Archive for January, 2009

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Take the Ten High Challenge

January 25, 2009

With the status of the nation’s economy being what it is, it stands to reason that everyone is trying to save money wherever they can these days.  Some people are clipping coupons for the first time in their lives.  Others are cutting back on, or just plain giving up activities that they’ve enjoyed in the past.  In this spirit (pun intended), I’m going to offer up a little discovery I made on my last trip to the liquor store:  Ten High Whiskey 

Now, I certainly understand that alcoholic beverages in general are something that can be lived without, but I’m not willing to make that sacrifice just yet.  So, after having one of those “Nothing beats Jack Daniel’s/ but it’s so expensive!” conversations arguments with the girlfriend, I headed to the store to try to prove a point.  I told her that I could buy the cheapest whiskey on the shelf and she wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, especially when we’re mixing it with cola (or in this particular case, Dr. Pepper).   At $45.99, the Jack really outta blow the cheap stuff in the plastic bottle out of the proverbial water, right?   The Ten High is almost 1/3 the price ($16.99).  Anyway, I”m sure people all over have had this conversation for decades, but this my first time with it, so bear with me.  The Challenge:

1.75L - $45.991.75L - $16.99

For this experiment, I poured double shots into two identical glasses with the same amount of ice, and picked different colored straws so I wouldn’t get confused when I presented it to her.  Once the Dr. Pepper was in there, I noticed that the glass with the Ten looked and smelled the same, right down to the frothy residue left on the side of the drinking vessel.  She took several sips out of each one, thought about it, gave me a weird look, and I asked “So which one is Jack?”.

She guessed wrong.

So, there you have it.  Now we can play games and have drunken sex, and spend the other $29 on a trip to the movie theater me.   Good times.

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About This “But He Kept Us Safe” Meme…(pt. II)

January 21, 2009

Yea, I know I’ve been over this before, but I thought I’d mention that there now appears to be a website created for the purposes of formally thanking Bush for it (h/t LGF):

bushmissionaccomplished

Never mind the irony that Bush has stated on multiple occasions that he regrets the whole “Mission Accomplished” thing, of course.  On his watch, nearly 3000 died in the worst terrorist attack in American history.  In response, he turned around and invaded a country that had nothing to do with it, resulting in even more American lives lost, tens of thousands wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent…and nearly 6 years later, we’re still there.  But we’re supposed to thank him, because the batshit crazy cave-dwellers haven’t managed to pull off another stunt with knives and flying lessons?    They’re saying that not allowing the same mistakes and oversights to happen again is cause for some sort of praise, and willfully ignoring the fact that the battle was being waged well before 9/11, and making the assumption that those of us that hadn’t died horrifying deaths would be living under bin Laden’s rule if it wasn’t for the protective blanket provided by Papa Bush.   I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. 

Well, if one admits that it’s a cop-out for unconditionally supporting the guy all these years, then maybe I get it.

Anyway, if you click the image, you’ll see also that the site’s founders make the claim that “the president’s Number One Mission is to protect our nation” (bold in original).   But as we saw yesterday, the oath requires the president to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States”.   Much has been made of the conflict between the two principles during Bush’s eight years in office, certainly, and I would assume that the ultimate goal would be to avoid sacrificing one for the sake of the other.   So how did Bush do with regard to the actual oath?  Pretty poorly, it would seem. 

So go ahead and thank him, if you wish.  You’re just a couple clicks away.  Give him the ol’ A for effort.  For myself, I think instead I’ll wait see if Obama is capable of cleaning up the mess first.

Exit thought:  That image of Bush has always spooked me.  Is it a gay lover look?  A Manson-esque stare?  The failed televangelist?   I’m not sure, but I’d take his ridiculous eyebrow-contorting phony smirks any day of the week over that crazy mugshot.

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2 Years Of Chamber Battles

January 16, 2009

I just thought I’d mention that the Chamber just had its 2nd birthday.   I’ll crack open an adult beverage to celebrate, but first I thought it’d be kinda neat to offer a little insight on where we’ve been.  A sort of “by the numbers”, a couple years in:

chamberstats

Top 10 posts all-time (by hits):

Title Views  
WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance 4,929  
Photos: Karl Rove and George W. Bush 4,797  
Satellite Images: Gustav vs. Katrina 2,379  
Confirmed: Cindy McCain Is the Crypt Ke 1,685  
Racy Idol Photos: Brilliant! 1,654  
The Perils Of Posting Legitimate Questio 1,534  
The Cost Of “Infrastructure” Vs. War 1,383  
Who The Heck Is Johanna Cardona? 1,359  
Greetings Lizards! (Update: Banned) 1,285  
Is Andrew Rove “Prepared For War”? 1,182  

Top 10 search terms (how we were found):

Search Views
karl rove 2,900  
chenzhen’s chamber 2,287  
big mac 975  
chevrolet aveo 728  
tall 642  
george w bush 605  
johanna cardona 583  
godzilla 515  
chenzhen 455  
cyrus the great 430  

Top 10 clicks (links visitors clicked):

URL Clicks
time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,16… 264  
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonella_Barba 208  
chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/… 176  
chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/… 175  
technorati.com/search/johanna%20cardo… 139  
redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm… 122  
chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/… 115  
wordpress.com/tag/wordpress-political… 99  
littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog 89  
technorati.com/search/video%20johanna… 85  

Traffic by the month:

chambergraph
click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it!  A modest blog, to be sure, but I’ve certainly had a lot of fun so far.  Here’s to a couple more!

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Bush’s Departure Reminder

January 16, 2009

Somewhere within all the coverage of the jet diving into the Hudson river, I happened to notice Bush decided to give a farewell speech (something his father didn’t do).  As it turns out, I’m kinda glad he did, ’cause I’d almost forgotten to pick up some beer for the party I’m gonna have in a few days.  I’m sure he’s glad he did it too, ’cause if nothing else, it gave him one last chance to stand up in front of America and make those ridiculous eyebrow-contorting smirks:

bushfunnyface1

from yesterday's video

After this boilerplate performance, I take great comfort in the thought that this was the last display of fumbled phrases and childishly robotic over-enunciation of everyday words.  The last attempt to whitewash his unwise decisions with platitudes about “taking the fight to the terrorists” and head-scratchers like “promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity”.   The last Bush speech from behind a podium. 

Finally, it’s over.

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“The Music” Vs. “The Message” (w/poll)

January 9, 2009

Sometimes, the inspiration for threads here in the Chamber come from rather odd places, and this is going to be one of those times.  You see, yesterday, I was hanging out on the showroom floor at the dealership, and I couldn’t help but notice that the background music playing over the speakers was what I used to call “Jesus music” (these days, usually referred to as “Contemporary Christian“).   It was playing all day.

At first, I couldn’t understand why in the heck someone would decide such a thing was appropriate for the environment (considering the fact that any Buddhist, Hindu, Hmong, Jew or Muslim could walk through the door and want to buy a car), but then another thought struck me.  First though, I should say that, during my time in this particular profession, I’ve come to realize that this genre is more popular than I would have expected, based on how many radios are tuned to KTIS when we hop into customer’s cars and run them through the wash.  But I didn’t really take the time to stop and ponder it all until yesterday.  christian-albums

In any case, the thoughts began with something like “What the heck is with this stuff, anyway?”.

I’ve got to wonder if anyone would be rocking out to “Awesome God” if you changed the lyrics to, say, something about beer.  Or women.  Or politics.   Also, is it just me, or do all the male vocalists sound the same?  I mean, I think I could tell that I was listening to CC before I heard the first “savior” or “redeemer” uttered in the song, just based on style.  I dunno, there’s just something about it that gives it away. 

Look, I enjoy all kinds of music.  My MP3 player often skips from reggae, to pop, to classical, to metal, to hip hop when I’m playing it.  I can understand why some people enjoy opera and country, even.  But the vast majority of what I was listening to yesterday was just plain bland and mediocre.

So, I guess I have to assume that our KTIS junkies out there listen to it for the message rather than the quality of the music.  I guess there is that choice.  But I can’t help but think that, at some point, one would have to deduce that what you’re listening to is simply the best material recorded by people who happen to sing about Jesus, and that you’re ignoring the huge selection of tunes out there that are really much better from the perspective of raw musical talent.   So why continue?  Perhaps it could be viewed as a sacrifice of sorts, like some kind of perpetual Lent?   

Anyway…

I had this discussion with my girlfriend, and I was surprised to find out that the lyrics themselves actually effects her taste in music as well.  Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be that shocked, ’cause once I thought about it for a second, I guess I could understand that there would be people out there who can’t get into anything instrumental, no matter what sub-genre.  A sort of a “can’t like it if I can’t sing it” mentality.  And if one is going to sing it, it’d be more entertaining if the subject was something meaningful to them on a personal level, I imagine.   That’s her, and maybe that explains the KTISers as well.

As for me?  I told her that I’m quite the opposite; the song could be about a dog taking a poop on a rug, and as long as it was catchy, I’d probably like it.   It’s definitely more about the rhythm and harmony in my world.  Give me some powerful chords, groovy beats, and impressive solos, and I’m usually diggin’ it.  

So, I have to ask, who’s more weird?

(I suppose there could be a third, less common category: principle.  By that I mean the selection was about the artist him/her/themselves, and not the lyrics or music per se.  For example, you choose to listen to U2 because of the work Bono does, or don’t, based on it.  What happened with the Dixie Chicks might be another example)

-Exit question:  Is there a name for the two schools?  Or should we coin them in this thread?

-Added miscellaneous factoid:  Did you know that they sang “Shout to the Lord” on American Idol last year?  I didn’t think I’d see that, but here it is:

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Dipshits For Franken

January 5, 2009

Well, the long and arduous task of hand-counting nearly 3 million ballots is complete, and it appears that Franken has emerged victorious:

The state Canvassing Board certified final results this afternoon in Minnesota’s marathon U.S. Senate race, but that won’t end the battle between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman, whose Senate term ended on Saturday.

Moments after the board certified that Franken had eked out 225 more votes than Coleman, attorneys for Coleman said they would file a lawsuit within 24 hours.

Of course Coleman will sue, so the drama isn’t quite over yet.  But considering the 400+ vote swing, I’m inclined to take us back to a post I made back in November, before the recount began, where I posed this question:

If Franken does wind up winning, and it’s the dummies that put him over the top, what does that say?

Now, I say dummies, assuming that the majority of the people who weren’t counted by the machines the first time around were my fellow Minnesotans who did something like this on election day:

(I made this up; NOT an actual ballot)

(I made this up; NOT an actual ballot)

Needless to say, part of me wishes that the recount swung the other way, even if I voted for Franken myself. After all, there’s something to be said about an association with people who aren’t bright enough to fill in a little circle on a ballot.  And while there are those who may theorize that “funny business” was at play in the outcome, there were those who predicted from the very beginning that the undervotes would fall in Al’s favor, based on demographics and exit polls (which is a nice way of saying that the elderly and uneducated are more likely to vote for Franken, and are also more likely to screw up their ballots).   Is my reasoning sound?  I’m not certain, and maybe I’m too lazy to dive in and research it down to the last vote cast.  But on the surface, it looks like Franken might owe his victory to a smattering of dipshits, if this was indeed the statistical handful of voters that put him over the top.  

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