Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Severe Weather Season is Finally Here!

That means it's time for severe weather bingo!


Personally I prefer the Gary England drinking game...

We're Number One!!

When I say we, I mean Oklahoma City.  And no I don't know mean our fair city has the highest obesity rate in the nation (I think we're number three now).  I mean that the Oklahoma City Thunder are the number one seed in the Western Conference Playoffs this post season in the NBA!  Let's take a look at how quickly the Thunder program has turned around in recent years:

2012-13 Season 60-22  (.732)  ???
2011-12 Season 47-19   (.712)  Lost in the NBA Finals
2010-11 Season 55-27   (.671)  Lost in the Western Conference Finals
2009-10 Season 50-32  (.610)   Lost in the Western Conference 1st Round
2008-09 Season 23-59  (.280)   Did Not Qualify

See a trend here?  It's amazing the team has come so far and is still one of the youngest teams in all of the NBA.

I really hoped we would open the first round this year with the Lakers.  It's always satisfying to send a big market team that spends more money each season packing in the first round.  It wasn't meant to be though.  I'm sure we'll have no trouble, however, dispatching James Harden and the Houston Rockets.  That will get one monkey off our back, as many analysts predicted doom earlier in the season when we traded Harden to the Rockets.

I fully expect the Thunder to make another run to the NBA Finals and face yet again the Miami Heat.  I was sure we would beat them in last year's finals when in fact we ended up making a poor showing.  I'll save a finals prediction for another time, if we even get to the finals, but we're playing very well right now and the team seems to be gelling  with the best offense in the league and one of the best defenses.

Game 1 will be Sunday at 8:30 CT in Oklahoma City.

Thunder up!!




































Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Piss on the U.S. Senate


An amendment calling for expanded background checks as part of the doomed gun bill failed today in the U. S. Senate.

Really?

Link.

"The amendment failed 54 to 46, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster of the measure, even as victims of the Sandy Hook shootings and other shooting watched from the Senate gallery and activists at a vigil outside the Capitol read the names of people slain since then, hoping to prompt action."

I hope the Senators listed on the right of the picture above who are up for re-election in 2014 have this vote shoved down their throats!  Unfortunately my two Senators are also part of this gang of thugs who don't care what 90 percent of the American public want.

Why even bring up any bill or amendment up for a vote in the Senate when a super majority is always needed to get anything done?  Fuck those 45 Senators on the right.  Fuck the Senate.  The National Rifle Association owns your government America...   

Capital Added to Oklahoma's Endangered Historic Buildings List

Duh.

There's an interesting article at the Oklahoma Gazette about endangered buildings in the Oklahoma City area, including the Capital, Gold Dome Building, Stage Center and Villa Teresa.

None of this should be news to anyone who's lived in Oklahoma City for any amount of time, especially when it comes to the capital building.

"Gov. Mary Fallin attended the event, thanking Preservation Oklahoma for including the Capitol on its list. She wants state lawmakers to appropriate $10 million for repairs and renovations with $8 million of it for the outside of the building. The remaining $2 million would be spent on interior priorities.

Pieces of limestone have fallen from the exterior while most of the building’s infrastructure — including sewer, plumbing and electrical systems — are outdated or need repair."

Politics being what they are in the great state of Oklahoma, I guess chances are better that a republican will be hit by falling limestone when trying to do business at the capital.  Always looking for the silver lining!

I don't understand why Oklahoma has let year after year pass by without addressing the issue at the Capital.  Instead it seems all our legislators ever want to do is see how much more they can lower taxes in the state, a battle waged yearly by conservatives in the state legislature.

Oklahoma City has passed a couple of different tax increases over the years for upgrades to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to accommodate NBA standards for the Thunder.  We also payed to have a new practice facility build for the pro basketball team.  Perhaps it's time for a ballot initiative statewide to address some of these buildings, at the very least the building where our government conducts business!  Either appropriations or an increase in revenues should have resolved this issue a long time ago.  Priorities priorities...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fracking Earthquakes!

Five earthquakes near Oklahoma City were reported in the wee hours of the morning today.

Link

"The largest in the series was a 4.7-magnitude quake that rattled about 1:56 a.m. near Luther, preliminary data show.  A 4.6-magnitude quake was also recorded around 5:16 a.m."

Both larger earthquakes woke me from my beauty slip with what sounded like a truck running into my house and then a rumbling feeling for several seconds.  The glass pane on the door to my "laundry room" rattled and some items even fell off a shelf in my kitchen.  Though I'm from Oklahoma and hardly ever feel our earthquakes, I knew immediately what was happening and promptly went back to sleep instead of getting up and logging on to FaceSpace or Twitter to freak out.

What is weird is, like I said, Oklahoma always had earthquakes but I never remember them being so strong or memorable, meaning they were felt.  Just what's causing the uptick in the magnitude of quakes in the region?  Hydraulic fracturing?  The New Madrid fault getting ready for another big one?  I don't know.  I haven't really researched either item to make an educated guess so I'll just stay quiet for the time being.  I know, I'm breaking the unwritten rules of adding content to a blog, don't let your lack of knowledge stop you!  I guess I'll continue to piddle along with my life until I'm swallowed up by a 9.9 mega-earthquake or until my drinking water is flammable.  My money is on Chesapeake Energy destroying the world, or as I call the company, Doucheapeake and Chesadouche.  I've even heard Doucheadouche thrown around.

Beside, it's tornado season.  I'm already walking around with my head between my ass cheeks ready to kiss them goodbye.

Anyone out there live in a light earthquake zone?  When you can feel the minor tremors, do they scare you?  Do you care?  Is the world ending?  Perhaps not quick enough for your liking?    

Monday, April 15, 2013

Books of March 2013

I picked up the slack a little bit in March.  You could say my reading habits came in like a lion...

The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly - Currently my favorite Harry Bosch novel by Connelly.  It ties in a current muder investigation with a previous serial killer case that Bosch worked.  The famous "Dollmaker" case had been alluded to in previous novels by Connelly but never was the full story given until now.  Great police procedural drama with a few twists and humor sprinkled into the mix.  I'm really enjoying this series!  4 out of 5 stars.

Gerald's Game by Stephen King - Another King retread that I bought and read when it was originally published around 1992.  Basically a woman and her husband visit their lake house at the end of the summer season and proceed to engage in some sex play.  A few pages later and we find our heroine handcuffed to the bed posts while her husband lies dead on the floor.  Though a very simple premise, this novel creeped me out big time the first time I read it.  It didn't disappoint the second time around.  What would you do or think if you were handcuffed to a bed, keys out of reach, without the possibility of attaining help?   4 out of 5 stars. 

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan - In anticipation of the new season of "Game of Thrones" on HBO and the fact that George R. R. Martin won't be publishing a new book anytime soon, I decided to check out a new fantasy series.  Yet again I went with a suggestion from the brave circle jerkers on Reddit and came up with "The Wheel of Time" series, starting with "The Eye of the World."  Not knowing anything about the series, I didn't know what to expect.  What I got was a little Tolkien retread, mixed in with some Star Wars elements, add a dash of Greek mythology, and a whole hell of a lot of walking.  It doesn't sound as bad as it seems.  From what I understand it's your basic fantasy fair, lots of characters set in a Middle Ages sort of time, with lots of ground to travel.  Though a bit contrived and and clichéd I actually enjoyed the story and the characters for the most part.  Well enough to give the second book in the series a look.  3 out of 5 stars.

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly - Up to this point I had read only one other John Connolly novel and it was different to say the least.  I was expecting a little bit of the same, that is a mystery with a few supernatural elements thrown in.  As it turns out, "Every Dead Thing" is pretty much your standard mystery novel where Charlie "Bird" Parker, a private detective in New York, begins a missing person investigation that evolves into something a whole lot bigger.  This is Connolly's first novel and throws every possible murder mystery procedural cliché at the wall.  Amazingly most of it sticks and works fairly well.  I look forward to reading more from this author.  Also, Connolly has an exceptional gift with vocabulary.  Maybe it's an Irish thing.  3 out of 5 stars.

The Last Coyote by Michael Connolly - Another good effort from Connolly in the Harry Bosch series.  Harry, on involuntary leave from the force, is required to see a department psychiatrists and come to grips with the ghosts of his past.  I should be writing copy for someone somewhere!  Anyway, the bits with the shink are really well done and it's nice to probe a little deeper into Bosch's childhood and his mother.  3 out of 5 stars.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks - I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while and finally got around to it.  I really wanted to like the collections of stories more than I did but it just wasn't there.  Basically it's a collection of stories from people of all walks of life retelling their experiences of the Zombie War, ten years after its conclusion.  The author deals a deck that's a little heavy handed, turning down his nose on the hubris of mankind and science run amoke, blah blah blah.  Also all of the different people retelling their stories seemed to come from the same voice, the authors, if that makes sense.  Adding spiffy European or Middle Eastern phrases didn't add much a difference from the narrative coming from Herman the bunny wrangler in the next chapter.  But I digress.  Overall the story kep me interested throughout.  I'm thinking this may be one of those times when the movie will be better than the book.  Plus you can never go wrong with Brad Pitt.  3 out of 4 stars.

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather - I read Willa Cather in High School, "My Antonia" to be specific, and I think everyone else should too!  Think about it, how many strong female American voices can you remember reading back in your school days?  To be honest I don't remember very many but I always had a special place in my ticker for Cather.  "O Pioneers!" is a prairie tale about a family of immigrants that move from Eastern Europe to Nebraska to live the American dream and tame the wild land.  While the story is a bit silly you have to appreciate the strong female character that Cather creates in Alexandra.  Through sheer will and determination Alexandra triumphs over many hurdles to obtain her dreams, many of those hurdles being the dumb ass men characterized in the story.  Easy to read given that is was written in 1913, Cather has a very special power when poetically describing the plains.  On the downside, the story doesn't end very happily, but since when does life ever?  3 out of 5 stars.

Cold Fire by Dean Koontz - Ah, the poor mans Stephen King.  I've only actually read one other book by Koontz in my life and it was actually just a pretty normal tale.  This one is pretty crazy.  Guy finds that he has a gift to see the future of specific people and uses that gift to travel around the country to save lives.  Sound cool so far, right?  Turns out the gift is from God.  No wait, it's an alien living at his old farm.  Yet again it might just be his tortured split personality from a childhood trauma.  Very weird, very tiresome.  I only gave an extra star for the great first half of the book.  From there it's all shit creek.  2 out of 5 stars.

The Internet is a Playground by David Thorne - I found out about David Thorne while piddling around on the Internet, I think it was at Bored at Work.  The book is a collection of emails and correspondence and other funny bits of him basically fucking with people.  I laughed until I cried at some of the stories.  What he does is a little mean spirited but I'm down with it.  You've been warned.  4 out of 5 stars.

Trunk Music by Michael Connelly - Yeah I'm really into Michael Connelly this year if you hadn't noticed. Mystery, murder, and mayhem.  Bosch investigates a mob style murder that takes him from L.A. to the underworld of Vegas and into the arms of an old fling!  Yeah, yeah.  Good read though.  3 out of 5 stars.

900th Post Extravaganza!!

I still think Rachael Ray is Satan.  That is all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Extreme Couponing

So I was watching "Extreme Couponing" earlier today while eating lunch.  Yeah I know, I really need to get a life, but like a train wreck, I had to stop and take a peek.  This woman was loading up on a bunch of shit at the grocery store with the goal of paying little or nothing with the help of coupons and store discounts.  I even saw one women get a credit! 

Kind of a cool concept if you want to load up on a hundred bags of Cheetos, or fifty boxes of cat food, or any other useless garbage to ingest.  What really left me flabbergasted was after one shoppers triumph she commented along the lines of the following:  (I'm paraphrasing) "I just don't understand why anyone would go hungry when I just bought 3,000 dollars worth of groceries for under 50 dollars."

The fuck?

On the very few occasions when I've caught bits and pieces of this show I've hardly ever seen much worthwhile that anyone would need to buy in bulk.  I guess what I'm wondering from anyone out there that takes couponing to the extreme, do you every buy anything that you really want or need?  Even for light couponers, do you tend to buy items that you might otherwise skip because you happened upon a coupon in the Sunday paper? 

I guess on the plus side some people do this in order to donate their haul to local food banks, etc.  An admirable goal but still, I think a soup kitchen would be better served receiving goods with a higher food value.  Admittedly I could be wrong about what kinds of items people are snagging since it's not something I'm want to watch regularly.  Though, I've yet to see an extreme couponer loading up on a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables.

America.

New Blogs I'm Reading

A couple additions to the old blogroll.

Diary of a Javanista - pretty good stuff with a lot of various content.  Video games, books, sports, fashion.  Check it out.

the bitchy waiter - having worked in the restaurant industry for many years, as both a server/bartender and manager, I can totally relate to the content here.  I was searching for an old site I used to visit years ago, Bitter Waitress, and ran into this blog.  Funny and true.

Animal Crossing Meme

I created an Animal Crossing meme over at  Population Growing for anyone interested.

The "What's Your Story" Meme

 From Sunday Stealing again:

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten in public?
Fried Snicker on a stick at the state Fair.
 
2. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why? 
Probably my friend Matt, he looks a lot like Smeagle!
 
3. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next? 
Hump it?
 
4. If you were given biscotti, would you prefer it with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? 
Tea.
 
5. In your opinion, who is the funniest man or woman alive today?
That's a difficult question.  I really enjoy Bill Maher, in fact I'm seeing him tonight!
 

6. If you were given thirty seconds on television to say something, what would it be?
"Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!"  That or I'd encourage people to worship me and send me money.
 
7. What is your idea of the most romantic date setting ever?
Why somewhere in Paris of course.
 
8. If you could go on one date with a movie or television star, who would it be and why?
Chris Pine because he's pretty dreamy and he's Captain Kirk!
 
9. What is the worst song you have ever heard?
Another difficult one to narrow down but I bet it was made by Toby Keith.
 
10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?
In America definitely Chicago.  Abroad I would have to go with Berlin.
 
11. Who- in your opinion- was the greatest person to ever live?
Besides myself this is way to hard to determine.  Isaac Newton?  Albert Einstein?  Thomas Jefferson?  Galileo Galilei?  Take your pick.