Friday, June 30, 2006

If I Had a Metal Band

If you don't mind, I'm going to dream a bit here. All through high school and up until now, it's always been a dream of mine to be a vocalist in a metal band. It's a dream that I barely pursued in high school and undergrad and I have since abandoned. But here is what my ideal band would be like.

We would be a little bit of math metal (Meshuggah), a little bit of death metal (Lamb of God, etc.), a little bit of Slipknot, and of course I would throw in a healthy dose of King Diamond style falsetto singing. Aside from maybe doing a cover album, they would all be concept albums. They would mostly be in the mold of Iced Earth's Something Wicked This Way Comes, with Apocalyptic imagery and stories, but it would be entirely tongue-in-cheek, and a little satirical.

Our first album would follow the Grim Reaper, or Death, if you prefer, in the present day. He of course is falling behind in his work because of advanced medical technology, increased population, and outdated equipment. So he does the logical thing: he trades in his scythe for a combine.

So it would seem we would also have a bit of a rural theme. So I would dress accordingly, with trucker hats and so forth, but all with more of a metal message to them.

Anyway, yeah, that's what I'd do.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tractor Pull

First, you should check out my new renter, Plumbutt. It's really funny, and he recently had a post on the top 10 party drinks. Link is in the sidebar.

I went to my first-ever tractor pull on Saturday.
It was really fun. I don't know how it is that I've lived in Nebraska for 24 years without ever attending a tractor pull. I highly recommend it to anyone who has never done it. In Edgar, they ran two classes simultaneously, smoothing out the track for one track while the other track has someone pulling on it. They didn't make a big deal about anything, and just wanted to keep things moving along. Like a baseball game, it's the atmosphere that makes it entertaining, not the spectacle (although the spectacle is certainly more interesting than a baseball game). Plus, I got a lot of great pictures there, like this one.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ignoring Copyrights

This post troubles me. The author ignores copyright for bad reasons. He posts a photo with copyright owned by the AP and says this:
I am sourcing this photo, but I will not follow the AP’s directions…….the AP says I can’t use this photo……I am saying to AP……you would never have been able to take this picture without taxpayer money protecting your bigoted behinds.
Am I supposed to believe the AP, somehow ended up on this rooftop in enemy controlled territory without the help of taxpayers?
So I have no qualms about using it.
The comments on the post were in praise of the author for this attitude, and that further troubles me. Here is my response:
As a photographer, I'm extremely troubled by your attitude in this. Yes, they're taking advantage of taxpayer money, but so are you. All the time. America's military is always protecting you whether you're aware of it or not.

Why should an artist be denied the benefits of a valid copyright just because he was using taxpayer money? So people who get grants fromt the National Endowment for the Arts should not be allowed to retain their copyrights just because they are using taxpayer money? I think they would rather turn down the endowment.

Not only that, but allowing the media access to the war zones helps with PR, so they're actually providing a valuable service to the military with the taxpayer money.

This post really bothers me.

Monday, June 19, 2006

By popular demand . . .



You guys should really check out my new renter, Jalapeño Burns. It's really funny stuff (link at top of sidebar),

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Declare War on Babies

There is a plague in our nation today. Every day it devours our natural resources and screams like the demon it is. That plague, my friends, is babies. And not just the squishy ones with the soft, Play-Doh-like heads. I’m talking about anything below the age of six (6).

Babies are a far greater scourge than you may think. And if you don’t believe that, allow me to hit you with some knowledge (to quote Ben Stiller).

Babies consume our natural resources at an alarming rate

According to this site,
A baby can breastfeed as much as he wants, or have 20 to 32 ounces of formula per day.
That’s right. He can breastfeed as much as he wants. And we all know babies want a lot, especially male babies when breasts are involved. But, let’s take the low estimate of 20 ounces of formula each day. That’s 7300 ounces, or about 57.3 gallons, every year. And considering that about 4.1 million babies are born each year in the U.S. alone (according to this article), then next year all the babies born this year will consume about 235 million gallons of formula. Assuming a constant rate of birth, babies will outnumber regular people in about 60 or so years, and then it’s only a matter of time until our oceans are depleted of all fluids (considering that there are only 361,200,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in the ocean according to this site). Anyone with a background in calculus, help me figure out the exact date, please.

Babies contribute nothing to society

It’s true. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is not one baby with a job. They contribute no goods, and no services.

Not only that, but they don’t even appreciate our democratic system, as not one baby voted in the 2004 election. So, if you have a problem with government today, I say, blame the babies.

Well, you may ask, “What about artistic and literary contributions by babies?” I say to you: “Phooey!” Just look at this art:

You call that art! More like crap! And just read this story by Annie, age 5. An excerpt:
Once there was bob. Bob was hungry! He was chocolate. He ate his self all day! He wanted to go to the bathroom but he couldn't. Then he wanted to go to chuck E. Cheese! And he wanted to go to his mother's. He was so sad he was crying! So he went to the bathroom on his self!
I think this speaks for itself.

Babies are immoral

Babies all over the world are cohabiting with other babies in unmarried relationships.
In fact, this is true of most babies. Almost all of these unmarried, cohabitation arrangements are between siblings, i.e. they are incestuous. About half of them are between same-sex babies, and many of them are groups of more than two babies (i.e. polygamous/polyandrous).

There have also been reports by our agents of baby cults. If we don’t stop the baby moral threat, our society will lose all sense of morals. Please, help me stop the baby threat.

Yes, but what can I do about it?

Join the cause! We are Regular People Against Babies. Write your representatives in Congress! When you see a baby, don’t give it food. DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH BABIES. But the most important thing you can do is to post one of these graphics to show your support for the war on babies, and use it to link back to this post:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Myth vs. Fact: Nebraska

Many people are ill-informed about Nebraska. And since it’s my home state, I feel that the duty falls squarely upon my shoulders to dispel the myths about The Good Life.

Myth 1: Nebraska is flat, like your girlfriend in junior high

While it is true that many areas of Nebraska are flat (notably any part of it near Kansas, which is as flat as Kate Moss) it is largely composed of rolling hills, so it could more accurately be described as lumpy, like your great aunt Matilda. Also, as anyone who has seen our new state quarter knows, or indeed anyone who has played The Oregon Trail also knows, Chimney Rock is located in Nebraska. So it’s actually more like that transvestite with whom you had an ill-advised intoxicated fling.

Myth 2: Nebraska is full of a bunch of rednecks

This myth is actually true. I went to high school with many of those people, and in fact got called out by one of them to fight on a gravel road before I found out that his dad was the boxing coach. But there are many other people in Nebraska as well. Lincoln, for instance, has the highest per-capita gay population of any city in the nation, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha has the highest per-capita gay population of any college in the nation. In the 1970’s, Pierce County (of which I’m a native) had the highest per-capita alcohol intake of any county in the nation, so there’s also a lot of alcoholics in Nebraska. So . . . rednecks, homos, and alcoholics . . . and then there’s a couple other people, too. My criminal law professor from last year is an old hippy. I’m sure I’ve met other people from Nebraska too. And hey, even if we are a bunch of rednecks, at least we’re not Wyoming.

Myth 3: Nebraska = corn and cows, not much else

This myth is absolutely not true. We also grow soybeans. And . . . there’s a Kawasaki plant here in Lincoln; ATV’s are pretty cool. We also have at least one very fine brewery (Empyrean Ales), if not others, and several wineries, and some of the best trout fishing in North America, if you know where to go. But seriously, even if it is true, who cares? City people have to eat something. Plus, I get better steak than you people do, and I get it cheaper. So it would seem that you’re the loser.

Myth 4: Nebraska is mostly just like old Western movies

No, we don’t have to fight off Chief Pooping Bison, people don’t ride horses and wear revolvers on their belts, and we do, in fact, have indoor plumbing. We also have Internet access, in case you were wondering. But if we want, we don’t have to go too far to find a place to shoot blue rock (or clay pigeons, if you prefer) or ride horses if we want too. And we’re not stupid enough to pay other people to let us do the ranching work for them.

Myth 5: Nebraskans don’t talk smart

There’s some truth to this. I was trying to think of some strange speech patterns among people I know. Whether they’re a dialect thing or individual quirkiness, I don’t know, but here are a few:
- the word “bagel” pronounced as “beg-əl”
- the word “creek” pronounced as “crick”
- words with a double-o like “root” rhyme with “put”
- we borrow things to people, we don’t loan them to people
- and a few of us “warsh” our clothes and cars rather than washing them

Fact: Kool-Aid was invented in Nebraska

In Hastings, actually. Nothing cooler than that was invented in your state.


Hey, I like Nebraska. You can stay away if you like, because that’s just more space for me. I know it’s The Good Life like it says on the signs at the borders. You can keep whatever you have and breathe your smog or sit in traffic all day if you want to. You’ll know me because I’ll be the guy that gets to work or school in 15 minutes and breathes natural air while watching the stars at night.

Guest Blog: NaturesPixel


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ninjas or Pirates?

Ninjas or pirates? The debate has been raging for centuries now. On the one hand, ninjas are totally freaking sweet, but on the other hand, pirates are really swashbuckling. To help in this debate, I thought I’d lay out the pros and cons of each side, and see if we can come to any definitive conclusions.


1. They wear all black
2. They use shuriken (throwing stars)
3. To escape from enemies, they will use flash powder and smoke, and drop makibishi (like caltrops) behind them
4. They are masters of stealth
5. As a last resort, they will use a sword
6. They mostly work alone (so you keep your profits)
7. They are a highly exclusive group
1. They don’t use guns
2. If they’re caught by the authorities, they will be decapitated


1. They use swords and guns
2. They get a fancy pirate ship
3. They drink lots of rum and generally know how to have a good time
4. You can still do your job if you lose a hand/leg, plus you get a cool hook
5. Anybody can join
6. The group and bad-ass Jolly Roger flag can be very intimidating
1. Silly clothes
2. Your captain might kill you (or if you are the captain, your crew can mutiny)
3. You have to split the booty (Aaarrr)
4. You might have to swab the poop deck
5. Scurvy (unless you put a lime in that rum)
6. If you’re losing the battle, where do you run when you’re on a boat?
7. If they’re caught by the authorities, they will be hanged


Now, to cut out the fat and set pros and cons against each other. Shuriken are at least as good as old-fashioned flintlock guns, so those cancel out. Some of these are just matters of preference: the group benefits are equal to the exclusivity and loner benefits, and the execution methods are relatively equal for each group.

So it would appear that the benefits of being a ninja over a pirate are the clothes, the stealth, and the ability to get out of a bad situation. The benefits of a pirate over a ninja are the ship, the flag, the parties, and the acceptance of disability. The ninjas have no cons that don’t cancel out, while the pirates still have problems arising from being in a group, as well as the scurvy.

I think we can further cancel things out. The flag is about as cool as the pirate clothes, and the stealth is about as cool as the rum. The ninja’s evasive abilities are definitely a trade-off for the pirate’s ship. The pirate’s final advantage is acceptance of disability, but this can be canceled out against the group problems (mutiny and authority). So what we’re left with is the single con of the pirates: SCURVY.


So, basically, ninjas are better than pirates because pirates get scurvy. And I proved it scientifically. So there! Stop your pirate-touting immediately, and get on the ninja train, because there’s no stopping it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The If You Were a Beer Test

These tests are actually kind of fun . . . especially when the result is right.


(66% dark & bitter, 100% working class, 100% genuine)

Okay, we all know Guinness is the best possible score on any "What Kind Of Beer Are You" test, so you can just go on and pat yourself on the back now. Like the world's most famous brew, you're genuine, you've got good taste, and you're sophisticated. What else can I say, except congratulations?

If your friends didn't score the same way, get ready for them to say: Guinness is too heavy; it's an acquired taste; it's too serious--and they probably think those things about you at times. But just brush 'em off. Everybody knows Guinness is the best. Cheers.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 34% on dark
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You scored higher than 73% on workingclass
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 66% on genuine

Link: The If You Were A Beer Test written by gwendolynbooks on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test