January 21st, 2010

RatReading

Conan The Conqueror

Conan O'Brien has agreed to be bought out of his contract and let Leno take over the Tonight Show again.

O'Brien held out for $45 mil.

O'Brien gets $33 mil of it.

The rest goes to his 200-member staff as severance pay.

I'm not a Conan O'Brien fan.  I just don't think he's that funny.  But this is a class act gesture.  Thank you for being one of the good guys, dude.
Peter G

Hive Five!

You have to take the rough with the smooth.  Having a body that is very sensitive to stimuli is great under lots of circumstances, but it has its drawbacks, since it is very sensitive.

Last fall, I discovered I had a new allergy.  Arm And Hammer Carpet Deodorizer.  My skin turned red and I broke out in hives.  I got a carpet shampooer and did the whole house to get rid of the demon powder.  However, it helped, but not enough.  I would still get hive outbreaks at seemingly random times on random parts of my body.  And I hate them.  Especially the persistent ones, that wake you up in the middle of the night from scratching multiple times.  So you wake up tired and with arms and legs that look like a cat used them for a scratching post.  Benadryll didn't do shit.

I tried talking to a doctor about the hives.  He said there is really no cure for them.  He could give me medication, but it would have to be monitored, since the hives could change and require something else to control them with no warning whatsoever.  He also suggested that if I de-stress my life, I might keep them under control.  Sorry, my regular job is stress, I'm a compulsive overachiever, and I have to do things.  De-stressing is just not an option.  What's more, I don't like the thought of turning my body into a walking chemistry lab.  I decided to try a few other things first.  Things like Aveno didn't work.

My teacher is a proponent of natural cures (herbs and stuff like that).  When I discovered my body reacted very positively to those things, she taught me some stuff.  I prayed she would know something that would help.  So I sent her an e-mail with one sentence:  "HOW DO I GET RID OF HIVES?!?!?"

A couple of days later, I get a response with one sentence:  "Hydrogen peroxide."

I stared and the screen and thought, "No shit?"

Well, she's never been wrong before.  So I get myself a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.  Now, I needed a patch of hives to test it on.  I could have just sat and waited for an outbreak, but the legendary Peter G impatience won the day.  I made myself a batch of noodles.  I love noodles.  I can't get enough of them.  When I'm out at the movies, Noodles And Company is my favorite place to hit.  And since November, they had been triggering hive outbreaks.  I made a small batch to hopefully keep the reaction small and chowed down.

A couple of hours later, I was absent-mindedly scratching my left shoulder.  I suddenly remembered that the sign an outbreak is about to hit.  I rushed to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt.  Red red red and the little bumps were starting.  With a deep breath and a battle cry of "Here goes nothing!", I poured hydrogen peroxide on my shoulder.

It burns!

I then went back to the computer for a while.  It was only a couple of minutes later that I noticed I wasn't scratching anymore.  A quick check showed the red was nearly gone.

Other outbreaks continued through the night before bed.  Only a patch on my right thigh required a second shot of H2O2.  Everything else?  One good hit, and it was neutralized.  In fact, not only did I sleep through the night, but when I woke the next morning, the skin in those areas was nearly clear.

Since then, there have been a couple of small patches and they've been dealt with quickly.  Bonus -- they don't reappear in those spots.  So I might finally be rid of them!

Thank you, teacher, for improving my life again!
GetDownAmerica

As Massachusetts Goes, Will Illinois?

Well, I'm a little politically hung over from the epic upset in Massachusetts.  It was really great.  During last November's off year elections, Virginia and New Jersey elected R governors, states that not only are typically D, but that Obama carried in the Presidential election less than a year earlier.  I remember the spin about weak candidates and that.  Many of us figured that the health care bill (yeah, everybody's gotta sacrifice.  Except trial lawyers.  They don't have to give up a goddamn thing under the plan) would finally get off the fast track, since the D's would be worried about being voted out.  But it didn't take long for the Juggernaut to start again.

Massachusetts was a message that couldn't be ignored.  The deck is so stacked in favor of the D's there, there is no reason they should lose.  And yet they did.

Obamacare was being pushed through using Chicago Politics (there's a reason it's nicknamed the Chicago Way White House).  However, Chicago Politics works because Chicago doesn't try.  Daley won re-election last time with a record low voter turn out -- estimates are that only 17% of registered voters bothered.  If the remainder had banded together, Daley would have been gone.  But who bothers?  Daley gets his way, like carving up Miegs Field just because he wanted to.  And Obama was pushing Obamacare and was getting it done just because he wanted to.

However, the rest of the country is not Chicago.  They fight back.  And losing the sure thing has sent D's scrambling for cover.

Nancy Pelosi has rolled initiative.  She announced today that the House doesn't have the votes to pass the Senate version of Obamacare.  In other words, don't bother trying to get us to approve it, Harry Reid.  Pelosi has the lowest approval rating of any Speaker Of The House since they started keeping track of that.  Whereas before she flaunted her political untouchability, the Reaper has just tapped her on the shoulder, and now she's in damage control.

I had been worried that it would still be full speed ahead for ObamaCare, that the loss in MA wouldn't dissuade anyone anymore than the losses in Virginia and Joisey did.  Well, there's a full-blown insurrection afoot.  Many D's are screaming to ditch ObamaCare for the moment and focus on rebuilding the economy.  When Obama was running for President, he proposed a bailout package that cost $60 bil.  Instead, he shoved one through Congress that cost $787 bil and was full of loopholes and favoritism.  He said it was needed to keep unemployment from going above 10%.  A few months later, it did anyway.  People realize they are on the hook and want no part of it.  ObamaCare and the corresponding green plans Obama has are dead in the water.

Obama does have a sort of parallel with another President, Ronald Reagan.  Both came into the job with an economy out of control and both had approval ratings in the basement after only a year in office.  But Reagan campaigned to revive American business and cut back on government intrusion.  Obama wants more intrusion and isn't reviving business so much as sustaining what is already there.

Now, the question I'm wondering about is, what happens in Illinois?

Illinois is run by a biparty Combine, headed by the D's and subservient R's.  People get into Illinois politics for the kickbacks and graft.  We had a Senator, Peter Fitzgerald, who took his job seriously, getting us AG's that were out to clean up corruption in Illinois.  He didn't run for re-election because the sleazemiesters opposed him at every turn and it wore him out.  He had no support, so the seat went to Barack Obama.

We have several political insiders trying to present themselves as outsiders to the electorate with primaries in this state happening on Feb 2.  Do we wind up with nominees that truly want to reform the system, or people who reform in name only?

Illinois is in play, the only other safe haven for politically connected D's after the fall of Massachusetts.  But the Tea Parties are clearly having an effect.  Notice that the D's in general and the TV networks in bed with them are no longer treating them as a joke.  The question is, will they be effective here in Illinois?  The election is going to be very very interesting....
PalinWhut

Romance Ain't What It Used To Be

Fast food hamburger chain White Castle wants to help you have a happy Valentine's Day.

They are offering reservations on V-Day for dinner, complete with candlelight, special menus, tableside service, and flowers.

You know, I have never gone wrong cooking a romantic dinner for a woman.  It doesn't have to be special, just a sincere effort and she will love you for it.  And on those times when something went wrong, it became a story she told her friends about how sweet it was for me to try.  You cannot lose.  Why trade that for those infamous "sliders"?

So, guys, if you want to get your ass beat for Valentine's Day, take her to White Castle.  No need to drop hints, she'll know what to do.....
HolyHandGrenade

How Capitalism Works -- Find A Need And Fill It

The genius of man has combined humanitarian aid for the earthquake victims in Haiti with epic levels of snark.

An eBay seller calling himself "johnnyvoodoo" is selling a Pat Robertson voodoo doll.  This is actually his third attempt to sell it -- his first auction was to have 100% of the proceeds go to the Red Cross.  They wanted no part of it.  His second attempt was 100% of the proceeds for Habitat For Humanity, which was also scuttled (HFH gets a lot of fundamentalists as stumpers, so them not wanting anything to do with a voodoo doll is not a surprise).  Now, his third attempt is that 100% of the funds goes to Doctors Without Borders.  As I write this, there is almost eight days left on the auction, 43 bids, $710.

You pull a "non-paying bidder" routine at your own risk....