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Thursday, July 31, 2008 The Economy Accor... The Economy According to ThePete: So, the economy has been in the news a LOT lat..

The Economy According to ThePete

So, the economy has been in the news a LOT lately--surprisingly enough (to me, at least) the mainstream media is actually covering the issue. However, I don't think they're really reporting what we need to know. Now, I don't really watch the mainstream news--I read some of it online,, Drudge Rep/tort, WaPo, AP, and a few others, but mostly I get my news from alt news sources like Democracy Now and Bill Moyers (not the other PBS news shows, however).

Most of these guys are getting pretty in-depth, but they're still not quite getting to the meat of what I think we really need to know.

We've all heard about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac getting bailed out by the USG (followed by two more banks in California) but no one is pointing out some very interesting details.

So, it's all because of the sub-prime mortgage scandal, right?

Banks went hog-wild handing out loans/cash to people who couldn't pay them back.

Think about that for a moment.

Cash was handed to people with bad credit or no credit, without a job, or without obvious means to pay the cash back with interest.

Several things bother me about this equation:

1) Who was dumb enough to let banks regulate themselves? This can't be "a few bad apples" if trillions of USD are at risk.

2) Why is the news not talking about WHY these people are not suitable to loan money to in the first place? What did these people do wrong? Shouldn't we be working to solve the problems of these people having bad credit or crappy paying jobs?

3) Where the hell did the banks get all this mad money to give to people? Seriously--from investors? TRILLIONS of dollars ALL from investors who were too stupid to research where their money would go?

Think about this now:

a) You get a job. You receive your first paycheck of (a purely hypothetical) $100.

b) You go to the bank and deposit it.

c) The bank then loans your $100 to Person B so they can start a business.

d) Person B hires Person C, who then gets his first paycheck of $100. He deposits it in the bank.

e)The bank then loans out $100 to Person D who is starting a business.

Do you see the problem here? The money just goes in circles and each time it makes the cycle we pretend the $100 is a brand new $100. So, just in the five steps above, a mythical $200 is created from nothing and inserted into the economy.

Your original $100 is still there, in the bank, but really, it isn't. It's been loaned out. Sure, if you withdraw it, you can get it back, but it's really not yours, it's someone else's money that hasn't been loaned out yet. If that other person comes looking to withdraw their $100, that's when you have some problems.

We saw these problems recently in California and what most of the press I've seen hasn't reported is that we saw all of this happen before in the UK when, last December, there was a run on Northern Rock, the UK's fifth biggest bank. It had succumbed to its own sub-prime mortgage choices and its customers panicked.

This is a screencap of a Telegraph article dated December 23, 2007, essentially predicting tough times ahead (click to enlarge). So, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard could see the future--why didn't someone do something to help us avoid it?
See, so it's a trend--things were bad in the UK, but if you were looking, you saw the signs. You could then take those signs and look for trouble here in the US and guess what--you'd find it.

But why were the banks so eager to give money to people who couldn't pay it back? Why were they so blind to the problems that would obviously be caused by the practice?

The answer is profits--they wanted them. As much as possible. In the case of sub-primes, the interest rates were hiked so that the banks could make more money in the short term, while betting that in the long term, the borrowers would be able to pay the money back.

What if they couldn't?

Good question.

The good answer is that the bankers had a plan. The plan was to sell the debts to other people as investment opportunities.

"See Person F? He owes us $100. He bought a house and he's paying twenty-percent interest on the loan each year. You pay me $110 now and all of his interest payments are yours."

I'm simplifying, of course, but the basic plan was just like that. Investors pay bankers and the bankers make that money plus any payments they've already gotten from the borrower. Meanwhile, the risk is now transfered to investors and away from the bankers. Good plan, huh? Of course it was--and it worked--for a while. Ultimately, however, it led to disaster.

But let's jump back to my little 5-step model.

When you got paid that first $100, that money was worth $100. Then, two steps later, with two new sets of $100 injected into the economy, the supply of dollars is now larger, in theory. Under the law of supply and demand, more supply equals lower price. So, the same $100 you still have in the bank is worth less than it was when you were paid it because the other two sets of $100es now exist, as well.

This is what I'm wrestling with.

All of these $100es need to be paid back to the bank with interest, right? Even that first $100 you got from your boss he got as a loan the bank gave him (or perhaps it was from "profits" he got from selling products and services--that money, in turn coming from customers who got loans or payments from bosses, etc, etc).

So, here's where I am right now:

1) How does the interest ever get paid back?

2) Where do profits come from?

3) With every loan that is given in the real world, it seems like every dollar should drop in value.

Think about how much it would have cost to buy a house in the 1930s. According to the dollar amount, alone, it would have been insanely cheaper than it is today. Yet, aside from technological and safety advances, a house is largely built the same way now, in 2008 as it was in 1938.

This difference is explained away by the term "inflation" and "inflation" describes exactly this process--Webster's defines the word this way: " a continuing rise in the general price level usually attributed to an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services." (source: )

Yet, inflation never goes down. If you think it does, I'm afraid you're mistaken--it's the rate of inflation that can go down.

Essentially, the way our banking system is designed, the dollar will go down in value forever, endlessly. There may be brief rises in comparison to other currencies, but as far as I can tell, the dollar is doomed to drop--forever.

So, here we are in August of 2008, and just in the past few weeks we've seen five of the biggest banks in the US get bailed-out by the USG. Just two days ago, King George "quietly" signed a mortgage bill that would help the little people (the borrowers) keep their homes (source: ). According to the above-linked article: "The measure includes $300 billion in new loan authority for the government to back cheaper mortgages for troubled homeowners; $3.9 billion for communities to fix up foreclosed properties causing blight in neighborhoods; and $15 billion in tax cuts, including an expanded low-income housing tax credit and a credit of up to $7,500, to be repaid, for some first-time home buyers."

The article also states that George was originally going to veto the thing.

Yep, it's just that bad. Even the Decider has to change his mind.

The thing is, by saving banks that screwed the pooch and handing cash to homeowners who are short on it, are any problems really being solved here?

If my basic understanding about how banking works is accurate, aren't these just Band-Aids on a dying man?

Isn't our basic system just a bad idea from the beginning?

Think about it--where does profit come from?

It MUST come from one of two places:

1) Somewhere else--your pocket or someone else's.

2) It is created from nothing--and when this happens, the value of all other money goes down.

So, in the end, just what the fuck is going on here?

Now, I know that there are all sorts of excuses out there to wish away what I'm talking about. There are quite literally money magicians who talk about stocks, bonds, treasury bills, investments, futures, and about a thousand other obscure-sounding concepts. We've got foreign investors who spend their own mystery money to buy our money. We've got entire nations "loaning" our economy money.

And I've tried to get my brain around a good number of these ideas and I'm afraid I just couldn't see how any of them would change the complete and utter fallibility of my little 5-Step model, above.

Whether it's countries loaning countries money or people loaning it to people, the structure is still propping up the same, horribly flawed system--at least, to my eyes.

My ears, on the other hand, are open if anyone can explain this to me in a way that makes sense.

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Subway sandwich+a 45 min walk through a woodsy park+ 1 liter of H2O=me zonked out on the couch for 45 mins--wth??

@MariAdkins Ah, cool. Thanks!

@MariAdkins Ah, cool. Thanks!

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@luge A director's cut of what? I love Proyas' early work, like "Dark City." Would love to see a DC of that!

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@cherishhellfire I'd never heard of Gspace before but I'm giving it try thanks to you! Sorry about your PC, tho' :( Glad for your mp3s!

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Wow, I'm on Kwippy now. :P Thanks for the invite, alfabettezoupe! : map of ... : map of my current location (There are trees around!)

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Watching the Mars Phoenix press conference at Very interesting stuff.

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@philiphodgen Haha, sorry, my home office is paperless. :( If it's any consolation, the 3G iPhone is not perfect-Safari crashes randomly. :\

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Wow--my MacBook lost power last night AGAIN. All that was up was Skype and Handbrake. My MB NEVER crashed this much under 10.5.3. Apple!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

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I recently found this in my inbox, sent to me by a family member whose name I don't need to mention. It's a prayer I'm supposed to say and then forward to everyone I know. I thought, "I'll do better than that and blog about it!" ...and add my own commentary.

Hey, I'm an Atheist, after all. What am I going to do, happily swallow it when Christians shove their faith down my throat? They can dish it, but can they take it? We'll see:

You never know when God is going to bless you!!

Well, unless he's rude, I'd hope he'd do it after I sneeze.

Good things happen when you least expect them !!!

And sometimes when you totally expect them, too! Like the birth of babies, the end of the Bush Administration (January 20, 2009!! WAHOO!), or, like, when you actually plan to do something good! You know you can take actual control of your life and plan to do good things every day of your life. Pretty cool, huh?

Dear Lord, I thank You for this day,

Yeah, because, like what ELSE were you going to do? Like you've got other universes to mess with?

(You're not cheating on us, are you?)

I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning

Oh, DEFINITELY, God! I mean, you not inexplicably making me blind and deaf while I slept? That was SO COOL OF YOU TO NOT DO!!

And thanks for not robbing me of my other senses, too. I dig those a lot, as well.

I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.

And only occasionally give cancer to family members when I masturbate. I really appreciate the reminder that masturbation is wrong. (Sorry about causing your cancer, grandpa! Well, you're dead, what do you care now?)

You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.

Actually, you've missed quite a few sneezes over the years. Plus I had another family member get cancer last year and I'd cut waaay back on my masturbation. Not fair.

Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you.

Yes, if I upset you in anyway, please don't make me blind and/or deaf while I sleep or give me or my family members cancer, or orchestrate any traffic accidents I may witness today so that they will somehow wrap themselves around me. I REALLY appreciate you keeping me out of traffic accidents. (Of course, my own actions might have something to do with that, what with me not owning a car and taking the subway everywhere and looking both ways before crossing the street.)

I ask now for Your forgiveness.

Uhhh, I do?

For what?

I don't remember committing any sins lately.

Well, I did masturbate this morning. :)

Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.

And late-night bouts of blind-and-deafness.

Help me to start this Day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.

Actually, I'm down with that. Though, I'm more thankful that the universe functions the (quite random) way it does. You know, that way that randomly allowed us to exist at all, instead of being space dust. That's pretty cool.

Of course, it could all end in an instant when an asteroid slams into us. But that's part of the bizarre universe we live in--er--I mean--the Magic of the Lord.

Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You.

Uhhh, God hasn't spoken to me since I was 12 when he told me "I don't exist!"

All right, to be honest, I told him that he didn't exist because it would be stupid and impractical if he did. I remember the day clearly. I was in Sunday school and the teacher told me that God was all around us. I thought that was ridiculous and raised my hand. She called on me and I pointed to the middle of the table I was sitting at. "So, God is right there?"

"Yes," was her response.

"Why?" was mine. I went on: "That's stupid. Why would he be in the middle of this table?"

Since then, I've had momentary lapses of my lack of faith, but in the end, logic, facts and evidence always win out. When I see something that makes me honestly believe there's a God of any kind, I'll let ya know. But I digress...

Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.

Wait--all things?? Like slavery and war and crime and bigotry and other really bad things? I'm going to go on faith ;) that these are not the things that the prayer is referring to.

That said, this I'm all for, but I think that only I can do this for myself. How is some deity (even if he does exist) going to help me accept gays and blacks and gun control and other things the Christian church stereotypically hates? I think it makes more sense for me to simply examine where these types of hate and fear come from and decide for myself if such causes merit such hate and fear.

Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.

Like God? :P

Yeah, because complaining about government response to natural disasters is just STUPID (yet, clearly, we citizens have no control over what our government does, sadly).

And give the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.

Again, isn't this entirely up to the individual? The individual has everything it needs to triumph--even according to Christian cliche's like "God doesn't put anything more on your shoulders than they can bear."

So, what do we need God's help for if he doesn't stick us with anything we can't deal with?


I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.

Wow, and I thought Big Brother was bad!

Continue to use me to do Your will.

WAIT! So, masturbation is part of God's Plan after all?? AWESOME!!

Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others Keep me strong that I may help the weak...

Yeah, because like, once again, I can't do that on my own? Why do I need to ask permission to be a good person? Why can't I just decide to do it on my own? You know, take responsibility for my own actions?

Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.

Actually, I'd like to rephrase this:

Please stop giving my family members cancer. You won't give me cancer because I eat really well, don't smoke and general keep myself in good health. But please, lay off my family. You've been shitty enough to them. I mean, you know, if you exist. (And BTW, my family are Believers in You.)

I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way.

Actually, I pray that those that are lost find a GPS. My new iPhone has GPS and I never get lost anymore, it's AWESOME.

I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.

Meh, it happens to all of us at some point. It's a flaw in that whole "spoken language" thing. If You would just give us Mental Telepathy, God, we'd probably achieve world peace in like 5 minutes. But you know, I guess, us misjudging and misunderstanding each other is much more fun for you to watch--or something.

Say, why the hell did you create us, anyway? Is this just some sick fun you're having? Watching the middle class dwindle, home owners get foreclosed, Palestinians get occupied, Israelis get blown up in pizza parlors, African kids get soldierized, polar bears get extinct, women get raped, people dying of cancer and bombs and bullets, it all must be pretty damned entertaining to you to let it go on for so long.

I pray for those who don't know You intimately.

Eewww!! I don't want to know God THAT way!! That's gross!! Besides, I'm married! What would my wife think??

I pray for those that don't believe.

Why? What's wrong with us? Why do we need Your Help, God?

But I thank you that I believe that God changes people and God changes things.

...and stuff.

So, wait--I'm supposed to thank God that I believe he does things?

That makes no sense.

Like, I'm supposed to thank the lawn mower for my belief that it will cut the grass.


I pray for all my sisters and brothers.

Man, how big a family am I supposed to have?

Isn't there enough pressure on the world's resources already?

I pray for each and every family member in their households.

...I pray that they will win the lottery and remember me. :D

I pray for peace, love, and joy in their homes.

But screw those Iraqis. Saddam was insane. We HAD to invade!!

I pray that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.

Because debt is a work of Satan.

Actually, that part probably is true. ;)

Though I think it's HILARIOUS that the word "debt" sneaks into a prayer to God.

I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God.

If that's true, why do we have to believe in Him? If a planet full of nonbelievers is a smaller problem than God, why does it matter if we believe or not?

Really, Christians, you seriously need to stop presenting arguments that have more holes in them than Bush's reasoning for invading Iraq.

Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.

Whew! Here I thought I would have to take personal responsibility for something! I sure am glad I can just say God lost the fight, not me!! :D

I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees it.

"...the hearts of every eye"?? What the hell does this mean?

"I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees it"???

God, please grant your believers a better grasp of their own language. Far be it from me to cast the first stone (I am a grammar sinner, as well) but writing like this just makes Your People look like they don't care enough to proofread.

If you prayed this prayer, change the number in the subject box before forwarding the message so people can See how many people have done so.

...because God loves it when you brag about how much work you do for Him. o_O


God Bless You!!!!!

WOW--how did you know I just sneezed?


Just repeat this phrase and see how God moves!!
God, I love you and I need you.
Come into my heart, please.

Uhhhh, I don't see any movement at all.

I think your prayer might be broken.

Is it still under warranty? Can you take it back to Best Believer and have the God Squad repair it?

I mean, I can do that with any of the things I use to learn and grow and be a better person. If my computer craps out on me I take it back to the store and they fix it.

Science is neat that way.

If you go back to your priest or minister and complain that God didn't move, you'll just be told that he did, you just have to look for his movement.

Imagine getting that reply from the guy at the Geek Squad at Best Buy.

"Actually, sir, your laptop does work."

"No, it doesn't. The screen won't come on."

"That doesn't work. You just have to look more closely."

I'd take my laptop to another store, just like I took my soul away from the Church and into my own, rational hands.

I like to take responsibility for myself and my actions. I don't choose to absolve myself of all guilt and responsibility when things don't go my way or when I screw up. Yes, it's probably harder for me that way, but, you know, at least I'm not lying to myself.

God will bless you.

YeeeeNo, he won't.

Know that you are already blessed by the person who sent this to you.

So, regular people can bless? So, the next time I hear someone sneeze, I can say something like: "Steve bless you" or "Sally bless you"?


Wait--this last part of the prayer sounds like the writer is congratulating themselves.

"Be glad in knowing that someone was so cool as to send you this prayer. Aren't they awesome?"


OK, kids. Here's what seems to really be going on.

There's a lot of shit in the universe we just don't get.

Scary, fucked up, wrong-ass shit.

You could die while you're reading this.

POP could go a blood vessel in your brain and POOF you don't make it back from your lunch break.

It's scary to contemplate this, I understand.

Believing in an entity that controls all of this is a massive security blanket. By believing you can appeal to a power greater than your own, for beneavolance and good fortune, you have hope where you might not, otherwise.

Likewise, belonging to a church allows you to experience that Cheerio Effect. You know how the last few Cheerios in the bowl seem to always cling together? That's what churches and other religions are for. You feel lonely and scared to be in the big bowl of milk by yourself, so, you cling to others of your own kind and everything's cool.

Of course, ultimately, the Spoon of Death (SoD) will come for each and every remaining Cheerio.

Pray to God All You Want and you won't live forever (nor will you get into heaven because there isn't one).

However, put your trust in science, facts, and learning, and you just might find a cure for everything that kills us.

While George W. Bush has been busy fighting the forces of Evil in the middle east, he could have been spending that trillion dollars on finding a cure for cancer or AIDS.

But no, Bush wages his "crusade" against "evil doers" and believes God has put himself in the White House (actually, it was the Supreme Court).

Meanwhile, you are trusting that God will sort it out.

Got any family members or friends who are dying of a disease, virus or from injuries? Yeah, that's God's fault, isn't it? He could save them, couldn't he? Remember, no problem is bigger than God, so he's choosing to let that family member or friend die.


Beats me.

He works in mysterious ways.

Or, it could be that the universe just isn't fair sometimes.

Which is easier to accept?

That God is a prick? Or that sometimes, life just sucks?

I'll take the latter. The former would breed confusion and hatred.

You can keep believing prayer works. I'll keep believing that if we can just stop bombing other countries we might be able to solve some serious problems facing America and humanity at large.

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TheLatestLast.FM: Adam Freeland – nowism: Cheney & Energy T... Cheney & Energy Task Force Plotted Iraq pre911:

So, as I’ve said recentl..

Cheney & Energy Task Force Plotted Iraq pre911

So, as I've said recently, I'm slowly catching up on my podcasts. One podcast I don't like to miss is the audio version of "Bill Moyer's Journal" on PBS (site:…rs/journal podcast (audio):…odcast.xml podcast (video): ). I was listening to the episode from June 27, 2008 when Moyers started talking about the war in Iraq. My gut instinct was to assume he was going to go on about how it was all for the oil and run the typical blood-for-oil argument you hear from so many people. Which is pretty much what he started to do. I immediately thought to myself "Yeah, but Bill, where's your hard evidence?"

That's a question I've asked many times of anti-war folks. Usually I just get the answer "it's obvious!" or "You really think we'd be in Iraq if there wasn't oil there?"

Of course, they're right, but what really connects Cheney to a oil-motivation?

Well, for once, a person quoting the blood-for-oil argument (BOA) actually had some evidence to back it up. The above screencap is part of it. And what's really messed up about this is that the above screencap comes from a press release dated July 17, *2003* (see the original page here:…d-pr.shtml ).

Now, maybe I missed it in the cacophony of crap the Bush Administration was puulling at the time (back in July of '03 we'd only been in Iraq for four months). Regardless, what Judicial Watch found is downright damning.

If you look at the above cap, you'll see that they say: "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at:"

Yeah, that's right, *before* 911, Cheney was eyeing maps of oilfields in Iraq. Why would Cheney need to know where oil was in Iraq while planning for America's energy future? Sure, we could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just learning as much as he could about "our energy partner in the middle east," or some such crap they might spew to excuse maps being there (and not just say charts of oil output and other less visual aids), but after all that has happened, I can't imagine that he was doing anything but looking at those maps and thinking "yeah, we gotta secure that shit."

Especially considering the growing concern in 2001 that the world's peak oil limit might be approaching. "Peak Oil" is the theory that the Earth will produce more and more oil until it begins to run out--production will peak--then, we, as a planet, will start to run out and prices will climb. That last bit sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I heard about this theory for the first time in 2003, I believe. There was a December 2000 talk given by an oil expert called CJ Campbell, a guy who worked for oil companies, helping them find oil. You'd assume he'd be aware of just how much oil was left on the planet. (You can read a blog post I wrote about it here:…o-run-out/ )

So, there Cheney was, just a few months after Campbell's talk, chatting over energy policy with maps of oil fields in Iraq--before the 911 Attacks, before invading Afghanistan, before invading Iraq.

Am I reading into things? Maybe. But I can't help but wonder why Cheney and friends would withhold these maps from Judicial Watch when they first asked for them in April of 2001. Check out something else from the above screencapped press release: "Judicial Watch has been seeking these documents under FOIA since April 19, 2001. Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch Inc. v. Department of Energy, et al., Civil Action No. 01-0981) when the government failed to comply with the provisions of the FOIA law. U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. Friedman ordered the government to produce the documents on March 5, 2002."

So, in 2002, a judge ruled that effectively Cheney had violated the law by keeping these documents from JW. I wonder why they would have done that.

Shades of things to come.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watching the 2nd 1/2 of the Ap...

Watching the 2nd 1/2 of the Appleseed sequel and then crashing. Need to get some submissions out. I'm supposed to be a writer 'r sumthin'.

@richpav Though, if you do try...

@richpav Though, if you do try the mayogarita, I'd love to hear what you think--I like mayo, generally, but I'm with Colbert--a bit gaggy :\

@richpav Sorry, missed your co...

@richpav Sorry, missed your comment about being willing to try the mayogarita--when I finally get to Japan I think I'll pass on that one.

@philiphodgen I too am familia...

@philiphodgen I too am familiar with Teh Shiny. At nite it quietly pwns me while I sleep with my iPhone by my pillow. (I wish I was joking).

@richpav Of course, Los Angele...

@richpav Of course, Los Angeles is probably a bit far for ya.

@richpav Ah, I gotcha, you dig...

@richpav Ah, I gotcha, you dig actual *Indian* curry--I understand. I used to date an Indian woman--took me to her favorite place in LA.

Check out this docu on the big...

Check out this docu on the biggest slave-trading family in the US. (

@richpav I thought I heard som...

@richpav I thought I heard some place that curry places are big in Japan.

@richpav Ahh, sucks man. It's ...

@richpav Ahh, sucks man. It's tough to go cold turkey like that. Any change there are other curry place in the area?

12seconds - Wall-E Papercraft ...

12seconds - Wall-E Papercraft

@richpav sorry, not info, link...

@richpav sorry, not info, links--good stuff. Colbert Report did a thing on that place. He gagged when looking at a pic of the Mayogarita.

@richpav Haha, wow--thanks for...

@richpav Haha, wow--thanks for all the info--sorry about your favorite closing--what was it called?

@richpav have you heard of the...

@richpav have you heard of the mayonnaise-themed restaurant that's somewhere in Japan? I think it's Tokyo, but I could be wrong.

@philiphodgen I use GrandCentr...

@philiphodgen I use so I haven't even set up VM on my 3G iPhone. I guess I'm missing something cool?

Yay! Just had a good 'n' long...

Yay! Just had a good 'n' long conversation with one of my best friends on the planet who happens to live 3000 miles away, back in LA.

"Stealing America" a New Docu I Helped With

The short version: A documentary I contributed news footage to (a documentary by Oscar nominated documentarian, Dorothy Fadiman) will be screening in movie theaters starting August 1, 2008. It's a movie about election irregularities in all major elections since 2000, but it mostly focuses on the big elections. I feel strongly that this is an important movie and it needs to be seen by as many people as possible. Please check out StealingAmericaTheMovie.Org (here: ) to see if the movie is playing in your area.

If it is, please go see it! Most of the footage from Daily Show, MSNBC and some of the clips from CNN I supplied.

If not, please check back to that site periodically to see when the DVD will be available. Or just watch this space as I'll be sure to make a big deal about it when it does come out on home video. :)

The long version: A couple years back I was contacted by Oscar nominated documentarian, Dorothy Fadiman (…nm0264936/ ), regarding any news footage I may have recorded during the election mess from 2000 and 2004. I believe in documenting big events by recording news coverage, so I happened to have a nice little library from 2004 and a few clips from 2000, which I sent out to her as she needed them over the following years.

Finally, she's finished it up and it will be screening at certain theaters across the country before it is made available on DVD.

Our election system is broken and this film shows you how. Please support this movie. Thanks!!

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Bizarre Health Statistic from NYT Labor Reporter

So, I'm finally getting back to listening to my podcasts after moving to NYC and I'm listening to Democracy Now today when I hear the guy who wrote the book "The Big Squeeze" say something in an interview with Juan Gonzales. Check it out: "And another, you know, health statistic that surprised me when I was researching the book was, United States spends about $6,500 per person for health coverage, which is more than twice what France and Germany spent, about two-and-a-half times what Japan spent, yet, you know, they have universal health coverage." (source:…enhouse_on )

I found this pretty damn surprising. If true, it would mean that, put it simply, the capitalist model (vs. the "socialist" one everyone says is bad) delivers crappier health care for most people and costs more, as well.

Our leaders are *seriously* letting us down, it would seem. (In another way, I mean.)
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12seconds - Heavy Drinking htt...

12seconds - Heavy Drinking

Work for the EPA? Be careful w...

Work for the EPA? Be careful what you say! (

12seconds - Lucky Coin Pouch h...

12seconds - Lucky Coin Pouch

12seconds - Sonic Screwing Abo...

12seconds - Sonic Screwing About

@Wuala please fix how your app...

@Wuala please fix how your app doesn't allow spaces in bookmarks on OSX. Boy is that annoying.

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

Iowans Get Arrested Trying to Arrest Rove

Wow, to think I was going to ask if anyone knew if the mainstream TV media was covering this. I got this from (here:…7842.shtml ) so, color me surprised that CBS, in any incarnation, would cover this story at all (yes, I know it's actually an AP news story, but still).

Of course, the irony after you get past CBS actually covering this kind of story is that the people hoping to citizen's arrest Rove ended up being arrested, themselves, and charged with "trespassing".

And you get a nice side-order of irony when you consider that the citizen's-arresters were all Christian activists--hey cops, what ever happened to forgiving those who trespass against you?

Hey, future citizen's-arresters--wake up! Karl Rove is above the law, just like his pals in the White House! You'd probably cause more headlines if, instead of trying to citizen's arrest Rove, you tossed a pie or something at him. That'd be way funnier anyway.
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Hrm, haven't showered in a cou...

Hrm, haven't showered in a couple days. I think it's time. --What? I haven't gotten a job, yet! What's the point of clean?

@acetone42 There was a quake i...

@acetone42 There was a quake in 2001? I totally missed that! Where was it? Do you remember?

12seconds - Zaphod Acting Squi...

12seconds - Zaphod Acting Squirrelly Today (instead of catty)

12seconds - Alaska Senator Ted...

12seconds - Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Indicted

12seconds - I miss the 5.4. :(...

12seconds - I miss the 5.4. :(

YAY! The man who said the Inte...

YAY! The man who said the Internet is made of tubes is indicted! (

Lessons in what not to do with...

Lessons in what not to do with a free house. (

Monday, July 28, 2008

cinema classics: A cool little...

cinema classics: A cool little video place in the Village.

Film Society of Lincoln Center...

Film Society of Lincoln Center

12seconds - Tripping (or not) ...

12seconds - Tripping (or not)

12seconds - Name that Bodypart...

12seconds - Name that Bodypart!

Palringo works well as an IM c...

Palringo works well as an IM client for iPhone, but needs a landscape mode and Apple needs to let apps run in the BG. It'll run while lo ...

Giving Palringo IM app a try f...

Giving Palringo IM app a try for iPhone. Supports all the biggies. Seems cool so far. ^_^

12seconds - Two Fistin' It! ht...

12seconds - Two Fistin' It!

Interesting follow-up on how t...

Interesting follow-up on how the media made the IT wizard sound worse they he really was. (

Sad story about an IT wizard w...

Sad story about an IT wizard who took things too far. ( Takes on Google, Huh?

So, they claim to want to take on Google but they can't handle the
traffic Drudge sends them at 9:16 in the morning east coast time??

Wait until the rest of America gets to work--then we'll see some REAL

Also, taking on TheGoog with no mobile version? No desktop suite?

Google is way more than a search engine these days. Seriously taking
them on requires more than just a better search engine, folks.

I mean, what am I supposed to do, check my Gmail then jump over to
Cuil just to search the Web? Add an event to my Gcal and then type on
"" to do a search despite already being at Google?

I don't like hegemony either, but come on, people--how are we to know
even how to pronounce your name? It doesn't look like it rhymes with
"cool"--I bet most folks will guess it's "Kweel" or "koo-ill" or maybe
even "koo-eel."

I'm guessing "" was taken?

Good luck, guys! You're going to need it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

12seconds - Furrowed Brow http...

12seconds - Furrowed Brow

Uh-oh--got my first "we're too...

Uh-oh--got my first "we're too busy" error on! Keep up, guys! Don't pull a Twitter! No Fail Whale for you!!

@richpav Yay for I...

@richpav Yay for It's good to know Obama didn't really blow off the troops. For anyone who missed it:

Back from dinner. Not quite st...

Back from dinner. Not quite stuffed, but nicely fed. Now to call some pholks.

@Fricka cute girls get all the...

@Fricka cute girls get all the cool stuff!! I'm jealous!! Sounds like you had a great time, though. Awesome!

12seconds - ht...

12seconds -

12seconds - Going out to dinne...

12seconds - Going out to dinner!

12seconds - Writing some Ficti...

12seconds - Writing some Fiction!

12seconds - I have too many we...

12seconds - I have too many webcams

12seconds - Thanks for the Fol...

12seconds - Thanks for the Follow-Back Tojosan!

Can't Believe Guerrilla News N...

Can't Believe Guerrilla News Network is still around--their forum is practically dead. Sad, really. (

12seconds - It's Raining!! htt...

12seconds - It's Raining!!

Matchbox version of the thing ...

Matchbox version of the thing in Sir Richard's hands, please! (

80 degrees and rainy in NYC. A...

80 degrees and rainy in NYC. At least LA had the decency to cool down when it rained. Still, I'm not sick of the rain yet, so, go 'head on!

Gmail flaw: Search "wash" to f...

Gmail flaw: Search "wash" to find email with "Washington" in them and none come up. Gmail searching with partial words. Shouldn't this work?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just completed a childhood dre...

Just completed a childhood dream--I just finished watching all 105 episodes of Gatchaman. That's "Battle of the Planets" for most Americans.

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

Watched "Carnival of Souls" fo...

Watched "Carnival of Souls" for the 1st time & followed it up with "5 cm Per Second" (the anime) and now I want to kill myself. O_O

I added a widget ...

I added a widget to This 12second thing is really a lot of fun! ^_^

12seconds - Media-Watching Adv...

12seconds - Media-Watching Advice

12seconds - iPhone Video Quest...

12seconds - iPhone Video Question

@luge Is there a PIT?? Please...

@luge Is there a PIT?? Please tell me there's a pit!! Then it'll be a rip-off of Quatermass and the Pit! :P

@Fricka That's hilarious! I h...

@Fricka That's hilarious! I had a feeling one of those shows was a rip-off of the other! ;)

At Trader Joe's having discove...

At Trader Joe's having discovered the best time to be here (no lines!!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

12seconds - Keep It Simple App...

12seconds - Keep It Simple Apple

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

Why am I putting myself throug...

Why am I putting myself through series 2 of Primeval? I'm trying to convince myself it's intentionally cheesy as hell. Just not convinced.

12seconds - Ecks (ThePete #1) ...

12seconds - Ecks (ThePete #1)

12seconds - Zaphod (ThePet #2)...

12seconds - Zaphod (ThePet #2)

Wexler's Post-Impeachment Hearing Newsletter

Robert Wexler is one of the guys in DC that is actually pushing for Bush and Cheney to be impeached. Which is great--in that, it's great when people actually bother to do their job. In this case, it's the job of Congress to oversee the Executive Branch--a job they've been shirking for, oh, about the entire time Bush has been in the White House. So, finally, now that there are about six more months left in Bush's 8-year reign over America (and the world), Wexler and pals are actually doing their job. Today they held hearings and what follows is Wexler's email to me and the other folks on his mailing list, along with a bit of commentary.

Dear Pete,

Today, in the Judiciary Committee, we held a full day of hearings that focused entirely on the crimes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney,


and featured testimony by Rep. Dennis Kucinich regarding his Articles of Impeachment against President Bush.

...oh--Kucinich--he's the impish guy with the hot wife, right?

This is a great start – but I am far from satisfied.

That makes two of us.

Following statements by Chairman John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans,

A great band name! "John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans!!" I saw them play at the Roxy and they were GREAT. Can't believe they're not acoustic anymore though. :(

I opened with a forceful call for genuine and immediate Impeachment Hearings for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Well it's usually better to open with a joke. But that's cool--I bet you still got a laugh. ;)

The crimes of this Administration must be revealed and Bush and Cheney must be held accountable.

Ooo, that's a 10-point penalty for double-anding!

Oh wait--maybe he meant to use a "&". I'll let it go, THIS time. o_O

Without Impeachment Hearings, we cannot break through the blatant and unprecedented efforts by President Bush to shut down legitimate oversight by this Congress.

Legitimate? I'll settle for ANY.

As you know, President Bush has inappropriately and repeatedly invoked Executive Privilege to keep Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and other White House officials from complying with legal, Congressional Subpoenas.

Not to mention invading a couple countries without provocation in violation of the UN Charter and by default international law--but that Executive Privilege thing is annoying, too.

I believe the only appropriate remedy is to hold Impeachment Hearings.

That I completely agree with. Please, Congressman Wexler, go on.



Donate for WHAT? Huh?

While Inherent Contempt might dislodge some testimony or at least guarantee the appearance of witnesses, the larger concern is the President's outrageous abuse of Executive Privilege.

Well, that and his sanctioned use of torture against terror suspects, but yeah, that Executive Privilege thing is a bitch.

We have been down this road before: in 1973, Articles of Impeachment were introduced against President Nixon after he illegally tried to use Executive Privilege to bury evidence of his wrongdoings.

Which were ultimately ignored when he resigned. The USG could have even brought criminal charges against Nixon, but they didn't so Ford could announce that "Our long national nightmare is over."

Sadly, we didn't have to go back to sleep to experience our current one.

I fully recognize the significance of holding Impeachment Hearings, and I have not come to this position lightly – but when the President of the United States takes actions that amount to high crimes, we are left with no other option than to seek his impeachment and removal from office.

You know, you didn't even have to wait that long--according to the GOA he violated federal covert propaganda law years ago.

Our government was founded upon a delicate balance of powers – whereby one branch carefully checks the other branches to prevent a dangerous consolidation of power.

Yeah, I heard about that--how's that working out, by the way?

President Bush's actions have totally destroyed this careful balance.

Ohhhh. :(

Without these checks and balances, the President could run roughshod over any law and turn us into a nation...
...where wars can be waged based on lies
...and laws can be rewritten without the input of Congress or the American people.

Thank God that hasn't happened to OUR country!

...ohhhhhh! =(

Congress must end this disturbing pattern of behavior, and in these circumstances, the only option left is impeachment.

Indeed! OK, Congressman, you're on a roll! Please keep going!!



What the hell??? Why do you keep throwing donation links at the readers of your newsletter, man??

Since when do you need donations to do your job?? Don't you HAVE a salary?? Don't I already pay it in the form of taxes???


This is not a partisan issue: Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive, and it cannot allow this attack on our powers to go unanswered.

Yeah, that would be like letting the guy behind 911 get away!

...oh wait.

To ignore these actions is tantamount to a willful concession of our rights as legislators.

Not to mention your responsibilitieeeeeeez!


No Democrat, Republican, or Independent should allow Congress' powers to be so undermined.

Yeah! Especially since Congress already let that happen all by themselves!

Nor should Congress allow the calendar to determine whether we should ignore abuses of office.

You mean like it did back in 2000 with determining who "won" the 2000 election?

Maybe not.

No President should be given immunity and free-reign just because there are only a few months left in their term.

Or seventy-two months?

Impeachment Hearings can be held very quickly – in a manner of weeks.


*offer void in the contiguous United States.

Although today we don't have the votes to impeach today –

Oooo, double-use of "today"--that'll cost you points!

...neither did the Judiciary Committee investigating President Nixon until AFTER hearings were held and the truth was revealed. We must put a halt to this historic Administrative power grab.

Not to mention the lies they still tell us about how well things are now going in Iraq.

Congress has not lived up to its promises, and we can no longer credibly claim that impeachment would upset our agenda.

AGENDA?? Who said anything about an agenda?? This is Washington DC! We don't have agendas!!

...we have campaign promises!


j/k ;)

Our agenda has not withstood presidential vetoes or senatorial filibusters. If we do nothing, this session will be remembered for our conceding the rightful and constitutional powers of Congress, and little more.

Uh, what else have you guys done?

Is there anything less than nothing?

I am unbowed in my determination for Impeachment Hearings

Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.

You going to encourage criminal prosecution after he's out of office?

and I know you feel the same way.

I felt the same way YEARS ago, motherfucker*.

*That one was for George Carlin!

Encourage your friends to stay updated and demonstrate their support by signing up at

Um, NO.

As always, thank you for your kind emails, contributions, and encouragement.

Congressman Robert Wexler



Paid for by "Wexler for Congress"


12seconds - Old Skool iSight W...

12seconds - Old Skool iSight Works After All (just needed a restart)

@simedia You just blew my mind...

@simedia You just blew my mind...

@simedia Dude, I've got lots o...

@simedia Dude, I've got lots of ideas but no opportunities! So there!

12seconds - Works on the eee p...

12seconds - Works on the eee pc

12seconds - Hike, Hike, Hike U...

12seconds - Hike, Hike, Hike Up Your Volume

12seconds - No Old Skool iSigh...

12seconds - No Old Skool iSight Use :(

Impeachment hearings in DC tod...

Impeachment hearings in DC today for Bush. DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! (

And Jaiku posting from

And Jaiku posting from is back! Cool. :)

WOW, for the iPhone RE...

WOW, for the iPhone REALLY SUCKS. If your backlight shuts off the next song doesn't load. Good plan, guys. Hello again, Pandora!

TheLatestLast.FM: The Rolling ...

TheLatestLast.FM: The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black:

Hrm, seems is failing ...

Hrm, seems is failing to post to Jaiku. Of course, that's the microblogging feed that shows up on my site. SIGH.

Really digging S...

Really digging Simple, basic, gets the job done. Very cool.

12seconds - Hictu http://12sec...

12seconds - Hictu

12seconds - 12seconds#1 http:/...

12seconds - 12seconds#1

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I feel like I've got a subtle ...

I feel like I've got a subtle case of brain-freeze only I've had it for hours :( (and haven't had any ice cream!)

Damn, didn't write at all toni...

Damn, didn't write at all tonight. Not sure what's wrong with my head--still feeling out of it. Lame excuse, I know, but it's the truth.

TheLatestLast.FM: Bear McCrear...

TheLatestLast.FM: Bear McCreary – Main Title (UK version):

Wow--retired astronaut claims ...

Wow--retired astronaut claims alien cover-up. Stupid. (

Tee-hee: While Obama is in Ger...

Tee-hee: While Obama is in Germany, McCain ate German in Ohio. (

While I'm on the topic of the ...

While I'm on the topic of the iPhone--has anyone noticed better reception once 3G is turned off? I have. I find bars underground now. o_O

OK, when will the App Store on...

OK, when will the App Store on the iPhone start displaying apps that are *actually new* in their "new" section??

Ugh--not sure when it happened...

Ugh--not sure when it happened, but at some point today I started feeling really light-headed and I actually ate food today. Don't get it.

Weird Crowd on Broadway Tonight

Not sure what this was about, but tonight we saw this around 7:45ish
as we walked to the 1 train stop on 191st street. The smoke was much
thicker just moments before I took this shot and a crowd was still
there when we got back over an hour later.

Grand Central Station Entrance

Is this not one of the more impressive façades you've ever seen on a
train station?

I've been to New York City a couple dozen times during my life and I
don't think I've ever seen the outside of it before today. Damn impressive.

Too bad no one designs buildings like this anymore.

@zillz You're the 4th--after a...

@zillz You're the 4th--after all, CNN think's CNN is one of the best news sources around. Silly CNN. It's the Internets, stupid! -ThePete

@bengoertzel you, too, huh? Th...

@bengoertzel you, too, huh? Though I imagine that I was a demon interested in torturing myself with human form and humanity, itself.

KBR Employee Trolling My Site?

Sorry about the pic above, check out the full size version here:…a8fc_o.png

At the top of my website, ThePete.Com, there is a little thing called "TheBlurb." It's just a little bit of text anyone who visits my site can change, replacing what ever is there with anything they want. Of course, I mention on the "change it" page that "TheBlurb is NOT for having conversations" yet, sometimes even I ignore this rule. Regardless, like anyplace else on the web, it attracts a troll every now and again.

Case in point, the above image. The top part of it reproduces the interchange between myself and the troll and after he clearly didn't take the hint that he had worn out his welcome, I decided to see if I could just ban his IP. It turns out, he's got three different IPs that he's posted from. The surprising thing is that one of them I was able to track to Halliburton subsid, KBR's servers in Houston, TX. The other two IPs are from Amsterdam (the one in Europe) and Los Alamitos (the one in SoCal). And when I say that I was "able to track" the IPs, I mean, I was "able to do a simple IP lookup." Nothing spectacular.

So, is this guy really a KBR employee? Or is there some other explanation?

Either way, dontcha love it when people have nothing better to do than waste your time (and their own) trying to convince you their way is the right way on YOUR website?

Dude, it's my site and you're trying to convince me of something I patently do not believe. Catch a clue, give up the ghost on this one and move the hell on (like I'm trying to do).

Is your life so useless that you must turn to trolling to feel good about yourself?
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Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

I think I have a KBR employee ...

I think I have a KBR employee trolling TheBlurb on my home page. Those guys really like to waste money *and* time. :\ (yes, *that* KBR.)

From ThePete.Com: There’s a ...

From ThePete.Com: There’s a Subway That Goes Up Broadway?:

Well, the other night there..

From ThePete.Com: You See the ...

From ThePete.Com: You See the Strangest Things…:

…when you step outside your apa..

There's a Subway That Goes Up Broadway?

Well, the other night there sure was.

I thought about asking for a lift but I couldn't find anywhere to swipe my fare card.
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterzreply-count Replies.

You See the Strangest Things...

...when you step outside your apartment.

This was literally just outside our apartment, in the lobby of our building. I was tempted to grab it--we could use a bit more cabinet space. :)
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There's something so cool abou...

There's something so cool about posting from the train. ^_^

So I can't log in to my T-Mo a...

So I can't log in to my T-Mo acct. and the only way to get support is to... log in. Thanks for the time waster T-Mobile & Starbucks!

About to give up on Starbucks ...

About to give up on Starbucks as an Internet cafe--the one I'm at won't let me log into my T-Mo HotSpot account. :/ this happens a lot.

Time to find a Subway (note th...

Time to find a Subway (note the upper case "S") & then a Starbucks for some free restroom goodness. @siskita the caterpillar fell again. :(

Damn, when did Yahoo buy Babel...

Damn, when did Yahoo buy Babelfish and/or Why must everything be owned by Yahoo, TheGoog or Micro$oft?

Going to get some work done, a...

Going to get some work done, assuming I can take the fresh(ish) air and all the distractions out here. The lions are calm, which is nice.

Hanging out in front of the NY...

Hanging out in front of the NY Public Library (yes, the lions are here) enjoying some free wifi and actually nice weather. - http... - : map of my current location

Running late for lunch with @s...

Running late for lunch with @siskita Just getting out the door now, honey! Taking the 1 to the 7. Will call when above ground. LOVE!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Holy crap--$5 billion and the ...

Holy crap--$5 billion and the USG is building 2 Zumwalt DDG-1000s. (

Huh. The Japanese use the OLPC...

Huh. The Japanese use the OLPC XO logo to mark where earthquake epicenters are. (

Yaaay! We're getting rain! The...

Yaaay! We're getting rain! The wind is blowing through the window a bit and it feels so nice and cool. Come on, Mother Nature! More of this!

Ooo... NYC ATMs are indoors an...

Ooo... NYC ATMs are indoors and... air conditioned... Now seeing lightning in the distance. Dare I dream?

Touch here to type a message.....

Touch here to type a message...

Damn, half way to the ATM when...

Damn, half way to the ATM when I realize I have no pen to fill out the deposit envelope. :( not feeling like going back.

The Mystery Bug Drawing

This is a "sketch" of a bug that was drifting about my desk today. Never seen anything like it and am now convinced I am a puss since I was unable to kill it. Sadly it has buggered off to its homeworld (I believe it was an alien bug as I was unable to kill it despite it not moving very quickly. Must've had some sort of invisible force field to protect it from my mighty tissue).

If anyone knows what this thing is, please let me know.

In other news, still no rain for us North-Islanders. :(
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Going to Miss the Rain Again

Well, we might get some tonight from that next big storm, but it'll probably just drift south and miss the city like everything else that's been in the area.

The good thing is that it has gotten cooler, but it's still pretty warm in the apartment. So, we could still use the rain.

Now I've got this freaky bug drifting around my desk. This thing is unlike any bug I've seen before. I'll try to get a pic of it. If I don't post again you know the bug turned out to be an alien that got the upper hand on me.
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This product contains a chemic...

This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm. (http:/ ...

@philiphodgen Wow, so the cash...

@philiphodgen Wow, so the cash ends up being more important than patriotism to these businesses and the people who run them?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gah--2:30am wrote a chapter, b...

Gah--2:30am wrote a chapter, but I'm still jonesing to write! Thing is, I don't want to wake up at noon again tomorrow. As I said: Gah! --not a ba... --not a bad idea. I like Net Neutrality, don't you? (

@Fricka that would be OK w/me,...

@Fricka that would be OK w/me, I think-it's just real hard for me to type when I can't feel where the keys are. Even my Sidekick was easier.

Testing Out WordPress for iPhone

So, WordPress released their app for the iPhone and it seems cool enough. It's very basic, however--it doesn't let you do any real admin, sadly. Like no plugin tweaking, no theme editing, and, worst of all, no way to troubleshoot if something goes wrong inside of WP.

Like that ever happens! :P

Of course, the other issue is how the WP app works with the iPhone itself. Just in the process of writing the above I've learned the following:

1) The WP app needs a landscape mode badly. Typing with one hand gets really tedious really quickly and, sadly, my thumbs are too big to work together (accurately) in portrait mode.

2) The iPhone's incessant need to correct what it determines to be spelling errors makes blogging with HTML an annoying process. I tried to add emphasis tags and it kept replacing them with the word "email". Sure, I can tap the insanely tiny "x" when the "correct" word pops up but I'd rather not have to do that EVERY time.

Of course, if there was a way to turn OFF the auto-correct feature you can bet I'd do that over expecting the WP guys to come up with a solution.

3) No tactile keys makes typing really hard, even with "click" sounds on. I find that I type MUCH slower on my iPhone than I did on my Sidekick 3's pfysical qwerty. Also, having to go to different keyboards for certain (very) common keys is a serious drag.

4) No caps lock. No web-rant is complete without a sentence or two typed in all caps. How else are people to know that I'm yelling at them?

5) If you're like me, you make mistakes. Like, just a moment ago, I was proof reading this post, realized I needed to add something to part of a sentence to better make a point but ended up adding it to the wrong part of the sentence. I then had to backspace out the entire addition and retype it again elsewhere thanks to NO DAMN CUT AND PASTE. (That last bit was really annoying to type without a caps lock, BTW.)

So, while it's obvious blogging on your WP blog is possible through their official app (I'm doing it right now), I don't think it is very easy or fun currently. Much of that is Apple's fault not the WP guys, but I think the WP guys could do a few things to make WP-blogging more fun and easier to do.

Good first try, though, and with the WP guys you know there will definitely be updates. Hell, they probably put one out while I was typing this. :P

@Fricka Yeah, I've been w/my i...

@Fricka Yeah, I've been w/my iPhone for 1.5 wks now & there's *no way* a touchscreen keyboard will replace my laptop. Fingers need feeling!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hey, check it out--I actually ...

Hey, check it out--I actually surprised myself. I didn't hit pause--I kept the Shpongle going and did a bit of writing! Sweet!

Listening to Shpongle--now fee...

Listening to Shpongle--now feeling antsy to write something but also feeling lazy. Hitting "pause" is easier than getting out of bed.

TheWow: Rise in TB Is Linked t...

TheWow: Rise in TB Is Linked to Loans From IMF (

A Few Things I Didn't Like About "Dark Knight" (SPOILERS)

"You got your classic super hero in my crappy advertising campaign!"

"You got your crappy advertising campaign in my classic super hero!"

"They don't really taste very good together."

"No, they don't."
First off, DK was very entertaining. So please, don't get me wrong. I liked Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker quite a bit. Christian Bale is always great as Bruce Wayne and Batman, and frankly, he's perfect casting for both characters. Aaron Eckhart was pretty solid as Harvey Dent and Maggie Gyllenhaal did a good job of taking over for Mrs. Tom Cruise. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are always good, so let's just move on.

I won't go into the things that I thought were good because everyone else is talking about those and I generally agree with what others like about the movie.

Here's where this post gets a little spoilerific, so read on with care (it's also REALLY long).

1) What's the plot of DK? Give it to me in one or two sentences. Here's as close as I could come:

Harvey Dent does his best to shut down the mob families that run Gotham City with the help of his Assistant DA, Rachel Dawes, ace police detective Jim Gordon and, the Batman. Oh and the Joker is the monkey wrench.

Sounds like a riveting plot, huh? Cop goes after mobsters who are being messed with by a backstoryless disfigured guy in clown makeup. OH yeah and Batman's in it. Really, Batman is superfluous. You could have stuck John Ashcroft in there instead of Batman and largely you'd be able to get away with it.

2) Joker has no concrete (or even vague) backstory. That was fine in the comic, since eventually they'd have to get to it, but the movie never does and it kind of shows in Ledger's performance. He's good, but feels like he's sprung from Chris Nolan's forehead, as opposed to seeming like something specific made him like he is. I don't need something spelled out--but I need more than the suggestion that he is a force of nature and that's it. He can represent a force of nature, but he still should have a backstory.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Having SERIOUS trouble sleepin...

Having SERIOUS trouble sleeping in this extreme heat, so I stuck a "donate to ThePete's AC fund" link on ThePete.Com. Help if ya can-thanks!

TheWife is heading to bed earl...

TheWife is heading to bed early since she's got an audition tomorrow. Meanwhile I'm going to unpack a bit more. Yep, still not done.

@lisarein I mean, just tell me...

@lisarein I mean, just tell me what the plot of DK is in one or two sentences and you'll see what I mean. It's just a mess.

@lisarein Well, you liked Spid...

@lisarein Well, you liked Spider-Man 3, a film I walked out of. DK is plenty entertaining, but a movie can do that while still being bad.

Wow, WordPress 2.6 is out! I w...

Wow, WordPress 2.6 is out! I wonder how broken my site will be after upgrading?

TheWife and TheMe Waiting for "Dark Knight"

Awwwwwww(fully dark! No flash on my iPhone--why is that?)
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ugh, @beep you were right. "Da...

Ugh, @beep you were right. "Dark Knight"=not good. Entertaining, but what a mess of a movie. Heading home to bed now.

Sitting in the AMC Lincoln Squ...

Sitting in the AMC Lincoln Square theater waiting for "Dark Knight" to start. Just 30 more minutes to wait! @beep had better be wrong. ;)

Trying to get to 66th to see "...

Trying to get to 66th to see "Dark Knight" but the damn subway's not letting me. Grrr.

Seems Paypal has farmed out it...

Seems Paypal has farmed out it's customer service to India. So, 1st I deal w/a voice activated computer who can't understand me, then... :P

When I agreed to move back to ...

When I agreed to move back to the NYC area for the first time in almost 20 years, I hadn't realized the climate had become tropical.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wide awake, it's 86 degrees in...

Wide awake, it's 86 degrees in the apt. and there is a rowdy bunch of drunk guys in the parking lot outside chanting something in Spanish.

My MacBook is turning into a M...

My MacBook is turning into a Macincrash. Third time my MB has needed a force shut-down today. Could it be the heat?

Just sat thru the 1st 2 eps of...

Just sat thru the 1st 2 eps of "Primeval". That show is TERRIBLE. Crappy FX absurd situations but with an oddly *strong* premise. Ah well.

On the way back from dinner to...

On the way back from dinner tonight, I noticed my iPhone was down to 10% battery-I turned off the 3G and instantly my bars went from 2 to 5.

TUAW sez: Spore for iPhone iSu...

TUAW sez: Spore for iPhone iSucks--sad since I heard the DS will have a similar version. :( (

Is Google EVER going to merge ...

Is Google EVER going to merge into gmail??? Cuz I'm waiting for it.

From ThePete.Com: A General Ti...

From ThePete.Com: A General Time Horizon???:

Saw this today while on the subway home f..

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

A General Time Horizon???

Saw this today while on the subway home from a job interview and it just cracked me up.

It's not a "timetable" for withdrawing troops from Iraq, it's "a general time horizon."

As a person who now lives in New York City I feel I should be blunt when I say: Just who the fuck do you government guys think you're kidding??

The *Iraqis* want us out and now it's a general time horizon. Fine, fine.

Can we get one of those BEFORE we invade Iran, please??
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Just out of a job Interview an...

Just out of a job Interview and it seemed to go well. Finally met the guy I'd be working for. Find out next week.

@richpav Ohhh, silly me. I ke...

@richpav Ohhh, silly me. I keep overestimating the mainstream media. ばかね! <--assuming that Japanese bit makes sense...

Rotten night of sleep--kept dr...

Rotten night of sleep--kept dreaming I was about to wake up late. Forced myself awake 10 mins before alarm went off. :\ C'mon subconscious!

@siskita OK, but can't talk lo...

@siskita OK, but can't talk long--still busy from yesterday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 - http... - : map of my current location : map of my current location

holy CHRIST, "Passing Strange"...

holy CHRIST, "Passing Strange" was a TOTAL BLAST. It's a crime this show is closing!

From ThePete.Com: Seeing "Pass...

From ThePete.Com: Seeing "Passing Strange":

…before it closes this weekend. :(

In the intermission of "Passin...

In the intermission of "Passing Strange" on Broadway--Awesome show--If you are near NYC get tickets & see it ASAP cuz it closes this weekend

Seeing "Passing Strange"

...before it closes this weekend. :(
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Dude--coolest concept motorcyc...

Dude--coolest concept motorcycle EVER. (

OK, everyone can stop raving a...

OK, everyone can stop raving about Dr. Horrible, now.

Woke up from my nap and just t...

Woke up from my nap and just tried out the new Pownce app for iPhone. Can't work out how to view my friends posts. I must still be asleep...

Think I had too much "butter" ...

Think I had too much "butter" on my popcorn at the movies last night--feel like total crap today, even after 8 hours of sleep. Back in bed.

Most Recent Mugshot: http://ti...

Most Recent Mugshot:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back at home. Hellboy 2 was fu...

Back at home. Hellboy 2 was fun, but not great. Enjoyable visuals. Time for bed.

Proof of Martian Oceans--this ...

Proof of Martian Oceans--this should be headline news. ( - http... - : map of my current location (eating Pinkberry)

At Pinkberry down at Columbus ...

At Pinkberry down at Columbus Circle for some comfort food before a comfort screening of Hellboy 2. :)

If you missed Colbert on Monda...

If you missed Colbert on Monday, you missed that your life is worth $6.9 MILLION to the USG. (Sorry re: previous post!)

@andymatic Wow, you did better...

@andymatic Wow, you did better than me by about 70 mins. For me: 3hrs in line and 40 mins for activation. But hey, some lines are worth it.

@andymatic 2.5 hours for an iP...

@andymatic 2.5 hours for an iPhone? Which store were you at--I wish I'd shopped there! :) How long did activation take?

reblogged from netpal cmiper's...

reblogged from netpal cmiper's stream: asbestos flavored post-911 air--YUM! (

Good stuff from Bill Moyers on...

Good stuff from Bill Moyers on the News Media and Democracy. (

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yeesh--I'm still up and my thr...

Yeesh--I'm still up and my throat hurts after all of that cheering at the Daily Show today... MUST get to sleep!!

Weee! Inflation rises at fast...

Weee! Inflation rises at fastest pace since early 1980s as Fed chair warns of more trouble. (

Hacked 3G iPhone coming soon (...

Hacked 3G iPhone coming soon (according to these guys:) (

I just found's awesome...

I just found's awesome iPhone version of their site. Vast improvement over the regular mobile version.

The AT&T sim is back in the iP...

The AT&T sim is back in the iPhone & all is well. AT&T network shows up fine & I can make calls again. GPS worked under the T-Mo sim, BTW.

feeling a little hackery tonig...

feeling a little hackery tonight & swapped out my iPhone's sim card for my Sidekick's. Sadly no calls but wifi works!

@tranism Ahhh, OK--thanks for ...

@tranism Ahhh, OK--thanks for the advice. Whrrl seemed pretty weak to me, too. This afternoon I couldn't get either to work in Manhattan :(

Saw a live taping of Daily Sho...

Saw a live taping of Daily Show today. Disappointed @hodgman wasn't on it.

From ThePete.Com: Yay! Just Sa...

From ThePete.Com: Yay! Just Saw the Daily Show Live!:

Watching the show was a blast, I..

Yay! Just Saw the Daily Show Live!

Watching the show was a blast, I just wish it was a busier news day.
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just out of the Daily Show tap...

just out of the Daily Show taping--a LOT of fun but so-so episode. Still worth doing.

OK, no ID required for Daily S...

OK, no ID required for Daily Show but they do search your bag *thoroughly*.

Wow, ID required to get into t...

Wow, ID required to get into the Daily Show, sheesh.

In line outside Daily Show won...

In line outside Daily Show wondering if they let me in with my messenger bag.

heading down to Hell's Kitchen...

heading down to Hell's Kitchen to meet up with TheWife & see the Daily Show shot live. :-)

@cherishhellfire http://twitpi...

@cherishhellfire - Damn straight! Seems like everyone's taking Apple's lead these days and overextending themse ...

Anyone else on any of those lo...

Anyone else on any of those location-based socnets? I'm on Loopt, Whrrl and Brightkite. Not sure if I'm comfy with this much info out there.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Stealing America: Vote By Vot...

"Stealing America: Vote By Vote" a docu I helped with, in theaters! Go see it if it's screening near you!! (

"Stealing America: Vote By Vot...

"Stealing America: Vote By Vote" a docu I helped with will be playing in theaters!! Go see it if it's screening near you!! (http://ping. ...

I'm getting pretty annoyed wit...

I'm getting pretty annoyed with all the spam on Twitter. Enough with the "name1234" stuff. It's obvious you're spam, idiots. I block you.

13 Things I Don't Like About the iPhone

OK, it's been a full two days with the iPhone and, despite my smile in the above pic, I've already got a nice little list of problems I have with it. Here we go:

1) I don't need a web page to reload every time I go back to an already opened web page. I can't easily find a way to STOP this from happening. This kind of thing is *particularly* annoying in the subway because when it realizes there's no connection, it just throws a blank page at you rather than reverting to the last cached page. If you can find an app version of the site (like's Mobile News Network) you can sometimes compensate for this, but you know what? ThePete.Com doesn't have an app version and I doubt it ever will. :\

2) I wish I could turn some of the auto-correction off. It keeps trying to "correct" my spelling of "eee pc" by spelling it "see of" and there's no obvious way to stop it from auto-correcting or to turn it off entirely (or ideally telling it correct only certain things).

3) Despite there being a HUGE amount of really great apps for it, there's still no decent IM client. The AIM app functions, but it doesn't seem to make the iPhone vibrate when you get an IM when AIM is not on screen. My Sidekick 3 would vibrate twice for IMs, once for emails--even if the screen was off and it was in my pocket.

4) So far, I can't get it to vibrate when new email arrives.

5) So far, I can't get it to check mail except when I put mail on screen.

6) You can't get rid of the main stable of apps that come with the iPhone. So, even though I will NEVER check stocks on my iPhone, I am stuck with the app.

7) As I'm typing this, it's plugged into a dock (that I had to buy separately) but it doesn't seem to be charging. The dock is plugged into a powered USB hub which is plugged into my MacBook. iTunes sees the iPhone, yet the battery meter hasn't budge a millimeter in a half-hour. Last night I had the phone plugged into the same place and it charged just fine. Don't know what's up, now.

8) What's with no hard disk mode? I've got 8 gigs of storage space, I'd like to use some of it for my important data (like my manuscripts, personal info, etc). Looks like I have to carry around my custom Sonic Thumb Drive (see:…-usb-stick ) STILL. Weeeeak.

9) No video playlists. At least, I can't find where they are. That means that despite all the really cool stuff I can do on my wide screen iPhone, it's actually easier to watch multiple videos on my 5g iPod. Too bad it's *harder* on the eyes.

10) When I'm out someplace and I need to surf for info on where I'm going I have found that it will try to find an open wifi network first, rather than just jumping on the 3G network (or even the 2G network). Really, this thing should look for the first available connection and then, while it's pulling data for you, it can be looking for another connection in the background. Stopping to ask you which wifi network to piggyback on (isn't that illegal in some states?) is a pain in the ass when all you're looking for is the address of the nearest Starbucks or the zip code you're standing in.

11) Really wish there was a faster way to adjust the screen brightness. As of now, I have to hit Home>Settings>Brightness. Seems like a long way to go for an adjustment you might need to make in a pinch, quickly, without disturbing someone (like a sleeping spouse, perhaps).

12) Like in Apple's Mac OSX, there's a dock on your "home" pages (sort of like a desktop for your iPhone, it's where your apps reside). However, the dock only holds 4 icons. I'd love for the icons to shrink a bit if you decide to add a fifth. Or perhaps the dock could function like the Mac's dock and it could get larger depending on where you're touching (much like the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, actually).

13) Why can't I dump tracks on my iPhone from different computers?? I don't "sync" my iPhone to any one stack of files because I have WAY more media than would fit on my iPhone--what logic would that be to have 8 gigs on your iPhone AND on your computer at the same time? I have my media backed up on external drives and only drag over media that I want to watch over the next few days. I encode video so that two hours roughly works out to a gig, so that's a whopping 8 movies I can fit on my iPhone. Why do I need to "sync" 8 movies??? And why can I only dump media on my iPhone from one machine? Both my 3g and 5g iPods let me dump tracks on from any of my computers.

OK, I think that's it for now. Of course, I still have the standard gripes everyone has about the iPhone:

a) STILL no cut and paste (though I've been blogging from it a bit and this hasn't been a huge issue).

b) Battery life drains quickly if left in 3G mode (left the AIM app up while I napped for two hours today, woke up and found my battery life had gone from something like 60% to 20%).

c) No video recording??? Come on, Apple, by now there should be a way to record video through a line-in port by now.

It looks like the official 3G iPhone dock may not be designed so well--after getting fed up with the aforementioned lack of charging I pushed down on the iPhone while it was still in the dock and suddenly the little battery icon went from almost empty to the lightning bolt that tells me it's charging. Sheesh.

I should admit that I have only read a bit of the online manual for the iPhone so some of my gripes may have been answered in it. However, Apple is known for it's highly simple, highly intuitive products. I think my gripes above are largely common with the average iPhone user. After all, the only smartphone I can compare it to is the Sidekick 3 and we all know the SK3 ain't exactly a smartphone. It's more like a "street smartphone" in that it does more than a regular phone but MUCH less that a Blackberry or iPhone. The point is, I'm astounded by how great the iPhone is. I'm more astounded that I can't do the above things.

It's like Apple is going for bigger, cooler things before it gets the smaller, not-cool things right. Imagine a baby who crawls across the stadium floor to the starting line of a marathon it can run in a few hours.

But again, maybe the manual will have some answers. We'll see, though.

Haha, OK, the iPhone, minutes ago, told me that it was unable to receive phone calls and needed to be repaired (!!). So I shut it down, powered it back up and it flashed a low battery/lightning bolt screen at me. I plugged it directly into my MacBook's USB 2 port and it didn't change. A quick check of the PDF manual (which is MUCH larger than the one that comes with the iPhone) and I discovered that the screen it was showing me was the "needs charge" screen. So I tried swapping out the USB cable and that did the trick. Seems the dock is fine, but the extra USB cable I bought Saturday at the Apple Store is flaky. Lovely.

Thankfully, the iPhone APPEARS to be charging, though when it gets back to full power, I'll be happy.
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Nevermind--looks like I may ha...

Nevermind--looks like I may have a bought a flaky dock cable Saturday at the Apple store. :( iPhone seems to be charging fine now.