May 28, 2004

Linking Fool Friday

Since I had some links to post last week and didn't, it's an extra-spectacular LFF this week! For starters, shout-out to WetterWetterWetter and Jim von Lightpants who have launched a blog titled Spastic Nation.

Everyone on the left side of Olde Blogge Towne has already linked to this, but I don't care, it's freakin' awesome: MRM channels the righty blogs so you don't have to read them. His version of Lileks is priceless. Likewise, Jon Stewart's commencement address at W&M isn't exactly news but is still linkworthy.

If, like me, you wonder how the hell America can contain enough stupid people such that Bush's re-election is still a realistic possibility, then you will shake your head in bewilderment at this article: the soldier who blew the whistle on Abu Ghraib abuses is a scapegoat at home; another soldier who was in the middle of it is treated like a hero. What the HELL, people.

You will then enjoy Hal Crowther's rant on Bush, among the best ever.

At Kos, Meteor Blades says pretty much what I think about Israel vs. Palestine, and the slippery slope of justifying your atrocities with the other side's atrocities. I agree with MB that I can't, in good conscience, side with either the Israelis or the Palestinians. And saying "Our terrorist enemies don't abide by the rules; why should we?" will quickly render us no better than them.

To end on a less depressing note: hard to believe we once thought Kaboom was a great game.

Posted by Carl at 09:48 AM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2004

"Pepto Bismol" was one of mine

I haven't updated Ye Olde Bizarre Writers' Guild in approximately fifty of your Earth years. (Apologies for the cheesy JavaScript; I was just learning it when I put that part of the site up.) Maybe I'm not as wacky as I used to be, or perhaps the duties of work and family just leave me short of time to write stories about turtles and cheese. However, I was just provoked into update the world famous List of Jello Flavors That Should Never Be. Thanks to Miss Ginger for linking to it and spurring some interest.

If you've never explored the BWG, check out Andre & Zack, a very interesting project. And then there's The Demon Tim, which is just... odd.

Posted by Carl at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2004

We win or no money back!

King Kaufman has a good piece on the silly manufactured "controversy" every time an athlete guarantees his team will win a game. I agree that it's a non-issue that is always blown out of proportion. When you're an elite athlete, deep into the playoffs of your sport's top professional league, shouldn't you be pretty damn confident that you can win? If a guy says in a pre-game interview, "Oh, I don't know, the Flying Moose are pretty tough, we may not win tonight," I probably don't want him on my team.

But somehow it's insulting to the other team, bulletin board fodder, if you say you expect to win. Right, because your opponent wasn't already motivated enough to beat you. Boo to that.

Posted by Carl at 02:12 PM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2004

Hockey thoughts

Another season of disappointment in Philadelphia. ESPN is doing a series on the most tortured sports cities, and I expect Philadelphia to win that in a walk. But this Flyers team gave its all and was fun to watch.

All through these playoffs, I have been struck by how many players the Flyers have who were the best player on their previous teams--Roenick, Amonte, and to a fair extent Primeau. Of course, that has a lot to do with the Flyers' big payroll and advanced age, too, and that's making for much uncertainty heading into the off-season.

I've never played hockey myself, and despite my avid fandom I can't claim to be an expert in strategy and tactics. Still, I can't help but think that letting an opposing player sit behind the net with the puck (especially on a power play) is one of the worst things you can do. All your defenders turn around to watch him, and you miss a player cutting to the net. The Flyers did this a few times, especially in game 6; each time I would yell "GET HIM!" and about two second later the Lightning would score or at least come close.

Martin St. Louis is the Lenny Dykstra of hockey. He's an annoying little twerp, he's very good, and I hate him. If he were traded to the Caps or Flyers tomorrow, I'd love him.

Nothing to do now but root for the Cup to go back to Canada.

Posted by Carl at 11:45 AM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2004

Linking Fool Friday

Another busy week with little time to post. Best get caught up now.

I am long overdue in reciprocating a link to fellow Virginian Mediocre Fred. His recent post on shenanigans out of the Maryland governor's mansion is quite entertaining.

This one's making the rounds today: items from the Republican's 2000 platform that, uh, don't exactly jive with their activities in the last four years.

Have I mentioned that I'm sick of the whole "You're not outraged to my satisfaction" and "You haven't publicly condemned this, so obviously you're in favor of it" vibes? Matt Welch handles the former (via Crooked Timber), and Josh Marshall hashes out the latter with one of his readers.

There's been a semi-retraction of the state voting patterns by IQ chart I linked to last week. On the other hand, SKB has similar charts that suggest exactly the same thing.

And on a lighter note, via Mikel, enjoy this New Yorker article all about the knuckleball.

Posted by Carl at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

Stupid question time

Basketball is the one major sport that I don't follow, and I didn't actually watch the Spurs-Lakers game last night; I just caught the highlights this morning. Here's what I don't get:

Duncan made his shot with four-tenths of a second on the clock, right? If the Lakers called time-out immediately, don't they have to in-bound the ball from under the basket? I thought you only get the ball at half-court if you in-bound the ball first (which would have burned that four-tenths) and then call time-out. And yet there are the Lakers in-bounding from half-court with the whole four-tenths on the clock, just enough time to pass and fling.

Buzzer-beaters are exciting and all, but rules that make it too easy to get off a last-second shot kind of cheapen things, I think.

Posted by Carl at 01:17 PM | Comments (1)

May 12, 2004

Violence begets violence

Senator Inhofe speaks for those who believe the treatment of Iraqi prisoners doesn't matter, because they're probably terrorists and going to do bad things to us:

The idea that these prisoners, they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in cell block 1A or 1B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents, and many of them probably have American blood probably on their hands and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.

So whatever outrageous and awful thing they've done justifies the outrageous and awful things we've done to them?

That kind of thinking has given us Israel vs. the PLO, the mess in Bosnia, Hutu vs. Tutsi. "They committed atrocities, they are less than human, therefore I am justified in committing atrocities against them." This cycle never ends.

There's already a race to the bottom in the world labor force that the right is gleefully endorsing; now apparently we're going to engage in it in human rights as well. I'd prefer Inhofe to stand up and say "We're better than this; there are certain things we don't do because they're categorically wrong." Verily, no.

Posted by Carl at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2004

a must read

Go read Dave Neiwert's Media Revolt Manifesto as soon as possible.

How did so many Republicans end up flim-flammed? Dave explains it all.

Posted by Carl at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2004


I listened to my copy of Sonic Youth's Goo the other day. The CD is scratched, and the last three tracks skip. It made me wonder: would it be ethical, legal, or both, for me to download those three songs via P2P? After all, I paid for them already.

How about the two Red Hot Chili Peppers CDs that were ripped off during a party in 1992? Is it cool for me to go download those entire albums? I paid for those songs too.

Posted by Carl at 03:49 PM | Comments (3)

Linking Fool Friday

Rob Neyer says pretty much everything I think about MLB's Spider-Man crap. The notion that they're doing this to appeal to kids is freakin' absurd, and pointing to other advertising around ballparks doesn't make this one right. Even with the ads coming off the bases, I'm going to skip all of major league baseball that weekend.

Two things rolling around the blogosphere: one, Jacob Weisberg's piece on How Bush chose stupidity. Supporters of Bush, read this, then explain to me again why he should be re-elected, recent events notwithstanding. I prefer my world leaders thoughtful and intelligent, please.

Second, via the Slacktivist, Timothy Burke's "Primal Scream," as thorough a rant on the run-up to war as one could ask for. We were right, dammit.

Posted by Carl at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

On the Highway #2 (the serious one)

I had to drive into the District in the middle of the day yesterday. On I-66 inbound, I passed a hearse. The coffin in the back had an American flag over it. It didn't seem to be part of a funeral procession, but it's a fair guess that it was headed for Arlington Cemetary. If I had been wearing a hat, I'd have taken it off and held it over my heart as I drove.

It could be some dead general, or some Vietnam or Korea vet entitled to be interred in Arlington. But in all likelihood, it was a young person coming back from Iraq. He (I'm assuming it was a he) meant the world to somebody, probably several people, maybe a lot of people. And now he's gone.

And for what? Defending us against weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist, that our administration knew didn't exist? To liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam, then have our people equally atrocious acts to infuriate the Iraqi people and the world? To "fight terrorism," and in the process create more terrorists?

Our men and women in the armed forces have a tough job to do. I know a few people who are over there. I don't envy them, but I respect their commitment. Screw Ted Rall, I think Pat Tillman is a hero--he walked the talk. He believed it was time to defend his country, and he went and did it, giving up a lucrative career to do so. Something armchair warriors like Andrew Sullivan would never do.

Nothing good has come of this. It has not been worth the loss of Pat Tillman, of whoever was in that hearse on I-66, of anyone involved. Not at all.

Snap out of it, America. This administration is destroying everything we hold dear.

Posted by Carl at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

On the Highway #1 (the goofy one)

This morning driving to work, I passed a guy in a Jetta who was shaving with an electric razor as he drove.

Time saver, crazy crap people do when they drive, blah blah blah. I'd really like to know, though: don't the little hairs fall all over his shirt and pants and stuff?

Posted by Carl at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2004

MLB heard me complaining

Spider-Man logos off the bases. Will stay on the on-deck circles. Still crappy, but less so.

And I was all set to write a big angry letter to Selig, too.

Posted by Carl at 09:02 PM | Comments (1)

More baseball Spider-Man crap

From an AP report:

"We need to reach out to a younger demographic to bring them to the ballpark," Parkes said. "They are looking for nontraditional breakthrough ways to convey 'Spider-Man' messaging. ... It's the future of how we generate excitement inside the stadium and about the game itself."

("Parkes" being Jacqueline Parkes, baseball's senior vice president for marketing and advertising.)

OK, so they're not advertising the movie so much as attracting younger Spider-Man fans to the ballpark? Jeezus, do you people even THINK?!? Have you bothered to talk to these younger fans and figure out what they want?

"Hey Billy, the Mets are in town, let's go to the game."
"Nah, baseball's boring. All they do is stand around. I'd rather stay home and play XBox games."
"But Billy, they have Spider-Man 2 logos on the bases and on-deck circles."
"They do?!? Oh WOW! Let's go!"

Earth to MLB: when I talk to anyone of any age who says they don't like baseball, I ask why, and they invariably say "It's boring; all they do is stand around." FIX THAT FIRST. Make the hitter stay in the batter's box; make the pitcher stand on the freakin' mound and pitch rather than taking a little stroll and adjusting his cap six times between pitches. It's incredible how MLB has managed to not address their most fundamental problem in appealing to non-purists. Instead, we get movie logos on bases. Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick.

Posted by Carl at 01:17 PM | Comments (1)

The invisible hand doesn't apply to sporting goods

A few months ago, the Phillies' on-line store had a pink-logo girl's jersey, much like this one. By the time I decided I wanted to get one for my daughter, however, they were gone from the Phils' site, and apparently nobody has them--they're around for many other teams, but not the Phillies. If anyone can find a source, let me know, but for now I'm settling for an Orioles jersey.

But in my searches I noticed something odd. The Sports Authority had some pink jerseys, but not the one I wanted. I rummaged around on the site a bit, then went on to Modell's. If found it odd that Sports Authority and Modell's had the same menu structure--look at the baseball menu. It starts with Personalized Bats, Personalized Gloves, and all the categories are the same and in the same order on both sites. And at Sportmart, Oshman's, Dick's, Sport Chalet, MC Sports, and Dunham's. Look at the URLs--they're all category ID 711608. Furthermore, searching for "pink jersey" on each of these sites yields the same ten items.

Um, what? Are they all a front for a single on-line operation? Are they all restricted by MLB as to what they can sell? Or just an amazing coincidence?

Free market, my ass.

Posted by Carl at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2004

Get me a bucket (with a Spider-Man 2 logo on it)

Major League Baseball to put Spider-Man 2 logos on bases and on-deck circles the weekend of June 12.

I'm going to be sick. Please tell me I've been had by a late April Fools' joke.

Posted by Carl at 02:05 PM | Comments (4)

May 04, 2004

April search terms

Things that led people to this month:

how to keep a fool busy
voted number one fool of 2004
childhood's end cliff's notes
cow snout
demon school
Lenny Dykstra spitting
spleen jello
diane sawyer caps
Amish Rake Fighting
basketball jones song free
sneak into Mandalay Bay pool
Randall Cunningham McDonald's card
tonya harding wedding video
steely gray whale
stomping grapes broken ribs

As always, the searcher's satisfaction is guaranteed or no money back!

Posted by Carl at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

Heh heh. M heh heh.

OK, I know it's wrong, but this still makes me chuckle.

Type 1 in the house, yo.

Posted by Carl at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)

May 03, 2004

Linking Fool Friday (Monday edition)

I was AFC all day Friday, so we're giving you the links a few days late. First of all, at Rob's excellent suggestion, we're welcoming Juan Cole to the blogroll.

Roger Ebert is mostly a movie critic, but he can write social and political commentary with the best of them. His recent piece on the FCC's treatment of Howard Stern says what needs to be said.

You know who else says what needs to be said? David Rees, creator of Get Your War On. The sequence on Bush's press conference is freakin' perfect. "If 'elitist' jut means 'not the dumbest motherfucker in the room,' I'll be an elitist!"

At Hammerdown, a good post on the general lack of outrage, and the use of blogging as a catharsis. I agree with Spade--it's just incomprehensible that so many people ignore the colossal amount of crap that this administration is pulling, and will vote for Bush in November unless he personally comes to their house and shoots their dog, while simultaneously the SCLM yips and yaps over whether Kerry threw medals or ribbons over a fence thirty years ago. I just keep hoping that people will wake up and the tide will turn...but I think I'll be waiting for quite a while.

Posted by Carl at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2004

Photoblogger for a day

Upper falls, Letchworth State Park, New York.

Letchworth's gorge, aka The Grand Canyon of the Northeast.

The middle falls. I also have a brief, low-quality, very loud video of the middle falls (MPG, 2.8 MB).

Posted by Carl at 09:30 PM | Comments (1)