Mea Culpa: I’m a Dirty Rotten Polluter!

My Mug Shot

My Mug Shot

I didn’t realize what evil I do when I put on that goofy bike helmet and ride down the road or trail, I swear.  According Seattle Bike Blog Washington Representative Ed Orcutt argues,

“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said. However, he said he had not “done any analysis” of the difference in CO2 from a person on a bike compared to the engine of a car (others have).

Wow!  Just WOW!  Every once in a while a public figure says something that just leaves me speechless, and this is one of them.


Even if we never don’t register handguns, maybe we should at least start register these!

Shelved Bike



The Sharpest Tools in the Shed


Totally inappropriate footwear and my damp feet!

It is unquestionably to my advantage that people with advanced degrees or who work where I do are often highly intelligent. People find out those things about me and assume I, too, have above average intelligence.

In reality, I don’t have sense enough to wear boots to work on a drizzly, chilly day when there’s still two feet of snow piled everywhere from the weekend blizzard!  To paraphrase the observation of a wise man very dear to me, sometimes it seems that the more education I get…

Too True To Be Funny

Did you see this headline?  “Dental assistant fired for being ‘irresistible’ to boss

When I first heard it, I thought it must be from The Onion or some other satirical news outlet, because it just seemed to ridiculous. I didn’t actually hear the report until the evening on ABC News when I learned the incident had not only occurred, but the Iowa Supreme Court had upheld the right of the dentist to do so. Ryan Foley, reporting from Iowa city in an Associated Press article wrote:

December 24, 2012 (WPVI) — A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.

An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for family values because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.

I don’t even know where to begin questioning the absurdity of the ruling.
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Just Ignore Him, Maybe He’ll Go Away. Ron Paul and the Media

Watch this video from the CBS Evening News last Sunday, December 4.  At this point it was clear that Herman Cain was ending his run for the presidency and a new Des Moines Register poll had just shown that Newt Gingrich was the new front runner.  Iowa is one of the first states to select its convention delegates, and thus it is closely watched by all involved in and interested in politics.

So according to the report, it’s now a three way race between Gingrich and Romney.  This in spite of the fact that second place in the Des Moines Register poll went not to Romney, but to Ron Paul.  He’s pretty much ignored in this report.  I first noticed the phenomenon when it was pointed out on The Daily Show on August 15, 2011 just after the Iowa straw poll and Pawlenty dropped out of the race.  In this clip, Jon Stewart notes the media’s reluctance to treat Paul as a serious candidate, even on ultra-conservative Fox News.

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I’m Sorry Facebook, I Just Don’t Love You Anymore…

In an article previewing the changes Facebook recently made public, Mashable’s Ben Parr indicated that Facebook was making the changes because it wanted to rekindle an emotional connection with users.

After years of dating, the magic between Facebook and its users has dissipated. It’s a natural evolution in any relationship, but now there is another suitor vying for Facebook’s users. And a lot of people think this suitor is easy on the eyes.
That’s why Facebook launched three recent changes: revamped Friend Lists, a real-time news ticker, and the subscribe button… But these changes are just the beginning. The changes Facebook will roll out on Thursday are designed to enhance the emotional connection its users have to each other through Facebook.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but this strategy isn’t working for me! My relationship with Facebook has never gotten old because like an insecure lover, it’s never stopped demanding my attention, to the point of provoking annoyance. I’ve given it a lot of attention, integrating it into my professional and personal lives, but it’s proven unpredictable, unsure of the terms under which it wants to participate. It’s time to cool things off. Since Facebook has so few concerns about private affairs going public, how would you like to read my Dear John Letter to Facebook?
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New Albums by Todd Snider and Hayes Carll

KMAG YOYO releases February 15th

If you’re one of those people who enjoys songs that tell stories, the first couple weeks of February, roughly, are a good time for you. There are two new releases by artists that are among our greatest musical storytellers coming out during the first half of the month.

On February 5 Todd Snider released a CD and DVD called “Live: The Storyteller,” and on Tuesday Hayes Carll releases his first album since 2008’s Trouble in Mind. Both artists are part of the tradition of America great singer-songwriters. But they also hail from an older tradition, going back centuries and transcending cultures, that of the troubadour who set their tales to music and, as Snider puts it, travel the land “playing them to whoever will listen.”

If you are not familiar with Todd Snider, his live albums are an excellent introduction. His studio albums give a good sense of his witty lyrics and catchy tunes, but his live shows are what really intrigues. To quote the Blurt review by John B. Moore, Snider is “an Americana poet, storyteller and barstool comedian.”

An Oregon native and East Nashville resident, he’s definitely a bit of a hippy folk singer. After all, most of the time he comes out on stage with an acoustic guitar, barefoot, in loose fitting old jeans and shirt or sweater, to sing about traveling across America and the people you meet along the way, with a fair amount of pacifist politics thrown in for good measure.

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A Bird in Winter

Up to 21 inches expected, from

I have never so much wanted weather forecasters to be wrong.  Forecasts are for as much as 18″ of snow between what started this morning and tomorrow!  This, added to the more than 60 inches we’ve already had this winter, are significantly above average, according to

Bay State residents have at least 60.3 reasons to be sick of the snow. After last week’s storm, a total of 60.3 inches of snow for the season had been recorded at Logan International Airport, including 38.3 in January alone.

The season total so far is more than the season average of 41.8 and the total last year of 35.7. The record is 102.8 inches, in 1995-1996. January 2011 has been Boston’s third-snowiest January and the sixth snowiest month ever, just behind March 1993.

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Michael Needs New Shoes

I love my Blackspot Shoes. I’ve had them a few years and they have held up remarkably well. They’re in good shape, but they are starting to rip around the seams. I happened to be noting that today when one of my favorite songs, “New Shoes” by Paolo Nutini, cycled through my iPhone playlist. I couldn’t resist throwing together this silly video.

New Shoes from Michael Toler on Vimeo.

Don’t Take My Tax Cut! And Get a Job!

Petition: Tell Congress: Protect Workers, NOT Millionaires!

Senator Scott Brown made a fiery speech a couple of days ago as he blocked the Senate from considering an extension of unemployment benefits. He said that first we need to find a way to pay for those benefits without raising the deficit. At last report the unemployment rate in this country stands at 9.7% and Brown wants to put their ability to buy groceries, pay their bills, mortgage or rent payments in doubt while Congress turns its attention to the deficit.

I believe that Washington has finally turned its attention to the deficit in earnest, and that Brown’s theatrics are not necessary.  The report that bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has just been released provides outstanding recommendations for debt reduction. Holding the unemployed hostage during the holiday season is little more than political theater. Brown needed an issue to distinguish himself on, and he chose this. Nice, Senator! Pick on the unemployed. They’re so busy job hunting they won’t be paying much attention!

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