THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: October 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Getting The Scoop (Seventeen Years Later)

I love learning things. I love having things explained to me. Sometimes when its your wife doing the explaining, it's hard to get the ego out of the way to let the light of day in. But today I managed it. And thank goodness, because what she told me about is really neat and I just couldn't stop myself from coming right here to tell the world about it. (Well, OK, first of all, when I say "the world" I mean both the people who have ever been here and who may hopefully come back sometime again to learn what I learned. And hopefully they actually do have to learn it, which would make me less embarrassed of course because then I'm not the only dim-wit who used to enjoy this song.)

Anyway, to the revelation ...

That one-time popular song (Jimmy Olsen's Blues) by that one-time popular group (The Spin Doctors) is not actually a song about Superman. Instead it's actually a song about the other guy in the story who carried a torch for Lois Lane (Jimmy Olsen).

And the idea is that Jimmy Olsen has a pocketful of kryptonite that he can use to get Superman out of the way, allowing his love for Lois to bloom. Because apparently he's also infatuated (or worse) with her.

That makes a lot more sense than what I thought the song was about. I just thought it was another song about Superman and how he was in love with Lois Lane. I'm quite sure I should've figured out that the lyrics didn't make any sense given what I understood the song to be about. Plus of course the title to the song is a pretty big clue as to what it's all about. I guess I did always wonder why it kept talking about a pocketful of kryptonite, because I had some vague recollection that exposure to kryptonite is problematic for Superman.

Anyway, it's so easy to understand things once a sophisticated explanation is provided. I guess never knew there was a Jimmy Olsen. I thought those other characters in the movies were so unimportant they didn't even get names. (That is an exaggeration of the truth, provided by my ego to inadequately defend me from this humiliation.)

Good times.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's a Bitter Pill I Swallow Here, Charley Reese ...

I don't have Charley Reese's archives bookmarked in my list of favorites of the authors who are frequently published at the most important website on the internet: Lew But maybe I should.

Anyway, his efforts make it into Lew's site's weekly "Top Ten" read articles with some frequency, and I generally read them when they do. (Here's a link to the Top Ten.)

Mr. Reese's article in this week's top ten was important. It's basically a rant, but at the same time I read it as pretty dispassionate: he's just reporting how it is, and he's telling the truth. It's about the state of the union. It's about the state of the citizenry. The best sentence is the last sentence: "Responsibility is the other side of the coin of freedom."

The full text follows ... please share your thoughts in the comments section.

By: Charley Reese

If anyone doubts that the republic created by the U.S. Constitution is dead, he or she only has to watch the Republican presidential debates. Save for Dr. Ron Paul, all of the candidates believe a president can take the country to war on his own, though most concede it might be a good idea to "consult" attorneys and even Congress.

The Constitution, written by men more intelligent and better educated than today's crop of political duds, is quite clear. The president has no authority to take the country to war. The sole authority for declaring war rests 100 percent with Congress.

Naturally, if a shipload of pirates sailed up the Potomac and began shooting at the tourists, you wouldn't need a declaration to authorize returning fire. American troops defending themselves while under attack is not the issue. The issue is that if a president wants to take the country to war against another country, he must, as Franklin Roosevelt did after Pearl Harbor, ask Congress to make that decision.

The Founding Fathers, having suffered under a monarch, deliberately created a weak president. His powers, as specified by the Constitution, are limited mainly to administering the laws passed by Congress, making appointments, negotiating treaties and being the official greeter when dealing with foreign powers. His role as commander in chief is limited to just what it says – the military. The president is not our commander in chief, as the current president seems to think.

Lest anyone be beguiled by the current politicians' determination to create an emperor and an empire, even the president's appointments and treaties have to be confirmed by the Senate. Congress has sole authority over taxation and spending. Appropriations for the military are limited by the Constitution to two years. Furthermore, Congress is elected independently of the president and is a separate branch of government. It is under no obligation whatsoever to do anything the president asks it to do, and the president has no authority whatsoever to do anything not authorized by Congress and the Constitution.

The Constitution, which apparently not many Americans have ever bothered to read, is the supreme law of the land. It does not make suggestions. It commands. It was written in clear English. It has provisions to amend it, but it should never be amended by interpretation. That is always a usurpation of power and should be grounds for impeachment.

There is only one way for the U.S. to be a real nation of laws. That way is for the people to demand that every single public official obey the laws as they are written and obey them to the letter. The current president seems to think he can alter laws with "signing statements" and legislate with executive orders. He should have been impeached a long time ago.

The kernel of the nut is this: In our constitutional republic, sovereignty rests in the people. If the people are too stupid or ignorant, too lazy or indifferent, to hold their public officials accountable for violating the laws and the Constitution, then of course they will deserve the tyranny they will surely get.

Self-government is tremendously more difficult and demanding than living under a dictatorship. In a dictatorship, all you have to do is obey. I fear that concept appeals to some Americans today. It's understandable. Responsibility can be a heavy load to carry. It's much easier to relegate all of that to the Great Leader and just do what we are told.

Anybody who's ever been in the military or a jail knows what I'm talking about. When you are deprived of the ability to make choices, you are simultaneously relieved of the responsibility for making them. Responsibility is the other side of the coin of freedom.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm slowly learning how to use YouTube. Including for self-aggrandizement. Click play below for Exhibit "A" in this regard.

Meanwhile, I just noticed that YouTube is currently delivering me a big kick in the ego sack. On the page attached to my YouTube profile, there are three or four boxes detailing my profile's accomplishments. It says, for example, that I have posted two videos on YouTube, and that I have nothing in my video log, and that I have no "favorites." And then it just gets nasty.

It says that I have no subscribers.

And worse: it says I have no friends. The truth hurts.

Anyway, I hope you derive a modicum of enjoyment from this poor quality video featuring a middling quality aspiring singer-songwriter (me) strumming through what I think is a high quality original number about a metaphorical Love Connection.

Because the recording sucks so bad, I cut and pasted the lyrics below.

She’s an extra enhanced, digital, superpower camera of love.
With her x-ray vision and her telephoto lens, guess what she can take a picture of.
Cause she’s an extra enhanced, infinity millimeter, satellite camera of love.
And from the look in her eyes, man, I know, when she’s focused she can see my soul.

She’s Apollo 12, and I’m a rock on the moon.
She’s the Audubon Society, and I’m a stamp of a loon.
The way she shakes her head at me, when I’m f*cking around.
15 men on a dead man’s chest – I’m a pirate ship that’s run aground.

She’s an extra enhanced, digital, superpower camera of love.
With her x-ray vision and her telephoto lens, guess what she can take a picture of.
Cause she’s an extra enhanced, infinity millimeter, satellite camera of love.
From the look in her eyes, man, I know, when she’s focused she can see my soul.

She’s the Nobel Prize, and I’m a petri dish.
She is Santa Claus, and I’m hoping that I get my wish.
But when she’s sitting tragically, my heart weighs a metric ton.
Until she turns into the eight ball, and I’m the corner pocket...
when she comes to me, I know I’ve won.

She’s an extra enhanced, digital, superpower camera of love.
With her x-ray vision and her telephoto lens, guess what she can take a picture of.
Yea she’s an extra enhanced, infinity millimeter, satellite camera of love.
And from the look in her eyes, man, I know, when she’s focused she can see my soul.

She’s a supersonic jet, and I’m the speed of sound.
And from the look in her eyes, man, I know, when she’s focused she can see my soul.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Flying Naked Biker Chick Wine

Inspired by the Velvet Fog getting after it with some highly enjoyable blogging, I went out yesterday to buy some wine. In honor of the Velvet Fog being such a kick-ass bike rider, I bought -- for about $12 -- a bottle of Pinot Noir that had for its label a picture of a naked chick soaring through the air holding on to the handlebars of a bicycle. I'm pretty sure it was this picture (which according to the website of the factory where they make the wine is real art from France from a long time ago) that inspired Steven Speilberg to fly E.T. across the face of the moon full tilt BMX.

But enough of that babbling.

I corked this wine with an implement designed specifically for that purpose. And I poured out some of it into a vessel designed specifically for that purpose. And I took a big, deliberate whiff of it using an orifice designed specifically for that purpose.

It was not a pleasant experience.

But for the sake of science I drank it anyway. I'd say the wine and the soggy, cool Quizno's sandwich I was eating with it rated about the same on my scale. I could force myself to put portions of each of them into my mouth and swallow, but not to have done so would've been preferable.

After the "meal," I popped the rest of what was in the bottle into the refrigerator.

A couple of hours later I went back to give it another try. I figured maybe because my first glass had been @ room temperature (I popped it open right when we got home from the liquor store) I hadn't given the naked biker chick her propers. I poured several ounces of the dark, rich fluid into a plastic Dora the Explorer cup and wandered back to the computer.

I drank it down.

It was better the second time, but it still didn't inspire. But I'm not at all sure it's reasonable or appropriate for me to blame the craftsman (manufacturer) here; more likely I'm the tool. I don't have a good sense of smell. I don't have a discerning sense of taste. It tasted like wine to me. Plus most of the day today I had a headache. And I never even got a buzz off the two glasses I put away.

I suck.

And so tonight my wife poured the rest of it down the kitchen sink while I was out in the backyard playing with the chilluns.

God love her.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

DOWNTOWN (Greg Brown)

Oh, this sort of explains it. But not entirely.

Monday, October 15, 2007


For all the details.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

On Mailboxes, Etcetera

In the category of major accomplishments . . .

Through ferociously diligent email collating and folder-caching, I have reduced the number of emails in my inbox (the total number, not the number of unread emails) to ten.

This is the lowest number of emails I have had in my inbox in almost two years.

I am very excited about this.

Monday, October 01, 2007

On When The Lights Go Out On The West Loop South

So we moved to our new offices over the weekend. Today is the first day at my new desk. The lights in here have that feature where they turn off if you don't move around or no one visits you for a pre-programmed period of time (I'm guessing it's in the thirty minute range). Because I am such a diligent employee, the lights have been turning off on me all the time. Leaving me in this circumstance:

And, of course, the sensor that is in the light switch to detect motion is far less sensitive than the one Ben Kingsley had in that office of his in this movie where he had the shark in the aquarium in the complex with the software that recognized the voices of the tenants in order for people to get past the security desk:

To get the lights to come back on I have to get up out of my chair and move most of the way over around my desk to the spot in the room where the light switch is fastened to the wall.

On my way over there I wave my arms around vigorously.

Sometimes that helps.