.

I wish I could have cross-referenced this data with voter turn out percentages for Tuesday. Especially since Tommy claims to live in the most civically active ward in the city [state], and I'd like proof of that before I believe him. Unfortunately, that information proved impossible to obtain.


Saturday Night Socks

Today's Saturday Socks features several regular players: Rizzo "The Party" Rat, The Pickle Chair, and my feet. These are the essential players in any good Sock picture. Lately, Rizzo has been riding high (on top of the milk crate that I keep my boxers in) enjoying the downfall of Kermit, who has had his head in the laundry basket since last weekend. Here we are both in The Pickle, Rizzo is trying to take his jacket off, and I'm a little taken-a-back. I'm also wearing a sweater vest.

Currently topping the list of people I would like to sock are the people that seem to have decided that Friday Night Lights will be no more. I need to see when Riggins beats the shit out of the snotty christian kid, when Lyla decides that she likes sex more than Jesus, and Tyra. I just want more Tyra in my life.


Porcelain Sweaters

Here I am wearing a sweater in the bathroom. I'm excited because I'm using my long lost camera again.

If my calculations are correct this is our 17th Sweater Thursday. It is unclear exactly how long this will continue. I haven't counted my sweaters yet, but I estimate I am roughly 65% through them. Joanna recently made a claim that she has not hit the halfway mark yet. This has yet to be substantiated though. I look forward to a forthright and honest Non-proliferation Sweater Summit in which we can discuss these issuses.


Saturday Socks

Today's Saturday socks is brought to you by the letter 'J' (which is a bitch to play off of in Scrabulous), the words Aa and Pahoehoe, and the man who drove us home last night.

I bought these socks at the Puma store in Philadelphia to console me after coming to the depressing realization (again) that Puma doesn't make shoes that my feet fit into. They are a good consolation prize though. Rizzo likes them.

Who I would like to sock: the man responsible for planning the Thriller "tutorial" at Cafe Montmartre last night without including anyone who actually knew the dance. Luckily Fat Albert was there to show us how it was done.

Madison Metro Transit

12:30 AM: Walkout of Montmartre. Hit the Capital.
12:33 AM: "Where are you taking this auto[mo]bile?", Katie said. "Not vary [very] far", said the driver. "Perfect!", said Whitney. Where to? Down the street. Don't mind the MickieD wrappers. Are you a fan of the MD? Yeah well, I really like the $1 chicken sandwich! I like the chick fillet [fish sandwich]. Oh, can we get out here now?

Round 2:
"Where are you going?", "Over by Camp Randall", "Hop in."

[It turns out this guy was going to the East Side. And he had a tire in his back seat. But he still gave us a ride home. And he had the best music of the night. Which he blasted as soon as we got in the car.]

I will never call a cab again as long as I live in the midwest.

[Throwing it Old Skool, and bringin' the random rides to the MSN.]

P.s. Joanna, we had more fun than you. But we would have had more fun with you.


The Postman Always Rings Twice...

Our post arrives reliably sometime between 12:30 and 12:45 PM, Monday through Saturday. Unfortunately I teach a class from 12:05 to 12:55 on Fridays. I assumed this meant that I was going to miss the delivery of my camera today. I did let my students out at 12:45 today, but I still had a 10 minute walk ahead of me. Things did not look good. While trekking home I listened to a mix of Mika, Rhianna, and Alicia to keep my spirits up. And of course 'Mr. Postman' by Lil' Wayne, because it seemed appropriate.I got home to see the mail already in our little mailbox. Inside was a familiar yellow card from the USPS, which I assumed was informing me that they had my camera still. I was dejected. And my feet were wet form the walk home. I went inside, took off my shoes, and found a package by door! My day was looking up. On top of that I found some pictures of this delightful little group on my camera, who I can only assume were involved in its rescue.

The camera is now happily charging on my desktop. It's slightly worse for wear, missing all of the pictures from the night it lost its way, but after 40 days it's home.


Impatient Sweaters

I thought last week would be my last Sweater thursday without my camera back. It wasn't. I postponed pictures this morning hoping the camera would show up with the mail today; it didn't. So the old camera had to be broken out again.

On a more exciting note, this morning I put this sweater on and looked in the mirror. To my surprise I was greeted by a few chest hairs poking out of my collar. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time I have noticed this phenomenon on myself. I have photographed them for you.


I don't like people who think things that I don't like.

Yes, that's correct. If you believe something that I find repulsive or stupid, I judge you for it. I don't like people who don't believe in evolution, I don't like people who are worried about losing the Christ from Christmas, I don't like people who want to outlaw abortion, I don't like people who drive Hummers to their suburban office, I don't like people who don't recycle, I don't like people who think they should be gauranteed the right to own a semi-automatic weapon, I don't like people who abuse children and/or animals, I don't like people who discriminate against the blacks, the jews, the irish, the gays, the womyn, or the Fijian. I also don't like people who think that
a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others
is an ideal place to live. Sorry, but sometimes the good of the whole (be it family, neighborhood, community, state, country, or world) really does outweigh reasonable limitations on your, my, and his rights.

For example, I believe that part of a government's responsibility to its citizens should be access to decent health care. Regardless of whether you happen to have been born in inner city Baltimore, rural Kansas, or Northbrook, IL. Likewise to education. They're basic human rights, and I think it's reprehensible to advocate a system in which they would be provided for soley on a for-profit basis. I'll never be able to understand why it's ok to earn money from the basic education of children, or respect someone who does. And really, having all school systems run off of user fees? Do you really think that the only people who benefit from a well educated society are those who are currently enrolled in school? Education of a community's citizens benefits the community as a whole, and should be paid for by the community as a whole. With taxes.

Then there's the whole trash issue. Have you even been to a country without municipal trash collection? Do you really think that people working low wage jobs don't deserve access to trash collection? Or that a fully integrated, efficient transportation network could ever be built without some type of centralized agency for coordinating large-scale infrastructure projects. Again, have you been to places without one?

I also know that there are huge inequalities in this country. And I don't believe that simply breaking free from the shakles of the "omnipotent state" gives a poor black kid from New Orleans the same opportunities as a well-off, well-educated, well-cared for white kid. I know how the argument goes— smart, motivated, individuals will succeed in any environment; so the rich will deserve their money because of all the hard work they've done, and the poor, well they obviously just didn't try hard enough. Bullshit. Coincidently, as far as I can tell I've never met a self-identifying Libertarian who's not from an upper-middle class suburb.

So that's why I really had something I needed to talk about. The stated goals of the Libertarian Party, as I understand them, are to achieve a society that I find morally offensive. And I wanted to know if I was riding in a car with one. After a discussion, I was satisfied that I was in fact riding in a car with someone who happened to agree with Libertarians on some issues (like having less government interference in drug, abortion, & marriage regulations) but not on the ones that really define Libertarianism as a movement. That is to say: just because you want to decriminalizing marjijuana and prostitution, allow gay marriage, or whatever other personal freedom was the topic du jour does not mean that you're a Libertarian. And it definitely doesn't require the wholesale dismantling of government services that is central the Libertarians platform.

Why is this different than Socialism? Sure, they both may be unrealistic in their purest form, but at least Socialism starts from values with which I agree. Things like citizens in a community bearing a shared responsibility for one another's well-being and workers deserving to share in the distribution of wealth from their work.

So, if you want to not be a Democrat or a Republican, that's fine. It seems like you could find a better label for yourself than Libertarian though, you know, one that actually conveys the values you believe in. Actually, please find a better label for yourself than Libertarian because, like my 9th grade geometry teacher always said, making assumptions makes an ass out of you.


Do you have the skillz?

I will be calculating the correct answer over the next few days. The person with the closest guess will be respected by all as very good at estimating percentages.

Someone got this almost perfect. There were 605 pictures and 268 included a frog (either Kermit or Robin). Which comes to 44.3%. My guess was outrageously high. I don't know who got it right.

OK, Loud seems to be very good at estimating percentages. She seems less able to estimate her political leanings though.


Video Reactions

Umm, don't watch this video. It's grosser than you think it will be.