Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Georgia Gas Freakout

Apparently no one told me the rumors that the gas stations were
closing at 4 pm and would be closed all weekend.

I was driving home and couldn't believe the lines at the gas stations.
Probably took me an extra 20 minutes to get around the backed up
traffic. Saw one station raising the prices to $3.39 for 87 octane.
Thought to myself "what, did I miss the memo about gas prices going up
and everyone was supposed to buy gas right now?" Get home and THEWIFE
says the news is reporting the main gas pipes for the Southeast were broken.

Oh well. Did the usual stuff with THEKID, fixed dinner, etc. Played
music, watched the Muppet Show, so didn't hear any news. Get THEKID to
bed and since THEWIFE said she had less than a quarter tank, I wen out to check out the situation - 8:30pm. First couple stations were backed up a little, not too bad, and a third had closed the pumps.

Listening to WSB radio, they said a panic had been started by the rumor above
and gas prices were up to $5-6/gallon in places. Also reported fuel
should be flowing by the weekend, the governor had stepped in to freeze prices, and if gas stations ran dry it was because of a panic run, not
that Georgia was running out of gas. Pulled into the Shell station with
one car ahead of me. The 87 octane was dry, but 89 was fine and at
$2.99/gallon not that much expensive than this morning.

So did anyone else get caught on the freakout or see insane pricing?

Check out Atlanta Gas Prices.

more info

The dentata

From Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson:
That's when the realization comes. It swims up out of her subconscious in the same way that a nightmare does. Or when you leave the house and remember half an hour later that you left a teakettle going on the stove. It's a cold clammy reality that she can't do a damn thing about.

She has finally remembered what that nagging thing was that bothered her for a moment, right before the actua moment of fucking.

It was not birth control. It was not a hygiene thing.

It was her dentata. The last line of personal self-defense. Along with Uncle Enzo's dog tags, the one piece of stuff that the Orthos didn't take. They didn't take it because they don't believe in cavity searches.

Which means that at the moment Raven entered her, a very small hypodermic needle slipped imperceptiblyy into the engorged frontal vein of his penis, automatically shooting a cocktail of powerful narcotics and depressants into his bloodstream.

Raven's been harpooned in the place where he least expected it. Now he's going to sleep for at least four hours.

And, then, boy, is he ever going to be pissed.

You take my rainy days and make them go away

Wednesday commute with the iPod shuffle.

Nightclub Jitters, The Replacements
Twist & Crawl, The English Beat
Walk, Don’t Run, Marty Cooper Clan
Long Snake Moan, PJ Harvey
Chained and Bound, Otis Redding
Sophisticated Lady, Linda Ronstadt
Big Shot, The English Beat
Still Thrives This Love, kd lang
Remember Then, Earls
Count on Me (demo), Aladdin
Traffic Song, Joe Lutcher
The Broad Majestic Shannon, The Pogues
I Feel for You, Prince
Hi-Lili Hi-Lo, Rickie Lee Jones
Dancing Lessons, Sinead O’Connor

Nice mix of music, this. You know, for me, Chaka Khan so completely owns I Feel for You that I’d completely forgotten Prince wrote this. His original version is just weak and whiny in comparison.

Sinead O’Connor is another female vocalist that completely owns a Prince song - Nothing Compares 2 U. Sinead is an amazing singer; she has a powerful voice with a lot of emotion and range. Still,Dancing Lessons is a song I’m not that familiar with. For whatever reason, I haven’t listened much to the CD Faith and Courage, but I’ll take it for a spin after this.

Dancing Lessons is poppy and bouncy and one of the most cheerful songs I can recall. While not being gooey or sappy, I could easily hear it being played at weddings or anniversary parties. Looking for something upbeat? This is it.

Dancing Lessons
I wanna go wallking with you
If you'd agree
I wanna do some talking with you
Where no one can see
I wanna go dancing darling
If you agree
I think I'll feel a safe step darling
If you were with me
And when you wrap your arms around me
When you take me close and say
That you're so glad you found me
You take my rainy days and make them go away
Long time I've been thinking of you
Do you think of me too?
Long time I've been dreaming of you
Make this dream come true
Long time I've been wondering about this
Can this really exist
I swear I feel a peaceful feeling
In the warmth of your kiss
And when you wrap your arms around me
When you take me close and say
That you're so glad you found me
You take my rainy days and make them go away
On this journey may the good lord guide us
And may the goddess dance beside us
And when you wrap your arms around me
When you take me close and say
That you're so glad you found me
You take my rainy days and make them go away
And when you wrap your arms around me
When you take me close and say
That you're so glad you found me
You take my rainy days and make them go away

ps: The Official Sinead website is one of the most disgusting uses of Flash I’ve come across. Click if you must, but it just about ruined all the nice thoughts I had about her.

Selections from the NY Press

J.P. Avlon on Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Cash:
Each time a Hunter S. Thompson or Johnny Cash passes, we lose a little bit of the old, weird America, and we are poorer for it. We rally around their memory because it is through them we get a whiff of something authentic, the spirit of the eternal American War for Independence, patriotism not caught up in the stiff anthems of John Phillip Sousa, but the rowdy, sometimes angry country music that celebrates American Indians and old blues musicians, the same strains that can be heard through the British filter of the Rolling Stones on Exile on Main Street.

Jim Knipfel toasts a tavern:
I don't remember the first time I stopped into Ruby's for a beer. In fact, I don't remember the first few visits all that well. Things were pretty hazy back then, so it just seemed like another place to grab a round. But there was one visit several years back when Morgan and I stopped in, and something clicked. I can't say what it was, exactly, but the scales fell from my eyes and I realized that we were sitting in The Perfect Bar.

J.R. Taylor talks to the still touringAlice Cooper:
Alice isn't afraid to take his beliefs on the road, either. "I'll go to where the death-metal bands are in Denmark," he says, "and I'll tell them that they're inviting Satan into their life. These guys think Hell is lying around and getting high with the devil. People wonder what's wrong with me, but I totally believe what I'm saying. This is one of the only times in my life when I'm not going for an effect. This is what I need to say."

Matt Zoller Seitz reviews The Brothers Grimm:
Whether you'll want to suspend your own credulity for The Brothers Grimm will depend largely on your fondness for Gilliam. And what fantasy buff isn't fond of Gilliam? From Brazil on, the former animator has become such a symbol of wild-man integrity—a gonzo artist raging against the Hollywood machine—that one is inclined to support him even when the work isn't great. This movie should put that inclination to the test. It's eye-popping, energetic and rudely funny in the time-honored Gilliam manner. But it's also muddled, frenzied, exhausting and, overall, more superficial than it should have been, especially when one considers the subject matter: a fairytale about the Brothers Grimm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Orleans Updates

Catch up on the New Orleans news from the Times-Picayune. Updates throughout the day are at Breaking News.

Flying Spaghetti Monster makes the NY Times

But Is There Intelligent Spaghetti Out There?

August 29, 2005

Is the super-intelligent, super-popular god known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster any match for the prophets of intelligent design?

This month, the Kansas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to allow teaching alternatives to evolution like intelligent design (the theory that a smart being designed the universe). And President Bush and Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee both gave the thumbs up to teaching intelligent design.

Long before that, Bobby Henderson, a 25-year-old with a physics degree from Oregon State University, had a divine vision. An intelligent god, a Flying Spaghetti Monster, he said, "revealed himself to me in a dream."

He posted a sketch on his Web site,, showing an airborne tangle of spaghetti and meatballs with two eyes looming over a mountain, trees and a stick man labeled "midgit." Prayers to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, his site says, end with "ramen," not "amen."

Then, Mr. Henderson, who says on his site that he is desperately trying to avoid taking a job programming slot machines in Las Vegas, posted an open letter to the Kansas board.

In perfect deadpan he wrote that although he agreed that science students should "hear multiple viewpoints" of how the universe came to be, he was worried that they would be hearing only one theory of intelligent design. After all, he noted, there are many such theories, including his own fervent belief that "the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster." He demanded equal time in the classroom and threatened a lawsuit.

Soon he was flooded with e-mail messages. Ninety-five percent of those who wrote to him, he said on his Web site, were "in favor of teaching Flying Spaghetti Monsterism in schools." Five percent suggested that he would be going to hell. Lawyers contacted him inquiring how serious he was about a lawsuit against the Kansas board. His answer: "Very."

This month, the news media, both mainstream and digital, jumped in. The New Scientist magazine wrote an article. So did Die Welt. Two online encyclopedias, Uncyclopedia and Wikipedia, wrote entries on the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Web site mounted a challenge: "We are willing to pay any individual $250,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

Now, Mr. Henderson says on his Web site, "over 10 million people have been touched by His Noodly Appendage." But what does that mean? When push comes to shove, will the religion that has come to be known as Pastafarianism do what it was intended to do - prove that it is ridiculous to teach intelligent design as science?

Mr. Henderson, who said in an e-mail message that his divine vision was induced by "a lack of sleep and a mounting disgust over the whole I.D. issue," has wit on his side. His god not only resembles human brains (proof, a fan writes, that "we were created in His image") but also looks like the kind of bacteria that proponents of intelligent design hold up as too complex to be the work of evolution alone.

Two dozen academics have endorsed the pasta god. Three members of the Kansas board who already opposed teaching intelligent design wrote kind letters to Mr. Henderson. Dozens of people have posted their sightings of the deity (along with some hilarious pictures). One woman even wrote in to say that she had "conceived the spirit of our Divine Lord," the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while eating alone at the Olive Garden.

"I heard singing, and tomato sauce rained from the sky, and I saw angel hair pasta flying about with little farfalle wings and playing harps," she wrote. "It was beautiful." The Spaghetti Monster, she went on, impregnated her and told her, "You shall name Him ... Prego ... and He shall bring in a new era of love."

Parody is a lot of fun. And parody begets more parody, especially on the Internet. It's contagious. But has anyone ever converted to a parody religion?

The history books show that parody isn't always the smartest strategy when it comes to persuasion. Remember Galileo? Some recent scholars say that it may not have been his science so much as his satire, "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," that got everyone steamed up. Under threat of death, Galileo ended up recanting his view that the earth revolves around the sun, and had to wait 350 years for vindication.

And yet the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster flourishes. It even has schisms. A rival faction, based on SPAM (Spaghetti & Pulsar Activating Meatballs), has formed. And there's bickering, Mr. Henderson said in an e-mail message, about whether the god is made of spaghetti or linguini. Those people, he noted, "give me a headache."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Song for the Day

Hurricane music provided by the Canadian group Tragically Hip.

New Orleans Is Sinking

Bourbon blues on the street loose and complete
Under skies all smoky blue-green
I can Forksake the dixie dead shake
So we dance the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy what's this river I'm in
New Orleans is sinking and I don't want to swim

Colonel Tom What's wrong? What's Going On
You can't tie yourself up for a deal
He said" Hey North you're south shut you big mouth
You gotta do what you feel is real."
Ain't got no picture postcards ain't go no souvenirs
My baby she don't know me when I'm thinking about thoes years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud looked a little like me

I had My hand in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the lord above and said hey man thanks
Some time I fell so good I gotta scream
She says Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said I swear to god she said

My memory is muddy what's this river I'm in
New Orleans is sinking and I don't want to swim

Better music from 1982

A much more listenable list of 1982 music is this KROQ 1982 countdown. Only four songs on this list I dislike and two don’t really count. I crossed them off because I’ve never heard of them. I only bolded what, for me, would be the cream of the crop. The only major hole I see from this list is the missing The Message from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This was the first rap album to go platinum.

  1. The Clash: Rock The Casbah
  2. Flock of Seagulls: I Ran
  3. Soft Cell: Sex Dwarf
  4. Missing Persons: Words
  5. Human League: Don't You Want Me
  6. The Stray Cats: Rock This Town
  7. Sparks: I Predict
  8. The Go-Go's: Vacation
  9. Talk Talk: Talk Talk
  10. X: Blue Spark
  11. Missing Persons: Walking In L.A.
  12. The Police: Hungry For You
  13. The Jam: Town Called Malice
  14. The Cars: Since You're Gone
  15. Tony Basil: Mickey
  16. Romeo Void: Never Say Never
  17. Adam & the Ants: Stand and Deliver
  18. King Crimson: Elephant Talk
  19. The Rolling Stones: Goin To A Go-Go
  20. Devo: Peek-A-Boo
  21. Peter Gabriel: Shock The Monkey
  22. B-52's: Nip It In The Bud
  23. XTC: Senses Working Overtime
  24. Billy Idol: White Wedding
  25. Adam Ant: Goodie Two Shoes
  26. Haircut 100: Love Plus One
  27. Duran Duran: Hungry Like The Wolf
  28. Gang Of Four: I Love A Man In A Uniform
  29. Roxy Music: The Space Between
  30. King Crimson: Heartbeat
  31. The Clash: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
  32. Lords Of The New Church: Open Your Eyes
  33. Flock of Seagulls: Space Age Love Song
  34. Duran Duran: Girls On Film
  35. The Stray Cats: Runaway Boys
  36. Men At Work: Who Can It Be?
  37. Thomas Dolby: Europa
  38. Soft Cell: Tainted Love
  39. Simple Minds: Promised You A Miracle
  40. Missing Persons: Destination Unknown
  41. The Cure: Primary
  42. The Police: Too Much Information
  43. The Pretenders: Back On The Chain Gang
  44. Wall of Voodoo: Mexican Radio
  45. Blasters: American Music
  46. King Cotton: Stick To The Grind
  47. Oingo Boingo: Wild Sex
  48. Slow Children: Spring In Fialta
  49. Tom Petty: You Got Lucky
  50. Killer Pussy: Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage
  51. Human League: Seconds
  52. Boomtown Rats: Skin On Skin
  53. The Stray Cats: Stray Cat Strut
  54. Tommy Tutone: 867-5309/Jenny
  55. Toto Coelo: I Eat Cannibals
  56. The Clash: Know Your Rights
  57. David Bowie: Cat People
  58. The Police: One World
  59. OMD: Georgia
  60. Sparks: Mickey Mouse
  61. Waitresses: Quit
  62. X: The Hungry Wolf
  63. Oingo Boingo: Goodbye Goodbye
  64. The Cars: Shake It Up
  65. Human League: Love Action (I Believe in Love)
  66. Dave Edmunds: Me & The Boys
  67. Missing Persons: None Of Your Business
  68. The Go-Go's: Beatnik Beach
  69. The Jam: Precious
  70. Men At Work: Down Under
  71. Joan Jett: I Love Rock & Roll
  72. The Police: Spirits In The Material World
  73. Sparks: Angst In My Pants
  74. The Go-Go's: Speeding
  75. Devo: Big Mess
  76. Adam & the Ants: Prince Charming
  77. King Crimson: Thela Nun Ginjeet
  78. B-52's: Loveland
  79. Nick Lowe: Burnin
  80. Bow Wow Wow: Baby Oh No
  81. Tom Petty: Same Old You
  82. Haircut 100: Favorite Shirts
  83. Thompson Twins: In The Name Of Love
  84. King Crimson: Neal & Jack & Me
  85. Soft Cell: Insecure Me
  86. The Pretenders: My City Was Gone
  87. Mink Deville: Just Give Me One Good Reason
  88. Translator: Everywhere That I'm Not
  89. Iggy Pop: Run Like A Villain
  90. Elvis Costello: Love Ones
  91. David Bowie and Queen: Under Pressure
  92. Flock of Seagulls: Telecommunications
  93. Missing Persons: Noticeable One
  94. The Stray Cats: Built For Speed
  95. Sparks: Monster Of Love
  96. The Go-Go's: Get Up & Go
  97. ABC: Look Of Love
  98. Trio: Da Da Da
  99. Berlin: Sex (I'm A)
  100. Duran Duran: Rio
  101. Squeeze: I've Returned
  102. The Clash: Radio Clash
  103. Joe Jackson: Steppin' Out
  104. Roxy Music: Main Thing
  105. Peter Gabriel: I Have The Touch
  106. Billy Idol: Hot In The City
  107. Barnes and Barnes: I Had Sex With E.T.

1982 was a bad year on the radio

Mitch is passing along this: Go to Music Outfitters, enter the year you got out of high school in the search box, copy and paste it into a blog post or wherever, cross out the ones you don't like, bold the ones you do, and underline your favorite. I skipped the underline part - just not enough good music here to differentiate.

  1. Physical, Olivia Newton-John ...sorry, I don’t mind listening to ONJ
  2. Eye Of The Tiger, Survivor
  3. I Love Rock N' Roll, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
  4. Ebony And Ivory, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder … worst song, ever
  5. Centerfold, J. Geils Band
  6. Don't You Want Me, Human League
  7. Jack And Diane, John Cougar
  8. Hurts So Good, John Cougar
  9. Abracadabra, Steve Miller Band
  10. Hard To Say I'm Sorry, Chicago
  11. Tainted Love, Soft Cell
  12. Chariots Of Fire, Vangelis
  13. Harden My Heart, Quarterflash
  14. Rosanna, Toto
  15. I Can't Go For That, Daryl Hall and John Oates
  16. 867-5309 (Jenny), Tommy Tutone
  17. Key Largo, Bertie Higgins
  18. You Should Hear How She Talks About You, Melissa Manchester
  19. Waiting For A Girl Like You, Foreigner
  20. Don't Talk To Strangers, Rick Springfield
  21. The Sweetest Thing, Juice Newton
  22. Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson …sorry, Willie
  23. Shake It Up, Cars
  24. Let It Whip, Dazz Band
  25. We Got The Beat, Go-Go's
  26. The Other Woman, Ray Parker Jr.
  27. Turn Your Love Around, George Benson
  28. Sweet Dreams, Air Supply
  29. Only The Lonely, Motels
  30. Who Can It Be Now?, Men At Work
  31. Hold Me, Fleetwood Mac
  32. Eye In The Sky, Alan Parsons Project
  33. Let's Groove, Earth, Wind and Fire
  34. Open Arms, Journey
  35. Leader Of The Band, Dan Fogelberg
  36. Leather And Lace, Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
  37. Even The Nights Are Better, Air Supply
  38. I've Never Been To Me, Charlene
  39. '65 Love Affair, Paul Davis
  40. Heat Of The Moment, Asia
  41. Take It Easy On Me, Little River Band
  42. Pac-man Fever, Buckner and Garcia
  43. That Girl, Stevie Wonder
  44. Private Eyes, Daryl Hall and John Oates
  45. Trouble, Lindsey Buckingham
  46. Making Love, Roberta Flack
  47. Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me, Juice Newton
  48. Young Turks, Rod Stewart
  49. Freeze-frame, J. Geils Band
  50. Keep The Fire Burnin', REO Speedwagon
  51. Do You Believe In Love, Huey Lewis and The News
  52. Cool Night, Paul Davis
  53. Caught Up In You, 38 Special
  54. Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, Diana Ross
  55. Love In The First Degree, Alabama
  56. Hooked On Classics, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  57. Wasted On The Way, Crosby, Stills and Nash
  58. Think I'm In Love, Eddie Money
  59. Love Is In Control, Donna Summer
  60. Personally, Karla Bonoff
    61. One Hundred Ways, Quincy Jones
  61. Blue Eyes, Elton John
  62. Our Lips Are Sealed, Go-Go's ...I prefer Fun Boy 3
  63. You Could Have Been Wih Me, Sheena Easton
    65. You Can Do Magic, America
  64. Did It In A Minute, Daryl Hall and John Oates
  65. I Ran, A Flock Of Seagulls
  66. Somebody's Baby, Jackson Browne
  67. Oh No, Commodores
  68. Take It Away, Paul McCartney
  69. It's Gonna Take A Miracle, Deneice Williams
  70. Love Will Turn You Around, Kenny Rogers
  71. Don't Stop Bellevin', Journey
  72. Comin' In And Out Of Your Life, Barbra Streisand
  73. Gloria, Laura Branigan
  74. Empty Garden, Elton John
  75. Yesterday's Songs, Neil Diamond
  76. Crimson And Clover, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
  77. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Police
  78. Here I Am, Air Supply
  79. I Keep Forgettin', Michael Mcdonald
  80. Get Down On It, Kool and The Gang
  81. Any Day Now, Ronnie Milsap
  82. Make A Move On Me, Olivia Newton-John
  83. Take My Heart, Kool and The Gang
  84. Mirror Mirror, Diana Ross
  85. Vacation, Go-Go's
  86. (Oh) Pretty Woman, Van Halen
  87. Should I Do It, Pointer Sisters
  88. Hot In The City, Billy Idol
  89. Kids In America, Kim Wilde
  90. Man On Your Mind, Little River Band
  91. What's Forever For, Michael Murphy
  92. Waiting On A Friend, Rolling Stones
  93. Do I Do, Stevie Wonder
  94. Working For The Weekend, Loverboy
  95. Goin' Down, Greg Guidry
  96. Arthur's Theme, Christopher Cross
  97. Through The Years, Kenny Rogers
  98. Edge Of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks

Wow, I dislike 54 songs and only really care for 7.

Mitch says he envies those of us graduating in 1982. One word: NO. This is a really craptacular list of music. 1982 was not devoid of good music, it was just that very little of it made it onto pop radio; at least in Minnesota. All I remember from 1982 is wave upon wave of Air Supply and Journey. I even waited in line for 10 hours to buy Journey tickets for my friends and then gave away my ticket because I realized the band sucked. The best music to be heard in the Twin Cities at that time was the Radio One show on KFAI. Mostly european new wave, dance, some punk (both Brit and American), and early rap; also the radio play Ruby, the Galactic Gumshoe. Very little of this music made it to the normal airwaves or to the list above.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Waiting for Katrina in New Orleans

Poppy Brite, preparing to ride out the storm:

This is just what we needed, the giant whirling cherry on the stinking sundae of an almost incomprehensibly shitty fortnight. We have never evacuated for a hurricane and probably never will. This isn't bravado; it's just due to the logistical impossibility of evacuating 28 animals, some of whom are uncatchably feral, and I have no intention of holing up somewhere safe and dry while the animals cower in terror and go hungry. Besides, we couldn't evacuate this time even if we wanted to; we're contractually prevented from taking our cheapo rental car more than 25 miles from New Orleans.

I'll finish reading through the Soul Kitchen manuscript today and try to get all my line edits, at least, done by Sunday night so I can e-mail it to my agent. If we are all washed away or drowned under thirty feet of toxic sludge, at least the book will be turned in.


We are at my mother's house in central Mississippi. We bugged out at 1:00 this afternoon, battening down the hatches as best we could and bringing only our dog and our oldest cat, Colm, who requires daily medication. I'm absolutely sick about the ones we left behind, ashamed of having abandoned ship, and doubtful that I will ever see my home again. However, we caved in to pressure from our mothers, who can accomplish what 10,000 e-mails and radio warnings screaming "YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!!!!!!" cannot.

It took us eight hours to drive the approximately 80 miles...

It's about how men are deficient

From Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Randy Waterhouse has a conversation with potential girrlfriend, Amy Shaftoe:

“How about this guy we’re going to see in Seattle? He’s a computer guy too? Ooh, you’re getting this look on your face like ‘Amy just said something so stupid it caused me physical pain.’ Is this a common look of your family? Is this a common facial expression among men of your family? Do you think it is the expression that your grandfather wore when your grandmother came home and announced that she had backed the Lincoln Continental into a fire hydrant?”

“I am sorry if I make you feel bad sometimes,” Randy says. “The family is full of scientists. Mathematicians. The least intelligent of us become engineers. Which is sort of what I am.”

“Excuse me, did you just say you were one of the least intelligent?”

“Least focused, maybe.”


“My point is that precision, and getting things right, in the mathematical sense, is the one thing we have going for us. Everyone has to have a way of getting ahead, right? Otherwise you end up working at McDonald’s your whole life, or worse. Some are born rich. Some are born in a big family like yours. We make our way in the world by knowing that two plus two equals four, and sticking to our guns in a way that is kind of nerdy and that maybe hurts people’s feelings sometimes. I’m sorry.”

“Hurts whose feelings? People who think two plus two equals five?”

“People who put a higher priority on social graces than on having every statement uttered in a conversation be literally true.”

“Like, for example...female people?”

Randy grinds his teeth for about a mile, and then says, “If there is any generalization at all that you can draw about how men think versus how women think, I believe it is that men can narrow themselves down to this incredibly narrow laser-beam focus on one tiny little subject and think about nothing else.”

“Whereas women can’t?”

“I suppose women can. They rarely seem to want to. What I’m characterizing here, as the female approach, is essentially saner and healthier.”


“See, you are being a little paranoid here and focusing on the negative ttoo much. It’s not about how women are deficient. It’s about how men are deficient. Our social deficiencies, lack of perspective, or whatever you want to cal it, it what enables us to study one species of dragonfly for twenty years, or sit in front of a computer for a hundred hours a week writing code. This is not the behavior of a well-balanced and healthy person, but it can obviously lead to great advances in synthetic fibers. Or whatever.”

“But you said that you yourself were not very focused.”

Compared to other men in my family, that’s true. So, I know a little about astronomy, a lot about computers, a little about business, and I have, f I may say so, a slightly higher level of social functioning than the others. Or maybe it’s not even functioning, just an acute awareness of when I’m not functioning, so that I at least know when to feel embarrassed.”

Amy laughs. “You’re definately good at that. It seems like you sort of lurch from one moment of feeling embarrassed to the enxt.”

Randy gets embarrassed.

“It’s fun to watch,” Amy says encouragingly. “It speaks well of you.”

“What I’m saying is that this does set me apart. One of the most frightening things about your true nerd, for many people, is not that he’s spcially inept - because everybody’s been there - but rather his complete lack of embarrassmennt about it.”

“Which is still kind of pathetic.”

“It was pathetic when they were in high school,” Randy says. “Now it’s something else. Something very different from pathetic.”

“What, then?”

Friday, August 26, 2005

You are a bad bad man

Our Girl in Chicago discusses sacred cattle movies and collects comments. These are movies everyone else likes but you. She includes one of my rants, see if you can spot it.

I’m the Customer Group Coordinator

It’s the Bullshit Job Title Generator. Yeah, that was fun for 20 seconds.

Hurricane Pr0n

Read the blog of Jeff Masters. He’s the Director of Meteorology at Weather Underground.

Pastafarians talk like pirates

According to BoingBoing the high holy day for Pastafarians is Talk Like a Pirate Day.


Oh yeah, this will work out just great

The Food Whore with another Wedding Reception tale.

Midwestern nannery

The scoldish Ms Althouse wishes males would cover up

Um. no.

It’s Atlanta, and the heat index is 109 (like wind chill, but hot, for you cold people), I’m wearing shorts and still turning into a ball of sweat when I step outside at 6am. For casual long wear, I’ll wear some nice light khakis, but no jeans from May-October; to paraphrase Cole Porter, “it’s too damn hot.”

Wear linen. Hey, I love linen, it feels great. Looks nice too, until you sit down.

Personally, I have two clothing taboos:

1. Socks with sandals. You could cure cancer and still I’m thinking “retard.”

2. Girls with words across their shorts. Usually drawing attention to an ass you do not wish to have your attention drawn towards. And, if I may ask, as a father of an almost 4-year-old girl, when I can expect female fashions to move away from cheap whoredom? Could y’all quit worrying about knobby knees and get to work on the epidemic of skankdom?

As she's probably just practicing the fine art of trolling, I offer this link to the finest Althouse fashions!

Comments of the day



There's something immensely stupid about the terms "red state" and "blue state", not to mention elitist, divisive, over-simplified. I really, really, really hope we can lose this false binary system in the near future.

and Chris

So how long will it be until this really tired terminology ("red state" and "blue state") finally expires? I mean, it's just incredibly stupid that there are people who assume that everyone who voted for the same presidential candidate are more or less the same person, as if only two people exist in this country.

Other, whattayacall’em? words for quote

The Synonym Finder, J.I. Rodale

quote, V. 1. cite, call to mind, instance, adduce, cite a particular or particulars, give an example, cite again, reproduce, duplicate, repeat word for word or verbatim; excerpt, extract, select a passage, echo, re-echo, chorus, reflect, parrot; recall, remember, recollect, call to mind, repeat from memory, repeat by heart; proclaim, state.

2. refer to, bring forward, allude to, make reference to, document, substantiate, evidence, exemplify, attest, detail, circumstantiate, establish, note.

3. price, value, evaluate, valuate, set or fix a price on, place a value on; demand, charge.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm with the band

Choire Sicha writes about Rockstar: INXS

But still, there's a nostalgia to the show that the fresh-faced contestants aren't quite aware of. For those of us in our 30s, it's like traveling to a beach vacation town where the bars play happy '70s disco, punky '80s new wave. Even the music one hated back then sounds great now — because it sounds like you're young again.

As a TV show, though, it's failing for a simple enough reason: Because the contestants have to sell the idea to INXS that they'd make good, happy bandmates, the show lacks drama. That absence is so apparent that the show's episode slated for Monday night, the "behind the scenes episode" where the reality-show shenanigans would normally take place, recently and untraditionally moved from CBS to VH1, where it will air on Sundays.

And yet on a recent episode, Unga overcame her young nerves; she nearly burst into tears during her stellar version of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World." (As a performance, it was better than even Kurt Cobain's cover of the song.) And that's why I tune in, three bloody nights a week, even if the show generally is about as honestly rock 'n' roll as an Oxnard-based wedding cover band. Sometimes the contestants do more than make me reminisce; maybe they'll reinvent rock all afresh.

Maybe it is just the nostalgia value, but I do enjoy this show. And I’m not much of a fan of reality shows - can’t stand American Idol as it’s just mostly bad singers performing mostly bad songs. The one reality show I did enjoy was the BBC show Castaway.

Back to INXS, probably what I enjoy most about it is its straight-forwardness. There aren’t a lot of gimmicks, just the contestants taking the stage and singing. And how they sing. Most of them are older than the typical AI contestant and have experience performing with a band. These are people with true musical chops and actual stage presence, not some Whitney/Britney wannabe.

I love Sudoku

Books on sports

This started out as a response to Victoria over in this Althouse thread. But since that thread is pretty much dead and this was getting a bit long…well, here it is.

Victoria recommendedLance Armstrong’s War by Daniel Coyle. I wrote that Coyle was one of my favorite writers at Outside Magazine and recommended two articles in particular,

I enjoyed It’s Not About the Bike, but that was more about Armstrong’s recovery from cancer than about cycling. While I admire Sally Jenkins’ writing, I think she’s too inside the Armstrong camp to offer an unobjective perspective. So, I look forward to Coyle’s book for that and also because I enjoy how he tells a story.

If you like sports writing, then let me point out The Miracle of Castel di Sangro : A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy. This is the tale of author Joe McGinness. Sick and tired of covering the OJ Simpson trial, he becomes addicted to watching Italian soccer on satellite tv. He returns a book advance and temporarily moves to the middle of bumfsck Italy to cover a 3rd division team. Partly about Joe adapting to a culture he doesn’t understand and the team and town coming to accept him, Joe is also on hand to record a series of events so unlikely that if this was fiction you’d ask for your money back.

Victoria also mentions a baseball book I’d also recommend, Michael Lewis’ Moneyball. Good book, but really more about the business than the game. I’m partial to the short stories of W. P. Kinsella. One I’d read on my radio show years ago was Box Socials. It’s a masterpiece of run-on sentences; though that’s unfair...more like mobius strips of sentences. Just wonderful to read out loud.

For cycling, I haven’t found a lot of interesting books. Which is a shame because many of them have interesting tour reports. Frankie Andreu’s diaries of being a pack rider for Lance and the Posties are fascinating.

July 21, 1998
With lots of rain and fog I couldn't see ten feet in front of me. Coming over the top, the group still together, we started to descend the mountain. I couldn't see anything but I heard the crashes ahead of me, twenty seconds later I would see what had happened. Each corner from the top to half way down there was a crash. The guys couldn't see the corners and would either run off the road or run into each other.

Guys that crashed included some big names such as Olano, Jalabert, and Casagrande. Casagrande crashed twice on the same descent and then quit the race. Marty and Darius from out team also crashed. One corner I saw four or five Telekom riders lying on the ground including Bolts and Riis. They were using the lightweight carbon rims that don't slow you down for shit. Same with a few of the Cofidis guys that were lying on the ground. Bobby woke up this morning with the carbon wheels on his bike but because of the rain he opted to switch, smart move.

After freezing in the wet the next climb was the Tourmalet. Eighteen kilometers straight up into the clouds and rain. I was so cold coming down the hill I couldn't stop my legs or body from shaking. It was hard for me to control my bike to make the corners. The Tourmalet was as blinding as the first climb. Peter told me at the first corner of the descent, of the Tourmalet, he heard someone yelling in panic. As Peter was taking the switchback he put on his brakes right as a Kelme guy came flying past him at 40km/hr straight off the road into a parked car.

Near the bottom the view cleared but it was scary because we were going down the wet road at 90km/hr taking the corners. Every turn I was on the limit of traction. When I reached the bottom I could barely pedal from my legs being like icicles. I was afraid to push on the pedals because it felt like I would break some tendons or something. The next few climbs we did not climb as high and therefore were not as bad. It was a good race in the front, so I'm told. I never see anything that happens unless I watch it on TV.

I’d also think Bob Roll, as one of the first Americans to begin riding in the TdF in the 1980s, could put out a great book. Update: after having the bright idea to search, it turns out there is a Bob Roll book. Guess I’ll be reading that and reporting back.

I’m sure there’s shelves of books like this published in Europe and I just haven’t tracked them down.

The book I really want is the soap opera account of Greg LeMond. A winner of three tours, he most likely could have won five or six if not for that pesky hunting accident. Not winning five and seeing all the adulation Armstrong receives has turned him into a bitter man.

To recap, he placed third in his first Tour (1984). In 1985, riding in support of Hinault he finished second; however, he claimed he should have won if the team manager hadn’t lied about how far Hinault had fallen behind on one climb. To thank Lemond for waiting, Hinault publicly stated he would ride in support of Lemond in 1986. Here’s where things get murky. Hinault attacks, later claiming he was just trying to wear down Lemond’s opponents. The team splits with most riding in support of Hinault. Much of Lemond’s support came from othe Americans riding on other teams. That fall, Lemond’s brother-in-law mistakes him for a duck and unloads a shotgun into him. Greg lives, but misses the next two seasons. Returning in 1989, he is behind by 58 seconds going into the final day time trial. Amazingly, he destroys Fignon to win by 8 seconds for the most exciting Tour finish EVER. Wins the next year, then that’s it. He’s later diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy, possibly related to the accident and the few dozen shotgun pellets still in his body.

That’s the book I want to read. I’d be happy with just the 85-86 duel between Hinault and Lemond.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It's always funny when your friends get hurt

Hog On Ice asks Seriously, do you have any idea how boring life would be without men?

Let me list a few of the more amusing things I’ve seen men do at the video sites.

3. Skateboarding off of the same building over and over until you break your leg. Lay people have some funny ideas about physics, and one of them is that as long as you’re going forward, falling doesn’t hurt. No, dude, you’re still falling. The only difference is that after you fall, you will skid for some distance on your face.

4. Trying to skateboard sideways down a steel handrail until you fall and crush your testicles. And of course, your friends make sure the video gets wide exposure. If you are male, any time you damage your genitalia on video, you can expect your friends to help you get the publicity you deserve.

Damn You, James Lileks!

Why must he hate all that is good with America? Well, except for the New Wave, that did kick ass.

There’s very little music I like less than blues. Polka, perhaps. Not really very enthusiastic about bluegrass, either. Or most folk music. I know some people absolutely adore the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack, but I’d rather have shards from the broken CD jabbed in my gums than hear it again. I am a man of constant sorrow, are you. Well, here’s why: because your music is unlistenable! You wouldn’t be happy if you were a veterinarian who was deathly afraid of animals, either. (To ward off the angry letters: yes, I know the fellow is a venerated icon with a fascinating life story; I read all about it in the New Yorker, and by the time the piece was over I considered getting on the back of an old pickup and joading my way out to Californny, so deep and true and spiritual did the artist’s mileu and lifestory seem. Then I listened to the songs, and thought: nope, not for me. No sir. I’ll be over here with the guys with skinny ties and thrift-store suits and checked Vans, listening to New Wave. As we called it, in our hubris.

Wingnuts are useful


The term “wingnut” is not as harsh and cutting as you might expect. Personally, I don’t like any of these terms – moonbats, repugs, democraps, etc. (Except for “idiotarian.” I like it because it’s ecumenical.) They’re usually shorthand for broad concepts held by people whose views on other matters may be divergent. Not very helpful. In any case, have you tried to use a wingnut? They’re quite handy if you want to tighten something and you don’t have a wrench. I assume it’s short for “right wing nut,” but if you look at a wingnut, it has two wings. Left and right. You could say it understands both wings, even though it prefers to turn in a clockwise direction.

Share the Love for Dexy

Heard during the commute, a baker’s dozen of iPod randomness:

I Alone, Live
Not Safe, Romeo Void
The Woo Woo Train, Valentines
One of Those Things, Dexy’s Midnight Runners
I Hate the TV, Violent Femmes
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley and the Wailers
Dirty Diesel, Paul Westerberg
Doughnut Song, Tori Amos
Saying Goodbye, The Muffs
Oh Marianne, Peter Wolf
Hounds of Love, The Futureheads
What Will Later On Be Like, Jeanne and the Darlings
The Letter, PJ Harvey

Ah, the Dexy’s Midnight Runners track is from Don’t Stand Me Down, one of my favorite CDs. In fact, this might be the only one I’ve owned in cassette, vinyl, and CD. Dexy is often dumped on as one of the problems with 80s music. I’d say unfairly because people are just sick and tired of hearing Come on Eileen. It’s a good song and that was a good album.

However, liking or not liking the earlier Dexy has no bearing on Don’t Stand Me Down. It’s a completely different beast. Stripped down and quiet, many of the tracks are like overhearing an intimate conversation among friends. In fact “One of those Things” is a conversation. Ostensibly about music, it quickly turns to politics and how basically no one is listening to anyone or anything. There’s no discussion, only a parrotting of what today we’d call talking points. Or maybe I’m overanalyzing a song that clearly stole the piano from Zevon’s Werewolves of London.

Don’t Stand Me Down
You know, recently I was thinking
I was thinking about one thing and the other
and music crossed my mind Yeah? Yeah
It occurred to me to switch on the radio
I wanted to hear some music

So I turned it on, it was Radio One,
Sid Jenkins on the air
He had synthesizers and soulful guises,
I think you know the type of thing - Sure.
it was alright It was OK ?
I'm not lodging any complaints or anything,
there was just one problem
What was that?
It all sounded the same
You mean it all sounded similar?
I mean it all sounded the same

Anyway, so I started asking around, you know.
I started making a few enquiries,
just putting out a few feelers
Yeah? Yeah.
I had a word with a couple of so called socialists on my way, and during the course of our conversation I put to them a question, I said:
"How do you feel about Ireland?"
Ireland? Yeah, Ireland
That place, it's just across the sea
Oh yeah, I know the place
Well they said:
"We're for Sandinista, Cuba's militia,
the P L O, M.P.L.A, Afghanistan and Babylon"
They went on and on and on and on.
And I said: "Alright, Alright,
but what do you think about Belfast?"
And what did they say?
Well, their replies were various
but they all had one thing m common.
And what was that?

They all sounded the same
You mean they sounded alike ?
They all sounded the same

Well, that's about the size of it,
what can I tell you? You tell me. I dunno,
It's just one of those of things
What you mean one of 'those' things?
Yeah, one of those things

The guys at Trouser Press disagree with me about Don't Stand Me Down.

Said to me

This conversation occurred at work after one Christmas as I related receiving the final Mandy Patinkin CD to complete my collection

ME: Do you know any other guys who own all the CDs for Mandy Patinkin AND Bernadette Peters?

Kelly: None that are married to women.

ME: oof.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Can't keep a good man down.

Satan's description of God reminded of Randy Newman's Faust. James Taylor is God and Newman plays the devil

How Great Our Lord is the third song.

Sorry ladies, to make you wait
There's a couple of Buddhists at the Pearly Gate
Asked my permission to come on board
Angel: What'd you do Lord?
I had to have 'em put out with the trash
Sing it!

Oh Lord, how great our Lord
Oh Lord, how great our Lord

Ladies. Ladies!
Why does the earth, glide by below
Like a great big rubber ball?
Angel: It is like a rubber ball!
Why does the bird, fly through the sky
Why does the apple fall?

Folks up here, ask me why
Things go so badly down below
I tell them when they ask me why
I really do not know
Angel: But you do know, don't you Lord?
Of course I do! Sing it!

Oh Lord, how great our Lord!
Oh Lord,  how great our Lord!

Folks up here, ask me why
Things go so badly down below
I like to tell them when they ask me why
I say I really do not know
Angel: But you do know, right?
You know it! Come on!

Oh Lord, how great our Lord
Oh Lord, how great our Lord

Just some poor shmuck

Today's excerpt is fom the tragi-comic novel Satan: His Psychotherapy and cire by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S. by Jeremy Leven.

Published in 1982, I read it an untold number of times during that decade, but it's safe to say I haven't read it any time in the last 15 years. What I recall is that Satan, embodying a computer created by a cranky physicist, jousts with Dr. Kassler through 7 therapy sessions. In between, we get the tragic story of kassler, of whom it can said nothing ever goes right. Plenty of satirical, yet serious discussions of religion and pyschotherapy trade scenes taking place in sex clubs starring Henry Kissinger.

This is from the first therapy session:

"I'll tell you what He does, Kassler, All day long He sits on a throne that's surrounded by an emerald rainbow. All around Him are twenty-four elders wearing white robes and gold crowns."
"Like in revelations."
"Exactly. Lightning and thunder come out of the throne. In front of Him are four creatures covered wit eyes, inside and out, who sing all day and night, 'Holy, holy, holy is God the Sovereign Lord of all, who was, and is, and is to come.' Then, as if this weren't enough, the elders throw down their crowns, fall on their knees, and cry out, 'Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, because Thous didst create all things; by Thy will they were created, and have their being!' I tell you Kassler, it's enough to make you sick to your stomach."
Kassler looked ahead and said nothing.
"It never stops, kassler. Never. And I'm supposed to be vain!"
"These feelings about God," Kassler suggested, "these are why you were expelled from heaven?"
"I don;t think so. The real problem is that I don't know why I was thrown out. I know when. When was August first. A long time ago. But why? I'm not sure. hat's another reason why I'm seeing you, Kassler."
"what were you told?"
"That I was being given dominion over man, over the earth, that I was to be a great symbol of protest against tyranny, a vindicator of reason and freedom of thought, the supremest incarnation of the spirit of individualism. It sounded great. Of course, it wasn't long before I realized that I was just being bumped downstairs."
"and it was shortly after this that you began to hate God?"
"I don't hate God. I don't think I've said that, have I? It's not true. I love God. He's my brother."
"But you don't give Him very much credit for knowing what He's doing?" Kassler asked.
"Not at all. I give God all things but one - the experience of feeling inadequate, being subject to a higher authority, weakness, being human, if you will. We know loss, Kassler, helplessness, having our best efforts go for naught. You and I share one experience God will never understand, the feeling of not prevailing."

Now England can sleep

Why yes, I did touch the ball. Why do you ask?

Maradona finally explains what everyone in the world, except the refs knew - he punched the ball.

Fifa calls his second goal - a 3/4 field jaunt through the entire England team - the greatest World Cup goal ever. Can't disagree with that.

Fungus Fest!

The Fifth Annual Fungus Fest & Fungus Feast is this week (August 24 - 28) at Marisol

The Fifth Annual Fungus Fest & Fungus Feast is this week (August 24 - 28) at Marisol. Fungus Feast is the culmination of our week-long homage to the magnificent mushroom. Please join us on Sunday, August 28 at 7:02pm for this fabulous multi-course wine dinner.

Toast: NV Piper Sonoma Sparkling Brut, California, plus Amuse Bouche

First Course: Porcini-Fed Escargot with Red Wine Risotto and Parsley Sauce, paired with 2004 Moulin-a-Vent, Louis Jadot, Beaujolais

Second Course: Wild Mushroom Gelee with Foie Gras Mousseline and Toasted Brioche, paired with 2004 Sauvignon Blanc, Craggy Range, New Zealand

Third Course: Pea Shoot Salad with Bacon-Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms and Housemade XO Vinaigrette, paired with 2004 Albariño, Mar de Frades, Rias Baixas

Fourth Course: Lobster Americaine, Sauteed Lobster Mushrooms with Sauce Americaine and Truffled White Rice, paired with 2002 Chardonnay, Matanzas Creek, Sonoma

Fifth Course: Rare Seared Hawaiian Tuna with Tempura Oyster Mushrooms, Fresh Wasabi and Red Ginger Dashi, paired with 2003 Pinot Noir, Bouchaine, Carneros

Sixth Course: Confit of Veal Cheeks with Joel Robuchon’s Potato Puree and Wild Mushrooms a la Greque, paired with 2002 Syrah, Foley, Santa Rosa Hill

Dessert: Huitlacoche Crème Catalaña, paired with 1999 Royal Tokajii Aszu, Red Label, Hungary

Have you never been missing?

Olivia Newton-John boyfriend missing

The missing partner of Olivia Newton-John was seen alive near the end of a fishing trip off California, adding to the mystery of his disappearance because it suggests he vanished after returning to shore.

Newton-John said she had offered "my full co-operation to the authorities."

Despite indications that Mr McDermott made it to dry land, the Coast Guard retains the status of lead investigator because he was first reported as missing at sea.

That's so 2001

Althouse discusses the marketing of Constant Gardener.

File this under “everything old is new again. See this 4-year-old story about the spiral marketing of Speilberg’s AI.

Here’s a new one they could have mentioned, Blowing Smoke. You can download it or buy the DVD. They’ve also hired one of the funniest people on the internet to run the blog - Jim Treacher.

My good friend, writer & director James Orr (Three Men and a Baby, Father of the Bride, Mr. Destiny), did an amazing job directing my movie despite all the limitations imposed on him, from budget restraints to tight deadlines. So having done all that, getting good people on my side working with me, I didn't want to become a slave to anyone. I didn't want to wait for my movie to travel up the long and tedious chain of command until someone finally made a decision to release it.

Instead, I decided to make movie history, or make the current movie distribution history (who knows?), by releasing Blowing Smoke on this blog.

For the record, this isn’t link-whoring. I have no connection with the movie and the trailer doesn’t much interest me.

So that's how this works.

Ken Lane, editor at Sploid and frontman for the bluesy Ken Layne and the Corvids wrote a book back in 2001. Funny book, as it depicts the exuberance over internet publishing and reflects current media disdain over blogging. For some weird reason, it was only published in Australia. A couple years back Mr. Layne offered up a batch for sale and I grabbed one.

The book is Dot.Con. While this excerpt does not fully display the humor of the book, it does sound like what I’m doing here.

It also reminds me of the Pajamas Media conversations.


Five years late, Larry jumped on the Web-site bandwagon. He dialled up, opened Internet Explorer and searched Yahoo for ‘Web site tutotial’. Hundreds of matches. He scrolled through a few pages and selected something called The Moron’s Guide to Building Web Sites. It was nothing but a rant by an illiterate Web designer fromm Stanford, ut one sentence caught his eye:

‘In a age when any stupid looser can hit “save as html” in microshaft word and post there web site, good designs are in short supplies’.

Save as HTML, eh? Larry mumbled. He clicked Word and opened the Sanders propaganda. Sure enough, he could Save as HTML. How easy is that? The computer moron was right about something.

The document was now a Web page. He went back to the Web browser, opened the file, and laughed. This is how people got rich?

Where are you from?

Now this sounds like a fun idea. Back when I was growing up, the only thing I could get in the mail was a package of dehydrated sea monkeys. Now, with a swab of the cheek, I can get a DNA family history.

From Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools:
About half a dozen companies offer a paid service to test your genes, taken from cells in the cheek, and provide a rough analysis of where you fall in the 100,000-year migration of humans across the globe. These outfits only sequence a very few points in your DNA, called markers. In general the more markers they check, the better. If you are willing, you can then submit your genetic marker results to the rapidly growing database of other folks who have tested their DNA.

Coming from your basic German/Irish immigrant mix, I doubt my genetic history would be that interesting. My wife is a bit more interesting - English on one side and native Hawaiian on the other. And the Hawaiian should branch off to at least the Phillipines and Portugal. Meaning our daughter’s tree would include all our markers and could circle the globe. Cool tool indeed.

Mr. Kelly recommends the From Kevin Kelly’s Genographic Project kit from National Geographic. For $100, sure beats dead sea monkeys.

Monday, August 22, 2005

No garlic, no cry

Jesse Jackson destroyed Stax?

Billy Zoom, founder of X, has had a long and interesting career in the music industry. Here's a bit from a drunken interview with some guy named Mark Prindle:

ps: Mark is the one drinking, not Billy.

Were a lot of white guys playing soul at that point?
There were some white soul bands, but in the bands I played in, I was the only white guy. So from '68 to '72, I was mostly playing in soul bands.
Were there still weird kind of separatist racist things going on in the country at that point?
No, we didn't see any.
Yeah, we thought it was all gone. Because soul music was completely integrated, and we kind of had the impression -- I was kinda bummed because we had the impression at the time that that was all over and we just had to wait for the grandparents to die off.
It's still not over.
Oh, it came back. Mixed up with assholes like Jesse Jackson stirring everybody up and trying to bring racism back because without it, he would be out of work. He brought down Stax Records, he and his group -- the Black Panthers. I still haven't forgiven him for that, destroying the music scene.
Jesse Jackson did?
Yep. He was instrumental in the demise of Stax Records and soul music.
How? What'd he do?
He started hanging out with the Black Power guys and Black Panthers and stuff and started telling them they were getting ripped off and they had to get Whitey out of the music business. They had to take the business over for themselves. So they took the company over, took all the money and then --
JESSE JACKSON!? The Reverend Jesse -- Yeah!
Oh my goodness. Okay. Didn't know that about him.
It's well-documented if you read that book called Sweet Soul Music, and there's also a Stax documentary that goes into it. But yeah, in the '60s, soul music was completely integrated. I mean look at the Stax house band -- Booker T. and the MG's. Two black guys, two white guys.

Grammar Rules

Poppy Z. Brite defines said-isms:

A Tom Swiftie involves the use of an (often intentionally funny) adverb after the word "said." A "said-ism" is not "said" with an adverb after it, but an often cringeworthy word used instead of the perfectly good "said"