Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2010 McCain Deregulates Traffic Laws, Palin Outlaws Obama

Dateline September 30th, 2010

President John McCain, who is a brain in a jar, deregulated all streets, roads, and highways. "We will have no more restrictive lanes, speed limits, or traffic lights" the floating brain bubbled.

In a separate move, at the recommendation of Vice President Sarah Palin, the administration used the newly expanded Patriot Act Extreme to criminalize all Harvard graduates with Kenyan fathers and American mothers. Barack Obama, who has been contesting the last presidential election for almost two years, was last seen heading for the Canadian border with Tom Morello, banned guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

"This is not a trick to arrest ex-Senator Obama," said Palin. "We were going for Morello, and just got, well, you know... lucky!"

Despite the use of really smart weapons, Homeland Security troops were unable to penetrate the 5,090 high-mileage vehicle caravan escorting the pair north.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Palin Explains Creationism to Space Aliens

Dateline Sept. 27th, 2010

Vice President for (John McCain's) Life Sarah Palin met today with Ambassador Qualbooplink from Epsilon Eridani, a nearby star system.

"He asked me about the evolution of life on Earth, and I had to set him straight," the Vice President for (John McCain's) Life said. "I told him how the Earth was less than 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs went moose hunting with early humans, and that wasn't he happy his bloated purple mother didn't abort him and leave him as a dying fetus flopping about on some sidewalk up there in space."

Palin went on to ask how the space people dealt with leaders who hold onto power as brains in jars, but Ambassador Qualbooplink told her some of his best friends were brains in jars.

At which point President McCain, who is a brain in a jar,  wheeled himself into the meeting and said "Gotcha, Caribou Barbie!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Renegade's Magic: Book Three of The Soldier Son Trilogy

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This, the final book in the Soldier Son Trilogy is a great book. While not rushed, none of the slow pacing problems that bothered me in the first two books appear in Renegade's Magic.

If you have read Shaman's Crossing and Forest Mage, you should definitely read this book. If you are thinking of starting the entire trilogy, I would recommend it. The pacing is way too slow for my tastes in parts of the first two books, but the characters and the world make it worth reading even so.

This book follows Nevare Burvelle as he moves deep into Spec society. Specs are the mountain people whose shaman's spirits live on in magic trees that the Gernians (and Nevare is a Gernian) are trying to cut down to build a road to the sea. Civilization vs. Tree Huggers cranked up to eleven. We've seen Gernian society from the inside in the previous books, now we see the other side. He follows the Specs to their winter homes, where the climate resembles the Pacific Northwest where Hobb lives.

Hobb immerses her readers into the world view of hunter gatherers confounded by the approach of "civilization." It's not simply Specs are good, Gernians are bad, but she illustrates how alien they are from each other. Both sides do terrible things, and neither has a clue about the other.

This story is really an echo of the settling of the west by white America, but in a topsy turvy fantasy setting, where west and east are flipped, and the settlers have a blend of middle ages and western frontier culture.

Hobb manages to bring out strong emotion as you live the successes and failures of her characters. Navare/Soldier's Boy battles his own two selves, and both are drawn to Lisana, who wants to rejoin these two personalities living in the same body. Navare's feisty cousin Epiny, drawn up as a combination of suffragette, mystic, and frontier women remained the strongest, and funniest, supporting character.

There are many plot twists, and pretty much every character's arc is wrapped up. At one point, the entire story seems wrapped up, but there are over a hundred pages left in the book. At that time Hobb does her biggest twist, and starts it off with some serious creepiness.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Treasury Secretary Phil Gramm's Plan to Solve Illegal Immigration

Dateline: Sept. 24th, 2010

Treasury Secretary Phil Gramm has declared all minimum wage laws in the United States null and void. "First we outlawed unions, now we outlaw the damage they have done. This will push our wages down to parity with Latin America, choking off the desire for anyone to immigrate to the United States."

The undated photo was taken before President John McCain became a brain in a jar.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Small is Big

Tonight was OMSI Science Pub night again, and tonight was Nanotechnology, and how to keep it safe, by Dr. Jim Hutchison, professor of chemistry and the director of the University of Oregon Materials Science Institute. The pub was Imbibe, over in SE Portland, and the beer was HUB Velvet ESB. Good times all around. I recommend Imbibe (2229 SE Hawthorne Blvd), and Science Pub, of course!

And I won an OMSI shopping bag in the Nanotechnology trivia contest. Woot!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

McCain's Brain in a Jar Declares Arizoneish the National Language of the United States

Dateline September 21st, 2010.

President John McCain, who is running the country as a brain in a jar after a tragic face transplant incident, declared Arizoneish the official language of the United States of America.

Arizoneish is a dialect of English as spoken by natives of Arizona "in fiscal leadership positions," or those better than middle class incomes, so greater than $5,000,000.00 a year.

In financial news, the dollar was up sharply against the Euro, trading at 509.00 dollars to one Euro at closing. Unemployment numbers came in lower than expected, at 19%, possibly reflecting the new accounting practice that eliminates those who are eligible for service in the Spanish Occupation Authority but choose not to take advantage of this opportunity to fulfill their patriotic duty.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain Bails Out Fortune 500 on Expenses, becomes Brain in a Jar

Dateline September 20th, 2010.

President John McCain gave a government bailout to all Fortune 500 companies, in the form of paying all their expenses.

"Why should these entrenpenural firms have to pay their own bills?" he asked. "I know critics will claim they have shipped 98.6% of their jobs overseas, but that is just normal. And free expenses are what the free market is all about."

In other news, the doctors at Walter Reed, despite heroic measures, were unable to save President John McCain's face. "The President is in stable condition," said Dr. Frakenfruter of Walter Reed. "What's left of him anyway. As you can see, he is safe in this big glass jar. We have saved his brain and spinal cord."

Vice President Sarah Palin asked "Can I be President now? I mean the guy is like a pickel now. God wants me to be President...."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain Invades Spain

Dateline: 9/11/2010: Operation Windmill: McCain Invades Spain.

"I have always been ready to stand up and take a stand against Spain," said President McCain from his recovery ward at Walter Reed.

White House spokesman Todd Pailin said: "The Invasion of Spain has been a long time coming. They were tricky, but now we have found out their hiding place. Europe."

Wrath of the Lich King goes on pre-order

Over 11 million people play World of Warcraft, the on-line fantasy role playing game. Me too. I play with family (Hi Tim! Connor!), friends (Hi Twilight Folk!) and complete strangers. Love it.

And we can now pre-order the expansion that will let us meet Arthus, the once noble prince who murdered his farther, turned against his people, and became the Lich King. Trechery, Madness, and Fun! Take my money now!

Check out Arthus remembering the sage advice his father gave him. Before the murder thing:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Two Minute Overview

Yesterday I posted a link to Obama's economic speech from Golden Colorado. It is great, and if you have 35+ minutes, it's well worth seeing.

Today, we get the two minute version.

And here is the economic plan we need: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Republican Deregulation Killed the Economy

About four months ago I started telling people, "The S&L crisis is just the start. The economy is going to keep tanking, and we're going to elect a Democrat to the White House."

Be careful what you say. Maybe a little downturn would be enough. Right now the needle is gyrating from recession to depression. Since Reagan, we've deregulated the shadow banking system to where it's taken over the economy. And now as it dies, it's trying to take us down with it.

Let's stop listening to a clueless old man who gave away his honor to try and smear his way to the White House. Let's listen to what Barak Obama has been saying for months and fix this mess before it fixes us good.


Monday, September 15, 2008


They just keep coming. People were saying that Obama needs to defend himself from the lies and smears of the McCain machine. Well, he is.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Ad: "His Administration"

I like this ad. McSame just tapped Bill Timmons, an Oil and Credit Card Lobbyist to set up his White House, should he be elected.

I like this ad.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hobnobing with Howard Dean

Howard Dean was in Portland, Oregon today, and called. He did a conference call with our (Obama) campaign headquarters in Oregon City. 

Unfortunatly, no screams. :) However he is all fired up over the election. He expects a large Republican voter supression effort, as in the last election where African American neighborhoods were targeted with flyers under windshield wipers warning about the dire consequences of voting. Since we are a vote by mail state, there is no one single day they have to pull such "stunts."

Howard gave strong support to Merkley for Senate, saying that the 40 Republicans now in the Senate had only one agenda: don't let the Democrats look good. He also predicted Smith's ads would get a lot nastier than they are now. Ug!

Anyway, it was great to hear from the head of the Democratic Party. He should come to Oregon more often.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Colbert and Lord British in Space!

Lord British (AKA Richard Garriott) is taking Steven Cobert's DNA into space to the International Space Station. Garriott is responsible for UO, or Ultima Online, the first graphic MMO with a large audience. 

Cobert says "I am thrilled to have my DNA shot into space, as this brings me one step closer to my lifelong dream of being the baby at the end of 2001"

Obama's Bipartisanship: Republicans Confused

When Obama talks about his bipartisan record, the national Republicans clain it never happened.

When I turn on my TV (Portland, Oregon TV stations), REPUBLICAN GORDAN SMITH is running ads boasting of his bipartisan work with Senator Obama. This is meant to show me how bipartisan Gordan Smith is.

To see one of these ads, go to Senator Smith's website, and select the video "TV AD: ENERGY TRUTH"

Who's telling lies? 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Book Review: "The Child Goddess"

The Child Goddess The Child Goddess by Louise Marley

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was predisposed to hate this book. Both the title and the cover screamed "Preachy New Age." I'm so glad I'm in a reading group, and we chose it, for this is one great read.

The story and characters are much better than the background. This is science fiction without the science. The most important hydrogen refueling planet is an earth type water world, with active volcanoes and no moon. Why extracting hydrogen from water is cheaper than skimming gas giants is never explained, or how a moonless world stays habitable (the Carbon Cycle should be broken and all oxygen should get locked up). And how you would have star-flight and still have humans, un-enhanced, very mortal, with our same life expectancy.

The story, however, blew me away. A child is found on the refueling world, and returned to Earth against her will. The protagonist is a woman Catholic priest (why the cover art didn't include a collar is beyond me) and anthropologist sent to be her guardian. The company that owns the refueling operation wants the child for something else, something medical, and isn't sharing that information with the protagonist. Very early in the story you get mystery, tension, and powerful emotion.

One relationship did bother me. That of the corporate CEO and one if its doctors. The doctor seemed outclassed by the rest of the main characters, I never did figure out why he was allowed to stay on the job when the CEO should have had better talent at her beck and call.

However, each mystery that is resolved leads to a further and more profound one. By the time the book is wrapping up, the reader has followed these characters though many intense changes.

I recommend this book to all but the most hard-core, hard-science fiction readers.  

View all my reviews.

A Week in the Campaign -- History up Close

I survived my first week working (volunteering) with the Obama campaign. I'm working at the Oregon City office, you can find me there every afternoon. Well, not today, as I'm at the beach, but most afternoons. 

One day a new volunteer came in. Tall, older guy (70), wearing a black leather biker vest and a leather bandana over his head. We shook hands and I explained how to work the phones.

"This is the first campaign I've worked on in a long time," he said.

"How long," I asked.

"Since John F. Kennedy's campaign."

It sent shivers down my spine. History is happening here, and we are part of it.