October 2003 Archives

Houston, I Think We Have a PR Problem


From a correspondant:

I completely imagine you as this cerebral, stiff, over-analytical type ...

...and she says that like it's a bad thing.

Normally, I'd Post This Under "Politics..."

You really can't make this shit up: Rumsfeld unsure of missing 'mojo'.

Make sure to vote in the poll on that page.

If, at this late stage of the game, you're still stuck without a halloween costume, try some of these cheap, easy, and quick costume ideas:

  • The guy who went to a costume party without a costume
  • Stanley Tucci
  • serial killer ("he was such a nice, quiet man...")
  • depressed Red Sox fan
  • commuter stuck on a 1 train with too many people on it
  • your imaginary twin
  • candidate for governor of California
  • undercover police officer
  • unemployed gay porn star
  • pregnant woman (most easily achieved if you are, in fact, both a woman and pregnant)
  • off-duty stripper
  • office drone
  • person with an invisible friend
  • man-on-the-street
  • drunk guy/gal at office party (for added realism, try this while drunk at an office party)
  • blogger

From BlogJazz, who was the winner of last month's title contest, which reminds me that it's time for this month's contest: post a quote (or two) that mentions the month November in the comments, and the one I like the best gets their site permalinked at the top of my list of rotating permalinks (over there on the left).

US Productivity Forcast to Recline


I gotta get myself one of these:


(via look.livejournal.com)

There Used To Be Another Name For This


Halliburton just released their third-quarter numbers, and this was among the highlights:

Profits from [Kellogg Brown & Root's] operations soared to 49 million dollars in the three months to September 30 from 12 million dollars for the period a year earlier, helped by "government services activity in the Middle East," Halliburton said.

Didn't they used to call this sort of thing "war profiteering"?

Update: And didn't these guys used to be called "mercenaries"?

It Rained All Day


Well, I guess that the good news is that I won't be moving to Washington anytime soon...

Out and Aboot


Off to DC (that's The District to y'all) for a couple of days.

Play nice while I'm gone.

That'll be $0.50 for the Round


From President Bush's address to the Australian Parliament:

We see a China that is stable and prosperous -- a nation that respects the peace of its neighbors and works to secure the freedom of its own people.

It's good to know that running people over with tanks is part of "work[ing] to secure the freedom of its own people".



Go say happy birthday to a coupla bloggers and make their day.

Last Friday I started getting my student subscription to the Wall Street Journal.

Which is all fine and good. Except for the fact that

  1. I never signed up for a subscription to the Journal, and
  2. I'm not a student.

Moreover, none of the usual suspects said that they signed me up...

Practice, Practice, Practice

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We Who Are About To Rock (Salute You!)


School of Rock rocks. Like Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a film that's far better than it has any right to be. The formulaic story of a slacker who inspires a class to form a band, the movie transcends itself through the vehicles of Richard Linklater's slyly understated direction, Mike White's intelligent screenplay, and (most of all) Jack Black's maniacally brilliant lead performance. As a low-talent rocker named Dewey Finn, Black invests so much energy into his performance that he'd steal the entire movie if he wasn't the star (I know, that doesn't make much sense, but work with me on this). Screenwriter White hands in a hilarious turn as Finn's hapless roommate, and the kids in Finn's classroom are more than willing acolytes in the Church of Rock.

More to the point, the movie inspired me to pick up the new remastered version of Back in Black (and subsequently listen to it, at the appropriate volume (see below), for most of the past week). You wouldn't think that AC/DC's trademark thundering, sludge-like sound would be the sort of thing that would benefit from remastering. But the remastering process really opened up the songs, giving them unprecedented levels of clarity and revealing sonic details that simply weren't there in the original CD releases. Moreover, the band comes across not just as thunder merchants (though it's still best appreciated at apartment-rattling volume) but as dedicated and skilled craftsmen capable of surprising nuance.

Check it out.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?


More than 10 days after the introduction of the new $20 and I still haven't seen a single one...

Irony Is Dead. The White House Killed It.

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Here are, verbatim, the first three paragraphs of a Philadelphia Inquirer article that ran last week:

Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush - living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge - told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else.

News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately.

Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any stories" quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and that if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used.

Be There or Be Somewhere Else


Blogger Bash: tonight, 6:30-ish to whenever, at the Shalel Lounge on the historic Upper West Side.

Now That's My Kind of Astronaut!

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Whilst waiting for the Red Sox to hit into yet another strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out double play...

It turns out that Yang Liwei is my kinda guy: "After finishing lunch, Yang got out his sleeping bag and took a three-hour nap."

Not A Lot of Wagner Fans Out There...

Brokentype goes to the Radiohead concert and discovers that he really doesn't like Radiohead.



I can't be the only person to notice that, amidst all the finger-pointing and hullaballoo, that the Red Sox have run themselves out of potential big innings in each of the last three games with busted hit-and-run plays that ended up being strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out double plays?

And don't get me started on the baserunning last night...

Now That's Dedication

Unable to find tickets to the LOTR trilogy showing in Manhattan, Rickey went ahead and scored some tickets to a showing a bit upstate. In Rochester.

For those of you unfamilar with New York geography, Rochester's 350 miles from New York City -- that means that he's going to be leaving New York at 1 a.m., watching eleven hours of movies, and then returning to the city at about 11 a.m. the next day.

Now that's dedication, my friends.

Spam, Glorious Spam!


It seems that there is an epidemic of comment spam targetting Moveble Type blogs of late (see here, here, here, here, here and here).

Several of the links above have some excellent ideas on how to combat the flood. Just remember that to ban a range of IP addresses (like, say, omit the last range of numbers but leave the trailing period (like "209.210.176.").



torontolaspe.jpgCheck out this amazing 14-hour timelapse sequence shot of downtown Toronto, shot from a hotel room window the photographer's apartment window with a digital camera. The large version's 5 MB, but it's totally worth the download time.

I recommend cueing up something vaguely ambient or new-agey in iTunes (perhaps Gavin Bryars or even some Enya if you really want to relax) to accompany the video, or perhaps some Philip Glass if you're going for the Koyaanisqatsi vibe...

(found at jish.nu)

Five on Five


Or Your Money Back

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Strangers In A Strange Land

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In a intereseting development, there seems to be a secret cabal of New York bloggers who root for the Red Sox.

This is, of course, not to discount the very large number of non-Sox fans in the New York area; in fact, being a Red Sox fan in New York is a bit like being the only guy at the Coliseum who's not rooting for the lions.

American Heroes

In light of l'affair Plame, I though that this was kinda relevant:

A little-known addendum to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-81 is that six American State Department employees, having avoided being taken hostage by the Revolutionary Guards, spent several months hiding in the Canadian Embassy before being spirited out of the country by a top-secret CIA operation.

The operation, which involved the co-operation of the US and Canadian goverments at the Presidental/Prime Minster level, was classic cloak-and-dagger stuff, straight of of John Le Carre. A key part of the operation involved the creation of a shell company in Hollywood to give the "Canadian Six" a believable reason for being in Iran in the first place, and there's a great throwaway line in there: "The Mafia and many shady foreign investors were notorious for backing productions in Hollywood, where fortunes are frequently made and lost. It is also an ideal place to launder money."

Go check out the entire story -- it's a great read.

I Wish I Could Claim Authorship

Well, having already spent $300 million in the ever-more quixotic quest to find weapons of mass destruction that apparently don't exist, it seems that the Bush administration has no problem with throwing good money after bad and wants to spend another $600 million on the search.

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

So, anyway, with $300 million, full and free access to Iraqi scientists (for that matter, the entire freakin' country) and the full support of the US government, our intrepid weapons experts have found exactly the same thing that the UN weapons inspectors (with much less money, limited access to Iraqi scientists, and the interference of the US government) did: NOTHING.

Does anyone who was impugning Hans Blix back in the spring wish to offer a him public apology now?

And, while we're still throwing money around trying to find imaginary WMD in Iraq, the North Koreans are like a kid dancing in his chair in the back of the classroom, desperately trying to get the teacher to call on them: "MEEE!!!!" Except, of course, instead of having the right answer, they have weapons-grade plutonium.

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House of Mirrors


Hereitype takes blogging in a whole different direction.

(note: things are not always what they appear to be)

Lookie, Lookie

Jim's back, maintaining his ultra-reliable once-every-six-weeks posting schedule.

You can set your watch by it.

I was reminded this morning of that inexplicable American phenomenon: intelligent, attractive women who date jerks and know it.