Friday, September 30, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen

Who knew?



Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Sheepless In Stado

From Anova:

Reality TV for sheep

Animal rights activists in Croatia have blasted a new reality show on the web where viewers vote on which sheep to save from slaughter.

In the show, shown on, seven sheep in a house in Zagreb are filmed non-stop as famous writers come in and read their works to them.

Viewers then vote on which of the sheep is thrown out of the house. After the 'eviction' the sheep has to be 'adopted' by a viewer or it is sent straight to the slaughterhouse.

What say the winner?

12 Steps For Meth

"I used to be a hopeless dope fiend, now I'm a dopeless hope fiend."

They Blog The Twin Towns

Metroblogging Minneapolis.

What Is Jabber?

I'll take Instant Messaging Systems for $1000, Alex.

(List of Jabber-compliant clients here.)

Cool Website

From Find

"Search millions of articles from leading academic, industry and general interest publications. We give you free access to information you can trust, from a collection you'll only find here."

And save those articles with another of their free services, as well:

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen

Don't Blame The Messenger, Ladies

The Malevolent Jobholder

From H.L. Mencken's suggestions for dealing with errant Public Officials [From the American Mercury, 1924 June, pp. 156-159. Reprinted with an introduction in A Mencken Crestomathy (NY: Vintage Books, c1949, 1982), pp. 384-388.]:

...Say a citizen today becomes convinced that a certain judge is a jackass—that his legal learning is defective, his sense of justice atrophied, and his conduct of cases before him tyrannical and against decency. As things stand, it is impossible to do anything about it. A judge cannot be impeached on the mere ground that he is a jackass; the process is far too costly and cumbersome, and there are too many judges liable to the charge. Nor is anything to be gained from denouncing him publicly and urging all good citizens to vote against him when he comes up for re-election, for his term may run for ten or fifteen years, and even if it expires tomorrow and he is defeated the chances are good that his successor will be quite as bad, and maybe even worse. Moreover, if he is a Federal judge he never comes up for re-election at all, for once he has been appointed by the President of the United States, on the advice of his more influential clients and with the consent of their agents in the Senate, he is safe until he is so far gone in senility that he has to be propped up on the bench with pillows.

But now imagine any citizen free to approach him in open court and pull his nose. Or even, in aggravated cases, to cut off his ears, throw him out of the window, or knock him in the head with an axe. How vastly more attentive he would be to his duties! How diligently he would apply himself to the study of the law! How careful he would be about the rights of litigants before him! How polite and suave he would become! For judges, like all the rest of us, are vain fellows: they do not enjoy having their noses pulled. The ignominy resident in the operation would not be abated by the subsequent trial of the puller, even if he should be convicted and jailed. The fact would still be brilliantly remembered that at least one citizen had deemed the judge sufficiently a malefactor to punish him publicly, and to risk going to jail for it. A dozen such episodes, and the career of any judge would be ruined and his heart broken, even though the jails bulged with his critics. He could not maintain his air of aloof dignity on the bench; even his catchpolls would snicker at him behind their hands, especially if he showed a cauliflower ear, a black eye or a scar over his bald head. Moreover, soon or late some citizen who had at him would be acquitted by a petit jury, and then, obviously, he would have to retire. It might be provided by law, indeed, that he should be compelled to retire in that case—that an acquittal would automatically vacate the office of the offending jobholder.

Read the whole article here.

Right On, You Dig? dedicated to the folks who've had enough of the man.

Who Took Shots At JR?

And who voted to confirm.

Fifteen Minutes In The Time-Out Chair

Potty-mouthed Kos Kiddie cracks under strain, throws tantrum.


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Now With No MSG

Intellectual Takeout explains:

College campuses should be a place where the free exchange of ideas is encouraged and celebrated. During their college experience, students deserve to be presented with a diversity of ideas. A balanced education-one that teaches the student how to think, not what to think-requires it.

Unfortunately, in far too many college classrooms, professors present students only a very narrow spectrum of liberal ideas. One recent study found that a startling 72 percent of professors identify themselves as being liberal, while only 15 percent identify themselves as being conservative. In a survey of students at 50 top U.S. colleges and universities, 48 percent said "presentations on political issues seem totally one-sided." Taken together, the surveys show that the "totally one-sided" presentations are primarily liberal.

It is clear that a lack of intellectual diversity on our college campuses is an ongoing problem, but the majority of students lack the tools needed to confront this imbalance or are just afraid to stand up and challenge the people who hand out their grades.

That's why, a project of Center of the American Experiment's FACT: Foundations for Active Conservative Thinking program, is designed to help students respond to the ideological imbalance on their campuses.

Um - and I mean this is the best possible way - good luck with all that. No, seriously.

(And then maybe we can see about arranging to send the staff at The Daily off for a little reeducation. Hey, it could work. After all, Lileks recovered after writing for them, back-in-the-day. You just never know.)

And the Answer Is...


It's Da Bomb

Blast Billiards.


Never heard of it? You will.

Polish And Shine

Did you follow the recent Polska elections? Me neither. But Mondo Cognito did, and he's got the skinny here.

They Loaded Up Their Trunks

And they moved to Tennessee:

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, founded in 1995, is the nation's single natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered African and Asian elephants. It operates on 2,700 acres in Hohenwald, Tennessee - 85 miles southwest of Nashville.
The Elephant Sanctuary exists for two reasons:

To provide a haven for old, sick or needy elephants in a setting of green pastures, old-growth forests, spring-fed ponds and a heated barn for cold winter nights.

To provide education about the crisis facing these social, sensitive, passionately intense, playful, complex, exceedingly intelligent and endangered creatures.

Sounds like a worthwhile cause to me.

Your Moment Of Zen


Baby Oranges

Monday, September 26, 2005

Music Monday - #23

Past Music Mondays


Lyrics Of The Week:

"The Big Wheels Roll" and "A Broken Man," both by Mark Heard


Featured free MP3 Downloads of the week.

This week, a couple of tunes from the lovely Beki Hemingway, the first a playful tale of childhood romps in the backyard, and the second a somber take on a woman's relationship with her man:

1) - "Fort Bragg"

2) - "Sin Sick"

(Music files courtesy Paste Music.)


Had you ever heard of Metacritic before? It's a great service that aggregates professional reviews, and allows for user input. Try it out, and you might just find it indispensible.


Give a listen to this MP3 download from American Idol runner-up Bo Bice and his former band, Sugar Money: "Papion"


Here's an old, old interview with Charlie Peacock, from 1989, first run in a fanzine I was publishing at the time called Ragtime.


Every so often, I sit down with my Mac iBook and Garageband and record a tune or two. Here's something I did up this past weekend, dedicated to, well, you decide. If you like it, it's yours, free: "Noodling."

Your Moment Of Zen

Puppy Swallows 13-Inch Knife, Survives

IFC No Evil


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Everybody Mr. Chung Tonight

I'm guessing Maury Povich owns this domain, too:

I Want This Shirt Too

Think Geek.

From The Network That Brought You Rathergate

Martha Behind Bars.

Well. That didn't take long, did it? She's barely out from behind bars, and here's her Biopic. Gee, I'd love to watch, but I have to get the kids to bed, and I'm taping the season opener of Desperate Housewives:

Martha Behind Bars (2005)
CBS Sep 25 08:00pm
Movies, 120 Mins.

(Rated NR) (Y)

Convicted of obstruction of justice, Martha Stewart serves five months in prison, then five months of house arrest.

Cast: Cybill Shepherd, Gale Howard , Sabine Singh, Jonathan Higgins, Alan C Peterson, David Alpay, Julie Khaner, Lori Hallier, Jackie Burroughs, Alec McClure, Deborah Tennant, Robert Verlaque, Kyra Harper, Karen LeBlanc, Karen Robinson, Soo Garay, Zoie Palmer, Hazel Gorin , Christina Collins, Noam Jenkins.

Director(s): Eric Bross.
Producer(s): Tom Patricia, Frank Siracusa.
Writer(s): Charlie Bohl.

Eh, maybe I'll get the DVD. Then again, maybe not.

You Learn Something New Every Day

I just learned that when one's two and a half year-old daughter disappears into the back bedroom for a short while, and then things get vewy, vewy quiet, it doesn't necessarily mean that she's gotten a tampon and is stirring it an open container of Carmex, and is then smearing it into her hair - but it could happen. I'm just sayin'.

Your Moment Of Zen

(HT2 Mounaineerimusing)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Tale Of Two Purchases

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

1) - I have been trying for several months to buy an MP3 player. I have one, but it's a couple of years old, has very limited storage space, and the earphone jack is shorting out. I have tried to find something for no more than $100, that has some degree of integration with my Mac (like my old one does), that will allow the user to browse and play folders on the device itself, and that allows for use of expansion modules.

I have now purchased five units from four different manufacturers, and have found each of them defective or deficient to some degree or other. Each has lacked essential features, or failed to work altogether, and all have had poor integration with the Mac, although each was advertised as being Mac-compatible. I have returned them all.

The first was $70 Walmart-branded unit (locked up when disconnected from computer, would not recognize expansion card, had to be reset by removing battery, firmware update caused problems).

The second was a $40 Memorex unit from Target (would not recognize folders on the device, froze up after three plays, could not be reset).

The third was an $80 RCA unit from Walmart (worked fine with internal memory only, would not recognize external card, would not recognize folders).

The fourth was an $80 Memorex unit from Target (worked great with internal memory only, recognized folders just fine, but would not play folders or see contents on expansion card).

And the fifth was a $90 RIO unit from Best Buy (expansion card worked great, full integration with MAC and expansion card, but would not allow playlists to be created on Mac, would play ID tags in alpha order only but not in album track order).

I have now spent dozens of hours researching, buying and returning MP3 devices that don't work as advertised, or simply don't work at all. So, you ask, why don't I just buy an iPod?

Well, price, to start with. The only iPod in my desired price range is the Shuffle. Although it is priced right, it has no display or expansion capability. There's more: even though I use a Mac, I have alot of files ripped as WMA format - WMA is half the size of equal-quality MP3 - and the iPod won't play them. And I want something that uses flash memory, which only the new iPod has.

Thing is, it shouldn't be that hard to for some savvy manufacturer to deliver a solid-state/flash-memory device for around $100 that has basic features like SD card expandibility, proper ID tag processing, folder browing capability, etc. WTH, I'd even pay up to $150 if someone would simply deliver a fully Mac-compliant device. The irony is that Apple has been so wildly successful with its iPods that it has something like 80% of the online music sales and player market in both the Mac and Windows arena. It makes it hard for anyone to make a product to compete for a market share as small as Apple's, especially since Apple has such a great product line out.

In the meantime, I am increasingly frustrated with my inability to lay hands on a decent new player, and my old one is dying by the day. I am soon going to be left with having to use tape or CD/MP3 players, each of which has its own drawbacks.


2) - I was headed into work late yesterday when I drove past a yard sale. I love such things, and always arrive with a mental list of several items that I'm on the look-out for: most recently I have been wanting to find a slide projector. My parents bequeathed the next generation a legacy of thousands of slides, and I have possibly a thousand or more of my own. My old slide projector broke some time ago, and I've been hoping to stumble on one at a decent price.

I walked through the sale yesterday, but found nothing of interest until, as I was leaving, I glanced down at a box that had just been placed out for sale: it was a new-looking Kodak Ektagraphic III. It wasn't priced. I asked the lady how much she wanted for it, to which she replied that she had no idea, and told me she'd entertain any reasonable amount. I offered her five dollars - thinking it was utterly unreasonable on my part - but she replied that we had a deal. I was delighted. I paid her, picked up the box by the top flaps and carried it to my car. Big mistake.

The botom of the box wasn't taped together, and when I was no more than three car-lengths from my Buick, it opened down, spilling my newly-purchased Slide Projector to the concrete. I cursed my misfortune, and picked up the unit from the ground. Nothing appeared broken, but I was sure something must have cracked or snapped inside. I was utterly astonished when I got home that night to find that not only had nothing broken, but that it worked like a charm.

The lesson here, then? Perhaps I need to start looking for MP3 players at Garage Sales - and drop them.

Better Red Than Toast

How To Answer Jimmy Carter's Whine:



Any questions?

Say, Do I Know You From Somewhere?

Your Moment Of Zen

Girlwatching 4

Friday, September 23, 2005

Say A Prayer For Texas

Hurricane RITA Public Advisory

Attention All MOBsters

Before the next MOB gathering, please review the following document.



Symptom : Drinking fails to give satisfaction and
taste; shirt front is wet.
Fault : Mouth not open when drinking or glass
being applied to wrong part of face.
Solution: Buy another pint and practice in front
of a mirror. Continue with as many
pints as necessary until drinking
technique is perfect.

Symptom : Drinking fails to give satisfaction
and taste; beer unusually pale and
Fault : Glass is empty.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another

Symptom : Feet cold and wet.
Fault : Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Solution: Turn glass so that open end is pointing
at ceiling.

Symptom : Feet warm and wet.
Fault : Loss of self-control.
Solution: Go and stand beside nearest dog - After
a while complain to its owner about its
lack of house training.

Symptom : Bar blurred.
Fault : You are looking through the bottom of
your empty glass.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another

Symptom : Bar swaying.
Fault : Air turbulence unusually high - maybe
due to darts match in progress.
Solution: Insert broom handle down back of jacket.

Symptom : Bar moving.
Fault : You are being carried out.
Solution: Find out if you are being taken to
another bar - if not complain loudly
that you are being hi-jacked.

Symptom : The opposite wall is covered in ceiling
tiles and has a flourescent strip across
Fault : You have fallen over backwards.
Solution: If glass is still full, and no one is
standing on your drinking arm, stay put.
If not, get someone to lift you up and
lash you to the bar.

Symptom : Everything has gone dim and you have a
mouth full of teeth and dog-ends.
Fault : You have fallen over forwards.
Solution: Same as for falling over backwards.

Symptom : You have woken up to find your bed cold,
hard and wet. You cannot see your
bedroom walls or ceiling.
Fault : You have spent the night in the gutter.
Solution: Check your watch to see if its opening
time - if not treat yourself to a lie in.

Symptom : Everything has gone dim.
Fault : The pub is closing.
Solution: PANIC !!!!!!!!!

Well, that just about covers it. Just know when to say when. And don't drink and drive.

Big Spenders


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Aarrr And Avast, Matey!

I missed it again:


Animal Voyeurism

AfriCam welcomes you to the world's first virtual game reserve.

Your Moment Of Zen

Girlwatching 3

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Bee Dogs?

She Sings

It's over: Opera is now free.

Opera Announcements

Twice the Speed and No Speedos: Opera Reaches One Million Downloads in Two Days

Oslo, Norway - September 22, 2005

More than one million people have downloaded the Opera browser in the two days since Opera announced it was dropping the ad banner and going completely free.

The download rate doubles the previous record reached in April when the company released Opera 8. According to server logs, a majority of downloads came from Internet Explorer users.

"The success of our free browser proves the world is ready for a fresh option," said a dry and landlocked Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software. "I'm most excited about the hundreds of thousands of new users who have discovered the speed, security and usability of our browser for the first time."

Full list of features here.

Dream Students

Scholars in training.

Teach Your Children Well

Number 7 in sales on today

Random Thoughts

By Dr. Thomas Sowell.

The New Fusionism

From the June/July 2005 issue of First Things:

The New Fusionism

Joseph Bottum

Copyright (c) 2005 First Things 154 (June/July 2005): 32-26.

Social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, agrarians, communitarians, foreign-policy hawks—who can figure them out? Neocons and theocons and paleocons, to say nothing of soccer-mom Republicans, country-club Republicans, and just plain, garden-variety Republicans: If you read much political commentary, it must seem as though there are more ways to sort conservatives in America than there are actual conservatives to be sorted.

And what about the issues for which these different conservatives care? Abortion, tax cuts, school vouchers, judicial overreach, the government’s bloated budget, bioethics, homosexual marriage, the creation of democracies in the Middle East, federalism, immigration, the restoration of religion in the public square—on and on. They bear no more than the vaguest family resemblance: second or third cousins, shirt-tail kin at best.

Back during the Cold War, conservatives could all be counted upon at least to share an opposition to communism, while various writers—from Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises to Russell Kirk and Michael Oakeshott—sought something resembling a unifying theory through the rich pages of Adam Smith’s economics and the deep prose of Edmund Burke’s traditionalism.

What now remains? Hardly a single concern is common to everyone labeled a conservative, and the chance of finding a meaningful pattern in the Right’s political muddle appears hopelessly remote. It’s true that nearly every conservative ended up voting for George Bush for president in 2004. Even the paleoconservatives opposed to intervention in Iraq finally seemed to admit, for the most part, that the alternative of an openly liberal administration under John Kerry was unendurable. But only in the fevered imaginings of the far Left—or in the speeches of Democratic party activists looking to score partisan jabs—does all this really cohere. Conservatism in America is neither a well-defined political party nor a well-formed political theory. It’s a crack-up waiting to happen.

Read the rest here.

Have They Considered "Moesha?"

Names for Storms, Hurricanes Running Out.

Keepin' It Real

Tyra Banks shows what she's made of.

Your Moment Of Zen

Girlwatching 2

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tal Afar


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Your Moment Of Zen

Girl Watching 1.

Now There's A Legacy

Clinton finds himself on cover of condom packs.

Weather Or Not

I was fixing supper tonight while the girls were in the tub when the emergency sirens went off outside. I got the kids out of the bath and into their jammies, then hustled them into the basement. When I saw on the news that there was a tornado warning for our area over the next hour, I grabbed supper, and we ate it downstairs. We had nothing more than alot of rain around our part of town, but in the northwest metro area, it seems that tornados and 80 mph winds knocked down some homes, plus there was flooding around the metro. Anyway, we're all safe, but I can hear the sump pump is getting a workout. In the end, it was quite a weather display for the first day of Fall.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's About Owls, Right?

Sure, sure: you read it for the articles.

One Year Ago This Very Day

I started this blog on September 20th, 2004, after having kept a very private friends-only Livejournal for a couple of years. I liked alot of Livejournal's features, but wanted to start anew, with a new blog and a new online identity, so I decided to give Blogger a try.

In the past year I've met alot of nice people, made a friend or two, and have even gotten linked once or twice by some of the bigger names in the Blogosphere. It's been a fun and interesting ride.

So, to all the teeming dozens who read Blogizdat on a regular basis, please accept my heartfelt thank-you for making it part of your world. Although I think I would do this blog the same way if I had only one reader or ten thousand, knowing that there are others who read it makes the whole thing even more enjoyable for me.

In closing, please take a moment to read the very post that started all this, quoting - what else? - something by the Sage Of Baltimore, Henry Louis Mencken.

And, before you leave, be sure to stop over and ask Homer for a piece of cake:homer

UPDATE: I just now (6:20 PM, CDT, US) checked Sitemeter, and since it's at such a nice round number, I thought I'd post the current blog stats here, just for the occasion:

I Want This Shirt

Think Geek

I Heard This One On KQ

Did you hear about the new Vikings cologne?

You wear it, but the other guy scores.

- insert rimshot here -

Go Vikings.

Your Moment Of Zen

The Texas Snake Man


And you know what payback is...

Interesting Concept

The Weblog Review.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Music Monday - #22

Past Music Mondays


Lyric Of The Week:

"The Old Match Book Trick" and "The New Cobweb Summer," both by Kurt Wagner, as performed by Lambchop.


Featured free MP3 Downloads of the week.

This week, a couple of strange and lovely tunes, from the very strange but oh-so-lovely Lambchop:

1) - "The Old Matchbook Trick"

2) - "The New Cobweb Summer"

(Music files courtesy Epitonic.)


Well, that's one way to promote an album.


Had you ever heard of Math Rock before? Neh, me neither.


Here's a couple of lo-fi MP3 downloads from Canadian singer-songwriter Kevin House:

1) - "Twilight In The Wilderness"

2) - "Stories Without Words."



"Old, sad and decrepit, Bad Plumbing are the rock, pop, reggae and bilge musical inspiraton of the future ... well maybe not. Started playing for free beer in Birmingham, England way back in the last century. Never "made it" mostly due to drunkeness and a lack of talent. Still going strong despite desperate pleas to give up."

Click the above link, and download the MP3 of "Birmingham Blues."


Coupla free MP3 downloads from folk-rock legend Richard Thompson.


I went out this past Friday night and bought some CD's, which I list here because, well, it's my blog, right?

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Michael Penn - Free For All
Michael Penn - Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947

The Corrs - Borrowed Heaven

And I also downloaded several tunes from the iTunes store:

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know (Acoustic Album Version) - from Jagged Little Pill Acoustic

Coldplay - Fix You, Pour Me (Live At the Hollywood Bowl), The World Turned Upside Down, Fix You (Live) - Fix You Electronic EP

Hilary Duff - Our Lips Are Sealed - Most Wanted

(And hey, shudduhp about the Hilary Duff track. It's fluff, but it's great fluff, awight? A cover version of the Go-Gos, covering Fun Boy 3? What could be better?)


What to say about . . . Britney's baby.


Kerry/Edwards 2008

Won't they just go away?

Kerry, Edwards see chance for change after Katrina.

September 11 News

I bought a copy of September 11, 2001 this past weekend, a collection of full-page reproductions of the front pages of over a hundred newspapers from around the country and the globe, all reporting the news of the 9/11 attacks against the United States. I strongly recommend the book, but if you cannot find it, September 11 News seeks to accomplish much of the same, on the web. Give a look.

The Minority Retort

I made the mistake the other night of listening of Janine Gawdawfulho's AAR show, The Majority Report, and after a few minutes I realized what I was hearing: nothing more than an R-rated version of the tantrums my two year-old regularly throws. Unlike her colleague Al Franken - who's just as wrong as she is on most everything, but who has a modicum of comedic timing - Ms. G's only real apparent gift is the ability to engage in a kind of on-air verbal diarrhea. In the few short minutes I listened, she said the damndest things. She heaved, hollered, ranted, raved, sighed, moaned, and screeched. She accused anyone and everyone who disagrees with her of being mentally deficient. She was vulger, and she was crass. At one point - apropos of nothing - she even threw into the mix that John Ashcroft is a douche-bag and a prick. (Yes, she did.) The only humorous point of the show came when the Divine Ms. G sputtered and coughed for a moment, and - when she regained her composure - muttered something about her gum having gone down her windpipe, and about her not being able to speak and chew gum at the same time. Well. It was the lone sensible pronouncement she'd made the whole evening. The only thing that would have made it an even more perfect-radio-moment would have been to have been able to hear the sound of her audience's reaction: - cue crickets here -

(If you think you can stomach it, there are audio archives of The Majority Report here. And while I don't have the ratings for The Majority Report, be sure to check out the overall AAR ratings.)

Your Moment Of Zen


Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm Tri-Lamb Material

As usual, you can blame Doug for this:

Tri-Lamb Material
69 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 69% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Dork, earning you the coveted title of: Tri-Lamb Material.

The classic, "80's" nerd, you are what most people think of when they think "nerd," largely due to 80's movies like Revenge of the Nerds and TV shows like Head of the Class. You're exceptionally bright and smart, and partly because of that have never quite fit in with your peers or social groups. Perhaps you're realized, or will someday, that it is possible to retain all of the things that you like about being brilliant and still make peace with the social cliques around you. Or maybe you won't--it's really not necessary. As the brothers of Lambda Lambda Lambda discovered, you're fine just the way you are and can take pride in that. I mean, who wants to be like Ogre, right!?


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Professional Wrestling
Love & Sexuality

Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 68% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 74% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

Um, gee, thanks, I guess.

It's My Favorite Store

And they're having a sale:

"The Half Price Books 20% Off Sale - Join us at Half Price Books from Thursday, September 15 through Sunday, September 18 for our 20% Off Sale! Save an extra 20% off our already low prices on books, music, movies and more, all weekend long. [find a store]"

See you there.

Your Moment Of Zen

Doggy Love Motel

'Sinister Piffle'

Christopher Hitchens "debates" a demagogue.

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
(From WSJ)

If I had to choose two words to sum up the overwhelming impression left by this week's raucous "debate" over the Iraq war between polemicist Christopher Hitchens and British MP George Galloway, I'd have to choose the ones that came straight from Mr. Hitchens's mouth: "sinister piffle." Mr. Hitchens was of course referring to everything Mr. Galloway had said up to that point, a verbal burble that unfortunately defined too much of the evening.

The activist crowds had been salivating over this event for weeks. Two Brits, both famed for their oratorical skills, meeting in New York for a death match over bombs and dictators. One, Mr. Hitchens, a former Trotskyist and staunch supporter of the war, in part on the grounds that it rid the region of a demonic autocrat. The other, Mr. Galloway, a thuggish Scotsman who in May had won media plaudits for berating the U.S. Senate for the Iraq invasion. And just to make it that much juicier, two men who openly despise each other, frequently hurling personal insults ("popinjay," "drink-sodden," "vulgar") both in person and in print.

More here.

Mo' Money

I received this today at my blog email address this AM. It's nice to know someone cares enough about me to give me this opportunity, but, gosh and golly, I think I'll pass. (I altered the email address and the weblink to keep the bots from tracking back here.):

Name: Dele Belgore
Subject: Next of kin to Late Mr. Frederick
Date: 16th September 2005
Reply to:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Before I start, I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you. I am also aware that this is certainly an unconventional approach to start arelationship, but I believe as time goes on, you will realize the need for my actions. I am Barrister Dele Belgore, I'm the Personal Financial Attorney to Mr. Frederick, a national of your country, who used to work with Chevron Nigeria Ltd(CNL).

On the 24 April 2004 21:51 hrs, my client who is Chevron subcontractor including five other people were attacked and killed by the river pirates of the Niger Delta, including one other US oilman, in an attack on workers inspecting abandoned wells in southern Nigeria's strife-torn Niger Delta, Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the Internet, to locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I contacted through the help of my cousin that works in the AMERICAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, planning and industry.

(Please visit the homepage for more update.

I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money that belongs to my client before they get confiscated or declared serviceable by the bank where these huge deposits were lodged. Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at about $10.4 million dollars has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next 21 official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over A year now I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you are from the same country and bear the same last name, so that the proceeds of this account valued at $10.4 million dollars can be paidto you and then you and me can share the money. 62% to me and 30% to you, while 8% should be for expenses or tax as your government may require, I have the certificate of deposit that can be used to back up any claim we may make.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this dealt through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with through my Personal email Address.

Best Regards,

Barrister Dele Belgore

Private Email:


The 419 Coalition Website explains all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I've Been Tagged

I was tagged for this by Jezzy, and when Jezzy commands, all must obey.

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die

1) I would like to watch my daughters graduate and get married - but not on the same day.
2) Read a majority of the books in my personal library (1000's).
3) Buy an electric guitar with a small amp and learn to play a lick.
4) Conquer my fear and loathing of travel long enough to take my girls to South America and South Africa.
5) See U2 in concert again.
6) Get over my fear of public speaking.
7) Have a few days off.

7 Things I Cannot Do

1) Yodel.
2) Play sports.
3) Focus on anything for more than a few minutes.
4) Drink alcohol.
5) Play guitar as well as I'd like.
6) Swim any more than a dog-paddle.
7) Get over the social anxiety that has plagued me since I was a child.

7 Things That Attract me to the same or opposite sex

(Forget the same, I'm going with opposite sex, here, Jez. That's all I'm saying.)

1) Boosts my ego.
2) Intelligence.
3) Makes me laugh.
4) Well-educated.
5) Pretty face.
6) In-shape body.
7) Nice legs.

7 Things I Say Most Often

1) Actually.
2) Actually.
3) Actually.
4) No, really.
5) Whuht the hay.
6) You're serious.
7) No.

7 Celebrity Crushes

(Again, I'm going with the ladies here, Jez. And, dang, Shirley Manson didn't make the cut, but she still gets an honorable mention right here.)

1) Angelina Jolie
2) Jessica Alba
3) Jennifer Aniston
4) Lauren Graham
5) Elizabeth Vargas
6) Mandy Moore
7) Catherine Zeta-Jones

I'm not tagging anyone else for this, but if you want to have a go at it on your own blog, leave me a comment here so I can check out your answers.

No Friends? No Gmail Invite? No Problem

It appears Google has quietly opened Gmail to the mobile phone-using US public, without the need for invites from current users, ostensibly for use with its new free Google Talk service. Here's the scoop.

Brown Out


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Your Moment Of Zen


Member of the MOB?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Music Monday - #21

Past Music Mondays:

Music Monday - #01Music Monday - #11
Music Monday - #02Music Monday - #12
Music Monday - #03Music Monday - #13
Music Monday - #04Music Monday - #14
Music Monday - #05Music Monday - #15
Music Monday - #06Music Monday - #16
Music Monday - #07Music Monday - #17
Music Monday - #08Music Monday - #18
Music Monday - #09Music Monday - #19
Music Monday - #10Music Monday - #20


Lyric Of The Week:

"Heart Of The Night" by Paul Cotton, as sung by Poco.


Free MP3 Downloads of the week.

This week, some grand New Orleans Funky Jazz: two tunes from the New Orleans Nightcrawlers.

1) - "Pick Up The Pieces"

2) - "Bourbon St. Parade"

More tunes from the Nightcrawlers on Amazon and on the band's website.

(Music files courtesy and the New Orleans Nightcrawlers.)


Great lyrics site, with no annoying popup ads: Lyrical.


Bob Weir's (founding member Greatful Dead) band Ratdog has lotsa older concert recordings available for free download here, and the band has more recent shows available for sale. (Oh yeah, I gotta connection: my cousin is in the band.)


Look, it's easy to be cynical about rockers, but this story about the death of Vince Neil's (Mötley Crüe) little girl Skylar left me pretty choked up.


Fisher may make songs with lyrics that at times border on the maudlin - and not always - but with a voice like Kathy's, does it really matter what she's saying? Download the free MP3's of "I Will Love You" and "Nothing Is Real" and judge for yourself. More great stuff here.


Unfortunately these aren't available for free downloading, but it's still an impressive list: The AV Club's Definite Mixlist - New Orleans.


A coupla free MP3's from a band you should know by now, Black Box Recorder: "The Art Of Driving" and "Start As You Mean To Go."


The Onion reports: Marilyn Manson Now Going Door-To-Door Trying To Shock People. (Yes, I know it's a joke, ok?)


Enter The Statue

Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee to get statue in Bosnian city.

Harper's Bizarre

Number of years Harper's has been dishing out irony, sarcasm and condescension: 155.

Take A Book, Leave A Book

Hey, that tickles!


Hip Deep In The Fever Swamp

I had wondered if fatherhood - and losing his anger-laced and low-rated AAR morning show - would have made Saint Nick a bit more mellow; made him a little less cocksure in his pronouncements; made him a bit more prone to perceive reality in a the light of reason; made him understand better how the world is put together; made him spout less nonsense when scribbling in his coloring books. Silly me.

Over Breakfast

I was eating my bowl of Cheerios in front of the TV this AM when six year-old daughter number one AE wandered in to give Dear Old Dad a good-morning hug. As she peered around me to view the weather map on the screen, she commented that she might want to be a weather forecaster when she grows up. Then again, she added, she's pretty well decided she wants to be famous scientist, except for those days when she feels too 'delicate' - yes, that was the word she used - to be a scientist, and then she thinks she would like be a ballerina, just like Angelina.

Well. Whatever her little heart desires, I say.

How's He Doing?

From WSJ: George W. Bush is "average," but far from ordinary.

Vincente Fox Weighs In

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is The Chupacabra.

Gone With The Water

National Geographic had the NOLA story - in 2004.

(HT2 Steal The Bandwagon and The Anchoress.)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen


Seen at the 2005 Minnesota State Fair: Stamps-On-A-Stick.

FDNY 9/11


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Starting Your Own Blog

Starting Your Own Blog: How to Choose the Right Blogging Tool for You.

(If you already keep a blog, the article will mean very little to you, but you've just recently stumbled down the blogging rabbit-hole and landed here - and want to know what some basics - it's worth a read.)

Think On These Things

I posted the following in 2003 to a Livejournal I was maintaining at the time, and posted it here for the first time this past July 7. I republish it here today, without further comment:

In reflecting on the second anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks on the United States I have been reading through several books about the event.

One such book is an oral history of the experiences of several survivors. It's been horrifying for me to relive the tragedy, even if only by proxy, and more than a thousand miles away from where the events took place. Through the words of those who lived that hellish day I'm reminded of the conflagration, the destruction, and most of all, of those several hundred who jumped from the heights of the towers, to their certain deaths. And through it I have relived the horror and helplessness that all civilized people felt, as we watched the towers come down.

Two years later I'm still a bit numb. I wasn't in New York City or Washington that day. I didn't personally know anyone who experienced any of it. I merely watched it all on TV. But on some level I experienced the shock and awe of that day in Real Time, along with the hundreds of millions of others around the world.

There has not been a day go by since that I have not thought about what occurred. I am unable to walk through my downtown without looking up at the skyscrapers and wondering how I'd react if a plane plowed into one of them. And I find myself holding my breath for a moment when a plane passes overhead. Even tonight, as I walked across downtown, a jet airliner passed low above me and I froze for a moment.

And yet for a significant portion of my fellow citizens, life goes on as if nothing happened that fateful day. Worse still, many of them feel the attacks were deserved, that we brought it on ourselves, that we had it coming, that what happened that day served us right.

They - mostly so-called liberals - view what happened as a wake-up call to America, that we must mend our ways vis-a-vis the rest of the world. They claim they love their country, yet they wet themselves in their anxious zeal to blame the United States for every evil in the world.

The night after the WTC attacks a friend made the case that the conflagration in New York was a result of the inequity in the distribution of the world's wealth and resources, that it was a result of American arrogance in its dealings with the third world, that it was the result of the frustration of the powerless in the face of the powerful. No, no, no, she said, she wasn't blaming the victim. After all, it was a victim who'd attacked us.

I was stunned. I was speaking with someone who has a post-graduate degree from a major American University, who ostensibly has a high IQ and is well-read and well-traveled. What could explain her obstinate and rank ignorance, and foolish pronouncements?

All my life I've been amazed at how different people can look at the same sets of facts and come to such radically different conclusions about them. I suppose it comes down to what Dr. Thomas Sowell has called a Vision, a set of bliefs about reality that each of us holds in our heads. We choose how to interpret the facts that come to us by how those facts fit into our Vision.

Truth is, the Leftist Vision of life on this tired planet - and I no longer use the term 'liberal' to refer to most leftists, as they are quite often far removed from anything resembling liberal - cannot account for evil. All the Isms of the left are incapable of understanding the true nature of evil.

Yes, I know there are many so-called liberals who are decent people, and are quite engaging on a one-to-one basis. But they are nearly every one, however, confused and wrong on the subject of evil. While many of them would rightly deny they are socialists or communists, their Vision differs very little from that of their more radical brothers and sisters.

In that Vision, evil, as such, does not truly exist, except in the lives of those who disagree with them. They maintain that when people do evil things - things that most of us might call evil - it's because those persons are under-nourished, or under-appreciated, or un-educated, or lacking some other creature comfort.

Bless their hearts, they do offer solutions. Socialists suggest that a centralized government will be able to efficiently and effectively solve the problems that vex us. Communists/Marxists claim that abolishing the free movement of capital will liberate men and women to be better persons. What is needed, they propose, one and all, is that the government provide this or that for the betterment of society. Ultimately, through programs and education, a different sort of human being will emerge.

The fundamental problem with that Vision is that it doesn't square with reality. Certainly poverty and hunger can grind an individual down. But there are many who are well-fed who engage in heinous crimes, and there are plenty of poor and down-trodden who do not. In fact, there is a little evil in all of us, and it is only by diligence, and grace, and the restraining power of the law that we keep it in check.

The events that transpired on 9/11 happened because evil people committed evil acts. They did not fly airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because they were under-privileged. Most of the leaders of the 9/11 plot were from well-to-do families, and had received good educations.

The jihidistas did what they did that day because they gave themselves over to evil. They became evil, they were evil, and they committed acts that were heinously evil. When faced with such monstrous evil, civilized peoples can only offer one response: the evil - and those who commit it - must be excised, like a cancerous tumor must be removed from the body.

Those who would commit such acts must be sought out and either detained permanently, or killed. Justice - and the majority of the population that would prefer to live in peace - demands it. That is why we are fighting the war on terror. And this is what the majority of leftists cannot - or will not - ever understand.

We pursued Al Quaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan to deny terrorists a base of operations. We invaded Iraq to put out of business a terrible regime that was hell-bent on sponsoring terror throughout the Middle East, Europe and in the United States. And, if we are unable to use diplomacy to reach a peaceful solution elsewhere, we may yet invade North Korea, Iran and Syria, as they too are sponsors of terror, one and all.

Yet many well-meaning and decent people do not understand this. Like those who wished to appease Hitler, they believe wishful thinking will suffice in this conflict. They march in their Birkenstocks, waving Peace flags and chanting slogans at the gates of power. And they really believe they will make a difference. And they are most decidedly wrong.

I recently had a conversation with a friend, a Brazilian Lutheran minister of German extraction. He is currently living in Switzerland and works in the office of Interfaith Issues of the Worldwide league of Lutherans. He was in town, rang me up and we got together for coffee.

After we'd caught up on how each others' families were doing, our conversation turned to the war and US occupation in Iraq, and to the European view of how the United States is handling world affairs. He pointed out that Europeans are terrified of the US being what they perceive as an out-of-control International Cowboy, taking upon itself the responsibility of policing the world. He shared their concern.

I pointed out to the good Reverend that (in my never-to-be-humble opinion) whether they favored the War in Iraq or not, most Americans want nothing to do with running the world. They want to be left alone, just as they did in the years prior to both World Wars of the 20th century. Americans by and large naively want to ignore the rest of the world, not rule it. (Though I think that's nearly as dangerous, by the way.)

What Europeans - many of whom have living memory of the devastation of war on their own continent - cannot grasp is that the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 were unlike anything that has ever happened on American soil.

Yes, far more people died in the American Civil War than did on 09/11. And I'm not ignoring the atrocities that were committed by the US, in this country, against the Native Americans and African Slaves.

But no other single act of violence has killed as many people in this country at one time, and at no time has another group or nation ever had such an ability to attack us on our own shores. We have for centuries felt ourselves invulnerable to attack. No more.

We were attacked in the heart of New York City. Nearly 3000 people died in one of the most horrific acts of terrorism in the history of modern times. The event changed the psychology of our nation, and it changed how we must respond to terrorism.

We will not allow such atrocities to happen unanswered. The evil people who sponsor and commit such horrific acts must either be captured and detained, or killed. Such bullies cannot not be allowed to continue to terrorize the global neighborhood.

New attacks will likely come - we can't prevent them all - in the US, and I fear, in the heart of Europe, as well. What's more, many of the very Europeans who detest us so for taking the War On Terror to the jihadistas will likely be targets of jihad themselves, in the not-too-distant future.

The jihadistas will strike in novel and ingenious ways against American interests, here and in other countries. And when they do, we will again bring the fight to the organizations and countries that promote, sponsor and condone such behavior, again and again, and again, and again, until those who would do such things are eradicated, or until they lay down their arms.

It is useless to maintain the fiction that such people can be reasoned with. Trying to understand them is of no consequence. Nor is it possible to engage constructively their leftist defenders in the media, or the blogosphere. In all cases, whether rhetorically, at the ballot box or on the battlefield, those who commit and defend such acts must be defeated, utterly. That is the great call to the civilized peoples of this generation around the globe. And, in the end, I must believe that the forces of evil will not prevail.

Never EVER forget.

Never Forget

Never EVER forget.

(Link and scroll down.)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen


Story here.

Very Strange

No point to this vignette, really, but here goes: I was on hold for a phone call today for several minutes, and while I was made to wait, I was a bit taken aback by the sounds of a Muzak-like rendition of Elvis Costello's "Every Day I Write The Book," wafting through the phone earpiece. Sheesh. Now that's just wrong. Couldn't they at least have played "Veronica or "My Aim Is True?"

Nigerian Scams Spin Katrina

In one scheme, the writer claims to be a Mexican national working on a rescue team in New Orleans in need of money. More here.

Firefox Flaw Found: Remote Exploit Possible

The vulnerability affects the new beta version released today (September 09. 2005).

Your Moment Of Zen

(Yes, it's a fake. Story here, and source photo here. And as expected, Lefties aren't at all pleased with the original photo, either. But at least the photo above is nearly humorous. This one, on the other hand, is just plain stupid. Oh, wayduhminnut, I get it: NOLA = Iraq, right?. Well, isn't that special?)

Into The Fever Swamp

NOLA = Ethnic cleansing?

(And somehow I suspect Larouche might just agree.)


I have cut FEMA alot of slack in the recent Katrina disaster, but now I am convinced there is something truly nefarious about the agency:

FEMA's IE Requirement.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

When In Rome

Take a look at Finnish native Kalervo Koskimies' lovely images of Rome: Veduti De Roma.

(Be sure to check out his photos of models of old Rome, from the Museo della Civiltà Romana.)

Eye On The Beeb

Biased-BBC: great blog, chronicling the lefty-biases of the BBC.

(The BBC World News in seen weeknights in the Twin Cities on TPT 17.)

Your Moment Of Zen #2

From NOLA Photo page:

Oklahoma National Guard Spc. Craig Yates patrols the streets of New Orleans during a night patrol Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Your Moment Of Zen

He didn't know the gun was loaded.

Washing Away

Five-part series from the Times-Picayune on why a NOLA hurricane disaster would likely be inevitable, published June 23-27, 2002. Pay special attention to the article from Day 2, titled "Left Behind".

But It's All Dubyuh's Fault, Innit?

Fox reporter Major Garrett explains to anchor Brit Hume why things went so wrong in NOLA: transcript here.

(And be sure to read Garrett's interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday, as well.)

Testing The Faith

Teacher too sexy for God?

(Woman claims good looks got her fired, Catholic Church blames divorce.)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Donkey

And no doubt it tastes like chicken.

Wikipedia Comes Thru Again

Comprehensive entry on Hurricane Katrina, as well as a great entry on the international response to Katrina.