Monthly Archives: January 2012

I Wish People Would Say “Nashvegas” More

Big tip of the hat to Jim Voorhies!

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On My SOPA Box

See what I did there?  Ha.

Been reading all I can find about this, still don’t have a firm grasp on it.  It looks like the Motion Picture Association (Through Chris Dodd) is the organization really pushing for this, as “pirated” DVDs are apparently eating in to their profits.  I’m unclear as to how this legislation will stop people from stealing copyrighted material.  You can shut down portions of the web, I suppose, but do we close down a hwy because someone is standing on the road selling fake DVDs?  Sure, artists and their “representatives” have a right to protect their work, but this proposed legislation seems hurried and poorly crafted, and there is no agreement on possible unintended consequences.

In the end, legislation prompted by special interests didn’t stop the proliferation of VCRs, or DVRs decades later.  So I have my doubts whether or not any attempt to police the web will have much effect on sharing (even for profit) pirated material.  That horse, it would seem, has left the barn.  Like people trolling the seedier parts of town in search of contraband, there are just too many digital back alleys through which virtually anything is available if you know how to look.  Already, the youngsters in my community know where to stream television shows not available to them through traditional TV sources.  There is a kid around here who rents movies from Netflix, copies them, and makes them available to friends.  I don’t condone the practice, but my point is that it doesn’t take expensive equipment or specialized training to take advantage, almost anyone can do it.

I’d like some feedback from artsy types out there who might stumble across this and have an opposing viewpoint.

Edited to add this:

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Why I Wanted Huntsman, And Why It Really Didn’t Matter

I was enjoying my afternoon, wandering around the back pasture and letting the dogs root and dig and play grab ass with each other.  I decided I’d check in on a friend who was having a new floor installed this week.  Before you can say “I like to fire people”, our conversation turned to what happened in New Hampshire and what might happen in South Carolina.  Neither of us thought any of it mattered, because Romney has the resources, the organization, and now the momentum against the weakest field of candidates known to man. (They aren’t the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, they are the gang that wants to shoot everything.)  Clearly, it is Mitt’s to lose.  Then, my friend casually remarked that she thought the 2012 Presidential Campaign was going to be the dirtiest, ugliest, and most expensive contest of our lives.     Isn’t that disheartening?  Especially for those of us over 50.  Been there, done that.

Primaries are mutually destructive, ruinous affairs as it is.  The last Democratic one led to a permanent fissure in the Democratic Party base.  I imagine some of that is good, and there have to be rhetorical suicide bombers in each Party to at least keep the candidates honest on some important but seldom debated issues.  How many political martyrs  were felled by the mere suggestion that  Social Security might one day need restructuring?  It was called the third rail of politics for a reason.  So I was looking forward to a few months of watching my political adversaries tear into each other.  Call it a character flaw.  I call it a guilty pleasure, like ice cream.  Surprisingly, I grew tired of it almost immediately.

Maybe it isn’t so surprising.  I mean, when Democrats have tough primaries, they run to the right.  When Republicans have tough primaries, they run to the far right.  They trotted out the same tired bogeymen and sounded the same lame dog whistles, and not a single real issue got discussed.  When Hillary had to attack candidate Obama, she called him out on his lack of experience, and wondered what the hell he would do when he got the 3:00 a.m. “phone call.”  (Pretty sure that issue has been, er, put to bed.  Turns out, wake this POTUS up in the middle of the night and he will likely send a Seal Team over to make sure you have a bad day)  But it was a legitimate question to ask, and the majority of voters rolled the dice on whether this former Junior Senator from Illinois would keep his legendary composure under fire.  We aren’t going to hear that in the Republican Primary, right?  I mean, the man way out in front stood way back in the rear during his generation’s call to arms.  It is completely reasonable to wonder how Mr. Romney will react when the game of world-wide chess gets escalated to a game of Modern Warfare 5, Global Nuclear Shit-storm.  But nobody in his Party seems to want to ask him about his views on, say, dealing with the son of a  recently deceased dictatorial mad man, or a regime that plays us because we need at least the appearance of strong allies in that part of the world.  They won’t wonder (aloud anyway) what might happen when all that business acumen runs afoul of a nuclear armed “competitor” that may not act in his own self interest?

Instead, we know that he won’t support the Dream Act, but he probably won’t dot the deserts of the Southwest with bouncing bettys either.  We know he won’t round up homosexuals and gas them, but he ain’t gonna recognize their marriages either.  He won’t totally loot the funding of our social safety net, just siphon a little off to “manage” for us.  He’s a taller, younger, better haired John McCain, without any of that bothersome street cred.  Boring.

So, being a tried and true Pollyanna, I had hoped to see a Republican candidate stand up to those in his Party who  can only be said to possess a rather thumb-less grasp on the real world.  Call out your grifters, your charlatans, your snake oil salesmen!  Appeal to those who have real, potentially solvable complaints.  Government regulation can be murderous to small business. (I must add, though, that of all the evil regulation I have ever been subjected to has been on a local level.) The tax code is chaotic.  Money collected from taxpayers should be treated like a scarce resource, but that must apply to military expenditures and domestic programs equally.  If we can’t fund Headstart, we can’t build that new Drone that is the size of a pimple but can level a city block.  In short, there are compelling arguments to be made on a whole range of issues, and I had hoped that this time, our political process would produce an intellectual debate over our common problems.  Lucy/football, and all that.

I thought, for a minute, anyway, that a smart, well traveled and well mannered Republican candidate would give President Obama a run.  I’m pretty confident that the President could hold his own with Mr. Huntsman, but he would be forced to take a firmer position on some important issues that he has regarded as, well, fluid.  Win/win, am I right?

Not gonna happen, even if somehow, some way, a dead girl/live boy type scandal were to render Romney moot and elevate Mr. Huntsman, the SuperPacs would still make daily runs to the ATM.  There will be billions spent turning both candidates into grotesquely shaped, foul smelling monsters from which we must be saved.  Thanks, SCOTUS!

At least I don’t have cable.

 

 

 

 

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For Ms. Cricket

Three Dog Night, before they were reduced to playing gigs at Indian Casinos in places like Tulsa and Duluth, made some great songs.  I stumbled across this and thought you’d enjoy the full orchestra.

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2012 In Review

2012 is off to a sunny start!  It’s difficult to be all curmudgeony when the weather is unseasonably warm.  It was a joy to climb into my truck and crank up some tunes.  For some reason, I’ve been listening to a lot of Spanish guitar driven music of late, at least while I’m driving.  At home, sitting at my computer, I’ve taken to listening to “rock” music from the 60′s and 70′s.  It was somewhat gratifying to have my daughter exclaim that we had all the good music, all they get is trash.  Been telling her that for years…

This is just a catch-all catch-up post…I’ve been asked for an update on Cookie, our (now) 16 week old puppy.  All in all, she has been a wonderful addition to our home.  She learns fast, (we haven’t had potty issues since week 2, she knows that outside is the place) and except for some minor chewing issues, she has done well indoors.  She stays glued to me when I’m around, but when it is close to bedtime, she shuffles off to her crate and settles in for the night.  Come morning, she’s hell on wheels, ready to eat and play with anything and everything.  I imagine she is close to 40 pounds.  Ridiculous.

Good game last night.  Spectacular fail on the part of the Steelers.  I understand stacking the line against Tebow in the beginning, but, seriously, once he beats you down the field…ADJUST!  He cannot run the ball for very long.  Getting pounding by linebackers will slow his step in no time.  The Giants man-handled the Falcons, good blocking led to an effective ground game, which, of course, leads to passing opportunities.  Tonight should be fun, but, really, I’m torn.  I HATE Alabama.  I was glad that LSU beat them.  But college football means a lot in that State, and Alabama suffered some terrible weather and dozens of people lost their lives.  Winning the title won’t do anything for the families who lost loved ones and/or property, of course, but if the community gets a feel good moment from it, then I’m happy for them.  I remember being happy for the Saints  Super Bowl Victory after hurricane Katrina.  Same thing.

This new year also brought new work for the Primary Wife.  She is excited about it and it is good to see her fired up about this new challenge.  You earned it, sweetheart.

Speaking of challenges, the project I took on has been a learning experience for me.  We are much closer to launching this ambitious new strategy, and time will tell whether or not my gut was right about this.

Ms. Cricket is being challenged, finally, in school.  She has “advanced” classes in math and science, and starts her first year of Spanish.  To top it all off, she is also learning to drive.  She is standing on the threshold of adulthood, and I’m wondering if she likes the view…

There is not much to say about the coming election, at least not yet.  Barring some last minute challenger, it’s Mitt in a walk.  The more pragmatic have already gravitated over, and then it’s more a matter of white-washing his record while damning every decision President Obama makes.  Pretty dull stuff, really.

Hey, I’ve written well over a thousand posts, they ain’t all gonna be winners. So here’s a taste of what I’m listening to these days:

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Obligatory New Years Post

I read a lot of blogs.  Someone once asked me what kind of people engage in blogging, and I really couldn’t offer a simple explanation.  Maybe one thing we all have in common is that we are people unafraid to share our thoughts with total strangers.  Beyond that, I’m not sure what makes us invest the required time and energy on this “hobby.”  Sure, some do it for ad revenue, and some because they have a particular agenda they want to advance.  In the beginning, the Coyote Chronicles was a place for me to rant about the excesses of the Bush administration.  Two elective wars and a budget- busting tax cut for the wealthy was motivation enough.  It wasn’t really supposed to be a political blog, but once some local aggregators picked me up there was no turning back.  I had readers.  Before long, I was making friends, and then MeetUp came along, and I was able to get to know other bloggers and many remain friends today.

I’m actually proud of the fact that I have been doing this for so long.  Rarely do I go without posting for very long,  though there are times when I must step back and clear my internal cache, so to speak, and just observe without comment.  Sometimes, I may feel strongly about a given subject, but am unable to write a readable post about it and by the time I can, the issue at hand is no longer timely.  So, there are gaps but by and large I feel that I can point to my body of “work” here with some pride and I make no apologies for the content or lack thereof.

On to 2012.  Finally.  What can I say?  I’m happy to be alive and surrounded by family and friends and I look forward to another year of trying to make myself a better person.  I’ve made some progress, I’m happy to report.  There is still work to do.  I’m doing a bit of consulting this year and I am excited about that, I’ve conquered some challenges here on the farm, and I am ready to apply my experience to something that does not involve tractors or chain saws.

So, I’ll stay at it in 2012.  Hope y’all stick around as well.

 

 

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