I somewhat unexpectedly took last Friday off, and was busy with holiday preparation all day. So your last LFF of 2006 is super-double-strength!
Teh politics: Digby on our zero-tolerance culture. Oh look, health insurance is ridiculously expensive and inefficient, who knew? Digby again on the disparity between truth-in-advertising requirements, and truth in politics and its reporting, inspired by Anonymous Liberal. I like the tone of Edwards' announcement. I don't like the tone of teen reform boot camps, which befit our national trend of excessive punishment.
Teh holidays: Christmas goat Christmas goat Christmas goat Christmas goat Christmas goat. A good rant on The War on Christmas, featuring favorite FoolBlog punching bag Johnny Hart.
Teh sports: Opinions on the state of baseball.
Happy New Year, and may Friends, Enemies, and Unconcerned Strangers o' the Fool alike have a prosperous and joyous 2007.
As impersonal as gifts of cash seem, I told my family that's what I wanted, so as to buy basebally tickets for 2007. They got the message, apparently, and so I've re-upped the 20-gamer for this year. Despite the lack of an Orioles game, I'm back on Plan B; Friends-O-Fool are welcome to put their ticket requests in now.
Renewing for this season also maintains my place in the queue for selecting tickets at the new ballpark for 2008. According to the information I've received so far, the #1 factor in picking seats is how long you've been a season ticket holder, so having been in the game since year 1, I should be in good shape. Completely missing in any correspondence from the team, however, is any pricing info for 2008. I certainly hope to maintain my tickets at the new ballpark, but what if they're farther away and cost twice as much?
Learned the following nugget from reading James Brown obituaries:
Our favorite performance however, is from the legendary 1964 TAMI show, available at DJ Steve Terrell''s blog. The TeenAge Music International awards show was held in Santa Monica in front of a packed house of screaming teens. The line-up included, the Supremes, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Leslie Gore, Jan & Dean, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Chuck Berry.
The Rolling Stones were booked to close the show, and James Brown preceded them on the bill (Brown also didn't want to rehearse, according to director Steve Binder). Music folklore has the Stones completely freaked out to follow him--some sources have Mick Jagger chain smoking and/or puking before going on.
To rock the stage so hard that the Rolling Freakin' Stones think they can't follow you? That is bad-ass, my friends. Thank you, Mr. Brown, thank you.
Slate's "Explainer" column has listed questions they've never answered, and invites the readership to cast a vote as to which question deserves an answer.
If you live in northern Virginia, and you're frustrated that we contribute the biggest chunk of the state's tax base, but can't get transportation projects funded or reasonable gun control laws enacted because of our downstate brethren, then I suggest you vote for "Can a state in the United States split into two or more states? If so, how?"
I was all gonna do another late-Friday edition, but then I was too tired and went to bed.
When the insurance industry starts acting like global warming is a reality, isn't it time for everyone else to start paying attention?
Norbiz takes us to Denny's Baghdad-style. Digby runs down the very real impact of the Kewl Kids of the DC media. And TBogg brings us just about the dumbest frickin' thing said about Iraq to date (and that's a tall order).
I have linked before to Jon Katz's farming tales on Slate; this story of a happy bull is similarly enjoyable.
Teh wacky: new career opporutnity for Manute Bol? If The Editors see this page, I think their heads will explode. And lastly, this is what would happen if I played more video games at home (watch all the way to the end, with the sound on).
Our neighborhood Crazy Christmas House is back. Not too many more lights; they've added a couple of strings across the garage roof, it looks like. Here's the big new feature: a speaker blares Christmas music from a local radio station. The lights blink on and off in time to the music. They even have signs saying what radio station to tune in, so if you're stopping by in your car you don't have to roll down the windows on a frigid night.
Unfortunately, I find the overall effect a bit annoying. I'd rather see everything just lit up, maybe a few items blinking. In any event, now more than ever, I am glad this house is in our neighborhood, but more glad that it's not right across the street.
I try not to do too many of these, but we had a moment of high hilarity this weekend. There's about a four-inch step down from our front foyer to the living room. Not long after we first moved in, we had to adjust the positioning of the coffee table, because our original placement was precisely where a little kid's forehead would wind up when taking a running dive off this step. These days we avoid major damage, but the step is still the source of the occasional tumble.
So Saturday Mrs. Fool and I were sitting at the dining room table (the dining room is open into the living room), and the Little Fool, age three and a half, was excitedly shuttling toys from the family room to the living room, providing running commentary all along the way. Then on one trip, she apparently forgot about that step, and did a full-body face-plant onto the living room carpet.
We withheld our laughter to make sure she was OK. She was just a bit stunned, and took a moment to stand up and regain her bearings. Finally she looked up, and prior to going back on her merry way, told us, "Next time I'll walk."
It's probably not as funny in the retelling. But dammit, if only the video camera had been running, we'd be figuring out what to do with our prize money from America's Funniest Home Videos.
Happy Rohatsu, everybody. It is, technically, still Friday.
Do you want the terrorists to win? DO YOU?!? Apparently I do, I scored 100%. Further proof: I think Jose Padilla should be freakin' charged with something already. You're so sure he's a terrorist, bring him to damn trial. (Note the comment in "Update II" to the Greenwald post, it's good too.)
Attn religious fundamentalists: Be careful what you wish for.
I kind of meant to post a couple weeks ago about our trip to Clemyjontri, the new mega-playground in McLean. It is truly fabulous, and a refreshing case of someone who is obscenely wealthy doing something nice with their money. But this article on the place's popularity and accompanying parking issues is no surprise. Even though we had to park up the street, and there were obviously tons of people there, it didn't feel overcrowded. Seriously, it's that big.
And lastly: That looks kind of painful.
"There are some things you just don't hug. Like bowls of food."
The state of modern media criticism, part 1,308.
A good read on Salon on watching your grown-up kids mess up repeatedly. Right now I'm convinced that my kids are absolute geniuses who will do nothing but make us proud, but you never know. Of course the letters in reply include the requisite knee-jerk morons posting "Their just stupid! And you must have been a bad mom to him!!1!" But really, screw those people; they either have never had kids of their own, or were so far detached from raising them that their kids are no doubt damaged in other ways.
Things I should have thought of first: These guys hitched rides to all 50 state capitals in 50 days. Yes, Alaska and Hawaii included.
Hat tip to Tor: We at bigfool.com are always fond of innovative uses for cheese, so it's nice to know you can get frequent flyer miles with it.