Tuesday, August 31

Smoking Gun Makes Some Personalized Postage Stamps

Including the Rosenbergs, Milosevic, and Ted Kaczynski. Cheeky monkeys.

Celebrity Birthdays

Deborah "Debbie" Gibson is 34 years old today.

The Pentagon's Troubling Role in Upcoming Election

Soldiers from North Dakota and Missouri (a swing state) will be allowed to cast absentee ballots via email in the upcoming election. Votes will be sent, unencrypted to the Defense Department, which will than forward the results on to the states. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

A No-Win Situation

Cheerful little op-ed from Krugman today.

Sunday, August 29

Balsa B-52 in flight!

These video clips of a 23-foot model bomber remind me of "Dr. Strangelove." Specifically, this quote from the George C. Scott character:

"If the pilot's good, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that thing in so low. Oh, it's a sight to see. You wouldn't expect it with a big ol' plane like a '52, but varrrooom! The jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!"

(Quote courtesy of IMDB)

Pix of Protests

Is that George Steinbrenner with Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson? When you have multi-millionaires protesting you, you're not a good Republican.

Boy Howdy!

Creem magazine is back, at least on the Web. A print version might materialize on newsstands next year.

When I was a kid, I loved Creem. I still have a few issues, including their special editions on "new rock" and guitar heroes. It apparently went out of business in the late 1980s.

The site has a decent amount of articles from the old days, including stuff on Dave Davies and Keith Moon.

"Gloria" singer dead

No, not Van Morrison. We're talking Laura Branigan.

At least Nicolette Larson is still with us. Wait -- I just found out she isn't.

Saturday, August 28

Killer fish in Minnesota?

You betcha!

Key quote: "Holey moley! Look at that!"

Dole Agrees that Bush Should be Ashamed of Smear Tactics

GOP attack dog caught on camera telling Wolf Blitzer that McCain was right in 2000 when he said Bush should be ashamed of his scurrilous attacks on McCain's military service.

Friday, August 27

Another Scary Electronic Voting Story

How hard could this be to do right?

Scooter for Scott


Is it a Good Neighborhood for Pets?

Oh yes. 3rd photo from the top.

Former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes of Texas Speaks Out

Kerry needs to get this guy out on the talk show circuit.

I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. (audience laughs) But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people.

(There's nothing like "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people," eh?) There's a video of the event, as well.


I like people who obsess about obscure things like which films have era-appropriate typefaces.

More here.

Friendster - Shilling for the Apprentice

Looks like Friendster is groping toward a business model.

Thursday, August 26

Alert for Jody

Gene Simmons to do Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.


GOP Convention Entertainer: Gays Trying to Kill our Children

Here's a sad little nutjob. An awful lot of "thrusting homosexuality" in his statements, for someone who has supposedly "cured" himself of big-gayness.

Jill Sobule's Got a New Record Out

The single, "Cinnamon Park," is available here. Can't quite put my finger on what 70s-era song the chord progression is lifted from. Not my favorite from her so far, but maybe the rest of the album is better.

I'm still totally digging the Zutons -- their Who Killed the Zutons elpee only seems to be available as an import right now, though I found a promo copy at the best record store on earth for eight bucks acouple months ago.

All you need is an average sized apple and a sock!

It takes all kinds: "Andy has very kindly allowed me to write about some of my favourite ways to crush your own testicles." (NSFW - Not Safe For Work, though it's only text, and you probably have Excel open in another window you can cover it up with real quickly, right?)

Bid Launched to Impeach Blair

Probably won't amount to much more than a political PR stunt for some British MPs, but what a perfectly swell idea.

New Erroll Morris "Switch" Ads

At MoveOnPac.org.

Job Opening for Martin

But it's in DC. The Marijuana Policy Project
is hiring an Information Technology Coordinator.

Not to Shill for Pepsi, But...

Pretty cool ad.

Neil Young v. Lynard Skynard

This post by Josh Marshall reminded me of a recent conversation with the wife about Skynard dissing Canadian song thrush and former Rick James bandmate Neil Young in "Sweet Home Alabama," in response to one or two of his songs. Apparently, I'm not the only one interested in the contretemps. Below, for reference, are the lyrics to the songs in question.

Southern Man by Neil Young

Southern man
better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton
and I saw black
Tall white mansions
and little shacks.
Southern man
when will you
pay them back?
I heard screamin'
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Southern man
better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

Lily Belle,
your hair is golden brown
I've seen your black man
comin' round
Swear by God
I'm gonna cut him down!
I heard screamin'
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Alabama by Neil Young

Oh Alabama
The devil fools
with the best laid plan.
Swing low Alabama
You got spare change
You got to feel strange
And now the moment
is all that it meant.

Alabama, you got
the weight on your shoulders
That's breaking your back.
Your Cadillac
has got a wheel in the ditch
And a wheel on the track

Oh Alabama
Banjos playing
through the broken glass
Windows down in Alabama.
See the old folks
tied in white ropes
Hear the banjo.
Don't it take you down home

Alabama, you got
the weight on your shoulders
That's breaking your back.
Your Cadillac
has got a wheel in the ditch
And a wheel on the track

Oh Alabama.
Can I see you
and shake your hand.
Make friends down in Alabama.
I'm from a new land
I come to you
and see all this ruin
What are you doing Alabama
You got the rest of the union
to help you along
What's going wrong

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynard Skynard

Big wheels keep on turning,
carry me home to see my kin
singing songs about the southland.
I miss ole bamy once again and I think it's a sin. Yes.

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her.
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down.
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

In Birmingham they love the Gov'nor. Oooh hoo hoo.
Now we all did what we could do.
Now Watergate does not bother me.
Does your conscience bother you, tell the truth.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
and they've been known to pick a song or two.
Lord, they get me off so much,
they pick me up when I'm feeling blue, now how about you.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.

New Census Report Out Today

Poverty up a staggering 12.1% from 2002 to 2003, and the ranks of the uninsured swelled an additional 15.2% in that time. Children were the hardest hit.

In what some may see as a tangentially related development, Bush's approval rating is now at 39%.

When Bob Dole Said No

A sad story of a now sad little man.

These People Are Shameless

And fortunately, also clueless. Do even the party faithful think that W has somehow been fiscally conservative the last four years? And they want to imply that Kerry's the one who's going to spend us into the larger deficit? When their own scrolling Kerry quote shows him pledging to cut the deficit in half in four years? That's not spending, that's making up for W's reckless fiscal policies by paying back a loan (something W has never had to look into, with all his Daddy's friends around to bail him out of one failed business after another).

And, they want to bring up Kerry's wealth and how he vacations? I guess what George doesn't have in quality for his time off, he makes up for in quantity. The funny thing is, the Republicans think these are their strong suits to run on -- and with their dismal record on the economy, the environment, and the War on Terra, they're probably right.

The sad thing is I went to the aptly named gop.com site to find out what was to be included in the Republican platform this year, and couldn't find a thing.

Arrest Them? Or Give Them a Medal?

Talk Show Host Tom Leykis Kicked in the Head

What? What about "Battlefield Earth"?

In an informal poll, the world's top eggheads have picked "Blade Runner" as the best sci-fi film ever. "2001" was a close second, according to the scientists, with "The Matrix" and the original "Star Wars" also making the list.

No mention of "Brazil," unfortunately. Maybe it didn't fit their vision of science fiction.

Wednesday, August 25

Tricks of the Trade

I love stuff like this.

This is Just Sad

Video game characters to pose nude for Playboy. To compete, the same month Hustler will feature all the skanky ho's from Vice City, and Cartman will be posing for Beefcake, the Quarterly Journal for the Male Homosexual.

Hot Saucing?

Jeebus. On second thought, getting hot sauced by Blair from the Facts of Life might be pretty fun (though I always preferred Jo).

Kerry Calls for Rumsfeld's Resignation

Cites most recent Abu Grabe report. Boyekasha!

Portrait of George Soros

Good, brief article.

The Smoking, uh, Swift Boat

In a just world, this would put the whole silly issue to rest. I was kind of hoping Kerry would drop a bombshell like this on the Daily Show, but it seems he's trying to appear to "take the high road" publicly and let his people refute the charges behind the scenes. It may work for him, I dunno. I think if he can turn the manner in which Bush campaigns into an issue, and show how ill it speaks of the man's "character," it could help swing the 83 undecided voters out there who might decide this election.

Holy Crap

Two Russian planes down. Could be the work of Chechen separatists.

Tuesday, August 24

John Kerry: The Daily Show Transcript

Not exactly a homerun. He played it safe and dinked one over the infield for a standup single. To use a basketball analogy. But it was fine.
There was recently some kerfuffle, some palaver, some hurly-burly, if you will, that I am merely a link vampire, sucking on the teat (I'm a very selective vampire) of the rest of the InterWeb for the so-called "content" of this site. Problem is, writing is hard, and takes some time. And I had a wedding to worry about. Now that's behind me, I can try to feed you nattering nabobs from my own teat with some actual writing. So, in the spirit of writing about what I know, I am instituting an occasional feature, about things I actually know something about. In fact, these will be subjects about which I have exaggeratedly unreasonable and unresearched positions, in most cases.

Things I Know: How to Make a Martini

First of all, by "martini" I mean the gin martini. There is not another kind. You may chill vodka if you like, and even serve it in a martini glass. You may even call it a "vodkatini" if you so wish. But it is not a martini.

Needless to say, martinis are not to be the color of raspberries, chocolate, or sour apple schnapps. They must be crystal clear and may consist of at most three (3) elements -- four, if you count ice particles, which is not unreasonable. These three, no, four! ingredients are:

    A serviceable gin
    Noilly Pratt white vermouth
    Ice crystals
    Garnish (a misnomer)

  1. A Serviceable Gin. You must learn what gins you like. This requires hours of bent-elbow research. Even after a decade of sottery, I'm only starting to scratch the surface here. I've found I like gins that really taste of something. Vodka is a wonderful anaesthetic, but an inelegant drink -- I've never understood the appeal of a beverage whose chief sensory attribute is that it aspires, like water, to be odorless and tasteless. (If it hasn't been stressed enough before, you are not to use vodka in the making of a martini.)

    The everyday gin I recommend, available in most grocery stores in California, or in what those of you in the flyover states call "package stores," is Bombay Sapphire. It's a highly floral gin in a charming blue bottle. Tanqueray Ten is also a lovely gin in an elegant bottle (designed by Trading Spaces' bubblerific Genevieve Gorder, somewhat interestingly) with a slightly exotic flavor, which sneaks up on you in more ways than one. (In a pinch, the regular Bombay and Tanqueray gins are perfectly acceptable, but that's not really what we're going for here.) My last recommendation is a slightly pricier and difficult-to-find premium gin in an evocatively retro bottle, Hendrick's.
  2. Noilly Pratt White Vermouth. When you're manning the shaker, there's always some jagoff who repeats the hoary chestnut about simply whispering "vermouth" over the glass. Certain others, fussbudgets to a one, have elaborate schemes, like using a delicate atomizer, or coating the inside of the glass with a few drops of vermouth. These are the people we practice our icy stares in the mirror for. The proper amount of vermouth is a genrous half-capful of vermouth per martini being prepared. I mean a literal cap -- just use the cap that is on the bottle. I buy the small bottles of Noilly Pratt white vermouth because vermouth lasts a fairly long time at that rate; the large bottles can go off before you'll finish one. If you are buying the Costco size vermouth, you should probably still follow the half-a-cap rule, as your liver could probably use the reduced alcohol content of the resulting drink.

    I don't recommend any substitutions on the Noilly Pratt (who, to their credit, don't seem to have a website). In particular, if you are faced with no alternative but Martini & Rossi's white vermouth, go ahead and have a perfectly dry martini, sans vermouth. (On a related note, be very careful when ordering a "martini" in Europe -- you may be served a perfectly undrinkable glass of vermouth on ice, as I was in an upscale Paris restaurant years ago.)

    Some gins may require different amounts of vermouth; extensive experimentation is encouraged. Oddball Hendrick's, in particular, seems to benefit from being served with minimal to no vermouth. But as a rule, vermouth is an integral part of the martini.

    An historical digression: some of the older recipes for the martini call for as much as a 1:1 ratio of gin and vermouth; or a mixture of red and white vermouths; or even, nonsensically, combinations of both gin and vodka with vermouth. If you are so inclined, feel free to follow these recipes for your own historical edification, and at your own peril.
  3. Ice Crystals. These will be the side product of vigorous shaking. The ideal shaking will be with bar ice, in a pint glass, with a shaker over it. A metal shaker with a cover is acceptable; while it doesn't fracture the ice as nicely, it has the advantage of conducting the cold to your hands better than the glass, letting you know when you can stop shaking (i.e., when your hand begins to hurt from the cold). I see nothing wrong, in theory, with stirring, rather than shaking your martini, though this will lead to a distinct lack of ice crystals. If you are the sort of fop who worries about "bruising the gin" by over-vigorous shaking, please post in the comments section to explain what that actually means, and I will personally come to your house and rassle you, one-on-one, three pins takes it.

    Note that it is imperative that the glass be thoroughly chilled before serving. The easy solution is to store your martini glasses in the freezer, next to the IV bags. However, if you are one of those Type As who use your freezer for the storage of food, you may, before assembling your other ingredients, fill the martini glass to the rim with ice, and then fill with water and allow it to chill for a minute or two.
  4. Garnish (a Misnomer). In this area I will allow for some personal taste to intrude. My own preference (and both historical and contemporary research supports this) is that the appropriate garnish is a lemon twist. The twist should be stripped from a fresh lemon over the glass with a lemon zester, so that you get a delicate spray of lemon oil in the glass, adding immeasurably to the vitality of the drink.

    If you're the sort to take your three martini lunch seriously and want for a bit of nutrition with your meal, I suppose you can opt for that pimento-stuffed abomination, the bar olive. A cocktail onion, on the other hand, magically transforms your drink in to the evocatively named Gibson, which I can support on the grounds of nostalgia, if no other. Hendrick's, again a species unto itself, recommends a slice of cucmber as garnish, and the subtle fragrance of the cucumber does seem to work for it. Both olives and onions affect the odor and taste of the drink rather severely -- neither particularly positively in my opinion, but to each, in this one case, his or her own.

    Under no circumstances are you to order a dirty martini. With its 87 olives and infusion of olive juice, it's just plain wrong. I'm a tolerant man to be sure, but I can be pushed only so far.

  5. Bitters (an Addendum). Don't bother. While bitters may have been one of the defining ingredients of early cocktails, given the less subtle approach to gin production in the 20s I have a hunch their purpose was more to disguise than to enhance. While the teeniest of amounts may lend vim should you be stuck with an unappealing gin, the risk of over-bittering your shaker and ruining a perfectly good gin is too great.

  6. Bitters (a Reconsideration). Do bother. When I originally wrote this screed, I was unacquainted with Peychaud's bitters. They are to the more common Angostoura bitters what "Love, Sidney" was to "The Odd Couple," by which I mean a complete waste of the talents of Mr. Tony Randall. Angostoura bitters are characterless, apart from being slightly bitter. The Peychaud's, on the other hand, have a zesty anise aroma, which will lend your martini a suprisingly refreshing lift. It is definitely worth the trouble of tracking them down, especially as they are a great enhancement to the Manhattan, as well (but more of this, anon).

And that, as our erstwhile pal Baretta would say in happier times, is the name of that tune. Bottoms up!

Job Opening for Tim

But it's in Germany.

Forget the Google IPO

Scott? Tim? Snarshad? Any dough left over from the Clinton years?

Kerry on Comedy Central Tonight

Fire up the Tivo! This should be a humdinger, and yet more tribute to the growing stature of the adorably diminutive host, Jon Stewart.

In the linked article, when asked by a Washington Post reporter, "Why are you having Kerry go on 'The Daily Show' for his first national TV interview since Swifties for Bush went on the attack, instead of a traditional news show?" a Kerry spokeswoman responded, "How would that help us?"

These Charges Are False ...

Sometimes I heart the LA Times.

Marines slash final combat training in half

Good plan. We don't have enough troops in Iraq. So let's cut their training time in half, from 23 days to 11. I can't see any downside to this -- like, say, a rise in the number of Marine casualties, or an increases in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for the lucky ones that make it home.

Way to support our troops....

Monday, August 23

The Time Travel Fund[tm]

How much to just take W into the future, ASAP?

Damn, They're Organized

One thing the Dems need to steal from Republicans -- the infrastructure for the party faithful to stay on message.

Mayberry reality tour!

Cruise Andy Griffith's town with your posse for just twenty bucks. And you get to ride in a classic 1962 squad car. Here's where to get more "infomation."

Saturday, August 21

More Fun Bush Video

Watch as he makes a human Kleenex out of unwitting Letterman producer Maria Pope.

What an outrageous sense of entitlement this jerk was raised with....

"You Should Be Ashamed"

Alright, the Swift Boat Liars have already gotten more play than they deserve, so barring any bigger developments, I'll move on. But watch this video on the Kerry site where McCain took Bush to task for using these same tactics in the 2000 primaries.

I Don't Have To Justify It!

Kamchatka: Now an Inter-Global Threat

Kerry's Original Testimony About Viet Nam

This is really moving, well worth a read; for that matter, I hope Kerry himself rereads it once he's elected, and before every troop deployment under his command.

Atrios follows it up with a great compare-and-contrast.

Chicago Tribune Editor and Former Swift Boat Commander Breaks Silence; Says Kerry Critics Wrong

Of course, he'll be eviscerated by the Right as a prime example of media bias, but kudos to him for coming forth

There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago—three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969.

One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other.

The full story is at chicagotribune.com, but you'll have to register.

I hope this gets as much play in the media as the "controversy" over the Swift Boat Lying Sacks of Sh%t.

Governor Joe Piscopo?

He's considering it.

Here's what the former "SNL" funnyman told CNN: "See, in Jersey, we are so proud of the state. I've got to tell you, not just because the great Bruce Springsteen is from there, and Frank Sinatra, and Bruce Willis, and Jack Nicholson, and Danny DeVito, and Shaquille O'Neal born in Newark. I mean, we have so much to offer in this state, that as we're citizens and we go through our everyday lives back in Jersey, and then we see this ... stuff that's happening now."

First-person chomper!

Forget "Open Water." It's better to be the shark.

This computer game seems to be the logical extension of movie cliches. Although we are supposed to feel sympathy for the humans, we are invariably treated to shots from the underwater creature's point of view, with the feeble human's legs kicking about just below the surface of the water. I've always thought it was a bit strange to put the viewer in the position of the killer fish/snake/shark/gator.


The ancient art form is celebrated at a festival in Tokyo. Those little pieces of paper also made for symbolic calling cards in "Blade Runner." They can even make your foe hear voices: "It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?"

Friday, August 20

Just a Reminder

That Josh Marshall distills the day's politics much better than normal humans do, and you should read him every day.

Now it all makes sense

You drive one car off one bridge and suddenly you're a terrorist?

While we think it more likely that Teddy was a bomb(ed) threat a la Mr. Shane Macgowan, it does beg the question of what those of us without Tom Ridge's number on our cell phone are to do.

Perhaps just stop flying.

Scientology rock

Check out Juliette Lewis attempting to "rock" at a casino in Connecticut.

Talk about a career in decline.

Thursday, August 19

Index of Book Review Cliches

Must make sure to use as many of these as possible in my planned review of Eightball #23, which you should all get (though more crucially, you need Eightball #22).

No New Beatles Material After All

The Mal Evans suitcase was a fake. Bummer.

Guilty Pleasures

I don't really feel guilty about the worse music I like, actually (Pink is the most underrated artist since Sugar Ray, dammit! And there's no post-modern ironic posturing in my love for Steve Miller's Greatest Hits -- it just reaches into my brain stem and grabs whatever BJ105 placed there 25 years ago and shakes it like Muhammed Ali making a martini) but I get what they mean.

I really dig this kinda stuff, though. This one's for Scott; this for Tim.

Nothing for you today, Ange.

EFF has won its Grokster case

Ninth Circuit rules P2P software doesn't have to be made such that usage is tracable. A little wonkish, and you may not notice this affecting you, but the ruling's a Good Thing.

Star Trek Remix

This is kinda great, though I'm not sure why it exists.

Scwarzkopf Won't Endorse Bush

Four years ago he appeared at the RNC to endorse him. This year, not so much.

Bush twins may attend gay wedding

But probably not after Karl Rove gets done with them.

More Swiftboat Fun

A good examination of the Swiftboat Veterans for Making Sh%t Up ad. Daily Show had a good bit on this the other night, too. I think if you go to this page and click on Vet Offensive, you should see it.

Kerry Grows Some

I hope he keeps this up.

Of course, the President keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: “Bring it on.”

Wednesday, August 18

Retiring Republican House Intelligence vice chairman says war in Iraq was unjustified

A top Republican congressman has broken from his party in the final days of his House career, saying he believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified and that the situation there has deteriorated into "a dangerous, costly mess."

New Look

Our last look was so 2003. Let me know in the comments if you have any design suggestions (though keep in mind that the templating system for blogger is a little tricky to fidget with).

And a Shepherdess Named Dolly

This may be the most attractive Survivor cast yet -- and with not one, but two lesbians!


Worst. Idea. Ever

Restaurant for Cats Opens in New York

Tom Cruise Hates Us

"Some people, well, if they don't like Scientology, well, then, f%ck you." He rises from the table. "Really." He points an angry finger at the imaginary enemy. "F%ck you." His face reddens. "Period."


I sure miss being single.

Define "little"

When I first read the headline here, I dropped the "A" and was beginning to think I was reading an article about something I'd accidently ordered from Pornflix (but returned immediately...well, pretty immediately).

Once I figured out my mistake, I continued dropping the "A", because it made for a much more interesting article. I then went to check exactly where it fell.

Hairy situation!

His favorite song is "Hairshirt" by R.E.M.

Tuesday, August 17

Sometimes it takes a rubber puppet, I guess.

Interview with Robert Smigel

A hard-to-swallow situation

The real question surrounding this child's death is not how he could choke to death on popcorn at a Long Island movie theater. What I want to know is what these parents were thinking by taking a 3-year-old to see "Alien vs. Predator."

Sunday, August 15

Bushes Respond to Charley

Proving they're really more about the PR, George & Jeb had these choice quotes:

When asked about why he made such a quick trip to Florida in this election year, Bush said: "If I didn't come, they would've said we should have been here more rapidly."

FEMA said the state has requested catastrophic housing for 10,000 people, and more than 4,000 National Guard troops have been activated.

"It's going to be awesome -- shock and awe -- that's our goal," said Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's younger brother.

Saturday, August 14

I'm a sad little man

blogging from my honeymoon (which is great, btw). But this looks worthwhile: What did Rumsfeld do on 9/11?

Wednesday, August 11

Conan sells out!

How much would you pay for the most hilarious moments from late-night TV? $39.95? $29.95? Try $19.98! But wait! There's more!

Thursday's broadcast of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" will be in the form of an infomercial as the Harvard-educated carrot-top pimps the release of a "best of" DVD. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog will be there plugging a similar collection, along with Bernie Kopell, Doc of "Love Boat" fame, who is apparently pushing nostalgia for sexism in health care.

This episode of Conan will either be a work of genius or grow quickly tiresome like the Claymation episode from a few years ago.

Tuesday, August 10

Living on a thin line

Kinks guitarist Dave Davies has had a stroke and is partially paralyzed, according to the BBC. Meanwhile, Ray is still recovering from a gunshot wound suffered during a confrontation with muggers in New Orleans. A Kinks reunion timed to the band's 40th anniversary now seems unlikely.

In honor of Dave as we wish him a full recovery, some lyrics from a song that some say represents his finest hour:

"Living on a Thin Line"

All the stories have been told
Of kings and days of old,
But there's no England now.
All the wars that were won and lost
Somehow don't seem to matter very much anymore.
All the lies we were told,
All the lies of the people running round,
Their castles have burned.
Now I see change,
But inside we're the same as we ever were.

Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Living this way, each day is a dream.
What am I, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

Now another century nearly gone,
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do,
It's a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much, does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter?
Yes, it really, really matters.

Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

Now another leader says
Break their hearts and break some heads.
Is there nothing we can say or do?
Blame the future on the past,
Always lost in blood and guts.
And when they're gone, it's me and you.

Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line.

Al Qaeda hearts Nader?

"But experts split over who terrorist group wants to 'help' win."

Further down in the article, the author suggests that Al Qaeda might in fact be supporting Ralph Nader and further that they hope an election-time, terrorist attack on US soil might just push him over the top.

One telling quote from a top Al Qaeda official which is very telling:

"It's not like the infidels have one planet and the chosen have another. We all share the same planet and an successful Jihad seems rather pointless if we end up with a barren little rock scorched due to a lack of ozone. Both Bush and Kerry's lip service to protection of the environment rings a little hollow given their records."

He then pointed to the "Nader/Camejo '04" sticker on his AK-47 Kalashnikov.

Forgive me father, I've been Induced

This is my first ever attempt at blogging, so forgive me if things go awry...or don't, as I'm not really going to lose much sleep in any case.

Have you also become somewhat despondent about the state of our government? Well, there are little glimmers of hope left (if you are happy with a government driven by corporate interests, please don't take advantage of this blog to target the small bit of integrity left in the gov). And that is a Congress-critter who seems to have his offical constituencies (citizens) best interest in mind before his actual (corporate donors). And almost as important, is willing to discuss the issues with the people.

Congressman Rick Boucher is guest-blogging on Lawrence Lessig's site (I've been accused of being a Lessig fanboy, which though it is a bit odd to say about a law professor, is accurate enough to avoid correction) and is participating in the discussions to follow. Of initial interest so far is the discussion of the Induce Act, which is another attempt at chopping away at fair use and more specifically, the area granted us by the Sony Betamax case (the case in which Jack Valenti (may he rest in peace...soon) referred to the VCR as "Jack the Ripper" for the movie industry (Did I close all my parenthesis correctly?)). It is specifically targeted at P2P, but is so generally broad as to potentially cover anything from the iPod to CD burners to VCRs, yet again.

If this gets your blood to boil, please feel free and write/email your officials, storm the castle or give some shekels to those who will.

And I promise not all my entries with be of the buzz-kill variety.

Spelunkers' delight!

It's a long way down in Croatia. Who among us would be brave enough to look over the edge?

At the bottom: Small pools packed with colonies of leeches.

Monday, August 9

I'm off

to beautiful Puerto Vallarta for the honeymoon. Ange will be posting all the kraken news that breaks this week. You'll just have to wait til I get back for unhinged political ranting, unless any guest bloggers want to step up to the plate....

Thanks to all who made the wedding so great.


Wednesday, August 4

"Appendage" found in chicken package!

Talk about putting your foot in your mouth...

Robert Smigel speaks!

The Onion A/V Club sits down with the creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. It's a good Q&A ... for me to poop on!

Here's an excerpt, on the origins of Triumph:

"My wife found some puppets in a cutesy furniture shop that sold them on the side. There were a number of dogs and other species that looked incredibly detailed and realistic. She knew how funny I would find them, because I love to anthropomorphize. She brought these home, and I really was as excited as I'd been since I got a Linus doll when I was 7. I immediately started talking in the voice and sniffing her ass. It takes a special woman to be with such an idiot."

Tuesday, August 3

Tigger trial!

OK, so this is pretty much your run-of-the-mill case in which an amusement park worker dressed as Tigger is accused of fondling a kid. Here's the weirder part, straight from the article:

The Tigger costume will be shown to jurors on Tuesday, and they will be allowed to try it on in the jury room during deliberations.

Bush Administration Always Knew its Iraq Claims Were Weak

They weren't duped by the CIA, and it's important they not be allowed to rewrite history that way.

Stout, BiW$cieno seeks soulmate

Tom Cruise on his ideal woman:

"She has to have a great sense of humor and not mind having a little adventure in her life. I like riding motorcycles and flying aeroplanes, and I want someone who's going to enjoy doing the things I enjoy."

Must also be willing to be audited and admit that humans evolved from clams. No Suppresive People, please!

The Homeland Security Chief who Cried Wolf

Why don't I believe him? "'We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security,' Ridge said. Summary: most of the crucial new evidence supporting the latest, convenintly-timed terror alert, is 3-4 years old, and not very persuasive.

I'm just humpetty-flummoxed to think you can't trust the guy in charge of stopping the sequel to 9/11. The sad thing is, when he's finally, accidentally right about something, lives will be lost due to this charlatan's lack of credibility.

Let's play "Dodgeball"

I finally caught "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" a couple of days ago. It is a perfectly acceptable entry into the current "dumb comedy" genre that has been with us since "There's Something About Mary" dangled hair gel from Ben Stiller's ear.

Stiller's here too, in a sometimes frightening performance as a gung-ho and idiotic gym owner who wants to run his low-rent rival, played by Vince Vaughn, out of the business. In predictable yet amusing fashion, the two men go head-to-head in a nationally televised dodgeball tournament. Who is more macho?

For the main audience for this blog, "Dodgeball" blends two important events of the 1970s: the horror of elementary school P.E. and the heroism of "The Bad News Bears." There's also a trace of 1984's "Revenge of the Nerds."

Stiller scores as the bad guy. Christine Taylor, his real-life wife, is adequate in the obligatory love interest role. Chris Williams, perhaps best known as Krazee-Eyez Killa on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," doesn't get enough to do. And Vince Vaughn once again turns in a fine performance as Vince Vaughn. He's even better playing himself than Lance Armstrong, who has a cameo.

Dodgeball fu. Gratuitous inflatable codpiece. No breasts. Lesbian sub-plot. Chuck Norris and William Shatner in the same scene. No dead bodies, but plenty of knockdowns. Three stars. Ange Bob says check it out.

Monday, August 2

Doom 3!

A Democrat challenges a Bush for the White House. A game called Wolfenstein 3-D wows the world, followed by Doom. I remember playing Wolf 3-D on my brand new 386 while listening to Clinton on TV make his acceptance speech at the convention.

Again, a Democrat challenges a Bush for the White House. The first person-shooter is back in the form of Doom3. The game drops Tuesday.

It feels like 1992 all over again.

Wonkette Brings the Funny Back from Boston

Convention Hangover, Part Two

Quien es Mas Macho: Reagan o Bush?

Didn't have time to read the whole thing, so I jumped to the conclusion and noticed a few quotable nuggets (Hey, I'm leaving in two days to get married, I can't summarize the entire internay for you people!): Ron Reagan's Case Against Bush, from next month's Esquire: "My father, acting roles excepted, never pretended to be anyone but himself. His Republican party, furthermore, seems a far cry from the current model, with its cringing obeisance to the religious Right and its kill-anything-that-moves attack instincts.... I write and speak as nothing more or less than an American citizen, one who is plenty angry about the direction our country is being dragged by the current administration.... Beyond issues of fiscal irresponsibility and ill-advised militarism, there is a question of trust. George W. Bush and his allies don't trust you and me. Why on earth, then, should we trust them? "

(Though, in point of fact, Reagan did have a habit of confusing his movie roles with his actual personal history.)

In Defence of Teresa

If conservatives have thrown in the towel as far as trying to portray the Smirking Chimp as the better candidate, and are instead resorting to who'd be the best First Lady (despite the fact that it's an unelected, powerless, ceremonial, and silly title), they should keep in mind that at least, unlike Laura, Teresa hasn't killed anybody.

Ted Koppel v. Jon Stewart

Que es mas macho? Nightline o Daily Show? Stewart would probably win in a knife fight, but I'll bet Koppel's better with the pistols.

Shark love!

I know we are only days away from the Frankie-Jody nuptial event, but it's probably not too late to revise the plans to include something similar to this. Those Italians really know their romance!