Random Blather

Feverish Ravings of a Middle-Aged Mind

Douglas Moran

Douglas Moran
Austin, Texas,
June 25
Low-level Technical Weenie
TechnoGypsy, family dude, technical writer, frisbee golfer, movie buff, political junkie, gadget fiend, computer nerd.


OCTOBER 16, 2009 12:51AM

What Are You Basing That On?

Jon Stewart did a marvelous job--as per usual--in skewering the mainstream media in general, and CNN in particular, and their absurd compulsion to partition debates into two sides, and then not actually state the facts for fear of being labeled "partisan."  "Let's leave it there," the news chann… Read full post »

So the results are in:  apparently, 46 percent of Tennesseans believe that Obama's probably or definitely a socialist.

I don't know about you, but my first thought was, "How many Tennesseans actually know what the word 'socialist' means?"  (Helpful hint:  when government has full contr… Read full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2009 2:39PM

Health Insurance Politics

I'm just waiting for the final shoe to drop.

Obama began the health-care reform debate by immediately ruling out what most physicians and a large percentage of the public (and a majority of Democrats--and last I checked, the Democrats had large majorities in all branches of government) consider the b… Read full post »

OCTOBER 9, 2009 9:36PM

Thought for the Day: Nobel

President Obama says that he's going to donate his Nobel Peace Prize money to a charity.  How about ACORN?

Rush Limbaugh's head upon hearing the news--a dramatization Read full post »

OCTOBER 8, 2009 2:02PM

When Good Places Go Bad

I have this problem.

(Okay, I have a lot of problems, but for the sake of your and my sanity, I'm only going into one in particular.)

homer scream

"This place used to be so peaceful!"

I don't have a lot of places where I hang out.  When I'm home with… Read full post »

The entire concept of Salon's "Broadsheet" has baffled me since its inception.  First, I think it's a stupid name--it is like naming a "men's section" something like, I dunno, "Guyline."  Second, while I understand in theory the idea that "women's issues" need their own section in order to… Read full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2009 6:51PM

Thought for the Day: Iran

Lately I've been seeing a lot of articles with headlines similar to what the NY Times has up today in their Sunday edition:  "Report Says Iran Has Data to Make a Nuclear Bomb".


Coming soon to an Islamic Republic near you?

It's a scary-sounding headline.  The thing is, practically… Read full post »

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the "monsters" in the new film Where the Wild Things Are look depressingly like the "life-sized puppets" from Sid and Marty Krofft's "H.R. Pufnstuff"?

hr pufnstufwild things

I dunno, but I would have preferred something a bit less. . . um .… Read full post »

OCTOBER 1, 2009 3:39PM

Thought for the Day: Wall-E

Wall-E, the main character in the eponymously-named film, is Chaplin's Little Tramp, updated into a robot and put into space. 

wall-e  tramp

(Although the film's creater, Andrew Stanton, cites Buster Keaton as more of an influence, he seems more like The Tramp to me.)  And frankl… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 1:13PM

Thought for the Day: Emailing Congress

All members of Congress have contact information on their web pages--both local (to their constituents, I mean) and Washington D.C.-based phone numbers and physical addresses.  But if you want to contact a particular Senator or Congresscritter by e-mail, for the vast majority (and I have yet to… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 27, 2009 6:22PM

Movie Enjoyability Rankings

I gave up on trying to rate the "quality" of movies a long time ago.


"I'm supposed to enjoy this movie?"

Unlike Stephanie Zacharek or Andrew O'Hehir or Roger Ebert or (especially) Pauline Kael, I don't pretend to be either an objective viewer or able to judge the… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 11:00PM

Posting Evolution (or Devolution?)

They're called "flame wars."


"So that's what happens when you call Heinlein a fascist in rec.arts.sf-lovers!"

See, I've been online for a long time.  A real long time.  Not as long as Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie maybe, but still--a while.  USENET had fewer than 100 gro… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 5:53PM

Rubbing Shoulders with Evil

I'm not much of a celebrity spotter.  For one thing, I'm rarely anyplace where one might see a celebrity--they don't hang around Austin or Sunnyvale very much--and for another, I am simply not looking for any.  Maybe I'm just too wrapped up in myself.


"I'm Karl Rove,Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 3:04PM

If . . .

If it is close to treason to bad-mouth the president on foreign soil, why is it okay for Sarah Palin to accept six figures from the Chinese to do it?

If Republicans are such big believers in "limited government," why are they perfectly okay with the PATRIOT act, especially when the… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 1:07PM

Thought for the Day: Health Care

How about this:  any member of Congress or the Senate who votes against a health reform bill that has a public option--either on the floor or in committee--or opposes a public option by putting in "poison pill" amendments or some other parlimentary nonsense, has their Government health care remo… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 1:26AM

Thought for the Day: Dollhouse

Was it just me, or did anyone else think that the "lost" episode of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse," "Epitaph One," was way better than almost all the other episodes, and that that was due to the fact that Eliza Dushku was in it only a wee, little, teeny, tiny bit?  (Maybe I'm… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 4:55PM

Thought for the Day: Labeling

If the "lemonade", according to the label on the fountain, "contains 0% real juice," how can you call it "lemonade?"  Shouldn't you call it something else, in the same vein as Froot Loops being so named because they contain only "froot" rather than fruit? Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 5:31PM

Sorry: You Just Need to Suffer for a While

A couple of weeks ago, I had an incredibly painful flare-up of my chronic neck pain.  My local California pain doctor refused to prescribe me meds, and I wrote about my frustrations with that decision, thinking that as soon as I got to my regular pain doctor in Texas, something would… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 3:17PM

Language Geeking: British/American English

The different flavors/flavours of English that float around the world have always--well, fascinated is too strong--interested me greatly is the different words we have in American English and British English for the same things.  And because I'm a language nerd--I'm a professional!  Don't t… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2009 8:31PM

iPhone Apps I Enjoy

I love my iPhone.

I'm not an Apple fanboy; I don't read Apple magazines, Apple blogs, or Apple web sites.  I don't have a Mac, a MacBook, Apple TV, or anything else.  Just my iPhone.  I just thought y'all should know so that you can take the following in context.  … Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 9, 2009 10:05PM

A Human Moment

It's always an event filled with pomp and circumstance; traditions and expectations; prescribed moves and rehearsed moments.  

The State of the Union speech puts "the most powerful man on Earth" on stage in front of "the people's house" and "the greatest deliberative body in the world," with a g… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2009 1:04PM

I Can't Blog Right Now

I can't blog right now.

Every time I read the news, we've been sold out by politicians in thrall to the health insurance industry.  Every time I read, there's more bad news about Iraq or Afghanistan.  Every time, there's another "bipartisan" screwing by the Obama administration, who clearly… Read full post »

AUGUST 31, 2009 10:35AM

On Torture and Obstufication

Oh lordy, weren't the Cheneys in fine fettle this weekend?

We had Liz Cheney on one channel, trying to shout down anyone who disagreed with her on her father's heinous war crimes, and on another channel we had the main perpetrator of those war crimes, her father, acting "outraged" and "offended"… Read full post »

AUGUST 28, 2009 8:10PM

The Tyranny of Doctors

(Note: this post contains whining and self-pity; you've been warned.)

I'm being tortured by a doctor.

She doesn't mean to be torturing me.  She may not even realize how much she's torturing me.  But she's doing it all the same.

You see, I'm broken.  A congenital flaw in the design… Read full post »

One of the late Sen. Kennedy's most important legislative attempts was for comprehensive health care reform.  Now, true health-care reform--which must include a public option--is stalled in the Senate.  Specifically, it's stuck in Sen. Max Baucus' Finance Committee, where three conservativeRead full post »