Monday, March 31, 2008

Charity Begins At Home

The last time I paid to attend a sporting event in Pittsburgh -- or in any major league sports city, for that matter -- Barry Bonds was a trim, muscular athlete wearing a Pirates uniform. It was also his next-to-last home game as a Pirate, and he played like someone who knew he was leaving, was glad to be getting out, and didn't care about the negative impact on his team's performance.

In a way, I know how he felt. I don't feel like giving my all for any Pittsburgh-based sports team, either. I don't even feel like giving a little.

I gave up trying to be a sports fan when I saw millionaires who play games for a living going on strike for more money and benefits. These were men who were known to spend exorbitant amounts of money on big houses, big cars, and in some cases, hedonistic pleasures such as loose women and narcotics. Just as bad as the overpaid athletes were the team owners who were more than willing to pay out huge sums of money in order to keep the superstars on their teams.

Even worse were the fans who spent exorbitant amounts to show their support for their favorite teams. Ticket prices aren't what they once were. No way was I going to cough up the money to subsidize a bunch of rich assholes. Who knows where all of that money might be going?

Here's a clue:

Former Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy donated the legal maximum of $2,300 to Obama's campaign. Penguins board Chairman Mario Lemieux gave an identical amount to Clinton, who has benefited from the longtime support of the Penguins' billionaire co-owner Ron Burkle.
McClatchy and Burkle have been donating to Democrats for years. I wouldn't give my own money directly to Democrats. Why should I give of my meager income to subsidize socialism via the wealthy team owners? They can take their Pirates, and their Penguins, and go to hell.

I have long been an advocate of the "shut up and sing" approach to celebrity politics. If some famous person entertains me and keeps quiet about it, I'm cool with that. If some celebrity I like starts spouting political opinions that differ from mine, or even go so far as to endorse candidates for office, I stop enjoying their product. It's hard to pay to go see a movie, no matter how good the movie might be, when the stars have publicly expressed disdain for people of my ilk. The worst are the idiots who show up in Obama's videos. For a while, I really liked George Lopez. Now I think he's a dickhead. I used to think Scarlett Johansson was hot and sexy. Now I think she's just a pigfaced bitch with wide hips and big tits.

Ultimately, my abstention from direct financial support of these celebrities will make absolutely no difference to them. It won't even register with them. They will still have loads more money than I could ever imagine. I, at least, will have the satisfaction of keeping my money at home, where it belongs, and where I can spend it on my children, the ones who truly deserve it, instead of on overgrown babies who have too much money already.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Obama Could Make Me Lose My Lunch

It's all go here in Pittsburgh this week.

Yesterday President George W. Bush visited the area, at the state Republican party's expense, to raise money for that organization and present an award to a local achiever. (Hmm, she pretty. Nice toes.) Since this tends to be a hostile region for the president, he generally pops in, goes straight to where he is scheduled to be, then quickly departs. The fundraiser was not too far from the airport, so he managed not to disrupt downtown traffic, during rush hour or any other hour of the day. Not even close.

Someone who can count on a sunny reception anytime he swings into town is Senator Barack Obama, one of the few individuals still in the running for the presidency. Pittsburgh Democrats love progressives like Obama. He will be appearing at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland at around 11 AM. By coincidence, I am meeting a friend for lunch right down the street from Soldiers and Sailors just a few minutes afterwards. Early Friday lunches in Oakland are usually quiet affairs. Today I am worried that the hordes of Obama fans will spill out of the Hall (the event has been sold out for days) and look for a nice place to eat. They might show up at the restaurant where I'll be eating. And why not? If you get turned away at the gate, sitting down for a delicious meal in a local eating establishment can provide you with some consolation.

If they get there before I do, they might crowd me right out of the restaurant. No soup for me!

Don't get me wrong. I'm used to being around Democrats. 90% of the time, I am the only Republican in the room. This crowd, coming out for the pep rally, is going to be wearing buttons and waving signs. I just wanna eat lunch! Is that too much to ask?

Obama supporters: Brown bag it! You can get Isaly's chipped ham at local supermarkets. Pack a sandwich and have a picnic on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning. Don't let the rain bother you. It's OBAMA! He's worth it, right? Do it for your Messiah!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Scream For Me, Long Beach!

(This post is dedicated to Learned Foot, who graciously allowed me to retain my place on his rainbow.)

Happy happy joy joy. Sometime this summer, my family will be going on a repeat visit to the locate we visited two years ago. This one should last about a week longer than the last. I expect to be able to spend time lingering around places I was only able to glimpse in passing the last time around. Like, for instance, this unusually painted cylindrical structure near the Pacific Ocean:

I assumed it to be some sort of big aquarium. What else would an oceanside building adorned with depictions of marine life be? Fool that I am, it took me nearly twenty months to figure out what I had photographed from a moving vehicle.

I am ashamed. I should have known what this place was before I saw it live and in person. Here's video footage of the inside:

Yes, it's a mortuary that specializes in ancient Egyptian style funerals.

JUST KIDDING! It's actually the Long Beach Arena, or as I like to call it, the LIVE AFTER DEATH ARENA. I've owned the audio of the show on CD for about sixteen years, and now I want to get the recently released video before I go out there again. It will put me in the mood. I'll get so carried away that I might get arrested for yelling "Scream for me Long Beach!" everywhere I go.

Which would be cool.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Traitorous Bastards

The Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette, this region's biggest left-wing propaganda organ, is celebrating what looks like a major shift in voters' registrations.

On the last day of voter registration before next month's presidential primary, the campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama reached for what they consider electoral gold -- disaffected Republicans.
Oh yeah? Name one.

"I've been a Republican all my life, but the challenges we face are too great to choose a candidate based on party," said Dave Fawcett, a former Allegheny County councilman who changed parties yesterday so that he can vote for Mr. Obama on April 22.

A Republican of more than 30 years who served two terms on County Council, Mr. Fawcett, 49, said it was not easy to switch parties, but "Barack Obama is the only candidate who will be able to break the partisan divide and inspire Americans to come together around real solutions."

I wish I could say that I am surprised or disappointed, but this is par for the course where Allegheny Republicans are concerned. Remember when Republicans won a majority of County Commissioners' seats in 1995? The whole thing collapsed less than halfway through the term. Republican Commissioners Bob Cranmer and Larry Dunn had a falling out, which led to Cranmer registering as an Independent and forming a majority with Democrat Mike Dawida. A few years later, Larry Dunn would change registration and run, unsuccessfully, as a Democrat for another office. What makes it even worse is that Dunn and Cranmer had both served as chairman of the county Republicans. That's the kind of party leadership that makes you lose confidence in the organization. What Republican can take his party seriously if you can't trust the people in charge NOT to jump ship at the first opportunity?

And let's not forget former Allegheny Republican Commissioner Barbara Hafer, who during her run for Governor in 1990 did something that no Republican before or since has convinced me to do: vote for a Democrat. She also turned Democrat a few years back, but no one noticed any difference.

Sic transit gloria Fawcett. I hope he's enjoying the hit off of the great Obama bong.

So how bad is it, really?
As of yesterday, 7,246 voters in Allegheny County have switched parties and registered as Democrats, said Mark Wolosik, head of the county's Elections Division.
Out of the 7,246 jumpers, the Psychosis-Gazette spoke to exactly...two. One is an Obama supporter, the other a Clinton supporter. It also threw in a Democrat Obama supporter who just registered for the first time ever.

Nowhere in this article is there mention of the grassroots movement that encourages Republicans to re-register as Democrats for the primaries in order to vote for Hillary Clinton, based on the assumption that she would be more vulnerable against John McCain in the general. Those voters are going to switch back to Republican after the primary. Probably.

Regardless of who wins the presidency, I want to see an article like this in November, after the election, reporting the number of voters who switched from Democrat to Republican. I'm not holding my breath waiting for it. It's not the kind of news that would make Reg or Tony smile.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Preview From An Upcoming Episode of Battlestar Galactica, Season Four

President Laura Roslin says something to piss off Colonel Tigh during his visit to the Colonial One.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When Will I Die?

Inspired by this post, I decided to seek out and complete an online longevity quiz. I chose this one because it was the first thing to come up in Google.

Perhaps I should mention, for background purposes, that the last -- and only previous -- longevity quiz I took was about 3 years ago, at a time when I was under considerable stress and had not been diagnosed with, and treated for, hypertension. It determined that my life expectancy was something like, "already". I'm sorry to say that I can't recall what that quiz was; if I could, I would take it again to see if I've extended my time on Earth beyond "today".

Considering that I have made dietary adjustments, have been taking medication and supplements regularly, and even thrown in a modest bit of routine exercise, I figured that now would be a good time to test it again.

The results were much better this time around. According to this Life Expectancy Calculator, I ought to be able to live to age 83! That gives me more than half of my lifetime to pay off my debts. And I will probably need it all, too.

If I can lose a few more pounds, I could be looking at age 90. The Grim Reaper seems like a really cool guy, but I'm in no hurry to meet him. Unless he is really a she, and she looks something like this. In that case, Death can not come too soon.