Archive for September, 2008

Taking the Debate to… Myspace? Seriously?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

A friend of a friend, not pleased with the number of Obama fans on said friend’s Myspace page, decided to post a link to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Hmm, what do you think they’d have to say about Obama’s tax plan? Something, non-partisan, perhaps? Right. Anyway, I was in a writing mood and so left this comment in response:

Question: do any of you make over $600,000? No? Then you’re going to get a few hundred bucks at best under McCain’s tax plan, all of which will be very likely swallowed up under his health care plan* and at least a thousand bucks under Obama’s. Plus, your payroll taxes will get a cut. (Quarter-millionaires, take note: They would increase for those making over $250,000.)

Look, McCain can cut out all the pork he wants, it’s still not going to make up for the the $300 billion decrease in tax revenue the federal government will have to deal with under his plan. What about those earmarks McCain is so fond of bringing up? That’s $18 billion a year. Of the $2.9 trillion we’re spending on our budget for 2008, about $1 trillion is not mandatory spending, and includes stuff like the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, NASA, the Department of Education, and energy spending. In other words, we’re not going to find $300 billion of needless spending no matter how hard we look.

Also, this:

* About that McCain Healthcare Plan

The plan encourages individuals to leave their employer-subsidized health insurance plans to go it alone by offering a $2500 rebate to individuals who do so ($5000 for families) and penalizes those who stick with their employer-subsidized plans by treating the portion their employer pays as taxable income, thereby… wait for it… swallowing your tax cut and increasing your taxes on the down-low.

Furthermore, the plan forces state governments to deal with anyone who is denied healthcare, thereby allowing insurers to deal with a low-risk (and low-cost) pool, while forcing states to come up with some kind of expensive government-subsidized healthcare for the high-risk pool, which will mean… wait for it… increased taxes! Oh, wait, you think the health insurers will pass on their savings to you? Has anyone ever passed on their savings to you? Of course not.

Thomas Pynchon

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Yo Yo Yo my name is Tommy PHow is it that I have not read anything from Thomas Pynchon yet? The guy’s like the Radiohead of post modern authors, and the entire literary community basically comes every decade when he writes a new book. Here’s a quick summary of The Crying of Lot 49 from the Wikipedia entry on him:

“…its labyrinthine plot features an ancient, underground mail service known as ‘The Tristero’ or ‘Trystero’, a parody of a Jacobean revenge drama called The Courier’s Tragedy, and a corporate conspiracy involving the bones of World War II American GIs being used as charcoal cigarette filters.”

Seriously, it’s like he wrote it specifically for me! Time to whip out the library card and read this “labyrinthine” novel of his ASAP. Also: If you don’t get the cartoon, you don’t watch The Simpsons nearly enough.

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Unintentional Robots

Friday, September 12th, 2008

I love it when I find unintentional robot faces in things. If you’re not sure what they are, think of your average three-pronged electrical outlet. Here are two examples I found from Target:

blue guyshelfguy

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There sure are a lot of VWs around here.

Thursday, September 11th, 2008



There sure are a lot of VWs around here., originally uploaded by ASurroca.

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Home Project: Painting the Master Bedroom

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Another weekend, another small improvement project. This time I decided my master bedroom’s boring beige wasn’t befitting of the colorful artwork I’ve got hanging up there. Here’s what it looked like before:

Before Painting

I painted one wall a charcoal gray color and the rest of them a normal shade of gray. That little contrast helps keep things from getting boring. Painting a room the same color? Lame.

Charcoal Gray

And here it is finished. With a few details like some IKEA and Target crap like candles and shelving. For more, check my flickr photostream

Finished!
Finishing Touches

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Home Project: Shelf as Workstation

Monday, September 1st, 2008

It’s Labor Day weekend, and that means it’s time for some house work. This weekend, I focused on my quasi home office room. I got wood flooring and paint, which I’ll use later. For today, I upgraded my workspace.

Here’s what it looked like before

I got this desk probably a decade ago and used it for writing/drawing in addition to computer work. Now that I’ve got my own home and considerably more desk space elsewhere, I don’t need all this desk real estate anymore. So, I set out to build a shelf after seeing such a set-up on Apartment Therapy.

Naturally, I set out for IKEA when I decided to build a desk/shelf hybrid. And naturally, it didn’t cost me much. I got the shelf, brackets, slide-out keyboard tray, and a cable organizer, and got to work.

Some drums helped hold it up while I installed it in the wall. Very helpful drums, they are! The coolest part of this shelf stems from a problem I had: I didn’t realize until after I’d purchased all the materials and unpacked them that the slide-out keyboard tray was much too deep for the shelf.

I fixed that problem like so: I drilled holes into the wall so that the slide-out keyboard tray slides into the wall.

What it looks like now….

I haven’t hooked up the computer and routed everything neatly through the cable organizer just yet, but it’s looking good already. The massively increased space from using this little shelf as a workstation allows me to pull my keyboard in closer, and much more room for my drums, making it this much easier to turn my workstation into a quasi recording studio.

More photos to come on my flickr photostream.

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