Archive for April, 2005

Invade Canada!

Posted: April 19, 2005 in Uncategorized

With sardonic wit, I suggested in an email this morning that I favor invading Canada next. Late this evening, I’m thinking that it’s a great idea…but in a different way and for a different reason.

You might recall the ChoicePoint debacle last month. You might have heard of the very recent debacle about LexisNexis. These credit agencies admitted disclosure of personal information for literally hundreds of thousands of US citizens (perhaps more), and info that is now known by (possibly nefarious) people who either paid for it or stole it outright from them. These credit agencies know EVERYONE, they know every shred of financial evidence of every single person in this country, so if you bought a house, or a car, or even just applied for a credit card, you must now must watch your credit statements and get credit updates at least twice a year to be sure that someone else who now has your SS number isn’t racking up tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges in your good name, and ruining your future in the process.

Yeah, that kinda sucks. In comparison, it makes the whole "internet security" thing people constantly b!tch about look like a seven-year-old girl complaining that the ickiest boy in class kissed her on the tetherball court during recess.

But if that wasn’t enough, the lone government agency that every single US citizen hates with every fiber of their being has made the ultimate fvck-up: they made your private information as public as an off-the-wagon Ben Affleck at a Vancouver strip club.

That’s right, kidz…the Internal Revenue Service, the entity which requires you to fill in your SS number and frequency of recurring genital warts you suffer with every tax filing you submit throughout your life for eternity every April 15th, has made your personal information as available as a veteran NFL running back.

Quote: The Internal Revenue Service also is unlikely to know if outsiders are browsing through citizens’ tax returns, because it doesn’t effectively police its computer systems for unauthorized use, the Government Accountability Office found.

Ouch. Check it: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7549496/

The IRS found 53 security flaws with their system back in 2002. And now, three whole years later (today, for those keeping count at home…) they have fixed only 32 of those flaws. Um, excuse me…three years to fix two-thirds of ONLY 53 security flaws? And does anyone have a count of the number of security flaws found since then? NO??? So the next time any of you anti-Microsoft fanboys b!tch that MS takes more than two days to fix their security flaws, just keep in mind that your own government could give a ratz azz about security…and the IRS’ irresponsibilty isn’t limited to some stupid worm or browser hijack. This breach is your life.

And it’s your government’s complete lack of responsibility to blame for it…not some stupid operating system or Internt browser, or even Microsoft.

Hey, got an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend who is a cop or an IRS employee? Or even just a contractor for the IRS? SURPRISE! That jackhole can also easily access you personal financial reports! That person might even be able to make changes…and probably not towardr your benefit, either. Oh who the hell cares…a master list of passwords and user names is also available.

So, let’s invade Canada. They’d love to get a ton of white-collar professionals, as well as experienced ditch-diggers. And we would get low-cost medical by moving up there! Plus, we wouldn’t have to worry about tectonic plates ruining lunch, or killer bees ruining dinner. It’s chilly, but we could buy turtleneck sweaters (I look pretty good in a mock-turtleneck…)

I work with a PM who just this week got "permanent residency" in the US. Right now, she’s probably thinking, "Oh, sh!t…"

There’s some guy who fancies himself "a film critic" who takes George Lucas to task that movie critics liked the original trilogy, despite Lucas’ assertion that they didn’t.

And rightly so…but this critic, John Hartl, got it all wrong in his explanation and delivery.

Yes, the original series (not the so-called "Special Editions") won over audiences, and many critics liked or even loved them. The original Star Wars convinced the Academy to create a new category (Best Special Effects). And while the Ewoks turned off a lot of people, the final chapter was still superior to the ensuing trilogy (sans EP3) we’ve suffered to date.

Hartl points out a critic that said in reference to EP6, "Every time there’s a possibility of a dramatic climax, a chance to engage the audience emotionally with something awesome, [the director] trashes it". Hartl makes it sound as if Lucas directed EP6…which we all know, Lucas did not. Of course, Hartl also points out how bad the scripting has been throughout both trilogies.

Hartl essentially trashes EP1 and EP2. But he ignores the most-vital part of what made the original trilogy so loved, despite the same corny scripting, and why the currently trilogy is so critically panned…

The cast.

C’mon, think about it. As bad as a written line can be, Sir Alec Guinness could deliver it in such a way that he could sell toilet paper to butt-less mynock. Then there’s Peter Cushing, and his delivery and sheer presence made him a far more menacing villian than even Vader himself. Carrie Fisher came from quite the showbiz lineage, and she successfully portrayed her character as a b!tch on wheels. We also have a budding superstar-in-training Harrison Ford acting as every parent’s worst nightmare of a son. And then there’s James Earl Jones: when he speaks, YOU LISTEN.

With the current trilogy, you’ve got some kid who was actually worse than Edward Furlong in T2 (Haley Joel Osment could have saved that EP1 movie). Then you’ve got Hayden Christensen, who obviously graduated summa cum laude from the William Shatner School of Over-Acting. Liam Neeson: could you tell the difference between him and a piece of corrugated cardboard? Even if it was painted? And whaddabout Leia’s mom…Natalie Portman was so "politically correct" and cold in her delivery, you’d think she was a-sexual. Introducing Jar-Jar is just a foot-note in comparison.

You can have good scripts and bad scripts, but one thing for a successful movie is usually constant: it’s the people, stupid.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7383411/

15th Anniversary!

Posted: April 13, 2005 in Uncategorized

Actually, the 15th of our first date. The wife and I went to The Melting Pot in Bellevue for dinner, and neither of us had been there before. Very nice atmosphere, good background music, stylish interior. The menu is three pages of food and over seven pages of wine and alcohol (I sh!t you not…). The surprise for me was that all the food was served raw…we cook. It’s a fondue restaurant, so there is a "stove top" on each table (not the kind of table or restaurant for people who like to play "Quarters").

http://www.meltingpot.com/

We got a "fondue for two", and went with the Pacific Rim plate. It started with a cheese fondue (we went with Wisconsin Trio) that included a plate of different chopped breads, veggies and Granny Smith apple chunks for dipping (yum). The chef’s salad was next, it tasted as good as the presentation. For the Pacific Rim, we did the Coq au Vin cooking style, and fortunately I was wearing a watch that has a second hand. We leisurely cooked each piece of meat instead of dropping it all into the pot at the same time, so each bite was fresh and hot.

Then we we went home and cuddled a little on the couch (I can hear your collective sigh). She got up and left once I started updating my blog…

Funny Mike Tyson…

Posted: April 12, 2005 in Uncategorized

ol’ Tattoo-Face plans to fight again, this time in Washington D.C. Never one to let us all forget that he was once a decent boxer a long time ago…before the wife beatings, before the rapes, before the prison time, before the embarrassing defeats after prison, before the 30 million dollar debt…Mike sez, "It’s going to be a train wreck."

Mike…you ARE the train wreck.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7468796/

We…got…BATS!!

Posted: April 5, 2005 in Uncategorized

Lou Pinella went public with his distaste that Mariners owners refused to trade for bats late in a couple of different seasons that could have gotten the team to The World Series. Even in a season with 116 wins, the purse-strings got pulled tight, and the Mariners became the "could-have-beens." He finally got fed up and left. It was a dark day in Seattle.

Is it any wonder that last year the Mariners couldn’t beat most college teams?

So this year, the owners finally pull their legs apart and go after some heavy hitters that commanded big paychecks…BEFORE the regular season started. And what happens? Sexson hits TWO homers on his FIRST two at-bats on opening day (driving in five runs), and on the second game, our other big payday winner, Beltre, sends two men home in the first inning off of last year’s Cy Young winner.

Finally, baseball is back in Seattle. Only this time, we’re STARTING with the players we wanted before trade deadlines. And we’re starting well. Barring injuries, this should be a great season, maybe…crap, I just can’t jinx the whole thing by saying it…