Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crimes Against Humanity

The outcome of the war is in our hands; the outcome of words is in the council.
Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad

I am admittedly entering an area that I know rather little about, but from my perspective Israel is losing the public relations war on this battle in Gaza with Hamas.

If Canada or Mexico were firing rockets into Seattle or San Diego one or the other would eventually become the 51st state and the United States would not have exhibited the patience Israel did.

Now Israel is returning fire far more fiercely and everyone seems to be up in arms. The Palestinians are pointing out all the innocent victims to Israel’s bombing attacks, but the terrorists are hiding behind the citizens and jeopardizing the lives of these civilians.

These tactics need to be publicly called out continually and the United Nations and other countries need to specifically consider such cowardly tactics as crimes against humanity.

Update from the publication "PRWeek:"

Israel boosts efforts for support of Gaza attacks
Alexandra Bruell
December 30 2008

NEW YORK: The Israeli government and consulate in New York launched a series of outreach efforts to garner support for Israel's military operation in Gaza that began December 27. It is working to communicate its position against Hamas, which ended the ceasefire on December 19. Hamas is considered to be a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department.
“Our message is that Israel right now is under attack,” said David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York. “People of Israel... have been under daily missile attack on part of the terror organization of Hamas.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Movie Reviews

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.
Jessamyn West (1902 – 1984), writer

Grand Torino – Grrr. Clint Eastwood as a misanthropic old man who points a military assault rifle at kids ordering them to “get off my lawn,” (perfectly acceptable behavior and endorsed by the NRA). I thoroughly enjoyed it and now my neighbors know what to expect in a few years.

Frost/Nixon – Outstanding. Daughter came home and wanted to see it, I most likely would have missed it thinking that I watched the original with my grandfather. I would have missed a fascinating look at all the behind the scenes cat and mouse games. Nothing was ever how it seemed with Nixon.

Revolutionary Road – The Wheeler’s (Frank and April -- Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) were neighbors to Martha and George from “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” This movie shows marriage as the institution it truly is…
. . . who's afraid of living life without false illusions. And it did strike me as being a rather typical, university intellectual joke. — Edward Albee on "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."

Video worth renting
Transsiberian – A wonderfully suspenseful movie also about a marriage not as strong as inhabitants would prefer. Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer and Ben Kingsley are all terrific to watch.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Life of Books

You know, I have always wondered what took place in the bookcase when I was not looking. This is the bookcase in my den and below is what transpires when no one is looking.

A tip of the hat to Paper Cuts Blog from the NYTimes

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Majel Roddenberry

Majel Barrett, widow of Gene Roddenberry and the voice of the Starship Enterprise's computers (on Star Trek), passed away December 18 at 76. BoingBoing's Joel Johnson writes, "she was gorgeous and charming and awesome."

She had recorded the voice work for the upcoming Star Trek movie just two weeks ago.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Greetings from Corporate

The company I work for sent out a reminder that our holiday season is upon us, and that the office will be closed now and then. Here's the reason, as stated in the official email:

Celebrated annually Dec. 25, Christmas honors the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, church activities, and various decorations – including the Christmas tree, lights, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. Children also identify Santa Claus as a popular figure who brings gifts at Christmas. Because gift-giving and several other aspects of the holiday involve economic activity, Christmas has become a major event for many retailers.

Along with Christmas, several other holidays are celebrated by our professionals in December, including: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Id-ul-Zuha (celebrated earlier this month).

Gee, thanks for the "also-ran" mention!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New parking meters

I don't drive around much in the city anymore (I'm a train commuter, when I go in), so I may be behind the times -- if so, my apologies.

I saw these outside my office in downtown Los Angeles... pretty neato. Apparently you find the number on the curb near your spot, and use your cellphone to pay the parking fee on the gadget thingy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Minotaur China Shop

Most awesome Flash game evar! Check it out -- you're the mythical Minotaur, and you've taken a job working in a china shop. Either try to get the items your customers want, or go on a rampage and hope your insurance kicks in to cover the costs of the damage. Easy to play, and fantastically wonderful. Click here to check it out.

Thanks again, BoingBoing!]

Monday, December 01, 2008

Songs of Encouragement

sung by Joni Mitchell
If you can keep your head
While all about your
People are losing theirs and blaming you
If you can trust yourself
When everybody doubts you
And make allowance for their doubting too.

If you can dream
And not make dreams your master
If you think
And not make intellect your game
If you can meet
With triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same

If you can fill the journey
Of a minute
With sixty seconds worth of wonder and delight
The Earth is yours
And everything that’s in it
But more than that
I know
You’ll be alright
Cause you’ve got the fight
You’ve got the insight
Adopted by Joni Mitchell from Rudyard Kipling’s “If.”

For me it’s impossible to name my top all time favorite songs, so taking an idea from Nick Hornby's book “31 Songs” I hope to put into writing why I like select songs for various moods.

As Daughter prepared to leave this summer for the Midwest to pursue an education that will lead to a successful career in law, I burned a CD for her to play for the drive out there and to provide encouragement when the stress gets turned up.

When our conversations are over and it is just Daughter putting forth the effort alone, I wanted her to feel that sense of love and support whenever she feels the need.

Daughter’s encouragement and songs of love from pop (this list is dedicated to my nephew too who is also very bright and has a tremendous future):
  • “Stop Your Sobbing” by the Pretenders
  • “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by The Hit Crew
  • “You Can Do It” by No Doubt
  • “If” by Joni Mitchell
  • “I Believe” by Frank Sinatra
  • “High Hopes” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Your Life is Now” by John Mellencamp
  • “You’re Gonna Hear from Me” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Come Blow Your Horn” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Pick Yourself Up” by Dianne Reeves
  • “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
  • “I am a Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel
  • “Gonna Fly Now” (theme from “Rocky” by Bill Conti)
  • “Razzle Dazzle” by Richard Gere & Cast from the movie “Chicago”
  • “Nothing But the Best” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Who Needs Sleep?” Barenaked Ladies
  • “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon
  • “Lord Protect My Child” by Susan Tedeschi
  • “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan & The Band
  • “Better Things” by The Kinks
  • “Don’t Forget to Dance” by The Kinks
  • “Laugh and Be Happy” by Randy Newman

“Laugh and Be Happy”
by Randy Newman
Laugh and be happy
Don’t you ever wear a frown
Don’t let the bastards grind you down
Laugh and be happy
It’s a simple thing to do
Believe in your dreams
And your dreams will come true for you


I've got an email account that I use when I know I'll wind up on a list somewhere -- my spam account, if you will. Here's what I've gotten lately:

View Your Credit Report
Brazil is Booming - Buy Land
You're not crazy, Everything is really FREE
I found you a new job
The incredible pet nail trimmer [a product my wife had actually already bought!]
Stop Snoring So Everybody Get's A Good Night's Sleep
You're Hired - Check for Positions in your area
Invest in the worlds hottest emerging market! BRAZIL
Create the life you've always wanted
Uncensored Internet Television Now Available
Find the One For You
郝瑞英,您好 [I have no idea what that even means]
24k in 25hrs ... take my next challenge
Seeking financial freedom? The secret is out...
Chat and email FREE with local singles
Holiday Cosmic Glassware on SALE
Brazil Land Rush! Private Beach lots from $20K
You Could Qualify for a Complimentary Meter for Diabetics
Meet your Mate
New Message: Can you beat today's high IQ score?
New Pastel Coffee Mugs Just In

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rockwell Rolls Over In His Grave:
"Freedom From Want" Parodies

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and since you, the Toner Mishap audience, have enjoyed my Edward Hopper posts so much, I've decided to share with you a collection of parodies based on Norman Rockwell's painting, "Freedom From Want," from his "Four Freedoms" series. It's that famous Thanksgiving painting -- you know the one:

Here it is in its original poster form:

And here are a bunch I've been collecting for your viewing pleasure (feel free to click on any of them for a larger view).

MAD Magazine



The Simpsons #1

The Simpsons #2: Sideshow Bob

The Simpsons #3: Flanders

Sausage Party

Redneck Thanksgiving (with all due respect to rednecks)

Raw Bar


The Bush White House

A Sketch from Tiny Toons

Lilo and Stitch

Justice Society of America

Skrulls! Flee! (Once DC did it, Marvel had to, right?)

More Jellyfish, Please


At An Airport

Island Feast


Family Photo #1

Family Photo #2


Friday, November 21, 2008

Feeling inadequate as a parent enough?
No? Check this out.

Every so often when I make my kids' lunch to take to school, I cut their sandwiches into the shapes of their initials. I felt pretty good about that extra effort, and then I saw Cooking for Monkeys. Below you'll see three examples (pirates, goodnight moon, and Scooby Doo), but you should check out the site to see more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Marvel's Secret Wars

When I was a kid, Marvel's "Secret Wars" limited series was big news -- it was the reason behind Spidey's black costume, to name only one earth-shattering development. The original cover was drawn by Mike Zeck (above; click it to see it bigger), and "they" apparently keep coming back to the original design, revising it or parodying it a couple of times over the years. Cool.

Here they are as separate images:

The original:

The redrawn reprint:

The fancy version:

Reimagined for kids:

Marvel Zombies:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

We've blogged before about Garfield comics with Garfield's caption bubbles excised, but removing Garfield entirely works even better. Click here for more. [Thanks to Mt. Holly Mayor's Office for pointing it out.]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Songs for the Working Class

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), writer

Times are bad, people need to hold onto their jobs for dear life, but when high profits start heading for the exit management sends workers out the door too. If one is fortunate enough to keep their 9-5 positions can look forward to those on the higher rungs of the corporate ladder urinating on those below. To start of the work week I have complied a list of working songs from my collection, please list titles I may have overlooked or do not own.

  • Blue Monday -- Randy Newman (this really sums up the work week)
  • Nine to Five -- The Kinks (Ray Davies once again captures most of our lives Monday through Friday)
  • Working Poor -- Horse Feathers (I just discovered them this weekend from a Paste Magazine CD sampler, I haven’t figured out the lyrics yet, but the sound is perfect for the title)
  • Work Song -- Nellie McKay (Every day's another loss/Need the pay so please the boss/Through the sludge they mingle by the mile/Every worker looks ahead/Ah the kiddies must be fed/So they trudge along in single file –the lyrics say it all)
  • Working Class Hero [#] -- John Lennon (Lennon didn’t pull any punches and tells us what we really are)
  • Welcome to the Working Week -- Elvis Costello (A punchy tune that is apropos to a Monday)
  • Rush Hour Blues --The Kinks (What life would be like for a celebrity to if they had to work nine to five)
  • Just Us Kids -- James McMurtry (Reminded me of conversations when I was a teenager)
  • It’s Just Work for Me -- Ry Cooder (Captures the hopelessness of making a buck doing things you really don’t want to do)
  • We Can't Make It Here -- James McMurtry (What outsourcing has done for all of us)
  • I Can't Wait to Get off Work -- Tom Waits (A working palooka who is looking forward to punching out)
  • When Work Is Over -- The Kinks (Drinking helps us to forget/a double scotch helps us to forget who we are)
  • Tired -- Willie Nelson (What we have to look forward to)
  • Salt Of The Earth -- The Rolling Stones (Raise a glass and feel proud you are enriching backstabbers, political pigs who are all nicely dressed and who disguise their contempt for you)
  • God's Away on Business -- Tom Waits (The only explanation why the world is the way it is)
  • Hard Work -- John Handy (A classic jazz song)
  • Mr. Pinstripe Suit -- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (I like the title)

Incredible ad for HSBC

Who cares what HSBC does? This ad is awesome, touching, powerful, and quirky.

(Thank you again, BoingBoing.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Make Yourself a Superhero

Make your own superheroes at this awesome Portuguese site (it takes a little while to get used to the Portugese, but it's a WYSIWYG editor, so you'll figure it out). You can customize EVERYTHING; I made a Green Lantern avatar for myself.

Hit the site here, and click on "criar" to start creating.