30 November 2006

Gopher Broke: Monson Season Over

INT. BASKETBALL ARENA
An athletic, dark-haired man in his late 30s paces the sidelines in a small, empty fieldhouse, talking on a cellphone. It should be a bit chunky, from the late-90s. He's dressed in a polo shirt and sweats, with a whistle still around his neck.

DAN
No. No. We've got to strike while the iron is hot. I've done all I can do here. I've gotta make my move while I'm a commodity
AGENT
I hear ya, Dan. We're getting a lot of interest from the big boys. This little run of yours is really impressing a lot of folks. If you can just avoid embarrassing yourselves against Florida this week I can get you a deal.
DAN
Florida? With that hairplug-wearing tool? We'll beat 'em, no problem.
AGENT
Well, if you can do that, I can probably get you the Minny job.
DAN
That would be right up my alley. I mean, this place is fine and all, but our 15 minutes are just about up. No one can build a big-time program out here. I just feel bad for poor Mark. He'll probably be stuck here for the rest of his life.

***
Ah, poor, poor Dan.

That's not Chamois Butt'r!!!

In Kathryn Bertine's e(sp)ndless quest to make an Olympic team for '08, she's now tried out track cycling. I neglected to post a link to her attempt to catch on with USA Handball (also a great read) so here it is.

I've never ridden in a velodrome, though I wanted to try it out when I was young. I used to have the ridiculous quads you need for it; unfortunately, I had those quads from keeping my bulk upright and moving (as) fast (as I could). Track cyclists are generally beefity folk, but in the muscular, not "husky fellow" way. If you've never seen a velodrome, or the insane lunatics who ride brakeless bikes around their steep walls at 30mph, think downhill skiing (10 at a time) confined to a ski jump. Not a perfect analogy, but it should convey the speed, proximity, and sheer terror.

As before, Bertine's self-deprecatory humor is the real draw for the piece. If Page 2 hadn't lost their braintrust to AOL Sports, they'd offer her a gig as the anti-Simmons. From the web scuttlebutt, they're paying an awful lot of money to Jemele Hill for her (so far, decent) pieces; if they can pay even half that to her, I'd think the WWL could find a few shekels in the breakroom couches to toss Bertine's way on a regular basis.*

Here's a sample from Bertine's rough go at it:

Although many bike companies make saddles specifically designed to accommodate the female anatomy, they are not on our loaner track bikes. There is a product called Chamois Butt'r that one puts "down below" before cycling workouts to ease the pain of the saddle. Today, bleary-eyed and tired at 7 a.m., I've accidentally put Bengay in my bike shorts instead of the intended cream. I don't remember the morning workout.


* I in no way mean to compare Hill and Bertine because they are both women. I bring up Hill because she's the latest, very high-profile, addition to Page 2 and her salary has been subject to much speculation. Frankly, I don't care if a writer goes by George or Mary Anne, or if s/he has Tab-A or Slot-B parts. I just care if s/he is good. Bertine is good. Hill is also good (which is a bit of a shock, as she took a job at a sinking ship.)

29 November 2006

Slacker Hacker?

In this real-life remake of Hackers, does McConaughey play the Jonny Lee Miller or Angelina Jolie role?

An article published last week in Le Monde by French journalist St├ęphane Mandard contained a claim that Lance Armstrong might be the mystery hacker of the LNDD lab, according to allegations by Betsy Andreu in her deposition of January 17, 2006 in the Armstrong/SCA Promotions arbitration case. When Armstrong's attorney Timothy Herman deposed Mrs. Andreu, asking "did you already tell anyone that Lance Armstrong has hacked your computer", Betsy Andreu, the wife of former professional cyclist Frankie Andreu said "I think [Armstrong] has hacked my computer and we are currently suing America On Line to find the IP address of who hacked my computer."

24 November 2006

Music for Black Friday



You should know Jonathan Coulton. If you're sitting in front of a computer reading this, it's just crazy that you don't know the composer of Code Monkey. Next you'll be telling me you don't download porn!

21 November 2006

Whimper to a Scream

Congressional Quarterly is reporting that the Foley investigation may fizzle out.

Nearly two months have passed since the disclosure of inappropriate computer messages from former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., to former House pages.

While the scandal that once dominated the headlines is no longer leading the news, a House ethics investigation that was supposed to take "weeks, not months" may not wrap up before mid-December, according to those involved with the probe. And it appears the investigation may end with a whimper, not a bang.

Interestingly, that's how many of Foley's evenings end up.

I need a Hiro

I've got a season pass for Heroes, but am three episodes behind. I really want to like this show (despite the Milo-factor) but its pace is wrong, the tone is too pretentious, and half the actors should be getting me free refills for my Pepsi. Then there's Masi Oka.

Masi Oka plays Hiro, the most interesting, interested, and exciting character on the show. I'd first noticed him as Franklyn, a lab tech on Scrubs, and thought he was a nice fit on the funniest show left on tv. It looks like Scrubs showrunner Bill Lawrence wants to bring Franklyn back this year...with his powers! Perhaps he'll do a Chem-7 and bring the results before they're requested?

Or maybe he'll use some of his other abilities and bring a perfect wave crashing on Sacred Heart?

...with a fat chick and a cigar!

From the mind of the man who thinks a midget can save the world every 24 hours

Joel Surnow, co-creator of "24," is shooting two half-hour pilots of a skein he described as " 'The Daily Show' for conservatives," due to air in primetime on Saturdays in January.

If successful, the show could take its place on the regular schedule, adding satire to FNC's formula of news and opinion.

20 November 2006

Rae will have lots of time to praise Jesus now

Here's the concession email from Rae Hart Anderson to Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, a practicing Hindu, in the District 50 State Senate race in Minnesota.

The race of your life is more important than this one--and it is my sincere wish that you'll get to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He died for the sins of the world, yours and mine--and especially for those who accept His forgiveness. His kingdom will come and His will be done--on earth as it is in heaven. There's more....I love belonging to the family of God. Jesus is the way, the truth and offers His life to you and each human being. Pay attention...this is very important, Satveer. Have you noticed Jesus for yourself...at some moment in time, yet???

19 November 2006

Thanksgiving Travel

Great travel advice from Ken Levine. Here's a couple samples:

Before you fly to New York and have to negotiate JFK just remember – the parade is on TV. And it’s the same balloons as last year. The only difference is that the stars of NBC’s big new hit from last year, COMMITTED won’t be there.
* * *
Southwest has no reserved seating. Get in one of the latter groups boarding. You don’t want to be one of the first to sit then watch as fifty people glance at the empty seat next to you, then to you, and decide to sit somewhere else.

16 November 2006

Let's hit the fuckin' road!

"Without cheese, there wouldn't be an Inland Empire."

That David Lynch...he sure is crazy.

Shut up, hippie and sell me my music!

My Zune should be arriving tonight...I couldn't be happier.

I've been suffering with iTunes1 since I bought a Shuffle2 earlier this year. While I'm guessing the crap software MicroSloth has created for managing the Zune is barely better...it must still be better.

All the carping and complaining about the Zune Marketplace vs. the iTunes store is amusing to me. I don't want to buy very much music from either place, as I like my music DRM-free. So while I might pick up the occasional track now and then, I'll mostly be sticking to mp3s that I rip or of podcasts. I don't care if Universal is in MS's pocket on this. I don't care if Apple has the biggest music store online. I just want a damn player for my music (and videos, I suppose.)

And finally, there's this. If I didn't already hate Steve Jobs more than I hate Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer combined,3 I now have all the reason in the world to stay away from iPods. From MacWorld, of course:

Perhaps the difference can best be summed up this way.

iTunes = Passionate record store employees a la High Fidelity.

Zune = Landlord of the property occupied by that record store.

Yah. That's who I wanna hang with. A patchouli-reeking wasteoid record store hippie.


1 This, seriously, must be just about the worst software on the planet. I can't move my iPod from computer to computer (block the DRM-protected software if you must, but let me copy my mp3s) without clearing it out; the storage of ripped files is flat in that why-would-you-want-to-create-hierarchical-folders? Apple-y way; and even the podcast interface is goofy.
2 So, do Mac-heads think it's "normal" that when I put mp3s on my Shuffle they aren't always cued to the start? 'Cause where I come from, that's called a "bug".
3 Have you seen Ballmer? It looks like he ate Paul Allen and Woz. Combined with Gates that's a lot of mass and jackassery. Still better than the Tool Formerly Known As Jobs.

Shh! Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm hunting co-workers

I'd get along with these guys.

A group of Saitama used car salesmen whose idea of punishing a co-worker allegedly involved using him as a target for air rifle practice and as an ashtray are now being targeted themselves, but by crime fighters, according to Shukan Shincho (11/16).
He wasn't just a co-worker. He was an incompetent co-worker.
"It's a fact that I wasn't used to the work and made a lot of mistakes. And I hated getting told off so much, I once forged some documents to cover up a bungle," he tells Shukan Shincho. "At first, even when I made mistakes all they did was scream out at me. But, by about autumn, whenever there were no customers around, they'd all hit me and kick me."

The air rifle was too gentle, I think. Forging documents? WTF? Bitch can't do his job, takes that employment opportunity away from someone who might be capable and competent, and he wants not to be tortured? In the U.S. we torture people* for looking like Arabs. In Japan, apparently, they can't torture people for being a complete drain on society.


* Technically, we don't torture anyone. We render them to a friendly nation to do our torturing for us.

15 November 2006

Why Cars Suck

Actually, cars are great. They get us around quickly, in relative comfort and safety. But sometimes, I miss horses. With horses, you get drawing and quartering. With horses, you get horsewhips.

It's not news that O.J.'s going on Fox to say how he woulda done it if he'd-a done it. It's not news that Fox is still lowly and disgusting enough to give this douche yet another platform. It's not even news that Mike Darnell, executive vice president of alternative programming for Fox, said "[i]t's the definitive last chapter in the Trial of the Century."

Really Mike? The definitive last chapter would be O.J., horsewhipped in a town square by Nicole and Ron's fathers. That would be news.

14 November 2006

Stream of Crappiness

I've been having an odd few days and find myself spinning my wheels. I want to write, but know not what...maybe stream-of-consciousness (in free [really free] verse) will do it for me.

Well, I just finished the "poem" below and think I should offer some pre-critiques:

  • That's some crappy free verse. It's more like weird blank verse that doesn't scan well
  • The first stanza doesn't hold together at all. It's almost SoC, but the jump from L3 to L4 is a bit too abrupt
  • The stanzas have no commonality tying them together, other than me whining "oh woe is me"
  • Seriously...the tennis stanza? WTF? Something almost, vaguely positive amidst all the bitching, and that's the best I can do? With the un-clever twist on its L5, it's aiming for a thematic twist like the closing couplet of a sonnet, but coming up way short
  • Ah, it's all okay. In the final stanza I go meta...since I acknowledge how crappy the poem is, it must be alright, right? It's okay to produce crap as long as you say it's crap

I flew
I drove
I ate on the road (crap I ate, fast food to go)
I watch my inbox, grow testy as it slumbers
Each day at work is worse than the one before it

Can't write
Can't think
Projects left half-done (half-done overstates the case)
Even this blog feels more like working than pleasure
Each day of life is worse than the one before it

My back
My knees
Pounding and twisting on court are taking their toll
Still, there's not enough tennis to fill up my days
Each game played is better than the one before it

This post
These lines
I cheated, of course; though the output really sucks
Whiny, dreadful verse; no better than a school girl's
Each post I write is worse than the one before it

09 November 2006

How much would you pay for Wal-nix?

Short, sweet, succinct ruling from the 7th circuit (the Fightin' 7th, as Colbert might say?) in Wallace v. International Bus. Mach.

Daniel Wallace would like to compete with Linux either by offering a derivative work or by writing an operating system from scratch but maintains that this is impossible as long as Linux and its derivatives are available for free. He contends that IBM, Red Hat, and Novell have conspired among themselves and with others (including the Free Software Foundation)* to eliminate competition in the operating system market by making Linux available at an unbeatable price. Under the GPL, which passes from user to improver to user, Linux and all software that incorporates any of its source code will be free forever, and nothing could be a more effective deterrent to competition, Wallace maintains.

Judge Easterbrook doesn't think much of Wallace's suit: "The GPL and open-source software have nothing to fear from the antitrust laws." Thank you, Your Honor.


* Plus the Illuminati, Opus Dei, Freemasons, Tri-lateral Commission, and the ghost of Lyndon B. Johnson.

08 November 2006

A Hard Habit to Break



Poor Sen. Santorum. First he loses his bid for re-election (don't let the door hit ya' on the way out, you freak,) and then he's got the disrespectful son who dresses like Sally Field.

A House Divided

I'd dearly love to see a reduction in the animosity and vitriol in this country, but I'm close to giving up hope for that. Both sides can crow about victories this year - and will.

  • We took back the House!
  • Midterm elections usually see a swing of 20-25 seats
  • Democratic incumbents held their seats
  • All the Democrats who won were conservative, anyway

Fantastic. I'll be happy to see gridlock at this point, compared to the rubberstamp we've had for the last six years, but I'd also really like to see some collegiality. Of course, with Sen. Bill Frist out, it will improve a little.

The race that speaks to me the most, that demonstrates where we are as a nation, is FL-16. Even with the cheeky "Punch Foley for Negron" campaign, Joe Negron should have faced a Sisyphean struggle. Not only was he running in place of a recently disgraced congressman, the ballots hadn't been reprinted. One really had to "punch Foley". And how many people found it in their hearts to do so? As of right now, CNN's reporting 110,317...a scant 4500 hundred votes fewer than his opponent.

Mind you, there's a lot of scary redneck country in FL-16 and even on the coast you've got Jupiter, which isn't exactly Miami. Still, one would think there'd be a little hesitation punching Foley.

I don't see things getting better. We're going to have a long recount in VA and even MT will take a little while to resolve. When this election season is over, it'll be back to the mat in Washington. Neither side has a mandate, so both will act is if they do. I'm glad, of course, that my side won; however, it's not like we swept in with overwhelming support.

We'll get our bills out of committee in the House and hopefully can take the Senate and do the same. If we're lucky, that might just be enough.

07 November 2006

Finally! Some balance! Crazy Jews!

I mock the xtians and Muslims too much...it's about time I had something really juicy on my peeps. Here we go...

Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem have found common ground in their fierce opposition to a gay rights rally due to be held in the city this week.

Leaders from both faiths have united to denounce the parade, which has prompted nights of street protest by ultra-orthodox Jews - who regard homosexuality as an "abomination" - and death threats against those taking part.

After Israeli police found and defused a bomb carrying the message "sodomites out", orders were given for 12,000 officers to deploy across Jerusalem during the march, planned for Friday.

Yeah. That's how you can tell you're on the side of the angels. Uniting with Muslims and planting bombs.

Die, die, die, you motherfuckers, die.

If only I were an orthodox Jew. Then maybe I could place a pulsa danura on all the religious freaks in the world. Oh, wait. Then I'd be a religious freak, too. Like these fine folk of the Rabbinical Court.

Die, die, die, you motherfuckers, die.

Intolerant? Sure. I'm intolerant. I'd like all the backwards, retrograde, ugly bastards - of all stripes - in the world to march into the nearest ocean, desert, or abyss and end their lives. I'd like to live in a world where people mind their own goddamn business and their own goddamn bodies. Where what I do with my cock is no one's business but mine and my partners'. I'm intolerant like that. Sue me.

Palm oil is shit, anyway

And I certainly don't want to see orangutans hurt because of it. It's not a decent food crop, it's not a good oil, and we shouldn't have to see our cousins' lives endangered or ended for its production.

So choose healthy and sane oils for your frying needs - olive, peanut, and canola. All high-flashpoint oils from actual food crops.

06 November 2006

Guide to Voting

Here's a handy cheatsheet for tomorrow's election.

Given the extremely hypothetical choice between
Charisma Carpenter (R), platform of lap dances and bjs for everyone who votes for her
and
Alex Rodriguez (D), platform of perpetually bobbling easy grounders and going 0-fer in the playoffs for your team
vote for A-Fraud.

Any other year, this might not be the case, but don't think of these as local elections; this is about the future of America. If the best we can accomplish for the final two years of the Bush Disaster is gridlock, I'll take it.

04 November 2006

I want to keep my mind a little hazy; I don't care if all my friends think I'm crazy

Obviously, I could say a lot about the Ted Haggard news. But I won't. I just feel bad for that poor guy. He really needs to get himself tested. I mean, can you imagine the sorts of diseases you could catch from an evangelical pastor?!?!?

If Rev. Haggard didn't smoke the meth, "a drug used in some gay circles to heighten sexual sensation", it's only because he was so turned on by Mike Jones' "bodybuilder physique" that he didn't need drugs or chemicals to ride his ass all the way to Jerusalem.

03 November 2006

Cut and Run! No, wait. Hit and Run!

Will the two sides never see eye to eye?

We’re sending our kids to fight an endless war in Boston, when it’s Detroit that attacked us. After we swept the Red Sox in August, you hung out your Mission Accomplished banner, but nothing has been accomplished.

02 November 2006

Cruel Anniversary

Cold at Baikonur
Endless thunder and pressure
In the dark, she dies

Too much free time



More than meets the eye, indeed.

01 November 2006

The Terror of Colorado Boulevard

The latest tempest in a teapot over John Kerry's remarks at Pasadena City College remind me of his (in)famous "voted for it before [he] voted against it" blunder. Why is it much ado about nothing? To stay with Shakespeare...because it's a tale told by an idiot.

John Kerry most reminds me of Cruiser (played by the underrated character actor John Diehl) from Stripes. A well-meaning - but ultimately limited - buffoon; in over his head when standing in a puddle.

Cruiser
I joined the army 'cause my father and my brother were in the army. I figured I better join before I got drafted.

Sgt. Hulka
Son, there ain't no draft no more.

Cruiser
There was one?

Or was Kerry referring to something else when he told the PCC students to do well in school or else?

7.7 Gallons of Red Wine a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!


There was a piece in Wednesday's Times about current longevity research. It didn't break a lot of new ground, as the results of the longitudinal restricted calorie diets have been reported for years, but there were some interesting comments on the antioxidant resveratrol and its possible salubrious effects. Then there was today's BBC piece with this short-sighted comment from Peter Rabinovitch of U-Dub: "For now, we counsel patience. Just sit back and relax with a glass of red wine - which alas, has only 0.3% of the relative resveratrol dose given to the gluttonous mice."

Bah! All I need is 330 glasses of red wine a day and I'm right on target!