Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Baseball (yawn) NFL (yawn), NCAA lacrosse - whaa? Another sure sign of the apocalypse. College basketball is well and truly over (sob) and even though the Footy season is six games in, the Magpies are getting hammered. Dammit. Injuries are really taking a toll. At least the buggered Lions aren't atop the ladder. Instead the surprising Saints are as yet undefeated. I'll be dinged.

Footy is a great game. Now I want to see those Collingwood boys pull it together and start kicking some arse.
Cartoons I'd like to see
Number One in a continuing series: A bunch of mushrooms on stage with instruments playing "We Are The Champignons."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Is gilded. Sorry for the lack of posts of late. Mozilla, my browser of choice, though is acting screwy with the blog. It doesn't display. Just a blank window. Or it loads with a serious display problem of munged posts. A re-load of the page will then cure the mungery. But the blank window just hangs there like bug on the windshield with the broken wipers.

I'm cogitating on Pat Tillman and will post soon. I am trying to add to the discourse and not just repeat what the rest of the blogosphere has said about this American hero. Stay tuned....

Thursday, April 22, 2004

In the great tradition of "WWJD?" (What Would Jesus Do? - does anyone not know that?) and "WWJJJWD?" (What Would Jimmy JJ Walker Do?), I offer the following:

WWSRD? - What Would Speed Racer Do?

We all know Speed Racer. Crypto-Japanese, proto-anime driver of the amazing Mach 5, a car that raced competitively despite having the world's most amazing arsenal of offensive weapons hidden within. Check out a real live version here. Some people really do have too much time on their hands. In a similar vein, someone recreated the Mystery Machine van from the Scooby-Doo series. I wonder if that's still on the web ...yep.

That being as it may, I recall Speed and his crew were constantly (well, maybe just 52 times) going to troubled places where, for some reason, major races were always being held. I guess it's kind of like going to Las Vegas (I watch "CSI" - people die in Las Vegas in really unusual ways all the time!) or having Jessica Fletcher come for a visit ("Murder, She Wrote" - you'd think that after seeing people die every time she was around that her friends would stop taking her calls). Whether it's a personal problem, oh, let's say a kidnapping, or a major corporation doing something eeeevil, or just plain eeevil foreign governments, Speed Racer could be counted on to not only solve the problem but finish in the money in the race! Now that's a MAN baybee!

So, going back in time, let's see, set the flux capacitor to 1991 and location to Iraq. 88 mph and there we are. Now that we are at the site of so much of the late unpleasantness in the Middle East, we need to ask, "WWSRD?" And I think the answer is simple. He would get all the other racers together (maybe not Racer X, being so mysterious and all) and set up a race in Baghdad. Then, during all the action and excitement of the race, Speed Racer would release the mechanical birds or crash into the weapons of mass destruction dump (while the Mach 5 seals itself up just in time of course) and wipe out Saddam, Uday, Qsay and all the cartoon villains who would later end up on playing cards.
Then, having eliminated the old regime, Speed would win the race and all the joyous Iraqis would make him the ruler of Iraq by proclamation. That's what Speed Racer would do.

Besides, he'd then have a lifetime supply of gasoline for the "powerful Mach 5." My hero!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

One for the GOC
That'd be Denny, the Grouchy Old Cripple.

I don't believe Jimmy Carter was president of the United States. He was the president of Malaise-ia.
This remote control life
As I turned on the oscillating tower fan in my bedroom last night (Digression: that part of the rant where something that deserves it's own rant is inserted by your inconsiderate host. The real pain of a townhouse is that third floor where all the bedrooms live. In the hot spring and summer that is. It's a tradeoff in the winter that I'm willing to accept, ceteris paribus. A ceiling fan is the solution but not when one is renting, wot wot?) with the clever little remote control that hangs on a little clip on the side of the fan when it's idle.
Nothing special in that. But then I picked up the TV remote to catch the end of "CSI Die-ami" and it really struck me: In my bedroom, I have five (five!) remote controls. They are these: fan, TV, DVD player, VCR and radio/CD player. This is a symptom of something (laziness? Ed.) that I prefer not to look too deeply into for that way lies madness. Actually, that way lies lying down. I think the proliferation of units of convenience is due to the fact that the whole point of the room is that I am supine or prone or prostrate or limbs akimbo on the mattress. I've fallen into bed and I can't get up. Well, won't get up.

So I will be needing remotes for all the devices that make my life full and save me from having to have actual human contact. And yet ... five still seems excessive.

How many remote controls do you have in one room? In the whole house? Leave me a comment. (You've got to stop this blatant fishing for response. Ed.)

Sunday, April 18, 2004

The cool thing about blogging
Well, one of the cool things - is that you can do it from ANY computer that has net access!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

New Jersey
Cycling jersey that is. The wonderful folks behind Atlantic Cycling (Geri & John - I love you guys!) are offering an honest-to-goodness jersey this year. Check it out. I think it's a must-buy.
I am way too sausagey in real cycling apparel (tho' I'm working on it) but I don't see how I can pass this up. A great looking jersey and support a great group. If I get my act together to make this a photo-capable blog, I'll put up pictures of the jersey in action. Considering it's me, let's make that in "action" (fingers waggin in air quotes even as I type).
Oh yeah!
My last visit to Costco led to DVD acquisitions. What a surprise. Well, actually I never know precisely what I'll be carrying out of the Great Hanger Of Material Goods even though I am in search of specific things when I go in. This time I found the new Matrix DVD. I didn't see the final installment at the theater which I've regretted as it's the kind of flicker that works better the bigger the screen is. Still, I already have the other two so I pretty much have to finish out the collection. Yee hah! Some good ol' Matrix-style slam-bang action.
Even though the human-piloted mechs which guard the dock were derivative of everything from Mobile Suit Gundam to the loader in Aliens. But it worked. The scenes where the defenders are pouring a stream of lead death into the hole the Sentinels are trying to come through are beautiful. Much in the vein of the ballet of brass cascading from the helicopter minnie gun in the first movie of the set.
It also helped that "Revolutions" was somewhat lighter on the faux-losiphizing that tainted "Reloaded." I remain unconvinced that "The Oracle" was necessary. The Wachowski boys could have just named a character "D. S. X. Makina."
Please don't tell me that I have to explain that.

Bottom line: I stand by what I said to my brother after seeing the first Matrix movie. "That was the best bad movie I've ever seen."

The other treasure was the DVD of "Singin' In The Rain." My very mostest favorite movie of all times. I had it on VHS tape but I'll end up replacing all my tapes with DVDs over time. With the sole exception of Debbie Reynolds, everyone in the movie is just stunningly perfect. If I could be someone else, I'd be Gene Kelly in the early 1950s. The late Donald O'Connor is a dynamo. One thing about the picture quality of the DVD though - I never before noticed the scar on Gene Kelly's left cheek. Since I can't say enough good about this flick, I'll just stop talking.

Oh, if you haven't seen it, go rent it immediately.
Maybe this is the expression of whatever is gay in me: love a musical and hate the female lead. This could be the start of an episode of "Will and Grace."

Friday, April 16, 2004

I really thought I had something I wanted to say.
But I'll be hornswoggled if I can think of what it was.
Somehow, I don't think this is what blogging is supposed to be about.
Good thing I don't have to have a license to blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Rest in peace
James N. Wallace journalist, traveler, colleague. Go well on that final road my friend. No one deserves the reward of heaven more. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Such a soft touch
I don't give money to panhandlers. Plain, flat and simple. I have too little to waste it on beggars. I would go off on a rant about homelessness in a nation that has the most elaborate system of social welfare the world has ever seen but it would pointless. It wouldn't persuade anyone and would only annoy the pig.
But I gave a guy on the street money just last Thursday. 31 cents. I'm disinclined to part with a penny but he asked me for 31 cents. And I had it. I was just struck by the specificity of the beg that I gave in. I don't know what he wanted it for but it seems that 31 cents was as much as he needed.

Just don't expect me to part with a penny more.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Not much new
Which would be the apology for light posting of late. But I have added a link to Steven Den Beste over there. USS Clueless. Most inaptly named blog ever.
Den Beste is the originator of the "linkers" v. "thinkers" blog dichotomy and he is perhaps the ne plus ultra of thinkers. I would strive to emulate him but my cascade of words falls down a shorter hill.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

None too subtle a variation
On the previous post, that is.

What's the difference between Teddy Kennedy and the Hindenburg?

One is a bloated bag of gas likely to explode at any moment and the other is a German airship.

If you didn't see that one coming a mile off, you are using too few brain cells at any given moment. Which is a tragedy. Oh! The humanity!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Senator Hindenburg
Who goes by the name of Kennedy but both are flaming, bloated gasbags. He says that Iraq is "George Bush's Vietnam." Would that make Vietnam John Kennedy's Iraq?

Sunday, April 04, 2004

A musical interlude
Sometimes.... Sometimes I just don't get it. I love, no, I adore Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Possibly one of the greatest pieces of music ever written and certainly one of the greatest pieces of the 20th century. Even United Airlines using it in their ads can't spoil it. So, naturally, I have a disc of the L.A. Philharmonic and Michael Tilson Thomas playing Gershwin. Yet I hadn't ripped it into iTunes for the reason, the numbskull reason, that I had the disc in the kitchen on the Bose Wave radio (I won't link to it but do yourself a favor and buy one - you won't regret it). But finally I bring the disc to the Mac and start ripping it. Whonk. Something on the disc freezes the CD drive on the desktop machine. Nehah? Whaa? OK. Restart.
Pop the disc in my laptop, ba-da-bing ba-da-boom rips in no time. What to do? Well, burn a copy of the disc from AIFF files and pop the new disc in the desktop machine. Rip, rip, rip. Done. Leaving me buffaloed as to just what was wrong with the original disc.

But I don't care because I ended up where I wanted to be: Gershwin in iTunes and on the iPod and a spare disc for the car.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

...would as soon pick a pocket
Did I ever tell you about the time I was in Iraq? There was so little to do for entertainment. You could either go to a prostitute or watch a movie. Basically, the options boiled down to the Iraqi whore or picture show.