Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Irony is a Dish Best Served... On Ice


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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, December 29, 2013:  The Russian vessel, the M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy, which was stranded off the coast of Antarctica with 74 people onboard, remains stranded. Attempts were made by the Chinese icebreaker, Snow Dragon, and other Russian icebreakers, but the ice was too thick. Rescue crews hope to get to the stranded passengers soon.

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...

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The ship, the M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy, is waiting for emergency help—though help might take some time to come, given a blizzard that pummeled the area. The ship locked up in the ice on Christmas.

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"The vessel hasn't moved in the last two days, and we're surrounded by sea ice," said Chris Turney, leader of the modern-day Australasian Antarctic Expedition, said in a video posted on Twitter. "We just can't get through..."
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Hey, do you smell it too?  This, my friend, is the smell of smokin' hot irony, served icy cold on this December day.
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Yes, the M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy is chocked full of scientists (and tourists?) retracing the route taken by the Mawson Expedition exploring...
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The Antartic!
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Yes, one hundred years after the original expedition, intrepid global-warming scientific investigators (and a crop of tourists with bitchin' blue parkas) armed with buckets of high-tech gear are trekking where 'pretty much' no one has gone before and scientifically prove that...  
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Being stuck in the ice...  Sucks
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Yes, you are correct.  They went looking for Global Warming and got, um, stuck in the ice.
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Maybe it's just me - but I'm thinking that's kind of funny.  
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Not 'Watching-Nancy-Pelosi-trip-over-a-homeless-guy-on-the-way-to-her-next-Botox-treatment' funny, but just plain, 'Al-Gore-Predicts-the-Artic-will-be-ice-free-by-2013' funny.  
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You blue-parka-wearing scientists (and tourists?  Seriously? Tourists?!?!) MIGHT want to check out the Weather Channel.  Perhaps it would be a good investment of time prior to taking your 'Al-Gore-Arctic-Second-Hundred-Year-Mawson-Expedition-Anniversary-Fun-Cruise' next time around.  
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Although, in another hundred years from now, you'll most likely be able to walk in Bermuda Shorts and sandals across the Arctic - right Al?  Perhaps it'll all be paved and you'll be able to drive your Chevrolet Volts across the once-frigid ice pack.  (Pack a REALLY LONG electric cord prior to leaving home!)

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Yeah, so these wack-jobs are stuck in the ice, THREE ice breakers have been sent to drag their butts out but...  

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The Ice is Too Thick
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Yeah.  The ice is just too dang thick.  A fourth ice breaker is heading there now, with a back-up plan of flying the explorers out by helicopter.   
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So, waiting to be rescued, the ice-bound scientists are:
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  • Testing the salinity of the ocean (Assuming they can reach down to it)
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  • Taking censuses of local bird populations
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  • Drilling into the ice to extract mineral data,
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  • Sending drones to map Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay, and,
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  • Tweeting, texting, and filming themselves 'cavorting about' because, quite frankly, they ran out of Scotch two days ago

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Bold and Mighty Global Warming scientists (and tourists), we salute you!
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In keeping with today's 'Ironic Theme' let's close out today with a few snapshots provided by other documented 'fails'...
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 ...
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Take comfort, brave adventurers, knowing that you are not alone in your Epic Fail.  As you seek historical immortality, remember to take a moment to thank those others who have set you upon your current path...
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And with this, bring on 2014.  
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I'm soooooo done with 2013...
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Help, Help! The Paranoids Are After Me!


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PARANOIA:  People with paranoid personality disorder are generally characterized by having a long-standing pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others.  A person with paranoid personality disorder will nearly always believe that other people’s motives are suspect or even malevolent.
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Individuals with this disorder assume that other people will exploit, harm, or deceive them, even if no evidence exists to support this expectation. While it is fairly normal for everyone to have some degree of paranoia about certain situations in their lives (such as worry about an impending set of layoffs at work), people with paranoid personality disorder take this to an extreme — it pervades virtually every professional and  personal relationship they have...

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Definition provided courtesy of PsychCentral.com
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.....................................................................................................................

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And then came 2013...
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The year in which Paranoia got REAL.  
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Remember kids, Paranoia isn't a mental-health destination, it's a J-o-u-r-n-e-y!

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For years...
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  • 'Paranoids' told you that the government is monitoring your electronic communications, your telephone calls, your e-mails, your tweets, your 'friends' on Facebook, your blog posts (OOPS!), and your text messages. 
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  • 'Paranoids' told you that the government is 'keeping tabs' on your travel - tracking where you go, how much time you spend there, and, possibly even, who you are spending time with. 
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  • 'Paranoids' told you that they are concerned about privacy within their own home - as they constantly glance up at the blank, all-seeing camera lens in their laptop, wondering if it is 'ON' or not.  Then, in a moment of frozen panic, they wonder aloud, "If the camera is watching me, might the microphone be ON too?  And if so, who's listening?"
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  • 'Paranoids' told you that once the government 'got its hooks' into Health Care that someone other than your doctor may be the disembodied third-party making the life / death medical decisions for you and your family members.  
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  • 'Paranoids' told you that the government nourishes itself by creating classes of citizens which depend upon it for their most basic needs - ones which used to be the citizen's responsibility.
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Yes 2013, is the year in which the Majority of Americans took that short leap from Mental Health to...  full-onset Mental Illness.
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The year, in which, so, so, so many of US became Paranoid.
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Oh, sure, right, so you think I'm KIDDING???
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Let's look at each of the above 'Paranoid' assumptions and YOU tell ME who's a nut-job and who's not...
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  • Following the NSA WikiLeaks scandal, America discovered that it's 'metadata' is being tracked by the government.  Depending upon which District Judge you listen to, this is most certainly, (or is most certainly not) an Orwellian breach of our privacy rights.  Whether anyone is actually monitoring the context of the calls, I don't know, but when I sold AT&T, and Lucent Technologies voice processing gear back in the mid-1990's, software existed then that allowed computer programs to do key-word spotting in spoken language conversations.  Yes, this was almost two decades ago.  But no one has probably taken the time to make this code better over the past 20 years - right?  Yeah, you're right, that's crazy talk...
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  • Getting much less press (because it was released by the ACLU and as everyone knows, those people are LOONS) many cities have license plate scanners in place to scan, read, and track automobiles to determine where people are.  Originally designed to track and identify 'bad people', the system is now pretty much in the ON position 24 x 7.  This information collected is then stored for anywhere from 15 days to 'forever'.  And the last time I looked, forever is a very long time.  Unless of course, you are a common Mayfly, in which case 'forever' is something like 24 hours...
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  • That unblinking eye in the top of your laptop screen that stares at you while you type your blog posts?  That one lifeless eye that is ALWAYS looking at you and you KNOW someone is at the other end somewhere tracking what you are doing because you feel that you are never alone in your own home?  And sometimes you think you're crazy and then again...  Maybe you are not so crazy after all?  The FBI has been doing this for years, and those friendly hackers who swiped your credit information this month at Target?  Oh, no problem, they've figured it out too.  But you don't have to believe me, it's on the Washington Post online - you can read about it there...  But before you start reading the article, you might want to put a Post-It note over that dang lens - you know, just so no one sees you reading, or writing naked at your PC.  Some things are better left to the imagination than others...
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  • I'm not going to re-live the whole Sarah Palin 'Death Panel' thing since I don't want any one thinking that I boarded that particular Crazy Train (an excellent song concept by the way), instead, I'll allow the ACA verbiage to speak on its on behalf: 

    • Paragraph (1) shall not be construed as preventing the Secretary from using evidence or findings from such comparative clinical effectiveness research in determining coverage, reimbursement, or incentive programs under title XVIII based upon a comparison of the difference in the effectiveness of alternative treatments in extending an individual’s life due to the individual’s age, disability, or terminal illness.  Details here 

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  •  Am I saying that the above-mentioned Paranoids are also correct when they assume that the government is attempting to enhance / expand its power by accumulating the NEEDY?  Perhaps a visual aid will go a long way in refuting this lunatic claim?






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Oh.  My.  This IS a surprise now isn't it?  It appears that members of BOTH political parties have been busily recruiting to fill the roles of the 'needy' in our society in an effort to buy entire classes, and generations, of American Citizens (well, I'm hoping they are citizens, but I'm sure an illegal few have 'snuck in' under the fence over the past 50 years).

Wow, who saw THAT coming?


Back in the day the National Enquirer would run predictions by Jeanne Dixon.  I'm pretty sure that she had a life cycle LONGER than a Mayfly, but she has also moved on to predict the future from the 'other side'.  If you want to find out what's going to happen to America in 2014 and beyond?  
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FIND A PARANOID AND ASK HIM or HER  
(Yeah, they got crazy-mad-prediction skills lately)
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They appear to be quite adept at predicting what will happen to US in the not-to-distant future.  
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And, luckily for US...  Mental Illness, I believe, WILL be covered under ObamaCare! 
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Code Name:  Con Man
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Although, if you are just REALLY FREAKING CRAZY (i.e.:  typing almost-naked at your laptop), Kathleen Sebelius may have to put you down, for the 'greater good' - so sorry about that...
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So, um, you know, you've got to feel PRETTY GOOD about the ObamaCare health coverage - right?

But hey, the Kinks were Paranoid long before the rest of us...  
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Shoot, they even set the words to music - they called it "Destroyer".  
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I find this odd as it is also happens to be my 'code name' for the President... 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Christmas Dance - For Kids!

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December 15, 2013, The Savannah Theatre, Savannah, Georgia:  "A Christmas Tradition" brings you holiday glitz and glitter with a 2-hour performance. The theatre is transformed into a holiday perfect picture, sharing memories of the Christmas standards that you know and love. Sprinkle in a little comedy and audience participation for the greatest event of the season.


Ah, yes, the Christmas Season is upon us.  Local towns, cities, and communities across America prepare to celebrate the time-honored traditions of Christmas.  

Men and women across the Nation prepare to celebrate the birth of a child in Bethlehem two thousand years ago.

We pause for a moment to reflect upon the meaning of Christmas and we think, we ponder, we wonder...

(Continuing to wonder...)


What, EXACTLY, is wrong with us?





December 9, 2013, The Admiral Theatre Chicago, IL:  The Admiral Theatre announced (again) that any person bringing a new, unwrapped toy today through December 21, 2011 will receive...


A lap dance.


Yes.  A dance.  Um, on your, um, lap. 


In the dark.  

Courtesy of someone you don't know. 


Fine print  reads:  "Compensation for toy donation is left to the discretion of management"

Gory details follow...

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re a stingy, Scroogey type at Christmas, the Admiral Theatre has an incentive for you to change your ways.

Yes, that Admiral Theatre.


Beginning Monday and continuing through Saturday, the Admiral is offering a free lap dance to anyone who donates an unused, unwrapped toy.

But you won’t get extra attention if you clear off the shelves at the toy store and come to the Admiral with a big sack on your back. The limit is one lap dance per customer.

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Last year, the event was accompanied by a seasonal “12 Days of XXX-Mas” celebration, which also featured what the A.V. Club called featured “a stripper-fied rendition of ‘The Nutcracker.’”

The blog, Chicagoist, reported the campaign last year raised five carloads of toys, and they were donated to churches around Albany Park.

By the way, the Admiral, at 3940 W. Lawrence Ave., is open 364 days a year.


It is only closed on Christmas Eve.  [Presumably, they are OPEN Christmas Day?  Super.]
 

Sigh.
 
The true meaning of Christmas?

No, I don't think so.

Three things bug me about this:

  1. Okay, I 'get' it.  If the people running the Admiral Theatre can collect five 'truckloads' [that's a LOT of lap dancing...] of toys for underprivileged children in Chicago, I ought to be happy that they are doing something to support 'the kids', right?  Yes, I acknowledge the fact that I 'ought to be happy' according to most folks... 
  2. To me this business venture smells more of an Ebenezer Scrooge Production than it does of a Jacob Marley Joint.  Scrooge WOULD find a way to make a buck by using others, wouldn't he?  Using kids and Christmas to bring patrons into your strip club?  No, I'm still thinking that this is, what's the word???   'Wrong'.
  3. Lastly, as I write this, I hear music from "The Nutcracker" running through my head - coincidence?  I don't think so... 
Actual 'made-up' conversation which just ran through my mind:
"Honey, I have this toy I need to drop off at the 'collection point' downtown.  I may be a while.  Is there anything you need me to bring back for you?" he asks.


"Oh sweetie, you're such a good man!  Hey, you know what?!?  I read this Moosroom blog today on the and it said that the Admiral Theatre in Chicago is giving away FREE lap dances to anyone who brings in a gift for the kids.  You know, you've been an awfully good man this year so why don't YOU go and have some strange woman pivot incessantly on your lap?  I mean, it's Christmas and all!"

"Gee babe, that's just swell - you're the BEST!" he says as he stuffs the gifts from the Dollar Tree into a Target bag and walks out the door...

As you share this Christmas with your family and friends, remember to also share your Blessings with others.  Donate to the Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" campaign, toss some folding money into the Salvation Army kettle, shovel a neighbor's driveway after a snowfall, help someone load their groceries into their car, or, perhaps, even help a stranger change a tire when you see them standing, looking perplexed, in an Exxon station parking lot.

As we race headlong toward Christmas, please take time to remember the reason why we celebrate Christmas.  

Christmas is in remembrance of the birth of Christ.  It is not about the lights, the 'lowest sale prices of the year!', the trees, the gifts, or the strippers, who, presumably, will dance on your lap. 

It's about God's gift to us - his Son.

I could go on, but why tell you stuff you already know? 

You already get it.  

Merry Christmas folks!   



Oh, in case you DON'T get the whole 'Christmas-thing'?

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The Admiral Theater is also doing its part to end Unemployment in Obama's America in 2014!


Yes, you too can FIND A JOB!

http://www.admiralx.com/at_employment.htm


Just leave your clothes at the door and...



Bump.

Grinding, as always...  Is optional.

Remember, you're doing it for the children...





Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Merry Christmas... From Greenpeace


And now, a brief Yuletide interlude from that Jolly Old Elf, Santa Claus - brought to you by the friendly folks at GreenPeace!

Goodwill to Earth, You 'Men', well, you're just bad...  

Forever more.



Yeah, NOW we find out who's naughty and nice.

Sorry, President Obama and President Putin, but you guys are NOT nice.

Santa said so.