Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who The Hell Are Mike and Juliet?

While waiting at the car repair shop, I was just subjected to something called the "Mike and Juliet Show", which is apparently part of the Fox Disinformation Empire. I would like those brain cells back, please.

This program gives insipid a new depth of meaning. It makes Tyra Banks, who followed, look like Steven Hawking by comparison.

Wow. Nearly tearing their hair out with frustration over the fact that Mexico would dare enforce its own laws, they lament the fact that the Marine accused of killing the pregnant Marine will not be drawn and quartered in the public square.

What a waste of perfectly good electrons. Wow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fun Little Game

I may be the last person on Earth to discover this, but I opened up my playlist on
ITunes and discovered that you can sort by running time, as well as by artist and album and title.

I discovered a few interesting things-the shortest "song", at 0:23 is "Her Majesty", a snippet that was on the runout track (the very innermost part of an LP) on The Beatles' Abbey Road. The longest song is the live version of Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" from "The Song Remains The Same", at 29:18. The longest song that isn't a live version is Metallica's "Mercyful Fate" at 11:12, followed by the studio version of "In My Time of Dying" by Zeppelin, at 11:05.

Another interesting way to read it is to take a representative time, like 3:05, and see what songs pop up. Ironically, Billy Joel's "The Entertainer" is not on there, which is where I got the time of 3:05.

Elton John, "I'm Still Standing"
Kris Kristofferson, "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"
The Overture from "The Phantom of the Opera"
Tom Petty, "Listen to Her Heart"
Paul McCartney, "Live and Let Die" (Live)
Van Morrison, "Brown Eyed Girl"
Jimi Hendrix, "I Was Made To Love Her"
John Lennon, "Imagine"
Bruce Springsteen, "Two Hearts" (Live)
Johnny Cash, "Oney"

The last song is a good one, a guy's final "Fuck You" to his boss. Johnny Cash was a badass guy.

Monday, January 21, 2008


January 21, 2008

So it is the Giants and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Oh, great-another 2 weeks of New York/Boston hype.

I cannot remember a previous NFL season in which so many big favorites-Cowboys, Packers and Colts-dropped out of the playoffs early. It was relatively obvious that the conference championship games were going to be New England-Indianapolis and Dallas-Green Bay. I don’t think you can reasonably argue that there were better teams in either conference than those two.

And yet…2 out of 4 missed the conference title games, and the Packers fell in the conference title game. Hard to figure, but that’s why they play the games.

So can the Giants beat the Patriots? Sure, maybe. Like any team this season, they would need to play nearly perfect ball, and have the Patriots make some mistakes. They can rush the passer, and they have some good cover guys. On offense, they have those big monster backs who are so good at chewing up clock, but I don’t think that will be so much of a factor in the warm weather. Spagnuolo and Coughlin are good coaches, for sure, and they should be able to keep it close, but I think, in the end, the Patriots will be able to force some 3rd and 11s, and Manning won’t be able to pull them out of it every time, and New England will win.

I just finished the third book of the Neil Stephenson 8 book series about medieval history and science. (It is 8 paperbacks that were split into three hardcovers. I bought the first three as individual books, then picked up the last 5 in hardcover at a discount bookseller.) The books I have finished are the first 3, which are included in a hardback version called “Quicksilver”. Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon” was a fantastic read, filled with history, and math, and science, and adventure-great, great, stuff. Everybody who I know who has read it is in high tech, so we can call it “geek lit”, for lack of a better word.

The Quicksilver books, so far, are pretty decent. The parts involving Isaac Newton and Friedrich Liebniz are excellent, but some of the other parts drag a bit for me. But I plan to soldier on. I’m enjoying it enough that I don’t want to turn back now.

I’m also reading book three of the Golden Compass trilogy, which has proven to be excellent, another military history of the Revolutionary War, which may be my third or fourth, the first of a two part life of Napoleon, a book on Stonewall Jackson, and Janna Levin’s “A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines”. At the moment.

My Windows laptop just quit. It was so old, it was running Me, which is, I think, 2 versions ago. It will turn on, but it won’t sign on to the Internet. I was trying to clean it up by deleting some old files and coax a little more speed out of it, and I managed to delete something critical. I fussed with it, but I couldn’t get it to come back to life. Time to sign on to and get another one. Goody.

Reason Number 9,411 why the Iraq War was a bad idea: Farmers in Diallyah Province have started growing opium because they could not make enough money to feed their families growing fruits and vegetables. That’s what the world needs, more opium.

The Terminator show is on again tonight. I am really getting hooked on it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moss gathers no stones

January 19, 2008

Charlie Pierce just said on “Globe 10.0” that Randy Moss’ personal trouble has “nothing to do” with what he did before. Which is true-his various misbehaviors do not affect his guilt or innocence in the current mess. It is also true that no one knows the truth besides the two of them, and any queries or hypotheses by outsiders are ignorant by definition. Both statements are undeniably true.

But there’s also the fact that people fall into broad categories, too. When I initially heard about OJ Simpson being accused of Nicole’s murder, my initial gut level response was shock. The genial guy from the Naked Gun movies? Really?

It doesn’t shock me that Randy Moss would be accused of this. It’s unfair, and it doesn’t make him guilty, but that’s the way it is-it doesn’t surprise me. He’s displayed a temper before. If you never, ever, get into trouble, then you get the benefit of the doubt. If you do, then you don’t. It’s human nature. It’s not fair, but that’s what it is.

Romney, celebrating his win in Michigan, told his supporters that they told voters “what they needed to hear,”. Gee, wouldn’t it have been nice if you could have told them the truth, instead? Very reflective of a recent Dan Carlin program about vegetables and cake-to wit, we all know we should eat our vegetables, but we keep electing people who promise us cake.

January 20, 2008

I meant to post this last night, but I didn’t. I’ll just add on some more, and then post it tonight. Maybe.

I meant to have a life, too. But I didn’t manage that either.

Romney won Nevada, and Clinton and Obama appear to have tied, more or less. One had more delegates, one had more votes.

Is there any wonder why some people hate politics?

McCain won South Carolina.

I still can’t stomach voting for any Republican, but McCain appears to be their best candidate right now. He’s the only one I can picture as president, and he’s the only Republican who doesn’t terrify me when I think about them winning. He’s still batshit crazy, though, at times. I don’t understand how he forgave Bush for South Carolina 2000, and I don’t understand how he went to Baghdad and minimized the danger while his little stroll was backed up by armored helicopters.

A lot of the magazines and newspapers are coming up with the meme that, as the country turns more towards the economy and away from the war while the surge “succeeds”, it reduces Democrats’ chances of winning. Baloney. First of all, this economy is a millstone around this president’s neck, regardless of whether or not he’s to blame. Reckless spending is no doubt making it worse (as I always say, if you want a balanced budget, just sign one. Keep sending it back to Congress, and tell the public, in every conceivable way, ‘I won’t sign a budget that isn’t balanced’) but I am increasingly coming around to the belief that the economy just happens, and there is very little anyone can do to change it.

Second of all, it is impossible to deny that the surge has created some security benefits in Iraq. However, the following is still true: invading was a disastrously bad idea, once decided upon, it was carried out with astounding incompetence and ignorance by those in charge, and once the disaster became evident to anyone who had two eyes, these same incompetent, evil fools were passionately recalcitrant in changing tactics or admitting error. Once the disaster became clear to even the deadenders, the surge comes along-much, much too late.

The surge has not created a stable Iraq. The surge has not allowed the government to take hold. The surge has not allowed services to improve. Sure, you can pacify any area if you put a tank on every street corner.

The surge has not done what it had to do, namely, allow us to allow the Iraqis to take care of themselves so we can stop pouring money down the rathole. Climbing from the ninth circle of hell to the seventh is progress, yes-but it’s still hell.

Apparently yet another Windows will come out a year from now. I still haven’t gone to Vista yet, and with that happening, there may be no reason to. At my current rate, though, I will be in a new computer by then.

I had a frightening thought driving to work today. In ten years, assuming I am alive, I will not yet be 50, and yet my son, hopefully, will be in college.

And I don’t know how the hell I am going to pay for it.

I just thought of something. Conservatives usually say that they want to cut “waste, fraud and abuse” from federal spending when you start talking about the deficit. I think the reason why I can’t understand them is that, when a conservative talks about cutting “waste” from the federal budget, what they mean is “money going to anyone who isn’t a defense contractor”. That makes a lot more sense.

If ,in fact, we live in Bizarro World and San Diego and New York face off in the Super Bowl, it may pit Philip Rivers against Eli Manning, who were traded, in effect, for one another the year they were drafted(2004). Talk about the ultimate challenge trade.

I had always wondered what happened to Eli Manning. I like Charlie Pierce’s notion that what happened was Manning was finally able, recently, to be Eli-a patient, ball control, don’t lose the game type-instead of being Peyton Junior.

Sending George Bush to the Mideast to promote peace is like sending the Spears family to promote abstinence.

Apparently there was a study going on for incontinence using an SSRI, and when some of the participants committed suicide, the deaths were concealed as a “trade secret”. This, of course, is shameful, and should not occur. But I question the idea that, although the participants were screened for depression, they weren’t depressed. One of the suicides was 19 years old. That is a tragedy.

But aren’t all 19 year olds at some risk for suicide? Aren’t we all at some risk for suicide?

Harvey J. Kaye on Bill Moyers’ Journal, “Republicans are asking the right questions-they just keep coming up with the wrong answers.” He meant that Republicans tend to be more liberty oriented, which I don’t think is true. His book on Tom Paine sounds excellent.