February 27, 2009

Linking Fool Friday

I'd say "it's been one of those weeks," except it seems like they've all been those kind of weeks lately.

I appreciate the complete reasononableness of Ask MetaFilter. Sometimes, on the interwebs, you just gotta kick out the riff-raff.

Things I think that other people write more eloquently than me: How come benefit cuts aren't given the same treatment as tax cuts? Why are so many up in arms over the possibility that someone they deem "undeserving" might get assitance, when that seems contrary to the Christian values that many of those objectors also claim to hold? And when will they admit that it's their own free-markets-above-all worldview, skewed to their own advantage, that got us into this mess? Why do we insist Amtrak should be profitable, when the highway system certainly isn't?

Sports page: I've been saying for a while that Yankee fans of modest means would be hosed by ticket prices at the new stadium, and I still think that's getting short shrift in the mainstream press. Has a Scott Boras freeze-out begun? Free agency is one thing, but I can't help but wonder about the Aaron Crow situation (though he's not a Boras client), did he really do himself any long-term favors by missing a year of development over $500K?

And lastly, I am very glad that Alex Ovechkin did not decapitate himself AND the team's best defenseman.

Posted by Carl at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2009

The CVS of Doom

Last week when I was working downtown, I stopped in at the CVS on M Street near the Navy Yard metro. I was almost immediately greeted by yellow tape cordoning off half the store, with signs saying "To protect our customers, this store is not selling any food items until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Um, what? Theories:

  • A can of spoiled tomato soup exploded, spreading botulism all over the food aisles, and they haven't cleaned it up yet.

  • They had an exterminator in, but didn't think to remove food items before spraying.

  • A terrorist/prankster/enemy of CVS called and said they'd injected cyanide into a food item on the shelf, but wouldn't provide any more details.

Cold medicine isn't technically a food item, but nonetheless I turned around and left. Post your theory in the comments.

Posted by Carl at 04:30 PM | Comments (1)

Album Cover Meme

This is my favorite meme in quite some time. I could do these all day. For Facebookers, if you want to be tagged, you're tagged.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random... Read More”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. If you don't have photoshop, you can add text to the photo here: http://picfont.com/

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to join in.

I can't decide if this guy is just a cover model, or if he's our bass player.

Posted by Carl at 09:29 AM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2009

Linking Fool Friday

Oddly enough, it's all sports all the time this week.

So, steroids. Steroids baseball steroids. Everyone's got an opinion, as evidenced by this Posnanski post. I suppose I'll register mine. I do think it's cheating, and I do think that going forward it should be closely monitored, with strict and explicit penalties for violators. I do not, however, feel overly violated or upset with known offenders (unlike, say, Jeff Pearlman, who has taken some flak, especially from Yankee fans, for his outspoken opinions. I'm not saying he's wrong--it is an opinion, after all). I've always been a little dismayed at the vitriol for Bonds, and then the willingness to pile on McGwire and Sosa after the Mitchell Report came out. It seemed obvious enough during the McGwire-Sosa home run race that some augmentation was going on, but folks seemed willing to ignore it--home runs! Whooooo! Barry Bonds had to feel he was just giving the people what they wanted. But instead, everyone hated him--racism? Just because he's kind of a jerk? who knows--and at the first opportunity, we're all down on McGwire now too. It's America's love of fake outrage, methinks. So, try to clean it up going forward, sure, but I don't want to see anyone banned for life or their numbers taken out of the record books. Hell, I think McGwire and Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame. We don't need asterisks--the asterisk is there in our minds, as a product of the times.

Want an even more unpopular opinion? Check out this piece telling us to lay off of Michael Vick. And he's got a point, I must say.

To finish up, I'm not really into basketball, but I think Shane Battier is now my favorite NBA player. Here are some high school basketball players who displayed good sportsmanship. And this is just awesome.

Posted by Carl at 01:59 PM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2009

Linking Fool Friday

Remember, when Rush Limbaugh and his ilk suggest that liberals should be eliminated, they're just entertainers! Just kidding around! Ha ha! Oh, wait.

If that's not depressing enough, check out just how bad state budget deficits are.

Shall I buy the kids the Playmobil security check point? Be sure to read the reviews.

Old news that I just found out about: As if Geddy Lee wasn't already awesome enough, turns out he's a big Negro Leagues fan.

Big Fool Worldwide Enterprises hereby endorses this Phanatic-related idea.

Lastly, this blog's love of Cookie Monster and his ilk is well documented, so enjoy the backstories of various muppets.

Posted by Carl at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2009

Some songs you should listen to

Glasvegas, Geraldine
Grand Archives, "Torn Foam Blue Couch"
Lykke Li, "Little Bit"
The Helio Sequence, "Keep Your Eyes Ahead"
John Vanderslice, "White Dove"

OK, they're not all brand new, but still. Them's good listnin'.

Posted by Carl at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2009

Linking Fool Friday

For some reason, I thought I had posted the first picture here before, with a comment like "Lookit all them smug, rich, old white dudes." Nice to see the contrast with the more recent photo.

Hooray for this article on chilling the heck out while driving, especially item #7. When I get on I-66 after work, it's frequently congested, and I will routinely drive all the way to the end of the on-ramp before I merge; it seems to me the most logical place to do so. But occasionally, someone will ride over the while line to block me, or otherwise not let me in. I defy these people to explain themselves. I've never heard an argument against late merging that doesn't come down to "I don't like it when other people get to drive faster than me."

Think spring: the language of baseball.

What Michael Phelps should have written. I don't endorse marijuana use, but neither do I condemn those who so choose. But hey, if a 14-time Olympic gold medal winner can enjoy a toke now and then, at least we'll hear the end of "Marijuana will make you a TOTAL LOSER and inevitably RUIN YOUR LIFE!" spots, right? Ha! I crack myself up sometimes.

Posted by Carl at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Yay, it's a meme, one that's going around Facebook. C'mon, everybody's doing it.

1. I'm a bit curmudgeonly about this sort of meme. I enjoy the results, but I'm not fond of the "Send this to everyone you know!" demands. In fact, I'm NOT going to tag 25 people on this. So there. Hasn't everyone in the Facebook universe been tagged with this already? If you haven't, consider this an open invitation.
2. Some nights after Elizabeth goes to bed, I log into her Webkinz account and play games.
3. If you had told the 12-year-old Carl that I would hold season tickets for at least three different professional sports team in my lifetime, he'd have been pretty psyched about that.
4. Every year, usually around olive harvest time, my mom goes to Italy and volunteers at Casa Cares outside of Florence. And we're not even Italian. She just found something interesting to do as part of her retirement, and made it happen. How cool is that? When the girls are a bit older I hope we can join her sometime.
5. I am so very, very grateful that the girls aren't picky eaters. Not that they eat every single thing we put in front of them, but they're at least willing to try stuff. Ours would not be a good house to not like a wide variety of foods.

6. One of the great mysteries of my life is that I don't like sushi. I like fish, I like nearly all other Asian foods, and I like spicy stuff, so I feel like I should completely love sushi. But it just doesn't do it for me.
7. I know some would quibble about this, since I don't even live inside the Beltway anymore, let alone in the District proper, but I consider myself a Washingtonian. When I lived in Mount Pleasant, I loved driving right past the Washington Monument on my way to work every morning. I enjoy going into the city for work every so often, and we do our best to go in on the weekends at least once a month. I like the feeling that this is a place where things happen.
8. Among my most prized possessions is a long-handled wooden spoon that belonged to my grandmother. Every time I'm cooking and I pull it out, I think to myself, "This dish needs GRANDMA POWER."
9. If money and benefits were no object, the best job I've ever had was as a lifeguard at Caledonia State Park, the summers before and after my freshman year of college.
10. I have Catherine trained so that when I ask her, "How did you get so cute?" she replies "From Mommy."
11. When we went to parents' night at Elizabeth's school in September, they had a bunch of the kids' art work on display. The teacher had written captions on each picture, explaining what the child had said they were drawing... except for one in each set, where the kid had apparently insisted on writing it herself. Yup, that's my girl. Made me proud.
12. When I serve a dish at a dinner party, I like to stand at the table and explain the dish like I'm on Iron Chef America. "What we have here is a brie and walnut quesadilla; the walnuts were candied in a bit of maple syrup. And I'm serving it with a tropical fruit salsa, it has pineapple, mango, and papaya, and a bit of serrano pepper for heat." It's pretentious as all get out, but I still get a kick out of it.
13. If I was a post-dotcom zillionaire and could do anything I wanted with no fear of financial issues, I would become a farmer. I am not kidding. I'd run a boutique farm like Ayreshire Farm out in Upperville. I am fascinated by agricultural science, especially the interwoven, natural methods practiced by Joel Salatin (who you know if you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma). Makes me feel bad for laughing at Future Farmers of America kids in high school.
14. At times I wish I had played football. Had I dedicated myself to it, I think I could have been a kick-ass offensive lineman, and I'm sure I'd have some interesting stories. But the football subculture in high school seemed so anti-intellectual that I didn't want to be part of it. And if I had played, I probably would no longer have knees. They'd have fallen right off my body by now. So, there's that.
15. Anyone who says being a stay-at-home mom is an easy gig is a complete moron. And thus I am eternally grateful to Kristin. How she wrangles our two goofballs all day and keeps her sanity is beyond me.
16. My cocktail of choice is a manhattan, but in the summer you can't beat a nice caipirinha.
17. In over 10 years of playing organized softball, I hit exactly one over-the-fence home run. It remains one of the greatest thrills of my life. If I had video of it, I would watch it over and over again.
18. I really need to play the guitar more.
19. Had either of the girls turned out to be a boy, he'd have been Cameron Douglas. Had they both been boys, the second one probably would have been Edward James, after Kristin's Grandpa Eddie who I never had the privilege to meet.
20. I own a Sega Dreamcast, and I still play games on it from time to time. I would love to have a next-gen console, especially a Wii, but there's always something more important to spend money on.
21. Just about every day, I wonder how my dad would have interacted with his granddaughters.
22. I like to tell Kristin, "You're the best wife I've ever had." It's true! We're gonna keep it that way, too.
23. My favorite game in Las Vegas is craps. It has good odds, and the quick sense of community among the players makes it fun. I also enjoy flinging the dice the length of the table. Oh sure, I could do that at home, but it's just not the same.
24. Among the items tacked to the bulletin board in my office: a scorecard and ticket from June 18, 2006, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off home run to beat the Yankees on a Sunday afternoon. Far and away the greatest sporting event moment I have personally attended.
25. Also on my bulletin board is a page from a Ronald McDonald notepad, with five-year-old handwriting that says "HEY DAD ELiZABEtH LOVES YOU." I intend to keep this approximately forever.

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