Prediction

If Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate for 2012, Obama wins another term in the Oval Office.

The press would highlight the *ahem* unique aspects of mormonism and play soundbytes of his flipflopping on the issues, and Romney the Mormon Flipflopper would be sunk. The members of the LDS cult in America would probably also take a hit on their reputations, but who cares – they’re all just white flyover country hicks anyway.

Laura Ingraham said this morning “A conservative alternative has emerged . . . or has it?” No, it hasn’t. Newt is damaged goods. I wouldn’t LIKE to vote for him, but maybe I could hold my nose and vote for him if it looked like the polls were predicting a Democrat-controlled congress*. Romney – I just couldn’t pull the lever for him. I’d have to stay home, and I would be part of the droves of Conservative Christians who can’t vote for Romney, even if it means another term for the Dear Reader.

We’ll see how it comes out in the end, whether Herman Cain really can snag the nomination or not. Until his official withdrawal from the primary contest, he’s still my boy. Feel free to buy me a bumper sticker:

I was a listener when Herman Cain was a talk show host and he was considering running for the Presidency. It was a calculated move, and he saw the BS coming from a ways off. Now he’s realizing that the shitstorm has finally landed on him and his family. We’ll see how he takes it. He’s been laying low for a while now (read: not attracting headlines in the national press outlets which hate him), but it will surprise me if he drops out of the race. If he does, probably everybody left in the race will be trying to get his endorsement.

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*The nation was designed to have as little unity in government as possible and still function. Gridlock was built in to the system (“checks and balances”) and the system works great. It’s harder to have 1930s Germany in the USA, because the whole thing is all bolluxed up for forcing big changes through in a hurry. That’s the way it’s SUPPOSED to be.

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Update half a year later, after Cain dropped out and Romney got the nomination: I switched! The vice presidential candidate made the difference, and now I am officiall on both sides of this race. No matter who wins, I won! Or something!

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What’s The Word?

Hey raise your hand if you know what they call it when the military in a country is also the police force of the country. It is a national shame that we are reduced to this, instead of naming the enemy that declared war on us when I was still a little boy. They are at war with us, but we are not at war with them.

At this rate, who wins the War on Terrah?

They said if I voted for the Republicans the government would try to install a police state and target American citizens in the USA for punishment without trial under military authority . . . and they were right 😦

Oooooooh, THAT’s Why!

When something does not make sense, a good rule of thumb is to follow the money and see where it leads. When you find out which person in power is making money, you can then be pretty sure you can stop asking “why?”

So many people have been totally unable to get their banks to move on short sales and flat out cash purchase offers of underwater home mortgages, I have repeatedly wondered why it should be this way. Why would they want to lose money and not take a short sale vs. a frank loss?

Follow the money. I didn’t have all the information – the banks aren’t losing money on foreclosures, they are making money hand over fist. That right there also explains why they were having robo-signers rubber stamp so many loans into foreclosure: profit. The bank loses money, but it’s only a paper loss, and only until you consider that the taxpayer (read: your mom) turns the losses into profit.

Don’t Be a Dummy, Don’t Buy an EVIL Camera!

In the beginning, there was film. You either were a hero or you sucked at it and didn’t have a camera. Then there was autofocus and automatic exposure and taking photos went from impossible to learn to merely inconvenient. Then there was digital. Taking pictures went straight to “any idiot could do this!” and now your stupid robot phone has a camera. Making photographs is super easy!

But then, people who make their living behind a camera pretty much all have these big huge ugly loud noisy heavy big cameras with lenses that can be switched out. Your point-and-shoot is little and tiny and zooms from gnatsass to acrosstheGrandCanyon, weighs nothing, and is quiet. But the professionals obviously fail to think this is Good Enough. If you were to ask a professional photographer why their big DSLR is better than your point and shoot you would come away with a vague impression of complicatedness, but a quick conversation only taught you one thing:

That guy has some badass lenses and I want in! Plus for some reason or other he has to put the camera right up to his face, how stupid is that? Everybody knows how much easier it is to just look at the back of the camera, duh. Don’t you wish you could buy a camera with cool interchangeable lenses but it’s not all huge and loud and junk? Well good news! They make those now, and you don’t even have to smash the stupid camera up to your face to take a picture! They even have a cool name: EVIL cameras. How awesome would that be, right?

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EVIL sums up the main advantages and disadvantages of this type of thing, all in one swell foop.* Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens. There is no way to make an optical viewfinder on these cameras, because they are not that kind of camera. Your 15 year-old point and shoot might have a button to switch between the viewfinder and the rear-panel LCD, but bulky, loud DSLRs used by professionals barely got this capability in the last couple of years. Why?

Because of magic. They used a mirror to show the photographer exactly what is going on in his shot, plus some measurements that only happen when the mirror is down to measure the exposure adjustments. Then you push the button and the mirror goes CLACK and the shutter goes CLACK and you have an image recorded. The image plays back on the LCD and it looks different from what you saw looking in the viewfinder. This is a mystery. To the uninitiated, it makes no sense. Why, given the option, would you not rather look at an LCD that shows what you are going to get when you take the picture? Who cares if you aren’t looking through the optics with your eyeball? If you don’t, then an EVIL camera might be for you. But you are missing out. Interchangeable lenses have the capacity for greatness, but they are only half the system. The other half of the EVIL camera is the dumbed-down part. If you like automatic transmissions in your cars, pay with the EZ-pass on your keychain, and like compact fluorescent bulbs – AND you want to be able to change out your camera lenses, then the EVIL is perfect for you. If you want to make pictures that are as good as possible and don’t mind a steep-ish learning curve, then do yourself a favor and get an entry level DSLR from Nikon or Canon.**

The fact of the matter is, for most people, image quality is going to be about the same, regardless of what kind of camera they buy. You will snap photos of Johnny opening his presents, look at them on screen and print 0.024% of them on a kiosk at Wal-Mart. For these people, the camera on their phone is approaching, if not already past Good Enough for Everything. Truth.

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*Piers Anthony does NOT know when a trilogy is supposed to stop.

**as good as possible, and not require the film to be developed. If you want the absolute best no-compromises image quality then digital sucks compared to medium-format film. The learning curve for DSLR cameras is less-steep than it used to be. The first DSLRs were SLR film cameras with digital guts and they would tell you your picture was bad but not help you fix it. New cameras come with magic digital brains and take perfect photos every time, because some of the best engineers in the world lost sleep over how to make it happen for the last two decades.

Oh Right, Blame the Children

There would be more t0 read here, lately, but I have been sucked in. My Darling Wife and the older half of the Zoo have got me playing through Zelda the Ocarina of Time for their amusement. The N64 may be long-obsolete but you can NOT argue with the quality of the gampelay on some of the older games (Contra, anyone?).

Anyway, playing the game straight through takes 40 hours or so, and we’re at it an hour or two at a time, taking significant breaks for reading the walkthrough book in between steps of the game. This is something like an 80 hour-long movie for my family. It’s fun, but it’s killing the time I would normally spend keeping up with current events and making snarky comments thereon. So now you know why. The choice is you or them, and they win.

Yes, I guess that means I just called you a loser.

I Never Thought I Would Live to See the Day!

There is a scene in one Star Trek movie* where one guy says to another that he never thought he would see the day when a murder was committed on earth(!). That version of Earth may have been modeled after this place.

Coll, a Scottish island (population: 200) has had the first official Crime in – well, since anyone can remember. A public bathroom** was slightly damaged. They had to call the next island over to send a policeman, because they don’t have one on Coll. To someone who grew up in urban and suburban Metropolis, this is . . . different. I guess it’s nice to know places like this still exist, anyway.

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In related news, if you want to have a bit of a robbing spree I know this place where there are no cops. You have to bring your own getaway boat though, because the ferry to Coll doesn’t run every day.

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*not being a Trekkie (Trekker?) I couldn’t tell you which movie, or who the people were supposed to be

**in a city of 200 people they need a public bathroom?

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In Egypt, the people protested that their country’s head was a tyrant. He resigned and a new Prime Minister is in power. He has been given more power than previous officeholders by the military forces of Egypt. He is also old enough to have one foot in the grave just on account of his age.

The protesters in the streets of Egypt don’t like him. They say he is the new boss, same as the old boss.

No, there’s nothing bad could come from this, nothing at all!

Quote of the Day 11/24/2011

“You’re going to take away my Christmas and you’re going to poison my water?”

The other day on the local radio show “Let’s Get Healthy” they were talking about a baby step just successfully made by Fluoride Free Austin – an annual disclosure by the city that city water is poisonous. Then they mentioned on the show that the city is spending $1M/year to fluoridate the water supply. This, when the local tradition “Trail of Lights” ‘holiday’ lighting display is off the budget because they can’t afford $330k to fund the display.

Austin is stupid.