Monday, June 29, 2009

Photos from the Musee Mecanique

The Musee Mecanique in San Francisco is "one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines." Pretty cool stuff -- the kids liked it, and so did I (no surprise). Here are some detail shots.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pistol Packin Parishioners

“Every gun that's made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in spending the genius of its scientists, the sweat of its laborers.”
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th President

The Misanthrope pulled this article from EnViSiOn, A Canadian Perspective Visually and Verbally Expressed with Passion

I have to thank Jonathan Turley for this article, and for proving to me that Arkansas is a creepy place.

Guns and God: Arkansas Legislators Move to Armed the Faithful in Church

Legislators in Arkansas do no want to have to chose between god and guns. They are pushing legislation to allow citizens to pack heat in the house of God. Grant Exton is a gun owner and president of the state’s Concealed Carry Association insists that they are simply trying to give all churches the right have armed congregationalists. Gun owners can then lock and load for Jesus.

This does not go over well with Little Rock pastor John Phillips for good reason. In 1986, he explained: “A gentleman came into the church. He was mentally deranged, and at the end of the sermon, pulled out a gun and shouted something about baptism and proceeded to shoot me in the back a couple of times. I still carry one of the bullets embedded in my spine.”

This could pose a difficult choice for gun owners of what weapon is best suited for a particular sermon. A Glock might be suitable for a New Testament sermon, but the Old Testament is strictly non-automatic weapons only. Easter might call for something cute like a derringer while Christmas deserves a MAC-10.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

End Times

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
End Times
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

Jason Jones visits the offices of the New York Times to find out why the last of a dying breed prefer aged news to real news.

Chocolate Rabbit News
Rabbitly Breaking --

"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.
"No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."”

From Winnie the Pooh

Here at Toner Mishap we spare no effort (I mean that literally) to get the story. Today we investigate, the bitter chocolate battle over the legal right to trademark a chocolate bunny taking place in Europe. We went through our Rolodex of numbers to find quotes from some of the best known rabbits and their perspective:

  • Bugs Bunny said, “hell no, I am so hopping mad. Of course you can’t trade mark a figure that belongs to an entire race.
  • The Hare (The Tortoise and the Hare) asked, “Who wants to race?”
  • Br'er Rabbit replied, “Not only would I have been tarred, but I could have been made illegal too. This makes no sense.”
  • Velveteen Rabbit said, “I hope this ruling takes the stuffing out of the whole industry.”
  • Peter Rabbit said, “What happen to eating healthy? We don’t need junk food.”
  • Easter Bunny dismissed the question saying, he was just hare for the holidays.”
  • Harvey, Could not be found for a comment.
  • Trix Rabbit yelled, “It’s for the kids, gimme a break.”
  • Monty Python Killer Rabbit was laying low and had no comment
  • Playboy Bunny in a high pitched petite voice said, teehe, teehe, I have no idea need to get my hare peroxided.
  • March Hare said, "Hey, I have an excellent idea, let's change the subject."
  • Roger Rabbit said, “How about finding some chocolate vixens?”
  • Pregnancy Rabbit was dead. P.S. James and Linda you better see your doctor
  • The Energizer Bunny was in route and unavailable for comment
  • Thumper raged, “Someone needs to put their foot down about this issue.”
  • The White Rabbit said, “Dude, take a chill pill.”
  • The Nesquik Bunny asked, “How do you spell it?”

That’s all folks, my time has gone by much too rabbitly. I just got hare, but need to tend to my day job before they cut my celery.

Pensive Bob Dylan Playlist

"Dylan is so brilliant. To me, he makes William Shakespeare look like Billy Joel."
George Harrison (1943 – 2001), singer, songwriter, Beatle

I love listening to music and as a result I have spent an inordinate amount of money buying music, so much so that I raised daughter not to have the same love of music. I have more than 15,000 songs on my computer which allows me to make many tailored plays lists. I have so many playlists that scrolling to the Rolling Stones or Yo-Yo Ma in the car can take about five minutes. As a result, I have started adding an “A” before more frequently listened to lists (e.g., aRock & Roll, aFrank Sinatra, etc.). I even have the same artists divided into categories such as Frank Sinatra Sad, Frank Sinatra Swinging, Frank Sinatra Live, Bob Dylan Pensive, Bob Dylan Rocking. So periodically when I run out of time and things to write about I will unselfishly share my lists:

Bob Dylan Pensive

This is has become one of my favorites because of his last two CDs “Together through Life” and “Modern Times”
1. I feel a Change Comin’ On (“Together Through Life”)
2. Workingman’s Blues #2 (“Modern Times”)
3. Life is Hard (“Together Through Life”)
4. Moonlight (“Love & Thief”)
5. Blowin’ in the Wind (“Biograph”)
6. Jolene (“Together Through Life”)
7. Forever Young (“Biograph”)
8. Just Like a Woman (“Before the Flood”)
9. If you See Her, Say Hello (“Blood on the Tracks”)
10. My Wife’s Home Town (“Together Through Life”)
11. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ (“Together Through Life”)
12. Things Have Changed (Tall Tale Signs)
13. Lay Lady Lay (“Biograph”)
14. The Man in Me (“New Morning”)
15. You’re Gonna Quit Me (“Good as I Been to You”)
16. One More Cup of Coffee (“Desire”)
17. Every Grain of Sand (“Biograph”)
18. Everything is Broken (“Everything is Broken
19. What Good Am I? (“Oh Mercy”)
20. Tomorrow Night (“As Good as I Been to You”)
21. Sittin’ on Top of the World (“As Good as I Been to You”)
22. Most of the Time “(Oh Mercy”)
23. Tangled up in Blue (“The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3”)
24. Simple Twist of Fate (Blood on the Tracks”)
25. Idiot Wind (“Blood on the Tracks”)
26. Dreamin’ of You (“Together Through Life”)
27. Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight (“Infidels”)
28. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands (“Blonde on Blonde”)
29. Meet me in the Morning (“Blood on the Tracks”)
30. One More Weekend (“New Morning”)
31. Mississippi (“Tall Tale Signs”)

There are 56 more songs, but this should get you started.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm not here to make friends.

This is the most (only!) reality TV I've ever watched.

Notes on Happiness

Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), writer, quote from “The Devil’s Dictionary”

A couple of weeks ago I found a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace from a few years back and it seemed to carry universal truths (also, I added the slashes next to freedom and inserted happiness). The New York Times has on its list of most e-mailed articles, “The Joy of Less” by Pico Iyer that I have included a couple of paragraphs from, but I encourage you to read it all. I also pulled out my book on “Happiness, A History” by Darrin M. McMahon and added a couple of additional thoughts. finally I have taken their paragraphs broke them up and included bullet points for easier blog reading.

From Wallace:
  • If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth.
  • Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you.
  • Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear.
  • Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.
  • The insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.
  • The really important kind of freedom/happiness involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom/happiness. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.
From Iyer:
  • Perhaps happiness, like peace or passion, comes most when it isn’t pursued.
  • The millionaires I know seem desperate to become multimillionaires, and spend more time with their lawyers and their bankers than with their friends (whose motivations they are no longer sure of).
  • I remember how, in the corporate world, I always knew there was some higher position I could attain, which meant that, like Zeno’s arrow, I was guaranteed never to arrive and always to remain dissatisfied.
  • My two-room apartment in nowhere Japan seems more abundant than the big house that burned down. I have time to read the new John le Carre, while nibbling at sweet tangerines in the sun. When a Sigur Ros album comes out, it fills my days and nights, resplendent. And then it seems that happiness, like peace or passion, comes most freely when it isn’t pursued.
  • If you’re the kind of person who prefers freedom to security, who feels more comfortable in a small room than a large one and who finds that happiness comes from matching your wants to your needs, then running to stand still isn’t where your joy lies.
  • In New York, a part of me was always somewhere else, thinking of what a simple life in Japan might be like. Now I’m there, I find that I almost never think of Rockefeller Center or Park Avenue at all.
From McMahon:
  • Might not the search for happiness entail its own undoing? Does not our modern commandment to be happy produce its own forms of discontent?
  • Happiness, … is a characterization of an entire life that can be reckoned only at death. To believe oneself happy in the meantime is premature, and probably an illusion, for the world is cruel and unpredictable, governed by forces beyond our control. A whim of the gods, the gift of good fortune, the determination of fate…

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blogging and Writing

Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining 'blog' is a fool's errand.
Michael Conniff, writer

The article in the New York Times about why bloggers abandoned their blogs titled “Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest,” says it’s because they are not making money or getting book deals. From my personal experience with On The Mark and B2, we didn’t get into to make money. It was more to have a platform for our opinions about current events. We did for one year and we posted every day by 9 p.m. PST. Keeping that pace, trying to have a life, and working took a toll on our time. After one year we said goodbye to everyday blogging.

Now we blog when we feel like it and readers come by when they feel like it. The article also mentioned that most blogs have an audience of one, but when you add in my family and everyone who wants to see the Hopper artwork, we have a readership of approximately 100 or so a day. I haven’t blogged lately because I have been extremely busy at work and that has taken a toll on my personal time. Things are returning to a somewhat normal pace and my desire to write has also returned.

I had started this post on Sunday, but was sidetracked by the Laker game (even with a section of the TV screen blocked out. See post below) and the book I am reading. So, I visited Random Thoughts and Jack had already posted about this. I agree with him, so check out his post and he even has a link to the NYTimes' article.

Another source of inspiration that is encouraging me to write is that a former sports editor Bill Sherwonit from the local newspaper, where I once worked while in college, has now published a number of books about the Alaskan wilderness. I thought how great to do something you absolutely love and become a recognized expert. I don’t dislike what I do, but I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t paid to for it.

I blog because I enjoy it. I love our little platform for sharing opinions, photos, and grips; and, if you enjoy it too, all the better.

Blogging is just another form of creative writing.
The Misanthrope, blogger

Monday, June 08, 2009

Summer Savings on Tops

Expensive clothes are a waste of money.
Meryl Streep, actress

It's bad enough that bathing suits cost an outrageous sum for not much material. The economy is bad, so Toner Mishap is eager to help you save money this summer. We searched the globe, or rather opened our e-mail, and present to you a new way to stretch clothing dollars and recycle.

Those have to be some big briefs...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Animal Lover -- Not Me -- Not Much

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
Ann Landers (1918-2002), syndicated newspaper advice columnist

There are issues with stuff toys scattered about the house, splintered chew sticks, a dog bed in the living room, towels laying around to cover the couch when wife has to have the pet nearby.

Dogs smell like dogs and that is suppose to excuse the stale, pungent stench that hovers over the pint-sized beast like the dirt cloud that follows Charlie Brown’s buddy Pigpen?

Nonetheless, I am slowly finding an appreciation for the furry-headed pet with the protruding under bite. Maybe it’s because of teasing and playfully tormenting him brings me a bit of pleasure. He is certainly not a brave dog. If I crinkle the newspaper or a plastic bag from the grocery store and go after him, he starts tearing around the house until he eventually races into my bedroom scrambling under the bed or hides behind wife's legs. Watching him start off on the wood floors is like a cartoon, his little legs are moving, but for a moment there is no traction.

The thought of making him overly skittish is not a worry as he wags his tail and barks encouragement to keep it up, so we start anew until I tire out.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

More Best Buy Quality Service

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.
Donald Porter, V.P., British Airways

Here is my 42” Samsung Plasma HD flat screen. Oh, that big black stripe running vertically down the right side is the second time in less than three years that this television has had issues. This is also the second time in less than three years that Best Buy has sent someone out, because I have the extended warranty, and the second time in less than three years that Best Buy could not fix it and has to come back in two weeks, which means another time of trying to be home from work within their 2-4 hour window.

Thank you Best Buy! I get to watch the French Open, the NBA Finals, The Belmont Stakes, the new season of Weeds, Nurse Jackie, the news everyday with this black block. Thank you for your quality service.

And, Samsung you suck too!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Party Games For The Recession

From McSweeney's.

- - - -

Bobbing for Pride

Seven Minutes in Debtor's Prison


Hot Potato Famine

Spin the Bottle and Then Redeem It for Ten Cents

Stiff as a Board, Light as Your Wallet

Chutes and More Fucking Chutes

Hungry, Hungry Children