s skippy the bush kangaroo: December 2010

skippy the bush kangaroo



Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In A Nutshell...

At least to me -- but please, don't ask me to explain why, because I can't quite find the words for it...


Happy New Year. I hope...


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posted by Jim Yeager at 7:14 PM | 0 comments

well actually...

hate to differ with @williamshatner, but it really was a lousy year. 2011 has got to be better.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 4:14 PM | 2 comments

greg mitchell over at the nation

is "live blogging" wikileaks news....go take a look
10:20  they did it, norway:  that norwegian paper, which got cable dump late, remains most active now in posting them.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:47 AM | 1 comments

various n' sundry

connecticut professors start website for rich to give back tax cuts

if it's good enough for limbaugh: facebook page launched to encourage dems to switch affiliation to nominate palin for gop prez candidate

yes, the right wing is so stupid that they are boycotting justin bieber based on a hoax!

morning joe contemplating running for office again...gee, we wonder what lori klausutis's family has to say about that!

and it's a good time to donate to the uso: all donations are being matched by an anonymous donor, so give generously!
posted by skippy at 6:06 AM | 0 comments

working for a living

I was moved to a different department at the place I work back in March. Originally, it was a 30-day trial. It's been nine months, and I'm still in that department. But that's mainly because my newest supervisor likes the way I work, and I turned out to be a pretty good fit there.

This is not a complaint -- I prefer what I'm doing now during the day to the nine years I spent in the pressroom from 6:30 PM to 6:30AM three, four, occasionally five nights a week. The thing is, I spend more time at work now than I ever have, and it's gotten to the point where all I do these days is work on the job Monday through Friday and just stay at home away from the rest of the world during the weekends. I'm supposed to have tomorrow off, but I'll be clocking in for a few hours Friday afternoon because some of the work I didn't feel like staying until midnight to do still needs to be done. That's just the sort of penance I do for having escaped running a press for a living.

Thing is, I've been working for this company for eleven years now. The powers that be there seem to think they have me by the balls. Yeah, whatever -- ask my immediate family members what they thought of that load o' bull before I up and left everyone behind and settled in Virginia back in '98...


I've stayed at this print shop as long as I have in large part because I didn't consider it a drain on my private life. Now it is.

Basically, the clock is ticking. It's not that I want to stop doing what I'm doing. It's that, sooner or later, I ain't gonna have a choice -- which, come to think of it, is a big part of the reason I ended up moving to Virginia.

You try to do your best. If your best turns out to be not good enough, most of the time you can find a way to man up and accept responsibility for your failure. But when you're faced with a case where nothing you can do will measure up... well...

I know someday I'll find the key. If there's only one thing in this life I excel at, it's finding the key. Again, ask my immediate relatives...


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posted by Jim Yeager at 12:12 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, December 30, 2010

yaatraa

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posted by mahakal at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

qwfpop


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posted by mahakal at 7:30 PM | 0 comments

haley barbour loves negroes!

color us (no pun intended) cynical, but is anyone at all surprised at the media saturation over haley barbour's decision to commute the life sentences of two african-american women, only a week after the worst press about a public official tolerating bigotry since strom thurmond's birthday party?
posted by skippy at 6:40 PM | 2 comments

the jon swift memorial roundup 2010

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it's a bittersweet note upon which we mention our good buddy batocchio, aka the vagabond scholar, who has taken it upon himself to pick up the mantle that the late, great jon swift has left behind.

jon swift, the nome de bloggeur of al weisel, traditionally created a year-end round up of the best posts in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase), all chosen by the bloggers themselves.

with the loss of al/jon last year, batocchio has decided to continue this year end festivity over @ the vagabond scholar. we respectfully suggest that you all head over there to continue this fine tradition, and perhaps to pay some year-end respects to the memory of al's work.

which reminds us, we will continue another tradition that al created: coming in februray is the annual blogroll amnesty day; this time, it will be doubly poignant w/o, but perhaps mainly for, al weisel.
posted by skippy at 2:26 PM | 2 comments

is the hardly-ever-right wing smarter than a fifth grader?

don't ask us why the hardly-ever-right wing keeps on harping on previously-disproven hypotheses, if we can even dignify the garbage that spews out of their mouths w/such a scientific word as "hypotheses."

fact: big snow storm hits the north east.

stupid wingnut statement: this disproves global warming!

this is the problem w/conservatives [ed. note: we're not saying there's only one problem]: their thinking stops on the surface, w/o any acknowledgement that life is complex, layered, intricate and involved. (hell, these people have trouble w/the concept of gray!)

without getting into the advanced climatology science that explains the nuance, we satisfy ourselves w/simple elementary school-level mr. wizardry that every kid above grade 5 knows.

storms come from, among other factors, large amounts of moisture (precipitation) in the atmosphere. when the air gets cold enough, the moisture freezes into flakes, and, voila, it snows!

now, the precipitation in the air comes from water evaporating on the surface of the earth. most kids can tell you that snow and ice evaporate slower than just plain water, ie, there is more moisture in the air above the ocean than above a glacier.

enter global warming. the artic ice caps have receded, thanks to warmer temperatures. ergo, there is more surface area of liquid ocean exposed to the atmosphere than surface are of ice, unlike before. so now more moisture evaporates into the air.

(also of note, tho this is more nuanced than we wanted to get into: big areas of white ice reflect light and therefor heat into the air, warming it; big areas of dark blue ocean absorb the light and heat, keep the air above it colder.)

so, w/o berating the conservatives for failing to remember the lessons of the day after tomorrow, the simple case is this: less ice = more moisture in the air; less ice = colder air; cold air + moisture = big snow storms!

and, it's not as if these huge blizzards are covering guatamela and nigeria; it's snowing where it always snows: europe and the northern part of n. america. it's simply snowing a great deal in the last couple of years.

if the average temperature of the earth hadn't have risen as of late, we'd cut the rightists a little more slack (ok, not much more); but things are getting hotter.

we wish the rightists would pay attention. but we know they won't.
posted by skippy at 11:00 AM | 2 comments

congrats

congrats to booman for getting linked by steve benen in today's washington monthly!
posted by skippy at 9:30 AM | 1 comments

down the penrose lane

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more @ penrose on politics!
posted by skippy at 6:23 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Worthy...

Yes, you are...


I'm posting this not just because I'm a big fan of Eric Matthews -- it's also because I'm the only person in blogtopia who seems to know who Eric Matthews is. Something needs to be done about that.

Enjoy...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 11:03 PM | 2 comments

Visual Artwork...

This is a sketch of a gray wolf I outlined yesterday and colored in tonight...



For a guy who doesn't draw too often, I don't think this looks too bad. I picked a photo of a gray wolf to go by, and went from there.

Done entirely with pencils...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 10:44 PM | 0 comments

you can't tell your dicks without a scorecard

if you really need some help telling the right wing apart, may we introduce dickipedia
posted by skippy at 8:42 PM | 1 comments

and we want to see our menorah's facebook page, too

via politicky bitch, here's your christmas tree's twitter page
posted by skippy at 6:16 PM | 0 comments

bits n' pieces

christine o'donnell is under investigation for campaign finance fraud

baby boomers fear outliving medicare

the senate gallery won't issue ackerman press credentials as long as he's affiliated w/fdl, so he's moving his site

and let's all ride seattle's light rail without pants
posted by skippy at 2:05 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

homeless population grows as tent cities proliferate

gov. christie pushes back against snow vacation criticisms

teabaggers love nepotism

the colorado springs zoo is love central for giraffes
posted by skippy at 5:14 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Question of the Day...

Why was this book review even considered necessary in the first place?

The book's got George W. Bush's name on it. Right there you know reading it is a waste of time -- Bush is to candor what Fox News is to fairness and balance. Not there, never been there, never will be there...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 9:55 PM | 1 comments

I Got a Vibe on First Time that I Saw You

Lady T was playing in Newark mid-2008; one of those bills that looks like an Oldies Revue—the people I grew middle-aged on, when BET still concentrated on music videos and even Donnie Effing Simpson was worth putting up with to see (and, in some cases, really hear) what was real and what was Roxanne.

And I decided I didn't need to go, because money was tight and there would be Other Times. And it looked like an Oldies Revue.

And now there won't be other times, and I don't even need to write a post here; Ta-Nehisi Coates has already said it all, in ways that I never could have, even not mentioning Rick James until the comments get things stirring.

So, since Brad DeLong took the crossover single, I'll put the other video here. Bet you'll want to look, even after Don Cornelius doing the introduction.


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posted by Ken Houghton at 7:42 PM | 0 comments

riding out the storm

airport delays expected to last several days

it took one woman four hours from brooklyn to jfk

one of new york's biggest storm problems: abandoned cars in the snow

massachusettes has massive blackouts, coastal flooding
posted by skippy at 12:47 PM | 1 comments

amrta

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posted by mahakal at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 27, 2010

tweet of the day

historically, blizzards have resulted in more sex. now they just mean more blogging.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:48 AM | 1 comments

this n' that

mental health patients disproportionally targeted for tasering

what mel gibson, the teabaggers, and others should have gotten for christmas

corporate america's plan to loot our pensions
posted by skippy at 4:00 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, December 26, 2010

santisantisantih

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posted by mahakal at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

tweet of the day

jfk airport is closed. if you want a pat-down, you'll need to work it out with your spouse.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 5:50 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

sorry a little late. was out walking around enjoying the sunshine...after all 11" of rain we got here last week. whew. anyway...on to those stories that you probably didn't hear mentioned on the talking heads shows this morning.

gravestones used to gauge air pollution's effect. - through the gravestone project, volunteers are using gps to create a worldwide database of how marble cemetery markers have weathered. marble is particularly susceptible to acidic pollution, and the dates on the stones make it easy to tell how long they've been in place - columbus dispatch

If colorado yellowcake uranium mill gets state's ok, customers would likely be in asia.
- if government environmental overseers grant a license to build the nation's first uranium mill since the cold war in western colorado, project leaders then would turn their attention to china, korea and other asian powers - denver post

california to rewrite toxic-chemical regulations. - california will take another stab at writing regulations that limit the toxic chemicals in consumer products after too many people said the rules weren't strict enough. california's regulations could eventually influence how other states govern such chemicals - san francisco chronicle


state mandate will power green job growth, but not in sacramento. - a new state mandate requiring utilities to buy more of their power from environmentally friendly sources is transforming communities around california with new solar farms, wind farms and geothermal projects - sacramento bee

environmentalists deplore schwarzenegger's corporate turn. - gov. arnold schwarzenegger's efforts to give a boost to corporate california are colliding with his image as an environmental crusader in his final days in office. the sierra club grumbles that the governor's plan for implementing the state's global warming law is a giveaway to industry. - latte times

under-reporting suspected in south county sewage spill. - officials at the san luis obispo south county sanitation district allegedly under-reported the amount of raw sewage recently spilled during heavy december rainstorms in an effort to protect an agency already being accused of firing whistleblowers. - cal coast news

what happened in 2010: climate and energy. - obama displayed high hopes in his state of the union address for the senate to consider a climate change bill and invest in clean energy, but bipartisan efforts failed and a bill didn't gain traction, despite the worst environmental disaster in history—the bp oil spill - wnyc public radio

integrity policy unveiled at last. - mixed reviews greet white house guidelines for preventing political interference in us government science - nature

bp oil spill's long-term threat to bluefin tuna. - evidence has emerged to suggest that bp's deepwater horizon oil spill may have an impact far beyond the gulf, threatening prized bluefin tuna, one of the world's most lucrative fishing species. the controversy surrounds dispersants, the chemical compounds that bp used to break up the spilled oil. - daily finance

shell pushes forward to drill well in arctic. - the deepwater horizon accident last april put a halt to offshore drilling — not just in the gulf of mexico but in alaska, too. despite that, shell is pushing ahead with plans to drill an exploratory well in the arctic ocean, in the beaufort sea off the north coast of alaska - npr morning edition

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posted by Cookie Jill at 5:13 PM | 0 comments

boxing day miscellany

equador joins brazil, argentina, uraguay and bolivia to recognize palestine

big blizzard headed towards new york

jane lynch, dan savage disappointed in obama

happy kwaanza
posted by skippy at 10:23 AM | 0 comments

Been A While...


Since we had some King Crimson around here.

Enjoy...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 10:18 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, December 25, 2010

ho ho ho

here's a delightful blog by a man who has been playing santa at a mall for the past 28 years...telling the cute and sometimes poignant things the kids say to him.

(via)
posted by skippy at 1:12 PM | 2 comments

tweet of the day

 
i'm not the newborn king of the jews, but i did stay at a holiday inn express last night.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:30 PM | 0 comments

thanksgiving on christmas

it's been such a lovely morning. mrs dbk and i are lucky. we are warm, fed, and both gainfully employed. the cat is lying in front of a fire in the fireplace (as opposed to lying in front of a fire in something that would require calling the fire department), the gifts have been opened and cooed over, and we have a lovely dinner planned.

many are in need today and every day, and i hope you who have so much will take a moment to resolve, as i have, to lend a hand to those who have little. don't take this as a downer message...enjoy today and all the good things that may come with it, but tomorrow, give a thought to someone who has less. that's how i'm looking at it, and i won't be stinting on enjoying the good. steak au poivre with a good bottle of wine is on the menu for dinner. i don't spit in the face of joy, i just want to see more of it all over the place.
posted by DBK at 11:27 AM | 0 comments

happy digital christmas!

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:49 AM | 2 comments

ysva

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posted by mahakal at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 24, 2010

nadi

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posted by mahakal at 8:30 PM | 2 comments

This Ain't The First Time You've Seen This Here, Either...

Something you all probably don't know...

I moved from my home state of Massachusetts to Virginia, where I still live, back in the spring of 1998. When I moved, I left virtually all of my family and friends behind. Since then, I have spent most of my Christmases in Virginia, alone -- and tomorrow will be no exception.

Thing is, this is the way I want it. Christmas day somehow took on a whole new meaning for me over time. I haven't disowned my family or anything -- I'll be on the phone with at least a few of my relatives tomorrow, and judging from the past, these conversations are going to be pleasant. It's just that I was the one who, for whatever reason or reasons, chose to get up and go, while everyone else stayed where they were. They didn't change, I did. I need to be alone on Christmas day now. That's just the way it works.

Maybe you think this is wrong. Fine. But know that I'm basically okay -- I have a roof over my head, clothes on my body, and plenty of good food and spirits in the fridge. I'll be all right. Christmas isn't just another day to me; it's a day to be thankful for what you have. And believe me, I am most thankful for what I have. I take nothing for granted -- not the roof over my head, not the clothes on my body, not the contents of my fridge, not the full-time job that pays my bills, and definitely not those who love me unconditionally.

Thus, I give you William S. Burroughs' "The Junky's Christmas" -- and I suggest that you all be thankful for all you have, too.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night...






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posted by Jim Yeager at 1:57 PM | 2 comments

crooks and liars loves david sedaris

and so do i. go here for a little international holiday giggle.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:25 AM | 2 comments

stuff n' such

largest gay troop/vet group reacts to president signing away dadt

inmate denied hiv meds

charles ferguson of inside job: there is no difference between the parties

fox & friends' stupidest moments of 2010
posted by skippy at 4:06 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This Ain't the First Time You've Seen This Here...

But may your days, may your days, may your days be merry and bright...


And may all your Christmases be white.

I cannot lie: I do love this video clip to no end. Enjoy...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 11:53 PM | 2 comments

skippy's thursday nite music club

shhhh...don't tell boss roo and the crew...but i'm sneaking in another one of my favorite christmas carols.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:39 PM | 1 comments

united states of austerity (for some)

get ready for it. it's coming our way. thanks catfood commission.
but the bush tax cut extension just passed by a political elite increasingly united on economic policy—a ‘repo-demo’ party dominated by corporate interests—is only the first of three phases in a new policy offensive designed to protect the incomes of the wealthy and corporate america for another decade, to be paid for directly by middle- and working-class america. together, the three phases represent the emerging u.s. variant of a general austerity strategy, similar in objective but different in content to other austerity programs now emerging as well in the eurozone, japan and elsewhere. - common dreams

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:35 PM | 1 comments

sorry kiddies

looks like rudolph is "rudolpha"
male reindeer shed their antlers at the beginning of december, whereas the females retain their antlers throughout the winter. so sorry kids, rudolph and "his" gang appear to be all be female! - scienceblogs
sometimes when you want the job done....well, you know the remainder of the phrase.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:24 AM | 2 comments

fcc goes comcastic

the fcc chair is apparently greenlighting the comcast-nbc merger
the federal communications commission's top official has given his approval to comcast corp's purchase of nbc universal with a number of tough and narrowly tailored conditions on the deal.

conditions for approval would address several key areas, including online video, program access and program carriage, according fcc officials who declined to be named. - reuters

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:06 AM | 2 comments

kibbles n' bits

we never thought we'd agree w/the huffpost: unemployment makes it hard for obama to bask in his end-year win

speaking of obama's administration, it's denying polar bears endangered species status

net neutrality & dadt: night and day explained

jay rosen pegs this blog post as the best piece written about wikileaks.
posted by skippy at 5:25 AM | 2 comments

down the penrose lane

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more @ penrose on politics!
posted by skippy at 5:24 AM | 0 comments

merry happy joyous festivus

for the rest of us.

you may commence with the airing of grievances and the feats of strength.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:04 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

skippy's wednesday nite music club

ok...sneaking some of my favorite music in here..

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:27 PM | 0 comments

bob woodward and the new york times spill key secrets

but julian assange should go to jail?

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:09 PM | 0 comments

today ends the largest prison strike in america

betcha didn't hear about it!
according to an article by facing south, department of corrections have been nervous about deteriorating conditions in georgia’s prisons since early 2010. wardens started triple bunking prisoners in response to budget cuts—squeezing three prisoners into cells intended for one. prison officials have kept a watchful eye out for prisoners meaning to riot, for prisoners’ rights lawyers to litigate, or both.

poor conditions and substandard medical care are also on the inmates’ list of demands. however, the jailed’s main gripe seems to center on landing recognition as workers entitled to fair pay.

as it goes, prisoners in georgia are forced to work without pay for their labor—seemingly a violation of the 13th amendment, which prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude.

for months the prisoners had apparently used cell phones to get in touch with inmates from other prisons, organizing a non-violent strike. the outcome began the morning of dec. 9—by dec. 13 the gdc issued a statement that four prisons were completely on strike. - death and taxes

(tip o' the kangaroo tail to mark crispin miller.)

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:08 PM | 1 comments

Bank of America: It Doesn't Just Blow, It SUCKS Too

How would you feel if you were a senior executive at Bank of America and your name was not on this list:
In recent days, at least 439 Internet domain names that are critical of the bank’s top officials were taken off the market. The registrations of the domain names, which include imaginative swipes at the bank’s CEO, such as BrianMoynihanBlows.com and BrianTMoynihanSucks.net, effectively stop BofA-haters from slamming the bank’s top executives and directors –- or at least blocks any slams using a couple of very specific pejoratives.

I dealt with a couple of the people on that list in a past life, and while I would assure anyone that Tom Montag doesn't suck, his description by the other Aaron (Ross0 Sorkin as 39.4 should be infamy enough.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 7:43 PM | 0 comments

so what happened, barry?

"we are up against the belief that it's ok for lobbyists to dominate our government — that they are just part of the system in washington. but we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we're not going to let them stand in our way anymore."sen. barack obama
january 26, 2008
if elected president, barack obama plans to prioritize, well, barring broadband providers like at&t and comcast from prioritizing internet content.

affixing his signature to federal net neutrality rules would be high on the list during his first year in the oval office, the junior senator from illinois said during an interactive forum monday afternoon with the popular contender put on by mtv and myspace at coe college in iowa. - cnet
seems you are letting the lobbyists dominate washington, yet again.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 6:24 PM | 1 comments

morning miscellany

despite calls for pay freeze, gop payrolls soar

gay rights a new tune for nashville

the 10 greediest people of the year

rain-soaked california braces for biggest storm yet
posted by skippy at 4:54 AM | 3 comments

namastasyai

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posted by mahakal at 12:00 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

no-cal just loves puttin' in a dig at lo-cal

from the san francisco chronicle.

it rarely rains for days on end in southern california but when it does it doesn't just pour, it seriously kills the vibe.

in a part of the country where people conduct much of their lives in shorts and flip-flops, the half-dozen or so inches of rain that have drenched the los angeles area since friday — something that might be shrugged off in a place like portland, ore. — has all but created social catastrophe.

In the days leading up to christmas, outdoor shopping malls have been deserted, a phenomenon caused by people who see no need to ever leave the house if they have to take an umbrella and who, once they do leave home in the rain, are ready to turn around in terror at the sight of the first flooded intersection.

....in trendy santa monica, beach yoga had to be canceled.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:27 PM | 1 comments

In Response...

To this...

The United States of America, as we have long known it, is just about finished. And the main reason isn't because of Republican obstruction, or Democratic spinelessness, or teabagger perma-anger, or progressive perma-jilt. It's because the vast majority of American citizens just plain don't give a damn about anything that doesn't instantly gratify them, and that's why we have to keep going over the same well-worn ground and reading the same woe-to-us posts the A-listers rewrite every damn day so that we can feel a little bit better about ourselves.

Most people simply don't pay attention, either because they can't or they won't. There is nothing you can do to change that. This is why I don't phonebank or go door to door during campaign season -- I might as well try walking through a solid wall and shouting "It's not there!" every time I slam into the damn thing.

Ron White said it best: you can't fix stupid. There ain't a pill you can take. There ain't a class you can go to.

Stupid, is, forever.

And the people of America apparently want it that way...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 8:25 PM | 3 comments

it won't be an economic disaster for "everyone"

and those leading the world to economic collapse are well aware of it. and, they are jumping their various ships as fast as their little "rat bastahd" a**es can go.
...when it comes to the fiscal problems with the states and cities, all you hear about are greedy, middle-class school teachers and firefighters. the 60 minutes interview even called their benefits "golden parachutes", as if they can be compared to the multi-billion dollar wall street benefits. what 60 minutes failed to mention was how wall street was extracting $4 billion from the states through financial wizardry. how many teachers and policemen could be paid with that much money?

...you might be under the impression that this class-based theft and destruction of the working class is self-defeating. after all, the wealthy have to live somewhere too. that would be naive, because the wealthy know exactly what they are doing and have planned for it. 
...you see, if you have enough money you can go anywhere. the wealthy know that patriotism is for suckers. that's why you don't see the sons of the elite on the front lines of wars. war is a racket, a profitable one for a select few, and paid with the blood of the poor. - gjohnsit over at the great orange satan

most of us are pooched.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 6:06 PM | 1 comments

to our democratic administration

thanks for the public option, closing guantanamo, getting out of iraq and afghanistan, and making sure the bush tax cuts expire...

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posted by skippy at 1:33 PM | 2 comments

blogging around

cuomo sues ernst & young over lehman

schwartzenegger wants to work for obama

jury pool in missouri refuses to be empanelled for marijuana possession case

and here's the rude pundit on haley barbour
posted by skippy at 9:34 AM | 1 comments

happy zappadan

thanks for celebrating the most holy of holidays, the month-long festival of zappadan, with skippy international!

day the first

day the second

day the third

day the fourth

day the fifth

day the sixth

day the seventh

day the eighth

day the ninth

day the tenth

day the eleventh

day the twelfth

day the thirteenth

day the forteenth

day the fifteenth

unhapppy zappadan

day the sixteenth

day the seventeenth

day the eighteenth

posted by skippy at 4:08 AM | 0 comments

A Depressing Interlude

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posted by Ken Houghton at 3:57 AM | 2 comments

lunar eclipse - magical!


Lunar Eclipse #3 "Totality"
Originally uploaded by slitherjef

posted by Cookie Jill at 12:49 AM | 0 comments

aadhaana

apakarshahimsa

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posted by mahakal at 12:17 AM | 0 comments

tweet of the evening

all of us looking at eclipse are nerds. all of us looking at twitter are nerds. all of us tweeting about eclipse are mega-nerds. good night!

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 20, 2010

namaste

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posted by mahakal at 10:20 AM | 3 comments

happy zappadan

happy 17th day of zappadan!



jesus thinks you're a jerk
posted by skippy at 9:06 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 19, 2010

happy zappadan

happy sixteenth day of zappadan!



who are the brain police?
posted by skippy at 9:00 PM | 1 comments

tweet of the day

people are so judgmental. you eat a few cookies & suddenly you're a "cookie monster". well maybe the cookies really deserved it.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 1:39 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

for those pesky little stories that won't be putting in an appearance on the talking head shows this morning.

global warming: sandal-wearers won't save us but greed and the us navy will.
whatever sceptical republicans back in washington may think, the pentagon is deadly serious about global warming. It even has its own targets for cutting emissions of the greenhouse gases

osu climatologist takes stand on warming. - scientists often are reluctant to step onto a soapbox, choosing to let their research speak for itself. not anymore. lonnie thompson's latest paper includes for the first time his take on how the world has responded to the warnings that he and other scientists have sounded concerning global warming. - columbus dispatch

wikileaks: bp's 'other' offshore drilling disaster. - while the gulf explosion created an ongoing political firestorm, a similar incident in azerbaijan remained almost forgotten until last week, when another leak – this time of diplomatic cables released by wikileaks – showed just how close bp had come to a major disaster in the caspian. - time magazine

obama administration issues guidelines designed to ensure 'scientific integrity.' - the obama administration friday issued long-awaited guidelines designed to protect federal scientists from political interference – the first time the federal government has had an explicit government-wide policy of this kind - wapo

climate questions and fox news. - a top editor for fox news channel directed reporters last year to question the legitimacy of scientific findings showing that the planet is warming, according to an internal e-mail obtained by the media-watchdog group media matters - nytimes

white house's 'scientific integrity' memo is released -- at last -- to mixed reviews. - eighteen months after its deadline, the white house office of science and technology policy released guidelines today aimed at ensuring government scientists' work isn't altered for political purposes - greenwire

scottish cod stocks hit by food shortage. - dwindling cod stocks in the seas surrounding scotland have been partially caused by a rise in summer ocean temperatures which has left the fish with a deplenished food source, according to new research - edinburgh scotsman

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:41 PM | 0 comments

has obama really gulped the koolaid?

digby, as will everyone, dreads what might be coming up in the state of the union speech. "the gutting of social security."

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:00 PM | 4 comments

Saturday, December 18, 2010

happy zappadan

happy fifteenth day of zappadan!



black napkins
posted by skippy at 4:25 PM | 0 comments

false remedies to fix a false economy.

it's the wrong cure.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:45 AM | 4 comments

Not Only Does It Never End With These People, It Never Stops Getting Worse And Worse....

Republicans can't even maintain their traditional marriage illusions anymore.

But pitting two inherently soul-searching issues against each other is the way the most abandoned sinners among us try to drag the rest of us down to their pig-wallow level once they realize that the rest of us don't share their belief in their own moral supremacy. As if these moral supremacists forcing us to choose between abortion and child marriage makes them better persons.

Well, it doesn't make us better persons, but it does make them more pathetic, offensive, and grotesque.

Frankly, I think that when you start acting on the assumption that nothing is sacred, you've declared that it's permanent open season on yourself. You're a casualty waiting to make the morning edition now. There is nothing I can do to stop it...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 8:30 AM | 2 comments

the fcc vote is tuesday

call them and your congresscritter on monday. make sure they know that you don't want the internet(s) killed off.
just a week before the fcc holds a vote on whether to apply fairness rules to some of the nation’s internet service providers, two companies that sell their services to the country’s largest cellular companies showed off a different vision of the future: one where you’ll have to pay extra to watch youtube or use facebook.

the companies, allot communications and openetsuppliers to large wireless companies including att and verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar tuesday, which included a powerpoint presentation (1.5-MB .pdf) that was sent to wired by a trusted source.

the idea? make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using facebook, skype or netflix. - wired
senator al franken thinks that net neutrality is a first amendment issue....and so do i.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:41 AM | 3 comments

Friday, December 17, 2010

unhappy zappadan

how ironic that in the middle of our festival of zappadan, comes the news that don van vliet, known as captain beefheart, has died:
musician and artist don van vliet, who performed a complex brand of experimental rock under the name captain beefheart, died friday. he was 69…

van vliet was probably best known for the album "trout mask replica," which was released in 1969 by captain beefheart and his magic band.

the album's angular, dissonant take on blues rock and van vliet's growling, surreal lyrics put him outside the mainstream, but staked his place in rock history.

rolling stone magazine recently ranked "trout mask replica" number 58 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. the album was produced by fellow experimental rock pioneer frank zappa, a high school friend from the desert town of lancaster, calif…

by shunning commercial success and a more accessible sound, van vliet became a role model for subsequent generations of musicians. his music is cited as an influence on the rise of punk, post-punk and new wave. beefheart is also claimed as a kindred spirit by free jazz musicians and avant-garde classical composers.




rest in peace, captain beefheart
posted by skippy at 9:48 PM | 1 comments

@pres_bartlet has quite the twitter feed going this evening

re: working on christmas....since those lazy, spoiled gop senators are complaining about being the possibility of being "forced" to work over the christmas holiday.

some of the highlights of the twitterfeed.

 - @ i know of a certain carpenter and his young wife who definitely worked on christmas.
 
  - @ i have had to at hotels, to make sure people visiting their families have a safe, clean place to stay.

 - @ my husband is in the navy, deployed on the uss carl vinson. he'll work every day for the next 7-9 months.
 - @ you know who worked on christmas? 1st congress under the constitution in 1789. and many others in the 18th & 19th centuries.
 - @ mommy of a toddler & hubby is a captain in the army & also a neurosurgery resident. we both
 - @ i worked overseas, in uniform, with gay men & women by my side, over more than 1 christmas. and thanksgiving. and 4th of july.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:35 PM | 0 comments

an irishman telling it like it is

f*bombs and all!

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:32 PM | 3 comments

they should just change the name of their party

to the sociopath party. Nero would be so proud.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 2:06 PM | 3 comments

tweet of the day

they should move the capitol building to wall street. it might speed things up.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:22 PM | 0 comments

our patron saint, jon stewart

has a few things to say about the gop hating 9/11 first responders.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook
and...unlike faux news, comedy central actually has someone sitting down with first responders to talk about their thoughts on why the gop wants them to die and the hell they are going through due to fighting for their healthcare.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

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posted by Cookie Jill at 11:30 AM | 0 comments

california's mental hospitals

should not be an extention of the justice system.
napa state hospital, a 135-year-old facility for the mentally ill, sprawls over hundreds of acres in wine country, its grounds dotted with palm, oak and redwood trees.

but in this pastoral setting, an epidemic of violence has scared staff members and patients, leading state legislators to call for emergency financing to help make the hospital safe.

in october, a psychiatric technician was strangled inside the hospital’s “secured treatment area,” where the criminally insane live. last saturday, a rehabilitation therapist sustained four skull fractures when he was assaulted, allegedly by a patient who, days earlier, was accused of attacking a custodian.

in interviews, staff members describe an environment in which predatory patients prey upon the more vulnerable. the secured treatment area, which is surrounded by a fence topped by razor wire, is rife with gang activity, methamphetamine use, pimping and extortion, staff members say. yet, hospital police officers are prohibited from carrying firearms or tasers.

..the department of mental health reports that 92 percent of patients in state mental hospitals were referred by the criminal justice system; 15 years ago it was just 20 percent.- bay citizen

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:59 AM | 0 comments

happy zappadan

happy fourteenth day of zappadan!



the illinois enema bandit
posted by skippy at 7:59 AM | 0 comments

this n' that

the house repealsdon't ask, don't tell

study finds that watching fox makes you stupid

omaha steaks drops glenn beck

"is that your minkey?" "my what?" "your minkey?" "you said, 'minkey'!" "yes, yes, is that your minkey?!" blake edwards passes away @ age 88
posted by skippy at 3:00 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 16, 2010

happy zappadan

happy thirteenth day of zappadan!




camarillo brillo - live!
posted by skippy at 7:56 PM | 0 comments

i "heart" bernie sanders

and so does matt taibbi.
week after week, month after month, we watch politicians who disappoint us, not just as leaders but as people, failing to achieve the basic life-competency standard we expect of most grown-ups, doing things we wouldn’t tolerate from 15-year-olds. whether it’s mark foley writing sexy letters to little boys, or charlie rangel or duke cunningham or jerry lewis doing the pay-for-play game, or even assholes like orrin hatch roaring with partisan excitement when the individual mandate – his own idea – was recently declared unconstitutional by a federal judge (who himself has financial stake in the health care business), these guys fail the common decency/honesty test with unnerving regularity. It’s sad but true, but in 99.9% of all cases, you wouldn’t think of looking up to an elected official as a moral role model. which is why bernie sanders is such a rarity, and people should appreciate what he’s doing not just for his home state of vermont, but for the reputation of all politicians in general.

...while everyone else in washington was debating the political efficacy of the deal – the hill actually published a piece talking cheerfully about how ceos found a “new friend” in obama, while the new york times shamelessly ran a front-page “analysis” talking up the deal’s supposed benefits to the middle class and the political benefits from same that obama would enjoy – sanders blew all of that off and just looked at the deal’s moral implications. which are these: this tax deal, frankly and unequivocally, is the result of a relatively small group of already-filthy rich people successfully lobbying an even smaller group of morally spineless politicians to shift an ever-bigger share of society’s burdens to the lower and (what’s left of the) middle classes. this is people who already have lots of shit just demanding more shit, for the sheer rotten sake of it.- matt taibbi at rolling stone

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:16 AM | 3 comments

kukukachu

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posted by mahakal at 2:11 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Loud With The Shop-Vac On...



Ah, life in the suburbs -- it looks a whole lot better when you're on the outside looking in, doesn't it?

Enjoy anyway...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 9:46 PM | 4 comments

the vampire squid that quite possibly destroyed our country

is rewarding "itself" for a job "well done." or, an alternative theory is that they want to see matt taibbi's head explode.
goldman sachs group inc.’s top executives will get about $111.3 million in stock next month in a delayed payout from last year and their record-setting 2007 awards, even as wall street prepares for lower bonuses.- bloomberg

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:16 PM | 1 comments

bradley manning, the accused leaker to wiki

is being subjected to inhumane conditions...and he hasn't even been convicted of anything.
...from the beginning of his detention, manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement.  for 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell.  even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions.  for reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).  for the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs.  lt. villiard protested that the conditions are not "like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole," but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.

....this is why the conditions under which manning is being detained were once recognized in the u.s. -- and are still recognized in many western nations -- as not only cruel and inhumane, but torture.  more than a century ago, u.s. courts understood that solitary confinement was a barbaric punishment that severely harmed the mental and physical health of those subjected to it.  - glenn greenwald at salon

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:00 PM | 0 comments

happy zappadan

happy twelfth day of zappadan!



i am the walrus
posted by skippy at 5:54 AM | 0 comments

kibbles n' bits

wisconsin tea party gov scares businesses away already

lawsuits accuse knights of columbus of child abuse

florida gunman kills self @ school meeting

dem ny senate majority leader embezzles to fund broadway addiction - mama mia!
posted by skippy at 4:51 AM | 1 comments

whole lotta shakin' goin' on

yesterday we brought you a bit about a swarm of earthquakes hitting the small town of guy, arkansas.

while some are conjecturing oil & gas drilling as the possible cause, reader joel hanes elucidates other scenarios in our comments section:
only 200 miles from guy ar is new madrid, mo -- the site of an 1812 series of richter 7 to richter 8 earthquakes that created temporary waterfalls on the mississippi r. at kentucky bend, but caused few casualties and little damage because the area was not yet widely settled by europeans.

guy, ar sits at one end of the new madrid seismic zone; new madrid mo is at the other end.

this could get interesting in the "i've got a very bad feeling about this" way.
we hope not, joel! but it could! thx for the info!
posted by skippy at 4:43 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

when wendell potter blogs

people should read.
....i have no doubt the insurance executives i used to work with were doing high fives when the public option bit the dust, and their favorite part of the bill — the mandate that will require us to buy their insurance products if we're not eligible for an existing public plan like medicare, medicaid or the va program — became the law of the land.
after the recent ruling by the federal judge in virginia that the mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, however, I'm sure my old buddies who are still in the industry are downright apoplectic.
as i noted in my essay in newsweek last month, the insurers, and the republicans they helped to elect to congress, have a real dilemma on their hands. the republicans led voters to believe that the new health reform law represents a "government takeover" of our health care system (it certainly does not, not by a long shot) and promised to "repeal and replace it." several politically-ambitious gop attorneys general (and one democrat) filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionally of the individual mandate so prized by the insurers.
now that the virginia judge has sided with those ags and other plaintiffs, the insurance industry flacks (like i used to be) are now spinning in overdrive. - wendell's post over at the great orange satan

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posted by Cookie Jill at 7:06 PM | 1 comments

happy zappadan

happy eleventh day of zappadan!




you are what you is
posted by skippy at 5:47 PM | 0 comments

things n' stuff

funny how no one thinks about cutting the pentagon's budget

michael steele will seek re-election

swarm of 549 earthquakes hits tiny arkansas town

the empire is collapsing, and americans will be the last to know
posted by skippy at 3:01 AM | 1 comments

Monday, December 13, 2010

skippy's monday nite music club

we're feeling like we want to be evil. (we miss you miss kitt)

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posted by Cookie Jill at 11:37 PM | 1 comments

how america will collapse by 2025

sobering.
...despite the aura of omnipotence most empires project, a look at their history should remind us that they are fragile organisms. so delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly bad, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for portugal, two years for the soviet union, eight years for france, 11 years for the ottomans, 17 years for great britain, and, in all likelihood, 22 years for the united states, counting from the crucial year 2003.

future historians are likely to identify the bush administration’s rash invasion of iraq in that year as the start of america's downfall. however, instead of the bloodshed that marked the end of so many past empires, with cities burning and civilians slaughtered, this twenty-first century imperial collapse could come relatively quietly through the invisible tendrils of economic collapse or cyberwarfare. - salon.com
(tip o' the kangaroo tail to fallenmonk)

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posted by Cookie Jill at 6:23 PM | 2 comments

down the penrose lane

Photobucket

more @ penrose on politics!
posted by skippy at 5:52 PM | 0 comments

happy zappadan

happy tenth day of zappadan!



watermelon in easter hay
posted by skippy at 5:42 PM | 0 comments

richard holbrooke has passed away

abc is reporting. apparently afghanistan was his last mission.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 4:44 PM | 0 comments

krim sivaya

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posted by mahakal at 12:00 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, December 12, 2010

happy zappadan

happy ninth day of zappadan!



stinkfoot
posted by skippy at 5:38 PM | 0 comments

Brian Wilson...


My hero.

Enjoy...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 8:15 AM | 2 comments

I Like Playing Games, But...

I'm old-school. I have no use for Wii, 360, or any of that crap. I prefer the kind of games you can keep playing when a thunderstorm knocks out your power. These are just some of those games: backgammon, chess, Monopoly, Yahtzee, Sudoku, mah-jongg, Uno, poker, blackjack, Risk, hangman, Othello, Scrabble, dominoes, Chinese checkers, and Skip-Bo. I could play these games all day -- and, once in a rare while, I actually do. (Two games I don't like: regular checkers and mancala -- the first because it's boring as hell compared to Chinese checkers, and the second because I really suck at it.)

But I love my Internet, too, so it's not unusual for me to play those games online in my free time. I like these sites: Addicting Games, Pogo, Miniclip, Gamehouse, and Splashworks. They're all good, they offer all kinds of games like the ones I've mentioned, variants on those, and totally different ones to choose from. I recommend them to everyone.

But lately, I've been spending an inordinate amount of time at another game site, King. The games they host there -- good Lord, are they difficult to play. Most of King's games are timed, and that's a small part of what makes them difficult to play. The big part is in their very design -- they are easy to learn, but absolutely f#&king impossible to master.

I love that.

You want to know what I mean? Play Letter Swap ten times, and you'll see what I mean. (You'll have to create an account and wait through authentication and advertisements to access it, but that's King for you.) I have a love-hate thing going on with that game right now. How to play...

You have a four-by-four grid of sixteen letters to work with. These letters are randomly selected in advance, in much the same way you would select tiles while playing Scrabble -- you have no idea what you're gonna get until you see what you've got. And now that I think of it, Letter Swap and Scrabble have a couple other things in common: you're likely to have two or more of the same letter (I recently played a Letter Swap round with six O's, much to my irritation), and every letter has an assigned point value (Q and Z are the most valuable -- if you can use them).

Unlike Scrabble, though, you have to use the same sixteen letters from start to finish. What you do is select two of them to trade positions in the grid in order to form three- or four-letter words, either vertically or horizontally. If you manage to use one or more letters in both vertical and horizontal fashion in a single turn, you get a bonus for that letter or letters -- and that's the key to getting as high a final score as possible. So you kind of have to study the grid before you make any moves -- knowing, as I've mentioned, that you are being timed. You don't have all afternoon to get this done, you gotta make up your mind right quick.

Oh, and you only get five turns.

Have fun...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 7:35 AM | 2 comments