Amateur Hour

Just watched Israeli PM Netanyahu’s speech at the UN. I loved it. And I can’t help but feel a bit jealous. Why can’t we have a president who can speak like that?

Oh, Obama can read a teleprompter like no one’s business. He’s got more camera-pretty personality than any 5 Prime Ministers from anywhere. And the man positively oozes charm and charisma. But after watching Netanyahu’s speech, I can’t help but feel that Obama is more charm than substance. He’s all razzle dazzle and no foundation. He has showmanship but no sincerity. The man simply has no gravitas.

It’s like watching American Idol when they have a guest/real performer sing. You think your favorite contestant is amazing, better than any current famous performer, and why doesn’t this person have a contract already? Then the guest/real performer sings and you realize that there is a difference. Your favorite contestant isn’t nearly the same calibre as the professionals. Obama’s like that; He’s Justin Guarini.

Netanyahu is Nat King Cole (ignore the corny video and just listen… sweet).

It’s Rainin’ All the Time

We had buckets of rain yesterday. And by “buckets of rain” I mean “a downpour of Biblical proportions”. I’ve got a river of red Georgia clay in my backyard and some wet drywall in my bedroom from a leaking window we “fixed” a few months ago. Our damage is nothing serious, certainly nothing like some of our neighbors and relatives experienced. I’ve never been so happy that we don’t have a basement. It seems like everyone we know who has one is going to spend today scooping water out of it.

So Georgia’s cleaning up from the mess of mudslides, sinkholes, and floodwaters. (Oh my.) And we’re not out of the woods yet. We’ve got more rain on the way, though the weather prognosticators are predicting that it won’t be anything like what we’ve already experienced. Here’s hoping. The little bit of rain we’re expecting won’t create the drastic problems we experienced yesterday, but it is going to make the cleanup all the more difficult. I’ve got a fan on my damp drywall, but it’s not going to dry until it dries up outside.

We’ll probably see more sinkholes, particularly inside I-285. If you’re in the flood area, keep a look out for anything different around storm water structures (inlets, manholes, etc), particularly if they were submerged at some point.

Our storm water systems were stressed yesterday and I imagine that the pipes were under pressure. They’re simply not designed for that. Putting those pipes under pressure creates a prime condition to create sinkholes around structural connections. Inside I-285, most sinkholes are created by failed storm water system structural connections. Most of those failures are from age, so when pressure is added to an aged system that wasn’t designed for pressure, it’s only to be expected that we’ll see more sinkholes than usual in the next year.

So keep a look out around storm water system structures. Sinkholes generally aren’t created overnight. They can take months, even years to fully develop.

[The post title is from Lena Horne’s incomparable Stormy Weather.]

Just Wrong

Reprehensible: If you haven’t seen the World Wildlife Fund’s ad featuring September 11, you should.

It’s not often that I’m speechless, but I have no words for it.

LATER: For crying out loud. On the video:

Deceiver just updated with this:

Well, now the video has been taken off Youtube. “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by DDB Brasil.” So it wasn’t done or authorized by the agency or the client, they don’t know who created it, and yet they’re claiming copyright. Hey, why not?

Ace has more: DDB Brasil entered the thing for competition at Cannes.

Nope. Totally not theirs. Just because they’ve entered it into a competition doesn’t mean they had anything to do with it. Not their fault that someone stuck their name on it. Right.

Less Than 2 Hours

I pay my credit card bill online. The good part about it is that I can wait until the last minute to pay my bill if necessary. The bad part is that if I forget the due date, I get smacked with a $39 late fee.

Here it is 1:40AM and I just paid the thing, thinking that it was due today, September 3. Oh noes. Due September 2. I was late less than 2 hours, and the late fee was already charged to my account. Dammit.

I’ll call later today after their offices open and see if I can get them to drop it. I doubt it, because I’ve tried numerous times to get them to lower my interest rate (to no avail).

The good thing about this is that they can’t increase my interest rate  because of the late payment. It’s already up there at the maximum, somewhere just under 30%.

Dammit. $39. I can’t even afford $2 for tacos.

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I Believe

I keep linking to Bill Whittle over at PJTV. Well, he keeps making sense.

Latest topic: American Exceptionalism. Our dear leader, President O, doesn’t believe that America is exceptional. Bill Whittle explains why the president  is wrong.

I have experience with the US civil engineering educational process (bachelor of science). I can tell you that in college there were students in my classes from all over the world. It’s simply because they can’t receive the same level of education, and at such an affordable price, anywhere else in the world. 

Whether the liberal elite like to believe it or not, science education is good here and it’s relatively cheap, which is why the US is such a powerhouse in the sciences worldwide. Producing scientific advantages is efficient and easy when the scientific education is good, affordable, and nearby.

LATER: Having such a large source pool of scientists and engineers also ensures that the entire population has a higher standard of living.

LATER, MAY OR MAY NOT BE RELEVANT: When I was in college most of the international students were from India, Asia, or South America. I don’t remember many European students. Also, most of the international students intended to return home once they completed college.

MUCH LATER: Ack! I forgot to include my source. I found the link originally at Ace of Spades HQ. Oy. Usually I’m better at giving credit… I think the brain is still mushy from yesterday.

My Brain Is Mush

Today’s forecast: scattered thoughts all day.

Wednesday doesn’t look to be any clearer, but you never know.  I’m hoping for coherence and clarity on Thursday. In the meanwhile, I have a million random links that I would normally attempt to tie together. But not today, for my brain, it is guacamole… the kind that is mushy and brownish.

So here’s the random linkage.

[Ed. Note: See that? I couldn’t even come up with a suitable segue to introduce the random links. Gawd. I feel like I’m thinking through swamp mud.]

Britain could get blackouts, the first they’ve had since the 1970s. Sucks.  They have cold winters. I’m a true Southerner and thus have a very real fear of being without power during cold weather. Go ahead and laugh, Yankees; let’s see you stand up to a real Georgia summer.

I’m not talking about a summer like the ones we’ve experienced recently. I’m talking about the kind of summer that’s so humid you feel like you’re trying to breathe mashed potatoes. It’s the kind of summer that’s so hot you feel your eyeballs boil. It’s the kind of summer when you pray for nightfall. We used to have those. I don’t know what happened to them. Another victim of global warming climate change, perhaps?

A US federal police force? Well, that idea gives me the creeps. And shyeah, he makes a good point somewhere in there: historically speaking, whenever socialism is imposed, it is sustained by force.

I understand misperception (NSFW) well. Try explaining your corset collection and your romance/romantica/erotica reading habit to your Mormon would-be  boyfriend when he tracks your web surfing through cookies from his blog. (I’m talking about me here, so I’ll go ahead and drop the second person “it ain’t me” BS. ‘Cause it is.) Apparently, that all made me a dominatrix in his view, or whatever he imagined a dominatrix to be.

But I learned something from that: once a Mormon man thinks you’re dominant (and a deviant one at that), forget about any eternal happily ever after with him and the billion babies because there’s no explaining anything, even if the truth is pretty much opposite of what he thinks… well, I’ll stop there. I’m sure that had my thinker thunk straight back there I’d be able to edit the TMI out. But it didn’t and it doesn’t. So, next!

Food porn: 100 ways to use a strip of bacon. [Ed. Note: Fixed the link.] I’ve got to add bacon to my grocery list.

I read recently that we are almost at 17% unemployment when you consider all the people (like me) who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. So when you consider that we’re now headed for negative job growth… just damn. Looks like I’ll be heading back to college Fall 2010 after all (assuming I can get a scholarship or student loan… d’oh).

No astroturfing here, folks. Move along. You know, I’ve decided that the first indicationthat a protest is the result of astroturfing is the pre-printed matching signs.

Addiction

I’ve been up all night on Ancestry.com. If you haven’t worked on genealogy in a while, and I haven’t since 1996, that place is addictive. It’s fairly awesome, though I’m not sure it’s worth the expense. But gawd, is that place slow.

If you’re not a genealogy geek as I am, you’re not going to understand this. I just got a line back to 395 AD. Yeah, the year. I’ve been doing a happy dance since about 2 AM.

The way-back ancestor’s name was Clodio; he was the first Merovingian king. And if you’re up on your Da Vinci Code, you know that means that I’m a descendant of Jesus and Mary. The Jesus and Mary. Walk on water Jesus and Mary. I think it’s pretty much nonsense, so I wasn’t up on the Da Vinci Code; I didn’t find out about it until I googled “merovingian”. Boy, did I giggle forever.

So… I don’t believe the nonsense about the Merovingians being descended from Jesus. At least, I think it’s useless to rewrite history now, after all the times it has previously been rewritten. So speculation about secret societies and “holy” bloodlines from 2000 years ago seems a fair waste of time.  And I’m not even Christian, so it doesn’t really mean much to me if you assume that the “research” is accurate; I certainly don’t. Though, that’s not to say I can’t have fun with it.

So worship me. Feel free. Snerk.

LATER: I think being descended from Charlemagne is much, much cooler. And shyeah, I’ve got him in my genes, too. Jesus and Charlemagne. Awesome.