I have to admire the hard works of these folk who have created 52 bumper stickers for Sen. Barack Obama. That’s one for each state plus one for D.C. and Puerto Rico, if you are doing the math. Not all are great, but there is obvious evidence of some good creativity going on. Arizona’s bumper sticker made me laugh — “Re-elect Senator John McCain 2008.” That’s clever.

The title of their page is reminiscent of the Paul Simon song of days gone by. It say, “There Must Be…. 50 Fifty-Two Ways to Vote Obama!” I don’t know what your initial thoughts are, but mine were simple. “Only 52 ways? Just work with ACORN, and you can vote as many times as you want!”

The Democrats are using the phrase often attributed to Queen Victoria, “We are not amused.” What is the cause? A $3 bill that was up for sale at the Evergreen State Fair’s Republican Party booth. Here is part of the report from the local KOMO news:

A $3 bill has both Democrats and Republicans talking.

The controversial bill features Barack Obama wearing a headdress, propelling a widespread myth that he’s Muslim. Some call it a joke, but not everyone’s laughing.

Carol Ronken is, in fact fuming over the bill which she found at the Evergreen State Fair’s Republican Party booth.

“It’s racist. It’s disgusting,” she said.

On the bill the words “da man” are printed under his face, perpetuating the myth. Obama is, in fact, a Christian.

Uh, using “da man” perpetuates the myth that Obama is Muslim? I don’t know who wrote this story on the KOMO staff, but that’s just silly. I also find it silly that Carol Ronken got her undies in a bunch over the bill. How exactly is it racist? It has a picture of Obama on it, but that doesn’t make it racist, or all photos of the Obamessiah would also be racist. Is it the headdress, making a satirical link between the Muslim-born, Muslim-raised, Muslim-taught, but now Christian Obama and Islam that is racist? If that’s it, please explain how Islam has become a race.

But who is this concerned citizen, Carol Ronken? Could she be an impartial observer concerned about the tone in this Presidential race? The article doesn’t identify her party affiliation, but when the article quotes Geri Modrell later on, it clearly identifies her as the Republican county chair. So who is Carol Ronken? The article doesn’t say, but a quick search shows that she is the chair of the Stanwood Democrats. So of course she is upset about someone mocking The One.

Waaah freakin’ waaah.

Come on, folks! Making fun of our political leaders is a long-held tradition. There are plenty of bumper stickers mocking President Bush and other Republicans, and I remember seeing $3 bills for President Clinton and Senator Clinton. Here in the States, we don’t have touch-me-not royals who must never be mocked by the plebes. Instead we have the freedom of speech that allows us, among other things, to make fun of our political leaders–from the noblest to the most infamous.

I see your disgust, Carol Ronken, and I trump it with the First Amendment. Go peddle your imitation of Queen Victoria elsewhere.

There is a whiteboard in my breakroom at work, and people are always using it to pose interesting questions or start silly discussions. Normally these run about a week with lots of people plugging in their two cents. Last week the discussion was “Puppies vs. Kittens.” It’s hard to say which was the definitive winner in that debate because someone introduced the wild card of Bunnies.

This week, the question was “When did you get your first computer, and what was it?” My favorite reply was “1971 – Born with one in my head.” While that is interesting, I loved the response: “I had one of those, but it had trouble coming out of sleep mode.”

“Had”?

My first introduction to computers came in 1975 or 1976. The computer in question was a large mainframe computer residing in an even larger enclosure at Minot Air Force Base. We could access this mainframe with a modem that Dad would bring home every so often. We’d dial the number, hear the tone, then place the headset on the modem. Since it didn’t have a screen, it used a built-in printer and a roll of paper. And since we were kids, we loved to play a Star Trek game on it. I remember once visiting the mainframe room, and I watched one of the technicians play chess with the computer. He knew a set of moves that would allow him to capture the computer’s queen in under 15 moves, at which point the computer would quit the game.

It wasn’t until I got married that I had a computer I could claim I owned — well, owned by marriage. I told my wife that I was marrying her for her SoundBlaster card. [Such is the modern dowry. --TPK] Even if we still had that computer, there’s not much we could do now with a 386 motherboard and 4 MB of RAM.

Now to figure out the next question to pose on the breakroom whiteboard.

OK, time for a little humor at Iran’s expense. Iranian President Ahmadinejad says that their quest for nuclear power is completely peaceful (yeah, right), so I love this fake news story by Scrappleface:

(2006-08-26) — Just hours after Iran opened a new plant capable of making plutonium “for peaceful purposes”, U.S. President George Bush assured his Iranian counterpart that any B-2 bombers that appear over Tehran in the near future would also serve peaceful purposes.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cut the ribbon on the new heavy-water nuclear plant Saturday as part of a month-long Iranian tribute to the effectiveness of the United Nations.

Mr. Bush hailed Iran’s “transparent diplomacy” and said, “I called President Ahmadinejad today to congratulate him, and I told him that if he happens to notice one of them Stealth bombers going over his town at about 600 miles per hour, he can be assured that the pilot has only the best intentions in his heart for world peace.”

“There’s nothing like the B-2 when it comes to giving peace a chance,” Mr. Bush added.

Now compare that fictitious hard-line stance by President Bush with the fictitious response by a President Kerry as envisioned by Chris Muir of the “Day by Day” comic. (Internet protocol says I can’t just post Muir’s comic here unless I get permission, hence the link.)

“Day by Day” comic of August 27th, 2006

UPDATE (8/28/2006 11:20:52 AM): Chris Muir granted me permission to post his “Day by Day” comics here, so here is the Sunday comic in question. And spend some time reading the rest of “Day by Day”.

Day by Day

Lots of people speak English. There are some who do it well, and there are some, typically non-native English speakers, who should be kept far away from the English language. Now, I confess to being an American, and speaking the American version of English, but not everyone agrees that Americans even speak English. World renowned phonetician Professor Henry Higgins once said about English, “There even are places where English completely disappears; in America they haven’t used it for years.”

The people over at Engrish.com have catalogued that particularly bizarre variant of written English as used by non-native speakers in Asia. The term “Engrish” comes from the difficulty that native Japanese speakers have distinguishing between the English L and R sounds, but it doesn’t have to be limited to Japanese mistakes in written English. There are plenty of examples in Korea, China, and Indonesia. Mmm…. garwy sauce…

I bring up Engrish because the lovely and talented wife came across some Russian examples in the online menu of the Petrov Vodkin Restaurant. Since this is Russian-based Engrish, she called it “Engliska.” But it fits right in with other Engrish menu examples. Since this is TPK’s idea, I shall use the super-spiffy TPK font for my snarky comments. And now, on with the snark!

SNEW COURSE
Hello. What’s snew with you?

A Bit Of Fish In Envelope
Pike-pearch & sturgeon fillet covered in parchment and baked together spring vegetables. Taste it urgently!!!
(French Bourbon Cognac Sauce as piquant detail to this beautiful “fish about you”).
Taste it now! Now! NOW!!!!

Red Bull Fetish
Primordial bull tecticles fried with leek onion and carrots, undressed in white wine & cream sauce, aromatically confused inside the puff paste nest, full of vital force for real men and inquisitive women.
I prefer my primordial bull tecticles to not be so aromatically confused.

Piping Rabbit
Aromatic and unforgettable, tender fillet in creamy sauce, appreciate at its true value.
A fresh skunk could be described as both aromatic and unforgettable, but at 500 Rubles, this rabbit’s true value is about $18.27.

Roast Lamb
Laconic stewed lamb with fresh sweet pepper accent, onion rings and tomatoes.
If it were truly laconic, then the description would be “lamb.”

Regal Trotters
Fried sucking-pig trotters in garlic gravy, dogmatic, more than dogmatic and frivolous, more than frivolous.
No, it’s mainly frivolous.

“Russkaya Skovoroda”
Vivid variety of browned potatoes, white mushrooms and sweet veal under melted cheese cover. Testes great!
Are those primordial bull testes?

Pork chop on a bone
Grilled spicy pork with potatoes and vegetables under influence of bitter gravy. (A Pork! A Pork! My Kingdom for a Pork!)
OK, we have now hit the porn part of the menu.

Shrimp’s Cocktail
Shrimps with slices of pineapple and special “only for adults” sauce.
See? Told you this was the porn part.

Smocked Sturgeon
Shouldn’t that be a smocked surgeon? “Doctor Sturgeon, to the operating room STAT, Doctor Sturgeon.”

Boiled Tongue
Tongue as it is. And even more than just a tongue.
No, that’s just a tongue. TPK said, “No means no, buddy!”

Fried Chicken
May be your favorite personage – cooled, peppered, sliced and with herbs.
Foghorn Leghorn! NooooooOOOOoooooo!

Shashlik “Freedom Captive”
Lamb juice issue, captivating in your own sauce, garnished with marinated vegetables and fried potatoes. Free… like a vision… Sentenced to be with you. Take it easy.
And now for the bondage porn.

Shashlik “Pork & Pork & Pork”
Beautiful pieces of pork with vegetable salad and French fries in very special astringent sauce… Would you like some more pork?
OK, I think I have made my point about the porn menu.

IBorsch Chernigovsky With Pampushkas
Spicy broth sated with vegetables, meat. Best served with one smile or two rolls.
OK, enough with the food porn, you perverts! Although I must confess that I do have a nice smile after two rolls.

Duck Occurring At The Table
Imagine a Whole Duck, completely bride, packed layer upon layer of apples and prunes and sodden with Jamaica Rum. The “MUST HAVE” dish for 3-4 versed persons.
I’m trying to imaging that duck completely bride, but I can’t. I guess I’m not a versed person.

“Cheese Fantasy” Cake
Alternative cheesecake temptation. You will love it if you love yourself.
You know that’s what got Pee Wee Herman in trouble.

Ice Cream With Kahlua
Vivid variety of browned potatoes, white mushrooms and sweet veal under melted cheese cover. Testes great!
I’m not a big veal al la mode guy, but I hear this is related to the primordial bull tecticles.

So I got one of the new peach-colored $10 bills. I really like the “We the People” bit on the right, but overall, I think this is a rather girly bit of money. I must spend it quickly before my rugged manliness is diminished in any way.

Here’s a zoom in of the left side of the bill’s front. TPK pointed out something about it:

Aah! Run away!

“Ahh! It’s a binary swarm!”