Sunday, May 31, 2009

The way life used to be

Last Thursday, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, spoke in Benton Harbor, Michigan, reflecting on some of the joys and challenges he and his family faced during his presidency. Afterwards, he sat down with veteran Man-Bunny Matrix reporter Mouse Ears. The following is a transcript of that exchange.

EARS: Mr. President, thank you for joining us.

BUSH: Good to be with you, Mouse.

EARS: So, please repeat some of the things you said here tonight.

BUSH: Well, you know, I was talking about how “I wasn’t surprised to lose support for some of the main elements of my national security agenda.”

EARS: Yes. Not surprising.

BUSH: And “I wasn’t surprised that people forgot the feeling of how they felt after September 11.”

EARS: Is that what happened?

BUSH: Well at least “I’m grateful people were able to move beyond the events of September 11.”

EARS: So that's what it was?

BUSH: Well “as a president you don't want your nation to be so worried about an attack that people don't go about their lives.”

EARS: How do you explain that sentiment in light of your 2004 campaign?

BUSH: “The psychology of the nation concerned me.”

EARS: The feeling was mutual.

BUSH: “Which then made it harder to get people to listen to you.”

EARS: I was all ears.

BUSH: Well “the fact that Americans tuned out most of the news coverage wasn’t surprising to me.”

EARS: Some might take issue with your premise, but tell us why anyway.

BUSH: Well “the truth of the matter is, I never watched the nightly news.”

EARS: Ah. That would explain a lot. Now why is that?

BUSH: “Because it was predictable.”

EARS: Predictably awful?

BUSH: Yes.

EARS: You say this as newsmaker in chief.

BUSH: You bet.

EARS: Got it.

BUSH: And, y’know, “nor did I ever pay attention to the editorial pages…good editorials…

EARS: I didn’t really notice those either.

BUSH: "…or bad."

EARS: Those I saw.

BUSH: Well y’see “when you're president you can get so obsessed with this stuff that I felt it would cloud your vision.”

EARS: When I’m...what?

BUSH: “You can get so obsessed with this stuff I felt it would cloud your vision.”

EARS: Please pick a pronoun, Mr. President.

BUSH: “I felt it would cloud your vision.”

EARS: As a man who understands cloudy vision.

BUSH: Well “the truth of the matter is there is so much attention paid to you...”

EARS: No, I’m just a bunny. You were in the White House.

BUSH: Well “I thought it important even in the tougest moments to be upbeat…”

EARS: Yeah, that was weird.

BUSH: “And not be so worried about myself…”

EARS: Or anyone else.

BUSH: “…that I couldn’t convey a sense of confidence. “

EARS: You did have us fooled. Now, if you would, talk a little about your dad.

BUSH: Well, “it’s much harder to be the father of the president than to be the president.”

EARS: He did get a lot sympathy.

BUSH: Yeah, y’know, “I used to have to admonish him not pay [sic] attention to what they were writing in the editorial pages about his son.”

EARS: The editorial pages you didn’t read.

BUSH: Well, Laura read them. And “frankly, I’m not so sure if we hadn’t married she’d have voted for me.”

EARS: If you hadn’t married? When…? Never mind. She's a patriot. So talk a little about your Vice President.

BUSH: Well, “a great relief was having a Vice President who had no plans to run for the top spot.”

EARS: I’ll say.

BUSH: Well you know, "if things got tough, he could be one of the first person off the ship…"

EARS: One of the first person?

BUSH: One of the very first person.

EARS: Perhaps followed by more person?

BUSH: Well, you know, if he left it "would be really unpleasant in the White House."

EARS: Not to mention in wherever he went. But nonetheless, had he left, you would have remained upbeat?

BUSH: You bet.

EARS: Us too. Well Mr. President, thank you for taking the time to…

BUSH: “You know, people ask what’s it like…”

EARS: Um…ok.

BUSH: “Well I have never stopped at a traffic light for eight years.”

EARS: Whee!

BUSH: Yee-haw!

EARS: Sound like fun. Mr. President, we appreciate you taking the time for verbatim repetition of the things you just said…

BUSH: Verbawhatnow?

EARS: Thank you for joining us.

BUSH: Huck/Palin 2012!

EARS: Yee haw.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ol' factory

"Aircraft with high-technology 'sniffer' devices read radiation increases carried by the wind."




Monday, May 25, 2009

Sure ya do

“I think what makes good television is tension. When you look at Hollywood movies, they have the benefit of fiction. We don’t.”

Becky Diamond
Field Producer, FOX News
9 May 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

The hunt

Colbert: What would constitute – y’know – a “Howdy!” from space

Shostak: Well you’re looking for the kind of signal transmitters make, not the kind of signal nature makes – quasars and pulsars, that sort of thing. You’re looking for the kind of signals [for example] a television broadcaster would make.

Colbert: Well, maybe they use quasars and pulsars to send signals.

Shostak: They’re bad engineers if they do that. Those signals are all over the band.

BYOD*

Catch the Santa Cruz Mountains trio Geezer Brand Band playing this Memorial Day Weekend 2009, LIVE at Geezer’s Palace.

*defibrillator

Sunday, May 17, 2009

(in space)

“It looks dark out there.”

Mike Massimino, in the airlock of Atlantis, 325 miles above the Indian Ocean.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Two lines

Yesterday, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) said, “When dealing with the 100 to 1 crack:powder disparity there’s a consensus that…,” and at that moment the press feed into the Man-Bunny Matrix experienced a sudden supply disruption.

Just two weeks prior to this, blogger and coal enthusiast “andy sz” sent a twit up from his mine, reporting that there was “good news on the crack/powder disparity front”.

The Man-Bunny Matrix has no further information at this time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Errata

Michael Coffman (R-Colorado), was in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps in 2006. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

…and salt-pork, and saddle-blankets…

“More boots on the ground is not the solution. We need more people with slide-rules, and shovels…”

Adm. Mike Mullen
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
May 13, 2009

11001011 11010101 11001011 01001101

David Brooks’ column “They Had it Made”, in today’s New York Times is transcendently excellent, right up until the part where Mr. Brooks writes, “There is a complexity to human affairs before which science and analysis simply stands mute.”

Oy.

This statement implies that something has been at work here which cannot be adequately explained through natural phenomena. The Man-Bunny Matrix is hoping Mr. Brooks means to imply only that something is at work which cannot be explained through our understanding of natural pheomena, at this time.

As Dr. Mike Dalbey, lecturer in biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, routinely tells his undergraduates: “There’s really not much left for you to do in biology. My generation has, for the most part, figured everything out. The only really interesting work left to be done is on the origin of life; and consciousness.”

We in the Man-Bunny Matrix would add exobiology to that list, but point taken.

To be sure, the intricacies of human behavior are overwhelmingly complex, and relevant disciplines such as neuroethology and behavioral psychology have not matured to the point of being able to offer satisfactory answers to questions such as why the lives of subjects participating in the Grant Study followed the trajectories they did. But in the piles of transistors and reams of code represented by human CNS networks, the answers are there to be found.

Go west

“When Katrina hit, we all became Floridians.”

Rep. Tim Walz
D-Minn.
May 12, 2009

Thud

In today’s episode of “After Deadline”, the New York Times presents the following headline:

“Bomber Attacks G.I.’s Meeting With Baquba Officials”

They go on to say:

“This headline could be read two ways, in part because our style is to use an apostrophe in plurals of certain abbreviations, like this one. Readers might take ‘meeting’ as a noun (in origin, a gerund), and think that a meeting between a single G.I. and Baquba officials was attacked. In fact, ‘meeting’ was intended as a participle, modifying the plural noun ‘G.I.’s.’”

Interesting.

Generally, the Man-Bunny Matrix considers using an apostrophe in pluralizing acronyms to be insane. More importantly, does no one else interpret the above headline to be reporting an aerial assault using laser-guided bureaucrats?

Furthermore: “…our style is to use an apostrophe in plurals of certain abbreviations, like this one...”

Try reading that sentence out loud without sounding drunk. Clearly, if it were recast to read, “…our [dumb] style is to use an apostrophe in pluralizing certain abbreviations…” this would have opened the irony pressure-release valve, making for a less ridiculous sentence within an otherwise coherent examination of ridiculous sentences.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Disambiguation

"Counterinfurgency" is also the title of an out-of-print Continental Army field manual.

Counterinfurgency

As a matter of routine, before the Cat sits down to eat, it will order Matrix security forces into position, and direct that they remain armed with a range of inexpensive non-lethal arm-launched projectiles (NALPs). They are tasked at that time with engaging all hostile organisms who come for the cat food, and stay for the rabbit.

All combat fursonnel are bound by strict rules of engagement. Generally, bonking a threat on the rump with a medium-range NALP is effective in convincing it to look elsewhere, whatever the temptations from a plump, grass-fed citizenry.


An MBM commander addresses subordinate furcenaries in a pre-deployment briefing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Killing an old president

In today’s New York Times, Frank Rich writes of the 2005 White House Correspondent’s dinner: “Colbert’s routine did not kill.”

Colbert’s routine killed on paper. Working from notecards rather than his usual prompter, he could not stay in character to save his life. It was unquestionably, as Jon Stewart put it, “ballsalicious”; but if he had truly been at the top of his game it would have been legendalicious too.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Field's Medal, please

Castrated bucks possess greater sphericity.











Saturday, May 2, 2009

Then sniffle, and sow panic!

This is a serious piece of journalism by the New York Times. Not known for their punny headlines, yes known for their dense editorial board.

Swine Flu: First, Sow No Panic
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Hand-washing is the first lesson from SARS to apply to swine flu. Another is: Masks are only rarely useful.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Clandestine insertion

You never see 'em coming.

Stems and seeds

Spring comes and goes fast in the Matrix. Time's not long off all you could find was palatable young shoots, but everything seeds fast when the water's so low. Now it’s mostly stems and husky foxtails and you'll only find the crispy stuff around a wet ditch. Thistle is waist-high, and mean!