Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanks to the irascible Phil Nugent, ( I stumbled onto this:

It purports to use Artificial Intelligence to determine if a blog is written by a man or a woman.

So I, being the curious sort, plug in my own blog.

And what do we get?

Wait for it......................

"We think is written by a woman (69%)."

Sixty Nine Percent?


Well, uh, no. I happen to be a male of the guy persuasion. A man. A dude. A hombre. A muchacho. A rugged, insensitive brute who doesn't put the toilet seat down, talks about sports and...well...other manly stuff.

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about this.

My first reaction is to think, "Duh. That Artificial Isn't Very Intelligent."

But then I think about it. What is a blog, really, but your feelings about things and reactions to them? I mean, I assume none of you have this blog bookmarked above, right? You don't come here to learn things, you come here to see what I have to say, or because you don't feel like doing work, or because you don't want someone looking over your shoulder to know that you're watching born.

I guess telling about your feelings, by nature, is a traditionally feminine thing to do. So maybe if you just assume 60% of bloggers are female, you'll be right enough to make it seem like you know what you're doing? Is that even close to right? Does anyone know what the gender breakdown of blogging is? Is there even an answer to that question?

In any case, in order to masculinize my blog, I add the following, in order to tilt my AI gender back in the right direction.

Hunting. War. Death. Guns. Bowling. Beer. Taciturn. Solemn. Football. Insensitivity. Heavy Metal. Expressionless. Mean. Cruel. Mustaches. Baseball. A 2-2 backup slider to a right handed hitter. Breaking up the double play. Basketball. Sliding your feet on defense. Taking a charge. Hockey. Backchecking. Hard shot from the point on the power play.

Hopefully, that will do it.



Guns N Roses released a new studio album this month. If you needed another sign of the impending apocalypse, that’s a pretty good one.

I finally sat down and listened to “Chinese Democracy”, all the way through. It’s hard to know how to feel about it, exactly. As Chuck Klosterman so wisely put it-it doesn’t live up to the hype, but that’s only because nothing could. It’s brilliant in places, bombastic and overblown in others. It’s also hard to react to because I’m not the same person I was in 1987.

“Appetite for Destruction” was Guns N Roses first full length album, and it is still, by far, their best. Which is kind of like saying the Civil War is the most important war-it’s true, sort of, but all the others aren’t less important by comparison. “Appetite” was an hour long scream, full of passion-perfect for the grieving 15 year old I was at the time. Axl Rose, the band’s tempestuous front man, has never produced work as raw and passionate as that since.

Now, after more than 20 years, the band, which is really just Rose with a bunch of other guys, since everyone who performed on that first, transcendent record is gone, is back with a long rumored, long awaited studio album. I like it, I guess I can say, but I don’t love it-I don’t HAVE to listen to it-the way I did with “Appetite”, all those years ago.

I also saw Walt Disney’s “Bolt” today, which has been aptly called their best non- Pixar animated film in a long, long time. According to what I’ve read, it is the first Walt Disney Animation film since Pixar genius John Lassiter took over, and it is very Pixar-y. Lots of vibrant, rich color, a Las Vegas scene that pops off of the screen, some inside baseball-type movie jokes, and a creative plot make it a fine way to spend 90 minutes.

The Best of Fools

I woke up this morning thinking about Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You".

Call them revisionist thieves if you want to-there isn't any question billions have been made on the backs of blues musicians who got paid paltry sums, if any at all, by white English boys like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.

But listen to the first few notes, before the drum starts, from this version, the made for TV "Unledded" performance by Page and Plant, or the studio version, or a cover-whatever. Every single time I hear it, which is probably running into the hundreds by now, those few notes, in that order, to me, is what a broken heart sounds like.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Wes Littleton Era Begins

The Boston Red Sox acquired right handed pitcher Wes Littleton from the Texas Rangers, a sidearming, Chad Bradford, give me a grounder to short or give me death type.

Aside from being the name of the town where I went to high school, this move has very little significance of any sort.

Well, that might explain it.

At a zoo in Hokaiddo, Japan, the mystery about why a pair of polar bears refused to mate was solved when it was learned that both bears were female.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ten Things

Ten Things I Did Today

1. Listened to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant"
2. Watched Football
3. Played with nephews and nieces of various ages, and marveled at how little it sometimes takes to amuse them.
4. Wished I was somewhere else.
5. Wondered exactly what level of desperation is achieved when you are asking Drew Henson to play quarterback.
6. Wondered why the Tennessee Titans' logo looks like a flaming thumbtack.
7. Watched a James Bond Marathon on Sci Fi.
8. Wished I were normal
9. Listened to a fascinating "Studio 360" on Nikola Tesla.
10. Wondered how on Earth I was going to come up with something to blog about

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm sure this is legitimate

"Dear Sir/Madam,
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract payment.
After the Board of director's meeting held in Abuja,we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem.We have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America, Africa and Asia Pacific, This is part of an instruction/mandate passed by the Senate inrespect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling.
We will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world,and the maximum daily limit is ($5,000.00).
However, Note that this method of payment will be granted if it is acceptable to you for the release of your contract entitlement. In View of this, you are advised to contact the Director (CBN, IRD, and ATM) DR.Paul Adim for further information with the following contact details:
Telephone line: +234 703 334 7773
If you like to receive your ATM CARD, Kindly reconfirm your
(1) Your Full Name.
(2) Full residential address.
(3) Phone And Fax Number.
(4) Occupation.
(5) Age
We shall be expecting to receive your information as you have to stop any further communication with anybody or office.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Best Regards,
Dr. Paul Adim"

Dear Dr. Adim,


Yours very truly,



Chuck Klosterman reviews the new Guns N Roses album, Chinese Democracy.


I've been watching a lot of Bravo, due to my inappropriate West Wing fondness. Although, I nearly flew into a spittle-heaving rage the other day when Bravo decided to run the first half of the assassination attempt episode, only to segue into their Stupid Television No One (And By No One, I Am Mispronouncing I) Cares About Marathon, without showing the second part!!! Doofuses.

Anyway, if you spend any amount of time at home watching Bravo during the early morning hours, you will see this commercial. Endlessly. It really makes me think that advertisers think women are pretty stupid.

It's for an IUD (Intrauterine Device) called Mirena. I'm sure it's a fine product, and I have no objections to birth control of any sort. In fact, if truth be hold, I have less of an objection to birth control than I have to children. The commercial shows a cheerful redhead with a husband and three adorable boys living in a huge house. (which you'd have to). (And which, in the current economy, is probably worth 43 cents plus a slightly used Bazooka Joe wrapper.)

The point of the commercial is to get the 87 women who are home watching it and are wealthy enough to not have to be working to ask their doctors to put in this device so they won't have any more kids, or at least won't have any more kids right now. Which is fine, I maintain.

What has bothered me about the commercial, and has bothered me more and more ever since I saw it the first time, is right at the 0:05 mark on the video. While intoning her milestones, in a cutesy little voice, she lists, "...Coach soccer..."

Soccer coaches don't wear soccer uniforms.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This morning...

I told my wife I loved her "unreservedly".

She replied, teasingly, "you have reservations."

"No," I answered. "I'm like Anthony Bourdain. I have no reservations."

Now, I think that's funny.

My wife disagrees.

Tell me, was that funny?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to Imagination Station...

Today's Imagination Station Prompt:

"Are you afraid of death?"

Wiseacre, standup comic answer: "I don't know, ask me after I die."

Real answer: I don't know. In a sense, yes, in a sense, not at all. As little joy as I seem to be able to suck out of life, I'd miss it if it were going to be imminently taken from me. I cant shake this feeling that I still have stuff to do.