Friday, December 28, 2007

pretty pictures

Wherein shiny




Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas videos

Wherein ho ho ho


MST3K - Patrick Swayze Christmas


Santa's Voice Over session

Question time

Wherein another Christmas survived and the household is collapsed in exhaustion


1. Mars
2. Virginia
3. Evacuating Saigon
4. 12 days of christmas
5. ???
6. Die Hard movie
7. no idea. "Christmas in Killarney" is a Bing Crosby song, if that helps.

Monday, December 24, 2007

xmas musix

Wherein redirect

Christmas music up at 45and33.blogspot.com.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Hagrid is ten times the man you'll ever be"

Wherein Potter Puppet Pals


Wizard Angst


Wizard Swears


There's the classic singalong The Mysterious Ticking Noise. If you like that, try the Sped up version.

At least he didn't call them a posse

Wherein for what it's worth, Sprayberry is referred to as the "hoodlum school" in our household and by other people we know who grew up in the area


A school gets redistricted. Not huge news, though annoying for those involved. But if you were the kid, would you really want your dad saying the following:
Bill Quinney's son, Collins, 15, is a freshman at Sprayberry. "My son … hates it every day he gets up. We moved to this area to be in Kell. You whacked our neighborhood in half," he said. "I honestly do believe that my son's grades would be higher (at Kell). He needs to be with his entourage."

Like that article isn't up in the teacher's lounge with Collins' name circled. Collins, is your homework ready, or were you too busy with your entourage. Probably won't get back to the other students, either.

On occasion we have to drive by Sprayberry. Awhile back we meant to take pictures of their school message sign and then mail them to the school board. They would do a "character word" each month, except it was never a word, it was always a couple of words or even a phrase. Like "Respect for Others." We'd drive by and yell "that's three words you morons!" Yeah, we're a lot of fun to hang out with. Maybe we need an entourage.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Campaign advisors

Wherein this would make a great movie


Another cut from Interface. Previous mentions include,


"Oh, this is a good one," said the chairman of the Republican National Committee, inspecting a sheet of paper he had just pulled from a file folder marked FREEL. "During a campaign visit to Minot, North Dakota, you ran a school bus off a road, causing thirty-six injuries, ten of them serious. The parents sued you for a hundred million dollars and won."

"Fuck you," Jeremiah Freel said. "Fuck your mother too."

"When we add that to the libel and slander judgements from the last three presidential campaigns -- let me see, those alone add up to almost another hundred million dollars, which you owe to a dozen and a half different people, including, by the way, myself. You owe me four million."

"Eat my shit," Jeremiah Freel said.

Several other distinguished-looking and well-dressed men were sitting around the conference table. They were in a suite in a very private hotel a few blocks north of the White House. Jeremiah Freel was sitting in a luxurious padded leather chair in the middle of a table. Standing behind him were two men with a combined weight of six hundred pounds, wearing latex gloves and clear plastic face shields.

The other men sitting around the table were all glaring coldly at Freel. One by one, they began to raise their hands and speak up.

"You owe me three million plus legal fees," said the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

"One point five," said another man, holding up his hand.

"Eight hundred thousand," barked another man.

"Half a mil and a printed apology in the Miami Herald."

"What the hell is this, a fucking star chamber?" Jeremiah Freel said. "Why don't you just tell me what the hell you're after?"

"We're after Cozzano," the GOP chairman said.

"Fine. You got him. He's a dead man," Freel said. "By the time I'm finished with that wop son of a bitch, he'll curse his mother for ever having given birth to him. He won't be able to cash a check north of the Equator. Children will spit on his knees. His dog will climb onto his bed in the middle of the night and try to tear his face off and he'll beg for it to happen."

There was an awed silence in the room.

"Don't you want to hear what we are prepared to offer you in exchange for your services?" the Democratic chairman said uncertainly.

"Fuck that," Freel said. "You guys have no imagination. You think I do this shit to make money. But that's not true. I been sitting down there in Rio waiting for something like this. I do it for the pure joy of a job well done. Now, did you assemble my A-Team, or not?"

"We got'em."

"All of'em?"

"All the ones who aren't dead, in prison, or running other campaigns," said the Republican chairman.

Soon after, a fake reporter announces from the crowd that Cozzano's daughter was just killed. After learning everything is ok, Cozzano agrees to continue with the interview.
"Would you like to delay--" the host said, as the sound man was fixing Cozzano's microphone.

"No," Cozzano said. "Let's continue as planned."

"Are you sure? You must be very upset."

"I'm fine," Cozzano said. "Why should I be upset?"

The headline of the next day's edition of the New York Post read,
"WHY SHOULD I BE UPSET?" COZZANO NOT BOTHERED BY "MURDER" OF HIS OWN DAUGHTER.

The President, delivering off-the-cuff remarks in the aisle of Air Force One, said that he was shocked and disgusted by the imposter who had delivered the fake news to Cozzano.

At the same time, though, he could not help but find it strange, and just a bit disturbing, that a man who, to all appearances, had just lost his own daughter, would agree to continue with what was, after all, nothing more than a campaign event, the sole purpose of which was to scrape up more votes. Surely, he said, there were limits that should be observed, for the sake of decency.

Then,
  • A group of physicians distributes a videotape that "shows" Cozzano was still suffering from "severe neurological deficits" and was not fit to be president.
  • A well respected sportscaster claims he has proof Cozzano threw a football game when he played for the Chicago Bears and a mob figure claims he made twenty million off the game.
  • Claims Cozzano's father stabbed someone in a knife fight.
  • An old Vietnamese woman attacks Cozzano, a Vietnam vet, screaming "You killed my baby! You killed my baby! You are an evil man!"

And much, much more. Even though the Cozzano campaign can refute everything, he drops precipitously in the polls.

He paid $545 million for this?

Wherein maybe it's a Home Depot thing. The Falcons tank with a dog killing quarterback. Then there's Bernard Marcus who donated $250 million to build the Georgia Aquarium and whose short, sordid history is littered with the dead carcasses of beluga whales and whale sharks


we take you the offices of football coaches around the globe:
Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...klik

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...點擊

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...點擊

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...點擊

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...かちりと言う音

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...klik

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...klik

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Klicken

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Klicken

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Klicken

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...χτυπήστε

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...χτυπήστε

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...χτυπήστε

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...scatto

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...scatto

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...scatto

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Who?...Arthur Blank...And...?...Would you like to coaClick...I hate this job...

Hi, this is Arthur Blank...Click

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"you're a fucking idiot who never figured out that the only way to make anything of himself with all that fancy kicking was on Broadway"

Wherein I sprained my finger clicking IMDB links


The full quote:
Senator Aaron McComb: You see, I'm an ambitious Harvard-educated visionary who deserves to be the most powerful man in the world and you... you're a fucking idiot who never figured out that the only way to make anything of himself with all that fancy kicking was on Broadway.
Max Walker: Thanks for clearing that up.
[as he kicks the villain]
Max Walker: I'm still kicking. I must be on Broadway.

Of course, that's from the Jean-Claude Van Damme classic Timecop (1994). In the above scene he plays Walker and Senator McComb is played by frequent Emmy nominee Ron Silver. That's a clue to the success of Mr. Van Damme: he fully embraces the maxim "surround yourself with successful people." Let's take a look at his career.

According to IMDB, Jean-Claude Van Damme has been in 37 movies, going back to 1984. This includes Breakin', where he's listed as "Spectator in first dance sequence (uncredited)." For a guy with a funny accent primarily known for kicking and full splits, it wouldn't be surprising to find out he's acted with a former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader -- Janet Gunn, The Quest (1996). Or even a five-time NBA champion...if that champion turned out to be Dennis Rodman in Double Team (1997) . Already that's a formula for world-wide success and adulation. But still not enough for the former Very Gay Karate Man. In addition to Ron Silver, Van Damme has matched talents with many other nominated actors; actors too numerous to name. Trust me, the list is impressive. But you might be surprised at the list of actors who were not only nominated, but ascended to their craft's highest honors. Some of them were helped along early in their career by the Muscles From Brussels. Others, benefiting from the Belgian's generosity found shelter in the later stages of their career. For all, no matter the awards and the accolades, I'm sure they will always look back fondly on the time spent with the master, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Jean-Claude Van Damme has acted with the following winners. How many names can you match with the award?

update: I've included the answers in inviso-text, so just highlight each line

  1. Oscar, best actor Forest Whitaker, Bloodsport (1988)
  2. Oscar, best actor Charlton Heston, The Order (2001)
  3. Tony, Best Leading Actor in a Musical Jerry Orbach, Universal Soldier (1992)
  4. Emmy, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special Raul Julia, Street Fighter (1994)
  5. Emmy, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special Powers Boothe, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)
  6. Emmy, Best supporting actress in a comedy series Jaime Pressly, Inferno (1999)
  7. Grammy, Best Dance Recording Kylie Minogue, Street Fighter (1994)
  8. Football Hall of Fame Lawrence Taylor, In Hell (2003)
  9. Father of an Oscar winner and former coworker with #3 Paul Sorvino, Knock Off (1998)


Note: this list does not include Pat Morita who was nominated for Oscars and Emmys, but never won.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Electric Bilboloo

Wherein works for me

Middle Earth news

Must be Tuesday

Wherein last week was four correct answers: Oregon & New Jersey, Andy Griffith, Jimmah, and Bad News Bears


1. no clue
2. Swiss Army knife
3. Did "LA Confidential" win the Oscar? I can't remember. That's my first thought, but my second thought is it's an older film. Even though I don't know if it won the Oscar I'm tempted to go with "Singing in the Rain." But that's probably Hollywood, not Los Angeles. I'll stick with my first thought.
4. Nascar
5. Rhine
6. Heidi
7. First thought was these are all the countries that James Bond visited (in the novels). But "Live and Let Die" was in Jamaica, not Haiti. I thought it might be sports related, but not what I was thinking. No guess.

OK, here's a soquotedbonus question, based on researching Ken's #7. What unusual distinction is shared by these countries, and no others? Australia, Croatia, Czechoslavakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, United States.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Zoom in! Zoom in! Zoom in and his career is over!"

Wherein mage is almost everything and writers are a punchline


XWL, writing of a recent Hillary Clinton photo:
Right here, that's it, this is the most significant photo taken in the year 2007. Think it will win a Pullitzer? Whichever photog snapped this photo effectively ended Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

There's no recovering from that, image isn't everything, but it counts for a lot, and her image in that photo isn't the image most Americans would want us to project as a nation. You don't have to be wrinkle free to be president, but you can't look haggard and bedraggled, either.

Which reminds me of a passage from a Neal Stephenson book. Actually two, but this is my favorite. From the political thriller Interface (Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George), a conversation in the offices of a media consultant firm:
Ogle abruptly stuck his head into the doorway and said, "You want to see a hell of a thing?"

"What is it?" Aaron said.

"The first female president of the United States, Ogle said.

"I didn't realize they had held an election."

"Mark my words. I will lay money on it, Ogle said. "C'mon."

..."I just caught this off CNN," Ogle said, waggling a thick, three-quarter-inch video cassette in the air, "and I thought y'all might like to see it."

[skipping a couple pages discussing the aesthestics of the video shot]

Earl Strong was standing on a platform. The camera shooting this footage was down below him, aimed upward so that, as backdrop, Earl Strong had mostly the ceiling of the mall. But part of the ceiling consisted of skylights, and where it didn't have skylights, it had brilliant mercury-vapor lamps. The skylights made great patches of glare and the lamps made long wavy streaks across Earl Strong's face.

"Jesus. Television cameras should be outlawed in the Sun Belt," Morris said. "Film only. How many times do I have to say it?"

Everyone in the room was laughing at Morris. But Morris had eye only for the TV set. "Whoa! Whoa! Hold up here! We have some real-life campaign drama!"

Everyone was suddenly totally silent, crowding in closer to the screen.

The camera was now aimed at a black woman who was apparently standing down below Earl Strong. She was slender, with high cheekbones, and at first glance she looked as if she might be in he rlate twenties. But on second thought, early forties was more like it. For a woman in her early forties she was a knockout. Not in an overtly sexy way. She had a nice face, with big eyes. She was wearing an overcoat that was too big, but its bulk contrasted well with her relatively sharp and slender build, with its navy-blue color suited her skin tones. Her backdrop was a wall of earl Strong supporters wearing colorful T-shirts, all of whom were hastily backing away from her; she stood in the center of an arena of fat, vivid Aryans, all facing inward, emphasizing her importance. As she spoke, she inclined her face up into the even, omnidirectional light streaming down from above; the same light that cast Earl Strong into shadow served as perfect illumination for her.

"The choreography blows my mind," Ogle said.

"I love her," Tricia Gordon said."

"She's telling the truth," Schram said. "Whatever she's saying, I believe her."

"The drama of this thing is unreal," Myron Morris said. "One woman standing alone, all these trailer-park Nazis shrinking away like rats."

Cut back to Earl Strong, now looking straight down at her so that his face was completely obscured by a sinister shadow.

Myron Morris suddenly went nuts! He fell out of his chair, dropping to his knees below the television set, and clasped his hands together as if in prayer.

"Zoom in! Zoom in! Zoom in and his career is over!" he screamed.

The camera began to zoom. Earl Strong's face grew to fill the screen, grew into a devastating extreme closeup.

"Yes! Yes! Yesss!" Morris was screaming. "Slit the bastard's throat!"

Once the backlighting had been removed by zooming in tight, the camera's electronics were able to pick up every muance of Earl Strong's face in clinical detail. A storm front of perspiration had burst through the pwder and pancake on his forehead; individual drops of it began to run down. One of them made a beeline for the corner of his eye and that eye began to blink spastically. Earl Strong's mouth was half open and his tongue had come forward, sticking half out of his as he tried to think of what to do next. A huge Caucasian blur burst up through the bottom of the frame: his hand, brushing the sweat away from his stricken eyeball, stopping on the way down to shove a thumb into a nostril and pick out something that had been troubling him there.

Morris suddenly jumped to his feet and thrust an accusing finger directly into Earl Strong's face on the screen. "Yes! You are dead! You are dead! You are dead! You are dead and buried, you inbred booger-picking little shit! We gotta find the cameraman who did that and give him a medal."

"And a decent job," Ogle said.

Back to the black woman, still standing there. Her face was alert, her jaw set, her eyes burning, but she remained solid and still, a perfect subject for the camera. The camera zoomed in a little closer but still found no imperfections. There were a few wrinkles around the eyes. It just made her look even wiser than she already did, standing next to Earl Strong.

"Ronald Reagan eat your fucking heart out," Shane Schram said.

"There's something about her face too," Ogle said.

"She's been through some heavy shit, you can tell. An American Pietà," Tricia Gordon said.

"Let's go down there and represent her," Shane Schram said.

"What's she running for?" Morris said.

"Nothing. She's a bag lady, Ogle said.

"A look of ecstatic fulfillment came over Morris's face.

"No!" he said.

"Yes," Ogle said.

"It can't be. It's too perfect," Morris said. "It is just took fucking ideal."

"She's a bag lady, and according to our polls, she knocked twenty-five points off of Earl Strong's standings today."

Morris threw up his hands. "I quit," he said. "There's no need for me. Real life is too good."

"We have to run her for something," Tricia Gordon said, staring fixedly at the TV screen.

"Excuse me," Aaron said, "but aren't you all forgetting something?"

"What's that?" Ogle said. They were all staring at him, suddenly quiet.

"We haven't heard a word the woman's said," Aaron said. "I mean, she could be a raving lunatic."

They all burst into dismissive scoffing noises. "Screw that," Shane Schram said. "Look at her face. She's solid."

"Fuck that shit," Morris said. "That's what writers are for."

Friday, December 14, 2007

All boxscores all the time

Wherein I attended my first professional baseball game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, maybe 1970. In Little League I played third base and wore an Aurelio Rodriguez glove.


Matt Welch linked to a baseball historian interview and in his comments someone left a link to Retrosheet, a group "founded in 1989 for the purpose of computerizing play-by-play accounts of as many pre-1984 major league games as possible."

Excellent! Yay internet!

While I no longer have any idea what my first Detroit Tigers game was, I do know what my first Minnesota Twins game was. Because it was August 1978 (we'd just moved there) and they were playing the Tigers. And I remember the Tigers hitting for the cycle in the first inning. Let's review the record.

Monday, August 21, 1978, Tigers win 9-6. Checking the first inning:
TIGERS 1ST: LeFlore was called out on strikes; Wockenfuss
singled to center; Staub doubled to left [Wockenfuss to third];
Parrish tripled to right [Wockenfuss scored, Staub scored];
Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to right [Parrish scored]; Stanley
struck out; 3 R, 3 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Tigers 3, Twins 0.

Huh...single, double, triple, fly out. For almost 30 years, a cherished memory has been wrong. Damn you, evil internet!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This Christmas song is endorsed by the Congress of the United States

Wherein in tone if not actual words


If you prefer, here's a Christmas music quiz.

South Park gets why Christmas needs to be endorsed:

Merry fucking Christmas
Mr. Garrison: I heard there is no Christmas
In the silly Middle East
No trees, no snow, no Santa Claus
They have different religious beliefs

They believe in Muhammad
And not in our holiday
And so every December
I go to the Middle East and say...

"Hey there Mr. Muslim
Merry fucking Christmas
Put down that book the Koran
And hear some holiday wishes.

In case you haven't noticed
It's Jesus's birthday.
So get off your heathen Muslim ass
and fucking celebrate.

There is no holiday season in India I've heard
They don't hang up their stockings
And that is just absurd!

They've never read a Christmas story.
They don't know what Rudolph is about
And that is why in December
I'll go to India and shout...

Hey there Mr. Hinduist
Merry fucking Christmas
Drink eggnog and eat some beef
And pass it to the missus.

In case you haven't noticed
It's Jesus's birthday
So get off your heathen Hindu ass
and fucking celebrate!

Now I heard that in Japan
Everyone just lives in sin
They pray to several gods
And put needles in their skin.

On December 25th
All they do is eat a cake
And that is why I go to Japan
And walk around and say...

Hey there Mr. Shintoist
Merry fucking Christmas
God is going to kick your ass
You infidelic pagan scum.

In case you haven't noticed
There's festive things to do
So lets all rejoice for Jesus
And Merry fucking Christmas to you.

On Christmas day I travel `round the world and say,
Taoists, Krishnas, Buddhists, and all you atheists too,
Merry Fucking Christmas, To You!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A football novel

Wherein The Specific Rule of Life: "Everybody is an exception to the General Rule."


I don't have much interest in football, though I kinda enjoy novels about football. One of my favorites -- one of my favorite books, period -- is The Franchise, by Peter Gent. He also wrote North Dallas 40, which I have not read.

One of the most bitter books I've read, its almost polemic in its anger and depiction of corruption and betrayal on every level. But there's also a decent love story, various levels of heroics and cowardice, all the levels of sadness, and a recipe for homemade napalm.

A couple of quotes.

Practice
"You know," Taylor began suddenly out of the quiet crackling of the oak and mesquite, "they have this show on television for old people. They give great advice for football players. I watch it a lot. The other night the subject was learning to cope with the death of your mate."

Wendy saw the sadness pass from eye to eye, then a smile turned up his mouth and Taylor laughed.

"It was too insane." He kept up the slight laugh." They had an expert guest, of course, and the expert told everybody to take time now while your mate is still alive and practice living alone. Sort of make a game of it, he advised; every time one leaves the house, the other pretends they are dead."

"Naww." Wendy began to laugh, "That's a lie...they wouldn't..."

"I swear, the expert said it. Practice living alone. The guy was an expert, this was television...Think about it...It makes sense."

"Maybe too much sense."

"Want me to close my eyes and hold my breath? Let you get the feel?"

"No!" Wendy was suddenly angry and hurt and frightened.

"Good. 'cause the expert is wrong," Taylor said, "I've been practicing living alone almost ten years. It does not get easier. All I get is increasingly numb."

Prayers
After Cleveland's middle linebacker smashed Kimball's nose on ablitz, he called a time-out to let his line collect themselves and concentrate on the game. Blood running down his throat from the broken nose, Kimball stepped back and looked at the crowd. They caterwauled and snarled, barely in control, smelling blood, wanting more. Kimball decided he would drown them in it.

Kimball sniffed back blood, stepped in his huddle and plotted not victory but revenge. Texas reduced the Cleveland defense and offense and special teams to smoking ruins in less than three hours. The Pistols lost 3-0 but Cleveland never recovered.


The Long-Gone Gaggle
"...We need help this year! We have to win the Super Bowl this year."

"Too fast," Taylor said, "too fast."

"This race isn't all straightaway. We'll show our stuff in the curves."

"If we don't hit the wall or blow up or burn out."

"That's your problem, Taylor. It's what you wanted. I can lay it put, but you have to do it. You are the driver."

"Too fast, Red."

"It's the only way. This franchise won't hold together one more season."

Shorter

Wherein more time spent typing the answers than thinking of the answers


Oregon or New Jersey
appendicitis
***
Andy Griffith
Jimmah
Bad News Bears, sponsored by the Bail Bond company
*****

Friday, December 07, 2007

That's why 95% of smokers are found alive...and warm

Wherein Dave Mordal is one of the funniest guys I've ever seen on stage


"This is a spoof I did for The Discovery Channel. They never got back to me so I'm putting it here.
Some animals were hurt during filming as they wouldn't leave their helmets on."

Survivorguy

"A Mormon told me that they don't drink coffee"

Wherein "I said, "A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits." He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well, it keeps you from being Mormon ..."


Emo Phillips:
Second, I learned why Ship of Fools was running the poll ... to shed light on the possible effect if the British government goes ahead with its intention to outlaw "offensive" religious jokes. Such a law would be a bad idea, for the simple reason that jokes are how we humans avoid violence. Jokes are our safety-release mechanism. Sure they can sometimes be offensive. So can burps. But if you ban them even worse results happen. And believe me, if someone tells a joke that truly offends, he or she will be punished for it. That's one area for sure where the government can take it easy and relax.

1979 Study of Black Humor from Stepin Fetchit to Richard Pryor

Wherein I'm thinking there's more to Nipsey Russell than what I got from watching Match Game


Comedians are always complaining about other comedians stealing their material:
The proof of the quality of the black comedy of this era, perhaps, is best reflected by its numerous imitators. "A lot of bootlegging was going on," wrote the late Godfrey Cambridge in a Tuesday Magazine article. "White performers took the rudiments of Bert Williams' act and stylized them into successful formulas. This was the case with another Negro act called Butterbeans and Susie. Butterbeans originated the routine about the guy with the dumb wife who is always being bugged by her, and this later got translated as George Burns and Gracie Allen." Many other black old timers contend that the list of comedy routines borrowed from performers on the TOBA circuit could be expanded indefinitely; the point is that during this time black entertainers were creating comedy routines that, usually in the hands of others, would become American comedy classics. As for adopting other performers' routines, since comedy bits are not easily copyrighted, it is not an unusual practice. Years later, for instance, at the Blue Angel in New York City, Nipsey Russell, Slappy White, and Timmie Rogers reportedly showed up at a Dick Gregory performance with a tape recorder openly displayed on their table. They watched the show with apparent contempt, then left. Later, Slappy White wrote Gregory, a letter saying, "We wanted to find which of our material not to use anymore."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

In the future everyone will be guilty of something; in fact, you're probably guilty right now

Wherein from our living room we can see 4 Wi-Fi connections and ours is the only one that's open

***link fixed and a link to Bruce Schneier.

Security expert, Bruce Schneier, in a Freakonomics Q&A:
Q: Is there any benefit to password protecting your home Wifi network? I have IT friends that say the only real benefit is that multiple users can slow down the connection, but they state that there is no security reason. Is this correct?
A: I run an open wireless network at home. There’s no password, and there’s no encryption. Honestly, I think it’s just polite. Why should I care if someone on the block steals wireless access from me? When my wireless router broke last month, I used a neighbor’s access until I replaced it.

Congress disagrees and provides their usual extreme example of useless security theater:
The Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act, a bill, according to CNET, "saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including 'obscene' cartoons and drawings—or face fines of up to $300,000," breezed through the House yesterday. The vote was an overwhelming—and frightening—409 to 2, with only Ron Paul and Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) opposing the bill.


...One nation under "Think of the Children," divisible pretty much all the time with liberty (being a women's basketball team) and justice (being a retired baseball player)

I'll say it again, "I hate "UPS"

Wherein cannot be stated strongly enough


Instapundit pimps Amazon Prime. Just a reminder, we canceled Amazon Prime because they only delivered by UPS.

Holiday repeats

Wherein previously on Soquoted...





Just realized these are all from 2005. I've always thought of December 2005, and maybe January 2006, as the golden age of Soquoted. For a few short weeks, the blog really demonstrated some energy and was finally hitting its stride. Then it quickly went away and it's then been two years of hit and miss water treading.

Other favorites from the golden age:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Maybe soccer fans are just retarded

Wherein it wouldn't surprise me


A teaser from the NY Times:
In Peru, Efrain Viafara, a midfielder for Sport Ancash, created an uproar when he used his buttocks to trap the ball. His bit of unorthodox skill was interpreted as a mocking act by Universitario players, who chased Viafara. Fans began to fight in the stands, then poured onto the field before the referee abandoned the game.

I need more information. Trapped the ball with his buttocks -- what, by spreading his cheeks or holding the ball between the buttock and upper leg? Not that it makes much of a difference as it sounds like these were people looking for any excuse to riot.

A bit more in this version of the Reuters story.

More under Protect The Personalities:
The story of the Peruvian player who controlled the ball with his buttocks and provoked a riot has shed some light on the curious morality of soccer players. Foul play, diving, haranguing the referees, and constant shirt-pulling are accepted as part of the game. But whatever you do, don’t exhibit any signs of personality.

..."If they had sent off Viafara none of this would have happened," Universitario captain Mayer Candelo, evidently not a man with a sense of humor, was quoted as saying by Reuters. Though I’m not sure on what grounds Viafara could have been red-carded, given that he committed no offense other than to exhibit an unusual facet of his ball skills.

There's also a comment that the "Ass trap" is demonstrated in the movie Gregory's Girl. One of my favorite movies, but I can't recall that moment.

What the hell? This is it? You want to know what's ruining my love of soccer? Whiny, cry baby soccer players. He trapped the ball. That's all. Screw it, I'm watching synchronized swimming from now on. They have more balls than most professional soccer players.

RICE = Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

Wherein this is nothing about nothing


I'm particularly pleased with the musical challenge concocted for tomorrow and hope more than the usual number can make your way over there. I'll try and make next week's another audio challenge.

"I think I was more crushed than Louis when he lost to Schmeling"

Wherein this book jumps to the head of the line of stuff to be read


From Cynical-C, Cynical-C is a link to a 2000 Library of Congress article about Hans J. Massaquoi:
Mr. Massaquoi, former managing editor of Ebony magazine, has now told the story himself in his new book, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany.

The question of how Massaquoi came to be raised in Nazi Germany is one he has been asked "millions of times." Grandson of the Liberian consul general to Hamburg, Mr. Massaquoi was born in 1926 to a well-to-do African father and a German mother. His early life was one of privilege, befitting the grandson of a diplomat.

"I associated black skin with superiority, since our servants were white," said Mr. Massaquoi. "My grandfather was 'the man,'" he joked.

His circumstances changed dramatically when his father and grandfather returned to Liberia in 1929. Refusing to expose her sickly son to a tropical climate, Mr. Massaquoi's mother chose instead to raise her son in Germany as best she could on her meager wages as a nurse's aide.

Although he had spent his early years in a villa, Mr. Massaquoi at first found life in a cold-water flat "interesting." What distressed him most was being the "oddity on the block."

"It was a constant problem," he said. "I was always pointed at because of my exotic looks. I just wanted to be like everyone else." Like other boys, he wanted nothing more than to join the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth Movement).

"The Nazis put on the best show of all the political parties. There were parades, fireworks and uniforms — these were the devices by which Hitler won over young people to his ideas. Hitler always boasted that despite parents' political persuasion, Germany's youth belonged to him."

Mr. Massaquoi was dealt a crushing blow when he learned that the Hitlerjugend as well as the local playground were not open to "non-Aryans."

Wow, that sounds interesting.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

All these cities are served by airports named for women

Wherein my eyes rolled so far back in my head I was able to watch all the "don't give a shit" neurons in my cerebral cortex brownout


Answers to this week's quiz

  1. Fulgurites: Those are the brown bits that form on a bottom of a coffee pot if left on too long.

  2. This is a particularly devious question, full of misdirection. It took awhile but I eventually realized that Jennings is referring to Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "Annabel Lee." So the correct answer is the "kingdom by the sea" (unnamed).

  3. "Dr. Egon Spengler," that's why he isn't mentioned in the song.

  4. Whitey Ford = Ford Frick is one answer. But then there's also Nolan Ryan = Ryan Sandberg, whom the HOF has egregiously misspelled as Ryne. Doesn't anyone spelzchec anymore? I'm writing a letter.

  5. Cause a rip in the space-time continuum.

  6. Patti LuPone.

  7. They've all had fake marriages with Rock Hudson.


bonus round: At the Duke Phillips Preschool, this week's questions include one with Whitey Ford.

Elsewhere, an updated leaderboard:
justkim: 45
xwl: 30
pastor_jeff: 24

Monday, December 03, 2007

Chili update

Wherein click the link

the link