I don’t think “better late than never” applies

White House admits fault on ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent

(04-30) 18:14 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) —
The White House said Wednesday that President Bush has paid a price for the “Mission Accomplished” banner that was flown in triumph five years ago but later became a symbol of U.S. misjudgments and mistakes in the long and costly war in Iraq.

Thursday is the fifth anniversary of Bush’s dramatic landing in a Navy jet on an aircraft carrier homebound from the war. The USS Abraham Lincoln had launched thousands of airstrikes on Iraq.

“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” Bush said at the time. “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on.” The “Mission Accomplished” banner was prominently displayed above him — a move the White House came to regret as the display was mocked and became a source of controversy.

After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the “Mission Accomplished” phrase referred to the carrier’s crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the “Mission Accomplished” message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship’s crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

“President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished’ for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday. “And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year.”

The headline on this article makes it sound like the White House admitted that they had put the banner up to refer to the Iraq war; in fact, the White House simply lied again, putting forth the ridiculous story that the banner was meant to refer to the carrier crew. Total, unmitigated bull. And the dig at the end — blaming it all on the media — is designed to ridicule anyone who points out the administration’s hubris.

Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Why are gas prices so high? Must be because of god. Maybe if we sacrifice a few goats he will make more of it.

The end came so quickly we didn’t even notice

I’m in the mood for bulleted lists today.

  • The bees are all disappearing.
  • Costco is rationing rice, oil and flour because of dwindling supplies; shortages and skyrocketing prices.
  • The dollar is rapidly becoming worthless. It is no longer cost-effective to farm out our manufacturing to China, nor our customer service to India.
  • Our mad idea that we should use food for fuel means that corn is in short supply and prices are way up; this means that farmers wanting to cash in are planting corn like crazy and not other staples.

My prediction? Soylent Green makes its real-life debut within a few years.

I guess this appeals to the few die-hard nuts still voting Republican

So, John McCain’s brilliant idea: suspend Federal gas taxes for the summer.
Seriously, does anyone think this is a good idea — or that it will help anyone?
Let’s see. The Federal gas tax is 18¢ per gallon. He wants to suspend that from Memorial Day through Labor Day, a period of three months.
Now, let’s rip it apart.

  • Let’s say I have a typical car, it gets 25 miles per gallon and I fill it up once a week. At $3.90 a gallon for 10 gallons, I pay $39. For three months, I’d only pay $37.20. Whoa! I’m swimming in savings!
  • Of course, gas prices won’t be going down during those three summer months. So the odds are that I’d be paying more than $3.90 a gallon by that time anyway.
  • McCain claims that there will be enormous economic stimulus with this tax suspension. Does he really think that I’m going to take my $1.80 in savings and plow it back into, say, housing? And does he really believe that in the space of three months the costs of food and other commodities affected by gas prices will readjust downward?
  • The cost of this boondoggle would be something on the order of $9-10 billion. Gosh, for a man who wants to stay in Iraq for a hundred years, he’s forgotten that those kinds of occupations cost lots of money.
  • In an era where bridges are falling down, he wants to take $9 billion out of the funding for infrastructure?
  • et cetera.

This kind of fiscal aptitude makes George W. Bush look like a whiz kid.

Unless they get Dana Carvey back

It occurs to me that if Hillary Clinton should become president, it means that another glass ceiling will be shattered for women: female comedians will finally be in demand in political satire to play the president!


Sometimes I encounter something in Mac OS X –especially since the update to Leopard — that is bizarre or counterintuitive. Like this message, which immediately reminds me of the kind of error I’d expect to find in Windows:

Gosh, no wonder I couldn’t access the movie I wanted… my Internet connection is online!

It’s the planet’s time of the month

I’ve espoused my earthquake theory before — that notable earthquakes always happen in the middle of the month — and April was no exception.
The earthquake that hit Southern Illinois this morning was a 5.2, not quite as strong as the one that hit in October only a few miles from my house here in San Jose; but it was felt over a wide area (as far as Florida) by people who don’t ordinarily expect to be jolted out of bed.
Now I’ll have at least 2 relatives who understand why I was so — well, shaken — by the 5.6 earthquake in October. As I told my cousin Kirk in Southern Illinois, he’ll now enjoy the game of “feel a vibration, run to the USGS website.”
And the middle-of-the-month theory? Today’s the 18th. April 18th. The 102nd anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake.

[Update, April 19: Oh, and we had three earthquakes here in San Jose yesterday as well. Ranging from 2.6 to 1.2, they weren’t even worth mentioning.]

At least I haven’t blown myself up yet

After my heart attack nearly two years ago now, I was given nitroglycerin with the instructions that I was to use one of the tiny pills if I experienced chest pains. The little 0.4mg tablets come in tiny brown vials, each holding 25 pills. I was given four vials, for a total of 100 tablets. I carry a vial around with me in my laptop bag.
It never occurred to me to ask: if I should only use one tablet, and then go to the emergency room immediately after, how pessimistic were my doctors in giving me a hundred tablets?
They expire in August. I’ve never used them. So I guess one of the questions I’ll have at my cardiologist appointment next month is, “should I refill this prescription?”

The website that watches you back

I was perusing my server logs today. Here’s some of the amusements to be found within:

  • There are tons of people, mostly in MySpace and various forums, who are hotlinking directly to images here on my blog. I’m being slammed, bandwidth-wise, by all the image links so I took some action today. There are bunch of MySpace profiles and the like today which have amusing little “I’m a bandwidth hog” messages on them.
    To some extent, I blame MySpace for this. That crappy site encourages people to leech off of others because the culture there, for some reason, leads people to fill up comment forums with images, the cheesier the better. And none of these images are ever hosted on MySpace’s servers — oh, no. They encourage users to hotlink to other people’s servers, thus making money while others pay for bandwidth. I wonder if there is some way to block image requests from MySpace pages?
  • There are some pretty bizarre search terms leading people here. For instance, so far this month the top search word that brought people to my site was “Kevin.” Wha?? First off, what kind of person just searches for “Kevin” rather than a full name? What are they expecting to find?
    Other top search terms include “Juliana Margulies”, an actress I know nothing about and never wrote about other than posting a “The More You Know” PSA. The #4 top search was “Cowan,” which at least makes some sense, and that’s followed at #5 with “DC Metro Map.” But then #6 is interesting: “kinky ideas.” I can certainly understand why people might search for some kinky ideas to liven up their Friday night; but I’m afraid they’re going to be sorely disappointed when they end up here.
  • My site is designed to look really nice in Safari, since that’s the browser I use and frankly, this site is for me when it boils down to it. But it turns out that only 3.7% of the visitors are using Safari. 17% are using IE 7, and 16% are using IE 6; something like 7% are using Firefox. I think you guys should switch over to Safari. Really. It looks so much nicer.

Goodbye, Minute Rice

Aside from the Mexican rice my grandmother would make, I’ve only ever had instant rice at home. Eh, what’s the difference? Boil some water, throw some rice in, and voila.

We need some of those bird stickers

So there I was, getting my morning coffee in the break room. I started to walk toward the door with my steaming, full mug of coffee when a colleague called after me to ask a question; I turned to answer and then continued on my way… and instead of walking through the door, I walked into the floor-to-ceiling glass window beside the door.
It was a sitcom-worthy moment, but without the laugh track.
Excuse me while I go home to find a clean shirt and jeans.

Clean the bathroom and wash the linens, George

Headline on SF Gate:

President Prepares for Pontiff

Bush is pulling out all the stops for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Washington, D.C., including picking him up at the airport.

Hope he remembers that he has to meet him after he emerges from the secure area. Hope the Pope isn’t flying on American.