Brandon Starr's blog. Updated daily since March 2003. Welcome. Make yourself comfortable. Have a hot chocolate.

Brandon Starr's blog is not to be taken internally. All humor is intentional, unless indicated otherwise.
Do not read while operating heavy machinery. May cause intracranial short circuiting.
Not for children under four days of age.

If for some reason you wish to contact Brandon Starr, take a moment and reconsider.
No? Ah, well. His email is brandonstarr@yahoo.com.
It's your fault now, and don't blame me when it all goes terribly, terribly wrong.


New fiction story! Click here for "The Voice of Cassandra."

Click here for my ongoing novel: "The History of Magic in the 21st Century."

Click here for the lowdown on "The History of Magic"

Click here for my new investing blog, "Adroit Investor"

Click here for my anti-Bush shirts.

Click here for my favorite design: the 'tourist safety shirt.'

Brandon Starr is available in small, medium, and large. Contents may settle during shipping. Allow four to six weeks for delivery. Open carefully; contents under pressure. Do not incinerate. May be habit-forming--do not take if you are gassy or under the influence of mimosas. Improved; now non-staining. Ships in all colors, except puce. Prompt refund if not satisfied--simply return unused portion. All queries promptly ignored. Complaints resolved with deep, gut-blasting laughter, followed by posting complaints on nearest public wall. Not responsible for sunburns. All your base are belong to us. Act now. Beware cheap imitations. Insist on the original--Brandon Starr.

Update notification by email available below.

Some fun/useful/useless links:

The Internet Movie Database

My cousin back from Iraq, and how it changed me (my current favorite entry on this blog)

Zazzle.com

My Zazzle.com product page

Fun blogs:

infinitus opinio

Siren's Song

the mechanical jive

The Strange World

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

Librarianguish

Elven Sarah

Random Musings (Catcher)

Certifiable Princess (Sarah 2)
   

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Monday, April 26, 2004
This explains the feeling I get watching Bush stumble over a question

Research: brain response same for watching mistakes as making your own mistakes

I think we all know that feeling.  When someone is trying to get the "Wheel of Fortune" puzzle with only one blank space left and can't, and you just want to reach through the screen and throttle them.  Or watching a friend drop an easy catch.

Likely this response helps people come to the aid of others, increasing efficiency.  Imagine if you are in a primitive tribe, and some numbskull is hunting by stepping on every dry stick in their path.  If you didn't want to go over and smack them upside the head, it could jeopardize the food for your entire group.  This part is, of course, speculation on my part.

This seems to be the opposite of schadenfreude, the "shameful joy" you feel when gleefully watching someone fail.  Likely the difference has to do with your attitude towards the other person.  If they're a rival, you'll more likely feel schadenfreude; if an ally, you're likely to feel this "argh, don't do that!" response, which doesn't have a cool name that I know of.

Of course, when I watch Bush stumble, and I feel "argh" instead of schadenfreude, it's an indication that I want him to succeed.  That's not surprising, even though I differ with him on many issues.  I still want a President who is competent.  Too bad I feel "argh" on an almost constant basis.

I'll have to live with it.  Hopefully only a few more months.

Posted at 08:07 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

North Korea refuses aid by train

North Korea refuses aid by train from South Korea

If you don't fight for freedom, you'll end up like the folks in North Korea--held hostage by their tyrannical government, starved, poor, and, when disaster strikes, unable to receive help by the quickest means because of the governmental fears.

Fight for freedom, or you'll have little left to fight for.

Posted at 01:10 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Sunday, April 25, 2004
Why don't our soldiers have the equipment they need?

Newsweek:  many soldiers in Iraq not properly equipped

We're spending an awful lot of money in Iraq not to have proper equipment for our guys.

I hope that when and if my cousin gets transferred back to Iraq, he has what he needs to survive.

This is ridiculous.
 

Posted at 05:56 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Elmo says, "count the murders with me. One, two, three..."

"Sesame Street's" Gina to appear on "The Sopranos"

It sounds like a plot for a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, but it's true.

Ah, life is good.

Posted at 01:43 pm by brandonstarr
Comments (4)  

Saturday, April 24, 2004
Look, if you dare

Photomosaic:  "War President"

I agree with the artist's statement:  most of what you feel about the picture comes from how you feel about Iraq.

But why am I linking to it?

Because the Presidential Administration has been trying to keep the pictures of the soldiers, in any form, from us.  They were even upset at The release of pictures of flag-draped coffins.  Why the paranoia?

It's another form of government-as-babysitter.  They think we can't handle the truth in any form.

Support the troops.  But remember them, too, when they are killed.

Posted at 12:58 pm by brandonstarr
Comments (2)  

Friday, April 23, 2004
Vatican: no fake cannibalism for the rational

Vatican:  Communion denied to pro-abortion politicians

This of course affects Democratic Presidential candidate John F. Kerry who, like the other JFK, is Catholic.

Funny how the totalitarian ruler of a theocratic city-state can make a simple thing like the ritual eating of the flesh of a 2,000-year-dead man something odd and divisive.

He'll be gone soon, but it won't help.  He'll be replaced by another one just as psycho. 

If any of this gets your blood pressure up, relax.  Enjoy this picture of a puppy.

He's cute.  And he's smarter than the Pope.  How so?  He knows reality when he sees it.  No fake-o ghosts, bizarre vows of chastity, or pretend prayer for him.  Just good food, rolling in the grass, and enjoying the company of those he loves.

Of course, the Pope could choose to be much smarter than a simple puppy.  But, sadly, he uses the amazing powers of his human brain to twist reality inside out for himself and millions of people around the world.

So the puppy is better for the world, too.  Any chance he can be ordained when JP II goes?

Posted at 10:38 am by brandonstarr
Comments (2)  

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Come, retire in Florida. Relax.

Of course, you may have to beat back a ten-foot alligator trying to drag you into the water...

...but no place is perfect.  Really, doesn't the warm weather, regular hurricanes, and access to Disneyworld make the occasional giant reptile attack worth it?

You can even have the excitement of voting, and then wondering whether it'll actually be counted.

And we'll throw in the mosquitoes and sea-turtle-killing fire ants for free.

Posted at 11:53 am by brandonstarr
Comments (2)  

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Kerry to post military record on web site


Posted at 05:23 pm by brandonstarr
Comments (1)  

20 schoolkids killed in Iraq bombings

Coordinated attacks kill 68 Iraqis, including 20 kids

I'm not saying the Iraqi people are bad.  I know they're in a horrible situation.

All I know is, no matter how bad the economy is, whether riots were breaking out, or how bad a neighborhood the kid-killings happened in--no matter the situation, if it happened in the U.S., moms and dads in the area would COMB THAT NEIGHBORHOOD until they caught the murderers who were hiding amongst them, and tear them apart.

The pieces would then be sent to the appropriate authorities.*

I can almost understand them trying to kill US.**  We're outsiders, we're different, some have died at our hands, our soldiers are apart from them (see my earlier post about my cousin in Iraq).  But allowing bombers killing IRAQIS to live among them?  It should be intolerable.

In fact, forget the dads.  It's a horribly chauvinistic society.  But where are the concerned moms?

* Of course, they should skip the tearing-them-apart step.  But I doubt they would.

** Almost.  If they'd think rationally, they'd realize all they have to do is set up a democratic republic, and gently shove us out the door.  Then they could set up whatever crappy Islamist state they wanted.  Instead, they're letting killers roam among them.

Posted at 06:57 am by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

More on silver

Well, it's not that I think I was wrong a few days ago on silver.  But in fact, silver is being pulled down heavily.  And it's being pulled more than the recent moderate strengthening of the dollar would suggest.

But I will say that the "official yakking" about the silver market has to do with exactly that.  The Fed may move sooner than expected.  Interest rates up means stronger dollar; stronger dollar means weaker gold and silver.  Thus, gold and silver go down.

Trouble is, silver is down from the mid-$8 range to the mid-$6 range.  That's about a 25% drop.  Gold is down about 8%.

So I still think someone's trying hard to push silver down harder than market forces alone would dictate.  But even I'll stipulate that a stronger dollar implies a SOMEWHAT weaker silver market.

But not, I think, quite this weak.

For now, I've gotten out of the way.  Yep, out of silver, out of gold.  But I'm looking for a chance to get back in.  Especially into silver, because 1) the industrial-use-versus-mining gap is larger, and 2) central banks don't own thousands of tons they may dump onto the market, as they do for gold.*

So, there you go.  Short term, look out below for gold and silver.  But longer term?  I still say, watch your head on the way through the ceiling--at some point.

It's when that I have no freakin' idea about.

* Note that most of the big countries have an agreement limiting the number of tons of gold they will sell each year--but it just went up again.
 

Posted at 06:24 am by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

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