Monday, December 29, 2008

Moon Country

Wherein Hoady Carmichael/Johnny Mercer

I long for that moon country
That possum and coon country
That sycamore heaven back south
I’ll lose my mind till I get there
I long for that old country
That good for the soul country
With folk cooking things that melt in your mouth
Mm-mm when my cousin Cindy Lou
Plays a twilight hymn to you
She makes that old piano
Sound exactly like brand new
I long for that moon country
That’s where I should be
‘cause that old moon country is home to me

Friday, December 26, 2008

Step one: Avoid names that sound like manjuice

Wherein unless that's your demographic and you're OK with your blog being blocked by 94.5% of all workplaces

via Drezner, has tips for blogging.

Set a schedule. Blog often.. Because blogs are all about making the trains run on time. "According to my blogging flowchart I have 3 minutes of spontaneity scheduled for January 8, 2009 at 3:07pm." Are you getting paid for this? If no, ignore this tip.

Don't worry if your posts suck a little. That's nice. But what if they suck a lot. Like big ginormous balls of suck. That can't be good for anyone.

Write casually but clearly. Casual is a fuzzy and unclear style. If your style is formal and obfuscating, run with it. If you're going to write a lot of sucky posts, experiment until you find a style and format that works for you and screw the readers. Sink or swim can apply equally to your imagined audience. Ignore this tip, unless you're getting paid for the blog. Then write in a manner that gets you the paycheck.

Add something new. By new they mean "sucky crap because you've chained yourself to this unyielding schedule that doesn't allow for reflection or evaluation." I guess you could buy some scheduling software and schedule a few levels of reflection and evaluation into the process. But wouldn't this contribute to worrying about your levels of suckitude? Upon reflection, skip the reflection and evaluation. You have a schedule to keep, so write something. DO IT DO IT DO IT! Pansy-assed wannabe writer.

Join the bloggy conversation. And link! Here we go, it's all about the tyrannical extroverts thinking the point is to get together and hold a party. Links encourage SPAM and conversations encourage people missing the point and ignoring whatever you're saying in a rush to spew their own opinion. If two people meet and have a conversation, there are 17 basic outcomes -- only 2 are good. Stick with the odds and never talk to strangers.

Don't expect instant fame. Good point. If that's what you want, teach a rabbit to ride a surfboard.

Quote of the month

Wherein the ballet school's director is quite bubbly after a few glasses of wine and we learn that yes our paranoia is correct and The Child has been marked with a big ol bullseye

Apparently, there's been some confusion:
"I thought they were Jews from New York, but they're really Gentiles from North Carolina!"

It is true, she was not aware of the quart of bacon grease in our refrigerator. *We're* not from North Carolina either. I mean I guess I am depending how "from" is being defined. Because at this age, being born there and living there a few years just doesn't seem adequate enough to claim the from tag.
Not that there's anything wrong with it. *It* also being fungible and variable.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stupid fucking Vista

Wherein who is more fool the OS or the fool who follows the OS

So the laptop wakes up and decides not to work in the only way it is required -- access the internet from the comfort of bed. Takes forever to reboot and gives off this cryptic message: "Dependency service or group failed to start." This is mostly meaningless, though a few different fixes seem to work.

  1. It's never been hooked up to a printer, so I'll hope it isn't the print spooler issue; or at least I won't start there.

  2. Update Trend Micro? I don't have Trend Micro.

  3. I disagree that a viable workaround "would be to statically configure your network settings (ip address/mask/gateway/dns/wins/etc.) for the network that you are connected to.."

  4. cmd sfc/scannow ran after I figured out it had to be run as the administrator. Came up clean, though.

  5. Since I'm still in as admin: (1) Type netsh winsock reset, and press Enter. Ignore error messages. (2) Type netsh int ip reset, and press Enter. (3) Restart computer. ...............Well, blow me. That worked.

Final score
Vista and the mysterious problem: 0
Fixing problem from a Mac: 1

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Short quote

Wherein football

Comment about HIMYM episode at Alan Sepinwall:
Oh, and our best player ever was... OJ! So suck on that Vikings fans and STFU!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Short quote

Wherein trying to understand why a postal code field would need to accept 20 digits

Frank's compulsive guide to Postal Addresses:
What should be the name of this section? THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (as it was once labeled), while technically correct if IRELAND is taken as the name of the country and not the island, can easily be misconstrued. THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND would not be correct since there is no country whose name is REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ÉIRE is correct (two non-overlapping countries) but it contains a mixture of languages. Hence BRITAIN AND IRELAND (two non-overlapping islands) -- perhaps not quite adequate either since it might not encompass the various associated outlying islands.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Short quote

Wherein [------]~~~

Ron Rosenbaum:
Gotcha! Way to go T.B.! (Perhaps not the best initials here.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thank you for the extra foam

Wherein product placement

Saturday, December 06, 2008

So easy, even an Iceman can sing Neil Young

Wherein rrrrr gggggg ghgghrrrr

Gotta skip to about 6:18.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Selfless, Cold and Composed

Wherein some laidback beatboxing

Now one where Antoinette Butterscotch Clinton (isn't that a great name?) isn't hidden in the corner.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Planning ahead

Wherein I’ll admit it isn’t as much fun as picking teams by their mascots

Filling out March Madness brackets is kinda boring. Team A over Team B, Team D over Team C, blah blah blah. I’ve never played fantasy sports before, but there’s got to be a way to add that sort of element to the tournament. I’m sure someone’s already doing this, so without looking here’s what I’m thinking.

We need point categories. I think these are individual stats: Points, rebounds, assists, steals. Add those together. Subtract fouls -- 2 points a foul, with an extra five for fouling out. If stats show individual turnovers, subtract those.

Example, Player A: 23 points + 0 rebounds + 5 assists + 3 steals - 3 fouls (6) = 25.

Selecting players
Need two guards, two forwards, one center. But to make it more interesting, you can't just select whomever you want. Instead, we can divide the 64 teams (the buy-in game doesn't count) in five groups by seeding: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-16. You now select one player from each group. For example, once you pick a player from 1-3, you can't pick again from that group. So your team might look something like this:
G, 1-3
C, 4-6
F, 7-9
F, 10-12
G, 13-16

Bonus players
I'm trying to think of our to add a couple more players, so instead of playing 5 you could play 7. If playing with a group of people and drafting by order, just continue and pick two more players - any position, any group. If playing with yourself (hey, now!), maybe use a random number generator to spit out a group (1-5) and select a player.

Plus 5 points for each player whose team wins (possible 10 points per player per round).

Bonus players score the same, unless their team loses. Then subtract 10 points from their total. Bonus players do not get 5 points for a team win. Also, win or lose, bonus players are discarded before the next round.

Order of play
  1. Pretournament - select players
  2. Round 1 = 64 & 32. Add up totals for each player's game. Discard players from losing teams and bonus players. Draft replacement players, by position, so if you lost a C, 4-6, you must replace with another C, 4-6. If the entire is out the tournament (like, seeds 13-16), then pick from the next group. If playing with a group, redraft by lowest point total first. Pick two new bonus players.
  3. Round 2 = 16 & 8. Scoring is same as Round 1. For the Final 4, only redraft for the 5 positions from the four teams left; must use at least one player from each team. No bonus players are used. Availability of players at this point would make having many contestants a problem. So perhaps we do away with drafting altogether and hope the earlier constraints will create plenty of variety.
  4. Round 3 = semis & final. Calculate points as before. Most points win.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Alternative Trivia Tuesday -- I've lost count, so let's call this XXG or grrtweentieth

Wherein jennings answers -- yellow
A Tale of Two Cities
carbon dioxide
A Day In The Life

  1. Another Mojo Nixon question: for the 1998 Winter Olympics, he was the honorary captain of the United States team in this sport with a 4-letter name.

  2. In the eighties, Lou Reed appeared in commercials for this type of vehicle.

  3. If you're eating a sweetbread, what are you eating?

  4. Reading the Microsoft Computer Dictionary, at the end of the definition for troll, it says "See also YHBT." What does YHBT mean?

  5. What do the foods Welsh rabbit, Ritz Cracker apple pie, Hummingbird cake, but not bird's nest soup, have in common?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday Ballet Monday: Nutcracker

Wherein at the dance store to get some new shoes and we see V__ and E___ and S___ and R___ from the professional company Upon seeing R___ The Child yells "he's my fake dad" And everyone in the store knew what she was talking about

NY Times article about Garielle Whittle. Teacher at School of American Ballet, ballet mistress at NYCB, and responsible for casting and shepherding the 105 student dancers cast in the Nutcracker:
TUESDAY, NOV. 25 “Nutcracker” performances can get monotonous for City Ballet dancers. The children’s excitement “gives you a boost of energy,” said the corps dancer Ralph Ippolito.

Watching the first joint company and children’s rehearsal, the battle scene between soldiers and mice, his words resonated. On one side of the studio, petrified youngsters; on the other, professional male dancers, lounging nonchalantly— and clearly tickled by their diminutive foes.

In the middle, the ballet mistresses Rosemary Dunleavy and Ms. Whittle sought to impose order. The chaotic scene demands finely calibrated performances (the corps member Matthew Renko sported a bloodied forehead, courtesy of a child’s errant sword). But its playfulness is irresistible, particularly the moment when each mouse picks up two soldiers and carts them, legs kicking, offstage.

Giggling and blushing abounded. But this year’s bunny, Ever Croffoot-Suede, was daunted by her task of pulling the tail of the Mouse King (a swaggering Henry Seth, brandishing a large, scary sword). She dissolved into a brief crying jag. The adults quickly surrounded her in a comforting circle.

“It’s my first ‘Nutcracker,’ ” she whispered. “And I’m very nervous.”

Buffalo News finds a local hook:
One was British, one was Russian. One wrote books, and the other wrote music. But still, Charles Dickens and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky had a lot on common.

Both of them visited Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Both of them complained. Dickens, visiting in 1867, complained that no good-looking women came to his readings.

Tchaikovsky complained, in May 1891, about the ugly slicker he had to put on when he got on the elevator for the Cave of the Winds tour.

And another thing both men had in common: Neither guessed the influence he would have on Western New York’s holiday seasons for centuries to come.

If in Appleton, Wisconsin:
The Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh is featuring a spectacular "Nutcracker" exhibit. The exhibit features themed rooms, actor-led tours, live music and ballet performances. Scenes from the classic ballet are being displayed in 11 downtown Oshkosh store windows. Guided tours of the Paine are $15 and self-guided tours are $7.

In Washington, the Columbian gives us ‘The Nutcracker’ for dudes. I'm guessing the author, Mary Ann Albright, either doesn't understand dudes or thinks dude is code for gay. Because nowhere in her short list does she mention the primary reason dudes should watch ballet: athletic, bendy women in skimpy costumes. What's her number one reason?
1. A look back in time.

The party scene at the beginning of the ballet is filled with period costumes and mannerisms history buffs will enjoy, said Jan Hurst, executive director of Columbia Dance in Vancouver. Columbia Dance is putting on its 11th full-length “Nutcracker” this month, and Hurst, who choreographed the performance, put her own twists on the fairy tale by E. T. A. Hoffman to which Tchaikovsky’s music is set.

Hurst’s version transplants the story from Europe to New Bedford, Mass. She set the action in 1854 and changed the main family’s name from Stahlbaum to Walbridge, an homage to her own roots. Coming to the Columbia Dance performance will give audiences a window into that part of American history, she said.

Taking a more traditional approach, Vancouver Dance Theatre set its 32nd annual production of “The Nutcracker” in 1890s Germany; costumes during its party scene are reflective of that time and place. Similarly, Capps set Washington State Ballet’s version in a little German town in the mid 1800s.

The Andover Townsman offers a candidate for Dumbest Headline of the Year with:
Girl dances in Boston Ballet's 'Nutcracker'

Girl+dance+ballet = no shit, sherlock. Rewrite or add a few more words to give this some meaning.