The Notebook

This is where I put links and other stuff I find interesting and/or funny.

The Tea Party Gets Its Just Desserts

At my old job, I’d talk to Tea Party idiots all the time. Since we had to take calls from people if they followed up on stuff, I was able to see the deterioration of their lives in a very concrete way.

Call 1: Obama is the worst and everyone besides me is leeching off the system! Why do I have to pay so much in taxes!
Call 2: I just lost my job. Does my employer have to keep giving me health insurance?
Call 3: I’m about to lose my house. Aren’t there any government programs that can help me?


Think of the guys on the football team in high school who were on the team, were not very good, but still walked around like they owned the school. These are the guys who go on to comprise the majority of the police officers, prison guards and other law enforcement.

Being surprised when guys who were real life Billy Zabka characters don’t act with basic human compassion is like being surprised that a gun kills someone when you shoot it at them.

Advances In Laziness, Vol.1

About a month ago, I was sitting at lunch with some friends at work. I asked if they knew of any kind of disposable item that I could place on the kitchen counter while my wife cooks, leaving the kitchen counter clean afterwards. I was told that there was no way this existed and to just clean the counters right after the cooking is done.
They underestimated my dedication to laziness and my ability to find new uses for existing items.

Knowledge Bowl

I was in high school and on the Knowledge Bowl team. One afternoon, we drove to a qualifier for all the schools in the state. I was sick as hell that day. I had a blanket, was chugging chicken soup and popping lozenges like Tic Tacs.

The qualifier was at a high school, so each team was in a different classroom. Once we began, the judges gave us questions as they would in a real competition. At some point, the question "Who is known as the Magnificent Miss M?" was asked. I said, "Bette Midler" and proceeded to pass out. My only familiarity was seeing the trailers for her movies.


Leaving Early

I went to KU in the late 90s. I remember during second semester of my freshman year, a few times a week when I was walking back from a morning class to the dorm, I would see a car in the loading area. There would be a shell shocked, sad looking, soon-to-be-former student loading their things with their stern looking parents into a van or station wagon. It always made me sad for the rest of the day.



I used to go to a fair amount of grad student parties. As one can imagine, there were quite a few people who were incapable of admitting they didn't know something you brought up in discussion.

Whenever I went to one of these parties, I would find out what departments' students were in attendance. I then picked a field with as little intersection with the fields of the people at the party (i.e. math at an English department mixer).


Fair and Lovely

I was in Bangladesh back in 2006. I am much lighter skinned than most of the people in that country. While I was there, my 20 year old cousins had several friends over for a birthday party. While we were talking, I let slip that I used 3-4 tubes of Fair and Lovely every day and had done so for the past 10 years. Thus, I had much lighter skin. All of the girls ooh'ed and aah'ed, delighted to see someone they knew who had gotten such great results using such a product. I'm sure they would have bought all of the Fair and Lovely in the country had I not told them it was all a joke.


Law School Gunners

In my law school class, there were many people who were smart and well-liked and also spoke up in class. There were also people who talked for the sake of hearing their own voice, belittled others openly, and were generally hated by all except other gunners.

Some examples of "gunner" behavior":
In my Federal income tax class, there was one gunner who delighted in coming up with increasingly convoluted hypotheticals to try and stump the prof.

Rise of the Stupid

The stupid have been able to rise in the GOP because of the ease of communication today.

Back in say, the 1970s, I imagine that everyone knew one or two people who was angry about society and stupid. But, the fact that these people were stupid and/or lazy precluded them from commiserating with each other because of the barriers to communication. Stupid people are not articulate, and thus wouldn't be the types to converse with each other by letter. Finding the local KKK chapter or others like themselves took some time and effort.



The one thing my parents taught me was exactly how interest works. So, when I got to college in the late 90's, I avoided the credit card company tables like the plague. My friends and dorm mates snapped up the hats, t-shirts, and knick knacks along with the credit cards they were subsidized by.