Reshuffle the Deck, America -or- The Healthcare Speech Obama Should Deliver

It has been painful watching the healthcare reform movement die a slow death through the battle of attrition in the Senate, but the most frustrating part has been watching senators of all persuasions run roughshod and hijacking the process to try to further their own political gains. Adding to my frustration is the fact that President Obama, the guy who spearheaded this entire thing, has appeared mostly powerless to intervene in the proceedings.

It’s understandable that Obama wanted to give the Senate a chance to resolve this for themselves, but now that it appears that they can’t (or won’t), I think the time is right for Obama to re-insert himself into the proceedings with the following simple message:

America, are you as frustrated as I am about the lack of progress the Senate has made developing a meaningful health care reform bill that reflects your values? If so, here’s what I suggest we do: when the 2010 senate elections roll around, I want you to vote every single incumbent Senator that is up for reelection out of office and elect someone new to fill their seat.

I don’t care what health care policy your current Senator supports or their political party or if you replace them with a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent, just vote for someone new who’s willing to come to the table to actually pass a reform bill in whatever form you believe is most prudent. You like single payer healthcare? Vote for the single payer healthcare guy. Tort reform and interstate competition? Vote for that guy.

Bottom line, let’s reshuffle the deck America, because, what we have here? This is some BULLSHIT. Seriously, fuck all these guys.

Sure, such a move is probably fraught with all sorts of political peril, but so was bringing up healthcare reform in the first place. And who knows? Maybe if Obama is able to redirect the full ire of a frustrated public directly onto the Senators who are causing the impasse, they might suddenly discover a newfound sense of decisiveness and spirit of compromise?

Subaru Forester: Graveyard

This commercial pisses me the hell off.

Let me get this straight: you need to get rid of a car, so you and your douchebag buddy Larry spend TWO DAYS driving to some formerly scenic hill to abandon it? This is not to mention the TWO MORE DAYS of driving you both need to do to get back home. So between you and Larry, your maudlin, estrogen-soaked emo jaunt cost 8 TOTAL MAN DAYS of human effort? Christ.

Seriously, did you make Larry take vacation to be a part of this adventure? Time that he could have spent with his family? You sir, are a complete asshole. Your Subaru is glad to be rid of you.

Wanda Sykes Limbaugh OUTRAGE OMFG!!!2!?

There has been an amusing backlash against Wanda Sykes and Barack Obama for her standup routine at the Correspondents Dinner on Saturday. You know, where she said she hoped Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail. Obama then laughed at this, which is essentially the same thing as him giving tacit approval for wanting Limbaugh murdered! FOR SHAME.

I don’t understand why we aren’t hearing backlash against the suggestion (at 4:00 in the attached video) that Obama shouldn’t go out for burgers with with Biden in case he gets assassinated and Biden gets killed in the crossfire (“Who thought that was a good idea, Nancy Pelosi?”). Obama laughed at this as well, signaling his tacit approval for someone to assassinate him at a burger joint. FOR SHA… wait, what?

It was a stand up comic giving a comedy routine, jackasses. Laughter sometimes ensues.

The Metaphor Gap

Obama has signaled a willingness to speak directly with Iran about its nuclear program and hostility toward Israel, a key U.S. ally. At his inauguration last month, the president said his administration would reach out to rival states, declaring “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

“They say we have stretched a hand toward Iran. … If a hand is stretched covered with a velvet glove but it is cast iron inside, that makes no sense,” Khamenei said.

Obama responded “The cast iron inside our velvet gloved outstretched hand is necessary to reinforce our foundered flesh, which was singed by the fires of many past intolerances between our peoples. If the Iranian people would only unclench their fist and uncap the restorative balm of friendship, we’re sure that that would help rejuvenate our flesh to the extent that medical science (tempered always by the wise restraint of universally held religious principles) would allow us to remove the cast iron inside our velvet glove, leaving us with with only a velvet glove over mostly healed cyborg outstretched hand of reborn mutual understanding, albeit with a loose bandage of cautious prudence, to be changed daily through the liberal application of continued diplomacy. I ask the Iranian people: what about that does not make sense? What about that is unappealing to your people?”

(via The Huffpo, sort of)

The Perilous Quest for Attention

I don’t want to dwell on this since the entire episode is catty and ridiculous, but I found myself thinking that it’s sort of weird that I had never heard of alleged conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham before she called Meghan McCain “the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because [she is] a Republican bashing the GOP”.

I mean, I’m just saying…

(via The HuffPo)

Old Spice Swagger “LL Cool J”

There are a lot of really bad commercials for men’s hygiene products. Most of the ads that come to mind for that demographic are either of the retarded-CG-animation-with-chiseled-metrosexual or athletes-playing-grabass varieties. I mean, listen Gillette, I have considered carefully and I’m 100% goddamn sure that I am not interested in the extra two blades that are available on the Fusion – treating me like an idiot and constantly reiterating the five-blade thing doesn’t really help anybody. If you want to spend your time on doing something constructive, why don’t you have your R & D geniuses revolutionize the comb? Make a comb that flexes or vibrates or shoots lasers or something. Then we’ll talk. But the razor ship? It has sailed.

Don’t even get me started on the Gillette Fusion Power Gamer. Seriously, just stop it.

Despite my misgivings with the segment, Old Spice has been doing some really good work lately. I continue to enjoy their excellent centaur commercials (that centaur guy is two things: awe- and a really great actor), but I think that their finest recent work has been with their Swagger campaign, starring LL Cool J and some brute named Brian Urlacher.

Everything about the conception and execution of these commercials is awesome. The flashback scenarios are ridiculous (notice that Brian Urlacher the Dungeons and Dragons loser is being laughed at by a gang of different Dungeons and Dragons losers that have turned on one of their own kind – truly one of the harshest phenomena in nature) and both of the celebrities do a great job delivering the actual pitch (LL Cool J’s big jackass grin is much appreciated). I think the part I enjoy most is that Old Spice aren’t merely saying that these celebrities endorse the product, they’re saying that without the body spray, the celebrities expressly would not exist. It’s a funny, ridiculous message, but it’s also sort of subversive. The Swagger commercials are basically parodies – the kind of commercials that you might make if you desperately hated making commercials and wanted to explode the entire industry.

Anyway, Old Spice has had a terrific run lately and I hope they can keep it going, even if it seems like they might not actually want to.

=== BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!1! ===

While we’re all here together, here is a special bonus commercial that I don’t think I’ve actually seen on TV before. It’s a minute long Old Spice spot with Bruce Campbell, that has some of the same “Oh, God please make us stop having to make commercials” quality as the Swagger spots.

Orkin “Broken Down”

Not many people know this, but I am something of a connoisseur of commercials (to the extent that I was at one point considering trying to implement a PVR sort of arrangement, with the commercial-skipping feature modified to exclude all shows and only record commercials. Maybe one day…). There’s something very pure about the exercise of distilling a message down to 30 seconds that I am drawn to. It’s a beautiful thing when it’s done well, and among life’s greatest disappointments when it’s not.

The best commercials defy their limited timeslots and low art underpinnings to create real moments of drama. An excellent example of this quality can be found in these two gems from Orkin – “Broken Down” and its less-frequently seen counterpart “Pizza Delivery”, where smooth-talking bug confidence men try to socially engineer their way into attacking your wainscoting. I think that these commercials strike a chord with me because I’m pretty sure that I would actually let the bugs into my home to wreak havoc. I am a victim, and Orkin knows it.

The genius moment of both commercials is the scene at the end where the bugs drive by really slowly in their cars and then speed away. Beautiful. The dialogue in both commercials is also excellent. Details like the termite wanting to call his brother-in-law and the cockroach suggesting he “just place the pizza on the table” are really disconcerting.

I have to say that between the two, I prefer “Broken Down” because I find the big termite to be more sinister and charismatic than the big cockroach. Both commercials are really good though.

High Seas Hijinks

I have been following the blog gCaptain.com for a few months now. The site’s main contributer is a USCG licensed Master Mariner of Unlimited Tonnage (sort of like the ship captain version of a License to Kill), and he writes exhaustively about the current state of all things nautical. I don’t understand most of the junk that he talks about, but every once in a while he covers something that’s really interesting. For instance, today he has considerable coverage of the following oddball story that I guess happened yesterday:

Yesterday, five Chinese vessels “shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity” to the U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship, USNS Impeccable, as it conducted routine operations in international waters in the South China Sea. According to reports, two of the Chinese vessels closed to within 50 feet (15 meters) of the USNS Impeccable, waving Chinese flags and telling the U.S. ship to leave the area. The Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the boats in order to protect itself. It is also being reported that one of the crew of one of the Chinese vessels stripped to their underwear and continued closing within 25 feet.

(via gCaptain)

So obviously this appears to be among the most mundane international incidents ever (if you change the players from Navy warships to teenagers in canoes, you basically get a lost Gidget episode), but the site follows up that post with a helpful video explaining what the hell everybody is actually up to.

(via gCaptain)

The short version? The U.S. Navy has gotten a teensy bit antsy about the increased numbers of Chinese nuclear submarine patrols, especially since the November 2007 episode where a Chinese submarine surfaced within torpedo range of a US aircraft carrier (in the middle of a carrier battle group) apparently without having been detected by anybody, so they are aggressively using these surveillance ships to keep tabs on Chinese submarines. And I guess the Chinese don’t necessarily like the increased scrutiny.

Full disclosure: they never really explain the part about the Chinese Navy stripping to their underwear.

This particular water balloon fight probably isn’t all that significant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s cool to see that there are people out there who are actively tracking this sort of thing when it happens.

Another Teeny-Tiny Emma Post

Hi everybody. Thanks for all of your kind comments and e-mails. Emma’s day-to-day condition seems to be improving by leaps and bounds.

I just wanted to mention that I’ve set up another blog to chronicle her daily adventures, since I don’t really want to dilute JesusH’s nonsensical content with daily baby news of a more serious nature. For updated Emma information, please feel free to drop by The Emma Dispatch.

Thanks again for your support!

Introducing Emma Pease: a Thanksgiving Story

It has been a trying couple of days for Phet and I. The story starts with a routine checkup last Thursday, then a morning ultrasound on Friday. Continuing on, we have an entirely unexpected emergency C-section on Friday afternoon, leading to the birth of our daughter, Emma Mahatsachan Pease: a 6 lb, 18.5 inch baby girl, at 1:09 PM, to much fanfare and the adulation of all involved. Roughly 5 hours later, Emma was transferred to Neonatal Intensive Care at our hospital, Scripps Mercy. The doctor told us that she was very sick, with platelet levels of a tenth of those of healthy newborn as well as a long list of other issues such as poor oxygenation of the blood and dangerously low circulation. 2 hours later, she was deemed too severe for Mercy and was transferred to the NICU at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. 12 hours later, she was transferred once again, this time to the NICU at Children’s Hospital, under suspicion that she had some sort of structural problem with her heart.

Starting with the ultrasound on Friday, all of the above events took place over a time period of roughly 30 hours. Everything about Emma’s birth and her subsequent escalation through the neonatal intensive care establishment occurred pretty much as depicted above: without warning or benefit of other helpful context.

If that’s all there was, this would all be so much of a downer that I probably wouldn’t have brought it up. However, Emma’s story continues.

Continue reading “Introducing Emma Pease: a Thanksgiving Story”

Hot Buttered Borat

I haven’t posted much on the JesusH since I was put in prison for murdering all those homeless people, but after I read the following bit of genius by Borat hero Sacha Baron Cohen (in France to promote his upcoming movie, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) I was inspired to make a daring escape to post about it.

I know you will be inspired as well.

“It’s a great honour to be here in minor nation of France,” he said, adding that all he had heard about the country’s refined cuisine was true.

“Your McDonald’s are wonderful … I eat there 15 of these delicious hamburgers,” though he reflected that “today there was a problem and my anus was hanging loose like the mouth of a tired dog”.

Vivid, expressive, and entirely worth any extra time I might have to spend in the hole.

The Google Anecdote

I have a couple of tech support contacts at Google (they’re low-level – don’t get all excited) for some projects I’m working on at work. I called one of them up the other day to try and figure out some junk about a Google API, and his response was that I should try Googling for the answer.

…I still haven’t decided if that answer was a complete cop-out or a sign of genius.

Introducing: Dutch Oven Pease*

*Temporary placeholder name

Dutch Oven will be born sometime in late-November/early-December and we’ve been given 98% assurance that he is, indeed, a she. We are, of course, beside ourselves with delight.

We got the ultrasound done today, and I was struck by the amount of technology that goes into these things. I wasn’t aware that they were able to predict what the child may look like based on the ultrasound, but, lo and behold, the technician gave me the following printout:

At first, I think we were offended, but then I realized that it would be sort of awesome to be Skeletor’s dad. The idea is still growing on Phet.

This kid is going to be awesome.

Spring Sprucing

I was amused to discover today that May 1st is Annual Web Reboot Holiday Day or some such: a day in which all good web developers revamp their website designs and release them simultaneously to an adoring public. I’m not sure how JesusH didn’t end up on the May 1st reminder mailing list since we are all web design geniuses, but, alas, this is the first I’ve heard of it.

However, in the spirit of the thing I’ve taken it upon myself to spruce up JesusH in the following ways:

  1. Changed the title color from boring white to sensational red.

Whew! Visual redefinition is hard work!

JesusH fans, please enjoy our bold new look. This should probably be considered a temporary Limited Edition visual update, effective until Dave gets mad and changes it back.

Notice: Important Commercial Opportunities Contained Within

landolf10000 (12:03:19 AM): pease jay, because you dont have enough dvds: http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/602-7581593-2751800?asin=B00062IVLC
peasejay (12:04:37 AM): Whoa, that’s whack-assedly cheap
landolf10000 (12:05:04 AM): i know. i was considering buying it
landolf10000 (12:05:10 AM): until i slapped myself upside the head
landolf10000 (12:05:11 AM): and said
landolf10000 (12:05:18 AM): ‘self, its ‘rocky”.
peasejay (12:06:45 AM): It might be worth it if it came with some cool special features, like all the Indiana Jones movies on side 2 of the discs or something.
peasejay (12:06:59 AM): You know, some other, better series of movies
landolf10000 (12:07:12 AM): rocky/police academy action pack
peasejay (12:07:17 AM): Final Destination perhaps
peasejay (12:07:31 AM): Yeah, that’s be great!
peasejay (12:08:06 AM): Every night of the week could be a rock ’em, sock ’em Rocky/Police Academy double header
landolf10000 (12:08:11 AM): that’d be so friggin sweet, i instantly cant envision a world where one of those isnt in every citizens house.
peasejay (12:09:48 AM): you’d laugh, you’d cry, you’d really THINK.
peasejay (12:10:53 AM): The Rocky/Sweetchuck Dichotomy: a thesis by Jeff Pease
landolf10000 (12:17:10 AM): *the Tack Pack*
landolf10000 (12:17:27 AM): proceeds benefit david graf memorial wackjob fund.
peasejay (12:17:55 AM): The entire thing could culminate in a Very Special crossover film Policy Academy 14: Rocky, New Recruit. It’d be perfect since you know that everybody would be glad to do it since their careers are all, shall we say, on a low ebb.
peasejay (12:18:31 AM): All the originals would be back except for the dead ones, like George Gaines.
peasejay (12:20:53 AM): Moses Hightower: I was a florist.
Carey Mahoney: A florist?
Moses Hightower: Yeah, you know, flowers and shit.
landolf10000 (12:21:14 AM): HAHA
landolf10000 (12:21:19 AM): you are a sick bastard.
peasejay (12:21:54 AM): I’m totally high on Police Academy now.

Your Mama, In Concert

This video was featured a long time ago on Shlonglor, where he described it as “Hilarious”. And if you know nothing else about Shlonglor, know this: the man knows funny. Witness as he defends its honor in the comments section of the page in question:

that was just lame and painful to watch/listen!
gotta dip my eyes in acid now…

Wrong, that song rules. You suck…

So here’s the thing: I haven’t the slightest idea who this douche is or why he named himself after a monstrous MTV VJ. These questions are not for us to ponder. What I will say is that this song, and its accompanying music video, are a gift from the heavens, that ask nothing more from us than that we simply… enjoy.

Yo Mama: The Music Video

Humongous Update

As you can see, there have been some big changes around here.

…see that’s sort of a joke and it sort of isn’t. I updated JesusH’s backend from WordPress 1.2 to WordPress 2.0.2 this evening, so some of the junk on this site may be a bit iffy until I get a chance to check everything out. Current casualties appear to be:

  • it looks like a whole bunch of this site’s punctuation may have been replaced by question marks for some reason – some sort of unhappy encoding issue when the database was updated. Not sure how widespread this is yet, but its an aggravation.
  • The links area on the left is formatted in a somewhat borked fashion.

At the moment, that appears to be it as far as issues. As you can probably see, our template made it through the upgrade without too many problems. I have rehacked the new code so that our anti spam comment system should still work fine.

My main purpose for the upgrade was to get the main codebase up to ‘stock’ (we had a fair number of ugly hacks in the old one) and to benefit from some of the platform updates that WordPress has added along the way (namely the new presentation and plugin schemes). I’m interested in going through and polishing up some of the rough edges of this site, but I wanted everything to be current before messing with that.

As an aside, I’ve turned on search engine friendly links for the page articles (which has been a pretty longstanding irritation). This should help peoples’ articles find better placements on search engines once everything percolates through Google.

Please send me an e-mail if something appears to be broken. Word up.

Heat Vision and Jack

Via Digg. Heat Vision and Jack was a pilot directed by Ben Stiller in 1999 (unless the description is somehow lying – which it could be). Anyway, it truly does star Jack Black as an astronaut who has flown too close to the sun (and is therefore bestowed superhuman intelligence), Owen Wilson as the brain of his former roommate (which has somehow been transferred into a motorcycle), and Ron Silver as himself (actor slash psychotic NASA agent). It’s 30 minutes of complete madness.

Watch it, playa

This is what Wankel had in mind when he invented Web 2.0.

Bold Immigration Reform

Quoth George Bush:

Comprehensive immigration reform begins with securing our borders. Since I took office, we’ve increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and the Department of Homeland Security has caught and sent home nearly 6 million illegal immigrants. To improve security at the border, we’re hiring thousands more Border Patrol agents. We’re deploying new technology, like infrared cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles, to help our agents do their job. And we’re installing physical barriers to entry, like fences in urban areas.

We’re also working to end the unwise practice of catch-and-release. For decades, many illegal immigrants were released back into society soon after they were caught, because we did not have enough detention space. So we’re adding more beds so we can hold the people we catch, and we’re reducing the time it takes to send them back home. When illegal immigrants know they will be caught and sent home, they will be less likely to break the rules, and our immigration system will be more orderly and secure. We’re making good progress, but we have much more work ahead, and we will not be satisfied until we have control of our border.

More money, more fences, more agents, more robot planes: that’s a bold, unprecendented solution to the issue of illegal immigration. I especially like the part about adding more beds at our detention facilities so that our illegal immigrants don’t have to keep spending the night in snake-infested canyons. Those new beds will no doubt serve as a powerful deterrant for illegal immigrants in coming months.

I fully expect that this insightful new blueprint for immigration reform will solve the problem of illegal immigration by Christmas. Thank you, US Government.

TGJHSSF Submission 3: Packing For The Trip Ahead

He’d left his Torino parked carefully in the garage, windshield just kissing the tennis ball on a string he’d measured twice and hung from the termite-gnawed ceiling. The black polyester suit, purchased from Sears, Roebuck, hung back in the closet, next to the red leather jacket he never wore and one of her kimonos. There was cold meatloaf in the fridge, but he didn’t want it.

Water knocked around a kettle, heating, rattling. If the kettle broke, as they sometimes did, Carroll had another two still in their boxes in the garage. Wal-Mart had had a sale. It usually took two minutes for the water to boil, if he started from the hot tap, a little more if he did two cups for tea. Some said it was better to start from cold, but he didn’t see the point. If it was going to end up hot, it could start hot, he liked to say. There was no great art to fixing Sanka, but he had his routine.

Routine, he thought, bending to rest his arms on his knees, head in his hands, as he sat and watched the clock tick around. Things will be different now. The water boiled. Mixing powder with water, stirring, pouring a bit of milk and a little sweetener, he took his mug back to the table, beneath the glow of the double incandescent bulb. Bill had asked if he’d want company, what with his situation and all, but Carroll had waved his old friend away.

No, he’d said, I’ll be fine. Just need a little time to get things in order, but we’ll have lunch next week, like always.
Continue reading “TGJHSSF Submission 3: Packing For The Trip Ahead”

Attention Sacks!

Dear friend of JesusH: you will note that some fool has put one of those flashy Flickr things on the sidebar of this site. You can very easily add your own junk to this sidebar for all to admire by creating your own Flickr account and signing up to the JesusH group which has been conveniently created by the enigmatic lad Andres. Imagine! This is sort of like the JesusH Short Story Festival (which is still commencing, praise be unto it) only you don’t have to rely on some jerkoff to actually post your junk.

There aren’t any rules or anything yet as far as what you should post and what you shouldn’t. Please feel free to post whatever you want and we’ll figure out how to make it cooler later.

KT Tunstall

Hi. Have you heard of KT Tunstall? Phet has been listening to her a lot recently. She has pretty good songs and stuff. Phet has been telling me a bunch of stuff about how Mrs. Tunstall plays her concerts in a one-woman band sort of configuration, using “a guitar and a foot pedal”. When I responded that I didn’t have any concept of what that meant, Phet showed me this video from Mrs. Tunstall’s website (it’s MySpace, so you know it has to be off the hook). I have to say, this is all sort of intriguing.

KT Tunstall

In any case, KT Tunstall is touring and is going to be playing a show on 5/11 at House of Blues in lovely San Diego. I think we’re going to get us some tickets, since, you know: guitar and foot pedal.

PS. Please let me know if this video doesn’t work in whatever browser you use. I turned the autostart off, since autostart is bootywhack.

PPS. Sometimes I have to “jiggle my browser window” to get this to work. Sort of like… you know. Anyway, you might give that a try if you are having issues.

Hey Party People (in the house)

Hi JesusH. I recently got a new camera, but I don’t really want to talk about that now. What I did want to ask is if if you good folks who tend to follow JesusHish stuff use any of the photo sharing sites? I’ve been dorking around some with flickr (account name peasejay), and was curious if some of you other fellas want to somehow group your online pictures with ours so we can all share them via this site? Is anyone else interested in this? Are you people already members of flickr or some competing site? Please share.

KIT! Have a great summer!

TGJHSSF Submission 2: Hizoku’s Last Ride

Jemifus stood facing the parking lot of Ma and Pa Pease’s Rockin River Lodge for what seemed like an eternity. Inside, his destiny awaited. Actually, his destiny had awaited him for 18 months, and would have to await a bit longer. Jemifus stood frozen by the sight of Hizoku, his 1999 Honda Rebel, the identifying decals long obscured by thick dust muddied by occasional mists from the nearby Columbia river.

Not his Rebel, Jemifus sternly corrected himself. He’d never leave that magnificent machine sitting in a dusty lot if he had any say in it. He longed to ride her once more, to feel the wind in his hair, to fulfill her purpose in *being*. He couldnt bear to imagine leaving without her again. So he stood, arms akimbo, inhaling the exhaust of the retreating Greyhound bus.

His chest heaved as his breathing came in hard bursts, his lungs seemingly weighed on by an invisible force. Perhaps it was the memory of what had happened here. Or it could have been the envelope containing $460 his life savings folded into his front jeans pocket. Or, yeah, he supposed it could be the cloud that the bus had just spewed onto him. Whatever it was, Jemifus knew he had to get control of his bodily functions if he were to have any hope to succeed at what he had come to do.
Continue reading “TGJHSSF Submission 2: Hizoku’s Last Ride”

Hug your cable modem

My internet connection has been whack all week. I started writing up a detailed technical how-to that would demonstrate a.) the symptoms and a suggested fix and b.) my extreme cleverness at deftly troubleshooting my system. However, my desire to go eat some cake (like right now, man) precludes my ability to finish such an involved article. Thus, I will dispense with b.) and just commence with a.).

Symptoms: Your internet connection through your cable modem is erratic when connecting to sites and very slow loading images on web pages. You are very frustrated. When you call Cox customer support, they have you run a ping test through your cable modem and tell you that your computer is connecting to the network just fine. The problem is a system misconfiguration with your computer and that you can, should you choose to do so, go straight to hell.

Suggested resolution: Congratulations! Your gray-market cable modem rental from Cox is broken. Do the following: go to your friendly neighborhood Fry’s and buy a cheapass Best Data cable modem for $70. Also buy some new ethernet cables since yours are old and have been chewed up by rats (don’t be a jackass – replace your stupid cables even if you don’t think you need to). I got Cat 6 cables since they are one Cat higher than Cat 5. Take all your junk home and hook it up. Your cable modem totally won’t work since the Cox network doesn’t recognize your new cable modem. Call Cox. Laugh while the stupid computer operator tries repeatedly (and apologetically) for your new cable modem to be magically recognized. When you are transferred to the operator, give them the mac address and the serial number of your new cable modem. Wait two seconds while they input this information. Your network now sort of works. Go ahead and tell the Cox operator that you don’t want their stupid rental any more (and they, if they choose to do so, can eat a fatty). If you have further problems, restart your cable modem, router and computer a bunch of times until everything works. Enjoy.

The above procedure made my computer go from a erratic, unusable connection and average ping to ns1.sd.cox.net of 44 ms to an extremely stable, badass connection with an average ping to ns1.sd.cox.net of 11 ms. Thank you for your support during this difficult time.