January 31, 2004

our media sucks, part 4,303

Via Atrios, an absolutely smashing article by Katha Pollitt on the media's shoddy treatment of Judy Steinberg, aka Mrs. Howard Dean. Observe how Diane Sawyer and company made her out to be some sort of freak, and tell me with a straight face that our media is really all that liberal.

Posted by Carl at 06:18 PM | Comments (1)

January 30, 2004

If law enforcement worked like American health care

Capital Cops, Inc. Police Log, January 31, 2004

10:35 AM: Mr. Elston Bentley-Smythe of 4100 Juniper Place NW reported that neighborhood children were ringing his doorbell and running away. Mr. Bentley-Smythe agreed to supplemental payments, and four squad cars were immediately dispatched to his house. After conducting a house-to-house inquiry, the perpetrators were found within two hours and removed to juvenile detention.

3:34 PM: Mrs. Michelle Lang of the 400 block of Michagan St. NE reported a domestic dispute in which her husband allegedly struck her, threw plates and glasses at her, and threatened to shoot her. However, since Mrs. Lang has been married to her husband since 2001, and had filed previous domestic disturbance reports in Winston-Salem, NC prior to their move to the District, we have designated this situation a pre-existing condition and denied coverage.

9:57 PM: Mr. Matthew Beardsley reported the theft of his 2001 Ford Probe from the 1700 block of Lamont Street NW. Mr. Beardsley belongs to our Managed Protection program. We arranged to send an officer to his house on Monday, February 9. As this is the third vehicle theft in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood this month, it is necessary to raise the premiums of all Mount Pleasant residents by 10%.

11:10 PM: Ms. Shirley Brantham of the 1400 block of P St. SW reported a home invasion in progress; allegedly, two men had broken into the house and were attempting to gain access to the bedroom where Ms. Brantham and her two children were barricaded in. However, Ms. Brantham does not hold a policy, and a check of her income indicated that she would be unable to pay A La Carte fees, so coverage was denied.

Note to all officers and support staff: Doubtless, there will be a hue and cry from some sectors of the public that the Brantham case proves we require a “socialized” law enforcement system, protecting all citizens regardless of their ability to pay. In your dealings with the public, continue to stress the importance of choosing one’s police officer, and the quality of protection one receives. Should you be presented with data suggesting that Canada or European nations pay far less overall for law enforcement and seemingly have better protection to show for it, state that you question the legitimacy of that data and would like more time to study it.

Posted by Carl at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

more on categorizing Republicans

After my post on the Four Types of Republicans the other day, I got an e-mail from Richard:

About the types of republicans ... there's another type that doesn't fit ... maybe you can think of a good name for them. This is like my father in law -- he's well-meaning, socially very conservative, and honestly believes that things like lower taxes are good for the country (regardless of budgetary spending realities). He doesn't care that much about the environment one way or another. And, he believes that Bill Clinton typified what was wrong with the Democrats -- selfish jerks who just want to have sex with their aides, not serious upright moral people. In other words - the IMAGE of the republicans (reality is unknown) is of conservative, upright people like himself.

Actually, I'd probably classify Richard's father-in-law as either Type 3 or Type 4. Anyone on either side of the aisle who thinks that their party is wholly comprised of "serious upright moral people," and the other party is entirely "selfish jerks," is either misinformed or willfully participating in a stereotype. Also, it's kind of odd to rail about the other side being "selfish," and to simultaneously want lower taxes.

But Richard raises a good point, echoed in a post today at ODub, in his inclusion of the term "well-meaning." I do think my schema is a bit too harsh, as it files everyone calling themselves Republican under stupid, ignorant, intellectually dishonest, or downright evil. And to an extent I don't intend it to be mean, especially to Type 3s: our So-Called Liberal Media hasn't done regular Americans many favors lately, and Richard's father-in-law has bought into stereotypes that are created by the Mighty Wurlitzer (i.e. Rush Limbaugh et. al., Type 2s) and perpetuated by the media establishment. That's not entirely the fault of these voters. Oliver's point is that there are still Republicans who really want to do good things for the country, not just line their pockets and those of their corporate buddies. Perhaps a party split is in order.

I'm not sure what I'm driving at here. If anyone can come up with a Type 5 definition of Republicans like John McCain, I'd be happy to hear it.

Posted by Carl at 09:57 AM | Comments (5)

January 29, 2004

the Great Plains remain unexplored

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Posted by Carl at 02:52 PM | Comments (2)

perhaps they'd create more sucky music

R. Kelly Told to Avoid Jackson At Grammys.

This is just weird. Conspicuously absent from this article is the why. Apparently it's something to do with their mutual attraction for underage kids. What are they going to do, compare notes? Console each other inappropriately? On the other hand, is there some beef between the two of them that we haven't heard of? Freakin' bizarre.

Posted by Carl at 09:58 AM | Comments (1)

January search terms

Things that led people to bigfool.com this month:

animatronic penguins
mr chicken mascot ("That's 'Mister Chicken Mascot' to you!")
stolen Escalade El Paso
pictures of the boy who played john from remember always i love you
miller lite formaldehyde
Rickey Henderson and his wife
scrotum baked ham (ewwwwwwwww!)
animated singing armadillos
I am an overweight man poetry
when ottawa senators frist stanley cup (I had no idea Bill Frist was a Sens fan.)
triangular tube box wine
chickens kill eachother

And another thing: every month I get hits for searches on "demon drawings" (as this term appears on the long-defunct Daily Demon). Guess there's a subculture out there that really wants to see demon-related art.

Posted by Carl at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

we could do far worse than a stuffed otter

I got your presidential candidate right here.

Posted by Carl at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2004

Uncle Ted kicks some ass

Ted Leonsis and a jackass fan get into it after the game. One of those incidents where I have no idea whose side of the story to believe, but I'm glad they've worked it out without pressing charges.

Poor Uncle Ted. He became my favorite sports owner in a very short period of time (granted, that's not hard to do). He's tried so damn hard, and certainly spent the money. But it just hasn't worked. The talent's been there, but for whatever reason the team just hasn't put it together, and the fan base is so fair-weather that it's ridiculous. The whole "I won't come to a playoff game until they actually win a series" sentiment yanked my chain; it's the PLAYOFFS, you dorks, get your ass out here and suppoort the team.

Labor strife looms in the NHL; more than any other league, the players' pay and the revenue available to teams is completely out of whack. I do think they need to downsize by four teams or so. As a Caps fan, I'd be heartbroken if the Caps were one of those teams, but as an overall hockey fan, I have to admit the Caps wouldn't be a bad choice.

Posted by Carl at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

I prefer Chex Mix to wintry mix

Now we have a nice layer of ice on top of the snow. Oh joy.

One big disadvantage of this weather, aside from sliding off the road and into a ditch or a parked car: the Post hasn't shown up on our doorstep yesterday or today. That makes it difficult to post blog comments on inane editorials, or provide links to interesting features. Sure, I could go comb the Post's web site, but it's just not the same.

I think there may be some sort of election in New Hampshire today. And as with Iowa, I'm not too riled up about it. Next week, when four states (SC, MO, AZ, WA) go off at once, then we'll start getting somewhere. Remember, locals, the Virginia primary is Feb. 10.

Posted by Carl at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2004

If "Fast Food Nation" wasn't enough...

Back in the day, we joked of a stunt/bet called "the Five By Three Relay." The challenge was to eat three meals a day for five days at McDonald's or Burger King. And your meal had to consist of a sandwich, fries, and drink--no cheating and ordering a McSalad.

Here's a guy who pulled it off for thirty days, just to make a point. And he made a movie about it.

Posted by Carl at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

The Four Types of Republicans

It occurred to me that I refer to these types all the time, but I've never spelled them out in detail. I try to see the other side, I really do, but these days I have a hard time understanding why anyone would vote Republican. I've thought about it a lot, and come up with the following groups. Trolls take note: yes, these are vast sweeping generalizations. Fine, you have other reasons and don't fit into any of these categories. Whatever. From where I sit, you probably do.

Type 1: Stupid. Enjoy whoopin' ass and keeping wimminfolk and colored folk in their place. Poster boy: this guy.

Type 2: Evil. Most members of the administration itself fall into this category. Screw the poor, screw the environment, screw social justice; just give us cheap labor and deregulation so we can make bushels of money.

Type 3: Flim-Flammed. Vast quantities of voters in the Midwest fall into this group. Typically working-class, Christian (and actual good Christian, not insane pseudo-Christian), and have voted Republican for years on the basis of "shared values." Sold on the idea of "welfare queens." Due to our crappy media, have little to no idea what's being done in their name--they're so stuck on Bush being a better Christian than any Democrat that they don't realize they're just a prop to keep Republicans in power--the GOP really answers to the Evil corporate guys.

Type 4: In Denial. Similar to Type 3, but more upper-middle class. Really have no excuse for being poorly informed, but changing party affiliations would require a self-evaluation and admission of being wrong in the past that they're not willing to undertake. Think they make enough money to be in the Evil club, but in reality they don't benefit significantly from pro-corporate policies.

That's my sweeping and overly simple categorization. Make of it what you will. Nominate other types if you got 'em.

Posted by Carl at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

My second national anthem is "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," thank you

Good morning. Got about five inches of snow overnight--enough to close the schools, not enough to close the federal government. I'm working from home in any event. On the radio, they said the county government for the county where my office is was "closed, open for employees." What's that mean, exactly?

Couple of good items this morning. Via SKB, Jack Neely deconstructs "God Bless the USA" in more detail that I would have stomach for. I'm with him, I hate that freakin' song. There was an interesting moment at a Caps game last year, where they had some guy sing "God Bless America" between periods, and most everyone stood up. I didn't, sitting there grousing "It's not the National Anthem." I kind of wish I had, though; standing for "GBA" isn't and wasn't paramount to saying you support the administration. But standing for "God Bless the USA" is, and I will gladly punch out any friggin' hick at a rodeo who says I have to stand for it.

The "Bush was AWOL" thing is actually starting to surface again, and may be an issue for the general election, especially if Clark or Kerry is the nominee. Right-wing pundits, continuing to show that they have no honor, are pulling the Chewbacca defense again. Dave Neiwert puts it into words they should be able to understand.

Posted by Carl at 10:57 AM | Comments (1)

January 23, 2004

Linking Fool Friday

It's been a busy week, too busy to post. Here are other people's posts to get you by.

Give it up for Margaret Cho! Money quote:

But they aren't. The taxes you pay are not going to the irresponsible or the illegitimate. They go to a complex array of laundering schemes, simulated searches for weapons of mass destruction, undisclosed locations for Cheney to kick it in style. The myth of you reaching in your purse and paying for the welfare/ghetto/thug/underage momma population who will not pull their own weight is a sad story that you bought with your own poverty of knowledge. I ain't saying you ignant, but you didn't live where I done did.

This is one of the most grating myths perpetuated by the right and embraced by Stupid (Type 1) and Flim-Flammed (Type 3) Republicans: that we spend too much money on welfare, on lazy people who don't want to work. I'm sure there's isolated incidents, but that's just not what it means to be poor in America. The Rittenhouse Review has a fine collection of articles and comment on the American working poor which speaks directly to this experience. And with a few bad breaks, it could easily be you or me. I'd offer quotes, but there's too much good stuff; go read them all.

Gosh, that crazy Nedra Pickler, adding "context" to articles. It wouldn't be half as annoying if they had done the same thing to every Bush administration statement of the past three years. At least someone's done it with the State of the Union. In fact, a couple people have.

And finally: Humor! Crazy angry howling Howard Dean makes fun of himself. Get Your Weapons of Mass Destruction-Related Program Activities On.

Posted by Carl at 05:57 PM | Comments (2)

Spam of the End Times

I've been having problems lately with legitimate e-mail going into my spam folder, so I have to actually breeze through the spam, checking subject lines and who it's from, before I delete it. Thus I did come upon a message from the Left Behind Prophecy Club, with the subject line "Are we living in the End Times? 5 signs from 2003."

Oy. That message led to here, where we learn that the first sign is existence of Israel (or perhaps more specifically their settling of certain disputed territories; they don't really explain). To get the others, you have to give them an e-mail address, and I ain't going there.

The existence of the Left Behind books doesn't bother me; it's the fact the some people, including possibly some of our leaders, take it as near-literal truths. Screw being stewards of the earth; the End Times are upon us so we might as well pollute with abandon. Screw trying to co-exist with Muslims, because the End Times are upon us, and we shall point at them and laugh from heaven as all the bad stuff of Revelations falls upon them.

Bleah. Check out Slacktivist's study of Left Behind; it's interesting, even if disturbing.

Posted by Carl at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2004

Iowa: whatever

There's great volumes to be read about the Iowa caucuses. In the end, it's all speculation. I'm surprised by the late rise of Kerry and Edwards, but in the end I think it means little. Gephardt's ex-scape is the only significant long-term impact. I'm more interested in seeing what happens next week, when Clark joins the fray.

For high-quality and voluminous coverage, go see Kos. And for the best summary of What It All Means that I've seen so far, go see Billmon.

Posted by Carl at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

What's snoo with you?

If you think your winter sucks, check this out.

Posted by Carl at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2004

Crapfully yours, the Philadelphia Eagles

Well, that was terrible. Two problems from where I sit:

1. They didn't run the ball enough, either with McNabb or Staley. Staley averaged 6 yards a carry, so I don't know why they didn't use him more.

2. Lack of a big-play receiver. The biggest off-season criticism of the Eagles was that they didn't go get a free agent receiver with all that cap space. Count me among those who thought Thrash and Pinkston were good enough, but both this week and last week against the Packers, it became obvious that they're not. How many times did McNabb have buckets of time to throw, but couldn't find anybody? Props to the Panthers' secondary and all, but they weren't exactly their team's strong suit going into the game. I know Terrell Owens is a head case and all, but he'd look pretty good in green and white next year.

Of course, having McNabb get hurt on a late hit (with no penalty) didn't help much either.

Props to the Panthers, though; they play a run-first kind of game that I appreciate, and that is rare in this pass-wacky age.

Posted by Carl at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2004

Linking Fool Friday

SKB has a long, most excellent post on "A History of Uncivil Obedience." He draws much from the wisdom of Hunter S. Thompson.

Another long and entertaining post: Tim Dunlop's account of a trip to New Orleans. I'd sure like a copy of that CD.

Via Kos, go over to TomPaine.com and git yer State of the Union scorecard. If you can actually stomach watching it.

The American Street is a veritable All-Pro team of lefty bloggers. Quite impressive.

And if you like hot dogs, you'll love OctoDogs.

Posted by Carl at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2004

WSOP on the Strip?

From this week's Las Vegas Advisor newsletter:

Binion's Closed

Agents from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, accompanied by court-order-clutching United States marshals, entered Binion’s Horseshoe the night of Friday January 9, seized nearly $1 million in cash, and shut the joint down. Binion’s owes roughly $2 million to union pension and health funds, $7.5 million in taxes to the IRS, $3 million to the Fremont Street Experience, $20 million to Jack Binion, and money to landlords, vendors, small creditors, and gamblers.

Only days later, Harrah’s announced that it was buying the Horseshoe and assuming all its liabilities. Though the terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed, it’s believed Harrah’s picked up the Horseshoe for about $50 million, the majority of which was the assumption of the debt. The deal is expected to be fast-tracked by regulators in order to reopen Binion’s as soon as possible. Insiders believe Harrah’s will retain the Horseshoe brand and take over the World Series of Poker, then sell the 52-year downtown property to another operator (perhaps Boyd Gaming). Some analysts believe that Harrah’s will announce plans to build a new Horseshoe megaresort for the Las Vegas Strip.

[end LVA]

Pretty crazy. The Horseshoe on the Strip? The WSOP at Harrah's? Just doesn't seem right. Binion's is all about old-school Vegas, and to get old-school Vegas these days you have to go downtown (or to Reno).

By the way, if you're a Vegas junkie like me and you aren't familiar with LVA, I'd recommend you check them out. The weekly e-mail newsletter is free and has plenty of interesting stuff. If you subscribe to their print magazine, you get a big coupon book which sounds quite worthwhile if you get to Vegas relatively often (but if, like me, you only make the trip once a year or so, it's probably not worth it).

Posted by Carl at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

Don't forget the debates

As things get more hectic in Iowa and Dean seems less invincible, the amount of "Bush will clobber any Democratic nominee" blabber seems to have decreased as well. Or maybe I'm just not reading the right web sites.

But for anyone who still thinks that a Bush victory is inevitable, remember that no matter what his lead in the polls is now, there will presumably, be televised debates between Bush and the Democratic nominee. I enjoy the thought of Dean or Clark steamrolling over stupid debate rules designed to keep Bush from looking like a moron, and demand that he explain to the American people: What's up with Free Speech Zones? Why go to the Moon and Mars when we can't give everyone health care--isn't this just a political ploy? How come you can't finish the investigations on 9/11 or the Plame affair, but your people ran right out to investigate Paul O'Neill? And what do you have to say about O'Neill's allegations that you can't coherently articulate your positions to your own staff? The potential questions go on and on.

Bush will fold like a cheap newspaper, and there will be a 10-point swing in the polls overnight.

Furthermore, I'd love to see Clark or Edwards debate Dick Cheney, and be a lot more obnoxious than chucklin', courteous Joe Lieberman was in 2000.

Of course, if Free Speech Zones are any indication, Bush will probably decline to participate in any debates, on the grounds of national security/serving the country/knowing he'd get his ass handed to him on a platter.

Posted by Carl at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2004

Preach it!

Religious left creates lobby to oust Bush from White House.

About time. There's a conservative element that uses religion selectively to advance a narrow agenda, but conveniently ignores things like caring for the poor, or that passage in Matthew that says not to publicly pray and wave your religion around to impress others. Look at freakin' Alabama, where people were dragged off to jail on behalf of a big hunk of granite, but changing the most regressive state tax system in the country got shot down in flames.

I've been waiting for some genuine Christians to step up and put a stop to those who give Christianity a bad name; hopefully this is it.

Posted by Carl at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)

12 Monkeys: All My Jobs

Ed at Blork has an entertaining idea for mass blogging on a particular topic. The first one is "List all the jobs you've ever had, with comments where appropriate." So here you go:

  • Paperboy. It's very weird here and now, where our Washington Post is delivered by an adult and that's his actual job. Where I grew up, our lame small-town paper was delivered by kids in their early teens.

  • Lifeguard and swim instructor. First at our local YMCA, then at the state park. If money is no object, the state park gig was the best job I've ever had. I worked with a bunch of friends, other friends actually came to the pool, the boss didn't hassle us too much, we got to look at girls in swimsuits, and sometimes we got free ice cream.

  • Geology lab assistant. This was my college work-study job. They didn't make me get one until sophomore year, and every department where I was interested in working had filled all their spots. It was starting to look like the dining hall or nothing when a friend who worked in geology said they needed somebody, and despite my being a non-science guy they took me on. It mostly consisted of cleaning sample bottles, weighing out very precise quantities of crushed rocks and chemicals and otherwise preparing samples for analysis, changing the paper on the seismographs, and the occasional bum job like cleaning out the sediment column. I'm not sure what I liked better--melting samples in the 800-degree-Celsius oven (once I dropped one and set a floor tile on fire), or preparing X-ray pellets in the big press.

  • House painter. The summer after I graduated, in order to stay in town and keep the band together, I took a job with a friend's house-painting business. I sucked at it, and it's the only job I ever felt like I was truly bad at. The day I got stung by wasps was the last straw. When I told Jesse I was quitting, he actually said "Thank you."

  • Bartender. Ah yes, the good old Manor Tavern (Lancaster, PA). I took this job after the house painting gig, and it was an education unto itself. I could write a half-dozen more blog posts of bar stories alone.

  • Administrative assistant. First temp job I took in Albuquerque.

  • Technical manual reproducer. Worst job ever. I quit after two days.

  • Hotel desk clerk. Another job that was quite a learning experience. I sometimes worked the overnight shift, which involved running the daily accounting report, then trying to stay awake until 6 AM when people started checking out. I occasionally tended bar here, too. This gig gave me a lot more sympathy for people in service jobs, hotel workers particularly.

  • Government buyer, aka "contract specialist." I moved back east on the tail end of a recession, with very little money, and basically took the first respectable job I could find.

  • IT consultant, catch-all for DBA, coder, debugger, troubleshooter, and two dozen other functions. Where I am to this day.

One last note on this--years ago I heard a news item with the top ten jobs where one was likely to be murdered on the job. I was proud to know that I had done two of them, bartender and hotel desk clerk. (Cab driver was #1.)

Posted by Carl at 10:34 AM | Comments (2)

January 12, 2004

I ain't a webmaster, lady, I'm a slacker

Sad but true: I hadn't updated the Shrine to John Kruk in over TWO YEARS...
until now.

If nothing else, watch the Kruk vs. Randy Johnson video. Scroll down to "1993" (but whatever you do, don't watch that damn Joe Carter home run).

Posted by Carl at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

First dumb thing written about Panthers-Eagles

ESPN.com's John Clayton:

The Panthers defense won't be intimidated by McNabb's running. After all, they have to play Michael Vick twice a season, so running quarterbacks don't scare them.

Facts: Vick was injured in the first Atlanta-Carolina matchup this year. After he came back, he beat the Panthers in week 14, running for 141 yards and a touchdown. Maybe they should be scared of running QBs.

Posted by Carl at 11:23 AM | Comments (5)

I-G-G-L-E-S Iggles!

I'm still sort of in disbelief this morning, waiting for someone to come tell me the Eagles actually lost last night. I mean, 4th and 26? Seriously? Who converts that? When the Packers got the ball in OT, I shouted at the TV, "We need an interception, NOW!" And lo, it came to pass.

The Panthers are no slouch, and the men in green had best figure out how to stop the run over the next few days.

Bonus item: If you read Easterbrook's TMQ, you know that he regularly mocks the New York Times for trying to predict final scores of every game. They've been right, what, three times in three years? Well, props to Jesse at Pandagon, who nailed Patriots 17, Titans 14, even calling it a "Vinatieri Special." He also came within an extra field goal of having the Colts-Chiefs game exactly right. Of course, that and $4 will get him a latte at Starbucks... and he picked the Rams to win, too.

Posted by Carl at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)


More evidence that Bush is a big freakin' moron who's hardly fit to be president, but who cares? Dean is angry! Too angry! Also, he doesn't love Jesus as much as Bush does! And Wesley Clark is wearing an argyle sweater in an effort to be more approachable!

Sweet merciful crap. Kos is on it.

Posted by Carl at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2004

I think my heart just stopped

...about four times. Donovan McNabb is absolutely the second coming of Randall Cunningham; he'll do something so amazing one play, then turn around and throw it into the ground the next. But he and the Eagles ex-scaped with one today. Cunningham never got to the Super Bowl; McNabb keeps getting chances, and he'd better make good on this one. And they'd better get it together; no way they play like that against the New England Patriots on a neutral field and pull out a win.

What exactly is wrong with Carlos Emmons, anyway? They kept saying he was out but never said why, and I couldn't find him listed on any injury reports.

Posted by Carl at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2004

Martz iz dumb

Rams, down 3, get down to about the 20 with 30 seconds left and one timeout. They had plenty of time to take a shot or two at the end zone to win it in regulation. Instead, Martz lets the clock run down, and kicks the field goal as time expires. "That'll cost them," I said to my wife. "The Panthers will get the ball to start OT, drive right down the field and score."

The kick is up, and... wait, delay of game! Back it up, run a couple more plays, and the Panthers miss the kick. I'll be damned. I was all set to post about how Martz's hubris cost them again, just like in the Super Bowl two years ago (scroll down to Feb. 4).

At halftime of this game, they showed a thermometer on the field in Foxboro: looked like THREE degrees. And that was two hours before game time. Ay carramba. How do they decide what playoff game happens at what time? Couldn't the Rams game, in the dome, be played at night instead?

UPDATE: Overtime turned in to a comedy of errors. Rams miss a long figgie. Panthers go three-and-out. Rams drive into Panther territory but the Panthers intercept a pass. They look like they're going three-and-out again, but on 3rd and 14 Steve Smith takes it 60+ yards to the house for the win. DANG. Remember, the Rams had an opportunity to go for it in regulation, but played for the tie like a bunch of dopes.

Should be good news for the Iggles, but they need to take care of business against the Packers tomorrow first.

Oh, the game-time temp in Foxboro went up to four. Plus 10 MPH winds. I suspect quite a lot of alcohol was consumed in the parking lot before this game.

Posted by Carl at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)

Stoopid Product of the Month

In today's Post coupon section: a frozen pizza, marketed to teens, called Bite My Slice.

I am NOT making this up.

Posted by Carl at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

To the Moon!

I'm all for science for science's sake, and I support most of the work NASA does these days. But this recent talk about a moon base and a manned mission to Mars has struck me as kind of silly. Seems like it would cost a bazillion dollars, and there's plenty of good things we could do with that money here on Earth, such as feed the hungry, house the homeless, or provide everyone with good medical care.

Via Atrios, this Easterbrook item confirms everything I was thinking. Money graph:

In the days to come, any administration official who says that a Moon base could support a Mars mission is revealing himself or herself to be a total science illiterate. When you hear, "A Moon base could support a Mars mission," substitute the words, "I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about." Hint to reporters: If any administration official says "a Moon base could support a Mars mission," quickly ask, "What was the fuel fraction of the Lunar Excursion Module?" The answer is two-thirds. The LEM was what landed on the Moon during Apollo, and rocket propulsion has not changed much since, meaning that any future Mars spacecraft that stops at the Moon will expend two-thirds of its weight merely to land there and take off again. This renders the idea of stopping at the Moon on the way to Mars patent drivel. (Actually only about 15 percent of the descent weight of the LEM returned to lunar orbit, so the fuel-fraction calculation for a Moon stopover is even worse.)

Priorities, people.

Posted by Carl at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)

Linking Fool Part 2

AKA "links people e-mail me." Hardly anybody writes comments, but at least I get some e-mails now and then.

Tor sends a much more realistic Bush action figure. And, as seen on Atrios, a new and improved terror alert system. They downgraded it to "Bert" yesterday, you know.

Philly Rob (not to be confused with Albuquerque Rob) sends an Inquirer item on how Iggles fans are all-around better than Packers fans. Damn straight. Now where's my cheesesteak?

And on a more serious note, Andrew F. forwards this Economist article on the Bush administration's tide of red ink. It ain't pretty.

Posted by Carl at 10:47 AM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2004

Linking Fool Friday

Jeanne at Body & Soul tells the tale of La Befana, a nice one for the end of the holiday season. Hey Christian Republicans, note the emphasis on Jesus caring about the poor.

Ed's 12 Monkeys idea sounds fun. Be prepared.

I forget where I first saw this, but John Perry Barlow has a blog now. His post on civility in debate is good, but I still have a hard time understanding how most people can support the Bush administration. I was driving the other day and passed a Ford Probe with a Bush/Cheney '04 bumper sticker, and I almost wanted to follow them to ask what they were thinking. "Can I point out that you're driving a Ford Probe? How does anything the Bushies are doing benefit you?"

Finally, SKB has more Free Speech Zone crap in Knoxville. Read this post, then scroll down for more.

Posted by Carl at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

Ask the Shank: George Washington Slept Here

Question: When a new president moves into the White House, do they bring their own bed with them or is there a new one provided for them? --Linda Kaufman-Smith-Kaufman

In other words, "Do W and Laura sleep where Bill and Hillary presumably got it on at some point?" Apparently not; I e-mailed the White House Historical Society, and they replied, "At one time the Lincoln bed was a semi-official presidential bed, but most presidents since Theodore Roosevelt have used their own personal beds and furnishings in the private quarters."

Ask the Shank: Cheaper than a night in the Lincoln Bedroom. Send your questions about anything and everything to AsktheShank - at - bigfool.com.

Posted by Carl at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

I'll have three, please

In this week's Las Vegas Advisor newsletter:

Prime Scotch
Bellagio's Prime Steakhouse has acquired a rare 50-year-old bottle of Chivas Royal Salute 50-Year-Old (50YO). Only 225 bottles of the Scotch were produced in 1953 in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and only 10 made their way to the U.S. A shot of the rare drink costs an over-the-top $1,050 and includes a keepsake glass.

Posted by Carl at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2004

Number 14

I'm a big fan of Pete Rose the player; though his numbers weren't spectacular, he was still a huge part of the Phillies' lone championship in 1980. But like a lot of people, I'm put off by his latest round of confessions, and wonder if he's really apologizing, or just desperately trying to get into the Hall.

I think I have a good solution, though: put him in the Hall of Fame, but don't have an induction ceremony for him. Just put his plaque up after hours and be done with it. That would positively KILL him.

Posted by Carl at 03:53 PM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2004

Spill coffee, collect a million dollars

Via Pandagon: If, like Walter Williams, you're crazy about tort reform, before you list "real" cases that show how stupid juries are, do some REAL fact-checking.

I can't believe he quoted the freakin' McDonald's coffee case. And in the typical fashion: This woman spilled McDonald's coffee on herself and sued for a zillion dollars and won. It's the single most misunderstood case in American jurisprudence, and it goes way, way beyond a simple coffee spill; every time someone cites it in this fashion I just want to go ballistic. Go read ATLA's fact sheet for the case. If her damages were capped at $250K, McDonald's would have shrugged, written her a check, and gone on serving their coffee at ridiculously unsafe temperatures.

And I'd be willing to bet that all his other "real" cases somehow go deeper than the ridiculous two-sentence summaries in this column.

Posted by Carl at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)

Well, DUH

Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper

But.. he had rape rooms! RAPE ROOMS! Did I mention he had rape rooms?

Check out the detailed plans and marvel at how much safer you feel now.

Posted by Carl at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2004

Hey Reggie, is that rhinoceros around?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Homsar sighting.

BTW, I fixed the problem with the permalinks. I know everyone was dying to link to the B.C. fart thing.

Posted by Carl at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

Johnny Hart resorts to fart jokes

Posted by Carl at 10:09 AM | Comments (1)

You Gotta Believe

Tug McGraw, R.I.P.

Posted by Carl at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

Shorter EJ Dionne... can't be done

This column is one of the more tortured and convoluted pieces of crap I've read in a while. Bush's budget annoys both liberals and conservatives, primarily helps big business, and essentially is a big pile of BS that Bush is peddling to get re-elected.

A Google search for "democrats are playing politics" returns 254 hits, related to seemingly everything: judicial nominations, defense appropriations, Enron, the prescription drug benefit. Yet Mr. Bush can play politics with the entire federal budget, and this is "shrewd" and somehow to be admired. Doing what's best for the country? Screw it.

Posted by Carl at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

hip 'n' trendy, that's me

So, the elevator is sort of crowded this morning, and I'm there holding a cup of coffee and a couple of CDs. On top of the CD stack is Radiohead's The Bends (I'm doing my biannual listen-to-all-my-CDs project, so I'm going back in the vault here). I'm a little surprised when the guy behind me goes "Mmmmmm... Radiohead and Starbucks." A comment on my apparent hipster nature, perhaps?

But I had to burst his bubble. "You're half right. The coffee is from Shoppers Food Warehouse."

Posted by Carl at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2004

Wild Card Weekend

...which they still call it even though only half the teams playing are technically wild cards. Heck of a game up in Baltimore yesterday, even if the Ravens came out on the wrong side. The cool kids in the booth wanted to blame Orlando Brown for the loss, and while his penalties (especially the second one) were bad news for the Ravens, like any game of this type there were too many plays where things could have been different to blame just one guy. Like, how about the Ravens' second posession, when Todd Heap let a pass go right through his hands on third down? According to this morning's Post, Jevon Kearse was choking another Raven at the end of that play in the fourth quarter, and Brown was trying to defend his teammate. It's always the retaliator who gets in trouble, be it the NFL or an elementary school playground.

I fell asleep for much of the Cowboys-Panthers game. The Cowboys were the prevailing road-team pick of this round, but I wasn't so sure. Yeah, they have a good defense and they beat the Panthers earlier this year (in Dallas). But in games that I saw, I was more convinced that Delhomme was a good QB than Carter. And Davis vs. Hambrick? No comparison.

Likewise, the Packers are an overwhelmingly popular choice for today's game... which obviously means the Seahawks will at least make it interesting.

UPDATE: Got that one right, eh? Should have put some money on the Seahawks, who I assume covered the spread. Meanwhile in the All-Horsie Game, the Broncos have given us a candidate for Easterbrook's Worst Play of the Year: the Colts' Marvin Harrison catches a pass and hits the turf. Three Broncos defenders think they're still in college, and stand around pointing at each other discussing who should have made that play. But in the pros, you're not down unless a defender actually touches you; Harrison alertly got up and sprinted for the TD. Ye gods, as they say.

Posted by Carl at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2004

Friday Cat Blogging

If one of us is in either bedroom, Pandora will jump up on the bathroom sink and wait patiently for one of us to turn on the water, at a trickle. And then she'll drink.

I haven't seen her actually drink from a bowl in months. I suspect if we didn't turn the water on for her, or if we went away for a long period of time, she'd die of thirst.

Posted by Carl at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

Prions bad, weight loss drugs worse

That dang ol' librul Warshington Post editorial page.

Mad Cow? No big deal. The fact that regulations are being enacted now, after the disease has appeared here, is sufficient. Similar rules have been blocked by Republicans for years? Let's not talk about that.

Ephedra? What took so long? "It's time for Congress to stand up to the lavish contributions and relentless lobbying of the dietary supplement makers and fix this harmful law."

Glad they cleared that up.

Posted by Carl at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

the Mid-Concert Smoke Break

Couple of interesting music-related items in this morning's Post. David Segal has an article on how trite encores have become. I've only noticed this phenomenon since about 1989, so I'm not sure what possessed him to write about it now. Back from the days when I actually went to shows, the ones that didn't have encores tend to stand out: Nirvana in 1991 played about 45 minutes and then ditched. Interesting that Segal says they did "Teen Spirit" as their encore, because at the show I saw they did that early in the set. And then there was the Tricky show a year or two ago, where I believe he was too stoned to come back out.

There's also an article on Gwar, complete with unpleasant picture of Oderus Urungus (in the print edition, anyway). I'd love to hear DC-area parents explain that one to their curious children.

Posted by Carl at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2004

Freakin' Heathers

Sorry to pile on here, but the now-infamous "Heathers" post at the Dean blog is one of the lamest things I've read in a while. And I'm a Dean supporter.

Sure, there have been pointless, counter-productive attacks on Dean by Democrats. That Ted Koppel "Hands up, who thinks Howard here can actually beat Bush in November?" moment really bit my ass, because every one of them should have raised his or her hand. And somebody, Kerry or Clark or whoever, should have said, "You know, Ted, any one of us could beat Bush in November. America needs a change, and whoever the Democratic nominee is, Bush's time will be up." And everyone else would nod in agreement.

But to whine about any criticism of Dean as unfair doesn't help matters either. Yglesias and Marshall have always struck me as eminently reasonable, so if they have concerns about Dean as a candidate (specifics of which, BTW, were conspicuously not explained or linked on the Dean blog), there's a good chance that some VOTERS will share those concerns. We'd be better off taking those concerns seriously and coming up with answers for them, rather than attributing some inane clique-based motive.

Also, calling Matt a jaded Beltway insider when he's only lived here for four months makes you look like a doofus. Ezra at Pandagon has more.

Posted by Carl at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

FoolBlog 2004!

I'm celebrating the new year by finally upgrading this sucker. Yes, after years of stubbornly pecking out HTML by hand, I've gone to Movable Type. Hopefully this will mean more frequent posting. An added benefit is no more Enetation (of course, no one made comments anyway), which means fewer bugs in comments and faster loading.

Please advise of anything weird, broken links, etc., or if you really loathe any of my design aspects. (Yes, I'm overfond of Comic Sans MS, but I don't care.)

Posted by Carl at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)