Sunday, June 6, 2010

Things I Noticed When Living Without a Blackberry

Last week I lost my Blackberry, forcing me back into the dark ages of when one had to find other things to do when walking, sitting or standing for more than 30 seconds. Among the new revelations of this contemplative period:

1. (At home) - Where are all these shoes in our living room coming from? OMG - Eli's home from college. I wonder when that happened?
2. (On Metro) - This trend of visible tattoos on women is not going to turn out well
3. (At work) - The person running this meeting looks vaguely familiar. Oh right - it's my boss.
4. (Looking at ads on Metro) -- It is so obvious that only the Boeing KC-X tanker meets all the needs of a next generation refueling tanker. Only someone who hates America would support a tanker without a centerline drogue refueling system.
5. (At breakfast) - I think that looks like Garrett behind all that hair (jealousy aside, he could use a haircut). And when did Laura get into such great shape? I better get more regular with my gym schedule (Frankly, I think Tipper lost respect for Al when his weight started ballooning).
6.(At movies) - The pre-preview ads are sure running a lot longer these days. But I sure am glad to know what FX has planned for their fall lineup.
7. (Walking to work) -- Hey, that's where that music I kept hearing has been coming from. It's birds singing! How crazy is that?
8. (Monday at work) - Did anyone really think those emails were so important they had to sent Saturday evening at 11 pm?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Republicans Decry Obama Response To Oil Spill

New Orleans -- Republicans attacked the Obama Administration reaction to the growing oil spill off of the Louisiana coast, attempting to liken it to the post-Katrina flooding in New Orleans and the botched response of the Bush Administration. "The callousness is sickening," said House minority leader Rep. John Boehner. "Every day they are letting thousands of innocent barrels of oil just drown off the coast. This shouldn't happen in the richest country in the world." Chimed in Newt Gingrich, "I know the left-wing media won't say it, but President Obama doesn't care about black liquids." Talk show host Rush Limbaugh urged listeners to take to the seas to form a human rescue brigade. "It is clear the Federal government is only concerned about liberal constituencies like wetlands and oysters. But with your boats, you can rescue that oil and give it a decent home in an American fossil-fuel- burning machine. It will be just like the evacuation at Dunkirk. 'But Rush," you ask, "there are millions of barrels in that spill. What difference can rescuing a few barrels of oil make?' I'll tell you what -- it matters to those barrels of oil,"said Limbaugh. In a related story, a group of Brown Pelicans released a statement in response to Limbaugh's comment that the spill might have been caused by environmental terrorists and that people shouldn't worry it since nature will take care of it. "We are out there fishing everyday for a living so we don't really know much about this guy Limbaugh," said one pelican, wiping oil off his left wing. "But he sure sounds like a drug-addled douche-bag. "

Thursday, April 8, 2010

McDonnell Clarifies Proclamation

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell apologized today for neglecting to mention slavery as part of the state history in his proclamation celebrating Confederate History month. "The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed," McDonnell wrote in a statement.. After sustained criticism of his initial defense that slavery was not an important factor in the Civil War, he added a clause to the proclamation that declares slavery "led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice." However, he noted, we should not forget that without slavery we might never have had the Blues, jazz, the Rolling Stones, or hushpuppies.

The Governor also took time to clarify another proclamation. He noted that his declaration of February as "Japanese Air Force History Month " should have also probably mentioned events of December 1941 along with the "proud dedication of so many pilots who gave their lives in pursuit of their profession." In a related item, German Chancellor Angela Merckel encouraged tourists to visit Germany for a celebration of "Aryan Heritage Month" to recall the many interesting historical sites connected to that country's identification with their proud Aryan Heritage. "This is especially true of the exciting period of the 1940's when Germany struggled for independence, local control and freedom from big government."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What To Expect From Health Reform

Many provisions of the newly enacted healthcare reform will take place gradually over the next 5 years. Here is a guide to the changes we can expect to see as health reform is gradually instituted:

1. 2011 -- Republican Congressmen Joe "You Lie" Wilson and Randy "Baby Killer" Neugebauer become supporters when they learn that they can't be denied coverage due to pre-existing Tourette's Syndrome.

2. 2012 -- American insurance companies, forbidden from developing innovative new excuses to deny coverage, move to less regulated markets in India. Consumer complaints increase over denials of coverage for pre-existing Karma.

3. 2013 -- Rush Limbaugh fulfills his threat to leave the country if health reform passes. He moves to the last remaining bastion of free-market medicine, China, where he develops lead poisoning from counterfeit Oxy-Contin. He launches Chinese radio show warning that Premier Hu Jintao is turning the country into a Communist state.

4. 2014 -- Employees with good health coverage begin voluntarily dropping insurance. "Having insurance no longer feels special now that anyone can get it," complains Mary Anderson. "It's like espresso -- when you could only get it in Europe, it tasted pretty great but now that it's on every corner you realize it is just a really small, expensive cup of coffee. "

5. 2018 -- The new tax on "Cadillac" insurance plans goes into effect, forcing everyone to ask -- "What's a Cadillac?". Legislators revise wording to "Lexus insurance plans."

6. Young adults, freed from worry over uninsured medical expenses, begin to binge drink and engage in risky sex with multiple partners.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hockey Team Deals With Canadian Trash Talking

Vancouver -- The highly anticipated rematch between the U.S. and Canadian hockey teams has brought out a rarely seen competetive fire among the host country's fans. Americans were surprised to read in the New York Times that American goalie Ryan Miller had experienced "trash talking" of the local fans, although he noted that, being Canada it was "polite". Here we repeat the most frequent taunts tossed by Canadians at visiting Olympians.

Bode Miller -- "Hey Bode, say hi to your wife for me. I've never met her but she seems like a nice lady."

Lindsey Vonn -- "Hey Lindsey, too bad you hurt your shin. Our national health care system would take care of that for free -- if you were Canadian."
Chad Hedrick - "Hey Chad, you wife's weight is in the healthy range for her height but I don't think she is getting sufficient fiber in her diet."
Johnny Weir -- "Hey Weir, here in Canada you could get married."

Ryan Miller -- "Goalie, if we play up to our potential, Canada has a good chance of scoring
some goals against you."

Apollo Ohno -- "Hey, Ohno, shouldn't it be 'Oh-yes'?"

Shaun White -- "Shaun, we would gladly worship you as a God except we are a secular country."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

White House Visit Looks Likely for Shaun White

After winning his second gold medal in the half-pipe, snowboard phenomenon Shaun White told Bob Costas he really hopes he'll get an invitation to meet the President at the White House. Although that word will probably half to wait until the Vancouver Olympics are concluded, early signals suggest that snowboarding has captured the White House consciousness. Speaking to House Democrats late last week, President Obama told them now was the time to keep up the fight for healthcare reform. "I didn't come to Washington to play it safe. I came to put down these great tricks I have been working on. Passing healthcare reform is the savvy thing to do, it's the saucy thing to do. Let's go big and stomp it. "

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow and Power Outages Fray Patience

Police Blotter -- Arlington -- Week of February 6th-12th

Feb 6th -- Outside Pentagon City Mall -- Packs of feral youth reported roaming in search of Internet access. They corner a middle-aged government contractor in thigh deep snow and wrestle away his I-phone to log onto Man escapes with minor injuries and $30 in texting charges.

Feb. 7th -- N. Monroe St. -- Man walking his Labrador assaulted by homeowner who claims that Arlington County ordinance requires the pet owner to "bag and dispose of" the 3 foot circle of yellow snow left by the dog.

Feb. 8th -- N. Irving St. -- EMTs respond to call for "acute cholesterol overload". College student had been without power for 3 days and living entirely on supply of defrosting Hot-Pockets which he was grilling in his fireplace.

Feb. 9th -- S. 23d St. -- Police called to bar to break up altercation. A 28 y.o. white male from Arlington assaulted a 33 .o. white male visitor from N. Dakota after the visitor had, for the 28th time in 4 days, turned to a fellow patron and said, "You know what they call weather like this in North Dakota? A heat spell. Ha, ha, ha. " Visitor booked for "incitement."

Feb. 10th -- Suicide hotline receives call from despondent Federal worker in Lee Heights who is depressed to learn he was not considered "essential" despite being Deputy Assistant to the Deputy Associate Undersecretary for Legislative Liaisons in Department of Agriculture. Man threatens to throw himself in front of Metro train before being informed that Metro is not running aboveground in his neighborhood. Counselors advise man of the closest underground station where Metro service is available.

Feb 11th -- Police responding to domestic disturbance find 51 y.o. male in psychotic episode induced by watching "The View" for 4th consecutive day. Man revived with DVD of "The Hangover" and released.

Feb. 12th -- Cherrydale neighborhood -- Police receive calls about "protection racket" in which a man calling himself "Frank" would approach homeowners saying "That is a beautiful parking space you have shoveled out. It would be a shame if something should happen to it." Homeowners who declined to pay "snow insurance" reported awaking to find that a Bobcat frontloader had deposited several feet of snow in the space overnight. Suspect is a white middle-aged male in a long wool overcoat with a New Jersey accent.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DC Area Gets Resourceful In Storm Aftermath

Washington, DC: The snow storms battering the area, and the accompanying loss of power and Internet access for many households, have forced area residents to come up with resourceful new solutions to old problems. We offer below some of the most innovative suggestions from our readers:

1. Billy T, Arlington: I was really bummed that I couldn't get on Facebook to keep up with my friends. But when I was out shoveling, I realized there were a bunch of kids my age on our block. We spent time doing the kind of stuff we could do on Facebook -- making snarky comments, updating our status, "poking" each other, etc. I can't wait until I can get back on Facebook so we can become real Friends.

2. Jimmy K, Springfield, VA. I am a huge fan of Call of Duty so I didn't know what to do when we lost power. But some friends and I realized you could press snow into little round balls and use them just like bullets or mortars. We also could build "forts" for protection. It's not quite as exciting without the simulated blood and reloading is more time-consuming but it actually didn't suck as much as I thought when my Mom suggested it.

3. Donna L. Friendship Heights We couldn't get on the Web for 4 days when Comcast was out. But a friend brought back a "magazine" from the supermarket -- it had a lot of the same information I used to get on the Web -- celebrity gossip, movie reviews, recipes -- and I didn't need to log in. I just can't believe they expect you to pay money for it. Crazy!

4. Bob K, College Park, MD: Without Internet, I couldn't get onto the live sex chats I usually subscribe to. Since I didn't have any power I had to head down to a local bar for some food. I was surprised to see there were real girls there I could talk to, and it cost me a lot less per minute. But for some reason they didn't want to keep talking about how "hot" I was making them.

5. Debbie S, Takoma Park, MD: My Kindle died 8 hours into the storm, and I was almost finished with the latest John Grisham novel. But a neighbor said she knew someone with the analog version and got it for me (a "boook" is what I think they call it). It was too thick to fit in my handbag, and I couldn't adjust the backlight, but it worked reasonably well in a pinch. Maybe I could take it to the beach.

6. Donna L, Alexandria: I couldn't get to the gym for nearly a week. But I worked out a regimen that gave me a good workout for my lats, deltoids, biceps and core. You grab a snow shovel, bend over, pick up a load of snow with the shovel, then throw it over your right shoulder, then on the next pass you throw it over your left shoulder. You can really feel the burn after a while -- all it needed was some good loud disco music.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama Strikes Nuanced Tone in SOTU Address

My Fellow Americans:
The State of the Union is strong. And under dire threat. You are burdened with growing unemployment, foreclosures, Islamist terrorism, and the "entertainment" division of NBC. But never have I been so hopeful about the future of our country. And angry. Angry and hopeful, because I feel that you are angry. And I understand that anger, the kind of anger that arises when the bankers on Wall Street are taking home big bonuses to their trophy wives while the hardworking American taxpayer, whose tax dollars saved Wall Street from disaster, is fighting just to keep his home and can't even dream of trading up from his first wife since she is the only one who still has a job. But the American people did not elect me to point fingers. You elected me because I could correctly pronounce "nuclear"and because I had no discernible "Negro dialect."

But I understand your frustration. You wonder why politicians in Washington no longer seem able to tackle the important problems facing this country and enact common sense solutions. To ensure you have health care while reducing the role of government in your lives. To make sure everyone can afford to go to college WITHOUT adding to government spending. To keep us safe from people who set their underwear on fire AND to end the endless war on terror. For too long in Washington, the system has favored those who take only one side in these political arguments. The pundits award "points" to those argue that one policy is "better" than another, This is nothing but the tired old thinking of the past. I came to Washington to change those ways of doing business. To show that someone who was super smart and cooler in a suit than any man since Sam Cooke could cut through the arguments over small government vs. large government and instead understand that what we needed was a smallish large government. Or a largish small government. But just because now both the right and the left are united in opposing me doesn't mean I am going to be drawn into their old battles. I am going to continue to strive for the same kind of common sense solutions that you demand. Thus, I am proposing a 7 point plan:

1. I promise for every war I escalate I will wind down a different war.
2. We will confront unsustainable and wasteful cost of health care AND make sure nothing will impede your ability to get whatever test or treatment you, your 13 doctors, or your drug companies and device makers might think is best for you (or them).
3. We will recognize the need for fundamental reform to a dysfunctional health care system but make sure we don't change anything for those of you who are ok with things as they are.
4. One year ago everyone agreed that a massive stimulus plan was essential to avert another Depression. But now that the economy has gone from "life-support" to "critically ill" and my poll numbers are dropping, it is clear that we need to reign in government spending. But we will take care that we don't restrain it so much that we stop stimulating the economy. "Restrained stimulus", I call it.
5. We will not shy away from the critical need to stem global warming and to create a new generation of green jobs. But we understand that sensible offshore oil exploration is the best ways to keep fuel prices low enough so you can afford to drive your SUVs.
6. I have asked the military to end "don't ask don't tell" which treats our gay servicemen and women as second-class citizens. But I respect that gay marriage is also a threat to the "first class" status of our heterosexual population.
7. And finally, I will continue to reach out to Republicans, so that together we can find bipartisan solutions to all the problems that 8 years of disastrous Republican rule have left me.

These ideas aren't "Democrat" ideas or "Republican ideas" but "your ideas" -- and I know how smart and sensible you are because you elected me.

I know that times are hard for many Americans. For people like Mary Pesknecker in Allentown PA who wrote to tell me how her community has been devastated ever since the factory that once supplied "Truck Nuts" for the entire nation moved offshore for cheaper labor. Or John Suisham in Coral Beach, who lost his house to foreclosure and now must go down to the library to view on-line pornography. But I also know that America has never been a nation of quitters. We didn't quit in that cold winter in Valley Forge when General Washington said "Let's roll." The brave men of the US Army didn't turn back on the beaches of Normandy when they were met by a withering hail of German bullets. And we didn't quit when Paula left "Idol". So I say to my Democratic colleagues: We still have the largest majorities any party has had in 40 years. And the American people expect us to lead. To solve our problems. So let's get it done. Let's get it done. Call me when you are finished. God bless America.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back and Forth over Palin Continues

The release of several new books on the 2008 campaign has reignited the war of words regarding the failed McCain-Palin campaign. The latest involved the assertion, in the recent "60 Minutes" interview with McCain campaign head Steve Schmidt, that Governor Palin had told staffers that she believed her nomination was part of God's plan. In an unprecedented move, the Almighty authorized sources to speak on his behalf to deny direct involvement in her selection. "Frankly, He was as shocked as anyone by her selection. He had never even heard of her," said an archangel speaking under a request of anonymity out of fear of retribution by Palin supporters. It actually turns out that a benign Heavenly mix-up may have been behind the selection of the then-Alaska Governor. "Look, to be honest, the job of managing the Republican campaigns was given to one of our demoted archangels. Ever since the Republicans tried to screw up God's plans for Terri Schiavo, the Almighty has viewed that assignment as a way to punish under-performing staff - kind of like getting placed on the Kyrgyzstan desk at the State Department," said the source. "And the angel remembered "popular Governor", "snowmobiling", "problem solver" and somehow confused Palin with Pawlenty. Believe me, we were all pretty red-faced." According to the source, the decision of the Almighty to go on record was furthered by His annoyance at Palin's recent statements that she might re-enter politics if God "showed her the open door" someday. "Look, he's the Almighty, not some two-bit bellhop in a uniform. He is out there smiting His enemies, not managing the careers of second-rate political pundits. " In an unrelated vein, the Archangel mentioned "the Almighty really wishes Pat Robertson would shut his pie-hole. He would have shut Pat up Himself, if you know what I mean, but He is still in tense negotiations with Lucifer about who would have to take Pat when he dies."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tearful Admission of Performance Enhancing Drug Use

Dallas -- One day after slugger Mark McGwire tearfully admitted to using steroids, another confession concerning performance-altering drug use rocked the political world. In a long and rambling interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, former President George W. Bush admitted that he had been under the influence of "Conservative Hatred for Effective Nonpartisan Intervention" (also known as CHENIs) throughout his 8 year administration. "It is now time to come clean and admit what many have long suspected. Throughout my eight years as President I regularly used CHENIs. I sincerely apologize to the public, I am sorry I ever took CHENI and I wish I had never governed in the CHENI era." Viewers had long suspected that CHENI use was at the root of the Presidents record-breaking string of policy failures, but to date Bush had claimed he achieved his failures without outside help -- going so far as to answer critics with a pointed "I'm the decider." Despite his admissions, the President stopped short of admitting that he could not have failed as badly without the assistance of CHENI. "Look, I first started relying on them when I thought I needed some strength after 9/11. But I screwed up while I was taking CHENIs and I screwed up when I was off them. CHENIs alone don't give you the lack of skills necessary to be one of the worst Presidents. That requires the monumental incuriosity, relying on "gut" decisions vs. thoughtfulness, and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the failings of your loyal allies." Bush pointed out that one of his most famous domestic failures -- the post-Katrina response --had no relation to to CHENI use. Still, critics were only partially mollified. "I am glad he is trying to put this behind him," noted the NY Times' Frank Rich. "But I think he will always have an asterisk next to his name when the list of the worst executives is made up. There is no question CHENI use helped him launch an unnecessary war, keep an incompetent Defense Secretary, alienate allies, condone torture and push through harmful tax cuts. I think there he certainly could have been a pretty bad President without CHENI but we will never know if he could have achieved his monumental failures all on his own. The legacy of Millard Fillmore is still safe."