Friday, August 22, 2014

Behind the Blogger: Why on Earth do People Install Tiny Kitchen Sinks?

I may have written about this subject before, but if I have, it is my insatiable curiosity for why so many people apparently intentionally hobble their kitchens! I do a lot of looking at houses online, both out of curiosity, and because I'm planning for the future. There's a strong possibility that we'll be moving to a different state in the next couple of years, and I'm trying to get a feel for what's out there.

See what I mean?
At the same time, we've recently done some home renovations, so I am familiar with the decision making process when doing so. Picking countertops, faucets and sinks--for instance--takes a lot of research, comparison shopping, compromises, and weighing pros and cons. We were stuck between a 60/40 split kitchen sink, and a large single-basin for our kitchen. We settled on the 60/40, with the large side for doing dishes, and the small side to hold a dish drainer. We love it, it works for us. But our friends opted for a large single basin that could hold their cookie sheets, and roasting pans, etc. For the record, our large basin holds almost everything we use (including a turkey roaster), but we're not gourmet cooks, just your usual workaday types.


Looks a little wider, but still. . . At least it does
have a tall faucet.
A large single basin was our second choice, but for the way we do things, we would have had to store a dish rack on the counter, or make room under the sink. Ditto for a rubber wash tub, because you wouldn't want to be filling that huge sink up every time you do dishes, right? Oh, and by the way, we do have a dishwasher, but there are several items we don't put in there, and some things the dishwasher just doesn't clean well. Anyway. . .

To get to the meat of my irritation, whenever I look at houses on Zillow, particularly in Baltimore (but also in other cities), it is the kitchens that are the make-or-break the property for me. Having just completed our counter/sink/faucet/fridge/microwave overhaul, I just can't go back. Not unless the rest of the property just knocks me out. But in even 90% of the houses with great or passable kitchens, I am sure to find a single basin sink. A tiny, single-basin sink. They might be deep, they might be shallow, but they're like 20" wide, over a cabinet space that will hold a 30"-35" wide sink.

The "before" sink in our house, used for about
15 years.
My question: Why on EARTH would you intentionally hobble your kitchen in this way? And why are so many people doing it? Was there a fad or hot kitchen trend for tiny sinks? Was there a surplus? I can't stand it, I want to know! Is there a water shortage in Baltimore and surrounding areas? Do none of these people cook or do dishes?

And while we're at it, here's another question. Tiny sink or not, why would you redo your kitchen counters, and drop in a top-mount, ugly, tinny, $75-range, Home Depot sink? And then, put one of those hideous, 4"-arched, 70s-era faucets? And I'll go further!!! Those tiny, 4" nubbin-sized, crystal-plastic-knobbed bathroom faucets? Okay, okay, YES, we did too, before the renovation. Though after, I marveled that we kept them for so long. Faucets aren't that expensive. Who decided that the standard sizes would be little, cramped things with no utility? Arrgghh. But, I'm getting off on a tangent. The core question, somebody please explain to me: Why did little, tiny, single-basin sinks in kitchens become a thing?
Whether it's a double like ours, or a single, why go small?

Right Wing World: Perspective on President Obama, Vacations and Presidentin'

I knew that President Obama was going to have a tough row to hoe as President, and said so back then. I knew that the opposition would be unrelenting and unapologetic. It frankly amazes me that the American public can have such short historical memory, and even ponder voting GOP in the fall. It makes no kind of sense.

This GOP House of Representatives and minority Senate has been the least effective, and most obstructive Congress in American History. Their leaders are John Boner Boehner and Mitch McConnell. . .the bronze bomber and the sleepy tortoise. McConnell failed in his efforts to make Obama a one-term President, but has been just as intractable in doing anything whatsoever that might be something Obama wants to do--even if it was originally a Republican idea. In short, voting Republican because you're unhappy with the state of things MAKES NO SENSE.

Image from source, NewsCorpse
But look no further than the current Right Wing World freakouts about Obama golfing or Obama going on vacation to see the cognitive dissonance at work. It's only one of many examples where every president does something, Obama does it less, but Obama is the devil. It. Makes. No. Sense.

[Excerpt]

STFU About Obama’s Vacations Already And Remember Where Obama Was May 1, 2011
 
The incessant and ignorant fixation on when, where, and how often President Obama takes vacations is becoming surreal in its frequency and fervor. The President’s critics seem to be obsessed with the issue. Never mind that Obama has taken far fewer vacation days than his predecessors, or that there has never been any negative incident arising from his holidays, or that the presidency travels with the President wherever he goes, the compulsion to relentlessly attack this President is irresistible to the politicians and pundits on the right. And they are not above outright lying about it. . .

Read more at: NewsCorpse

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to a sCARRIE Level

His dirty pillows are showing. Hat tip to my li'l sis for the link. Thanks, Jen!
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh, Good! MItch McConnell Promises Shutdown if GOP Takes Senate

You know, this isn't the first time Mitch McConnell warned us how awful he is. When he says shit like this, believe him.

[Excerpt

McConnell eyes more shutdowns following GOP gains
 
It’s tempting to think the 2014 midterms may not matter much. Assuming Republicans keep their House majority, which seems very likely, the legislative process in 2015 and 2016 will probably look an awful lot like the legislative process since 2011 – congressional inaction. GOP lawmakers will continue to reject compromises and negotiations no matter who controls the upper chamber. . .

Read more at: MSNBC 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rick Perry Booked on Felony Charges

Oops. Image from source, AOL
I know, I know. My conservative readers (both of you, hi guys!) may say that the charges on Perry are flimsy and won't hold up. That might be true. There are plenty of pundits on the left saying that very thing. That's something you'll rarely see on the right, by the way. The John Boner Boehner lawsuit against President Obama is flimsier, but Right Wing World drools at the prospect, or wants it to go further to impeachment!

So please, let me take a little joy in that headline, willya?

[Excerpt]

Texas Gov. Perry arrives for booking on two felony charges

Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrived at a county courthouse Tuesday for booking on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors. "I'm going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. And we will prevail," Perry said before walking into the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, where a grand jury indicted him last week. . .

Read more at: AOL

Don Pardo, the Voice of Saturday Night Live, Dead at 96

Well, this was of course inevitable. But sad. Don Pardo has simply been a voice on NBC practically since there has been an NBC. My first knowledge of him was as the voice of Saturday Night Live from episode 1 in 1975, and right up to the present, missing only a season. Pardo's voice is so distinctive, I'm curious if they'll just drop an announcer from here on out. Who could replace him? RIP, Mr. Pardo

[Excerpt]

Don Pardo Dead: Voice Of 'Saturday Night Live,' Dies At 96

Don Pardo, television and radio announcer best known as the voice of NBC's "Saturday Night Live," died on Monday, August 18 in Tucson, Ariz., his daughter and an NBC representative confirmed.
Cause of death has not been released at this time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Rick Perry's Fool in Prison Blues (Another Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

Yes, I know this is a cheat; using a Rocky Mountain Mike parody, two posts in a row. But I tell you, the news isn't snarkable at the moment, at least not with my meager talents. So, I'm leaving it to Mike, a professional! Plus, it was an unexpected work night, so I have that as my excuse.
 

G.I. Cop (A Rocky Mountain Mike Ad Parody)

Leave it to Rocky Mountain Mike to find a nugget of humor in the ongoing crisis in Ferguson, Missouri. Though, hopefully we're getting a consensus that the militarization of the police is at the very least disturbing.

If you want more Rocky Mountain Mike, go here.
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rick Perry Indicted. Oops.

Yes, Governor Oops McGoodhair has found himself in a bit of a pickle. And though he brushed off the charges as "sketchy," it's never good to be charged with dual felonies. Whether they get him on this is open to speculation. But do I think Rick Perry is a vindictive prick? I do.

[Excerpt]

What the Hell Just Happened in Texas, and Why Was Rick Perry Just Indicted?
 
Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted Friday on charges of abuse of power—a first degree felony—and coercion—a third degree felony. The charges stem from a 2013 scandal that has been quietly rumbling in the Lone Star State as Perry has been floated as a viable contender for the Republican nomination in 2016. This is a complex case, which might be why it has not made national headlines the way other recent, state-level scandals (like Bridgegate, in New Jersey) have. Below, I have outlined a somewhat confusing short version of events, and a longer, more colorful explanation that involves alcohol, police, and masks. . .

Read more at: The Daily Beast

Blast from the Past: Class of '84, The Movies

This will be my last Class of '84 edition of Blast from the Past for a while. But my 30th class reunion was this weekend, and I missed it. So, I've still got that year 30 years ago on my mind. There were actually quite a lot of very good movies in 1984, and of course, a lot of schlock. My list is mixture, and includes some of my favorites.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street - Most horror franchises are fairly thin on plot, heavy on mayhem. This one, by Wes Craven, started strong, at least as strong as the original Halloween in style and impact. It remains one of my favorite films from that year, or any year. Plus: Johnny Depp!

2. Ghostbusters - The silly theme song sticks with you (even if it was a ripoff of a Huey Lewis number), but the movie is timeless. Oh, sure, it's clearly an 80s flick, but the humor is transcendent. It's one of Bill Murray's (and Harold Ramis' and Rick Moranis') best.


3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Yes, everyone thought this one was a weaker installment than Raiders of the Lost Ark. But they didn't know what was coming with Curse of the Crystal Skull, now, did they? I worked at a theater for this movie's entire run. I know every line. Harrison Ford is fantastic in it, and I don't care what anyone says, so was Kate Capshaw.

4. Supergirl - A flop, but a charming flop. Without it, we may not have had Helen Slater to kick around (and she was great in Ruthless People a couple of years later). Plus, you've got Faye Dunaway chewing the (cardboard) scenery, and dreamy Hart Bochner! It's time to revisit Kara Zor-El.



5. Gremlins - This is a very cute film, with a very cute puppet creature, and very cute leading actors of both sexes. Hard to top that. Plus, it's funny/gory. Maybe a first for that. My brother told me the story, line by line, and ruined it for me. But I won't do that to you, because I'm not a douche nozzle.

6. Top Secret! - By the same guys who did Airplane! and Police Squad!, this one spoofs cold war spy movies, war movies, Elvis movies, beach movies and The Blue Lagoon. Yes, it's kind of scattershot, but it's hilarious. It's in my top five all-time favorite comedies. And Val Kilmer was really great with his own singing and dancing. If you've never seen it, check it out.

7. The Terminator - Not nearly as slick and shiny as its immediate sequel, this one managed to grab you by the throat on a budget. Arnold Schwarzenegger found a role that he embodied perfectly.

8. Sixteen Candles - I came late to this one, which is odd, since I was part of the target audience. But when I finally got around to it, I did see the charm. And finally understood what "Long Duk Dong" was.



9. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter - It was far from the final chapter. But it was--at the time--the best of the series, and the biggest money-maker as well. A notch above the rest of the sequels, but still just mindless fun. And hey, Crispin Glover!

10. Beverly Hills Cop - Eddie Murphy was only a smidge behind Michael Jackson in popularity in the early 80s. This film (with an assist from a very funny Bronson Pinchot) put Murphy further into orbit.



And that'll do it for the week, and for the topic for a while. Here's hoping this is a better week than last. Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

David Gregory Out as Host of Meet the Press

Image from source, Politics USA
I started watching Meet the Press (and often one or two of the other Sunday shows, Face the Nation, This Week and FOX "News" Sunday) some time during the George W. Bush administration. Oh, I'd caught it a few times in my life, but not regularly. I thoroughly despised the entire Dubya cabal, and will even cop to having a moderate case of Bush Derangement Syndrome for a little while. So, I was more politically plugged in, and this is one way to do that.

Unfortunately, these shows are also really horrible, in many ways. Awful. Almost every guest (with rare exceptions) is thoroughly rehearsed in their side's talking points, and will steer the argument back to them at all costs. In fact, they'll often go to talking points that don't even relate to the question. Which side is worse about distortion, spinning and even lying probably depends upon your political leanings. But there is no doubt who gets more coverage: Republicans. In study after study, the GOP gets more guests by a mile, regardless of who holds the White House or Congress.

Distressingly, it's the old, (pasty) white, male variety of Republican that gets the most opportunity to
Good luck, dude. You're going to need it
sling their spin, notably John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who appear to be joined at the hip. If the green room had a bridal suite, it would be occupied by those two. If it's Sunday, it's the John and Lindsey Show. It's tired, oh so tired.

David Gregory is not the worst host of this type of show. Chris Wallace is worse. But David Gregory is an odd figure, as these things go: nobody seems to like him. Conservatives think Gregory is a liberal hack. Liberals, conversely think, Are you freaking insane? He's a conservative hack! They may be both right. But I'd rather just say, "hack." His questioning style is very surfacy, and geared toward making his own news, with "gotcha" questions. He very often seemingly frames his questions from the perspective of the opposition's talking points. He's smug. He's smarmy. And I'm not sorry to see him go. As I'm sure everyone is saying about this story, he's no Tim Russert.

You know who else isn't Tim Russert? Chuck Todd. His interviewing style may prove to be better than Gregory's. But otherwise, he seems to be almost exactly the same sort of figure: not liked very well by either side. I suppose an argument could be made that such a quality is a good thing, but probably not if you're looking for ratings.

[Excerpt]
 
David Gregory Is Officially Fired as Chuck Todd Takes Over NBC’s Meet The Press

The axe finally fell today as David Gregory confirmed that he is out at Meet The Press, and is leaving NBC. Chuck Todd will be the new host of the Sunday morning staple.

David Gregory got the boot fast. This was a literal don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. According to CNN, “The sources confirmed widespread speculation that David Gregory, the moderator of the iconic Sunday morning public affairs program for the past six years, will be replaced by Todd. One of the sources said the transition will be swift — so swift that Gregory will not even host “Meet the Press” this weekend. . .”
 
Read more at: Politics USA

Friday, August 15, 2014

L-E-S-B-I-A-N (A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

If you missed it, Jonathan Saenz, the President of "Texas Values," ironically lost his wife to a lesbian lover. Which is hilarious, I don't care who you are. And to prove it, here's the Rocky Mountain Mike song parody, to the tune of D-I-V-O-R-C-E by Tammy Wynette. Enjoy!

And to get more Rocky Mountain Mike, go here.
 

Rand Paul's Your Man (A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

I missed this fantastic Stand By Your Man parody by Rocky Mountain Mike. So, here it is!

Get more Rocky Mountain Mike here.
 

Lewis Black Blasts Rush Limbaugh on Robin Williams Suicide Comments

Image from source RawStory
As I have stated on this blog in the past, Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat, disgusting pig. He proves it endlessly, and did it again this week when he blamed Robin Williams' suicide on liberals.  And as is typical for Limbaugh, when he got sufficient heat for it (even from some on his own side), he walked it back. Well, sort of. He--of course--did not apologize. He claimed the liberals (of course) took him out of context. They did not. He knows his listeners will believe anything he tells them, so he lied  to them. But I guess they deserve what they get.

Comedian Lewis Black, a friend of Williams', didn't take Limbaugh's comments well. Who could? So he gave Rush both barrels (or middle fingers, more aptly) in a Facebook message. And he couldn't be more on the money.

[Excerpt]

Lewis Black blasts Limbaugh: ‘F*CK YOU’ for making light of Robin Williams’ death
 
“F*CK YOU Rush Limbaugh,” Black wrote on his Facebook page. “Your statements were beyond cruel and stupid. They were intolerable. Enough is enough from you. You are an idiot. Don’t you ever demean the death of another human being. He was my friend. You disgust me.”

Read more at: Raw Story

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Maddow: Iraq Engagement on "Constitutional Autopilot" with Absent Congress


So, Ferguson, Missouri. What's Up With That?

Is this the new normal in small town USA? Creepy.
Image from source, New York Times.
If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you may have noticed that it's been rather thin around here, of late. Though I do tend to post less in the summer, there's more to it than that. I just can't wrap my hands around some of the horrible news going on in the world. You know? I mean, when it comes to the problems in Ukraine, Israel and Iraq, what can be said? These are long-running, war-prone regions, and I'm not going to pretend I have the answer. And shoot, most of the people who are paid to be experts don't seem to know what they're talking about either, most of the time.

Now, the news out of Ferguson, Missouri is a little closer to home. And my instinct in this case would be to reserve judgment until all the facts are in. I'm not one to immediately jump to the defense of the police or the accused. But I have to say, the cops are coming off badly here. Very, very badly. And I agree with the meme that is ricocheting around the internet: what does a small town police force need with all of this military gear? They look like an army invading a country. Is this what we want American towns to look like, occupied territory?

So, here's a little more on that. I'm going to try to get my brain in the game, but summer's not over yet. I still have that excuse.

[Excerpt]

Amid Protests in Missouri, Officer’s Name Is Still Withheld
 
In the five days since an unarmed young black man was fatally shot by a police officer here, the selective release of information about the shooting, and especially the anonymity granted to the officer, has stoked frustrations in this largely African-American community north of St. Louis, where residents describe increasingly tense relations with the police. . .

Read more at: New York Times

What Happens in Vegas: Celine Dion Cancels. . .Everything

You would think that I'm Celine Dion's target demo. After all, I love powerful, female singers. But I go for rockers like Pat Benatar or Melissa Etheridge, and pop divas like Cyndi Lauper, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. The overwrought power balladeers are just not my thing. But I will concede that she's got an amazing voice, and is an amazing talent. She also has a legion of fans.

Which is why this is rather big news. Dion is one of the biggest draws on the Las Vegas Strip, and has cancelled all of her shows into next year, due to health issues of herself and her husband. Here's hoping for a swift recovery for all concerned.

[Excerpt]

Celine Dion cancels Vegas, showbiz schedule for health, husband

Celine Dion has canceled all Las Vegas shows through March and an Asian tour, and postponed her entire showbiz schedule, to focus on her husband’s cancer fight and her own struggle with an inflammation of her throat muscles. “I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband’s healing, and to do so, it’s important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children,” Dion said in a Caesars Palace news release emailed to the media at 6 a.m. Wednesday. . .

Read more at: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Movie Legend Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

Image from source, CBS News
It's actually hard to believe that actress Lauren Bacall was only 89 years old, when you consider the era in whih she became famous. But for the longest time, I took an odd comfort in the fact that she was still around. I don't know why, I guess it was because she was among the last of her generation of movie stars, and it hasn't been all that long since she last worked. In fact, I remember checking the IMDb credits for an episode of Family Guy, and indeed, it was her!

Beyond her classic movies, she was also a voice artist, voicing countless commercials over the years. Small wonder, with that trademark husky voice of hers. And she was in more than a few "modern" (compared to her classics) films, from Stephen King's Misery to the comedy My Fellow Americans to the Barbra Streisand flick, The Mirror Has Two Faces. But oddly enough, I'll always remember her first and foremost for The Fan, a cheesy 80s horror flick! RIP, Lauren. You were a class act all the way.

[Excerpt]

Legendary actress Lauren Bacall dies at age 89

Known for her husky voice and sultry looks, Lauren Bacall, the model-turned-actress who starred with husband Humphrey Bogart in classic movies such as "Key Largo" and "To Have and Have Not," has died at age 89. Her son told CBS News that she died Tuesday morning in New York City. The Humphrey Bogart estate also confirmed the death. . .

Read more at: CBS News

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sarah Palin Channel's Latest Folksy Video

'Cause ya know ya wanna see it, also.

[Excerpt]

Sarah Palin Channel's Latest Video Is Just A Bunch Of Word Salad


 
The latest video on Sarah Palin's eponymous online network was billed as a rebuttal to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-MA) Netroots Nation speech, but some of Palin's points were just too incoherent to follow. In the video posted Friday, Palin responded point by point to eleven "commandments" that Warren outlined in her speech to the progressive confab last month. Warren's sixth point, that fast food workers deserve a living wage, drew so much scorn from Palin that she stumbled over her words a few times. . .

Read more at: Talking Points Memo
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