I'm in the beginning of two weeks off to spend 'bonding' time with Charlie as Abby goes back to work. It's Paid Family Leave, and after posting a quick 'status' about that on Facebook, I realized that not many folks are aware of this huge benefit that works for both mothers and fathers.
It's a California initiative, but I suspect other states provide it. Essentially, for mothers it's available after the SDI runs out (generally speaking, six or eight weeks after the birth) and offers pay for time to spend with your child. Fathers can take similar time for bonding - that's the official term, as well as the appropriate one - up to six weeks, anytime during the first year.
That six weeks don't have to be consecutive, so I'm taking two weeks now, another few weeks at the end of the year and possibly the remainder before Charlie's first birthday. Why? Because the state pays for it - and I work for a really great company that allows me to take the time off.
It's really been great so far in these first few days - both for Abby, who has been able to get out of the house and have some alone time, and also for me, since I have had one on one time with my daughter for really the first time since she's been born. She's hilarious and is starting to smile a LOT, which is fairly awesome.
I'm also wondering just how many nuts she has stored up for winter in those cheeks.
In any case, if you are a recent father or mother and live in California, you should go to http://www.edd.ca.gov/ and participate. It's not full pay, but a flat amount that caps out, similar to Unemployment, etc. I definitely recommend it, and if it's a benefit our state provides, that means we're paying for it one way or another. (Another thing I just learned - the income from the benefit isn't eligible for state tax, which is excellent.)
So go for it.
I'm in the beginning of two weeks off to spend 'bonding' time with Charlie as Abby goes back to work. It's Paid Family Leave, and after posting a quick 'status' about that on Facebook, I realized that not many folks are aware of this huge benefit that works for both mothers and fathers.
Dang, my kid is cute.
I'm sorry but I am just having a hard time reconciling the fact that this dude...
Yes, that's Brittny Gastineau, daughter of former New York Sack Exchange doofus Mark Gastineau.
Wow...maybe mullets and steroids do have good side effects after all.
As someone who likes the Red Sox, hates the Yankees, but really doesn't have much skin in the game one way or another, I shouldn't actually like this. You know why I do?
Cause it's FUNNY. And littered with bad language, so consider that a warning.
The fackin’ Red Sawx nation has waited YEE-AHS for you to recognize that ow-uh beloved Sawx deserve that Best Fackin’ Team ESPY.
AND YOU GO AND GIVE IT TO THE FACKIN’ GIANTS! FACK YOU! SACK MY FACKIN’ CAWK, YAH FACKIN’ ANKLEGRABBAHS!
(opens tin of Kodiak, tucks entire tin into lower lip)
Everyone knows that Kevin fackin’ Yooookulus and my boys deserved that fackin’ steel buttplug of a trophy you hand out. YOOOOOOOK!!!! My fackin’ boys were-ah the dawninant farce is awl of sparts last yee-ah. HOW DAY-UH YOU DENY THEM THE AWAAAAD THEY EARNED!
(spits into Snapple bottle)
I should have seen this coming. I knew you fackahs in Bristol ah biased towards New Yark. You always have been. YOU CONNECTICUT FACKS AAAAAHN’T TRUE NEW ENGLANDAHS! Oh, you may have lovely small towns and neglected shithole cities filled with shiftless dahkies, just like Mass, BUT YOU AAAAAHN’T FACKIN’ HAAAAHDCOR-UH LIKE US AND YAH NEVAH WILL BE! FACK YOU!
That's Kissing Suzy Kolber for you...always a good time.
As I've noted here before, I write a weekly column for RotoExperts.com, a new and emerging fantasy site that we are all very proud of.
And as an example of why we're proud, our columns have been syndicated by Sports Illustrated - they have been showing up in the FanNation part of their site, but they've now migrated them to the "mother" site, as it were.
This is my article on fantasy football sleepers, and I have to say it feels pretty good to be published by Sports Illustrated.
Michael Turner, Falcons
I'm not one of the guys who thinks Turner will simply take his career 5.5 yards per carry and keep it going in the Georgia Dome. But Turner is being listed as barely a RB2 (that is, maybe going as the 19th or 20th RB overall). If that's the case, he should provide some pretty good value, because Turner is as talented as any other back in the league. Yeah, you heard that right. As bad as the Falcons are -- and they are in contention for being the worst team in the entire NFL -- running the ball hasn't been something with which the Falcons have ever struggled. With Warrick Dunn leaving the team, there is no one else really threatening to take carries away besides Jerious Norwood, who hasn't proven himself yet. Turner could be a very nice surprise this season, so grab him if he's lingering in your draft for too long.
Go check out the whole article, then go on over to RotoExperts for a full dose of fantasy goodness.
(And for those of you in my leagues...I'm just kidding with all of this. Don't draft these guys, seriously.)
I guess it's only bad when Democrats talk about diplomacy. When George Bush does it, it's just fine. (This is actually good news, and hats off to the administration for taking this long overdue step. I am just wondering how the right wingers who slam Obama for suggesting things like this justify it when their fearless
moron leader does the same darn thing.)
The decision by the Bush administration to send a senior American official to participate in international talks with Iran this weekend reflects a double policy shift in the struggle to resolve the impasse over the country’s nuclear program.
First, the Bush administration has decided to abandon its longstanding position that it will only meet face-to-face with Iran after it first suspends uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council.
Second, it infuses the negotiating track between Iran on the one side and the six global powers — France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the United States — on the other with new importance, even though their official stance is that no substantive talks can begin until the uranium enrichment stops.
I'm having a hard time understanding how Bush, who essentially compared Obama to Neville Chamberlain for wanting to talk with Iran, reconciles this with himself. And then I realize that he doesn't actually "do" self-reflection, and probably barely even recognizes the discrepancy.
Only 187 days to go until he's out of there...
This from the Palm Beach Post:
Josh McCown, the Dolphins’ most-experienced quarterback heading into training camp, injured the index finger in his throwing hand two weeks ago chopping wood.
A Texas TV station reports that McCown needed six stitches to the finger a couple of weeks ago when he was injured while he and his brother, Luke, were cutting firewood.
Back home in Texas, McCown said he was holding the firewood and his brother, a backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cut his finger instead of the wood.
So, I guess John Beck is now the starting QB for the Dolphins, something that was likely to happen anyway. I do think McCown has some talent, but obviously not a lot of brains.
This is pretty ridiculous and one of the reasons I don't chop wood. (The other reasons? I don't own an axe, we don't use our fireplace, I don't live in the woods and I'm lazy. There may be other reasons.)
The open question is ... where was Jack Del Rio?
So, it does appear that it wasn't just idle rumor; Brett Favre is going to force the Packers into a full-scale PR nightmare, so that he can play another year or two for a team not poised to win anything.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago, and got one comment then that I'd change my mind about how I felt if Favre wanted to join the 49ers.
I didn't even comment back, though I disagreed with the sentiment. Then, a friend asked me today whether I thought the 49ers would be interested in using some of their cap space on Favre.
So I thought it was worth a post.
I think it's a terrible, terrible idea.
Could it happen? Sure, since John York is a godawful owner who would probably be excited about generating excitement and the good press Favre would bring the team. But Niners fans would, or at least should, hate the idea.
It's not that Favre, 89 years old as he is (I may have my facts wrong on that), wouldn't be a huge improvement over Alex Smith or Shaun Hill. (For what it's worth, I think Hill has almost no chance to begin the season as the starter, regardless of the chatter.) Undoubtedly, Favre would be better.
But adding Favre is clearly anything but a move for the future. And the 49ers are still rebuilding. What's more, it's wholly unlikely Favre would even want to do this - if he wanted to take over a team with a horrible receiving core, why not go to Miami, where the weather is nicer in the winter? Or even Minnesota, who have Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice to go with All Day Peterson in the backfield and a good, young defense? (If Favre does end up wearing purple, look for a lot of folks to pick them to go deep in the playoffs. I don't quite buy it.)
In any event, let's be clear: I don't want the guy coming to
Favre San Francisco. (Edited to add: WHOOPS.) And regardless of where he does end up, he's put the Packers in a hard place. Just four months ago, he told them he was definitely staying home. They've committed to Aaron Rodgers, drafted the same year as Alex Smith, but with a grand total of 59 attempted passes in the NFL. It's not like the Packers are definitely sold on Rodgers - they drafted Louisville's Brian Brohm this year - but if they are going to find out if he's good, that is going to happen this year.
So, do they keep Favre and start him over Rodgers? Is that a one or two year commitment? They can't trade him -- if they did, the fan fallout would be horrendous, as the shock of a first ballot Hall of Famer being sold for spare parts (which is all the Pack could get) would sting mightily. No team is giving up much for a guy who is so likely to instead be waived, which is the other option.
Favre did not paint Packers GM Ted Thompson in a positive light, and doesn't shy away from assigning some blame to him. It seems like a petty act by a guy who is generally considered a class act.
I just don't get it. I do know that he probably is right about thinking that he's still able to play, and at a better level than many in the league. But no team worth its salt - that is, anyone who could WIN anything - is so beleagured at QB. Minnesota fits the bill the closest, and that has to hurt since they're part of the same division. That's a serious double bird to an organization that made Favre what he is. It's not a pretty side of a competitive spirit.
In the current political landscape, whether you are talking about the Iraq war, abortion rights, the economy or healthcare, the public sentiment is with the typical Democratic viewpoint. That is, the majority of people in this country express a preference for the side a Democrat would take in his or her platform. (With exceptions for some Democrats, and of course, a large portion of the country - but a minority portion, notably.) National security, if you talk about it in glib terms that aren't the war in Iraq, still probably favors the Republican side, but barely.
That's why any Republican who wants to win this November CAN'T make it about the issues. Something to think about as we roll into the silly season.
(And yes, that photo up there is not really very issue focused, is it? That's just the lovely irony that is the Reign of Error.)
This started last night, and it's already an improvement over the woeful Big Brother 9: Till Death Do Us Part, a stain on an already shaky reality series. Why was it better? Because not everyone seemed like an insane narcissist right off the bat.
Hey, I'm sure they ARE awful, it just wasn't that readily apparent. However, while I've have more to say about this going forward, I felt this, from EW, was worth sharing:
Renny fancies herself a party girl, but at age 53 she looks more like an extra from the movie Barfly. Every one of her sentences sounds like it should be followed by a deep drag on a cigarette and a drunken lunge to grab a young, scared boy's ass. Everyone seemed to get tired of her pretty quickly, thanks to her odd choice to turn on the lights in the middle of the night and wheeze like a broken radiator when it was revealed that she was only locked into the room because she was pushing the door instead of pulling. I can imagine how jarring that must have been for everyone she woke up; hearing the crazed cackles of an older woman in satin PJs talking about how she has to ''put her face on,'' they must have thought the BB house was being haunted by the ghost of Ethel Mertz.
Yeah, good times.
Early leader in the clubhouse for hottie that will drive traffic to all posts here about her?
That would be either Angie Swindell, the self described "Asian Sensation" -- insert your "...sigh..." here, who actually seemed pretty normal. This will undoubtedly be a horrible misjudgment on my part, because NO ONE is normal who chooses to play this game. But at first glance, she didn't seem that crazy.
I will say, however, that we guessed her job as being in "pharmaceutical sales" purely on her looks, and we were delightfully not wrong.
The other obvious choice would be April who isn't all that pretty but apparently has very large, real cans. Which she let the women and the 75 year-old man feel to validate their non-fake status last night. Like, five minutes after meeting everyone.
Ah, I love reality tv.
In the course of the day, I just donated some money both to This American Life to help support the podcast, and again to Barack Obama, to help support this country which desperately needs it.
As it turns out, I had planned to do both out of my savings account which holds cash I get from random things like selling books on Alibris.com (the most awesome website in the whole world) and occasional writing gigs. To use that money directly, I'd love to use my PayPal account which draws from that money if no PayPal funds are available.
Neither provided this functionality. Now, they didn't lose out - because I was a committed "buyer," as it were. But I wonder how much money they're leaving on the table without those alternative payments.
And if you run a website, you might wonder the same question about your product...
Not a dirty post here, honestly. It's the name of a new site that sells t-shirts, with a very unique pricing model.
They make 100 copies of a new shirt each month (those will cover 200 nipples, therefore), and the key is that the 1st shirt costs $1, the 50th shirt $50, the 100th shirt $100. Each shirt has the appropriate number printed on the back, in small font just below the collar.
It's an interesting idea, but one would wonder...who is going to pay $100 for a freaking t-shirt?
The answer is ... someone. Because I'm looking at the site right now, and while shirts 1-42 are all gone, so are the following numbers: 44, 50 and 69. Now, one might predict that last one would sell (for $69, though!), but what's also interesting is that the site also shows you the copies of shirts that are in someone's shopping cart. Each user gets 5 minutes to decide whether to buy it or not...and while I was on the site, most of those numbers were in the eighties.
So, folks are at least considering paying a premium of $30-$40 for a shirt - remember, a $45 copy was readily available - just because that number itself means something to them.
Interesting. Nice to see someone goofing around with a pricing model.
I'm still dumbfounded by the fact our President has a freaking dog named Miss Beazley and gets thought of as 'regular folks' while when Barack Obama orders orange juice in a diner, he's some how out of touch.
But, I had thought, I shouldn't make too much of this...after all, the President has two daughters, who probably named this dog back when they were young.
Uh, not so much.
According to Miss Beazley's page on whitehouse.gov (yeah, you read that right), here are some facts about President Bush's Scottish terrier (and why not an American dog, HUH?):
- Miss Beazley's father is named Clinton. (I love this.)
- Her nickname is...sigh...Beazley Weazley.
- The dog was a present from President Bush to Laura Bush. I'm assuming she named the dog...except that Miss Beazley apparently hangs out in the Oval Office, which sort of makes it HIS dog, not hers.
Just for fun, this makes Miss Beazley's owner the Douche Nozzle of the Week.
Man, I hate to say this (seriously), but I really really, REALLY, hate Miss Beazley's owner, George W. Bush.
Regular readers of this blog won't find that too shocking, but our President seems to thrive in being an asshole, whether it's being a frat boy in general (see above picture, and ask yourself how the press reacted to Barack Obama's 'terrorist fist jab' compared to this), punching someone in a rugby game (see picture to the left), or thinking it's hilarious to offend the worlds leaders at the G8 conference.
No, I'm not talking about groping Angela Merkel - that's so LAST YEAR. I'm talking about this:
The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.
He's really just a big, dumb bully, isn't he?
(That's a rhetorical question.)
This plant is in the front of my house, as well as in our backyard. It's in full bloom right now, and really is quite a good looking plant. Until a few weeks ago, I never knew the name of it -- nor would I have conceived a reason to even find out that information.
And yesterday, my THREE YEAR OLD NEPHEW pointed at them, and correctly identified them.
Do you know? Answer below the fold.
Here's what that little nephew of mine said, correctly:
That's an agapanthus!
Sometimes I wonder if we just get dumber as we get older. Cause there's no way he was given that information more than once...and he's THREE.
Seriously, I know this sort of thing is expected, and no real harm comes from it, but shouldn't these reporters be doing something else with their time?
Poll: Pet owners prefer McCain over Obama
From George Washington's foxhound Drunkard to George W. Bush's terriers Barney and Miss Beazley, pets are a longtime presidential tradition for which the presumed Republican nominee seems well prepared, with more than a dozen.
Democratic candidate Barack Obama, on the other hand, doesn't have a pet at home, although he has promised his daughters a dog after the election, win or lose.
The pet-owning public seems to have noticed the difference.
An AP-Yahoo News poll found that pet owners favor McCain over Obama 42 percent to 37 percent, with dog owners particularly in McCain's corner.
"I think a person who owns a pet is a more compassionate person — caring, giving, trustworthy. I like pet owners," said Janet Taylor of Plymouth, Mass.
(By the way, has the President gotten nearly enough flak for having a dog called Miss Beazley? It says here: HELLS TO THE NO. If John Kerry had a dog with as girly a name as that, I think Chris Matthews would have blown a gasket. But then again, we have a liberal media. Sigh.)
Look, I'd be bitching just as much if the poll showed the opposite results, but the fact that this showed up in my RSS feed for "Political News from AP" is just mind-numbingly awful.
That is all.
One day, perhaps not too far in the future, people will look at the following and think, "Who EVER thought that this in any way belonged on a beauty magazine? Or that it defined, in any way, beauty?
On second thought, those questions are perfectly fair for July 2008. Unless of course, a cro-magnon looking waif is your idea of "hot." It's not mine.
So, it appears that retirement may not be 'taking' on Brett Favre, America's favorite QB. I'm a Favre fan, but the media treatment of him has always been weird, coddling and forgiving where the same actions by others gets labelled differently.
(There's probably a Brett Favre - John McCain analysis I could do here if I wanted, but I don't.)
And now, Favre appears to be putting his team, the Green Bay Packers, in quite a conundrum, says SI's Peter King:
I fully expect Favre's agent to send a letter to the Packers within the next 10 days, stating that Favre, 38, wants to be taken off the National Football League's reserve/retired list. At that point, the team will have no choice but to re-admit the league's most accomplished statistical quarterback ever back to football, and general manager Ted Thompson and McCarthy will have a decision to make that you can be sure is keeping them up nights. They can take Favre and his $12.8-million cap number back onto the team and give him his starting job back, they can trade him or they can release him.
Every one of those options makes the Packers wretch.
King goes on to state that the best fit for Favre is in Minnesota, and asks the question,
"Imagine Favre in purple. It's an absolutely vomitous scenario for the Packers, imagining Favre playing for their arch-rivals -- and imagining Favre charging out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field for the opening game of the 2008 season. Lambeau Field, Monday Night Football, the night Favre was supposed to have his number retired for the Packers."
If this comes to pass, and Favre causes either Aaron Rodgers yet another year sitting on the bench and the franchise waiting another year to rebuild...or, he goes to a competitor and in doing so makes the Packers franchise look bad (no matter what they do), will Favre get the "selfish" label? Every other major athlete in this position has...but I'm not counting on it.
I believe there have been times where I have probably been influenced because the big donor had - buys access to my office, and we know that access is influence. And honestly, that taints us all. It taints me.
McCain is business as usual, no matter what he thinks, or what he wants you to think.
*but probably don't.
I've decided to start a new feature here at the Reign of Error called "Stuff You Should Like*" -- and yeah, that's an asterisk at the end. Because the sub-title (above) is the only reason worth writing about it. There's no reason to persuade people that Lost, Iron Man or an iPod are particularly great. This, they know.
But some other things fly under the radar, as it were, and that's just not right. So, let's kick it off with Morgan Spurlock's documentary show 30 Days.
You may remember Spurlock from his film Super Size Me, and he's brought the same questioning wit to this show which is on FX. The show revolves around a person - sometimes Spurlock, often not - who takes 30 days to do something that generally challenges their beliefs or at least places them in a completely new environment.
Sometimes, it's Spurlock being in prison for 30 days, or working in a West Virginia coalmine. The big issues are all there - mountain top removal, black lung, the dangers of prison - but of course, it's the smaller things that personalize this. Spurlock manages to make his points about systems or practices he considers unfair by showing things to you instead of simply telling you about it.
But where the show really shines is when it takes other people who have rigid people structures, and places them in essentially the exact opposite world for 30 days. With the caveat that these rigidly thinking people are at least open-minded enough to try the experiment, it's always fascinating.
In seasons past, it's been a devout Christian who lives with a Muslim family in a Muslim community and learns that they aren't all that different in the important ways. Another was someone who marched against gay rights who went and lived with a same sex couple in the Castro district of San Francisco. And yes, learned that they aren't the spawn of Satan.
This season, highlights have been former Broncos cornerback Ray Crockett living in a wheelchair for 30 days to see the impact of injuries common in his former profession, which made me really gain a lot of respect for Crockett who said it changed his life.
Two other shows have been important, I think, this season in that one of them didn't work out (the person simply refused to change her mind, or even do real questioning - and that made a great hour of TV, even if it speaks poorly to her).
The other, which aired just last week, was with a woman who shared my liberal gun control sentiment went and lived with gun nuts and came away with a changed attitude. The one critique the show could justifiably have is that very often it challenges conservative, right-wing beliefs - and this last show did just the opposite, and did so effectively.
All the prior seasons are on DVD and the show is wrapping up this week on FX, who should likely do a marathon of it shortly. It's a well made, fascinating series and one of the better ones anywhere on TV. Check it out.
Enjoy this video, which has some spicy and funny language...but probably ain't for kids.
http://view.break.com/530967 - Watch more free videos
(That is, unless your kids are okay with a line that says, "England can suck my old man balls." If that's okay, then bring it on!)
I'm definitely suspicious about this, but it's funny and possibly a little scary...one wonders what, exactly, could cause this popcorn to pop from the cellphone's presumably tiny infrared sensors...
My French isn't so good, but they do seem to be having fun...
Edited to add: Uh...yep. It ain't real.
Claim: An egg (or popcorn) can be cooked by placing it between two activated cell phones.
In 2000, the web site Wymsey Village Web published a spoof article ("Weekend Eating: Mobile Cooking") about using two mobile phones to cook an egg. The implications of this information were ominously obvious: If cell phones could cook an egg inside its shell, imagine what they might be doing to your brain! Charlie Ivermee, the founder of the site (which is presented as the online home of a fictional English village), explained that he penned the piece to poke fun at precisely those kinds of technological fears:
There was a lot of concern about people's brains getting fried and being from a radio/electronics background I found it all rather silly. So I thought I'd add to the silliness.
Although the names of the article's putative authors ("Suzzanna Decantworthy" and "Sean McCleanaugh") should have been enough by itself to give away (even to those unfamiliar with the nature of the Wymsey Village web site) that the item was spoof, Ivermee noted that more than a few readers took his humor piece on the level:
I really underestimated how many people would take it seriously. No other page on the [Wymsey Village] site has grabbed people's attention and ire button as much as this one. My only regret is that I did not get a dime for every hit on that page.
I've written a few times about how injury plagued our fantasy baseball team is this season, and the beat just goes on. In what is easily the worst sounding injury I've...um...EVER HEARD OF, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder suffered a left testicular fracture after getting hit with a foul tip.
I'll pause for a moment while all the men reading this take some time to squirm violently in their seats.
Better? No? Marginally better? OK, then.
In terms of bad injuries, this really takes the cake. I remember watching a horrifyingly slow motion replay years ago of Eric Davis being hit with a pitch in the 'nads and I've never really been able to shake that image. But I honestly didn't know one could fracture a testicle.
And that's knowledge I was really okay without having.
Get some ice, Snyds.
It's about three in the morning, and this is just a quick note to record the fact that Charlotte just smiled at me for the first time - not a gassy grin to herself, but an actual responding BIG smile back at me while I was feeding her.
It's odd how precise the books can be - they state that this happens right around the sixth week, which is exactly Charlotte's age. Precision is nice, but nothing beats that actual smile.
Of course, that happened about an hour ago, and it's not clear whether she's even fallen asleep yet...that would be the downside to the smile at 2:15 in the morning. But worth it.
Back to the kid...
RIF! Reading, It's Fundamental.
Recent Books I've Read
Stuff You Will Find Here
- ► 2012 (30)
- ► 2011 (62)
- ► 2010 (209)
- ► 2009 (165)
- Paid Family Leave
- All Dressed Up...
- Too Good Not To Share
- OK, This Is Cool.
- But I Thought This Was Appeasement?
- It Seems Like More Information Here Would Help
- Western Spaghetti Is Delicious and Nerdy
- Brett, I Hear You Calling...
- Deep Thought For The Day
- Big Brother 10
- Alternative Payments
- 200 Nipples
- The Miss Beazley Files
- Oh, He's Such a Kidder!
- Do You Know What This Is?
- The Minutemen
- Stop With The Stupid
- Insight From The Checkout Lane at Longs Drugs
- The "Arrogance" Of Brett Favre?
- That's Tasty Mavericky Goodness!
- Stuff You Should Like*: 30 Days
- Happy 4th of July!
- Say A Prayer For Chris Snyder's...um, Sack.
- OK, You Can Have A Car
- He's Barack Obama, And He (And I) Approve Of This ...
- ▼ July (27)
- ► 2007 (338)
- ► 2006 (120)
- ► 2005 (78)