Category Archives: grrr

Curtis is Gettin’ Political!

I’m not a fan of the TSA.  The farce they call “security” stirs a righteous anger in me that is only matched by… well actually there are things that make me significantly more upset, but I don’t like the TSA.  This is an article that talks about why better than I can.

President Obama it’s time to fire the TSA.

President Obama, It’s Time To Fire the TSA

Today, DHS’s Napolitano’s response to the crotchbomber: “We’re looking to make sure that this sort of incident cannot recur.” But the TSA’s response to Abdulmutalib’s attempt makes one thing clear: We must stop pretending the TSA is making us safer.
Security expert Bruce Schneier nails the core incompetency: “For years I’ve been saying ‘Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.'”
So what has the TSA done in response to the attempted attack? They’ve told airlines to make passengers stay in their seats during the last hour of flight. They’ve made it verboten for passengers to hold anything in their laps, again only during the last hour of flight. Perhaps most hilariously telling, they’ve forbidden pilots from announcing when a plane is flying over certain cities and landmarks.
There is no other way to interpret it: The TSA is saying clearly that they can’t prevent terrorists from getting explosives on airplanes, but by god, they’ll make sure those planes explode only when the TSA says it’s okay.
I want our government to prevent terrorism and to make flights safer. But we are spending billions of dollars and man-hours to fight a threat that is less likely to kill a traveler than being struck by lightning. In the last decade, according to statistician Nate Silver, there has been “one terrorist incident per 11,569,297,667 miles flown [the] equivalent to 1,459,664 trips around the diameter of the Earth, 24,218 round trips to the Moon, or two round trips to Neptune.” (Sadly, this does mean that in the future we can expect one out of every two round-trip flights to Neptune to be hijacked.)
The TSA isn’t saving lives. We, the passengers, are saving our own. Since its inception, the TSA has been structured in such a way as to prevent specific terror scenarios, attempting to disrupt a handful of insanely specific tactics, while continuing to disenfranchise and demoralize the citizens who are actually doing the work that a billion-dollar government agency—an agency that received an additional $128 million just this year for new checkpoint explosive screening technology—has failed to do.
We just had the first legitimate attempted attack in years, and the TSA changes the threat level from orange…to orange.
This goes far beyond simple customer satisfaction issues like “Take Back Takeoff.” (Although they are of a kind.) It has to do with wildly irrationally response of a government agency in the face of failure. An agency whose leader, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, said at first blush that the attempted attack showed that—here comes the Katrina-class foot-in-mouth—”the system worked.” (She shoveled shit in her mouth this morning, while still talking up the asinine new measures that the TSA will be taking to respond to this isolated threat.)
I don’t want to die on an airplane. I don’t want to die in my home while eating an organic bagel infested with parasites that lay eggs on my liver. I don’t want to die from starvation or bad water or a thousand other things that I pay our government to monitor and regulate.
But I also don’t expect the government to protect from the literally endless possibilities and threats that could occur at any point to end my life or the life of the few I love. It’s been nearly a decade since terrorists used airplanes to attack our country, and last week’s attempt makes it clear that the lack of terrorist attacks have nothing to do with the increasing gauntlet of whirring machines, friskings, and arbitrary bureaucratic provisions, but simply that for the most part, there just aren’t that many terrorists trying to blow up planes. Because god knows if there were, the TSA isn’t capable of stopping them. We’re just one bad burrito away from the TSA forcing passengers to choke back an Imodium and a Xanax before being hogtied to our seats.
President Obama, don’t let this attack—this one attack that was thankfully stopped by smart, fearless passengers and airline staff—take us further in the wrong direction. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. Americans of all stripes and affiliation standing up to say, “This isn’t working. We gave you our money. You’re not making us safer.” We appreciate the attempt to make us safer and acknowledge that it came from an honest attempt to protect American (and the rest of the world’s) lives.
But it’s a failure. It’s wrongheaded. It’s a farce. Tear it down. Put the money towards the sort of actions at which our government excels, like intelligence. The failure of the TSA leaves us no choice, but it’s okay. The American people are ready to take back the responsibility for our own safety. Really, we already have.

Send an email to Joel Johnson, the author of this post, at

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Filed under grrr, politics, rant

No Sir, I Don’t Like It.

Tuesday was a weird day for me. Personally I had a pretty good day: my eBay auctions went well, I was able to catch up on my outstanding emails, got a few phone calls completed, did laundry (that was important), paid bills, caught up on my blogging – generally got business done with a great deal of efficiency. On the other hand I noticed that I’ve been over charged by Chase with over $290 of fees I shouldn’t have incurred, the state has increased my registration on my car over $150 from last year, and taxes – both state and federal – are just ridiculous! I feel like I’m getting nickled and dimed left and right by systems that are punishing me for their poor money management!

I want to know where my money is really going and, more than that, I want to be able to say what my money goes to! I want a check list of government programs and I want to be able to check off which ones I like – those programs can have my money, that’s it! I don’t want to be charged extra because I don’t have the money to be able to pay something in the first place! I don’t want to pay for someone else’s mistakes – I have my own to cover, thank you very much! I don’t want to pay for a city’s money raising scheme or cover the costs of the wounded economy! I’m wounded from the economy and take full responsibility for getting my self back up. If anything if the city, state, fed, bank feel like they can charge me for some reason then I think I can charge them right back. The day any of these governments/banks find a way to work within their means then I’ll make sure that I apologize, in the mean time leave me alone – I have my own stuff to do!

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Filed under grrr, rant, social commentary

Random Randomness

Originally I wanted to write a blog about the TV shows that I wouldn’t be watching. I wanted to write this because Rene and I saw a whole lot of previews for new shows coming this summer that appeal to the worst parts of humanity. Now I’m not trying to claim that I am above this kind of television, I mean I am, after all, the same man who relished Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels, but some of these shows…


In the end I realized that I don’t really want to talk about these shows. As much as I would love to keep you from watching these programs I also don’t want to give these shows any kind of publicity whatsoever. None! There are people related to these shows that are just disgusting. If we are of like mind then you know EXACTLY who and what shows I’m talking about in which case we can share our distaste and ire privately and at the new “water cooler” called Facebook. If you don’t know then you might be one of the people who will watch these shows and it’s better that we don’t ever talk about it. Like never mentioning religion or politics in mixed company.

Now that all of that is out of the way I feel better. I’m going to return to my chips & salsa and fix packets and listen to the episode of Medium that’s on in the background.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under grrr, rant, TV

The Tyra Show

When you work from home you get the opportunity to have the television on as you work. I used to turn it off, but I found that I lost track of the time so much easier when I didn’t half-hour/hour long shows to show me how time was passing. I’d listen to podcasts or Pandora and suddenly three or four hours would pass and I wouldn’t have nearly as much done as I hoped. I find that bad daytime TV, especially shows like Maury and Cheaters, are great as time monitors and, occasionally, you get some great mid-work moments like when Maury pulls out the DNA test and neither of the men that the girl brought on the show as the father of her child ends up being the father of that child. It’s horrible, but I’m not above schadenfreude.

However, when I work from Rene’s house, as I do from time to time, she does not have cable and I just leave the TV on one channel. Most of the day this is fine as background, until the Tyra show comes on.

I’m not a fan.

I don’t understand why this woman has this show. She is condescending, judgmental and regularly tries to force her opinions on her guests. Sometimes it feels like she brings people on her show just to point her finger and laugh.

I’m also not real big on how Tyra, a super-model and has been a super-model for most of her life, likes to try and play the “I’m a regular person” card. That is very frustrating. She makes broad moral judgements without any regard for her guests circumstances. I don’t like that. I can deal with, and used to really enjoy, hosts like Jerry Springer. They openly mocked their guests, but all of their stories were so extreme that even the guests could laugh at themselves, but Tyra takes on some very serious subjects and then applies only her myopic view on them. That’s just trashy television.

And the worst part is that her show is AMAZINGLY popular with teen girls. Very impressionable teen girls. At least for the most part Tyra rides her moral high horse, but when it comes to body issues and weight she sends two very different messages. On her talk show she is all about loving your body and being comfortable in your skin and “kiss my fat ass” but then you see her other show, America’s Next Top Model, and all they talk about is how fat a size 2 girl is and how a size 6 is a plus size model. How are these two messages supposed to jive?!?

Rene does a much better compare/contrast in her blog, but I saw Tyra’s show on teen pregnancy today and it just infuriated me. Now I feel better.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under body issues, grrr, TV

Wolverine: Origins = Disappointing

Yesterday I wasted $11 at the movies seeing Wolverine: Origins. I want my $11 back. The movie overall was not horrible, it was a passable movie shot on cameras and performed by professional actors. The performances were very capable and I really liked Liv Schreiber’s Sabretooth, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Hugh Jackman continues to be a great Wolverine. The addition of Gambit was interesting – albeit short – and there were some great action moments. My biggest gripe is that this movie was disappointing. Chronically disappointing. Things would happen and get your expectations up and then the ball would be dropped right when you expect the payoff.
In this review I’m going to be revealing SPOILERS so if you plan to see the movie then don’t read on. Also, if you plan to see the film I’m sorry.
It is important to realize that I am a comic book guy. I’ve followed Wolverine since the 80’s in his own series and in the X-Men. I’ve read the back issues including his earliest appearances and, although I have not read the Origins limited series, I am quite adept at using Wikipedia and have caught up on the details that surround his life. I have read the amazing Weapon X series that was done by Barry Windsor Smith in it’s original release in Marvel Comics Presents and, although I completely checked out in the 90’s (when comics went to shit) I have seen some good story points come out of those times. I know his continuity and have a respect for the wonderful stories that have been told with this character. I had an expectation that Marvel and Fox would have at least shown similar respect.
I was wrong.
I did not expect the same kind of attention to detail that we got from Watchmen, and I know that movie continuity gets to be different, but the writing on this film – or at least what was released – was just irresponsible. There are many things that are left up in the air even in comic book continuity, so the idea that Wolverine and Sabretooth were brothers did not bother me, I could get on board for that, but I ask the question, “at what point did Sabretooth get all big and dumb, like he was in the first X-Men movie?” Liv Schreiber did a great job and I REALLY liked his portrayal of of the character, but it didn’t jive with, or was justified for, the X-Men movie that is supposed to take place after.

Also, Deadpool, a great character. A funny character. Ryan Reynolds does a GREAT job! The biggest problem? HE’S BARELY IN THE MOVIE! They were also a bit liberal with the powers he was granted by the Weapon X program. And where those powers came from. And who was trapped in the cages at the end!


I’m just going to rant because I’m trying to be organized about this but I keep getting distracted by different things.

OK so where the hell is the actual Weapon X program? There wasn’t one. Wolverine was designated Weapon X, as in Weapon 10, meaning there were 9 before him. We still don’t know who they were although I think we were supposed to infer that they died.

When Wolverine’s skeleton is bonded with the adamantium I was totally on board. In the comics and X-Men 2 we are told that he went on a murder spree after the process was completed so when he woke up and started tearing shit up I was ready for a blood bath! Instead of a blood bath we ended up getting a pissed off killing machine… escaping and leaving all the people responsible for his condition, who would have been easy prey, alive and well and not even all that scared.

When Wolverine is hunted at the farm house and Agent Zero jumps onto the helicopter, the CGI of him making a completely unrealistic jump was actually better than the CGI of him running.

And does everyone who was a part of the Weapon X program have to die? Some of these characters are supposed to still be alive! They become important later!

The Blob’s power is that he can become unmovable. He’s not super strong! He’s not any more durable than any other heavy person.

Cyclops, Banshee, Emma Frost, Quicksilver, and the multi-dozen other characters that were in the cells at the end were not captured by the Weapon X program!

Silver Fox was not Emma Frost’s sister!

If Silver Fox could touch Stryker at any time and make him do whatever why didn’t she do it YEARS before she did?

How the hell did Quicksilver get caught?! His dad is Magneto! Magneto doesn’t even like his kids, but he certainly wouldn’t let them be captured!

The argument about whether or not adamantium can pierce adamantium has been debated for decades. I have been on both sides of this debate, but have landed on the side that adamatium, which is supposed to be the strongest metal on earth – nigh indestructible – should not be able to be pierced even by adamatium bullets. But that’s just me. Really I have nothing to back that up.

And why the hell did it take a bullet to the head for him to forget? The Bonding procedure was supposed to be so traumatic that it makes him go feral, and then the mental conditioning of the Weapon X program was supposed to fill in certain gaps, while erasing other memories. Instead he got out of the procedure fine and was having calm conversations hours later.

And why were the stakes so low? He was joking with Wraith as he was trying to find out about Stykers location, and then Blob is just hanging out even though Wraith left on bad terms?!!? Everyone was just a little too comfortable with the whole “we were in a covert strike team and now we’ve all left and seem just fine with it”.

Then when Wolverine does finally get to the island lab no one tries to stop him! Everyone involved with his capture, death of Silver Fox, Silver Fox herself, Sabretooth, all the doctors – they are all right there and what does he do after claiming he’s going to kill them all? He leaves! Walks away! And then when he comes back, sure Sabretooth fights him, but no one seems to care! No back up, no “oh hey, maybe we should see if Wolverine is still alive”, nothing!

And then he and Silver Fox can just walk RIGHT INTO the cells where they keep the mutant prisoners, which, by the way, some were frozen and some were not, and they can free them all before anyone does anything!

And Deadpool, I can get on board with teleportation. It was one of his powers in the books, kinda’, even though it was a little teleporter device and not an inborn or grafted power, but that’s like organic web-shooters on Spider-Man – I get that. However – LASER EYES?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! REALLY?!?!?!?!?!!!??

I felt better about Deadpool after finding the Deadpool after-credits button, but man, oh man the rest was rough.

I don’t even know what else to say. I wish I could claim this was a real review, but this went down the old rant highway a long time ago.

Given the great comic book movies that have come out in just the past year this film had a lot to live up to, and it was just disappointing. Maybe a few years ago it could have passed, but I think this is the first time time people have had big expectations for a comic book movie and it hasn’t been able to live up to them.

As you may have noticed my inner geek has gone totally fan-boy and I know many of these arguments don’t actually have much merit, but the movie just seemed so half assed that any little thing that stuck out to me as wrong was even more amplified.

Thank you for reading my rant. I hope you had fun even if you disagree.

I’m gonna’ go to bed.

See you tomorrow!


Filed under comic books, comic movies, grrr, rant

Quick Blog

The comic review for last week is a third done, should be finished tomorrow, just in time to pop another one out in a couple of days, but I wanted to write a quick blog about something I saw on the cover of a Details magazine. It’s not that the title I’m about to complain about is unique to Details, lots of magazines mention things like this, but for whatever reason this time it really stuck in my craw.

The title was: 16 Rule Breakers That Made it Big.

People mentioned in this article: Tina Fey, Seth McFarlan, CEO’s for Facebook and Twitter.

These people are not rule breakers – in fact they actual follow the most important rule: to achieve extraordinary results you must perform extraordinary work.

I should probably go on record as saying that this is definitely personal opinion on my part. There was a line in the movie The Incredibles, actually it is one of the themes, about how mediocrity has become the goal, everyone is praised as being special, no one is encouraged to go beyond the box – and yet the out of the box thinkers are SO desirable! They are the innovators! They keep things going!

Here’s a hard fact – not everyone is special. I firmly believe that no one is owed anything in this world. If you want something you should work for it to achieve it. Value comes from the amount of effort you are willing to commit to something. These rules are always true, they never falter. The only way that the people mentioned in that article are rule breakers is that they refused to remain mediocre. They had an idea or a plan and they followed through. There is nothing remarkable about this except that they actually had the willingness to do it.

That’s my rant and I’m sticking to it.


Filed under general, grrr, rant


I don’t want to do the things that I have to do to finish my taxes. They are tedious, time consuming and in the end will cost me money even if it is only in preparation fees. I’m very upset about how my tax dollars are being spent right now anyhow, so it makes me even more upset to think that I may have to give the government more.

I wish they would give me a sheet that I could fill out that allowed me to pick what I wanted my money to go to. Then I could make sure that money got to fire departments, police departments, schools, infrastructure, and things that I need the government to cover for me. Do you really want to see what the people are in favor of? Ask them where they would put their money!

Here’s a story that is either empowering or discouraging, depending on your point of view. In Hawaii a group of residents, tired of waiting for the government to repair a major road for a big national park upon which their livelihoods directly depend, decided to do the job themselves. It took them eight DAYS as opposed to the TWO YEARS estimated by the state and they got it all done with in kind donations so the end cost was, basically, free!

There are also reports coming from President Obama himself that costs have been badly over estimated on many projects that stimulus money is expected to go to and, while this is good and it means there will be more funds to distribute overall, it tells a sad story about how things are being priced and how long things are expected to take.

The more I read the more I get discouraged about how well the bureaucracy works.

Anyway, I need to do these taxes. Thanks for letting me vent.

See you tomorrow!

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Frankie the Wonderdog

I love my dog. He is one of the best dogs I have ever met. He is friendly and gentle he’s excited and playful and he doesn’t even conceive of hurting another living being. He chases bugs but does not eat them. He plays with very small children hoping to God that they will drop whatever food they are holding but never taking any from their hands. He is 47 pounds and his best friends are dogs that weigh under 10 pounds. The closest Frankie has ever come to attacking anyone is when he licks you, although he will lick you until you are drenched in dog slobber. Frankie is the best dog in the world!

Frankie is a pit bull.

I saw a report on Fox News yesterday and today raving about a “Pit Bull Attack!” It was the most sensationalized. fear mongering piece of yellow journalism that I had seen in a while – that is until I saw the next story claiming that a woman was “almost mauled” by a polar bear when she decided to jump into their enclosure. All of the people and animals involved in these “attacks” were fine. No one was hurt and at worst, while the videos might look scary, the folks involved got a few scrapes for being stupid. Yep, you heard me, the PEOPLE were being STUPID! Who jumps into a POLAR BEAR ENCLOSURE?!?!? Who does that and is then surprised when the polar bears want to play with you? I saw the video – if those bears had wanted to hurt that woman she never would have left that enclosure alive. They mostly stared at her and then just kind of batted at her. Could have been eaten, wasn’t. Why wasn’t the story about how the polar bears showed a remarkable amount of restraint – or, even better, what are the effects of zoos on wild animals that the polar bears had not only no fear of humans but seemed to want to play with her?

As far as the the pit bulls, the owners of BOTH dogs should have known better. Neither owner had their dogs on leashes. Responsible dog ownership is really the biggest problem when it comes to ANY dog related problem. I swear people should have to take a friggin’ test to be able to get a dog. When the pit bulls saw the smaller dog they didn’t maul it – far from – they ran up to it and tried to play. Sure the little dog was scared, but when all was said and done it WALKED AWAY WAGGING ITS TAIL! The only people who got hurt were the owners who STUCK THEIR HANDS IN THE DOG’S MOUTHS! That is a poor choice no matter what dog it is! And what happened? Is the owner of the pit bulls going to be charged with any kind of violent crime? Are the dogs being sought for termination? No, the owner is going to be charged with negligence and another fancy term for not having the dogs on a leash. Two tickets!

I am so sick of pit bulls getting blamed for every damn attack that happens. I thought about posting some terrible, terrible pictures of dog attacks – all of which where the victim died – that happen more often then any pit bull attack, but I did not want to stoop to the level of the network news by vilifying any other breeds. Instead I’m going to post these two Wikipedia articles about Pit Bulls in general and American Pit Bull Terriers, which is Frankie’s breed. Did you know that pit bulls used to be considered “nanny dogs” because how good they are with children? Many pits were given medals and considered heroes in World War I and World War II.

One of the things that really gets me upset, and Rene as well while we’re on the topic, is Breed Specific Legislation. These are laws that regulate what kinds of dogs are legal in different places, not just in the United States but all over the world. Pits are unfairly discriminated against with these laws. Follow the link to learn more.

Discrimination is wrong no matter if it’s race, gender, age or dog breed. I encourage all of you to educate yourselves. Pit bulls are some of the greatest pets anyone can have and it isn’t fair that a few assholes (i.e. Michael Vick) can ruin it all for a whole breed.


Filed under Frankie, grrr

Political Cartoons

I only have a second, but the state of the economy and my anger at the lack of responsibility put on big business pissed me off so much I just had to share these political cartoons from my friend Scott.

“The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”

–Margaret Thatcher.

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Filed under grrr, politics