Monday, August 31, 2009

Referendum 71 Has Made It Onto The Ballot

Washington State's Referendum 71, the attempt to block the expansion of domestic partnership rights, has reportedly made the ballot for the November 3rd general election. However, nothing is official at this point, which means we must continue to agonize over whether or not our--being the gay community--rights are up for a vote in two months time. The Stranger has more information here.

The Washington Post Vindicates Discrimination

I was referred to a recent Washington Post article (you can read the whole thing here) that, in essence, treats the gay community as if we are the enemy. It's a profile of Brian Brown, the Executive Director for the National Organization for Marriage. Here are some of my selected excerpts, and my subsequent responses to them:
He shoulders the accusations of bigotry; it's horrible when people say that your life's mission is actually just prejudice. He tries to help people see that opposing gay marriage does not make them bigots, that the argument should have nothing to do with hate or fear, and everything to do with history and tradition.
No, marriage has two standings: legal and religious. The United States is not a theocracy. Religious denominations do not run the legal system. They do not get to pick and choose which rights to bestow unto whom. The gay community simply wants its legally entitled rights. We are not fighting for religious institutions to bow down to our wishes. You can go on disagreeing with our right to equal treatment under the law, but to the extent that it does not take away our rights.
The reason Brian Brown is so effective is that he is pleasantly, ruthlessly sane.
The implicit statement here is that the gay community is, or comes off as, insane.
He sends out regular e-mail updates to NOM's mailing list, conveying his excitement on the issues with exclamation points. Some pro-gay marriage activists then get hold of these e-mails and mock them.
I can't possibly fathom having a job where I get excitement from removing the legal rights from other human beings. This is a disgusting sign of humanity.
But his more informed opponents know that scoffing is a response born of fear.
Are we to live in fear? Is that the world in which you're going to let us live our lives? We are afraid that we won't get to see our partners as they lie dying in a hospital, or make decisions for them in a time of incapacity. Does that feeling make you thrive?
Jackson says Brown and NOM "have a sense of dignity about human beings. They simply believe that marriage between a man and a woman is the best for society. But they're not gay bashers."
You can't have it both ways. You are either pro-gay and pro-gay rights, or you're anti-gay and anti-gay-rights. I'm afraid that there really can be no gray area on this issue.
It is irrational when the opposition points to polls suggesting that most young people support gay marriage. "People mature," he says. Their views change.
I liken this statement to 'maturation generates regression'.
Brown is Catholic. He converted at Oxford, where he studied after a BA at Whittier College (he grew up surfing in California). He liked Catholicism's traditions of social justice and work for the poor. Along the way, he met Sue, also a devout Catholic. After UCLA he accepted a position with the Family Institute of Connecticut, and worked to prevent the distribution of condoms in schools. "People would ask, 'What does your husband do?' " Sue says. "It was embarrassing to say he worked on condoms. But it was nothing compared to this."
It must have been completely embarrassing to tell your friends and family that your husband worked hard to make sure that sexually transmitted diseases were widely spread among students. I feel so much sympathy for you.
In short: The institution of marriage has always been between a man and a woman. Yes, there have been homosexual relationships. But no society that he knows of, in the history of the world, has ever condoned same-sex marriage.
I can think of a few: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Canada, Norway, and Sweden. And on a more regional level: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Yes, those are included in the history of time.
"I can only go by my own experience, and I believe there's a huge difference in gender." The kids don't need Brian "walking in the door because he's another person. They need him because he's a man."
Not all heterosexual couples have children. When will you start to move on taking away their marriage rights? By your logic, should it not be legally mandated that all married couples bear children?
And then he's out the door, going off to quietly crusade for the hearts and minds of people who, like Brown, pride themselves on being rational, mainstream and sane.
Yep. We gays, and our supporters, are nothing but a collective group of highly irrational, fringe, and insane people. The real, caring, supportive people here are the ones that want to preserve a tradition, while at the same time keeping their select friends, family, and coworkers marginalized and empty of any legal rights that are already given to heterosexuals.

If you'd like to send an email to the writer of this antagonizing article, Monica Hesse, you can go here.

Let's Put Your "Marriage" Up For A Vote

The general election for Washington State is on November 3rd. If Referendum 71, which seeks to block the expansion of state registered domestic partnerships, makes it onto the ballot, then voters need to vote to APPROVE the referendum. A vote to approve it is a vote to grant domestic partners* rights almost equal to those of married couples under Washington State law. If you're against same-sex marriage, fine; I strongly disagree with you. But this is not a legalization of same-sex marriage. So what does this domestic partnership do, exactly? From the Olympian:

The Senate Bill gives same-sex couples:

• The right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner.

• The right to wages and benefits when a domestic partner is injured, and to unpaid wages upon the death of a domestic partner. The right to unemployment and disability insurance benefits.

• The right to workers’ compensation coverage.

• Insurance rights, including rights under group policies, policy rights after the death of a domestic partner, conversion rights and continuing coverage rights.

• Rights related to adoption, child custody and child support.

• Business succession rights.

Please vote on November 3rd, if for nothing else, to APPROVE Referendum 71. A vote to Reject or not voting at all tells me that you do not support equal rights protection.

*According to RCW 26.60.030, "To enter into a state registered domestic partnership the two persons involved must meet the following requirements: ... (6) Either (a) both persons are members of the same sex; or (b) at least one of the persons is sixty-two years of age or older."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Referenced At Work Today

And posted here for good measure:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please Call Governor Scwarzenegger's Office Regarding Harvey Milk Day

The State of California's SB 572 "would require the governor proclaim May 22 each year as Harvey Milk Day. It would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date," says Equality California. We need you to express your support for this piece of important legislation by calling the governor's office at 916.445.2841 or signing the online petition here. You don't even need to speak to anyone on the phone. You need only press a few buttons, and you will have voiced your support for Harvey Milk Day in California.

Via Towleroad.

The Hire - "Ticker"

In 2001 and 2002, BMW utilized a rather remarkable marketing tool: make short films (8-10 minutes in length) that feature different BMW models. It might sound rather ridiculous, but these are some great films. Directors such as John Woo, Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, and Tony Scott contributed to some very interesting driving-oriented shorts. There were a total of two seasons, with five episodes in the first, and three in the second. I think my favorite has to be "Ticker", which was directed by Joe Carnahan, and features cameos from Don Cheadle, Ray Liota, Robert Patrick, and a few other notable actors. I find it amazing that someone can package so much story into a nine minute film; there's politics, gun fights, ambushes, ethics, and so much more. See it for yourself and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunny Day Real Estate Is Playing The Paramount?

I couldn't believe it when I saw this today:

Apparently they're doing a reunion tour. Who would have thought?

North Seattle Cougar Watch

A coworker and I were sitting out in front of the store this afternoon, and a white Jaguar (vehicle) slowly pulled up near us and subsequently circled the parking lot at (the most) two miles per hour. She did this at least four times. Our break ended, and we had to return to work. However, I was able to see that she parked her car in one spot, only to put the car in reverse, pull out, and park again two parking spaces away. She then took about five minutes to get out of the car, and eventually staggered her way into Curves. My guess is that she should not be exercising in her condition, let alone operating a motor vehicle.

We suspect that she was hunting for some young hunks. After all, her license plate did read "PURRRRN". I read it as purr-in' (like a cat in heat). And her rear window had a sign that said "Hunk In Trunk". Like I said, watch out for this cougar; she's on the prowl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Latest From Things That Are Awesome

The quality of content on this blog is rapidly decreasing; I think I need to rejuvenate myself. In the meantime, enjoy this product that a coworker showed me at work today (and yes, we sell them at our store). You put them on your beer can to hide the fact that you're drinking beer. They would be put to good use in public.

Clearly they reinvented the wheel with these beer covers, but they made them, shall we say, interesting. They have Tiger Piss, Bacon Mist, Corn Squeeze, Fruitee, Clown Tears, and Diet Wow! The Tiger Piss contains: carbonated water, tiger urine, felinus domesticus brine, thick salty froth, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, strawberry flavoring. Remember, ingredients are listed from largest amount to smallest amount.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Relationship That Gays Have With Democrats

From James Kirchick's article, "Time to Crash the Party", in the September issue of The Advocate:
"Why move pro-gay legislation forward when their are no consequences for doing nothing? The relationship between gays and Democrats is like battered wife syndrome. We keep coming back for more abuse."
Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Choosing The Lesser Of Two Evils

People complain that they don't vote because they have to choose between the lesser of two evils (or something to that effect). They wouldn't be necessarily in that difficult position if they focused more on the primary elections. We have eight candidates running for King County executive, eight for Seattle City Mayor, five for Seattle City Council Position No. 4, six for Seattle City Council Position No. 8, and several other races where there are at least three candidates. You have choices, but when you don't act on them, it's your own fault for what the general election offers. The majority of voters from the August 2008 primary were ages 65 & older (72%). Compare that to the 18 to 24 year olds (18%) and the 25 - 34 year olds (19%).

The one saving grace is that a significant increase in voter turnout occurred for the November 4th general election. This is no doubt due to the presidential election (Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin). For Washington State registered voters, the general election produced:
  • 18 - 24: 68% voter turnout
  • 25 - 34: 74% voter turnout
  • 35 - 44: 82% voter turnout
  • 45 - 54: 87% voter turnout
  • 55 - 64: 91% voter turnout
  • 65+: 91% voter turnout
If we could only generate these levels of voter turnout in every election, we might come off as more of a democratic society.

We've Made It Through The Primary Election... it's time to gear up for the general election, which will take place on November 3rd. That's only 76 days away from now! Okay, so maybe you didn't vote in the primary (and I know for a fact those of you who didn't). But it's okay. There's still time to redeem yourselves! You can vote in the general election and help send the right people to office.

First off, we need to check the status of your voter registration. This is easy. Go here and type in your first and last name and your birthdate. This will tell you where you are currently registered and what positions and measures on which you'll be voting. If your registration is incorrect--most likely this would be due to a change of address--then you'll need to update your information to correspond with your current voting precinct. This part is easy too! Simply call 206.296.VOTE (8683). As a friend told me, it takes "like three minutes" to complete. That's all there is to it. Once your information is updated, you'll receive your ballot in the mail, and you can vote!

While there is ample time to waste, don't procrastinate on this too long. You have to update your information no later than 30 days prior to the election date in order to be eligible to vote in your new precinct. That means you have until Monday, October 5th to update your information if it needs to be so. I've done all I can at this point, the rest is up to you.

Any other questions you might have can be answered at the King County Elections website.

4-Way Stop. You Go, No You Go, No You Go Guy

I have to hand it to Pemco; they have some really funny commercials.

I can identify with the runner. Well, okay, so I don't run. But I walk (practically everywhere).

Thank You, Barney Frank

For those of you without sound, here is the transcription:
Town Hall Woman: "Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported this policy? Why are you supporting it?"
Barney Frank: "Let me, uh..."
Town Hall Woman: "Why are you trying to [inaudible]..."
Barney Frank: "But I will..."
Town Hall Woman: "...a real solution!"
Barney Frank: "When you ask me that question, I am gonna revert to my ethnic heritage, and [???] your question with a question: on what planet do you spend most of your time?"
[Laughs and applause]
Barney Frank: "You want me to answer the question?"
Town Hall Woman: "Yes!"
Barney Frank: "You stand there with a picture of the president defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase healthcare to the Nazis. My answer to you is, as I said before, it is a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated. [Applause] Mam, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table, [Applause] I have no interest in doing it."
As if it wasn't obvious from the dialogue, Mr. Frank is Jewish. For any human being to freely throw around terms such as Nazi and Hitler without any rational basis for doing so, especially toward a person who (presumably) has family ties to the atrocities committed by the Nazis, is an absolute unveiling of that person's internal ugliness. It sickens me to know that human beings can have such ugly hearts (and opinions). And as if that wasn't bad enough, here is a video of a woman heiling Hitler at an Israeli, and then mocking him for his lack of healthcare coverage. Warning: it's an absolutely disgusting view of humanity.

(Both videos via Slog and Towleroad).

Something You Should Never Do When It Comes To Food

If you're ever hungry, and you find an unmarked bag of what appears to be cheese-sticks in someone's freezer, do not ever assume that they're actually cheese-sticks.  Oh you're going to want them to be cheese-sticks all right; you imagine how good the gooey cheese will taste.  Sounds delicious, right?  It would be, if they weren't actually fish-sticks!  Gross!  I'm glad I didn't overdo it and microwave more than eight of them.  (Some friends helped consume them, albeit hesitantly).  So, you've been warned.  If it looks like a cheese-stick, and smells like a fish-stick, it's a fish-stick.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Pros And Cons Of Employer Provided Healthcare Coverage

From a Sullivan reader:
"The truth is, I’d rather spend $15,000.00 a year and keep my job, rather than go on my employer’s group plan and be looking for work in 3 months."
Read the whole thing here.

Things Are Not Looking Good For The Democrats

Did You Know That There's A Local Election Today?

Well, there is! And you should vote, if you can. King County Executive, Seattle City Council, Seattle Mayor, Referendum 1 (the bag fee), and more are all up for a vote. Your mail-in ballot needs to be postmarked today. This is an important election. So stop your bitching and moaning, get off your ass, and perform your civic duty! My primary endorsements are here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lacking Creativity Is Currently On Hiatus From Reading Books

I've tried to read three different books--"Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon, "A Boy's Own Story" by Edmund White, and "The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works" by Henry Waxman and Joshua Green--this week, and nothing stuck.  I guess I'm still recovering from my Infinite Summer.  On top of everything else, I have way too many things on my mind right now.  When you start reading the same page, sentence, word multiple times, it's time to take a break.  That's exactly what I intend to do.  Time for a nap.

The Normal Way To Meet Guys

The email I wrote to some friends this morning:
I've been house-sitting for Kim since Thursday, so I have not been home since. Although, last night I drove home and picked up all the laundry I've needed to wash so I could do it for free at Kim's. Usually when I come home in the late hours, there is a woman sitting outside smoking. She's always been nice and said hello to me, etc. Well, last week or so we had a fire alarm, and as we were all outside, I noticed that this really cute guy came out and was talking with her.

So, as I was about to leave last night, I stopped and turned to her and said, "this may be a strange question..." I explained how I saw the cute guy and I inquired as to whether or not he was gay. She said yes, but that he's in a now three-month long relationship. Then she said, "but between you and me, they're having some trouble." So we kind of chit-chatted for a few minutes. She was surprised that I was about to turn 25, because she thought of me (at face value) as being very well-adjusted and mature. That was a nice compliment to receive. The guy is 22. I believe she said his name was Chad. I guess I should have remembered that part. Oops. She asked if it was okay to tell him that I thought he was cute, or that I asked about him. I told her she could do that if she liked.

She said she'd introduce me sometime. I guess now I have to pull the fire alarm.
The response from one of my friends:
See! This is the normal way to meet guys.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Projected United States Resident Population

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the resident population of the United States, projected to 08/16/09 at 06:08 GMT (EST+5) is:
Component settings for August 2009:
One birth every 07 seconds
One death every 13 seconds
One international migrant (net) every 36 seconds
Net gain of one person every 10 seconds
Data taken directly from

Lacking Creativity Celebrates Its 25th Year (In A Way)

Okay, so has only been around since December 2008, but I've been here since September 1984! Yes, I'm turning 25 this year, and it's time to embrace the mid-mid-life crisis that is looming over me at this point. I'm told it won't be that bad, though. Despite the fact that I'm notorious for rarely (if ever) getting anyone else a birthday present--I prefer to give little gifts here and there throughout the year, if and when I can--I'm here to announce what would be an ideal gift for me: magazine subscription(s). The following would please my intellect:
The Advocate - $19.95/1 year (12 issues)
Out Magazine - $9.97/1 year (10 issues)
The Atlantic - $24.50/1 year (10 issues)
The New Yorker - $39.95/1 year (47 issues)
Time Magazine - $20.00/1 year (56 issues)
Foreign Policy - $19.95/1 year (6 issues)
Those are listed in no particular order. One of these days I'll be able to afford daily delivery of the New York Times. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later; you know, because printed news is soon to be history.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Soundtrack Of A Melancholy Summer

For once, I was able to compile a song list without repeating a single band. In no particular order:
"Kreuzberg" - Bloc Party
"Over" - Jimmy Eat World
"Into the Fire" - Thirteen Senses
"Hijomalind" - Sigur Ros
"You Are Mine" - Mute Math
"All That Sh** Is Gone" - Carolina Liar
"A Shot to the Stars" - Whitley
"The Harrowing Adventures of..."- Tokyo Police Club
"Taking Apart a Gigantic Machine" - The Main Drag
"Quelqu'um m'a dit" - Carla Bruni
"Anne Arbour" - The Get Up Kids
"Bitter Things" - Christian Kleine
"Consequence" - The Notwist
"Cath..." - Death Cab for Cutie
Warning: these songs may not be good for your health.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Next Film Guaranteed To Make Me Cry Endlessly

"Paris" by director Cédric Klapisch. Synopsis from the IFC website:
A Parisian is sick and thinks he may die. His condition makes him look at all the people he meets in a new and different way. Imagining his death suddenly gives new meaning to his life, to other peoples' lives, and to the life of the whole city. Fruit and vegetable sellers, a woman who runs a bakery, a social worker, a dancer, an architect, a homeless person, a university professor, a model, an illegal immigrant from Cameroon... All these very different people come together in this city and in this film. You might imagine there's nothing special about them, but for every single one of them, their life is unique. You might believe their problems don't matter, but to them, they are the most important things in the world.
The embedding code doesn't seem to want to work on here, so you can watch the trailer here.

Fantastic Mr. Fox - The New Film By Wes Anderson

(Infinite) Book Review

I’m sitting at my desk, writing this review with my worn-out copy of “Infinite Jest” lying center-left of my vision; I do this with the hope that by merely seeing this mammoth, in size and scope, piece of post-modern literature, it will recall in my mind all of the things I learned, loved, and hated about it. We’ll see if I am right, in the end.

Had there been no such thing as the Infinite Summer, I probably would never have finished, let alone picked up, this beast of a novel. The ‘program’ is quite simple: you begin reading I.J. on June 21st and you finish it on or before September 21st. That’s three months and 1,076 pages worth of exercising your mind. I did it. Now it’s time for the Ice Cream Social I was promised by my coworker who is also reading I.J.

Any attempt to explain what happens is rather futile, as one thing always needs an explanation, almost as if it was an endnote—there were 388 of them. Nonetheless, the story is loosely focused around a disturbingly fucked-up family at a tennis academy (Enfield Tennis Academy, or E.T.A.) and an even more disturbingly fucked-up cast of characters at The Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House (sic). The setting is an almost (what I would call) post-apocalyptic North America. Canada, America, and Mexico merged to become the Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N.) There are no longer numerical calendar years, but rather, corporate sponsored years, such as: the Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad and the Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office, Or Mobile (sic). A lounge singer has become the President. New England is now a wasteland, and was emperialized to Canada—it is called the “Great Concavity” or the “Great Convexity”, depending on which side is referencing the land area. The street parking laws change every night at midnight, resulting in car owners scrambling to their cars to park them on the other side of the street. It’s an overall absurd mess, and Wallace details it perfectly, albeit exhaustively.

One thing that DFW foresaw (perfectly) was in his description of the rise and immediate fall of an emerging/evolving technology. The telephone was seen as a way that people could easily distract themselves without the caller on the other end ever finding out. So people created, in essence, video-phones. This made people focus and pay attention, but they soon discovered that they did not look the way they wanted to on the phone. So the technology was updated to ‘enhance’ the caller’s visual aesthetic. This evolved into a beautified still image that resembled the likes of a supermodel rather than the actual caller. This elicited a return to the traditional non-visual telephone. Do we not see that very thing happening today? Look at most photos online; are they not (almost always) staged and unnatural?

Finally, the worst part of the book was that at some point R. Limbaugh (never explicitly mentioned as ‘Rush’) was the president. The best part of the book comes on page 929: “The door’s got a big poster of R. Limbaugh on it, from before the assassination.” People have written their Ph.D dissertations on this novel, so there's not much else I can say to its credit that has not already been exhaustively explored. Time for bigger...err...smaller and better things.

Mine Is Already In The Mail

Monday, August 10, 2009

The New Bus Stop on Pine and Belmont

Does this remind anyone else of that 'ropes course' challenge where you and your team have to get everyone across from one point to another using only two pieces of plywood? No? Well, it reminds me of it...and that's all that matters (to me).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Frank Schaeffer Makes Some Very Good (And Frightening) Points

I understand that it may be a bit hyperbolic, but this is still required viewing:

Via Towleroad.

An Interesting Fact, When Put Into Perspective

I was born in 1984. Ronald Reagan was president from 1981 until 1989. George H.W. Bush was president from 1989 until 1993. Bill Clinton was president from 1993 until 2001. George W. Bush was president from 2001 until 2009. Barack Obama has been president since January 20, 2009.

This means that for 16+ years of my (soon-to-be) 25 years of existence, I have lived under a Republican president; this is compared against only 8+ years of living under a Democratic president.

Note: I've only had the legal opportunity to cast my vote for president twice in those (soon-to-be) 25 years.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lacking Creativity Has Dug Up Information On Its Sole Contributor

Don't believe the lies that Jon Brock has perpetuated here and elsewhere. He is not an American citizen. I've located a copy of his original birth certificate. See the lie for yourself:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear American Family Association...

...go fuck yourselves. Seriously. I signed up for your email list months ago so I could see what the other side of things looked like. All I've seen is your ugly hearts. Today I received an email, which will be the last from you, filled with your bigoted outrage at AAA offering family discounts to gay couples and families. We're never going to go away. Get used to it. You're a dying minority, and that puts a smile on my face. The only unfortunate aspect of that is that you're not dying fast enough. Please do hurry. Thank you. Warm regards.

P.S. - AAA, thank you for your support.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lacking Creativity's August 18th Primary Endorsements

As listed in order on the ballot*:
King County Executive - Dow Constantine

Court of Appeals, Div. No. 1, Dist. No. 1, Judge Position No. 3 - Anne L. Ellington

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 3 - Al Yuen
Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 4 - Tom Albro

City of Seattle, Mayor - Mike McGinn
City of Seattle, Council Position No. 4 - Sally Bagshaw
City of Seattle, Council Position No. 6 - Nick Licata
City of Seattle, Council Position No. 8 - Mike O'Brien
City of Seattle, Referendum No. 1 - Rejected (No)

Seattle School District No. 1, Director District No. 5 - Mary E. Bass
The mail-in primary is August 18th. Vote!

*Your ballot may be different depending on where you reside.

High School Students Reading Orwell's 1984 Are Pissed Off

Back in July, Amazon--the sole proprietors of the Kindle (e-book reader)--discovered that they were selling electronic copies of George Orwell's "1984" without the proper legal rights to do so.
"As it turns out, the books in question were being sold by Amazon despite being unauthorized copies. The works weren't legit. It was all copywrong. In other words, Amazon was selling bad books. Hot letters. Pilfered paragraphs."

"According to Amazon's statement to Ars Technica, 'These books were added to our catalog using our self-service platform by a third-party who did not have the rights to the books.' When the publisher informed Amazon of this, Amazon moved to rectify the situation."
I.e., Amazon removed all the electronic copies of the book from consumers' Kindles without notice. Unfortunately for Amazon, quite a few people are upset about this whole debacle. But who is the most upset? High school students with now-useless notes and annotations, that's who. Ars Technica reports that in Seattle, Justin Gawronski and A. Bruguier have filed a class action suit against Amazon. The most interesting part of the article (I think) goes as such:
"The introductory portions of the suit actually quote David Pogue, who apparently compared Amazon's actions to Barnes & Noble sneaking into private homes to remove books, leaving a check on the table."
The full complaint can be read here. Via Andrew Sullivan (via Ars Technica).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Old School Frozen Custard On Capitol Hill

I ventured over there after work last night, and treated myself to a single scoop of vanilla custard with crumbled Andes mints on top. I don't recall ever having frozen custard before, but nevertheless, it was still delicious. You have your choice of vanilla, chocolate, and lemon flavors, and you can add toppings--Oreos, Andes mints, Reese's Peanut Buttercups, M&Ms, et al.--as you like. The downside is that it is incredibly pricey. I paid $4 and change just for my single scoop with a cup, no less.

They do have a wide variety of pre-built sundaes from which to choose, with names such as "The Principal's Office"*, "The Locker Room (nuts, nuts and more nuts!)"**, and "The Recess"***. If you're near Pike and 13th, you should stop by and indulge yourself.

*5 scoops of fresh frozen custard, 3 mix-ins of your choice, a homemade fudge brownie, banana halves, sliced almonds, whipped cream and a cherry on top--if it will fit!

**3 scoops of fresh vanilla custard, with each scoop divided by a different type of nut, topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.

***3 scoops of fresh vanilla custard layered with Reese's cup pieces, warm caramel, more Reese's, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry. Get it? Reese's, Recess...Come on!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lacking Creativity Says Reject The City Of Seattle Referendum 1

On July 28, 2008, the Seattle City Council voted (6-1) to pass Ordinance 122752, which refers to the 'disposable bag fee'. Enough valid signatures were gathered to refer the ordinance to a public vote; this is Referendum 1, and it is being voted on on the August 18th primary (for Seattle voters). At first I thought it ideal to implement the policy--Effective January 1, 2009, all grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores...shall charge and collect a twenty cents ($0.20) advanced recovery fee, a Green Fee, for each disposable shopping bag provided to customers--because it would encourage people to use reusable bags for their grocery items. If you don't want to pay a surcharge, then you'll buy the (usually $3.00) reusable bag, and bypass it altogether. Sounds like a simple enough plan, right? Wrong.

If this ordinance is approved by the voters, which it shouldn't be, then we will be increasing the government spending by creating two new positions in the Department of Executive Administration--Administrative Specialist II and a Tax Auditor--and to "conduct an intensive public education and outreach campaign starting at least 90 days before the effective date of the green fee. SPU (Seattle Public Utilities) shall incorporate within that campaign, messages about the importance of keeping reusable bags clean and properly containing meat to prevent leakage."

Is this what you want your tax dollars to go towards? Do we need a program that teaches us how to use a reusable grocery bag? I hardly think so. This is an absolute waste of time and money. People are becoming more and more inclined to use their own shopping bags without this increase in government spending and red-tape. Vote to Reject Referendum 1. Thank you.

Note: all this information was provided via the King County Local Voters' Pamphlet. Read it, then vote.