November 28, 2006

Heeeeeeeeeere's Jesus!

Odd juxtaposition seen on the back of a truck yesterday: a Jesus fish, and a picture of Jack Nicholson sticking his face through the door in "The Shining."

"Praise the Lord, creationism is truth! Also, I'm coming to kill you with an axe."

Posted by Carl at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2006

Linking Fool Friday

Technical difficulties will prevent this from being a terribly long LFF. I do know that I am sick of stories like this one, in which overzealous cops or other authorities think it's up to them to mete out punishment, rather than simply detaining people until they come to trial, at which time if they're found guilty they'll be given a punishment.

Other than that... I got nothin'. Here, these pillows are cool.

Posted by Carl at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2006

Linking Fool Friday

I really got no time for this, so I'll be quick and flippant. Hey, did you know our government can detain people forever without charging them? Whoo hoo!

Also, you should support our troops! Without fail!

More seriously, our Senator-elect Jim Webb is teh awesome.

And lastly, surely cursed Redskins owner Dan Snyder wouldn't have the nerve to ask about a new stadium, when the Big Jack is only 10 years or so old. And he surely wouldn't have the nerve to ask for public funding, seeing as the Redskins are already one of the most valuable franchises in all of professional sports, and they squeeze money out of their fans at every opportunity. And no way in hell would any DC official come remotely close to discussing such a thing with him. Right?!??!?

Posted by Carl at 04:39 PM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2006

No O's for you

What's the one series at RFK in the 2007 season that I'd like to make sure I attend? Gotta be the Orioles, right?

Except that the tentative schedule is up, and 20-game plan B doesn't get an Orioles game. The 41-gamer gets the Friday and Sunday games, and 20-game plan A gets Saturday.

Crappy, crappy crappy. I am reluctant to swap out my plan, because Plan B has Sunday games, which are much better suited for the Little Fool than a 7:30 PM start. I e-mailed the Nats season ticket holder comment line, and got this back:

This season through our ticket exchange program, unused ticket nights and pre-sale offers you should be able to secure tickets to one or all of the 3 Oriole games if you’d like to.
Yeah, if I pay separately for them. I am holding out hope that they'll improve the exchange program to allow us partials to trade in unused tickets based on this comments, but somehow I doubt they'll let us swap them for the Orioles. More like the Brewers and Padres.
Sorry for the inconvenience, we attempted to lay out the plans in an even and equitable manner allowing for spacing and time commitment.
You did a lousy job of it, then. Plan B gets tickets for Tuesday and Thursday in the same week five times. I suppose some of that is inevitable, and it makes more sense when they're against two separate opponents. Still, I'd be more than happy to swap one of the Braves games on May 15 and 17 for the Orioles on Sunday.

On the whole, the 20-gamer scheduling looks like an attempt to rankle us into moving to a 41-gamer or full-season plan. Boo to that. There is one bit of good news, though: back to $15 per seat per game, instead of the $16 I paid this year.

Posted by Carl at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

What I cooked this weekend

We had some turnips from the last farmers' market of the year than needed to be consumed, and what else do you do with turnips besides put them in beef stew? Mrs. Fool gave me one of those "Who are you and what did you do with my husband?" looks when I told her I was using an Emeril recipe. But understand, I have no beef with Emeril's cooking; his stuff is pretty decent, and I'll use one of his recipes when it fits my needs. It's his on-screen persona, the catchphrases and such, that I find grating.

I don't have a pressure cooker, so I did this on the stove, cooking each phase an hour rather than 20 minutes under pressure. After the first hour, cooking just the beef with the aromatics, wine and stock, it smelled fan-freakin-tastic, and I was tempted to eat it right then. But I added the turnips, parsnips and greens, and an hour later it was... pretty bland. I found myself dumping hot sauce on it to make it interesting again.

Sunday I continued my crusade of autumnal meals (I'm working through the October issues of Bon Appetit like I did with the July ones this summer) by preparing a pork roast with figs. I used fresh figs (I'm sure Wegman's had dried ones somewhere, but I found fresh first) and dispensed with the pre-soak in wine. I cut the wine by about half a cup, figuring some would have boiled off when soaking the figs. And I used a boneless pork roast I had on hand rather than the six-bone monster the recipe called for.

Mighty good, but I actually think it would have been better with the dried figs. Even reconsituted, they probably had a bit more body and chewiness to them than the fresh figs had after ten minutes of braising.

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

November 10, 2006

Things I should have written yesterday

I totally saw this coming. In fact, I'm upset that I didn't post a prediction earlier in the week that this exact editorial would be written. I did write the following on a message board yesterday, in response to a suggestion that "most of the races decided by a 1 to 2% margin is hardly a woodshed beating":

They don't base the control of the government on your margin of victory. When Bush won re-election in 2004 by a slim margin--Ohio goes the other way, he loses--he announced he had won a vast amount of political capital, that he fully intended to utilize. Hell, Bush won in 2000 DESPITE losing the popular vote, and nobody was going to tell him to tone it down.

A 30-seat swing in the house is a whoopin'. Losing the Senate, which required the Dems to win EVERY seat that was close, damn straight that's a woodshed beating.

Posted by Carl at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

Linking Fool Friday

Why did so many people vote Democratic this go-round? Here are some reasons. Here's an even more succint explanation.

Just to rub it in: George Felix Allen Junior is awful.

Just because it's Domino's I figured the "Brooklyn-style pizza" they've been heavily advertising would suck and be nothing like the real thing. Fortunately, someone else has confirmed this for me.

Teh sports: I agree with damn well near everything in King Kaufman's campaign platform. Get Fuzzy pays respects to Buck O'Neil.

Aaaaaaaaand teh wacky: I miss Sifl & Olly.

Posted by Carl at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2006

Liberals Heart Islamofascism

Check out this comment from a Hugh Hewitt thread, via CT:

Time to buy that Koran
Everybody get your Koran and Burqas. America’s end is near. Our government is now securely in the hands of Liberal TRAITORS and our borders will be ransacked. Our nation will be overrun with Mexicans and terrorists financed and trained by Chavez and possibly also Daniel Ortega. What a great time for America to lose the Global War on Terror. The patients are runing the Asylum! God SAVE US! The terrorists will be on CNN and FNC tomorrow celebrating in the streets with DEATH TO AMERICA chants shooting their AK47’s. They will be emboldened by this victory to swell their ranks and step up the slaughter of inocent Americans everywhere ESPECIALLY here in the next 6 months or so after we pull out or troops. It’s over, y’all. Go home, get on your knees, and pray to God for His mercy. Be especially prepared to meet Him soon.

We snotty northeastern liberal elitists scratch our heads and wonder how so many people can still support Bush and the modern Republican party. It seems like every time I look at a public comment thread on political matters, some variation on the above pops up. Apparently people, a lot of people, really and truly believe that there will be a straight line from Democrats taking power to the literal takeover of the United States of America by some combination of Islamic fundamentalists and Latin Americans. It's not just overblown for effect, they really believe this. Somehow the idea that Democrats hate the authoritarian, would-be theocratic Christian extremist movement and yet love the authoritarian, would-be theocratic Islamic extremist movement (which believes many of the same things as their Christian counterpart) is not the least bit contradictory to them.

It's such an offensive and farcical argument on its face that it's hard to think of how to cope with it. And "Attack Iran to prove we hate 'em just as much as the Republicans" is not an option. How exactly can we get through to such people?

Posted by Carl at 12:47 PM | Comments (8)

November 07, 2006

OK, I guess I believe it now

Much as I refused to commit much to the idea of baseball in Washington until I actually beheld the players running onto the field, so have I kept my expectations low for this election.

But it seems it's really happened--the Democrats have, at this moment's counting, taken 19 new House seats, with more still possible, and thus taken control of the House of Representatives. It's a small piece in the whole pie, but it at least allows some hope that we can stem the tidal wave of idiocy that has overtaken our government for the past six years.

Some pickups in the Senate, but the chances of a majority there are looking a little dim. At last check, Allen led Webb by ten thousand freakin' votes with 97% of the precincts in. Hopefully those last 3% are in Arlington and Alexandria.

UPDATE Wedneday morning: Webb by about 8000 with a few absentee ballots to go. There will be a recount and much complaining, but it's looking good for Webb. When's John Warner come up for re-election?

Posted by Carl at 11:34 PM | Comments (3)

Las Vegas (the TV show) recap

We didn't get Sam in a bikini, but she did wear various tight & skimpy outfits. And they did have several scenes with Sam and the super-hot Hawaiian real estate agent, who was in a bikini. And who hinted at lesbian attraction in their conversations.

Close enough.

I dunno, though, these first two episodes have kind of sucked. Ed's CIA background makes him an interesting character, but his whole trip to Morocco thing was confusing and poorly executed. The Hawaii side trip was similarly muddled, and even on a show as vapid as this one, Sam sure was cavalier about a freakin' dead stripper in a client's hotel room. The Delinda-Danny-Mary triangle is grating already; it would take Mary all of fifteen minutes to get a job at another casino. And remember in the premier how there were "mystery intrusions" into the Montecito's computer system that went away just as mysteriously? That plot line went away rather mysteriously as well.

Maybe now they'll get back to impossible casino cheating schemes and whales with outrageous demands--you know, Vegas stuff.

Posted by Carl at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2006

George Felix Allen Junior: feminist?

The awfulness of the Virginia senate race has been well-documented. One point I haven't seen made, though: Allen's latest barrage of desparate ads pull out comments Webb made about Tailhook in 1992, and women in the military in 1979, that are rather disparaging to women.

Obviously I don't condone these comments. However, the effectiveness of Allen's ad is predicated on the notion that George Allen is more respectful of women than Webb, and that Allen has never, ever said anything demeaning to women in his life.

I will bet ONE MILLION OF YOUR... nah, why bother, it's already out there. In his voting records, too.

Posted by Carl at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

Linking Fool Friday

Everybody's been linking to John Cole's post on how the Republican Party left him. About time; we got tons and tons of stories by Yoosta Bees, and you have to figure that intellectually honest conservatives should be fed up by now. Sadly, the reaction to Cole's post by much of the right-wing blogosphere has been all too predictable.

Another thing everyone's talking about: the proposed programs to promote abstinence in twentysomethings. Yeah, good luck with that.

Here on the left side of Olde Blogg Towne, folks are largely optimistic about Tuesday's election, but I've withheld my enthusiasm. I am still amazed at how every electronic voting irregularity seems to favor the Republicans.

Kevin Drum looks at the top 1 percent vs. the next 9 percent. Speaking of poor distribution of funds, criminy, just look at these graphs.

Teh sports: Fire Joe Morgan has been chronicling the sports punditry's obsession with David Eckstein.

Aaaaaaand teh wacky: The ace of spades, the ace of spades.

Posted by Carl at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)


Here in Fairfax County, trash collection is all privatized--there's a number of companies to choose from. So trash collection comes up in conversation more than you'd otherwise expect. Out at lunch yesterday, I heard two guys on this topic:

Dude #1: "So will they take anything you put out there? Like, if you put an old refrigerator on your curb, would they take it?"
Dude #2: "Eventually."

Well, it seemed funny to me at the time.

Posted by Carl at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2006

Pre-Friday Random Ten

A non-regular FoolBlog feature! Haven't done this in a while, but as long as I'm sitting at the computer where the bulk of my digital music is stored, what the hell. You're welcome to praise or ridicule my wide-ranging musical taste in the comments.

Tricky, "Girls"
Mazzy Star, "Before I Sleep"
Soulwax, "NY Excuse"
Oleta Adams, "New York State of Mind"
Bloc Party, "Luno"
Morphine, "I'm Free Now"
Gorillaz, "Demon Days"
Doves, "Crunch"
R.E.M., "Just a Touch"
Afghan Whigs, "Crime Scene Part One"

Posted by Carl at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

Define "in vain"

A serious question: It seems a common tactic that pro-war people ask someone making an anti-war case, "Are you saying that the deaths of our soldiers in Iraq have been in vain?", or some variation thereon. When this happens on a talking-head show, the anti-war person invariably backs off. It shows up in this David Neiwert post, for instance, and he says no one on the Democratic side has suggested our soldiers' deaths were in vain.

Why, exactly, is this such a terrible, taboo thing to say? What exactly is "their deaths have been in vain" supposed to mean here? I would interpret it as "Their deaths have been a colossal waste, and blame is to be laid on the leaders who have sent them there under false pretenses," which seems pretty frickin' reasonable, all things considered. Apparently this is a horrible thing to tell the family of a fallen serviceman--but it seems somewhat less horrible than having sent the serviceman to be killed in action for reasons that were complete bullshit in the first place. But maybe I'm missing something.

Posted by Carl at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)


Plug plug plug: I have previously recommended the KEXP Music That Matters podcast. Recent episode #27 was particularly potent, probably helped by the fact that a listener, rather than radio staff, put it together. Stuff that r0x0rz: Silversun Pickups, Young Sportsmen, Downpilot, and the Foundry Field Recordings. Go get it here.

Posted by Carl at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2006

This election in 51 words

Heed the words of the Digby:

Let's say you have a problem. You have the choice of two people to solve the problem --- the one who caused the problem, refuses to admit it even is a problem and won't change anything even as the problem grows worse --- or the other one. Which do you choose?

Posted by Carl at 08:40 AM | Comments (1)