Ma Hoyt: You have no idea my capacity for making things up.
Cynic: Does it really count as wisdom then?
Ma Hoyt: Wisdom. It's all subjective.
I'm working up a big post on illegal immigration, as I have lots of strong feelings on the whole subject (and even a couple that are not horrific in their political incorrectness), but right now I've got a simple little train of thought. Why do people keep carping on the rights of illegal aliens?
I mean, sure, they've got some basic human rights. But the way I'm hearing certain people talk, it's like by trying to punish and deport illegal aliens for having broken a law, we're depriving them of some right that they have. The only thing I can compare it to is someone pissing and moaning about the rights of bank robbers after they've been caught as regards their continued freedom and rights to keep their stolen money.
You know, the more I like the bank robber:illegal alien analogy, the more I like it. Essentially victimless crimes on a microscopic level, crimes against society on a macroscopic level, not necessarily (but potentially) violent crimes, trying to improve their status in life by breaking the law... alright, so maybe I am going to be a bit politically incorrect.
Well, it's official, Dell is buying Alienware. The guys at Alienware insist that this won't impact quality.... I have my doubts.
"A hacker would consider being asked to write
add x to y giving z
z = x+y
as something between an insult to his intelligence and a sin against God."
- Paul Graham, "Being Popular"
Many of you have been asking about my wife and her family in tones that nearly demand an update.
Anna's mom is technically discharged and is staying at the hospital (frequently residing) with my father-in-law to keep him company and keep his spirits up. After some faulty starts, his ankle is now plated together, covered in skin (grafted from elsewhere on his body) and being forcibly kept in place until such time as it is able to be moved. Its owner is less than pleased at the prospect of being cooped up, in pain and unable to move. We're all praying that he is released soon.
My brother-in-law who lives in East Bufu, East Texas (really the middle of Jack Nowhere) is trekking up to Denver with his 4-month-old and wife to help take his parents back to West Bufu, Colorado and assist them in their attempt to get life back to some semblance of normalcy. Oh, and my father-in-law, being self-employed, has a number of contracted jobs that need to be done that my brother-in-law is hoping to finish in the time he's up there. I don't envy him that at all, I've seen the kind of work-load my father-in-law keeps. That would be the kind of thing to drive me insane, even if it weren't plumbing and construction work.
And as for my wife. She's healing up rather nicely... except for the unrelated infection, the fact that the pacemaker seems to be programmed to run too fast, and the fact that her stomach really seems to be hating on all food that isn't soup. Which is to say she's more or less her usual self. She's not quite up to taking swings at me for getting out of line yet, but I'm sure that too will come, but I might get a grace period for trying to be a decent nurse... ;-).
To those who are curious, Anna has now successfully acheived the status of part woman, part machine. Her pacemaker implant surgery lasted just over an hour, and after 4 hours of observation, a false start on leaving, another 30 minutes of waiting for Anna's light-headedness (from standing up too fast and a bit of underhydration) to subside, and an hour to get Anna's chest x-ray, we got back to the digs that we've been staying at in Houston.
Anna was even feeling well enough to undertake an hour drive to go eat gumbo with family, less than 12 hours after getting her pacemaker installed. So yeah, she's a little green (literally), itching with the discomfort of healing, and mildly irritated about her mostly immobile left arm, but Anna's doing pretty well. I'll try to get her to post later.
I just got a call from my wife, who got a call from her younger brother.
My parents-in-law were on their way down to Texas and got in an accident with a semi. They're ok, but the semi is totalled and it seems that they're at least shaken up and maybe a little injured... and thus are en route to a hospital somewhere in Southwest Colorado, as of my last information. I will be keeping my faithful charges in the Ice Cave, Iowa and Cincinnati abreast of the latest developments... so if you're not hearing it here, tune in there or, by all means, call my cell.
Update: As with anything of this nature, the initial facts were lacking and incorrect in places. It seems that Anna's parents collided head-on with a pick-up truck due to some slipping on the ice (it's not clear which party slipped), knocking both cars off the road on opposite sides. The occupant of the truck, upon it coming to a stop, jumped out of the truck and proceeded to run across the road, running in front of a semi going 55 mph, which hit him and killed him.
Anna's dad had a bone sticking out of his ankle and her mom had neck pain, probably whiplash. They are both en route to Denver, where they are going to the hospital. Anna's younger brother came to get the stuff out of the Suburban so that it could be totalled, so he will probably be following later to Denver. Combine all of this with some nasty icy weather in Colorado and you've got a long day ahead in the family.
At this point we're not sure what to do about Anna's surgery. Oh yeah, which, by the way, the morons at the Dr's office called up and said, "Didn't we tell you Wednesday? Well, it'll be on Wednesday now!"
Update #2: It turned out that Anna's mom had a ruptured spleen and what appeared to be a cracked vertebrae. Her dad had a compound fracture (possibly broken in two places) in his leg, apparently right above the ankle. They were rushed to a hospital in Alamosa (I think) and then taken by helecopter to Denver, where my mother-in-law went into surgery. There, they took out her spleen, her problematic gall bladder (hey, they were in there anyways), and discovered that while her neck appears to be fine, she's got broken ribs on both sides. But she got out of surgery find and was recovery in the ICU last we heard. My father-in-law was just getting prepped for surgery to deal with the leg.
I'm sure we'll be hearing more today. Anna's blog is keeping updates also, but since I hate reading on her template and her comments are still jacked (something that I should fix), I will keep the news up-to-date here as I am able.
Thanks for all of your prayers.
*Cynic picks up the phone and inhales to start speaking*
Customer: I'm having a problem with my computer's sound system.
Cynic: Alright, sir.
Customer: It's making a funny squealing noise and I can't hear anything.... let me show you.
Cynic: No, sir that's.... *interrupted by loud blast of shrill feedback*
Customer: What do you think I should do about that?
Cynic: Well sir, I can't really diagnose it over the phone, but I would be happy to help you if you could bring your computer system in.
Customer: That costs money, don't it?
Cynic: Yes sir.
Customer: You won't do it over the phone for free?
Cynic: Well sir, as I just told you, I can't do it over the phone, for free or otherwise.
Customer: Well... ok, where y'all located?
*Cynic gives standard directions* On the loop, across the street from Johnny Carino's and Home Depot, next to Jack's Natural Foods.
Customer: Ummm.... I'm new to town, where's the loop at?!
Sidebar: "The Loop" surrounds just about all of Longview and is the main thoroughfare on the North Side of town, accessing the mall, all main eateries, both Walmarts, etcetera...
Cynic: Alright sir... why don't you tell me where you're located.
Customer: Ummm.... I don't really know... does Gilmore road sound right to you?
Cynic: Right... ok, yeah *proceeds to give directions from Gilmer Road*
Customer: So yeah, can I call you if I get lost.
Cynic: Yes sir.
Customer: What's y'all's number?
Cynic: Sir... you just called me.
Customer: Oh... yeah. Thanks!
Cynic: Best of luck sir.
It should be noted that if he runs out of luck and never makes it here... well... you get the idea.
It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp.
So I watched the Academy Awards last night... and I personally thought Jon Stewart was hillarious. Sadly, the stars at the awards don't excel in laughing at themselves... so Stewart's self-deprecating shots at the hypocrisy and arrogance of Hollywood, which resonate well with his audience outside of the Kodak Theatre, barely managed to stir a chuckle from the crowd within it.
In light of Ardith's review, I guess I'll do a bit of looking into some of the individual awards. I was rather amused by the Academy's attempt at drawing attention to some of the lesser-known categories like "Audio Mixing" and "Set Design" through Stewart's trademark political attack-style commercial spoofs... and I was rather saddened by the lack of quality entries to choose from in the Best Original Song category. The three nominees were: Traveliní Thru, from Transamerica (Dolly Parton), In the Deep, from Crash (Bird York), and Itís Hard Out Here for a Pimp, from Hustle & Flow (Three 6 Mafia). The first song is abysmal, the second mediocre, and the third, while amusing, is obnoxiously repetitive and annoying as hell. Given the choices, it's no real surprise that "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" won. Though, every now and again, I suppose the Academy is allowed to perpetuate its string of "Awards that make you wonder." Oh... and to quote Jon Stewart: "For anyone keeping record, Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. For Three 6 Mafia, one."
Beyond my general disdain for this year's Best Original Song, I thought the Awards did a rather decent job overall. As with every year, I was surprised and ashamed at the number of award-winners and top nominees that I haven't seen and, as in past years, resolved to get Wheeler's worthless self to start ordering some of those movies in as soon as they come out to DVD. And I mean, as much as I really don't want to see anything about country music, the fact that Reese Witherspoon now has an Oscar for her work in "Walk the Line" may just mean that I can see it... maybe.
In any event, to quote Jon Stewart, "I think being a pimp just got a little bit easier."