Monday, January 30, 2006

Words for the Day

Today's words are Filibuster and Failure, as in the Democrat's attempt to filibuster Judge (soon to be Justice) Alito's nomination was a failure.

Now that Judge Alito's confirmation is all but assured, the next question is: when the Democrats (or their successor party, whatever it is) wins a presidential election and nominate a Supreme Court Justice, will the GOP engage in the same lame, BS partisan exercise just completed by the Dems? Hopefully not, as it would make them even bigger partisan jackasses than the Dems because they saw an example of what happens and ignored it anyway.

Today's words brought to you by the letter F, along with the words bluster and bloviate.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Ten Top Trivia Tips about Million Monkeys Typing!

  1. The Eskimos have over fifty words for Million Monkeys Typing.
  2. A sixteenth century mathematician lost his nose in a duel over his love for Million Monkeys Typing, and wore a silver replacement for the rest of his life.
  3. It's bad luck for a flag to touch Million Monkeys Typing!
  4. All shrimp are born as Million Monkeys Typing, but gradually mature into females.
  5. If you drop Million Monkeys Typing from more than three metres above ground level, it will always land feet-first.
  6. Million Monkeys Typing can usually be found in nests built in the webs of large spiders!
  7. South Australia was the first place to allow Million Monkeys Typing to stand for parliament!
  8. Million Monkeys Typing can be very poisonous if injected intravenously!
  9. Million Monkeys Typing has a bifurcated penis.
  10. Never store Million Monkeys Typing at room temperature.
I am interested in - do tell me about
I had no idea! I wonder if I sleepwalk or something... (via the Acidman)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Saw this list of the 10 most hated athletes over at GQ Features. Two things about caught my attention. First, that A. J. Pierzynski made the top 10. I had heard that he was a bit of a jerk, but I would never had guessed he was Top Ten material.

The other was how the article's authors felt no explanation was needed to rank Terrell Owens at #1.

Honorable mention goes to Kurt Busch (#3 on the list), for channelling Eric Cartman after winning the 2004 Nextel Cup - "To NASCAR - they can lick my salty balls!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Since I'm bored with politics ...

... more Project Runway blogging. Tonight's challenge was to create an outfit from a photo (taken by self) the designer finds inspiring. I have to admit with the exception of three designers, I didn't see how (except for color) the designs produced would remind me of the photos. Of course I'm handicapped by being a fashion/design ignoramus, so no surprise there. On to amateurish comments about the outfits.

In no particular order:

Kara - simple black dress with a yellow hazard warning tape sash. Kind of boring, but the dress did flatter the model, who looked great in it.

Zulema - red dress that looked about half put together. Liked the color choice though, too many of the designers avoid bold colors. In my opinion, the worst outfit of the lot. It was ironically funny that she gets eliminated for lack of imagination and poor construction, given that she would criticize others for lack of sewing ability.

Santino - Love his Tim Gunn impressions, liked his colors, hated the dress. Is his ideal model an asymmetrical woman who looks 7 months pregnant? I wonder if the producers slipped some Prozac in his water this week, he actually seemed sort of likeable this time.

Nick - Top was interesting, skirt was not. After getting over his fit at losing his model, he seemed to do a really good job of getting his new model to show her best stuff. He seems to have a good rapport with his models as opposed to Zulema for example.

Andrae - No dramatics this week, thank goodness. His dress seemed to be closer to the idea for the challenge than the others, I would never have thought a good looking dress could be made from the image of dirty water in a gutter. But, what the hell do I know? It shows I have the same potential for a fashion career as I do for playing center in the NBA.

Chloe - Liked the skirt, disliked the top, but I could see the similarities to her photo of a curtain wall in the dress.

Daniel - Judges liked the outfit, me not so much. It did seem to fit the challenge though. Of all the remaining designers, he seems to be the nicest fellow of the bunch. He could have played tactically and not helped Nick through his loss-of-model funk instead helping Nick put his head on straight. Give him an additional award for Sportsmanship.

Amazing, really, that after dissing reality shows since Survivor came out, I've actually become a bit hooked on one. I'll be damned... .

Friday, January 20, 2006

Runway Blogging

Over at Althouse, there be Project Runway blogging. I didn't come across this program until recently, but as "reality" TV goes it's rather interesting. Probably because if one defines designer fashion at one end of a scale, the way I look defines opposite end of it. I am puzzled by many aspects of fashion as depicted on Runway, but to me the most puzzling is the continued presence of Santino.

In two of the challenges, he has clearly created the most craptacular outfits, yet someone else is sent packing. I have two ideas as to why. First, Santino stays due to his shall we say, dramatic personality. His theatrics may make for better TV than the fellows that were auf'd, so the producers intervened. The other is that part of the judging is based not on the clothing produced for the challenge, but on whether in the view of the judges the designer has potential to be in the final 3 or not. This is a little disturbing because to me it implies that some of the contestants are given more room for error than others, and thus the playing field is not quite level. If so, that rather sucks.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Today's Cross Burning

Today's Strib included a story about how some dimwits burned a cross at the Liberty Temple Church of God in Christ the day after Martin Luther King Day. It was a stupid, hateful act, but I must admit my first reaction was "How cliche'!". I mean, after almost 150 years of practice, couldn't these idiots be a bit more original? I mean, if moldy old chestnuts like burning crosses is the best they can come up with, I don't think they will be remaking society in their image anytime soon. The same could be said for their spiritual comrades in Minnesota's very own Nazi Party (their website is here, if anyone cares), who still model their clothing on Nazi Germany's brownshirts, worship der Fuhrer, and use Nazi era terminology (in the original German, no less). No originality whatsoever, slavishly copying the trappings of a failed ideology. Talk about inability to learn from one's mistakes... . Don't the citizens of Minneapolis find the presence of this group in their midst just a little bit embarassing?

I suppose that providing a link could be seen as giving them some legitimacy, but exposing this crap to the sunlight is a necessary step in draining the cesspool. The ideas expressed by these folks don't hold up when subject to scrutiny, so why be afraid of them? Make them defend this garbage in public, hold their ideas up to much-deserved ridicule, and they'll go back under their rocks.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Over at Harry's Place I found a post containing this excerpt from an interview with Paul Berman in the New York Press:
The people who conclude, “Bush has blundered, therefore I don’t want anything to do with it” ought to remind themselves that Bush blundered from day one. He wasn’t taking bin Laden seriously; he blundered on September 11th; he blundered on September 12th when he allowed the bin Laden family to leave the country. He made a million blunders. But just because Bush has gone about things idiotically doesn’t mean that we should abandon the struggle.

I get tired of people who assert that George W. Bush's every move in response to the terrorist slimebags who attacked us 4 1/2 years ago was incompetent. Especially when repeating the bin Laden family bilge from Michael Moore. I'm not a fan of the guy, but I've seen precious little analysis from his critics that wasn't made from the view point of 20/20 hindsight. Given only what he knew at the time, what was the better response? Surely these know-it-alls can at least do us the service of tellings us that.
I was reading the Strib's Blog House piece Saturday. and came across this little gem from Matthew Yglesias (full post is here):
Realistically, hopes of keeping Alito off the bench were lost in late fall 2004, when George W. Bush was re-elected and the GOP expanded its Senate majority. ... Realistically, the question facing the Alito nomination has always been whether Alito will be confirmed and the nuclear option implemented or whether Alito will be confirmed without the GOP needing to break a filibuster. But a congressional minority can't actually stop the Republicans from doing what they want to do. ... The Republicans won a majority, the Republicans are bad people (emphasis mine - ed.), and so they're going to do something bad. It's their fault, and the only remedy is better performance on Election Day.

More proof to me about which side is more intolerant. If you're a liberal and someone disagrees with you, that person is Bad. The prominent Dems on the Judiciary Committee seemed to act that way. On the other hand could it be, Mr. Yglesias, that you guys are just wrong about some things and need to rethink?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Into Thin Air

Of late I've been reading one of my Christmas gifts, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. The book is his account of his experience as a climber on the Adventure Concepts expedition to climb Mt. Everest in 1996. Four of the climbers in his group died on the mountain, including the man who led the expedition, Rob Hall. It's a gripping and personal recounting of the climb and how things went wrong in the Death Zone, more than 5 miles up.

I guess I have trouble comprehending why a person would be willing to do what it takes to climb Everest, given the odds are about 1 in 4 the mountain will kill you. That's with modern equipment and the fifty years of experience gained since Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay climbed it first in 1953. The danger starts even before you reach the base camp, with the possibility of dying from altitude sickness. Then the mountain gives you warnings on the way to the intermediate camps on the route to the summit in the form of bodies of those who have died on the mountain in previous expeditions, all the while the risk of serious illness or death just from the altitude continues to increase. Then there's the chance of a fall, or being crushed by an avalanche before getting to the last camp at 26,000 feet, from which the climbers make the final ascent (usually with supplemental oxygen). The climbers can be trapped and/or blinded by storms at the peak, and incipient hypoxia makes decision making in the event of emegency a bit dodgy at best. I just fail to comprehend what drives people to do it.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Patterico, Stalinist

Although I frequently criticize the Minneapolis Star Tribune for the sloppiness, vitriol, and general unfairness on their opinion pages, at least I don't have to put up with the Los Angeles Times. Unlike the LA Times, no one actually pays attention to what the Strib's editors think. Patterico, however, takes up the burden of fact-checking the LAT and gets this reaction for his pains. Apparently it's rather easy to be a Stalinist these days - just correct the LA Times! Not one to take it lying down, his response is here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

On the Local Radio Front

we have a change in format at 100.3 FM (now known as KTLK-FM) from "Smooth Jazz" to mixed misc. talk, and I had a chance to sample their wares today.

I heard some of the Janecek and Lambert show and I guess I wasn't wowed. Part of the problem is that although he's not as annoying on the air as he was in his reviews at the Pioneer Press, I still find Brian Lambert grating. I resented his political commentary in his reviews at the PP, and I don't see any reason to reward him for it by listening to his talk show.

I guess the more interesting question will be how KSTP-AM fares, with the loss of Limbaugh and Hannity to KTLK, and Tommy Mischke moving to evenings. I don't think evening drive is quite ready for Mischke... .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Forgot

to say what should be done with the folks that Abramoff bribed. If they're convicted, throw a whole damn library of books at 'em.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Abramoff plea deal

Jack Abramoff (Lobbyist, Thief) copped a plea today, pleading guilty to offenses including wire fraud and tax evasion. Since WSJ's Law Blog did the work, I'll point to them for links to the plea deal and other info on the deal and on Abramoff.

Abramoff is a thief, perhaps not a common thief but certainly no better than any other. And the fact that politicians from both parties were busy lining up at his trough disgusts me. I don't think it matters what party all that much, since if the Dems were in power instead of the GOP, Abramoff would have still probably done the same sorts of things, since getting stuff and making lots of money were his lodestars.

The GOP should be especially ashamed. Part of reason they gained control of the House in '94 was because they convinced us they were better, less corrupt than the other guys. I don't think many really believed they were that much better, but it wouldn't taken much to be better. What they've proved instead since '94 is they were just as venal as the Dems who controlled the Congress in the days of Rostenkowski and Wright. Not to mention how cheaply they could be bought. Charge millions, buy politicians for a few hundred grand, what a racket! So what do we have now? Two major parties, neither of which is fit to govern. A Republican party that can't see past keeping control, getting lots of campaign dollars and lots of perks, or a Democratic party obsessed with regaining control and campaign dollars, plus ideas which make them unfit to govern my backyard. The pols in New Orleans would be so proud. I'd yell for throwing out the sleazebags, but who there isn't one?

Just color me one disgusted American citizen, at least for today.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oh those guys at Reuters

In a story about the Pope's call for the defeat of terrorism, trust Reuters to use only the incidents involving the United States as examples of bad behavior. Beheadings and suicide bombings don't count, eh? Hamas and Islamic Jihad just don't rate, I guess.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Welcome to 2006

which so far, seems rather like 2005... .

I just want to wish everyone who stumbles across this place a happy 2006, and especially I want to thank those who are serving us in hostile places far from home. May you all be safe and make it home for 2007.