Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why is the San Francisco Chronicle talking about the Confederacy?

Let a Southerner, a conservative or a pundit refer to the Confederacy as a voting block in public and the press would rip them to shreds.

Apparently, the San Francisco Examiner Chronicle, a liberal publication from one of the country's most liberal cities, can openly refer to the Confederacy as a place where Senator Obama can pick up some votes.

If the editorial were written by a Republican, the press would be all over him or her for "inflammatory and racist rhetoric".

Bias, people. You've got two media standards in this country -- one for liberals and one for conservatives.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hard Eight Bar-B-Q Coppell, Texas

One of the greatest things about my travels is absorbing the local flavor and color wherever I go. This week, I was treated to a great barbeque place in Coppell, Texas -- Hard Eight Bar-B-Q.

Right off the bat, the experience is a little different -- the line to get the food runs right past the HUGE grill that has all of the various meats (Texas smoked beef brisket, ribs, chicken, jalapeno sausage, smoked sausage, steaks and turkey) and numerous sides (potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, etc.). While you are standing over the grill, you order up what you want while a grillmaster cuts up the meat right there in front of you and puts it onto the scales to weigh. You get as little or as much as you want, you pay by weight. Walk inside to the salads and cold sides, get a glass of iced tea and pay when you've gone through the line. The beans and hot sauce are simmering in the dining room -- all you care to eat.

Wow, was it good! I had the Texas brisket, definitely the essence of Texas BBQ, with a few slices of the jalapeno saugage, some corn on the cob and a green salad. Top notch grub, I'll tell you now. Just feels good eating it. I wish that I'd gotten more of the sausage -- definitely a great flavor, and not really spicy-hot at all. Just a great smoky sausage with a complementary bite of the peppers. The brisket and sauce were very, very good, too. I would have liked a little more spice in the sauce, but it's still darn good. The meat was very tender and juicy for smoked brisket. Good stuff. The day that we were there they also had grilled shrimp which were also excellent.

I give the Hard 8 my hearty recommendation for those of you that visit the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Next time I go, I'm having some of the sirloin. Slow-cooked. Thick. With all the trimmings. I can't wait!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

One of the many victimized by the Canon e18 error

I bought my wife a brand-new Canon Powershot S5 IS for Christmas this past year. I paid about $330 for it at Circuit City near where I live. It was fast and took much better photos than our smaller digital camera.

Five months later, the camera couldn't extend the lens fully and said "lens error, restart camera" in white lettering on an otherwise black LCD display. Restarting the camera resulted in the same partially extended lens that the same error message. A little online sleuthing revealed that this was a common error for Canon cameras, and it was formerly known as the e18 error.

I contacted Canon, and they asked me to send the camera into the repair center. About two days later, I got an e-mail stating that they would, upon initial inspection, fix it under warranty and send it back in about two weeks.

When I hadn't received the Canon Powershot S5 IS back in a little over three weeks, I tracked the repair online. I was shocked to learn that they claimed the the damage wasn't economically repairable and that it wasn't covered under warranty!!!

A phone call to them revealed that they claimed moisture damage caused this problem. Since I bought the camera in the winter months, I had barely even taken the camera outdoors, much less subjected it to anything resembling the pool or the beach. It's been indoors for all but one or two days of its life! If it does have moisture damage, I think that it's the most fragile camera I've ever owned and should only be operated in a dehumidified clean room.

I'm angry. And I think that I've got a reason to be.

After a little more online reading, I've come up with TONS of documentation on this widespread issue with Canon cameras. A small sampling of the 38,000 pages that Google can find with the words "e18 error": - This error is common enough to have its own website! - A site that's logged over 5,200 individual instances of the lens error with Canon cameras.
Canon leaves camera customers in the dark from
Digital Camera Disasters: Will Yours Get Fixed? from

I'm planning to fight this.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The National Music Math

= 0.7*+ 0.3*

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This is the real Albert Gore, Jr.

This editorial in the L.A. Times (I know, I know, can you believe that I'm quoting the stinkin' Los Angeles Times???) points out what I've said about Albert Gore, Jr. his entire political/public life: he's an opportunistic media hound that loves to be smugly superior in his "correctness".

Albert Gore, Jr. couldn't risk being wrong on the Democratic nominee, so he endorses Obama very, very late in the game, to the point of being irrelevant. I guess that being the Veep to Hillary Clinton's husband means nothing in this election? He has no loyalty to the people that elevated him from a Senatorial gig from an obscure Southern state like Tennessee.

You know, come to think of it, that's why the people of his claimed home state rejected him for president in 2000 -- he had no loyalty to us all of that time that he was in Washington. He was all about being condescending Mr. Smarty Pants and claiming to have invented the internet.

Mr. Malcolm, the author of the article, points to an even more scathing post from Joe Gandelman on a site called the Moderate Voice. Mr. Gandelman opines: "Perhaps one day someone will write a chapter about Al Gore in a new book titled 'Profiles In Uncourage.'”

People from other parts of the country often ask me two questions about Albert Gore, Jr.

Number One: Why didn't Tennesseans vote for fellow Tennessean Albert Gore, Jr. when it mattered?
My answer: He's not a Tennessean. He abandoned us when it mattered, and, truthfully, he spent his formative years in Washington, D.C. with his father while Albert Gore, Sr. was serving in the Senate. He continued into Georgetown University without missing a beat. He's a Tennessean in name only, and only when the name is convenient for him.

Number Two: Why do you always call Al Gore by his full name: Albert Gore, Jr.?
My answer: To distinguish him from his father, who was a great man in our country's history. Albert Gore, Sr. was a uniter, a man with friends on both sides of the aisle in Washington. A man with principles and a willingness to get things done. Albert Gore, Jr., on the other hand, is someone that is bitterly partisan and refuses to work on things the matter but have no political upside. In fact, I'll stretch that and say that the only reason that he does anything is to get the credit.

I'm glad that he's being exposed for who he really is.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Who does the media poll when they poll?

According to NBC and CBS news, Mr. Obama is leading Mr. McCain in a preliminary poll, 49% to 46%, with a handful of undecided voters. A reasonable margin for presidential politics.

However, with a sample size of nearly a quarter of a million people, Strawpoll shows the opposite -- 55% for McCain and 45% for Obama. A huge sample size by polling standards and a huge margin by presidential election standards.

How do these people poll? To whom do they speak? Frightening. Democrats typically poll several points higher than election results, but this is a huge disparity.

Edit: As pointed out by Yonah, I didn't make this clear in the text: I think that neither of these poll examples are correct -- yet both sources would have you think that theirs is the one with validity. The fact that they come to completely different conclusions is what I find alarming.

Strawpoll june 13-20 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ahh.... Cincinnati Chili

I was in Cincinnati this week. It's been a while, and I was travelling with someone who had never been to Cincinnati, so we headed to Syline Chili for lunch on Thursday.

It never disappoints. I love Cincinnati chili. It's such a treat.

I have mine four ways with onions. For those of you who are uninitiated, the "ways" break down like this:

Two-way: Chili over spaghetti.
Three-way: Chili over spaghetti topped with shredded cheese.
Four-way: Chili over spaghetti topped with shredded cheese and EITHER beans or onions.
Five-way: Chili over spaghetti topped with shredded cheese, beans and onions.

You eat it with a bib. What a beautiful lunch. I'd weigh 450 lbs. if I lived within 10 miles of a Skyline Chili or a GoldStar Chili.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Why would anyone re-elect this woman?

This story about the financial ruin of a California Congresswoman made me wonder -- would anyone vote for her and, perhaps more importantly, why would would anyone vote for her?

According to the report (and this one), Rep. Laura Richardson, a California Democrat, defaulted on payments for all of her real estate holdings starting as far back as eight years ago, allowing her residence in Sacramento to fall into foreclosure. She's currently behind on the mortgages for two other properties in Southern California.

She blames her new job as Congresswoman, a divorce and the housing market in California for her troubles.

I say that the troubles are with the person staring back at her in the mirror.

First of all, how can a California Congresswoman(man) afford three homes in California? Answer: They can't unless they are independently wealthy from the start. Why would someone need three homes? Answer: he or she probably doesn't.

That begs the question: why extend yourself this far on credit that you can't repay? Answer: it takes arrogance or at least poor judgement. That's where I have the problem with anyone voting to re-elect this woman.

If she can't manage her own affairs, she certainly cannot manage the affairs of this country. No ifs ands or buts.