Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Election Predictions

McCain/Lieberman defeat Obama/Edwards

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And forget all the talk of Thompson as VP. Not one of the remaining GOP hopefuls can stand next to Fred and not look small and weak. And no man with the ego required to run for president could tolerate that. By the way, when I made my little joke about how Fred "wasn't really running," I didn't think I was starting a rumor that he really wasn't really running, just angling for a slot as Veep.

As ridiculous as the theory sounds, it does fit with Fred's lazy image. Get elected Veep, then let the figurehead at the top of the ticket take all the heat while he runs the show from behind the stage.

Wow, did I have Kool Aid for lunch?

Posted by Rich
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Caution:  Foul Language to Follow

Stacey Campfield is niggardly in his application of the rules of grammar, which results in the asinine statements he makes on his blog.

Ok, that's the end of the foul language.

What? You didn't see any foul language there? Ahhh, you just aren't as smart as Rep Campfield, who purged a comment that contained the word "asinine" in it, saying, "I will not post your comments with bad language in them. If you can clean it up you can try again. If not you will be banned."

You can read the whole story at Lissa's place.

You know, a politician reacting negatively to criticism is no big deal; we all do that. But when they reveal such a cavernous depth of ignorance of their own native language while doing so, it really makes them look silly.

Not that Campfield really needs much help in that regard.

But it gets worse. Either Rep. Campfield is really as dumb as his legislative agenda sometimes makes him appear, or he figured that since Lissa's blog is lightly read, he could get away with saying foolish things, and nobody would notice. After Lissa posted her bit on Campfield, he responded.
A nice bit about banning trolls also. I guess those are people who don't always agree with you.
censorship!,censorship!, censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!,censorship!.


Gotcha? Folks, this is a State representative boasting like a middle school kid in a playground dispute over who's up next in a kickball match. Is this the type of rhetoric he uses during debates in our legislature?

"Oh my! Stacey cried 'Gotcha!' I am now utterly convinced that he is right and I was horribly wrong. Let me change my vote!"

Somehow, I doubt that.

Just for fun, I looked up Rep. Campfield's official House Bio page.


A few highlights:


* West Know Republican Club (What did the West know, and when did they know it?)
* Concora Faragut Republican Club (Where is Concora? I can't find it on my Google Earth. And did the Town of Farragut run out of funds and delete an "R" from their name?)
* Ceretoma Center (Are they related to the Sertoma Center, or is this something else entirely unknown to anyone on the planet other than Representative Campfield?)
* Read With Me Program (Oh dear. Well, those that can't do...)
* Westhills Homeowners Association (And I always thought that West Hills was two words. Oh, wait...)
* Knoxville Education Summit (Oh dear...part 2)

Honors and Awards

* Assistant Chairman Knox County Deligation of Legislators (Okay, ligation refers to the tying off of a blood vessel to cut off blood flow, sort of like putting elastic bands around a bull's testicles so they will shrivel up and fall off. So Stacey was the assistant for the guy who does that to legislators? Pretty cool job. I wonder how much it pays?)

Yeah, I know, making fun of Campfield is too easy, but really folks, this guy was elected to represent part of Knox County, and he can't even take the time to spell check his official bio? I can understand his blog having typos and errors, but his official bio?

I'll say it again, the more I learn about Knoxville politics, the happier I am to live in Sevier County.

PS: Asinine is not a bad word. according to Merriam Webster Online, it has two meanings.
1 : extremely or utterly foolish
2 : of, relating to, or resembling an ass

Now "ass" can be considered vulgar, if you use it anatomically, for example "Stacey Campfield is a horse's ass," or "The representative from District 18 has his head jammed up his ass." Those uses of the word "ass" would be considered vulgar. However, ass can be used in polite speech when referring to a Democrat, or other jackasses, such as donkeys, for example, "And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith." Judges 15:15.

So, now we have to determine which type of ass asinine refers to. Is it the animal, or the anatomy.

Apparently, Stacey feels it refers to him anatomically, which gives us an idea of his self image.

Now, to be fair to Stacey, we have to point out that there are many words in the English language that can be fair or foul, depending on the context.
  • Cock
  • Ball
  • Prick
  • Pussy
  • Booby
  • Knockers
  • Major league Yabos

Ok, that last one might not be so ambiguous, but the others are certainly context sensitive. All this ambiguity must be very confusing to a guy like Campfield, who sees the world through binary goggles. So we do need to cut him a little slack on the whole asinine thing. After all, if it looks like an ass, and sounds like an ass, it just might be an ass.

Or a representative.

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

I’ll Bet You Never Expected to Read This Here!

No, I'm not voting for Hillary.

But I'm looking for advice and recommendations on a topic so far from my own personal areas of expertise that I can't even begin to pretend to have an informed opinion.

I'm looking for a breast pump.

Now the last time I went looking for a specific feminine related product was when I bought my then wife an EpiLady. For the guys out there who don't know what an EpiLady is, do you remember those old strength training kits with the steel springs attached to two plastic handles? The idea was that you stretched out the springs and that would build up your muscles. The reality was when you let the springs snap back from a full extension, they grabbed all the hairs on your chest and ripped them off by squeezing them between the coils of the springs. A couple of guys I know lost nipples to that barbaric contraption.

The EpiLady was invented by the guy who invented those spring things, except this time, he added electricity to the fun and games. Instead of stretching the spring, he turned it into a coil and attached it to a motor, so the coil would spin rapidly. The idea was that the spinning coil would capture the hairs on a woman's leg and rip them painlessly out of her flesh, resulting in a silky smooth shave that lasted for weeks. This time, the reality matched the ideal, except for the "painlessly" part.

When my wife opened this "gift" she was very excited and wanted to try it out immediately. She plugged it in, flipped the switch and brought it carefully towards her leg, aiming for a spot on her calf just below the knee. This woman, who gave birth to 5 babies without any medication screamed in pain as this torture device came into contact with her skin. She threw it across the room, and began to speak to me in words my children had never heard before. Heck, I was a sailor, and I hadn't heard some of them before!

Then she asked me to try it.

I politely declined, and reminded her that the only reason I had bought her that particular gift was that she had asked for it specifically, and by name.

Have you ever noticed that facts and logic rarely win arguments, particularly when a spouse is involved?

Anyway, I tell you that story so you'll understand my dilemma. My daughter wants to breastfeed my newest grandson, and I told her I'd get her a pump for when she returns to work. I've done some basic research, and since she plans on breastfeeding exclusively, I figure she'll need an electric pump, probably a double. But which one?

That's where you readers come in. The beauty of the blogosphere is that I don't have to know everything; I just have to be able to ask a question and let it percolate through the pixels until it reaches the people who do know the answer. So let me know about your experiences with different models of mammarian machinery. Which ones worked best for you, and which ones were flops (so to speak)? Just as importantly, which ones were a pain to use, physically, or mechanically, and which ones were easy and comfortable? And what accessories and supplies will she need? I believe very strongly in the advantages of breastfeeding, and I'd really like for my daughter to succeed.

So thanks in advance for your input.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, January 25, 2008

One day old and sleeping like a baby

Posted by Rich
Grandpappyhood • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here’s Joaquin!

In full 1.3 megapixel glory, as captured by my camera phone. Better pictures to follow.

Joaquin Gustavo Jiminez
Born 1-24 at 1:25PM CST
7lbs 9oz
21" long.


More shots after the fold, but don't expect to see me in them. I'm sick as a dog, and staying far away from baby and mother until I'm not sick as a dog anymore.

Maybe till I'm just sick as a hamster or something.

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Shots Across the Bow Exclusive!

These don't happen for me very often folks, so let me just savor the glory for just a moment....

OK, that's enough.

Through a very weird concatenation of events, mischances, and pure dumb luck, I got the chance to talk with Senator Fred Thompson today, and not being a professional reporter, I asked him exactly what was on my mind.

"Sen. Thompson, what do you have to say to all your supporters who backed you, now that you've ended your run for the Presidency?

His response

Posted by Rich
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Monday, January 21, 2008

More on Cloverfield


In my review, written in the wee hours of the morning, I mentioned almost in passing that Cloverfield was the first attempt by Hollywood to deal with the reality of terrorism in America. And that it happened in just the same way that Hollywood dealt with American worries over nuclear war, with a monster movie.

This makes Cloverfield, albeit totally inadvertently, kind of important.

Let's go back a couple of decades to the Cold War era, to 1956 and Invasion of the Body Snatchers . Directed by Don Seigel from a story by Jack Finney, (a heck of a writer by the way. Check out "I'm Scared" if you can find it.) Body Snatchers is all about paranoia. People are being replaced with aliens from pods and the aliens are identical to the original, except that it's just a masquerade. The pod people are taking over hiding under the cover of our own friends and neighbors. While Seigel and Finney both denied any deliberate subtext to the story or the film, the obvious parallels with both creeping communism and raging McCarthyism are too strong to ignore. For a story to be effective, it must touch people, and the only way to do that is to play up the things that move them emotionally, the things they love,and the things they fear. The Cold War was a time of deep paranoia and uncertainty, and Body Snatchers played right into that pre-existing feeling.

While Don Seigel set out just to make a good scary movie, he managed to touch on the worries and fears that preoccupied Americans in the 50s, so it's no wonder the movie was so popular.

Now let's look at J.J.Abrams, and Cloverfield. Like Seigel, Abrams claims to have nothing more on his mind than making a good old fashioned monster movie. Well, like we just saw with Body Snatchers, that doesn't mean that there isn't anything more going on under the surface. When you look at the sheer randomness of Cloverfield, combined with the physical devastation, and the utter helplessness of the military, you can't help but see a comparison to the events of 9/11. In fact, the one shot of the Empire State building collapsing, sending a thick cloud of dust roiling towards the camera, could have come from the shots captured on 9/11.

The threat of future terrorist attacks is too real and too big for our minds to deal with. We either reject the possibility out of hand, (read Democrat), or we downplay it, gloss over it by indulging in meaningless actions to try and prevent it from ever happening again (read Republican). The nasty fact that there are people out there who want to hurt us and destroy us, and that those people may have access to nuclear weaponry is our new national nightmare. Nobody wants to talk about it.

So here comes Abrams who taps into that underlying fear with a movie about a random, inexplicable attack on New York City. Whether it was deliberate or not,he tapped into the underlying fear of our time. The cool thing is that by transferring that fear from the real to the unreal, he makes it easier to deal with. We've seen New York utterly destroyed now. We've seen our worst fears realized, even if only in the movies. By experiencing the worst, even vicariously, we remove some of the fear it causes.

I still don't like the movie,and won't bother seeing it again, despite all the little bits hidden here and there in the film, but I can understand how and why it works for so many people.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Agenda for the Republican National Convention

Straight Talk posted an Agenda for the Democratic National Convention. Katie linked it,and asked for somebody to create a Republican version. Since most liberals/progressives are bereft of a sense of humor,and consider themselves to be "above" satire and parody, I figured I would take a swing at it.

I'm not above anything if it gets a laugh. So, without further ado, I present

The 2008 Republican National Convention

0800Opening invocation for racial tolerance given by Ron Paul
0830Alan Keyes speaks on "The Second Amendment: The Cornerstone of Compassionate Conservatism."
0835Paul supporters, including Paul campaign manager Kent Snyder, are forcibly removed from the convention floor for heckling Alan Keyes. Paul insists he never met any of them.
0930Rush Limbaugh address "Media Dominance by the Left Wing Whackos (8 hour seminar broken into two 4 hour segments, aired continuously on convention radio station for the duration of the convention.)
1000Fred Thompson arrives for the opening invocation.
1100Tom Selleck signs autographs in the lobby. Nobody recognizes him.
1200Ann Coulter speaks on "Winning Progressive Hearts and Minds through Shrieking Bombast and Little Black Dresses."
1230Tom Tancredo speaks on "Strong Fences Make for Better Neighbors" then proposes that we use pre-deportation illegal aliens to build the fence.
1300Fred Thompson arrives to hear Ann Coulter speak.
1330Lunch. Fred gets there on time, but only because he thought it was a fundraiser.
1430Naptime for McCain, Paul, Thompson, et al.
1530Announcement that all delegates have been replaced by Diebold voting machines, ensuring a fair and accurate nomination process.
1630Polling of the Diebold delegates begins.
1635Diebold delegates suffer mysterious failure. Bush wins nomination for unconstitutional 3rd term.
1640Al Gore invades the convention with Jimmy Carter to restore order to the electoral process. A freak snow storm breaks out inside the convention hall. AL Gore screams about global warming. Jimmy mutters something about consulting with Amy.
1645The US Supreme Court upholds the Bush win.
1650Al Gore has nervous breakdown and eats Jimmy Carter. And there was much rejoicing.
1655Bush declines to run,saying "Working for you vultures for 8 years is enough! Come February, I'm getting hammered!"
1700Fred Thompson decides it's time to kick the campaign into high gear and drives a red pickup truck up onto the stage, running over Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee. Nobody notices.
1800John McCain accepts the recounted nomination, saying "Yippee Kai Yay Mother F.......!"
1820Mitt Romney proclaims God's Kingdom on Earth and claims the nomination for himself through divine right as head of the planet.
1825The Angel Maroney appears and claims Mitt for himself,taking him off to his planet as his love slave.
1830Chuck Norris removes Fred Thompson from his pickup truck by dragging him through the side vent and explains to him that he doesn't appreciate Fred stealing all the Chuck Norris facts and passing them off as his own. Chuck finishes Fred off with two spinning backfists and a roundhouse kick to the side of the head.
1900John McCain's bedtime.
2000Fred Thompson falls down.
2100With no other contenders left standing, Alan Keyes becomes the party nominee and names J C Watts as his Veep,and leader of his krew.
2105With Hillary winning the Democratic nominee, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson become Republicans.

Posted by Rich
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You Asked For It

Some folks didn't get the word about the BlogFest, which shows you just how effective TV advertisiing is,so, in response to a request, I've built a mailing list for announcing future gatherings. You can sign up here.

Also, due to Knoxville's new smoking policy, Baileys is no longer family friendly so we're looking for a new location. Suggestions include Calhoun's in Bearden and Mandarin House on Gleason.

Lissa has an excellent roundup of the BlogFest attendees, and some incriminating pictures here.

Posted by Rich
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Cloverfield:  The Longest Short Movie Ever

Think Godzilla meets the Blair Witch. Now toss in the motion sickness inducing first 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan.

That's Cloverfield, all 85 minutes of it. Counting the credits.

Nothing new; nothing original, nothing we care about.

The only thing I want to know is what kind of camera the guy was using. Not only did it have an awesome battery life, but it was the most rugged camcorder I've ever heard of.

Spoilers below.

Posted by Rich
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Sevierville Plague Spreads to West Knoxville

In addition to unclean toilet seats, we must add the lobbies of West Knoxville movie theaters to the list of places where the unwary can pick up the particularly virulent strain of STD known as the Sevier County Sidewalk Timeshare Disease. I went to the movies with Lissa, Doug, Cathy and Tommy, about which more in a moment, and when I entered the lobby of the Regal Pinnacle, the hair on the back of my neck began to curl up, and I knew something was wrong. As I moved towards the snack counters, the hair on the back of my knees began to curl up, and I knew it was time to shave my legs again. I looked warily around the lobby, looking for the source of my unease, and out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of familiar looking pamphlets.

I was caught off guard and unaware, ladies and gentlemen. I wasn't expecting to be exposed to an STD in a West Knoxville movie theater, and I relaxed my guard for a split second. I glanced at the pamphlets and to my horror saw Dixie Stampede, Dollywood, and the Black Bear Brothers Breakfast Show leering up at me in four color separations and a million exclamation points. I flinched back in terror, knowing what was coming next, and tried to make myself invisible, but it was too late. The predatory gleam in the eyes of the harridans behind the folding table told me I was about to be sullied in mind and soul.

"We have lots of wonderful package deals for you and your wife. Stop and look at our wonderful discounts!"

What could I do? What could I say? "I'm a local" wouldn't work, because here, I wasn't a local. My mind raced. My heart pounded. My blood curdled. My popcorn went stale.

I snapped.

"I live in Sevier county and I drove 45 minutes to see a movie here just so I could get away from you blood sucking vampires! Leave me alone!"

Mothers snatched up their small children. Girlfriends cowered behind their boyfriends. Boyfriends cowered behind their boyfriends. The popcorn girl was giving me the hairy eyeball. That or she got salt in her eye. It was hard to tell. I backed away from the table slowly, making sure I didn't make eye contact with Typhoid Terry behind the table. That's the only was to avoid infection. "I came here to see a movie about a monster that eats New York City, not to make a real estate transaction that will change my life forever. Besides, with the price of popcorn these days, I can't afford a dog house for my dog, much less a vacation home. So just back off, and nobody will get hurt!"

When I looked around, Cathy, Doug, Lissa, and Tommy were all already in the theater, having made their escape while I held the monsters at bay. I felt like a knight that had just slain his first dragon until I got a text from Doug.

"Don't come into the theater until the lights go down. The ladies don't want to be seen with you."

Women can be so shy!

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

On the List of the Top Ten Signs You’ve Hosted a Successful Blogfest…

Number One: You get the following Twitters:

Lissa: Blogfest!

Cathy McCaughan: Stripping naked and boiling my clothes.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, January 14, 2008

As Seen On TV


This Friday.
Baileys in West Knoxville.

Pass it on to anyone and everyone.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Horrible Choking Sound you hear is Courtesy of the Indianapolis Dolts

Alternate post title: Are the Colts the Atlanta Braves of the NFL?

How many people would have thought that the only Manning still alive in the playoffs would be playing for the Giants?

Here's the thing. Manning is one of the greatest drop back passers in the history of the NFL, without question. Make him scramble, however, and he drops from phenomenal to merely excellent. At that point, the rest of the team must step up and play like champions, and usually, they fail to do so. Until the Colts realize that there has to be 11 players on offense playing their hearts out every down, Indianapolis will maintain their rep for choking on the big game. They'll continue to win 12 or13 games in the regular season, and underperform in the post season.

I'm not even going to talk about the Colt's defense. If they aren't going to play, then why should I talk about them?

My dream now is for the Patriots and Packers to meet in the Superbowl, where Brett Favre will retire after winning his second Superbowl ring.

Posted by Rich
Sports • (1) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thoughts on Appearing on Television

I'm in need of immediate plastic surgery. I hope my girlfriend wasn't watching; I don't want her to find out how bad I look.

There's a guy in the studio letting you know which camera to look at. There's another guy in the control booth who doesn't like the guy in the studio, so he will immediately switch to the camera you aren't looking at.

I have a face made for radio, and a voice made for blogging.

I'm not ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille.

Time flies while the camera is rolling.

Hubert Smith is just as easy going and affable off camera as he is on camera...except for the 45 seconds or so before the show starts. Then he's like a general marshaling his troops before a major offensive.

It is nearly impossible to have a substantive discussion on anything when you're limited to 30 minutes. Or maybe that's just me.

TV is fun!

Maybe we should put together a Weekly Blogger's Roundtable and air it weekly on CTV. We have some bloggers with performance experience.

The more I learn about Knoxville politics, the happier I am to live in Sevier County.

Posted by Rich
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