Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Friday, December 19, 2003

TONDAR KINDA NIGHT

Check out this story about a Latvian man that almost drank himself to death. I wonder what his blood alcohol content would have been on an actual scale. How sad though when...

"The last thing I remember before passing out was a bottle of home-made alcohol I took from someone."

Kinda like when I walked in on Zoo Pants when he had passed out taking a dump at 308 E. Williams.
RING SICKNESS

I will be quitting my job here in Malebolge on January 9th. However, before I go, I want to make sure that I use most of my sicktime since I will not be compensated for it. So yesterday I called in with a case of ring sickness and took in "The Return of the King." This was an amazing movie. Not only was the story great but the film techniques employed by Peter Jackson do a great job of building tension. From the music, to the editing, to the acting, this is a wonderful piece of concise story telling. Hopefully, this is the year Jackson wins the Oscar that he deserves for this brilliant masterpiece.

Also, check out this interview with Gimli on the modern significance of Tolkien's masterpiece. From Elfen-Dwarf relations to Islamo-terror, Gimli knows his crap and is not your typical Hollywood baffoon. Money quote:

"I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me."

Me too. The interview gives away some "Return of the King" details so be warned. But especially in this new movie it's beautiful to see a call to arms a long with man's determination in the face of adversity. That is definately my favorite theme of the trilogy.
OPERATION DESERT SANTA

This week in The Onion...

American forces are now making sure that the Iraqis have the best christmas ever. In addition to bringing order and democracy American troops are now also enforcing Christmas cheer. In the words of General Sanchez:

"All American military personnel have been instructed that the observation of Christmas should be carried out efficiently and tastefully, with minimal emphasis on the season's commercial aspects. We must keep in mind that the reason for the season-oriented campaign is for Iraq to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Zoo Pants--You old guys party pretty hard, it's too bad I won't remember any of this fun tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

IRAQ STICKS IT TO THE UN

Check out this article from the NYTimes about Iraq's new governing council taking the U.N. to task for appeasing terror. Money quote...

"Settling scores with the United States-led coalition should not be at the cost of helping to bring stability to the Iraqi people...The United Nations as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny that lasted over 35 years, and today we are unearthing thousands of victims in horrifying testament to that failure."

Ouch! Glad I'm not Kofi Annan. I think the war in Iraq has proven that the U.N. has out lasted it's usefulness as a peace keeping institution. It's either that or the Iraqi people do not deserve democracy and should have stayed under Saddam's rule. What say you Kofi?

"Now is not the time to pin blame and point fingers."

Of course not, somebody may realize how worthless you really are.

IT'S ALL AMERICA'S FAULT

Communism has fallen thus leaving America and capitalism triumphant. However, since they are the only source of power in the world many liberals assume they are also the only source of oppression. However, in reality the left is in trouble. Instead of seeking to free the Iraqi people from the clutches of their classical enemy fascism, the left has forgotten their compassionate roots and has abandoned the cause of actually trying to help people. It makes you wonder how many mass graves were filled while America played the multinationalist and helpped the French appease terror. Check out this editorial from the Guardian that attacks the left for their current state of depravity.
IT'S ALL WHITEY'S FAULT

From Pigpen...

"Jesse Jackson, GO AWAY! Just because I think it's funny I'd like to let the Rev. know that everything I do is racially motivated. The way I drive my badass truck...racially motivated. The dump I take on the clock...racially motivated. The house I'm trying to buy is racially motivated as well...it's white! For cryin out cryin out, ENOUGH! Why can't the Rev. go the way of Farakan or at least be hilariously retarded like The Rev part deux (Sharpton)."

In Jesse Jackson's America everybody is equal. Some citizens would just happen to be more equal than others. You just keep shaking down Toyota and Beton Harbor to pay for your illegitimate children.
WHO LET THE DORKS OUT?!

From Pigpen...

"Attention all dorks - this behavior is not acceptable. As much as I like the books and the movies, I'd like to think that this is a sub order in the hierarchy of dorkdom. Nevertheless judging by the pictures and text I'd have to say I'm not the least bit shocked at the clientele."
PIGPEN ON THE TOP 10

"The MSNBC list was crap - those places were pretty obscure and I had only heard of 3 of them, one being Moscow - I know where that's at, that's about all. This list seemed more like a "hey look at all the weird places I've been, oh, and I went to Sturgis too". I thought your list was much more comprehensive and encompassing a wide range of fairly well heard of places. None of this - you have to go to Bob's diner in some Vietnam ghetto before you die. I have a feeling it could be the last place you go before you die. MSNBC your list sucks - Tondar your list is good."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

DEAN AFTER SADDAM

Check out David Brooks' breakdown of Howard Dean's worldview. Like many Democrats, Dean is living in a fantasy world where...

"People, other than a few bizarre terrorists, would be working together if not for Bush. In the Dean worldview, all problems are matters of technique and negotiation."

If only it were that simple. If only the French weren't obstructionists. If only the Saudis could understand how their terrorists make us feel.

But anyways, back in reality, it will be interesting to see how the capture of Saddam will affect Dean's campaign since it is entirely based upon the premise of appeasement and a reaction to the war in Iraq. If Gephardt and Lieberman were smart they would go after Dean on this point with TV spots and all that. In addition, they would revive 3rd way politics that made Clinton and Blair so successful. But something tells me that America's democrats are too angry to try this.
FOR SETH'S CULTURE

If you have much Kosher-style, you just may be on the cutting edge of fashion.
10 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE

I went to MSNBC travel this morning and found a very cool article about the top 10 places you should visit while you're here on this earth. Now Ole Tondar is a pretty good traveler though I haven't been to 1 single place on their list. So while MSNBC learns to suck it, check out my ultra cool list of places that some of us have actually seen...

10. The Grand Canyon, AZ: "It's a long way down that Holiday Road" but this is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's freakin' deep and it's freakin' wide. Plus I puked there!

9. Disney World, FL: Sure the happiest place on earth has become our planet's biggest corporate whore. But it doesn't make it any less fun when the pirates and Brer Fox send you over the waterfall, the hippos attack your Jungle Cruise, or you sing along with the the 25 year old robot in the "Carousel of Progress." And if you're looking for some fun that is a bit more mature, be like JC and bring along ole Flasky-Flask and make fun of diversity in that "Small Small World."

8. Hagia Sofia and Istanbul, Turkey: The farther east you go the more messed up things become. In 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople and turned the greatest church in history into a Mosque. In modern Instanbul you can see how they ruined the glorious Hagia Sofia as well as take in history, Islam, and capitalism at their best.

7. Mt. St. Michelle and Normandy, France: Everybody knows how I feel about the French. However, this is one of the coolest places on earth. There's the 1000 year old mountain monestary island of Mt. St. Michelle (where you can get attacked by bats, millions of bats). There's the Bayoux tapestry that tells the story of how Harold betrayed William the conqueror and how William had to go bust some Anglo-ass across the channel. Plus this is where America turned the tide on the Nazis at D-Day and liberated an ungrateful France from the clutches of Hitler.

6. Yellowstone, WY, MT, ID: This is also one of the most beautiful places on Earth. From forests, to mountains, to wildlife, to even a weakening of the Earth's crust this place has everything to inspire natural awe.

5. La Alhambra, Spain: There's an old saying that "You have not lived until you've seen the Alhambra." So of course this would have to be included on any must see list. This beautiful palace has intricate Islamic decor. In addition, it's position high above the plains of Andalucia provides a spectacular view of the Sierra Nevada mountains as well.

4. Mystra, Greece: As the Ottoman Turks became more powerful they threatened much of Byzantine Greece. At this point the ancient town of Sparta was abandoned and the Greeks made their way up into the mountain city of Mystra. Centuries after the threat passed, the people began to abandon this town a return to the fertile valley of Sparta thus leaving behind a Byzantine ghost-town of ruined, houses, churches, palaces, and monastaries. Plus I even stumbled upon the Cave of Death and Mystery which was full of many many bones (oooh spooky!).

3. Pamplona, Spain: This is where they have the annual festival of San Fermin every July, when the bravest of men hit the streets to run with the bulls. But before that takes place there is an all-night fiesta of Kalimatxo and San Miguel. Yeah, Tondar participated in both thus marking the morning when I became a man and exponentially increased my coolness.

2. Las Vegas, NV: If there is one city that screams Tondar, this is it. Picture a city that never sleeps because it can't stop boozing, gaming, and doing the Lord's work. It has the coolest clubs, the brightest lights, and the cheapest booze. Need I say more?

1. Pompeii, Italy: In 79 A.D. Mt. Vesuvius errupted burrying this city under ash. It was not rediscovered until the 18th Century. Since then the burried city continues to grow even to this day revealing a wonderfully preserved glimpse into life in Roman Times. This place is my all time favorite destination because it reveals the fragility of human civilization. It also shows how truly advanced the Romans were. Life wasn't very different in 79 A.D. then it was in the 18th Century. Where would we be today if there hadn't been a dark age? What if our society can be burried and forgotten like Pompeii? On top of all the philosophical questions Pompeii raises, it also has the best ruins in the world, which makes it the most Tondarrific destination on Earth. Take that Travel Channel.
SETH ON GLOBAL WARMING

Since Seth works in the industry, it makes sense to turn to him for a breakdown of what we know and don't know about global warming. Here's a rundown of the known unknowns of it all...

"The funny thing is, environmental consideration should have been one of the most bipartisan initiatives our generation ever gets.

The information we have is as follows:

1. Global Warming is still just a theory. There is no completely conclusive evidence that it is occurring.

2. Most non-partisan models for Global Warming suggest an increase of one to three percent in global temperature. It's enough to cause a few more icebergs every year and increase flooding in low coastal areas (like Rio de Janiero).

3. The biggest danger from Global Warming is that it can affect where crop belts will be in 150 years. A three percent increase would mean the corn belt moves about two degrees toward each pole. Is that big? For Iowa it's huge. Moving crop belts pole-bound is always a bad sign because the glaciated landscapes are less conducive to farming and there's less arable land globally at 45 degrees latitude than there is at 37.

4. Our hard evidence for Global Warming comes from global temperature reports. The problem is, the reporting period is incredibly slim. We've been recording temperature in industrial countries for 80 years, globally for 50. The data before 1950 is almost completely urban. Satellite monitoiring has been going on now for 23 years, and we're just now getting back some of its findings. But statisticians have noted, quite correctly, that you need about 100,000 years of data to make a judgement.

5. Every bit of soft evidence (evidence that allows us to make educated predictions to back the theory of Global Warming) points to Global Warming being a reality.

-Geologic study suggests that we're actually in a 60,000 year intermittent period between ice ages within a cold epoch. Basically, unless this ice epoch is coming to a close, we should be getting a few degrees colder every century or so.

-The 23 years of satellite study that we do have does fit the model of Global Warming, but the fluctuation we've seen is also well within the bounds of the margin of error.

-No theory has been proposed that creates a viable model in which current levels of pollution won't cause Global Warming.

-The 100 years of weather reporting we do have also fits the Global Warming model - it's about 1.5 degrees warmer today than in 1900. This increase is closer to the edge of, but still within, the margin of error for that sample. But also take into account that the pre-1950 data from cities would make data we have actually warmer than it probably was across the globe.

As you can see, the evidence is decidedly inconclusive, but does favor the possibility that Global Warming is a reality. However, this is lost in the partisan bickering."

Monday, December 15, 2003

FUZZY MATH

Well, Saturday morning I went to breakfast with 3 of my A2 friends. They all ordered massive pancake plates, while Tondar only ordered a $3.19 patty melt. Well the check came and I dropped $4 on the pile figuring that would be enough to cover tax and a 15% tip. Well, immediately Seth's brother started getting on my case for being a cheap-ass so I slapped down a quarter too. However, that was not good enough and grumpiness ensued. But since I have a calculator handy let's breakdown the numbers and see who exactly was getting the discount...

patty melt plus 6% tax...
3.19x1.06=3.38

Now originally I wanted to leave $4. That would be my burger plus roughly a 15% tip. Though more exactly an 18.3% tip.
4-3.38=.62 .62/3.38=.1834319

However, this was STILL not good enough so I tossed another quarter on bringing the total up to a 25.7% tip.
.62+.25=.87/3.38=.2573964

So yeah, there you have it. Now I'm down with being generous and paying my FAIR share but I'm not gonna subsidize your eggs and pancakes when I'm hardly eating. I'm still waiting on that apology rude-boy! And next time don't take the dutch to task over pennies. We can pinch 'em just as hard. This probably wouldn't have been a big deal but the same thing happened the night before with Seth. And I refuse to feel bad about not wanting to buy his family food. He needs to sign up for food stamps like the rest of my clients if he wants charity.
DANCING IN THE STREETS

Yesterday morning I got a call from Pigpen informing me that America had captured Saddam. This was a great moment, since he has been enemy #1 of America since 1990. Ole Tondar took to the streets with Seth, James, and some kid from Phi Psi who was wearing a cape. We danced, and chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Unfortunately since we were in Ann Arbor not everybody shared our excitement. When pedestrians did not rejoice I quickly and loudly denounced them as "Baathists" and "Islamo-fascists," which they truly are, if they cannot celebrate this triumphant day for America because they happen to hate our president.

However, in defense of President Bush, he has done a wonderful job handling this moment. This is especially true in the way he has made sure to turn the white house into a "gloat-free zone." In addition, William Safire has a theory as to why Saddam surrendered so easily. This is truly a time to rejoice. God bless America!