Tuesday, August 21, 2007

From whenever to whenever because I'm not all that interested at the moment

Wherein The Child discussing the house on the corner: "If they don't cut their grass soon, it will be like a jungle. And then there will be flying monkeys and everything."


our Diamond Jubilee sixtieth quiz

1. Carrie Nation correct
2. Switzerland correct
3. Never read it, never saw it. I'll guess German. incorrect
4. ????
5. ????
6. Only 17 correct
7. ?????

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Referee rested. No kidding it was a mistake. Horrible call and denied Liverpool a well-earned victory.

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Deconstructing Mr. Whipple:
There's so much to work with here, but the thing that jumps out at me is that end-date: 1989. I have long had the sneaking suspicion that a disproportionate amount of Cold War-era pop culture quietly packed it in once the Berlin Wall fell. I will not be surprised when Mr. Whipple is revealed as a paid agent for the Congress for Cultural Freedom, meeting at semi-covert conferences with various Kristols, Kagans, and Podhoretzi.


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The nightmare continues
for the widow of Pule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe, the soccer legend who died under mysterious circumstances 14 months ago.

Thato Ntsoelengoe revealed exclusively to Sowetan yesterday that she is “stressed” by unending calls from women who claim to have children by her late husband.

“Fifteen other women have come forward claiming that Ace fathered their children,” said Thato yesterday.

She believes callers – such as Tshepiso Manana from Kagiso – are liars clamouring for a share of Ace’s estate.

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Unhinged rants:
Finally, the closing paragraph. Let's examine the subtext of this paragraph more closely. What is this writer really saying? Let me paraphrase, 'I know you, the sophisticated, urbane, and engaged reader of the NYT would never buy all this ghastly crud for your precious and brilliant children. But like so many of us, you still have extended family who live in fly-over country, and as those relations are want to do, they'll send you this crap (or even worse, take your child on shopping excursions to that Disney-fied travesty unfortunately called "Times Square"). I know you'd never do this, your obvious intelligence is exemplified by your very reading of my own brilliant words, but you can't prevent other people from showering gifts on your little brats, uh, I mean precious children.

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Meet the 2007 Princess Kay Candidates. Winner to be announced Wednesday. Butter sculpting to commence soon after.

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Illegal immigrant = runaway slave? Buuullshit:
Well, the law is the law. The United States has a duty to control who migrates into this country. So I’m not shedding any tears for Elvira Arellano (who got booted out in 1997 and snuck back in again).

But I heard a sound bite on the radio this afternoon that made a couple of my orifices clench.

Juan Jose Gutierrez, of something called “Latino Movement USA,” said: “It seems to us that the mentality and behavior by law enforcement of the runaway slave is alive and well.”

Oh no he di-in’t. He did not compare illegal immigration to black slavery... did he?

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Do I remember Duckman? Only one of the greatest television comedies:
an animated series based on Everett Peck's comic books about a perverted, incompetent, duck detective (voiced on the series by Jason Alexander). Duckman is sort of a cartoon duck version of Dan Fielding from Night Court -- which Reno and Osborn also used to write for -- and his only real redeeming quality is that he's clearly hurting over the death of his wife Beatrice (except that he accidentally caused her death, as he causes most of the horrible things that happen on the show). His sister-in-law Bernice (Nancy Travis), who loathes him, moves in to help take care of his kids: the spaced-out Ajax (Dweezil Zappa) and Charles and Mambo, two kids who share one body. He's usually bailed out of trouble by his super-competent partner, Cornfed Pig (Gregg Berger).

The So Quoted list of greatest sitcoms. Others are good, even great-like, but these are the ones sitting at the cool table:
Bob Newhart Show
Coupling
Duckman
Fawlty Towers
Green Acres
News Radio
WKRP in Cincinnati
30 Rock

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In the years preceding war, American diplomats had driven a hard bargain with the Japanese, constraining them with naval arms treaties and holding out the threat of boycott and embargo to compel them to walk the line. Americans watched but did not seem to appreciate the fervor with which Japan was seizing control of the Asian mainland. Weary of war, some believed that messy foreign entanglements could be avoided, saving their suspicions for their own military or for Wall Street financiers and arms traders who they thought had profiteered during the Great War. In June 1940 the U.S. Army's total enlistment stood at 268,000 men. It was inconvenient to contemplate that during the first six weeks of the Rape of Nanking, nearly half that number of Chinese civilians and prisoners of war, as well as some American civilians, had been slaughtered by the Japanese Army.

The naivete of the isolationists concerning Imperial Japan's ambitions was matched only by the ignorance of the average enlistee concerning its capabilities. Most American servicemen saw the Japanese as too many newspaper cartoonists sketched them: bucktoothed simpletons who would wilt when faced with U.S. Marines and tough sailors in their impregnable ships. But the oerking belligerence of the Japanese dispelled any such misguided popular stereotypes among U.S. military planners. They saw the threat.

Ship of Ghosts, The story of the USS Houston, FDR's legendary lost cruiser, and the epic saga of her survivors. James D. Hornfischer

15 Comments:

Blogger bill said...

I think it's an interesting question:

But why is it that dogfighting has been taking place in urban alleys and in backwoods barns forever and nearly all of the culprits have been allowed to get off with a little more than a stern warning? And now it's Michael Vick, so he's headed to federal prison?

8/21/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Buzz Creek said...

Nice to see the book noted by Jim Hornfischer - "SHIP OF GHOSTS". The story of the asiatic fleet is little known - overshadowed by the fleet attacked the same day in Pearl Harbor (well - zulu time anyhow since Asia was a dateline ahead). Lots more about the Houston and the Asiatic Fleet at usshouston dot org -- usshouston dot blogspot dot com and chinagunboat dot blogspot dot com. Enjoy learning about the LOST FLEET.

8/22/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

Congratulationas, Ann Miron! Our new Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

8/23/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

Brian slaps down the metric system:

I bristle at statements like this, from Gruber:


Good Magazine on the history of the official definition of the meter. Includes this humiliating nugget: “There are only three countries that do not use the metric system: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States.”

Humiliating, eh? Why, because we're just too stupid to see the obvious merits of metric? Can't be because we have good reasons not to adopt it, can it? Nah.

The English system of length measurement is based on the number 12. Not 10. Why? Well, how's this for starters: 12 is divisible by 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. That means you can evenly divide up the length of a piece of wood with just a few brief mental calculations. 12 is based on natural divisions of items you can hold in your hand—a dozen marbles or a dozen nails can be swirled around and portioned out evenly with a finger or two. 12's factors appear all over nature: halves, thirds, quarters, sixths, like you see everywhere from honeycombs to graphite molecules. But 10? 10 is based on nothing in nature but the fact that the human hand has five fingers on it. Really. The only reason 10 is special to us is that that's what we can count to on our hands. And for that dubious benefit, we've sacrificed the ability to divide our goods evenly into thirds or fourths at our discretion—just so that we can raise their number by a power by merely adding a zero. If you think that's a win, talk to the carpenter who has to measure lengths down to the 0.625.

8/23/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

That's certainly one way of looking at it:

Michael Vick is a Lying Dog Murdering Team Betraying Anti Role Model

8/23/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

Jennie Wade was a Whore. (And other interesting things I've learned from wargames.)

8/23/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

I think I've figured out my temperature comfort zone for scooter riding.

max = 104
min = 15

August has had 10 days of 100 degrees or higher. I've been out in most of those and yesterday's 104 was the worst.

8/23/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger XWL said...

I think Vick is done in team sports. Too much of a liability to the brand (and each team is as much a 'brand' as it is a team).

But individual sports are a real possibility after he completes his sentence.

So if he's competing in the decathlon at the London Olympic Games in 2012, don't be surprised.

8/23/2007 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

I liked your proposal and think it could have potential. But I think they'll be a few teams willing to put him on the roster. Pay him the league minimum for a backup position. Unless the league gives him a lifetime suspension for gambling.

What I think will be the next interesting phase of this thing will be when the Falcons sue Vick to reclaim some of their money. Even with him in prison, they're still carrying his salary against the cap. The way I understand it is the guaranteed money can't be touched and the only thing the Falcons can go after is the signing bonus money.

Here we go:

suspended by the NFL. The actual amount they could pursue is still being determined, but team officials do plan on speaking with the NFL's management counsel to figure their rights.

Should they collect any money, it could be credited toward Atlanta's salary cap in future years.

Vick will count $8.5 million against the Falcons' salary cap this year even if he is suspended, though the team wouldn't have to pay his $6 million salary.

8/23/2007 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger XWL said...

And let's talk about Stephon Marbury.

Not picking the best time to defend Michael Vick (or for the best or coherent reasons).

My take away from that bit, Stephon Marbury has been to more than one dogfight in his lifetime.

I think the Falcons will be allowed by the NFL to get cap relief, but won't pursue getting the signing bonus back from Vick.

And how great is PTI?

Kornheiser is terrible during MNF, but on PTI he's perfect.

I still feel that this is a different case from other bad behavior by athletes cases given that Vick has essentially admitted to killing dogs with his own hands, and on top of that he was the head of a large dogfighting operation and seems like he specifically built and sited his property for use as a dogfighting mecca.

My guess is this isn't just somebody lead astray by some thug friends, he's one of the main thugs and enjoyed all aspects of this bloodsport.

With that fact pattern it's hard to see how any team can hire him in any capacity without seeing 15 to 20% of their season ticket holders revolt and raise a stink. No team can afford that for a 2nd or 3rd string QB or a HB/WR/KR special teams wonder (which is his more likely 2nd NFL career if he comes back).

Nope, if I were his agent, I'd be telling him individual sports are the way to go, find endorsement deals with 'outlaw' companies that would welcome the notoriety, and start practicing your pole vaulting (though they may not like that in prison).

8/23/2007 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Conspiracy theories:

Daniels is more than sick. He’s jumping head-first into the conspiracy pool. He believes it’s too big of a coincidence that the ESPN report coincided with his deadline to purchase tickets, and charged that the Falcons and owner Arthur Blank leaked the “news” to spur ticket sales. Nothing like a ticking Hail Mary to start the year.

“At the end of the day my gut instinct tells me that Blank, with millions of dollars at risk, had something to do with the [ESPN] story … or the [timing of the] indictment,” Daniels said. “I’m as upset as anybody about Mike. But I believe a bigger fraud has happened … people bought into a press story and made a financial commitment based on false or misleading information.”

In better times, conspiracy theories would be laughed off in Flowery Branch. Um, these ain’t better times.

Falcons executive vice president Kim Shreckengost said the charge is “absolutely not true.” She added: “We don’t control the media, and we certainly don’t control the government. We learned about the indictment at the same time everyone else did, and had no inside information about whether or not he would be indicted along the way. More importantly, we would never treat our fans that way.”

8/24/2007 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

With that fact pattern it's hard to see how any team can hire him in any capacity without seeing 15 to 20% of their season ticket holders revolt and raise a stink. No team can afford that for a 2nd or 3rd string QB or a HB/WR/KR special teams wonder (which is his more likely 2nd NFL career if he comes back).

Seriously? I'd bet 1% would be high. They will be howling by the commentariats and special interest groups, but I don't most fans will get all that worked up. I'd think a common attitude would be along the lines of "he did his time and maybe he can help us out."

8/24/2007 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

John Strausbaugh

"Have you noticed nobody ever takes offense on their own part anymore?" he says, launching into his favorite subjects: the nature of offense, moral delicacy masquerading as morality, and the wimpiness of contemporary American liberal culture. "In the old days people used to say, `You offended me.' `Offend' was a transitive verb, and the onus was on the person taking offense to respond. They might punch you in the nose, or offend you back. Now what people are more likely to say is, `That's offensive.' It's being offended by proxy. It's a tool of passive-aggressive twits used so they can enjoy the moral high ground, it allows them to be moral in a passive-aggressive way. It allows them to wring their hands and sound shocked and say, `How dare you?' There's a weird religiosity to it, there's a need to be seen to be morally correct.

8/24/2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

John Strausbaugh also has a NY Times (Aug 19, 2007) article about Thor Halvorssen:

Mr. Halvorssen, a half-Norwegian Venezuelan, is a conservative operating in fields more often associated with liberals, a scion of wealth and privilege who champions the underdog and the powerless, and a polemicist who loves a lively argument. “I have a lot of fun being a heretic,” Mr. Halvorssen, 31, explained, pacing around a small office in the Empire State Building that was strewn with books, magazines and DVDs.

Since 2005, having already founded two nonprofit organizations focused on free speech and human-rights issues, Mr. Halvorssen has made the movie business part of his portfolio of controversy-stirring efforts. Established with a small amount of his money, his nonprofit Moving Picture Institute has raised about $1.5 million in donations to date to pay for, promote and seek distribution for documentary films.

8/24/2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Go listen to Paul Cebar's Watching You Love

8/24/2007 01:26:00 PM  

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