Monday, October 31, 2005

Music Monday - #28


Past Music Mondays


+++++


Lyrics Of The Week:

"A Certain Love ," by Terry Taylor - as sung by The Lost Dogs.

and

"Wild Ride," by Terry Taylor - as sung by The Lost Dogs.

+++++


Featured Free MP3 Downloads Of The Week.

This week please give a listen to these two free MP3 downloads from American CCM underground supergroup The Lost Dogs, off their mournful 2001 CD "Real Men Cry," written and recorded after the death of founding member Gene Eugene.


1) - "A Certain Love"

and

2) - "Wild Ride"

(Music files courtesy Paste Music.)


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Take a stroll thru Beethoven Haus.

+++++


Check out the streaming promotional video for the so-funky-it-sticks-like-glue-to-the-brain song that's been used for the recent Pontiac Torrent ad campaign: "Struggle," by Ringside.

+++++


David Bridie, founding member of legendary Aussie band Not Drowning Waving, has three cuts - out of ten - from his live CD available for free on the NDW website, recorded during a show played at Largo, Los Angeles, on March 22, 2002:

08) - The Last Great Magician
09) - More Heart Than Me
10) - Walk Me Home

+++++


Oh yeah: Mike Roe - he of The 77's and The Lost Dogs - is playing Minneapolis next week:

11.5 (Sat) Minneapolis, MN
Club 3 Degrees
113 Fifth Street North
6.30pm Doors / 8pm Show
Tickets: $10 Adv / $13 Day of

+++++


Trick Or Treat


05.10.28.TrickorTreat-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Talk To Your Kids


From USA Today:



Posted 10/30/2005 6:01 PM

Teens wear their hearts on their blog

By Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY

Millions of teens who grew up with a mouse in one hand and a remote control in the other now pour out their hearts, minds and angst in personal online diaries.

At Myspace.com, 34 million users, mostly ages 14 to 34, post their interests, write blogs and set up ways to chat with friends.

And anyone with a connection — including would-be predators — can have a front-row view of this once-secretive teenage passion play. (Related item: What's a parent to do?)

Welcome to teen America — on display at your nearest computer.



Read the rest here.

I Want My PLV


Powerline News - now with video.

Are You Ready To Rumble?


Well, if you were one of those who wanted a SCOTUS confirmation fight with the Dems, you'll probably get one now:

Bush Picks Alito for Supreme Court.


(I wish Judge Alito the best, and I hope he is confirmed. He sounds like a worthy nominee.)

Obstruction For What?


From OpinionJournal:

Libby is charged with lying about a crime that wasn't committed.

Scrabble By Email


It works as advertised: play Scrabble by email for free, with up to four people per game. Read all about it here.

Where You Least Expect It


From InformIT:

Winemaking: The Six Basic Types of Wine


  • Learn how winemaking techniques determine the wine type

  • Understand the differences in production, terms, and best uses with foods between dry red and white wines

  • Discover how Chardonnays become buttery, why Beaujolais Nouveau is grapey and yeasty, and how sparkling wines and Champagne are made

  • Learn about producing pink wine, including rosé, blush, or blanc de noir

  • Appreciate the versatility of fortified wines, including Porto, Sherry, Madeira, Vermouth, and Marsala

  • Understand each of the eight methods used to produce sweet dessert wines

  • Find what a bottle’s shape and color may tell you about the wine it holds

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Sunday, October 30, 2005

10:07:24


Short Science Fiction, By Terry Bisson.

The Church Inflatable


Let them tell it:



INFLATABLE CHURCH BRINGS NEW MEANING TO MOBILE WEDDING........

One of the world's VERY FIRST inflatable churches is here to allow couples to get married wherever their hearts desire. The complete structure will comprise of two sections; The house, 5m in width (external) with frontal facade, 7m highand 6.5m wide (Approx). The tower will be 5x5m base and 12m in height (Approx) Walls are to be 0.6m thick. (Approx.) The attention to detail is heavenly complete with plastic "stained glass" windows and airbrush artwork which replicates the traditional church. Inside it has an inflatable organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles and a gold cross. Even the doors are flanked by air-filled angels. The church can be built in 2 hours and dis-assembled in less than one.

Marry anywhere !!! even renewing your vows if you're already married.

Now we can bring the church to the bride rather than the other way around. It can be set up anywhere, from your garden to Malibu beach, it's up to you. No problem with "high heels."

The Inflatable Church is Registered in the Guinness World Records 2004 for being the world's largest Inflatable church in the world.



Um, ok. More here.

Observing Reformation Sunday



Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Friday, October 28, 2005

One Of Loveliest Places On Earth


Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
. And Do check out the Virtual Reality Tour.

(Yes, I've been there.)

Nyuk Nyuk


OK, ladies, you can go to the Mall, now. We guys are gonna be watching the public domain Three Stooges episodes available here.

A Seperate Peace


Peggy Noonan writes in yesterday's Opinion Journal:



A Separate Peace: America is in trouble--and our elites are merely resigned.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

It is not so hard and can be a pleasure to tell people what you see. It's harder to speak of what you think you see, what you think is going on and can't prove or defend with data or numbers. That can get tricky. It involves hunches. But here goes.

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it's a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with "right track" and "wrong track" but missing the number of people who think the answer to "How are things going in America?" is "Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination."



The rest is here.

Identical Cousins


Celebrity Lookalikes.

But Did They Use Emoticons?


From New Scientist:



Both Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein relied on pen, paper, and the postal service to communicate with correspondents around the world. But researchers have now found the pattern of their replies is the same as that of computer users answering email today, with both following the same mathematical formula.



Read the rest here.

Shocking News Flash


Handsome men have edge in election wins.

(So that's the reason why I'm not yet the POTUS.)

Ahmadinejad's Final Solution


05.10.27.AhmadFinalSol-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Your Moment Of Zen


losing
Despair, Inc


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thank You For Your Service, Ma'am


Now that the anti-Miers pundits no longer have the object of their disdain to kick around, will their blood-lust have been sated? I certainly hope so. I know there were some thoughtful and considered dissentions on the nomination, but to a large extent, the vituperative response of so many reminded me more of a scene from 'The Lord Of The Flies' than 'The Lord Of The Rings.' One thought I'm left with: that in the end, when the dust clears, this POTUS will be much more gracious towards those many conservatives who did so much to torpedo Miss Miers' nomination than they have reason to expect. In any case, there's no need to stick a fork in it to check if it's done - she withdrew, and it's time to MoveOn-Dot-Ogre. That's all I'm saying.

Since I intend to leave the subject alone after this post, I close this chapter with a quote from Hugh Hewitt's blog:



Ms. Miers Withdraws

October 27, 2005 06:30 AM PST

I think Ms. Miers has been unfairly treated by many who have for years urged fair treatment of judicial nominees.

She deserves great thanks for her significant service to the country. She and the president deserved much better from his allies.



Indeed.

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Desperately Seeking Absolution


Um, might somebody be feeling a bit guilty about their freeloading 'filesharing' past, during the halcyon days of yore? I found the following in my blog site stats from yesterday. Check out the Search Words - at the bottom of the post - that brought the user to this humble blog:



Blogizdat
By Details
Visit Detail
Visit 14,826

Domain Name: rr.com ? (Commercial)
IP Address: ##.##.###.### (Road Runner)
ISP: ROADRUNNER-NYC
Location Continent: North America
Country: United States (Facts)
State: New York
City: New York
Lat/Long: 40.7662, -73.979 (Map)

Language: English
Operating System: Macintosh MacPPC
Browser: Internet Explorer 5.17
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.17; Mac_PowerPC)
Javascript: version 1.3
Monitor Resolution: 1024 x 768
Color Depth: 32 bits

Time of Visit: Oct 26 2005 8:40:32 pm
Last Page View: Oct 26 2005 8:40:32 pm
Visit Length: 0 seconds
Page Views: 1
Search Engine: search.yahoo.com

Search Words: -> napster mortal sin catholic <-

Time Zone: UTC-5:00
EDT - Eastern Daylight Saving Time
Visitor's Time: Oct 26 2005 9:40:32 pm
Visit Number: 14,826



And so, to whomever he or she might be, possibly-suffering-the-weight-of-guilt-and-shame, believing - as I do - in the priesthood of all believers: I hereby pronounce that God forgives you all your downloading sins. Go in peace, and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's WASAW, Not Wausau


OFFICIAL SNACK REPORT
Sanctioned By WASAW Snack Committee



All Through The Town


I received today the following epistomology-in-song from the ever-lovely daughter number two, the nearly-three year-old LK, to the effect that:

  • The wheels on the bus go round and round
  • The babies on the bus go 'wah, wah, wah'
  • The mommies on the bus go 'shh, shh, shh'
  • The people on the bus go up and down
  • The driver on the bus says 'move on back'
  • The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep

And, as if that weren't enough, it appears that they do it all through the town. Who knew?

Someday you'll want to thank me for sharing this with you, so I'll say it now: 'you're welcome.'

Brazil Votes To Keep Firearms Sales legal


The Star Tribune People's Daily has the story.

Grim Countdown


05.10.25.GrimCountdown-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mathematical Photography


Images from another world: the art of Justin Mullins.

What I Have Seen


October 25, 2005

What I Have Seen
Wisdom from a higher-ed career


by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Magazine




The lament about our failed schools and universities is by now familiar. From the left, the complaint is that they are underfunded, even ignored by a shortsighted and heartless public. The pay of teachers and professors supposedly remains poor in comparison with similarly educated private-sector professionals. Schools are asked to educate troubled youth and thereby rectify societal ills, all the while seeking a broad equality of result among departing graduates; universities must also accept students who in the past were simply not college material.

Conservatives answer that the schools and universities have adopted a therapeutic curriculum in pursuit of political objectives. Teachers and professors — through powerful unions, archaic tenure protocols, and easy legal redress — are largely unaccountable, and the incompetent among them are immune from removal. While the cost of administration has grown, the quality of education — as measured by either test scores or the ability of students to meet traditional course requirements — has declined over the last four decades. The problem is not too little money, but rather how much money is misspent.

I recently retired from a 20-year career in the California State University system — the world’s largest public university, with over 400,000 students. The Fresno campus where I taught was roughly representative of the system’s other 22 campuses, which dot the state from San Diego in the south to Humboldt and Chico up north — a good cross section, in other words, of public education in the nation’s bellwether state. Looking back, I think CSU is symptomatic of how vast is the problem of higher education in America — and how unlikely it is to be resolved anytime soon.



It's a sobering piece. Read the rest here.

Ozone Layer


Hey kids! Jump in the Wayback Machine with Muzzy, and groove to our hero performing his chroreography of O'Zone's "Mai Ai He."

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Monday, October 24, 2005

Music Monday - #27


Past Music Mondays


+++++


Lyrics Of The Week:

"Into The Dark," by Ben Lee

and

"Gamble Everything For Love," by Ben Lee

+++++


Featured free MP3 Downloads of the week.

This week please check out the following free MP3 downloads from former Minnesota Native Daughter (currenty of Portland, Oregon) Brenda Weiler's latest CD "Cold Weather."




1) - "Scatter"

2) - "Out Of The Blue"

(Music files courtesy Paste Music.)


+++++


Remember the politically cranky band Chumbawamba? Neh, I hardly do either. But they're still around, and you can downlowd lotsa tunes from their website, if yer so inclined.

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No downloads, only streaming audio available, but Audioslave has a couple tunes from their new album available here.

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Listen in as Marilyn Monroe sings her cheeky rendition of Happy Birthday to President Kennedy in this MP3 clip.

Bird's Eye View


If you want to take a peek at the current traffic conditions around the highways and byways of my hometown(s) - the great patriotic Twin Cities - follow this link, and click on any of the white dots on the map shown.

FYI: the parking ramp to the left of this southbound view of Cedar Avenue is on the west end of the Mall of America complex, home to the Camp Snoopy indoor amusement park.

And, if you've really got alot of time on your hands, get a load of this site, with photos of pretty much every highway in Minnesota.

Enjoy.

Well, This Explains Alot


Smoking can lessen IQ, thinking ability.

Pretty Cool


Map 24.

Clash Of The Titans


Why Is Microsoft Afraid of Google?

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Friday, October 21, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Big Yawn


I just got done watching The Tonight Show, with musical guest Ashlee Simpson doing her single 'Boyfriend.' Now, I don't want to go off on a rant here - apologies to Dennis Miller - but seeing her perform felt a bit like watching a seventh-grade talent show, um, minus the talent. It isn't so much that she was that bad - well, yes it is. Look, Miss Simpson is kind of cute, in a trailer-park sort of way, and she isn't the worst singer in the world - though she isn't great - but she reminds too much of human puppy onstage, all gangly and out-of-sorts, uncomfortable in her skin. She seemed like she was trying to come across coquettish, and instead only succeeded in aping a low-rent tart. You know, the thing she's most famous for - besides being little sister to the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs.Lachey - is for her now-infamous lip-synching appearance on SNL last year. She got a lot of flack for that, but I gotta say, I think if she'd lip-synched tonight's performance, it might have sounded better. And it still would have made me cringe. In a way, though, I blame Ashelee's shabby music on her father/manager and her handlers, for trying to use her to cash in on the Simpson Craze. Manufactured pop music - made by manufactured pop stars - doesn't have to be lousy: witness *NSync, or Britney, or even Hilary Duff. But Ashlee Simpson isn't even in that league. And yet still the hoi-polloi flock to Sam Goody to buy her CD's, and her sales outrank the likes of Feist by ten to one. The lesson? Life isn't fair. Get over it.

And This Just In


Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack



PITTSBURGH — A zombie-preparedness study, commissioned by Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy and released Monday, indicates that the city could easily succumb to a devastating zombie attack.



Read the rest here

Breaking News



Exiled Rove Will Volunteer to Think for Bush.


Logical Intelligence?



Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional


My Recreational Drug Of Choice




(Yours, too, I'll bet.)


Recognition


05.10.20.Recognition-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


EMP: America’s Achilles’ Heel


From Hillsdale College's June 2005 edition of Imprimus



If Osama bin Laden—or the dictators of North Korea or Iran—could destroy America as a twenty-first century society and superpower, would they be tempted to try? Given their track records and stated hostility to the United States, we have to operate on the assumption that they would. That assumption would be especially frightening if this destruction could be accomplished with a single attack involving just one relatively small-yield nuclear weapon—and if the nature of the attack would mean that its perpetrator might not be immediately or easily identified.

Unfortunately, such a scenario is not far-fetched. According to a report issued last summer by a blue-ribbon, Congressionally-mandated commission, a single specialized nuclear weapon delivered to an altitude of a few hundred miles over the United States by a ballistic missile would be “capable of causing catastrophe for the nation.” The source of such a cataclysm might be considered the ultimate “weapon of mass destruction” (WMD)—yet it is hardly ever mentioned in the litany of dangerous WMDs we face today. It is known as electromagnetic pulse (EMP).



Read the rest here.

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Goodnight Moon


I scooped the always-sweet-and-lovely daughter number-two LK into my arms last night, and took her outside to have a look at the rising Full Moon. As we moved out from behind the Red Maple tree into the bright moonlight, LK let out a giggly squeal, pointed at the glowing orb hovering over the treeline and exclaimed: "Look, Dad. It's the moon, up in the sky, just for me!" Indeed.

This Just In


Bush: Miers' Critics Can Still Save Face.

How Now, Mad Cow?


U.S. rejects Katrina meals, offers them to others:



"The United States on Friday offered needy countries more than 330,000 packaged meals donated by Britain to feed Hurricane Katrina victims but rejected due to a U.S. ban on British beef.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the "Meals Ready to Eat," or MREs, had been held in a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, for more than a month after U.S. Agriculture Department officials said they could not be distributed in the United States because they contained British beef products."



Read the rest here.

The Kennedy Curse




What a difference four decades make.

(That's forty years of pork at the public trough.)


Some Mistake


"Half-century in mental asylum a mistake."

Oh Canada!


Lou Minatti sez:



America Sucks and We're Moving to Canada! Day is approaching

Don't forget to celebrate! Wednesday, November 2 is America Sucks and We're Moving to Canada! Day. This special holiday celebrates the one year anniversary of the first threats from crazy passionate left-wingers that they would be moving overseas because they hate George Bush and despise people who live in places like Texas and Ohio.



It's party time! Read the rest here.

(Thanks to Mondo for the tip.)

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Monday, October 17, 2005

Music Monday - #26


Past Music Mondays


+++++



Lyrics Of The Week:

"Speed Trials," by Elliott Smith

and

"Punch and Judy," by Elliott Smith


+++++



Featured free MP3 Downloads of the week.

This week, a couple more from Elliott Smith, off his 1997 achingly lovely and bittersweet collection, Either/Or:

1) - "Speed Trials"

2) - "Punch And Judy"

(Music files courtesy Paste Music.)

And, if you missed them the first time around, go download the two haunting and oh-so-chilling Elliott Smith tunes from Music Monday #18.


+++++


I'm making this a rather abbreviated Music Monday this week, but I wanted to list a few things music-related that I've picked up over the past week or so. Take a peek at what I'm going to be listening to - and watching - in the next few days:

Sixpence None The Richer - Mega 3 Collection

Feist - Let It Die

Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness

Sufjan Stevens - Sevens Swans

U2 - Elevation 2001 Live In Boston (DVD)

+++++


21319121UPDATE: If you've been reading this blog long enough, you may remember my tale of woe, trying to find a decent inexpensive MP3 player. I finally gave up and bought another used Virgin VP-1 (pictured right) just like the one I already had - my old one was shorting out the headphone jack. It's got limited memory - max 192 megs - but it works well, and I got it on eBay for under $20. It's good enough for now.

+++++



The Process Of Delusion


When I'm in a blogging slump, to Mencken I must go.

"The Process Of Delusion" is excerpted from Chapter Ten of Mencken's long-form tract, In Defense Of Women, written in 1919, eloquently addressing the foolishness of men regarding feminine beauty:



Such poor fools, rolling their eyes in appraisement of such meagre female beauty as is on display in Christendom, bring to their judgments a capacity but slightly greater than that a cow would bring to the estimation of epistemologies. They are so unfitted for the business that they are even unable to agree upon its elements. Let one such man succumb to the plaster charms of some prancing miss, and all his friends will wonder what is the matter with him. No two are in accord as to which is the most beautiful woman in their own town or street. Turn six of them loose in millinery shop or the parlour of a bordello, and there will be no dispute whatsoever; each will offer the crown of love and beauty to a different girl.

And what aesthetic deafness, dumbness and blindness thus opens the way for, vanity instantly reinforces. That is to say, once a normal man has succumbed to the meretricious charms of a definite fair one (or, more accurately, once a definite fair one has marked him out and grabbed him by the nose), he defends his choice with all the heat and steadfastness appertaining to the defense of a point of the deepest honour. To tell a man flatly that his wife is not beautiful, or even that his stenographer or manicurist is not beautiful, is so harsh and intolerable an insult to his taste that even an enemy seldom ventures upon it. One would offend him far less by arguing that his wife is an idiot. One would relatively speaking, almost caress him by spitting into his eye. The ego of the male is simply unable to stomach such an affront. It is a weapon as discreditable as the poison of the Borgias.

Thus, on humane grounds, a conspiracy of silence surrounds the delusion of female beauty, and so its victim is permitted to get quite as much delight out of it as if it were sound. The baits he swallows most are not edible and nourishing baits, but simply bright and gaudy ones. He succumbs to a pair of well-managed eyes, a graceful twist of the body, a synthetic complexion or a skilful display of ankles without giving the slightest thought to the fact that a whole woman is there, and that within the cranial cavity of the woman lies a brain, and that the idiosyncrasies of that brain are of vastly more importance than all imaginable physical stigmata combined. Those idiosyncrasies may make for amicable relations in the complex and difficult bondage called marriage; they may, on the contrary, make for joustings of a downright impossible character. But not many men, laced in the emotional maze preceding, are capable of any very clear examination of such facts. The truth is that they dodge the facts, even when they are favourable, and lay all stress upon the surrounding and concealing superficialities. The average stupid and sentimental man, if he has a noticeably sensible wife, is almost apologetic about it. The ideal of his sex is always a pretty wife, and the vanity and coquetry that so often go with prettiness are erected into charms. In other words, men play the love game so unintelligently that they often esteem a woman in proportion as she seems to disdain and make a mock of her intelligence. Women seldom, if ever, make that blunder. What they commonly value in a man is not mere showiness, whether physical or spiritual, but that compound of small capacities which makes up masculine efficiency and passes for masculine intelligence. This intelligence, at its highest, has a human value substantially equal to that of their own. In a man's world it at least gets its definite rewards; it guarantees security, position, a livelihood; it is a commodity that is merchantable. Women thus accord it a certain respect, and esteem it in their husbands, and so seek it out.



And it pretty much still holds true today.

Synergetic Racism


05.10.16.SynergeticRac-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


The Search Lurch


From Inform IT:



Every day millions of Internet searchers use Google or other high-speed search engines such as MSN Search. Are all these Googlers just doing the "search lurch"? Try a few key words, click a few search results, and maybe they'll find what they're looking for in a few seconds. Or maybe they'll just give up and move on to something else. Four Web experts weigh in.



Read the rest here.

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Things We Do For Our Kids


When a one's lovely six year-old daughter comes out of the bathroom sobbing that she's dropped her brand-new dime-store ring into a toiletful of poop, what's Dear Old Dad to do but slip on a non-latex glove, and go in after it? Oh, yes I did. And I strongly suspect that the next time she tries to tell Dear Old Dad that he never does anything for her, she will be reminded of the story of the ring. But then again, she's going to be the one to put me in the nursing home, so I suppose I gotta go easy on her, right?

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lost My Will To Blog


It's Saturday in my world, and I went for breakfast with Mondo today. He noted that my blogging has been rather light for the past couple of days. He's right.

Every so often I go through a period of time when I'm seized with an immense feeling of anxiety, futility and depression. During those times I become listless and tired, unable to concentrate, or even to blog. It's a tendency of my depressive nature, and like most depressives, it's probably something genetic, but it is also triggered by life events.

Fortunately it doesn't last forever, usually for never more than ten or eleven or twelve months out of the year - though I did go through a two or three year stint once - but eventually it lifts. This weekend I've been in one those states, and things aren't helped by the fact that I'm coming down with a bad cold.

But this afternoon, as I was lying half-asleep on the couch in the living-room, my little nearly three year-old girl climbed up onto my stomach, placed her head on my chest, grinned, and said "I love you, Daddy." We snuggled for a while, and then she went off to more exciting pursuits.

I got up, walked outside into the clear, cool Fall air, turned my face to the sky, closed my eyes, drank in the sun's warmth, and was reminded that my life is not all bad, no matter how I feel about it on a given day.

So, while I may cut back a bit on my blogging while I wrestle with angels, I do not yet intend to go away: Blog Ergo Sum. I appreciate the loyal readers of this blog, so please keep coming back. Thanks. (BTW: I enjoy receiving comments, but I have turned off that feature for a while; not forever, perhaps, but for now.)

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Thursday, October 13, 2005

For A Three-Hour Cruise...


Nihilist sez:



What would Gordon Lightfoot think of the exploits of our purple helmeted warriors? Here's a guess, to the tune of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."



You can sing along here.

It's A Chronic Thing


Ladies: Could This Be You?

High Times is looking to crown Miss High Times 2005, "the cutest, coolest stoner chick in America."

Prizes include:



GRAND PRIZE

The winner will receive a year's subscription to HIGH TIMES, a 2006 HIGH TIMES calendar, a DVD copy of the HIGH TIMES movie Potluck, a HIGH TIMES girlie T-shirt, a year's supply of rolling papers (courtesy of Bambu), a Volcano vaporizer, a national interview on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and best of all, be the star of a professional photo shoot for HIGH TIMES, to be considered for a possible centerfold!

SECOND AND THIRD PRIZE

Two runners up will receive a year's subscription to HIGH TIMES, a 2006 HIGH TIMES calendar, and a HIGH TIMES girlie T-shirt.



But you might have to get up awfully early in the morning to smoke out this contestant.

You Go, Girl!


Harriet Miers gets Petty on her very own Blogger Blog.

Now This Is Nice To Know...


...but will it pay my property taxes?


I'm a Marauding Marsupial
in the TTLB Ecosystem

Higher Beings
Mortal Humans
Playful Primates
Large Mammals
** Marauding Marsupials **
Adorable Rodents
Flappy Birds
Slithering Reptiles
Crawly Amphibians
Flippery Fish
Slimy Molluscs
Lowly Insects
Crunchy Crustaceans
Wiggly Worms
Multicellular Microorganisms
Insignificant Microbes



That's all I'm asking.

Assad's Contribution


AssadsContribution-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


I Know Why Caged Prof Sings


From Hallmark:

Maya Angelou Life Mosaic Gifts 2005.


Where OBL Goes On Holiday



From Yahoo/Reuters:



You want a smoking or non-smoking cave?

There's no room service, no swimming pool, no microwave oven, no coffee machine, no television, no electricity.

But the accommodations do include mattresses and wood stoves.

An 89-year-old retired construction worker this month began advertising cave stays in east-central Idaho for $5 per night, or $25 a month.



Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen




Despair, Inc


Like Having An Uncle In The Business


What’s in OpenOffice.org?



WRITER is OpenOffice.org’s word processor: use it for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book with embedded illustrations, cross-references, tables of contents, indexes, bibliographies... Auto-complete, auto-format, and real-time spelling check make light work of the hardest task. Writer is powerful enough to tackle desktop publishing tasks such as creating multi-column newsletters, brochures – the only limit is your imagination.

Use CALC to bring your numbers under control. This powerful spreadsheet has all the tools you need to calculate, analyse, summarise, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics. A fully-integrated help system makes entering complex formulas a breeze. Sophisticated decision-making tools are just a few mouse clicks away. Pull in external data using the Data Pilot, and sort it, filter it, and produce subtotals and statistical analyses. Use previews to select from thirteen categories of 2-D and 3-D charts including line, area, column, pie, XY, stock and net with dozens of variants.

IMPRESS is the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations. Your presentations will truly stand out with special effects, animation and high-impact drawing tools.

DRAW will produce everything from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations and special effects.

New to Version 2, BASE enables you to manipulate database data seamlessly within OpenOffice.org. Create and modify tables, forms, queries, and reports, either using your own database or Base’s own built-in HSQL database engine.



Best of all? It's free.

Vikings Score


Party attended by Vikings players under investigation for lewd acts.

"No one can play, like we play, when we play" - Denny Green

I Want My iTV


MacNN:

Apple announces video iPod, iTunes 6


Ah Well, They'll Always Have Paris


Fox Cancels 'The Simple Life.'

Waist-Deep In The Fever Swamp


Paranoid rant, or ironic jesting? Beats the heck outta me. From The Simon's Cannon Fodder, filed 10-11-05:

Patience Zero: Influenza as Population Control
.

Your Moment Of Zen




Prospective MOB Mascot


The Evolution Of A Programmer


This one will likely appeal to techies only, and is dedicated to NCB. It was not written by me:

The Evolution of a Programmer.


Hola Mundo!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

En Garde


05.10.11.EnGarde-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Misunderstimation And The Bigger Picture



Wise words on the Meirs nomination from from Sky Musings:



"While I support and trust the President, I am certainly not one of the cheerleaders. That being said, I believe President Bush has done it again -- he got everyone (including his own supporters) to misunderestimate him in order to achieve the larger goal, which in this case is to rein in the Supreme Court and return it to a more originalist bent.

The President has demonstrated an ability and willingness to nominate solid conservative judges over the course of his time in office. Ms. Miers has been a major part of this, from assisting in the process of selection to vetting and finally to preparing nominees for confirmation, including Justice Roberts. They have a close personal and professional friendship that dates back to the Reagan years. It is safe to say that he truly believes and trusts that she will embody the principles he seeks to invest in that seat."

and


"The President knows fully that had he nominated Luttig or one of the other Scalia types that we have hungered for, it would have triggered war with the Dems (not necessarily bad in and of itself). The problem is that this war would likely be lost due to the defection of his own RINOs, and the guarantee of Dem solidarity. Why fight the war you can't win? It makes infinitely more sense in these circumstances to slip in a Stealth nominee that will fool the Dems into thinking she's another O'Connor. If the President is convinced she will in fact be a solid conservative originalist, then he will have achieved true diplomacy in that he made the Dems think they won while he got exactly what he wanted. From his gubernatorial contests on down through his presidential contests he has consistently been the Dummy That Outsmarted The Smarties. He is a risk-taker, and he knows his opponents better than they know themselves."

and


"My clarion call is for conservatives to stop for a moment, consider the things I have said here, and to remember that politics does not happen in a vacuum. There is ALWAYS a bigger picture, and most have missed it. Yes, we have been betrayed by this President on spending, on border control, on cronyism in other areas. But the judicial appointments have been excellent, and there is no evidence now to have reason to believe that this one is a mistake. I'm not telling anyone to "shut up" or accuse anyone of being on a lynch mob; rather, sit back and observe without rancor and malice. The debate can and should happen, but it should not rage like a DU slapfight. Most importantly, try to remember that President Bush is concerned with having conservative originalists on the Court, as are the rest of us. Sometimes we get desired results from undesirable methods.

Remember, this buys time for the 2006 elections. Two solid conservatives (assuming the President is correct on Miers) will have already started the process of reworking the Court. Hopefully we will gain more seats in 2006, which could allow President Bush to think about a Luttig when Stephens retires. There is a time for boldness, and a time for quiet, and this is the time for quiet victory. When we have 51 solid conservatives, then we can ram candidates down the Dems' throats. Until then, we still have to convince them either that we are right or trick them into giving us what we want. The former hasn't happened; I believe the latter will."




Better said than I ever could. Read the whole thing here.

(Thanks to Professor Reynolds for the link. Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum.)

Your Moment Of Zen





Phone hits home as Taiwan MPs fly off the handle.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Music Monday - #25


Past Music Mondays


+++++


Lyric Of The Week:

"Brave," by The Innocence Mission

+++++


Featured free MP3 Downloads of the week.

This week, a couple of tunes from one my favorite groups, The Innocence Mission, one each from their last two CD's, "Befriended" and "Now The Day Is Done":

1) - "What A Wonderful World"

2) - "Tomorrow On The Runway"

(Music files courtesy The Innocence Mission.)

+++++


Local music professor Donald Betts makes available nine lovely MP3 versions of various Chopin pieces for free downloading, recorded by him January 6, 2002 at the Janet Wallace Concert Hall, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.

+++++


Chuckle to local radio powerhouse KQRS's ode the Green Bay Packers and Cheeseheads everywhere, with love from the Purple, um, well, the Vikings fans.

+++++


With their faux-teenage lesbian schtick, pathetic stage presence, and general brattiness, it seemed unlikely that Russian duo t.A.T.u would be heard from again after their monster-selling first album, 2002's "200km/h In The Wrong Lane." Imagine my surprise at the news that they were dropping a new album this week, "Dangerous And Moving."

From Wikipedia.com:



On June 3, 2005, t.A.T.u. performed a brand new song, Обезъянка-Ноль (Obezyanka Nol'/Monkey Zero) at the Russian Muz-TV Awards. This song is from t.A.T.u.'s forthcoming second Russian album, Люди-Инвалиды (Lyudi-Invalidi/Invalid People), which is set to be released in Japan on October 5, October 11 in North America and October 10 in the rest of the world.

The first single from the Dangerous and Moving album is All About Us, written by Billy Steinberg and The Veronicas - a Duo of twin sisters, Jess and Lisa, from Brisbane Australia. Billy Steinberg is the man responsible for many 80's hits, including Madonna's Like A Virgin and the Bangles' Eternal Flame. The video for the single was shot by Hollywood director James Cox (Wonderland) and can be viewed at the official English website. The album also features Sting playing bass on the track Friend or Foe, which was written by the Carpenters' Richard Carpenter.



Sting? Well, ok, then.

Anyway, jump in the not-so-way-back machine and check out the Russian and English versions of a couple of powerful Europop dance hall numbers from t.A.T.u.'s smash Trevor Horn-produced debut CD.

All The Things She Said
Я сошла с ума (All The Things She Said)

and

Not Gonna Get Us
Нас не догонят (Not Gonna Get US)

(Tunes courtesy t.A.T.u)

+++++


Word Spy


From the Word Spy website:



'This Web site is devoted to lexpionage, the sleuthing of new words and phrases. These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new terms that have appeared multiple times in newspapers, magazines, books, Web sites, and other recorded sources.'



Interesting site.

Podcasting


Simple and easy-to-understand - written for newbies - overview of podcasting, from Computerworld.

Suddenly Sick


From The Seattle Times:

The hidden big business behind your doctor's diagnosis.

Sins Of Search


From Yahoo's BuzzLog:



Seven Deadly Sins of Search

Monday October 10, 2005 3:00AM PT

We've been bad, and we've come to ask for your forgiveness. But before you absolve us, we know you'll want a full confession. So here it is -- the Buzz's version of the Seven Deadly Sins. Please be merciful.

We begin with gluttony. A corpulent python that bit off more than it could chew paid the price when its meal (an unwilling alligator) burst through the snake's midsection. Both animals were killed, but searches on "python," "python swallows gator," and "python explodes" (bleh) all exploded as never before.

Moving right along to lust, searches on "america's top model" are up 109%. While the show features women with bodies to inspire much heterosexual drooling, only 19% of searches come from men. Also, nearly 40% of searches come from the 35- to 44-year-old demographic. Apparently interest in the catwalk isn't age exclusive.



Read the rest here.

Knit Wits


Knitters who blog? Or bloggers who knit? CSM explains all.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen




A Fruity Crash Test Dummy?


Spookmaster


Online Pumpkin Carving Patterns.

International E-Male


From the latest issued of Radar Magazine:



Adventures of an International Male

For almost 30 years a curious clothing catalog has sold ruffled pirate shirts, pink sleeveless suits, and sequined black capes to a seemingly invisible public. What’s it like to go through life in a mesh top? Andrew Goldman treks from the stands at Yankee Stadium to the banquettes at the Four Seasons to investigate life as the ultimate fashion victim.



Read the rest of the story here.

Their Perspective


05.10.09.TheirPerspective-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


And Speaking Of Church Signs


Have some fun with the church sign generator.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Your Moment Of Zen




Weak Minded People.


Here Kitty


How to wash a poor cat.

The Home Computer Museum


Take a trip down memory lane, and around the globe, at the Home Computer Museum.

Katrina Flyover


From MSNBC.

PB 1400


Everything you ever wanted to know about the Mac Powerbook 1400.

Always Low Prices


Alot of vitriol is directed by lefties - and some conservatives, as well - at Walmart, alleging heinous things of the Arkansas-based retail giant, often just shy of sacrificing babies and eating puppies. A host of internet websites have cropped up to attack Walmart, but Always Low Prices appears to be the only one I've found that has anything approaching a fair and balanced assessment of the company and its practices. It's worth a read. (BTW, ALP claims to be utterly unaffiliated with Walmart.)

Texas Bigfoot Research Center


Sasquatch in Texas? Hmm, that could account for both Ann Richards and Molly Ivins:



Bigfoot in Texas?

The Texas Bigfoot Research Center exists to validate what we believe to be an undocumented species of bipedal primate, an animal commonly referred to as the Sasquatch or Bigfoot. If successful, this effort would effectively move the Bigfoot/Sasquatch phenomenon from the realm of cryptozoology into mainstream science.

Contrary to popular opinion, these animals are not exclusive to the Pacific Northwest, although that region may indeed contain the largest numbers. These animals actually have a long history in Texas and neighboring states; most Texas reports originate in the eastern third of the state.



Read the rest here - and don't forget the The 5th Annual Texas Bigfoot Conference, later this month.

Help Wanted


Looking for work? Consider Al Qaeda...

Worth Bookmarking


DHS Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report.

Tragedy


Quake Kills More Than 3,000 in South Asia

70 Things About Muzzy


Posted here.

Your Moment Of Zen




Musuem Of Bad Art


Friday, October 07, 2005

Harriet Miers' Blog


Wow! Right here on Blogspot.

Now That's Just Wrong


The world's most famous Scientologist inflicts a kiss upon his now-preggers future ex-wife:

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Amorous Highlights.

Magazine Dubs Jessica Biel Sexiest Woman


Well, that's Esquire's opinion, not mine. I gotta say: yes, Jessica B is beautiful, without doubt. But sexiest? Neh. Jessica A still gets my vote for the loveliest young starlet in Hollywood.

SMS Bible


4 God so luvd da world...

Is This A Good Thing?


AOL announced yesterday that it just paid twenty-five million dollars for Weblogs Inc. AOL's press release offers the company-spin, and CNet has the story. If folks like those at Paid Content and Pro Blogger are right, this Weblogs Inc site is just one example of the future of blogging, and I gotta say, there's something about it all that makes me a wee bit squeamish. (And, in a mostly unrelated story, the Verisign group announced today that it just bought Weblogs.com.)

Watch The Birdie


05.10.06.WatchTheBirdie-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F


Ramadan And Nuke Terror


From WND:

Is 'American Hiroshima' set for this month?

The Legend Of The Peabody Ducks


Never heard of them?



How did the tradition of the ducks in The Peabody fountain begin? Back in the 1930s Frank Shutt, general manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Tennessee sippin’ whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain. Three small English Call ducks were selected as “guinea pigs,” and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Thus began a Peabody tradition which was to become internationally famous. The original ducks have long since gone, but after more than 70 years, the marble fountain in the hotel lobby is still graced with ducks. Today, the mallards are raised by a local farmer and friend of the hotel. The ducks live in the fountain until they are full grown and, on retirement from their Peabody duties, are returned to the wild. The Peabody ducks march at 11:00 am and 5:00 pm daily.



You have now.

(There's a picture of the Memphis Ducks here, and a photo album of the Orlando Ducks here.)

From Professor Aristotle


The Case For Miers.

LPA Online


The official website of the Little People of America.

Your Moment Of Zen




Thursday, October 06, 2005

Does Anyone Know Where The Love Of God Goes?


Everything you wanna know about the Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.

Male Language Patterns


Ladies, read it and understand, borrowed from Garage Logic:



"I can't find it," REALLY MEANS:
"It didn't fall into my outstretched hands, so I'm completely clueless."

"That's women's work," REALLY MEANS:
"It's dirty, difficult and thankless."

"Will you marry me?" REALLY MEANS:
"Both my roommates have moved out, I can't find the washer, and there is no more peanut butter."

"It's a guy thing," REALLY MEANS:
"There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical."

"Can I help with dinner?" REALLY MEANS:
"Why isn't it already on the table?"

"It would take too long to explain," REALLY MEANS:
"I have no idea how it works."

"I'm getting more exercise lately," REALLY MEANS:
"The batteries in the remote are dead."

"We're going to be late," REALLY MEANS:
"Now I have a legitimate excuse to drive like a maniac."

"Take a break, honey, you're working too hard," REALLY MEANS:
"I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."

"That's interesting, dear," REALLY MEANS:
"Are yhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifou still talking?"

"Honey, we don't need material things to prove our love, REALLY MEANS:
"I forgot our anniversary again."

"You expect too much of me," REALLY MEANS:
"You want me to stay awake."

"It's really a good movie," REALLY MEANS:
"It's got guns, knives, fast cars, and good looking women."

"You know how bad my memory is," REALLY MEANS:
"I remember the words to the theme song of "F Troop", the address of the first girl I kissed, the Vehicle Identification Number of every car I've ever owned, but I forgot your birthday."



No foghorn here.

Google VS Microsoft


From Queensland's The Courier Mail:



Google declares war on Microsoft

Louise Crossen, technology reporter
06oct05

INTERNET search engine Google has declared war on Microsoft, announcing plans to launch free spreadsheet and word-processing software online.

Google has joined forces with US-based technology giant Sun Microsystems to allow web users to access Sun's OpenOffice from any personal computer.

Sun will offer Google's search toolbar with downloads of its free Java software, which now powers more than 2.5 billion gadgets around the globe, including 700 million PCs.



Read the rest here.

Mad About Knitting


No. I mean really mad, and very mucho annoyed:

You Knit What?

(Be sure to go through the archives.)

The Left And Hysteria


Dennis Prager posted the following at Town Hall late last month:



The left and hysteria

By Dennis Prager
Radio talk show host and author

Sep 27, 2005

If you want to understand the Left, the best place to start is with an understanding of hysteria. Leading leftists either use hysteria as a political tactic or are actually hysterics.

Take almost any subject the Left discusses and you will find hysteria.



Read the rest here.

Drawing Cartoons

Six year-old daughter number one AE loves to draw, so I checked out a DVD from the library by a cartoonist who claims to be able to teach even the talentless like me how to draw such things.

AE watched the beginning of the video yesterday with me and asked if I might freeze-frame one of the images so that she could try to draw it, free-hand - all this before the artist got into how to do it. I was dubious, but let her try.

What you see above is what she came up with on her first attempt. Hey, I'm Dear Old Dad here, but I gotta say - lopsided ears and all - it was pretty close the original. Yeah, I was impressed.

You Win A Laurel And Hearty Handshake


Contratulations to Blogizdat visitor number 14,000:




Monkey Business


Play Banana Barrage.

House Of Hate


05.02.08.HouseofHate-X

Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F