28 February 2006

Can't Stop the Fashion Blogging

Drudge made me do it.

This really is typical. (no link yet, I'll add link once drudge fixes it, it's fixed, here's the link, the article doesn't have any mention of 'beheadment chic' as Drudge labels it, but the linked article does talk at length about greek penises and Leonard Peltier)

And nothing new, I remember hearing (yet can't seem to discover a specific reference, my Google Fu has gone suddenly weak) that during the French Revolution the fashion amongst the aristocracy in exile was to wear red chokers to symbolize the guillotining of Marie Antoinette.

Maybe that was just a fevered dream of an idea I had, and not something that I can corrobarate, but it sounds plausible enough. Maybe someone who actually knows something will dig up a reference to refute or concur with my faulty memory.


And really, after perusing through the slide show for the hooded photo (number 68 out of 272) from Vivienne Westwood's collection, I can't resist posting a photo of the designer herself (below).

(you really want to take fashion advice from Cruella l'Orange?)

Finally, Something to Unite the Blogosphere

I predict screencaps and video from these news clips will flourish and proliferate across the blogosphere both left and right. Every frame will be scrutinized and fussed over to find the best/worst moments for worship/ridicule.

Of course how they comment and use the video will be diametrically opposed, but nevertheless, the images of Sec. Rice pumping iron and vigorously exercising will no doubt crop up in the oddest places over the next decade or so. (hopefully during her presidency)

I hope she wears something flattering, workout wear can be brutal.

(she could give Robin Givhan the vapors if she wore any of the above shoes to her workouts, the black ones in the middle would be the best choice)

(when did the Manolo take over this site?)

UPDATE: Given the shoes pictured, Reader I Am thinks I'm in Strippercize territory (maybe Carmen will do a new round of celebrity strippercize dvd's and invite Madame Secretary), maybe, maybe not. There are worse current and former cabinet officials to picture strippercizing.

Also nbc4 in DC has posted an article to go with video and a slideshow (one of the slides above, did she coordinate outfits with the reporter?)

She went very practical with her outfit, no Jane Fonda stripes and leg warmers (uggh) or stripper shoes (shucks), but the simple outfit that befits her dignity and standing.

Still I haven't looked yet, but I still expect lots of slicing and dicing and possibly some photo manipulation from the left blogosphere using these photos and video.

25 Million Exhibits!

So besides tending to our troops Walter Reed is a repository for a massive collection of medical oddities, specimens and memorabilia.

That's pretty impressive. With the pending closure of Walter Reed, the new more modern facility they are constructing to tend to the troops will probably not be built to house these objects, I think a perfect place to move all these to would be Las Vegas. Plenty of room to build, plenty of curious people who could fund a research facility for better study of this treasure trove while providing education as well as satiating a desire to witness the macabre.

Oh and I can't not excerpt this bit from the AP article:

And there are exhibits that show -- sometimes in gruesome detail -- how the body functions in sickness and health. Besides gawking at the giant hair ball and swollen leg, visitors can see deformed fetuses, including a pair of conjoined twins floating in a small jar. There's also a skeleton, sitting in a rocking chair, of a man who had such severe arthritis that all his bones fused together.

"I was like, ewww!" said Kisses Martinez, a pathology student who visited the museum. "It opens up your eyes to a lot of things."

Only 1 percent of the museum's approximately 25 million artifacts are on display at any one time, Solomon said. In the past, many specimens were laid out for all to see _ often with little explanation. Now, however, the museum strives to provide context with story-driven exhibits.

Her name is Kisses?, and she's a pathology student, and she says, "I was like, ewww!". This does not compute. This frightens me. That's all.

More Crashed Ferrari News

The LATimes continues to dig and prod and produce stories regarding the loss of a very valuable work of art.

This article's a good one, until the end, when they break out the interview with a local, I'll allow the article speak for itself:
Carol Moss, a longtime Malibu resident, activist and meditation group leader, said the accident came as no surprise.

"It was horrendous, but Malibu is full of idiots," she said. "There are a lot of wild cars and irresponsible people. The roads are dangerous. You always see people with those sorts of cars. You see some wild behavior."

But, in keeping with her Zen frame of mind, Moss extended an olive branch. "Everyone is welcome to attend the meditation group. Even the drag racer."

That's helpful, I wouldn't have felt complete had I not found out what Carol Moss felt about this accident.

(Excuse me while I meditate, oohhmmm, ooohhhhhmmmmm, oooohhhhhhhhmmmmm, ohmmmzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Torquay, Come for the View, Stay for the Food?

Yes, Torquay is improving and now they have two restaurants which received a star from Michelin. No small feat.

Naturally, the article makes frequent references to the greatest comedy series of all time.

(That and Cowboy Bebop are the only TV Series I own)

(But do they put Basil in the Ratatouille?)

I may have to visit the English Riviera one of these years.

27 February 2006

Just When I Thought I Was Out. . .

They Pulled Me Back In.

In to useless quizzes that is (dastardly temptation provided by Daniel Drezner)
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

And If that wasn't enough
You Are Miami

Sexy and beautiful, you turn heads wherever you go.
A little spicy and a little exotic, you're fully aware of your unique appeal.

Totally high energy, you keep the party going early into the morning.

Famous Miami residents: Anna Kournikova, OJ Simpson, Enrique Iglesias, and Victoria
What American City Are You?

UPDATE: And yet another quiz to add to the collection (it's Reader I Am's fault)

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges. (check)
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions. (check)

Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist. (ummm, could be)
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!). (I'm immodest enough to agree)

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others. (I hope not)
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you. (possibly)
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take
everything philosophically. (meh)
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas. (not so sure about this one)

(clearly the makers of this quiz don't read this blog)

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul
(Am I a stinker for altering the response box text?)

(I was sort of hoping to be a souless brain eating zombie, oh well)

Experiments in Noise

I've been playing with the Beaterator (get your minds out of the gutter you randy scouse gits)

and also trying out Castpost.com (it's free up to 100MB for the moment).

So here are the early fruits (just snippets to test the feasibility of posting sounds on my site, they have very explicit warnings about refraining from infringing on anybody's licenses, so no audio playlists or streaming funk along with the Friday funk lyrics, oh well)

Powered by Castpost

Powered by Castpost

Random Blogger Randomness

I'm fascinated by random blogger randomness.

Mostly the sites are uninteresting, hey look at me!, sort of stuff. (no cracks about this being exactly that)

And this site doesn't stand out in anyway, but somehow close up shots of earrings are strangley soothing and fascinating in a bright and shiny way.

I've never even considered piercing any part of my body (tattoos, different story, but I'd want to do it right, and the expense doesn't seem justified, plus the likelihood of buyer's remorse prevents me from seriously considering that form of body modification, cyborg implants to give me super-human capacities on the other hand. . . .) so these earrings wouldn't do for me, and jewelry as presents is tricky territory that I've learned to best avoid.

But for all you earrings lovers out there, by the looks of some of the pieces, you could do worse.

(Me personally I love simple large gold hoochie hoop earrings, paired with a thin, braided waist chain, and possibly a simple golden anklet, yummmmm)

Disturbing Things

Henry Mancini, he disturbs me today.

Not him so much as the insidiously catchy hooks he crafted for mostly mediocre TV shows and films from the 50s through the 80s.

At this moment I can't get the hook from Baby Elephant Walk out of my head. (if you click on this link with the volume up, you will share in my pain)

I've never even seen the film the piece was written for, but it doesn't matter, cause that hook has been recycled, reused and replayed over and over again, and if you don't recognize the song by title you would if you heard a few bars of this dastardly song.

Censorship Envy

Prof. Volokh wrote an essay awhile ago about the phenomena of censorship envy. Recently he applied that to the trouble Europe is having with its Muslim populations and how censorship envy plays a part in the desires of the Muslim activists to have their narrowly interpreted cultural precepts become enforceable law for all Europeans (with the implied, and sometimes explicit threat of violence should Europe fail to comply).

Well, bad ideas spread like viruses.

A case of textbook censorship envy has spread to the Hindu community in California.
Kurup has joined other Hindus in a campaign urging the state Board of Education to correct those portrayals in new sixth-grade history textbooks, which will come under review by a board committee today. They have requested changes involving passages on women's rights, the caste system, the origins of Hinduism and the nature of the divine, among other things.

One requested change, for instance, would say women had "different" rights than men, not fewer.

PC knows no bounds. PC demands that all faiths and cultures be equally good, even when they aren't. Hinduism has its mysteries and wonders, but it did/does have a caste system, it did/does denigrate women, and to say otherwise is to deny reality.

CAIR has been exceedingly successful in whitewashing all mentions of anything bad about Islam within California textbooks, so it's perfectly natural for Hindus to want to do the same. Ridiculous as it may be.

Now Christians should stand up and demand all references to Inquisitions or Witch Trials be expunged as not being representative of how the church is practiced today. The Japanese should refuse to allow any textbooks that mention Pearl Harbor, unless it refers to it as a 'pre-emptory defensive foray' to secure its rightful access to needed resources. History books are full of maligned groups that should be better 'understood' and put into a better 'context'.

Clearly the only bad folks to have ever walked the earth are wealthy white Americans of Anglo/German/Nordic descent, all others are merely misread and must have their records rectified to reflect the more enlightened realities that have been discovered by the various grievance groups looking to set the records straight (though I hope not to offend anyone in the non-straight communities, I use the word straight in the most inclusive way possible).

Sociologist favor Socialism

NYTimes Magazine this Sunday had a piece by some psychology professors that has some really 'interesting' (and by interesting I mean off their rocker nuts) inferences from various 'studies' (and by studies I mean, silly exercises intended to confirm their own established biases and suppositions).

(and they are social psychologist, so I use the term sociologists loosely just to make the title fit. They never actually come out in favor of socialism, but the alternatives to all this awful choice we are faced with would be a benign governmental influence choosing the best possible choices for the confused populace)

You say I see statists everywhere and fools everywhere, well read this paragraph and tell me that this isn't a load of whatever colorful metaphor you wish to use to describe a heaping mound of excrement:
We also analyzed how freedom and choice are presented in one of our most pervasive and influential cultural products: popular songs. In every region, Americans with higher education and higher incomes typically prefer rock music over country. We found that rock lyrics had a lot more talk of choice, control and self-expression, as in the Rolling Stones' refrain, "'Cause I'm free to do what I want any old time." But when we analyzed country music, preferred over rock by less-educated Americans in every region, we heard more mentions of self-protection and defense, as in Darryl Worley's observation, "We didn't get to keep [our freedom] by backin' down." When choice was mentioned, it was often as a prelude or coda to tragedy, as in George Jones's lament "Now I'm living and dying with the choices I've made."

At this blog they attack the piece for purely linguistic reasons (though they suspect the editors are at fault, but when you read the content of the piece, I think the writers themselves are likely to have made the error).

And I'm hoping Virginia Postrel will be moved to read this and rip all of these fools new ones.

One last thing, maybe they listened to a lot of Devo back in the day.

a victim of collision on the open sea
nobody ever said that life was free
sank, swam, go down with the ship
but use your freedom of choice

i'll say it again in the land of the free
use your freedom of choice
your freedom of choice

in ancient rome there was a poem
about a dog who found two bones
he picked at one
he licked the other
he went in circles
he dropped dead

freedom of choice
is what you got
freedom of choice!

then if you got it you don't want it
seems to be the rule of thumb
don't be tricked by what you see
you got two ways to go

i'll say it again in the land of the free
use your freedom of choice
freedom of choice

freedom of choice
is what you got
freedom of choice!

in ancient rome
there was a poem
about a dog
who found two bones
he picked at one
he licked the other
he went in circles
he dropped dead

freedom of choice
is what you got
freedom from choice
is what you want

26 February 2006

It's Scott Adams World

We're just living in it.

You Ain't Wrong (Week Ending 26 February 2006) NOW WITH PICTURES!

It's the end of another week. The world keeps spinning. People (I use the term loosely) continue to do wrong, but they are countered and opposed by those who commit the Ain't Wrong. For perusal and rumination, here are this week's Ain't Wrongs:

Dr. Helen, You Ain't Wrong, after listening to the interview at Powerline with Prof. Jeremy Zilber (my past thoughts here) she mounts a strongly worded broadside against this author, his children's book, and the idiotology it represents (to call it ideology would be to credit it with having an idea).

The students of Harvard, Y'all Ain't Wrong, for wanting reform, accountable instructors, and a university President who shares those goals. Too bad, the instructors are louder, better organized and more petulant (petulance defeats reason in these sort of fights, usually).

The Sex Pistols, You Ain't Wrong, for telling those gits and geezers at the so called 'Rock Hall of Fame' where they can shove their fancy shmancy pay your own way dinner honoring this year's inductees (but despite their short recording career, any Rock Hall worth its name must recognize their contributions).
Karl Rove, You Ain't Wrong, about Sen. Hillary Clinton and her chances for success in the '08 Presidential Election (But to say so now may bring Democrats to their senses. It's a dangerous game to play. He's no doubt counting on Democrats' irrational reaction to his statements to ensure that Hillary will be annointed their standard bearer for '08, rather than to prevent it, and I use the distorted picture of Karl Rove cause that's how many Democrats picture him).

Reader I Am, You Ain't Wrong, for pointing to this article about song choice and how it reflects on personality. Nothing says who you are better (and is a part of the modern mating ritual) than the mixCD (and it's forefather the mixtape).

Amba, You Ain't Wrong, it is a pain to be confronted with a question that use of Google and Wiki doesn't answer. Throwing objects is a perfectly reasonable response when this comes to pass.

La Shawn Barber, You Ain't Wrong, to be concerned about problem of illegal immigration into the United States. Legal immigration is our greatest strength and why we continue to grow and prosper while Japan and Europe stagnate, but illegal immigration is a dangerous drain on resources and a real security threat.

The athletes of the German Winter Olympics Team, Y'all Ain't Wrong, for overcoming those truly unfortunate outfits and still winning the most medals. An impressive accomplishment. (when I see those costumes, all that comes to mind is, mmmmm sherbert)

Pastor Jeff, You Ain't Wrong, to point to Mark Daniels' comments regarding the reaction by Alabama Christians in the wake of the arsons of several churches in the state and adding some good commentary of your own.

24 February 2006

THAT'S Rock N' Roll

Above image taken from this site and is presented as the Sex Pistol's official response to their upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


(found via Drudge)

UPDATE: And somewhere hovering in the netherworld between related and unrelated would be this post from Reader I Am.

UPDATE, TOO: Prof. Althouse also noticed this news, and commented in her usual Socratic way.

Friday Funk Lyrics, 24 February 2006

It's another funky, funky Friday.

The roots of funk are deep, and funk takes many forms. One form that is especially deep and funky is the funky stylings of 'the strange one' Fela Kuti. He was a masterful musician given to expressing fantastical jams full of syncopation, chants and driving beats. His personal history is equally (if not more so) as fascinating as his music. If you don't at least have this CD in your collection then you are robbing yourself of an essential experience. His lyrics are rambling, yet generally have a point, and the repitition doesn't look good on the page, but sung it's wondrous.

Given the recent reactions in Nigeria (his home country) I thought his song Coffin for Head of State would be appropriate. Also the website where I found the lyrics offers an excellent commentary on the song, I've included that commentary after the lyrics in its entirety.

Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen

Woh! Ahhhhh Ch! Ahhhh! Ch! Ch!

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Lord
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Lord
Inspiritus Christus, Mass Christus, Mass Christus, Mass Christus,
Alla-hu, Waku-baru, Salem Elekum, Alla-hu
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Lord

So I waka waka waka** **(walk)
I go many places
I see my people
Dem dey cry, cry cry
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
I say I waka waka waka
I go many places
I see my people
Dem dey cry, cry, cry
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen
Amen-i, Amen-i, Amen

I say I waka-waka-waka-waka-waka-waka-waka
(HORNS response)
I waka any village anywhere in Africa
I waka any village anywhere in Africa
Pastor’s house na ‘im dey fine pass
My people dem dey stay for poor surroundings
Pastor’s dress na ‘im dey clean pass
Be it hard for my people for dem to buy soap
Pastor na ‘im dem give respect pass
And dem dey do bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad things

Through Jesus Christ our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Lord
Inspiritus Christus, Mass Christus, Mass Christus, Mass Christus,
Alla-hu, Waku-baru, Salem Elekum, Alla-hu

So I waka waka waka
I go many places
I go business places
And I see, see, see
All the bad, bad, bad things
Dem dey do, do, do
Call corruption
And dey call “nepotism”
Inside promotions
And inside all business
I say I waka waka waka
I see, see, see

So I waka-waka-waka-waka-waka-waka-waka
(HORNS Short response)

I waka any business anywhere in Africa
I waka any business anywhere in Africa
North and South dem get dem policies
One Christian and the other one, Muslim
Anywhere the Muslims dem dey reign
Na senior Allaha-ji na ‘im be director
Anywhere the Christians dem dey reign
Na the best friend to Bishop na ‘im be director
It is a known fact that for many thousand years
We Africans, we had our own traditions
These money making organizations
Them come put we Africans in total confusion

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Lord
Inspiritus Christus, Mass Christus, Mass Christus, Mass Christus,
Alla-hu, Waku-baru, Salem Elekum, Alla-hu

So I waka waka waka
I go many places
I go government places
I see, see, see
All the bad, bad, bad things
Dem dey do, do, do
Look Obasanjo,
Before anything you know at all,
And for dey shout
Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh mighty Lord, Oh Lord, Oh God

And den dey do bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad things
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Lord

I say look-a Y’aradua
I say look-a Y’aradua
Before anything you know at all
It would dey shout
Aba Allah- Aba Allah- Aba Allah- Aba Allah -
Aba Allah
And den dey do yes, yes
And den dey do bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad-bad things

Through Mohhmmed our Lord
By the Grace of Allmighty Allah

So I waka waka waka
I go many places
I go government places
I see, see, see
All the bad, bad, bad things
Den dey do, do, do
Den steal all the money
Dem kill many students
Dem burn many houses
Dem burn my house too
And killed my mama
So I carry the coffin
I Waka waka waka
Movement of the People
Dey Waka waka waka
Young African Pioneers
Waka waka waka
We go Obalende,
We go Dodan barracks
Reach dem gatee-o
And put the coffin down
Obasanjo dey there,
With him big fat stomach
Y'aradua dey there,
With him neck like ostrich
We put the coffin down.

Dem no wan take am
Dem no wan take am
Who go wan take coffin?
Dem must take am
For the bad bad bad things
Wey dem don do
Dem no wan take am
Obasanjo grab am
Y'aradua carry am
Yes, dem no wan take am
Obasanjo carry am
Y'aradua tow am
Dem no wan take am
Dem no wan take am
It der for dem office
Dem no wan take am
It der dey now now now now
It der dey now, now, now, now
It der dey now, now, now, now
It der dey now, now, now, now
It der dey now, now, now, now
It der dey now, now, now, now
* Repeat as desired

Coffin for Head of State- Explanation

A criticism of arbitrary/artificial religious & ethnic boundaries, and of religious hypocrisy- people who invoke god, but then commit atrocities, including Obasanjo (General) & Y’aradua (Leiutentent Colonel), two of Fela’s attackers.

The poor live in squalor while the pastor lives in luxury. Fela walks (waka), & sees the unhappiness of his people,and the corruption & greed of the colonial-influenced Nigerian government. Colonial culture confuses the African people.

In 1979, when Fela’s mother (a government official & activist) dies from injuries inflicted by the Army during an attack on Fela’s compound, Fela and his Movement of the People Carry his mother’s coffin to the barracks of two noted Fela enemies, Gen. Obasanjo & Lt.Crnl. Y’aradua. As a protest, Fela & MOP put the coffin down, and force the army to take it. Obasanjo & Yaradua eventually help to carry it (out of respect for the dead, and fear of angering ancestoral spirits). “It remains there. ”

Why I wish I could borrow James Lileks' brain from time to time

"It also had Brian Dennehey. Half the movies I’ve seen lately have Brian Dennehey. “FX,” “Presumed Innocent,” “Gorky Park.” Makes a fellow reluctant to order anything on the Spice channel, I’ll tell you that."

There are no stupid questions, only stupid polls

For no reason in particular I thought I'd try out a poll (maybe in the future I'll do more). Vote early, vote often (or at least once a day).

What's the best way to 'remove' a wine stain from a linen tablecloth?
Sprinkle generously with table salt, scrub vigorously, then hand wash
A blowtorch
A bazooka
Dye the tablecloth to match the stain
Who uses tablecloths anymore?
Who uses tables anymore?
All the above
None of the above
Free polls from Pollhost.com

22 February 2006

Wrong, Wronger, Wrongest

The Wrong, the fact that this movie even exists.

The Wronger, having Kristin Davis play Tim Allen's wife in the film (was going to say she's way too young, but she's 41 tomorrow (happy birthday Kristin!), and he's only 52 (figured he was about 4 years older, and she 4 years younger), just seems like there's a bigger age difference, but still my Charlotte shouldn't be in this crap (and yes, I'm a straight guy who enjoyed watching Sex and the City since the beginning, wanna make something of it?))

The Wrongest, Using George Clinton's Atomic Dog in the newest set of commercials.

(possibly not wrong, at the El Capitan in Hollywood the dog from the film, Shaggy (naturally), will be performing tricks live during the pre-show entertainment)

And the tag line is pretty wrong, too: RAISE THE WOOF.

(Is this anyway to honor the Year of the Dog?)

How Gay Will the Oscars Be?


The question to ask, am I being a bigot by asking and answering that question? I hope not, but that set is awfully gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). Even these fine folks are fascinated by the fabulousness.

(plus I can't hate on gay folk (or even queer folk) if I tried, they throw a parade every year right around my birthday, how cool is that!)

(took me a few years to figure out why, turns out I was born a day before all this happened)

21 February 2006

2Fast2Furious, Drunken Middle-Aged Swedish National Edition

Must be nice to own a Ferrari Enzo.

You must be really stupid to think it would be a good idea to race said Ferrari on PCH early in the AM while inebriated.

After surviving the inevitable spectacular crash without major injuries best to shift blame. Why not say 'Dietrich' did it.

Video here (slow possibly, Drudge linked so the usual problems) and story here (UPDATE: linked to Drudge twice by accident, link fixed, and Drudged switched to the wire version).

The video says it all. The safety of modern vehicles is astounding, but driving over 100 mph on bumpy roads will lead to predictable problems (like launching into the air and striking power poles at 5-10 feet off the ground).

And is it just me or does the LATimes version suck just about all the life out of this story?
UPDATE: They changed to a more lively story for print, and the original web version has been replaced (down the Memory Hole, as usual, I really wish papers would keep the old versions up, and use them to point to the new versions when they substantially change a story at a link, the web is both ephemeral and permanent (a paradox, but a reconcilable one) so they should honor that by keeping all versions available).

"David Gregory, I Revoke My Proxy"

That doxy David Gregory, believes he's my proxy (we'll, he as a representative of the White House Press Corps at any rate). Rand Simberg is right (hat tip, as usual, to the Instapundit) If I have a choice in the matter, I'd choose anybody but most of the denizens squatting in the current Press Corps (give me a male prostitute over these fools, anyday).

Helen Thomas, the grand dame of the press corps, let her senility show on Bill Maher this week, when Eddie Griffin makes more sense than you do, it's time to get out of the business.

And note on the word doxy, according to dictionary.com, doxy means
  1. A female lover; a mistress.
  2. A sexually promiscuous woman.
But you know, David Gregory still strikes me as being a doxy since he is so profligate in his self-love that he probably is his own ideal for his perfect mistress. He's his own doxy, and he's not my proxy.

That Scott McClellan doesn't throw sharp objects at the crowd of reporters each day is a testament to that gentleman's inestimable good grace and restraint.

The 'Truly' Modern Pentathlon

With the Winter Olympics winding down, and the biathletes making news, my thoughts turn to that event's summer cousin, the modern pentathlon.

When the Modern Pentathlon was conceived it was expressly meant as a way to show off the diverse tool set expected of an officer. In 1912 it made sense for those to include show-jumping, shooting, fencing, swimming, and cross-country running (I'm in debt to this site which has much, much information that I'm mangling here a bit to suit my own purposes).

Well I'd like to suggest it's about time for a 'Future' Pentathlon, one that reflects five skill sets needed for the current and future officer.

First off, I'd make the events squad based, each team would be comprised of 5 people (either sex, up to each team the mix, with the requirement of at least one person being female). Each person would have to compete in at least 3 events. Success in the current battlefield relies more on the coordination of squads of people and not the heroics of any individual. A competition should be designed to reflect that.

Another difference would be that every event would happen with other teams providing 'hostile' fire. Most event would have paintball elements to the event where 2 competing teams would be attacking the squad attempting each event. This would reflect the numerical superiority defenders usually enjoy, and would allow for teams to specialize in defensive techniques as teams could steal points by defending especially well. (The two defending teams wouldn't be allowed direct radio communications however, just to add some balance).

In the current modern pentathlon you can break down the events into aided mobility (equestrian), aquatic (swimming), close combat (fencing), distance combat (shooting) and evasion/escape (cross-country running). I'd keep the general categories the same, but amp them up and create tests that better reflect the shape of the modern battlefield.

For the mobility event, horses have long since been replaced by machines, a driving under hostile fire (from paintball, and paint-land mines) event would simulate the kind of challenges currently faced by modern troops and would be exciting to watch. The courses could be urban, desert or mixed rural/agricultural and the defending teams would be given the opportunity to plant one mine each and set up three ambush points. This would make a great televised event, maybe not so great for the live audience, though.

For the aquatic event I'd emphasize the squad nature and have three 'healthy' swimmers and one 'injured' swimmer over a 2000 meter riverine course (downriver to make it feasible) with at least 5 bridges and blinds any two of which could have ambushes set up by two of the other squads. The injured swimmer would be conscious so could float on their own, but wouldn't be allowed to stroke or kick. The event would be done clothed (as if a river patrol was overtuned and had to swim to a protected checkpoint).

For the close combat event, it would be an indoor urban hostage extraction scenario. Two opposing teams would represent hostage takers, and the attacking team would have to find, secure and recover the hostage in a multi story structure. To make it feasible for the attacking team to succeed, the defenders wouldn't be allowed to have more than two people in any one room, and the hostage would be unguarded in a room with four entry points, no more than three could be defended.

For the ranged combat event, squad based paintball capture the flag style. Big field, two teams versus the one attacker, with the right camera coverage could be great to watch.

The escape/evasion event is last and would still be a cross-country run, but the difference being that the squad would have to rescue an 'injured' teammate. The event would again simulate having one injured squad member with the others healthy. In this all five would compete at the same time, but the 'injured' player would remain the same throughout the event. They'd get a stretcher to make carrying easier, with uncoordinated hostile fire over a 10 kilometer course with elevation changes mixing open and spaces with good cover usable for both ambushes and cover when facing hostile fire.

Rather than all the events happening on the same day like the original modern pentathlon the events would happen on consecutive days, but each team would compete three times each day (once as competitor, twice as defender).

I think this would be entertaining, more so than the current biathlon or pentathlon, it could happen by the 2012 London Olympics, if not, maybe a gameshow, (I want at least a producer's credit though, if not the hosting gig).

20 February 2006

Random Musicness

I dusted off and plugged in my old Creative Nomad Jukebox (10Gb version). I don't think I've listened to anything on this for about 2 years, but my computer fried, I'm stuck on my mother's ancient Toshiba Satellite 1805-5203 laptop so it was listen to that old thing or actually put CDs into my DVD player. (Which I've been doing lately, but sometimes you begin to miss the joys of shuffle).

The music on my portable was my tooling around campus and driving back and forth between Santa Monica and Riverside music so certain ommissions were made as far as albums (no classical, not much jazz or blues, good to listen too, not good while riding a bike or stuck on the freeway) and I think I only have about 100 or so albums on the player.

So it's not reflective of the entire breadth or depth of my collection (and there's no albums released since '04) but it's something and since all the cool kids post their musical randomosity I thought I'd add my contribution to that genre of post.

To the list.

Ministry of Love, Eurythmics from For the Love of Big Brother
A discussion of this album popped up in this old post. Great album.

James, Bangles from All Over the Place
Damn, this is good, really, really good, I love me some Bangles.

You Me World War Three, Gavin Friday from Shag Tobacco
Oh lord this is a great album, and this song should be the theme song for a watchable Bond film (or Bond film parody). Sleek, sexy, lush, adult.

Dreams Come True, Bangles from Everything
The last album before their breakup, they were winding down then and this song is pretty banal.

Path Through the Forest, The Factory from Nuggets II, Vol. 3
If you don't have both Nuggets Box Sets then there is something seriously wrong with you. 60s Garage is perfection. The more the better, and both these boxed sets (original U.S., II mostly Europe) have some of the best songs from that time. A must for any collection.

One Track Mind, The Knickerbockers from Nuggets I, Vol. 4
60s Garage bands can be divided into three main groups, those that wanted to be the Beatles, those that wanted to be the Rolling Stones, and those that wanted to be the Who. The Knickerbockers would be part of the first category. One of the quirks about me is that I love faux-Beatles and am indifferent to hostile to actual Beatles. I know that makes me a freak, but the more you hear of this stuff the more you'll understand. (It's cause the faux has all the fun without all the pretension, Beatles got to be sooooo ponderous towards the end).

Three Longers Later, Stereolab from Mars Audic Quintet
See, I don't hate everything French. Great uptempo ambient with vocals. A genre hard to do right.

Knock, Knock, The Humane Society from Nuggets I, Vol. 3
This would fall into the faux-Stones category of Garage. A solid straight ahead rocker, it will be fueling a car/beer/Target or other product ad at some point in the near future (and may have already done so in the past)

I Must Be Mad, The Craig from Nuggets II, Vol. 2
Dude, this band's name is 'The Craig' how awesome is that. The Nuggets II compilation covers a slightly later time frame then the original Nuggets so the music is a bit trippier and edgier (also fewer chart hits). Another driving, percussive jolt to the synapses, I love this stuff.

Pyramid Song, Radiohead from Ultra Chilled, Vol. 2
This is a remix of Radiohead from the Ultra Chilled collection. These are really worth picking up, all these Ultra compilations are thoughtfully put together and are great 'mood setters' if you catch my drift (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Subtle Body, Fila Brasilia from Maim That Tune
One of the better Electronica/Organica bands from the early/mid 90s and this is their best album. Yummy.

Firey Jack, Toy Dolls from Dig That Groove Baby
My Jukebox has a sense of humor playing this track after that meditative ambient track. The Toy Dolls were a terrific English Punk Band from the 80s that had more energy than a dozen nuclear power plants. Frenetic (and funny) doesn't begin to describe them.

Can't Stop This Feeling I Got, Prince from Graffiti Bridge
This album is the silver medalist in the competition for best album from worst movie (the gold medalist is also by Prince, but that would be the album Parade, inspired by the film Under A Cherry Moon). This isn't one of the better songs on the album (the two essential and amazing songs from that album are Joy In Repitition and Release It)

I Think I'm Down, The Harbinger Complex from Nuggets I, Vol. 4
More Garage goodness, a little more never hurt no one.

It's Cold Outside, The Choir from Nuggets 1, Vol. 3
Really, I've got more than just Nuggets CDs on my player, it just doesn't seem that way at the moment (sometimes random isn't as random as you'd like, though if it's truly random the seeming not randomness might only confirm the random nature of the randomness (follow all that?))

Cool It Down, The Velvet Underground from Loaded
I love this song, this was in their faux-CCR phase, but it still works. Great headphone music too, they play with the left/right channel thing quite a bit in this song.

Touch You, The Golden Palominos from Pure
I don't know what to say, an essential album to own. It's kind of hard to classify or describe other than to say pick yourself up a copy already (plus the CD cover has a photo of a most remarkable nipple).

Two Tribes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood from Bang! (Greatest Hits)
This and Relax are the two songs they are best known for. I like the Pres. Reagan sound-a-like in this song, even if they are making fun of him and trying to blame him for the eventual destruction of the planet (how wrong they were).

My Friend Jack, The Smoke (NZ) from Nuggets II, Vol. 1
A great driving beat to this song, this probably leans towards the faux-Who (much more common on this collection compared to the American compilation). Good, good stuff.

Power of Love, Joe Simon from Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Vol. ??
Great compilations from Rhino, unfortunately the volume number is hidden behind my players character limit, but you should pick up all of them. This particular song highlights what was right about how folks sung songs in the early 70s and how much is wrong with how folks sing now. To think you can actually hold notes, sing in a single key, and not try and shout at the end of every line. What a concept! He's soooo smooth, I love this kind of stuff. The thing that gets me during American Idol are all the Mariah and XTina wannabes with their runs and warbles and VOLUME. That's not singing, that's just vocal exercises, I can't wait till all that crap finally fades out of fashion.

Inertia Creeps, Massive Attack from Mezzanine
This album still sounds so fresh and new, It's hard to believe it came out quite a few years back. This song really has a great edge and menace to it, too. Creeps into your consciousness, and doesn't want to let go.

You Set the Scene, Love from Forever Changes
If you don't have this album (frequently near the top of best ever album lists) then you are doing yourself a major disservice. The best album from a majorly important band. Much more appreciated outside of the U.S. than within, that's always the way with prophets, shunned at home.

It's a Sin To Go Away, We All Together from Nuggets II, Vol. 1
More psychedelic tinged garage from a bunch of foreigners. Not much to add, not a super distinctive track, but not bad, either.

Twisted, Annie Lennox from Bare
This album rocks harder than hard. Annie brought it all on this album. Hear her bare her soul (there is a reason this album is called Bare, it's palpable, and in every word, every note)

Better Ship, The Kinks form Ultimate Collection
A great 2 disc compilation, has all the hits, and some not hits. Ray Davies really was (is) mind blowing. And as it so happens has a CD coming out Tuesday which received rave reviews in today's LATimes, maybe a trip to the shop (or a click over to Amazon) is in order.

Indoor Fireworks, Elvis Costello from Very Best of. . .
Another excellent retrospective, certainly not comprehensive or complete but it covers the bases nicely, and this song is so well sung, so heart breaking, would make a great country song.

There She Goes Again, The Velvet Underground from The Velvet Underground & Nico
The famous banana peel album. This is the doowop song from that album. It would be fun to actually record an honest to god doowop version of this with proper singers singing in proper harmony. But this works too, another album that if you don't have in your collection you are doing yourself a serious disservice.

Seems I caught up to the player now, so the next track (whatever it may be) will be the last I list and describe.

Sweet Jane, Lou Reed from Between Thought and Expression
Well this gives me a chance to tell a little tale. This is a compilation that was released to coincide with a collection of his songs arranged like a poetry book. It came out in the early 90s and I had a young girlfriend at the time (we were both young 20 and 22 I think) and we both shared a passion for Lou Reed. She saw that he was doing a book signing at Book Soup I think it was and she decided she had to get some signed copies to give as Christmas presents (one to me, and another to Gordon Gano (yes that Gordon Gano, I saw a LOT of Violent Femmes concerts back then due to that connection, everyone was a blast). What's the point of this story, well I'm getting to that, don't rush me, It's sort of like the live version of this song that they chose for this compilation, the intro goes on for 4 minutes before Lou first says "Standing in the corner. . .". Back to the story about my girlfriend, she was young, voluptuous, pretty, but not yet really sure how to wield the power that provides and not always comfortable with the attention that draws. So when she gets to the front of the line, and Lou Reed is there and she stares at him, she notices that he's staring back at her (and when I say staring at her, I mean he's gaping at her cleavage, or at least that's the impression I get from her description of the moment), and his stare is pretty intense and making her pretty uncomfortable. So the moral of this story? Be careful when meeting your heros, they may (almost certainly) turn out to be flawed, typical human beings afterall.

UPDATE: Bill of So Quoted (who I've blogged rolled just now, with suitable caption) fame, wins the prize for stamina, he actually read to the end of this epic lengthed post to have caught the bit about Gordon Gano. He poses a question as to what might be the contender for the bronze medalist for best soundtrack for worst film. I'm going to go out on a limb and offer my choice for this title. The Tank Girl Soundtrack crosses the finish line in third place amongst all the worthy contenders in my opinion. I didn't hate the film, and thought it was unfairly dismissed at the time, but nevertheless I'm judging this by disparity between the quality of the two items (soundtrack v film) more so than the intrinsic quality of either (which is why Parade defeats Grafitti Bridge, Parade is my choice for best album of the 80s, period, so that makes the disparity massive between that and the film that inspired it, whereas Grafitti Bridge is a far worse film even than Under a Cherry Moon, but the album isn't as good so the disparity is less). Back to Tank Girl, if you click on the Amazon link provided you'll note that their reviewer loves all of the soundtrack save one song, Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg singing Cole Porter's 'Let's Do It'. Now I agree with all the customer reviewers, that's the HIGHLIGHT of the album not the lowlight. It's Joan 'Freakin' Jett and Paul 'Goddamn' Westerberg doing Cole 'for chrissakes' Porter. In what universe could you not appreciate the greatness of that moment? That's a universe I deny. Anyway the rest of the Soundtrack features some great cuts from some of the best bands at that moment and still acts as a solid time capsule of the music from the early 90s. If you don't already have it you should think about picking it up.

Well anyone whose eyes glazed over while looking at the length of this post will surely avoid the added update, oh well, I'm not here to please everyone, just exercise my fingers.

19 February 2006

Funny, Not Funny?

Watching the Women's Speed skating and in one of the heats competing for China is Wang Manli, of course here in the states we generally say the first name first so is she actually called Manli Wang?

(and is it more or less funny that she is a she rather than a he?)

UPDATE: here's the link to her bio and the results, and also a couple of photos.

The Dangers of 'Modest Proposals'

Here's a sample from the comment thread from an earlier post

Icepick said...

More importantly, it wouldn't affect behavior that much. People would just fuel up with light vehicles and then pump the gas into their heavier vehicles. Duh.

6:21 PM
XWL said...

That's why I put in the line about redesigning gas tanks to make them siphon proof.

But the real point was the LATimes shouldn't call any old suggestion a 'modest proposal'.

8:24 PM
Icepick said...

Sorry, missed that line.

Still, people would just fix the tanks when they bought them, or would buy tanks from old cars and install them in newer models. Just like undoing the catalytic converters, no big deal.

Thinking about all of this, it almost makes me want to campaign for such a price structure. The black market opportunities would be HUGE if the incentive pricing could be rigged to be sufficiently stupid. All I'd need is to find a particularly stupid Senator to write the legislation.....

Excuse me, I have to go look up my Senator's phone number....

OK, that's just a little scary to think about, and really, it's just crazy enough to be embraced by politicians. I will now distance myself from any future legislation that might be adopted following one of my 'modest proposals'. If our representatives wonder why they sometimes sound comical when they say what they say it's cause some of their ideas were inspired by folks just going for the funny.
So when you see the crews with their jackhammers tearing up your local filling station, don't look at me, I didn't do it, honest.

So let's see what future policies will be discussed in congress, terminal limits, vote-buying, and now variable pricing for gas stations. If any of those pass, I'll retire from blogging (or run for Congress, whichever).

Advice for Victoria

I seem to be running an advice column all of the sudden.

After being called out by Reader I Am, I'm compelled to offer some advice to Victoria regarding hostess duties.

In the realms of cheese or wine, I rarely partake in either so my advice would be worthless.

In the kingdoms of song and desserts, I'm a little more knowledgeable and opinionated.

So let's start with the song.

I'd seek out this album by Julieta Venegas. It's a fantastic album by a fantastic singer/songwriter and I'm told the lyrics are pretty good, too (my Spanish is too rudimentary to confirm or deny).

Second, having teens and tweens from a different country poses problems when it comes to song selection. Are they rockers, or are they hip-hop heads? At that age people tend to become a little more polarized in their tastes then at other times in their lives. Passion is a good thing at that age, but it makes pleasing people you don't know from regular contact rather difficult. With that caveat out of the way, expose them to the classics, and by classics I'm talking A Tribe Called Quest. If they aren't humming and singing 'I left my wallet in El Segundo' by the end of the fortnight then there's nothing to be done for them, cause it would mean they have no souls.

A little mind blowing journey to the unexpected always adds texture to a get together and this album from the Charlie Hunter Quartet definitely qualifies. Natty Dread as a peppy jump anthem is especially fun and surprising.

Also even though it's a tribute to the music of Brazil, this album from Morelenbaum/Sakamoto is beautiful, pleasing and essential. It's a tribute to Jobim, and really what more do you need to know?

For my final suggestion I'd go with some lounge. Lounge is great for pleasing diverse groups of folks cause you can either enjoy it as is, or you can goof on its cheesiness, either way everyone is having fun. And rather than dealing with all the pretenders it's always best to go to the source and go with the real deal. Lounge doesn't get loungier than these two acts. Pick up this Martin Denny re-release and this Esquivel and you (and your guests) will be thoroughly entertained, I'd almost guarantee it.

Now to the sweet, sweet gastronomical suggestions.

You are in Florida so a proper, picked up at a roadside diner Key Lime Pie would seem to be in order. Also rather than making at home, or bringing it, eat it at one of those diners (if they still exist around you) and make sure everyone eats at the counter and wash it down with a tall thick milkshake. (Here on the Westside you have to make do with the ersatz (but still good) versions, and they happen to make a killer Key Lime at Cafe 50s)

Another dessert they may not have had before would be a properly made Peach Cobbler. Nothing better in my opinion. Make sure it has just the right flakiness to the crust and the proper hint of cinammon (doesn't matter if it's homespun or diner bought, the crust is essential in a good cobbler). Also best served while still hot (if it doesn't scorch your esophagus on the way down, then it's too cool).

And really, a simple Pan Suave if it's made with love is plenty good enough dessert for anyone (or purchased at a good Cuban Bakery, which no doubt you have many to choose from, so get to it mamacita (and please, Victoria for the sake of verisimilitude, imagine that I give you a full handed swat across your rear while saying 'mamacita' cause I'm trying to be authentically cubano here, OK)) (as another aside, is mamacita the right term for imitating Cubans? or is it chica? I forget)

That's enough suggestions, I'm positive your guests will be enchanted (encantado, if you will) the entire time they are there, and the 17 year old (and maybe even the 10 year old) will have a big school boy crush by the time they leave. So enjoy yourself most of all, and good luck with all that.

Advice for Prof. Reynolds

Glenn Reynolds soon to be release book An Army of Davids has received good press and strong pre-orders at Amazon.

He doesn't need my advice regarding this book, but when he commented in this post

Via Hugh Hewitt, who observes "The Party ought to require every member read An Army of Davids. (Who's got the rights in the PRC Glenn?)". Why limit it to Party members? I think that everyone in China should read it!

My reaction is that he should really consider offering a Chinese Translation freely available over the internet (and I'm sure the decision isn't his alone to make, plus there's the possibility of translations of the translation floating about devaluing this book elsewhere). Make it available in multiple formats, get servers to mirror it around the globe, and make sure that however it is offered, the authorities will have trouble preventing access within the borders of the PRC. I'm sure the amount of money lost would pale in comparison to the possibility of being a 'founding father' of sort for a better freer China. I'll read the book when it's out here, but I'm guessing from the descriptions and early reviews that this book really could effect change should it spread throughout a society dealing with continuing Authoritarianism.

Again there could be legal barriers to doing this, among other considerations, but it's a suggestion, and it might even be a thought that has already crossed his mind, so I'm just putting this out there so that he knows what others think (even influential bloggers like myself with dozens of daily readers).

You Ain't Wrong (Week Ending 19 February 2006)

Another week, another compilation of aintwrongitude.

Dr. Helen, She Ain't Wrong, when it comes to this case, should the facts as presented be the true facts of this case (not a given), then this woman has committed a serious crime that should be treated like a felony, and she should enjoy a lengthy stay in jail (minimum of 7 years in my opinion). Another example of her fighting the good fight against the fight on masculinity (I refrained from calling her a warrior in a war, which I think she took exception to last time). And Jeff at Protein Wisdom wasn't wrong for bringing this case up either, but he has a penis so his opinion doesn't count on this matter.

Prof. Kieran Healy, He Ain't Wrong, over at Crooked Timber he decries the attempt by some Arizona Legislatures to create an 'offense' free collegiate atmosphere. As someone who sat through gay porn (showing everything, even the 'pop' shot) in an English class, I say occaisonally being offended is good for students. And plenty of people on the right think this is nuts, too. (but how often will I get a chance to tell someone at Crooked Timber that they ain't wrong?) (and as an aside, both these professors seem to be rather animated lately, and you can be too, at this site). As an aside, this is an example of social conservatives using the rhetoric and techniques pioneered by the left. Previous example, the ultra-feminist, ultra-religious convergence on anti-pornography crusades (both those groups probably suffered from too little stimulation rather than too much, if you catch my drift).

Prof. Ann Althouse, She Ain't Wrong, when it comes to wondering about the tactics employed by the ever persuasive folks on the left side of the blogosphere (and to prove her point, the comment thread enters a death spiral of the usual sort of nastiness, though Armando himself behaves quite well). Purity movements (which the left often resembles, How Dare You Chris Matthews, How Dare You Sen. Lieberman, How Dare You --- fill in the blank with the outrageously not lefty enough persona of the day) always end badly.

Tammy Bruce, She Ain't Wrong, when it comes to not allowing women compete in ski-jumping during the Winter Olympics. This is just plain silly (and the Instapundit agrees). And the people saying that women don't have the 'structure' to do this safely, have they looked at the spindly men competing in the Nordic Combined? (since they also cross country ski they tend to have very slender builds, one might suspect these gentleman aren't any safer jumping then an athletic woman of average build)

Pooh, He Ain't Wrong, or at least he's probably not wrong when it comes to the possibility that Vince Young might seriously suck in a Ryan Leaf sort of way. (Who's in the news recently as he was named QB coach(!?) at West Texas A&M)

Reader I Am, She Ain't Wrong, with this article (I call it an article, it's a post, but it's far more cogent and to the point than many published articles on the subject) on financial support of the Palestinian Authority, it's chock full o' aintwrongness, read it, (try not to weep).

Lastly, but not leastly, Victoria, She Ain't Wrong, highlighting the Olympic Spirit over medal counts. Who cares which country nabs the most medals, what matters are the competitions, the competitors and their hearts.

So that was the week that was in aintwrongination. There's much I missed (as always) and I can't not mention again my gratitude towards Ms. Bruce for her gracious inclusion of this humble blog in her blogroll post. And also there's plenty of plainwrongness out there that I'll leave alone (ok maybe two quick plainwrong links for your perusal, without comment from me, one, two, there, read them? good, I'm done).

A Rose By Any Other Name. (also a Modest Proposal on Reducing Gas Consumption)

Old Will was probably right (and yes, I misquote him in the post title, call it weakly ironic given the nature of this post).

But what about when people shove a carnation under your nose and tell you it's still a rose? (It may still smell, it might even be pleasant, but certainly, that's no rose)

This article, from today's Current section of the LATimes is just such a carnation masquerading as a rose. Notice at the tippy top of the page, the author/or LATimes editor have the audacity to call this piece a 'modest proposal'.

First off, since Mr. Swift's brilliantly satirical and outrageous piece about how best to deal with the Irish, when most people use the phrase 'modest proposal' it's a semi-technical term relating to an outrageous suggestion given in reasonable terms, usually to make a broader political point.

This particular simple plea for more sensible (in the author's view) tax incentives for conserving gas doesn't rise to the definition (in my opinion, anyway) of a 'modest proposal'.

Personally, I'm of the flat-tax, or purely consumption tax school for raising money on a federal level. All this social engineering through the tax code has caused numerous distortions in people's behaviors that have hurt society in general more than they have helped. So a little tinkering like she suggests misses the boat that ALL these sort of incentives are bad, bad, and bad.

Now back to her little 'modest proposal' on reforming the incentives for buying high fuel efficiency vehicles, here's what a true 'modest proposal' might have looked like:

Priuses (or is that Prii?) proliferate amongst the wealthy (more as a third or fourth car status symbol rather than a true family commuter box, places that rent Priuses can't keep them on the lot during awards season), but what about those with less means? If our goal is to 'break the addiction' on foreign oil then we must find new and innovative ways to encourage ALL consumers to change their habits.

My modest proposal to drive all of America towards better habits at the fuel pumps (and at the car lots when they choose which cars to buy) would be to place scales at every pump, at every gas station, everywhere in the United States. I know my critics will say that this would be prohibitively expensive, but pish tosh to all that, we can't afford NOT TO institute some kind of reform in this area, and scales aren't so hard to install (plus the mini-construction boom would be good for the economy).

Once these scales are installed, charge each customer at a rate of $.001 per gallon per pound. For example a 250lb motorcycle would cost $.25 per gallon to fill up while a 5500lb truck would cost $5.50 per gallon to fuel. People would very quickly adjust their habits and choose vehicles that are less expensive to drive.

Obviously there are a few kinks to work out (all gas tanks would have to be designed to prevent siphoning or else small car drivers would start a side business reselling gas to large car drivers) but these are small technical issues to iron out.

If we want to kick our habit of foreign oil, and improve the environment, reduce congestion on the roads (if everyone rides a small scooter, all those traffic lanes will suddenly seem much larger) then this very simple and plain modest proposal will do the trick.

There, was that so hard to make a true Modest Proposal, hell no. But that's too much to expect from the LATimes, evidently. I wouldn't have written about that article had it not been presented under the guise of a 'modest proposal'. In the future LATimes, please use appropriate language when heading your pieces. Is that so much to ask?


Apologies in advance for the obvious disrespect I show a certain group with this post. I can't help myself.
Upon seeing the above photo posted at LGF, the following thoughts come to mind.

I'm assuming they are trying to evince the idea of a large predatory cat, overcoming fears and jumping through a ring of fire. Good for them, I guess things like actually being able to hit a target when you shoot, proper investigative procedures, knowledge of the legal code, high speed driving, etc. aren't nearly as important as say, being able to have concrete bricks broken on your stomach, being able to be stared at by pictures of dead fish (Arafish) without laughing, or jumping through hoops of fire when one endeavors to 'protect and serve' in the Palestinian Authority.

Now here comes the disrespectful part (for which I readily apologize) seeing the first photo I posted here didn't bring to mind Lions or Tigers, nope instead I think of a fluffy Fifi doing a hoop trick.

And that's so unfair to the Fifi's of the world, I shouldn't compare French Poodles to these Palestinian Police Recruits, it's unfair to the poodles.

(But the lady holding the hoop is wearing green, and a turban, and has her ankles covered, so maybe she was the inspiration for the Palestinians)

18 February 2006


I'm thankful to be included in this group on Tammy Bruce's Blogroll Post yesterday.

But something struck me while looking at the other bloggers she linked a sing-songy song started playing in my head
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you're absolutely...right!
Now the other thing that lead to some personal thoughts was her statement about why she linked what she linked, "I will be out and about a great deal of the day, so I wanted to make sure you have a variety of links to blogs that I find most useful, entertaining and important"

Now when reviewing what I post about, the frequency I post and what I say, I'd have to scratch off useful or important from that list of attributes so that leaves entertaining.

I like the sound of that, entertaining (and no sorry, this song, isn't playing in my head, honest).

I'm your swift yahoo of the occaisonally amusing, infuriating, and/or strangely compelling.

Woohoo ParTAY!!

Upcoming at UCR

“E-Week is the celebration of technology and the profound impact it has had on every aspect of our lives,” said computer and electrical engineering double-major, Megan Nix, Chair of the COE Leadership Council. “Many are not aware of what engineers do every day, and this week gives them an opportunity to glimpse the excitement, wonder, and innovation that makes engineering such a rewarding and valuable profession. We welcome all to join the student organizations of the Bourns College of Engineering as we host a week full of engineering fun and activities.”

All E-Week events, except the Dean's Reception, are free and open to the public. The Dean’s Reception is limited to college of engineering students, faculty, and staff. Parking on campus is $6 per day.
If that don't sound like a party, I don't know what does. They know how to get down in the I.E. (and no, living there two years during my time at that campus, never heard anyone call it 'the I.E.', nor should anyone ever do so, except in jest)

Now thing is, it sounds like I'm joking and poking fun, but actually, if I was out that way rather than on the westside, I'd be attending some of these events (and I was an English major, not a science geek). Science kicks ass, and don't you forget it. (also the younger you convince people this is true, the better, it might be nice in the future to have one or two engineers who aren't living in India or China).

It's a beautiful campus, and this time of year it's not hellishly hot, so go out and show the engineers some love.

17 February 2006

Friday Funk Lyrics, 17 February 2006

I said, "What Day IS IT!?"
(I can't hear you)
I'll say it again, "WHAT DAY IS IT!!?"
Come on, Y'all can do better
Alright, now that we are in the right frame of mind, it's time for some Funky Friday Lyrics. Now when you think of funk, one name rises, one name rings in your ears, one man represents all that is funky in the world, of course that man is the one, the only,

the Thomas Dolby (?!?)

What, White English 80s New Wave Synth-Rocker's can't be funky? Well I'm here to disabuse you of the idea that Mr. Dolby can't be funky. His Aliens Ate My Buick was co-produced by the one and only George Clinton (not to be confused with the one and only George S. Clinton (I'm sure you watch Red Shoes Diaries for the music)). It's not a great album, and the song I'm posting lyrics to isn't a great song, but I figure funk is a rainbow of flavors, not just chocolate, so I thought I'd offer up a little vanilla and english toffee funk for your amusement on this Friday.

From the above mentioned album here are the lyrics to the George Clinton penned Hot Sauce.

They call her Hot Sauce
she's hot and spicy
but twice as nicey
although she burn me up
they call her Hot Sauce
she's hotter than pepper
I would have kept her
although she burn me up.

What if fire didn't burn (burn!)
how would the lesson get learned? (learned!)
you sit there like a dope until you choke on all the smoke
(smoke gets in your eyes)
cover me in your sauce baby
bury me in all that sauce
smother me in your hot sauce, woman
till smoke come from your thighs.

They call her Hot Sauce
she's hot and spicy
but twice as nicey
although she burn me up
they call her Hot Sauce
she's hotter than pepper
I would have kept her
although she burn me up.

The brother in the codpiece
I seen him on the TV
I think he likes his ladies
all sweet and sugary
now I'm partial to a pudding
but that's for second course.
the main meal and the hors d'oeuvres
must be smothered in hot sauce.

They call her Hot Sauce
she's hot and spicy
but twice as nicey
although she burn me up
they call her Hot Sauce
she's hotter than pepper
I would have kept her
although she burn me up.

What if steam didn't scald (scald!)
how would the story be told? (told!)
she sat and smoked a fag
while I was gagging on the shag
(shag gets in your eyes)
lemme get lost in your sauce baby
cover me in your sauce
lemme get lost in your hot sauce woman.

There was a fire truck attending
the smoke pouring from her nose
her state of mind depending
on which way the wind blowed
chili and tabasco
dripping on my shirt
I couldn't breathe - I couldn't see -
I had to call a smog alert.