September 30, 2005

Today's Coffee Cup Wisdom

On my Starbuck's cup today was the following blurb:

The Way I See It #53

Be exceptional. Make tremendous efforts to be extraordinary. What a privilege to be here on the planet to contribute your unique donation to humankind. Just make sure you do so...

--Shelby Lynne

Hmm. My response?
Blah blah blah blah. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. clunk.

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San Francisco Builds A Ski Jump

This event reminds me of something Annikus Gibbon once wrote:

And the great Emperor, deaf to the woes of his people, said unto them, 'lo, let us build a great ski slope in the middle of the village, and let them jump off it with skis, and afterward, they shall have sourdough bread, and circuses.'
San Francisco is falling apart, but hey, at least they got a ski jump.

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September 29, 2005

BCS Poll Changes

To improve and simplify the system, The Onion reports that the BCS Committee is considering some changes.

Hat tip to Casca.

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Netflix 5 Star Movies A to C

One of the cool things about Netflix is a feature that lets you rate movies on a scale of one to five stars. Their computer makes recommendations for future rentals a member might like, based on the member’s ratings. i don’t find the recommendations very helpful, but i do like rating things.

Five stars means “I loved it.” i reserve five stars for movies i love that are generally considered classics, or which deserve to be classics; also for movies that i don’t mind seeing again and again or from which i have memorized much of the dialogue.

A fine example of my thinking on five star movies is my list of such movies from A to C in alphabetical order. i just copied and pasted the list from my Netflix page, so you will notice that there are some TV shows in there, which are not technically movies, but otherwise fit my criteria.

12 Angry Men (1957)
24: Season 1 (2001)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Airplane! (1980)
All About Eve (1950)
Annie Hall (1977)
The Apartment (1960)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Arthur (1981)
Austin Powers 1 (1997)
Austin Powers 2 (1999)
Back to the Future (1985)
Band of Brothers (2001)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Bullitt (196
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Caddyshack (1980)
Captain Blood (1935)
Casablanca (1942)
Charley Varrick (1973)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Cold Mountain (2003)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)

The Netflix rating thing is an ongoing project, so don’t be surprised if there are some omissions from my list. It might mean that the movie didn’t come up as i was going through the recommendations (which i often did when i was bored at work) and clicking on the star ratings.

Update: There's an interesting discussion going on in the comments about whether my 5 star list contains more guy movies or chick movies. First of all, let me admit that my tastes have always included guy things, from sports movies to war movies to historical movies and sci-fi. But i think it's a mistake to say that movies which are obviously marketed towards the male audience do not appeal to women just as much.

If i had to guess, i would say i know more chicks than guys who watch 24 religiously. And comedies like Airplane, and the Ace Ventura and Austin Powers movies can't be categorized. i think both sexes enjoy them equally.

Additionally, i would look askance at any guy who could not appreciate The Apartment or Breakfast At Tiffany's. And All About Eve is just so darn good that every male should be forced to watch it for his own cultural enrichment.

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September 28, 2005

Speaking Of Monsters

Remember my Job post from a few weeks ago, where i made reference to the giant squid? [to great rhetorical effect, i might add] Turns out that about a year ago some Japanese scientists obtained film of a live giant squid ― the first time any human being has ever seen one alive! You may have seen the story. It's listed among the most popular links at Yahoo news.

gsqd.gifPeople are fascinated by giant slimy things i guess. The giant squid has always held a particular mythological importance. Mainly, i think, because so little is known about it. As a monster it was known as the Kraken, and you can see it in the corners of those old time maps, usually clutching a square rigger within its tentacled death grip.

Maybe it's the fact that those things can grow to the length of a football field. Or those ten snakelike tentacles, all studded with suckers the size of pie plates. Or the fact that it spews forth black ink when it gets excited. Or that vicious parrot beak that can bite off the head of a pig.

As for me, i like 'em sliced up and fried in beer batter with tangy cocktail sauce on a Sunday afternoon and a football game on the big screen. An effective seafood cocktail sauce should always contain a generous amount of horseradish, tabasco and lemon in it. But i digress.

Here's an fascinating passage about the mysterious deep sea monster from an otherwise boring book called Moby Dick: more...

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Is GB Russia?

This sounds like a joke.

Tony Blair is facing a possible police investigation over an alleged slur against the Welsh.

. . . [T]he Prime Minister repeatedly referred to them as 'f****** Welsh'.

It is said to have happened while he was watching the disappointing results of the Welsh Assembly elections in 1999.

. . .

North Wales Police said: 'A complaint has been received and is being reviewed.

'We will be seeking the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the content of the statement of complaint.'

The CPS is expected to apply standard tests before deciding whether an investigation is viable and worthwhile.

The tests include whether an investigation would be in the public interest and whether there would be a reasonable chance of conviction.

This is a fucking joke right? It's illegal to say fucking Welsh in Great Britain. i knew they were a tolerant sort of people, but i was unaware that the Taliban had taken seats in Parliament. Someone please tell me this is an Onion story that got posted on Sky News by mistake.

If using the word fuck in reference to a Welshman is a crime, why isn't Elizabeth Taylor in jail?

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Another Dumb-Ass Political Quiz

You are a

Social Conservative
(30% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(71% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Via Matt.

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Wednesday Is Poetry Day

cerb.gifi had a nightmare last night in which monsters and evil things were featured. i half woke up and thought to myself "why am i dreaming in horror?" Then i rolled over on my other side, which allowed my unconscious to switch genres.

i was always fascinated by monsters as a kid. When i was in fourth grade i did a school report on mythological beasts. i made a chart on poster board with drawings of each monster and little descriptions, written by me. The chart included the hydra, basilisk, chimaera, kappa, phoenix, griffon, manticore, medusa and cerberus. i wish i had saved those drawings; i was so precocious back then.

Maybe i'm thinking about monsters because Halloween is coming up. Or maybe because the radio guys i listen to in the morning were talking about hell. Or maybe i'm just going crazy.

Cerberus is a pretty scary beast. He inhabits the Third Circle of Hell, where gluttons are punished. Here is how Dante Alighieri describes him in Canto VI of The Inferno.

In the third circle I arrive, of showers
Ceaseless, accursed, heavy and cold, unchanged
For ever, both in kind and in degree.
Large hail, discolor’d water, sleety flaw
Through the dun midnight air stream’d down amain:
Stank all the land whereon that tempest fell.
Cerberus, cruel monster, fierce and strange,
Through his wide threefold throat, barks as a dog
Over the multitude immersed beneath.
His eyes glare crimson, black his unctuous beard,
His belly large, and claw’d the hands, with which
He tears the spirits, flays them, and their limbs
Piecemeal disparts. Howling there spread, as curs,
Under the rainy deluge, with one side
The other screening, oft they roll them round,
A wretched, godless crew. When that great worm
Descried us, savage Cerberus, he oped
His jaws, and the fangs show’d us; not a limb
Of him but trembled. Then my guide, his palms
Expanding on the ground, thence fill’d with earth
Raised them, and cast it in his ravenous maw.
E’en as a dog, that yelling bays for food
His keeper, when the morsel comes, lets fall
His fury, bent alone with eager haste
To swallow it; so dropp’d the loathsome cheeks
Of demon Cerberus, who thundering stuns
The spirits, that they for deafness wish in vain.

It's interesting that Dante describes Cerberus as "trembling." You'd think it would be Dante who was trembling more during the encounter. Another translation says the monster's "body was one mass of twitching muscles." What a frightening image! i also like how Virgil distracts the monster by throwing a glob of mud into its "ravenous maw." That's a great descriptive term. The stuff of nightmares.

Here's another, perhaps easier, translation of the scene:

In the third circle am I of the rain
Eternal, maledict, and cold, and heavy;
Its law and quality are never new.
Huge hail, and water sombre-hued, and snow,
Athwart the tenebrous air pour down amain;
Noisome the earth is, that receiveth this.
Cerberus, monster cruel and uncouth,
With his three gullets like a dog is barking
Over the people that are there submerged.
Red eyes he has, and unctuous beard and black,
And belly large, and armed with claws his hands;
He rends the spirits, flays, and quarters them.
Howl the rain maketh them like unto dogs;
One side they make a shelter for the other;
Oft turn themselves the wretched reprobates.
When Cerberus perceived us, the great worm!
His mouths he opened, and displayed his tusks;
Not a limb had he that was motionless.
And my Conductor, with his spans extended,
Took of the earth, and with his fists well filled,
He threw it into those rapacious gullets.
Such as that dog is, who by barking craves,
And quiet grows soon as his food he gnaws,
For to devour it he but thinks and struggles,
The like became those muzzles filth-begrimed
Of Cerberus the demon, who so thunders
Over the souls that they would fain be deaf.

i like that translation because the image in lines 14-15 is clearer: the damned souls using their own backs as shields from the horrid rain. They keep rolling over in vain, but unlike me, they can't end their nightmare.

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September 26, 2005

ABC Endorses Hillary For 2008

Am i the only one who sees ABC's new weekly Hillary propaganda show for what it is? They even have a fake blog to promote the thing.

Apparently President Allen is supposed to be an Independent, who was picked for VP to balance out a Republican ticket. The fake blog describes her as a "centrist." The plan is clear: get middle-of-the-roaders used to the idea of a female president in time for Hillary's run.

i won't watch that show with Emelio Estevez as president. But i'm a big fan of both Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland, so i'll have to give this propaganda reel a chance tomorrow night. Hopefully it won't be too sickening.

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MNF Pick, Week 3

Kansas City plus 2½ points? That's a no-brainer. Sure, Mile-High is always a factor, but so are Trent Green and Priest Holmes. Take KC over Denver. Insist on the points so you can laugh at the suckers later.

First Quarter Update: Fuck.

Halftime Update: Double fuck.

(That Clay Aiken's got a pretty good arm. Who knew?)

Third Quarter Update: Looks like we're going to need the greatest comeback in MNF history for those 2½ points to matter.

Final Score Update: Okay, so i'm 0 and 2. Denver was 0 and 2 before Monday Night, but i don't see you mocking them now. Just wait until next week.

Update to the Update: Crap, wrong again. Denver was 1-1.

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September 25, 2005

Celine Dion Visits The Hot Tub Friends

Guess who dropped in on the Hot Tub Friends' latest party? It's mega-star Celine Dion!

Let's listen in, shall we?


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Breaking News



"Rita's victims wealthier than Katrina's"

Via Associated Press, the people who brought you "Black folks are looters."


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September 22, 2005

Apprentice Blogging

Apprentice blogging will get me through this slump.


Apprentice blogging will get me through this slump.

So i saw the premier of Martha Stewart's Apprentice last night and it was...

Oh wait. Dawn did that already. Aw hell, just go read hers.

Best line of course was at the end when Martha tells the firee that he didn't fail, he just "didn't fully succeed." i'll have to remember that one.

Dear Father,

i regret to tell you that i'll be moving home again on account of they kicked me out of law school. Something about spending less time on the internet and more time reading cases or something like that. Anyways, the good news is i didn't fail, i just didn't fully succeed.


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It Was Only A Matter Of Time...

... before somebody spoofed Bob Dylan's classic "Hurricane." Check out Mister Snitch's version. It's crazy good.

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September 21, 2005

Question 2 For The Day

What if Sacramento won a sports championship and nobody cared?

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Question 1 For The Day

What if Rita Cosby moved to MSNBC and nobody noticed?

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Wednesday Is Poetry Day

i used to read a poetry message board, where amateur poets went for affirmation. Some of the most common poems, and some of the worst, were poems about Autumn. Leaves changing color and leaves falling were favorite subjects of these poets. After about two dozen of these, you never want to read another poem about autumn again. It's almost as bad as teenage angst poetry. Well no, nothing is quite as bad as that.

The gold standard for poems about falling leaves was written by Emily Dickinson a long time ago.

Ribbons of the Year―
Multitude Brocade―
Worn to Nature's Party once

Then, as flung aside
As a faded Bead
Or a Wrinkled Pearl
Who shall charge the Vanity
Of the Maker's Girl?

Fall has always been the most introspective season for me. (While i say "introspective," some might call it "moody.") As i approach this year's equinox, i'll keep in mind Dickinson's prayer:

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze―

A few incisive Mornings―
A few Ascetic Eves―
Gone -- Mr. Bryant's "Golden Rod"―
And Mr. Thomson's "sheaves."

Still, is the bustle in the Brook―
Sealed are the spicy valves―
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The Eyes of many Elves―

Perhaps a squirrel may remain―
My sentiments to share―
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind―
Thy windy will to bear!

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September 20, 2005

Graphic Novel Idea

i've been working on an idea for the next Great American Graphic Novel, to be written, drawn, inked and lettered by me. i suck at drawing, so that might be a problem, but i can ink, i think. My lettering skills are inconsistent, but hey, that's what they invented Comic Sans for, right?

This Great American Graphic Novel, or G.A.G.N. let's call it, will be aimed at the adult market. i plan to include lots of four letter words, sex, gratuitous violence, and women with bullet shaped titties. i'm still undecided on a title. So far, i have a couple of possibilities.

Death Marcher
Death Takes a Powder
Deadly Sin
The Deadliest Sin
Death in WiFi
A Dumass Way to Die
Death is for Dumasses
Kill Me Deadlily
Bicycle of Death
Mr. Killee, Killer of Genius
Hit Parade of Death
Death on a Shingle
The Dead Have No Eyeballs
Sugar Deadly
Color Me Die
Wacky Train to Deathville
The Murderer Who Liked to Kill People
Demarcation of Death
Demarcation of Death II, The Awakening
The Stoogemaster
Traffic Circle of Death
A Fine Way to Die, Wally
Dying is an Ugly Business
The Death Tram
The Death Pram
Only 45 Minutes to Deadway
More Death's A-Killin'
Take A Memo, Death
Why Do the Dead Always Die?
A Fun Time for Dying
Do We Die Now?
Did We Die Yet?
Fuck, I'm Dead!
Murder at the Circle K
Even Killers Get the Blues
Only Killers Get the Blues
Why Do Killers Get the Blues?
18" Rims of Death
For Death's Sake
The Drama Club Murders
A Dharma Death
Murder by Fiddlesticks
Doing a Death Right
Killer of the Dead
Killer of the Dead II, The Awakening
North Dallas Deadly, A Sports Thriller
The Killer Who Left the Toilet Seat Up
Deadly Games the Dead Play
Core of Death
The Semantics of Murder
Cubicle of the Dead
Cuticle of the Dead
The Chronic Killer
'Tis a Far Better Death
It Slices, It Dices, It Dies
Death Knoll
Death Knell

i particularly like Death Knell, but i want to save it for a mass market paperback idea i have. i'll change the name to Death Nell, and the story will involve a kick-ass girl crime scene investigator/hooker named Nell, who is also a vampire hunter. Or maybe she'll be a vampire herself, who knows. i still need to do the market research on that.

But getting back to my graphic novel idea. The working title for my G.A.G.N. is currently Statute of Limitations, which has a nice ring to it. i haven't plotted the whole story out yet, but i have the basic outline in mind. It's about a family of rabbits in space. They go around having adventures and helping people.

i also have a cover design. Wanna see it? Here it is.

Don't steal my idea.

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The Cotillion Dolls

This week's Cotillion Ball is hosted by Beth at My VRWC, Sadie at Fistful of Fortnights, Soldier's Angel Holly Aho, SondraK at Knowledge Is Power and Jody at Steal the Bandwagon. There are many pictures, go to it!

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Was it just me, or did anyone else hear Hugh Hewitt let a bad word slip out on the radio this afternoon?

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