02.25.10 – A Thursday

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word

proffer [prof-er] v. 1. to put before a person for acceptance; offer n. 2. the act of proffering 3. an offer or proposal

birthday

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), John Foster Dulles (1888), Zeppo Marx (1901), King Clancy (1903), Bobby Riggs (1918), Ralph Stanley (1927), Larry Gelbart (1928), Tommy Newsom (1929), Sally Jesse Raphaël (1935), George Harrison (1943), Ric Flair (1949), James Brown (1951), John Doe (1954), Lee Evans (1964), Veronica Webb (1965), Carrot Top (1965), Téa Leoni (1966), Samantha Phillips (1966), Sean Astin (1971), Daniel Powter (1971), Julio Iglesias, Jr. (1973), Chelsea Handler (1975)

standpoint

Lately, I’ve been noticing items in the news about serial cat killers. By now, we’ve all heard the results of studies linking individuals who originally kill household pets like cats and dogs, eventually moving on to killing human beings. It’s indisputable that that’s often the case.

And there are those out there who point to the fact our society kills lots of animals like cows, pigs and chickens. But, unless you’re some kind of dimwit, you know there’s a distinct difference between the systematic slaughter of animals for food, and the needless slaughter of animals meant for companionship. In addition, some critics say the dissection of animals like cats in high school biology classes contributes to certain individuals not understanding the difference between that activity and, say, murdering and gutting the next door neighbors’ dog. I’m not convinced by that point of view.

But I am convinced of this: there’s something seriously awry when a person who (allegedly) kills 19 cats, showing little to no remorse for his actions, is found mentally competent and of no harm to anyone, that’s a big, huge problem.

Obviously, I’m an animal lover and, yes, I have cats. But that doesn’t mean I dislike dogs, or any animal. To me, and for lots of people I’d wager, the greatest aspect of animals is that they’re not trying to hurt anyone, even when they are. When you hear about someone getting attacked by a bear, no reasonable person would classify the bear as some kind of psycho. Mostly, animals just want to eat and do the rest of their business without delay. Unless provoked by behavior they might feel threatening, or they’re conditioned to attack people, animals don’t really have a malicious bone in their body.

And, unless you’re one of these mental screwjobs whose in possession of a clear conscience after killing an entire neighborhood worth of cats, or you’re Michael Vick, you understand animals, especially the ones we take into our homes as pets, are only as good or bad as we make them.

They don’t deserve some horrifically painful death simply because some freak has the ability and complete lack of decency to do so.

Bottom line, the laws should be revised. Here in Pennsylvania the price one pays for killing, maiming, disfiguring or torturing any cat or dog is a fine of no less than $1000 and up to 2 years in prison. If, at the very least, even the FBI has acknowledged that the act of torturing animals will most likely eventually progress into the same kind of actions against humans, then why are these laws still so limp? The cruelty toward the animals alone should be enough to lock people up for longer but, hey, I’ll settle for whatever reason gets it done.

To help with this problem try the following links:

HelpingAnimals.com

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

The Animal Rights FAQ

quotation

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”David Foster Wallace

tune

I’ve been listening to a lot of old Morrissey lately. Actually, for the first time in probably a decade. I’m finding I like his stuff more now than I did years ago. I’m especially digging on “Do Your Best and Don’t Worry.”

gallimaufry

→ To all my fellow writers out there, here’s a good article for you to peruse. I especially agree with the part on exclamation points. Here’s Part 2 of the article.

→ My hat is off to Jonas Hiller. Team Swiss’ goaltender, who plays for the NHL Anaheim Mighty Ducks, made 42 saves in a 2-0 loss to Team USA yesterday. Hiller’s teammates just couldn’t get any goal support for the poor guy. Meanwhile, Team USA, a squad many thought didn’t have much of a chance at the onset of the Winter Olympics, moved on to become one of final four teams in the tournament.

→ A friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night and I just had to share it. Provides a whole new dimension to sibling rivalry. Kids can be downright mean to each other.

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01.28.10 – A Thursday

WORD

supine [adj. soo-pahyn; n. soo-pahyn] adj. 1. lying on the back, face or front upward 2. inactive, passive, or inert, esp. from indolence or indifference 3. (of the hand) having the palm upward n. 4. (in Latin) a noun form derived from verbs, appearing only in the accusative and the dative-ablative, as dictū in mirābile dictū, “wonderful to say.” 5. (in English) the simple infinitive of a verb preceded by to 6. an analogous form in some other language

BIRTHDAY

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225), William Seward Burroughs I (1855), Jackson Pollock (1912), Alan Alda (1936), Sam Phillips (1962), Mo Rocca (1969), Joey Fatone (1977), Elijah Wood (1981)

STANDPOINT

One of the frustrating things about doing this blog is that I’ve never been able to put pictures up without disrupting the integrity of the entire post. So today, I’m going to try to do just that. So bear with me.

In my opinion, hockey teams have always had the best logos. Here are my top five of all time.

5. Anaheim Mighty Ducks – I know, it’s kind of lame, but I really like this logo.

4. Boston Bruins – My brother Jer made me a t-shirt with this logo on it.

3. Vancouver Canucks – Sometimes the simplest logos work the best.

2. Montreal Canadiens – My second favorite NHL team. Classic logo.

1. Philadelphia Flyers – Obviously, the best logo in all of sports.

All right, so that was a success. More picture usage to come. Thanks for bearing with me on that one. And thanks for reading.

QUOTATION

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.Eric Hoffer

TUNE

A few months ago, I was at a Blind Pilot show and the last song the band performed was a cover song that I couldn’t place. Neither could the people I was with. Eventually, we figured it out. (Although there is some discrepancies over who actually did finally find the song.) In any case, that’s not really important. (But, it is, and I still say I’m right.) It was “Kids” by MGMT. I didn’t really care for the original version at first but, after having it beat into my head by two particular ladies, it’s growing on me.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ It’s hard to imagine anything people care less about than the upcoming NFL Pro Bowl in Miami. Unless it’s practice for the upcoming NFL Pro Bowl in Miami.

→ I don’t get the whole notion of reading an entire book off of the screen of some handheld device but apparently I’m the only one. Yesterday, the geekverse revved up when Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPad. Let the tampon-related jokes begin…now.

→ Could it be true? After years of withstanding the bitching of Philadelphia Eagles fans, could Donovan McNabb finally get a fresh start in a new NFL city? For everyone involved, I hope so.

06.30.09 – Tuesday

Word: trenchant [tren-chuhnt] adj. 1. incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting: trenchant wit 2. vigorous; effective; energetic: a trenchant policy of political reform 3. clearly or sharply defined; clear-cut; distinct

Birthday: John Gay (1685), Georges Duhamel (1884), Man Mountain Dean (1891), Lena Horne (1917), José Emilio Pacheco (1939), Stanley Clarke (1951), David Alan Grier (1955), Vincent D’Onofrio (1959), Yngwie J. Malmsteen (1963), Mike Tyson (1966), Matisyahu (1979), Michael Phelps (1985)

Quotation: I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.Clarence Darrow

Tune: Defy. That’s right. I defy you to find a better song to blast out of your car on a summer evening drive than “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Challenge!

Gallimaufry: Bernie Madoff, the asshole that stole billions of dollars from too many people to mention, received a 150-year sentence in federal prison. He’s 71 now so he’ll be 221-years old when he gets out. Obviously, the Ponzi-scheming douchehag won’t live that long. But wouldn’t it be great if he did? “I’m very excited. The fans are passionate about hockey. The style of play the Flyers play certainly fits mine. They’ve got some great young talent. I hope to help them win a Stanley Cup.” Those were the words of NHL defenseman Chris Pronger after learning he’d been traded from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Joffrey Lupul and blueliner Luca Sbisa. When holding up the $6.5 million salary he’s due this upcoming season, Pronger, 34, didn’t exactly light the world on fire last year (11 goals, 37 assists) for the Ducks but he’s definitely a substantial upgrade to the Flyers’ defense corps, a group that experienced some difficulty (putting it mildly) in their own zone last season. It was inevitable. As a country, we’re a bunch of fickle bastards. Last year, we elected Barack Obama to be our President because we deemed the qualities he possesses necessary. Smart. Charismatic. Willing to administer change. But here we are, a half-year into his (first?) term and – surprise – we’ve grown restless. The bubble has burst. For the first time since as emerging as the Democratic front-runner in 2008, President Obama may now have to operate as a politician in the realm of mere mortals. Or even worse, in the realm of mere politicians. My opinion? (Glad you asked…) The job of being President of the United States has got to be one of the most complicated fucking debacles a person can assume. Let’s give the man a little wiggle room. Most of us hated George W. Bush and we let him do whatever the hell he wanted for EIGHT years. Let’s give Obama more than six months. A little patience might be in order.