Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ever since Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction last year, the FCC has been on a decency rampage. In fact, a bill was recently put before the House of Representatives raising the maximum FCC fine to $500,000, for each offense! Last year, Clear Channel Communications, hardly my favorite near-monopoly, and Howard Stern were fined $75,000 for some infractions. Under this bill, their fine would have been $9 million!!!!

To quote Rolling Stone Magazine's article on the subject:

"A review of fines levied by other federal agencies suggests that the government may be taking swear words a bit too seriously. If the bill passes the Senate, Bono saying 'fucking brilliant' on the air would carry the exact same penalty as illegally testing pesticides on human subjects. And for the price of Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction' during the Super Bowl, you could cause the wrongful death of an elderly patient in a nursing home and still have enough money left to create dangerous mishaps at two nuclear reactors. (Actually, you might be able to afford four 'nuke malfunctions': The biggest fine levied by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last year was only $60,000.)"

In related news, "Saving Private Ryan," broadcast on ABC on Memorial Day, did not violate deceny standards. (Sixty-six ABC affiliates did not broadcast the movie fearing fines from the FCC for the profanity.) Please note that Bono used the "F" word, and that was bad. It's use in "Ryan" was hunky dory, apparently.

What did we learn from this? Cursing on TV is acceptable as long as there is violence.

So in that spirit, here is my version of a recent story about the bust of Nefertiti in Berlin. Fark observed, "Current US political climate will not likely allow display of object with 'titi' and 'bust' in the name." Here is the safe for the American public story:

"Nefert**i's B*st on Display in Berlin

"A 3,300-year-old b*st of the Egyptian queen Nefert**i went on view Tuesday at a new, temporary home in Berlin as the centerpiece of a special five-month exhibition. Germany is restoring the city's five neoclassical museums, which were damaged during the WWII and only partially restored by former communist East Germany.

"The 19-inch high b*st of Nefert**i, with elegantly arched brows and towering dark-blue headdress, was discovered by German archeologists in 1912. It will be featured in an exhibit on art and hieroglyphs through Aug. 2. Its planned permanent home, the New Museum, has stood in ruins since World War II and is scheduled to reopen in 2009."

There! Don't you feel more wholesome not seeing the words "bust" and "tit?" I know I do. Gotta dash! I'm packing for my trip to Lake T**ic*ca, and I need to reread the Const**ution. Maybe I ought to change the t**le of this piece.

Friday, May 20, 2005

My uncle Donn has Parkinson's disease. My dad has a touch of it, too, but Donn's case is pretty acute.

A few weeks ago he underwent a new treatment. To make a complicated procedure overly simple: the doctor placed a wire on his brain that short circuits the tremors. Then they had him stop taking his medication. He did real well for awhile, then suddenly his tremors came back with a vengeance. So, I emailed Cousin Steve to see how he was doing.

Steve has a simple, direct style that often cuts through all the bullshit. And sometimes he says something so clearly that I am in awe. Here's his (slightly edited) reply:

I checked in with Dad after his Dr.'s appointment on Wed. He was too tired to come to the phone. I completely understand.

As a result he and mom came by yesterday and he looked as good as he had been since the surgery, but they increased the dosage on the medication where before they decreased it, and he was having a real rought time controlling the other tremors in his body. Again this is a result from a withdraw sympton from the Parkinson medication.

For the first time my Dad put it in perspective yesterday and let us know the real deal in front of my mom who made the comment that Parkinson's isn't just shaking, dad said: "Yeah, it also makes you feel crappy...."

Dad had told me that Parkinson's not only affects tremors etc., it affects the way he thinks. He had a procedure to correct the tremors and was also taking the medication that controls this part of the disease. As with all medications you adapt and as a result have to increase the dosage which runs risks of addiction etc. (Now you know why they banned ephedra from the health/fitness market, it wasn't the ephedra it was the fact you had to keep taking it after adapting and run the risk of heart failure.)

Which brings me to the point of this email: My Father, You Uncle and friend and family member has Parkinson's disease. To this date there is not a cure, but with the help of Deep Scan Brain Stimulation, drugs, my mother and everyone else in the family there is no reason why he can't enjoy his life. But Parkinson's will always be in the forefront that is something my mother reminded me this week that we all have to accept. All of us wanted him to be cured with the DBS procedure, all of us want something to make the pain go away and all of us also hope we don't get it.

This is not the case with life and we deal with it the best we can. Dad has been struggling but he looked great yesterday, I'll take him like that anyday. I will also take him when he is shaking and when things are bad (it truly does not bother me to see him that way except that I know for some reason he is embarrassed by it). I love to see him wearing his watch on his left hand, I love seeing him having a conversation, I love seeing him being able to play tennis or work on his computer, things he loves to do. Regardless of Parkinson's I love seeing him, if he is shaking or not. I don't mean to get too mushy but when he was at my house yesterday these were the feelings I had that I wanted to share with you. In my opinion, he has good and bad days, but he is doing just fine. I'll take him either way.

I light of all of this, Please stop by The Michael J. Fox Foundation and give them a ten spot.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My Next Car

2005 Toyota Prius

As much as I like sitting up high in traffic, being able to see down into cars and checking out the seat covers, The cost of gas is high enough now, that I want a car. Not something built on a truck chasis, but a car. A streamlined, higher mileage vehicle. When gas was $1.39 a gallon, I was pleased with 25 mpg on the highway, and 13 mpg in town. Not anymore!

I want a car that gets great gas mileage. That pretty much limits me to the 2 hybrid vehicles on the market: the Toyota Prius, or the Honda Accord Hybrid.

After playing around with the payment calculators, I've decide to go for either a Prius, or a used Honda Accord Hybrid. The price would be about the same.

So the new counter on the right will be called: Hybrid Downpayment!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Once I get my credit cards paid to manageable level (meaning: Once I pay off everybody but Discover--who I want to get down to $1000), I need to buy a car. That's the whole reason for freeing myself from debt: To incur more.

So the plan is to take all of next year paying off credit cards and stuffing money into my savings account for a down payment.

I have been saving 10% of my check every pay period, but that isn't going to be enough. And then I write a few overdrafts and have to pull the money out. *sigh* So, I'm going to put new trackers on the site. I've got to do this in more or less public, or else I'll just blow it off.

The first tracker will track my savings. I want to save 20% of the cost of whatever car I want to buy, plus half again as much.

The other tracker will be a overdraft counter. I want to see no more than 2 overdrafts for the rest of the year.

Tomorrow: My next car.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

On my original site, I made a page called CyberBeggars. I wrote:

I would like to buy things, but I don't have the money. So, in that spirit, I am joining the hordes of CyberBeggars asking you to send me money. If you have a Pay Pal account, click the link and contribute your heart's content.

Of the 5 sites I listed, only 2 sites still exist. Karyn piled up $20 grand in credit card debt. According to her original site, she paid it off in 20 weeks!

Another active site belongs to Ed. Ed wants a Hummer. Ed hasn't been as successful as Karyn. Of course, Ed wants $120,000, not a measly $20,000. But at least Ed's received $200. But, I haven't received anything!

I've briefly toyed with the idea of finding a cuddly animal and threatening to kill it for money, but it's already been done.

I signed up for AdSense, but have only racked up $25 since November. I am an affiliate for Amazon, but nobody's bought anything using my search box. And I can't seem to win the iWon drawings, or use the Redneck Retirement Plan.

It looks like it's up to me!

But if you'd like to help . . .

Monday, May 16, 2005

Your Political Profile

Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

This was fun. A couple of questions were too cut and dried, but otherwise it was okay.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Here's what Tutenkhamen really looked like. Not like Steve Martin.

But, it doesn't really matter, though. Since King Tut isn't mentioned in the Bible, his existence in only a theory. Only God's word is acceptable as fact in the United States of Jebus!