Monday, January 31, 2005

OK, one more...

Originally uploaded by BlogDog.

Son of a Gun!
It seems that I have figured out how to get my pics properly posted. One small advance a day and by the end of the year I'll be in Nevada. The images, I'll post one every few days, are all stolen from "In The Company of Dogs" catalog which features more doggy crapola (not doggy crap!) than you could either want or imagine. At least they recognize the adorability factor of pugs, using them so often in their catalog. There are more grotesque images to come. As Luis Buñuel said to Salvador Dali, "Keep an eye peeled."
Please tell me that you understand that reference!

Feature Pugs!

Originally uploaded by BlogDog.

Again, I try to make Flick'r work for me. There should be a picture here.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Gearing Up for the Next Election
I'm having bumper stickers made:


Friday, January 28, 2005

The Silence of the Sham
More bloggy goodness in the near future F&N (friends and neighbors). I have been biZAY of late. Combined with my lifestyle of near perfect inefficiency, this has made blogging a lower priority. But several ideas are chasing around my brain like satyrs after nymphs (though not with as near interesting results - Ed.) Shut up Ed.
Sunday looks like a wretched day of weather so I good day for sweeping up the crumbs and cobwebs. Bloggily speaking.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Isn't Martha Stewart Getting Out Soon?
What can we look forward to in "Martha Stewart Living?" "Making Your Prison Tats Letter Perfect" "Cigarettes - How Many For 300-count Sheets?" "Accessorizing Orange"
I'm behind the curve on this one. I'm wasting my time, aren't I? Sue me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Woof! Woof! Woof!
Pugs of War wishes to extend its deepest wishes for a joyous Anniversary to Paul and Ana! May you reach ever higher, may you ascend the heights you reach for. Much love and delight from the BlogDog. Odds are you'll even get a snail mail delivery from me too. Odds are.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

And Speaking of Movies
I'm working on a screenplay for an all-white version of "Waiting to Exhale." It's called "Don't Hold Your Breath."
Movie Dog Bites Down Hard On an Oscar
I listened to a little bit of the Oscar nomination announcements today. Do I know how to waste time or what?
Two thoughts stay with me. I'll be a snarky bastard first and then be nice. For a change.
Snark: Hillary Swank - Imagine how good that movie could have been if they'd cast a woman for the role! I know, I know. She cleans up OK but spare me from having to look at that spade-toothed, shovel-chinned beast. I've heard the big spoiler for "Million Dollar Baby" so I'll probably go see it. I like a happy ending.
Nice: Kate Winslet - This woman deserves the Oscar. Why? Because I can't stand her. I couldn't abide her potato-headedness in "Titanic" and will never understand what the big deal was. (cue the "But Monkey") But, her performance in "Eternal Sunshine..." was superb. I can't say what it was precisely but she conveyed the essence of the character so well that I perfectly understood why the Jim Carrey character would go through the hellishness he did first to get her out of his system and then to keep her in. Carrey's, by the way, was also a great performance. So, let's just say it's counterintuitive but she deserves to win because she made me, she forced me, to stop hating her and made me believe. Damn you potato head!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ave Atque Vale
Johnny Carson dead at 79. He was a real, genuinely funny man. He will be missed.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Women Who Set My Teeth On Edge #2
Jorja Fox. I'll not give the girl too much grief about her acting ability - it's not bad. In fact, I have some grudging admiration for her ability. But for the love of all that's holy, why is she considered to be such a beauty? I can't give you a link on that idea but I recall her appearing on one of the late night talkers who called her, "the lovely Jorja Fox." Nope. Sorry. Not even close. If she would ... just ... keep ... her ... mouth ... CLOSED, I would not be posting this. But the spadelike incisors and the repelling gap between them! aggh! Turner Outdoor Advertising could rent space on those choppers for billboards. It would also help if she ever played a character who wasn't a pain in the ass. But that's showbiz.
Jennifer Garner. Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone in creation is ga-ga over BFD Jennifer Garner. Well, she sucks. She isn't nearly as attractive as about half a hundred actresses in Hollywood (Isabella Rossellini, dead in a car crash at age 100 will be more attractive than Jennifer Garner today), and where the idea that she can act comes from, I just don't know. She sucked in "Daredevil," she sucks in "Alias," and from the reviews I've read, she sucks in "Elektra" too. She is in good physical condition but that does not an action star make (otherwise "Gymkata" would have made Kurt Thomas a major Hollywood player).
"Alias" deserves a special place in the anals of suckage which I will expound on at greater length at sometime in the future (unless they send trained assassins after me! Ha Ha! Ha! Ha! what a load). And I want to delve into that very special shallowness that is Jennifer Garner but I need to gather some more evidence. So a special PoW salute for monumental crappiness goes out to Ms. Garner. With extended analysis of crappiness to come in the near future!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'd Like To Know
Now that Google is planning to put the books in libraries at the University of Michigan, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and the New York Public Library seachably online, what does this mean for those who index books for a living? I'm guessing that they will continue to add value but I don't know enough about it to know what changes they'll have to go through. Or maybe this won't have much of an effect. I don't know.
That's why I used that title for this post.
I don't usually resort to profanity but since I'm identifying bovine excrement, I will use the more direct term. I got the following e-mail from my DSL provider:
Dear Valued Verizon Online DSL Member,

Thank you for choosing Verizon Online DSL as your Internet service provider.

Please note, starting February 20, 2005, you will begin seeing a monthly Tax Recovery Fee on your DSL service bill. This is not a tax charged directly to Verizon Online's customers, but the partial recovery of tax that Verizon Online must pay when they purchase the DSL circuit from the telephone company.

This fee will be eliminated after the recently passed expansion of the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act becomes effective in November 2005 until November 2007. Since this is not a direct tax but is the recovery of a tax paid by Verizon Online, there are no applicable exemptions. More information is available online at

We appreciate and value your business.

Verizon Online
Broadband Customer Care Team
This message was sent from a notification-only e-mail address that cannot accept incoming e-mail messages. Please do not reply. Copyright 2004 Verizon. All Rights Reserved
What a load of crap. "We're just passing along a tax." Every business faces a variety of taxes, they're called "a cost of business." I wonder how my client would feel if I said, I'll be increasing my hourly rate by $2 per hour because I have to pay my property taxes. It's not a price increase! I'm just passing along a tax.
Please understand, I really like my DSL service. I even think it's reasonably priced. But if you increase your rate, be frickin' honest about it! Have some belief in the intelligence of your subscribers. Just say, we are increasing our rates by $X to cover the cost of such and thus a tax and explain the tax if you wish.
I suggest a new slogan: "Verizon DSL - Shining you on online since your last billing cycle."

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Death of Ballistic Fingerprinting
The Smallest Minority throws the last spade of earth on the grave. We can only hope.
With thanks for the link to Kim duToit. (Who, BTW, is in the blogroll. Why haven't you clicked the link?)

Happy Black Monday
By which I mean no disrespect. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great American and we, as a nation, are better off for his work. I was unsure that having a national holiday for him was justified but the more I thought about it, the more I have become convinced that it is right. Dr. King did his work in civil rights which many see as the province of black Americans. (I do not use the politically correct term "African Americans" for two reasons: There are quite a number of Americans from Africa who are not black and there are a lot of black Americans who are not African. Also I don't capitalize the word "black" just as I don't capitalize the word "white" if I used the term "white Americans.")
If Dr. King's efforts, and ultimately his life, were given just for black Americans, I wouldn't support the idea of having a national holiday in his honor. But his work was for all Americans. We live in a great nation but in the fight for civil rights, the nation was reaching the end of the greatest moral stain on the American body politic ever: the institution of slavery. It took us 100 years from the Civil War (I call it the War of Northern Aggression only jokingly) to sweep the last institutionalized vestiges of prejudice from national government and Dr. King was a great man to help make that happen. A great man not for blacks but for all Americans since he forced governance, including and particularly that run by whites, away from a morally repugnant stance.
I have never believed that slavery dehumanized the enslaved. It oppressed them, it degraded them in the eyes of those who would see them as degraded even in the absence of the institution, but in the soul of individual, slavery never made a man the lesser. Slavery, rather, dehumanized the slave owner and the enslaver. No doubt, many a man became rich off the slave trade (and let's not forget the New England ship owners in that category), but where humanity is truly judged - in the soul, before God - these are the men who are found wanting.
Dr. King did a full measure of restoring the American soul, if you will accept such, to its humanity and so, in my humble (humility being a virtue, even if it is a cliche) opinion, America is the better for having this national holiday.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Move Along Citizens
There's nothing to see here. Now. And for the next few days.
See you again next week.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Heaven, I'm in Heaven
Bit of an over reaction to a new computer, don't you think? (Damn skippy! -Ed.) But I am posting this on my new iMac. It is everything I imagined and then some. The wireless keyboard is crisp and tactile with the plus of having a numeric keypad which I lacked on my PowerBook. The Bluetooth connection is rock solid though it calls for a range test. I have become accustomed to a scroll-wheel mouse so the Apple no-button mouse (for those who haven't used Apple products, the Apple mouse button is the entire shell of the mouse itself) is a bit of a step back but I'll get used to it again.
Now let me tell you about the noise. There is no noise! This is aural bliss. The display is gorgeous. I set up a word processing document with the pages displayed side by side and it was perfectly clear. This computing experience is starting to give me wood.
I've installed a full gig of memory (anyone need a 256 MB DIMM?) which process involved loosening three screws and lifting the back cover off. I suppose it could be simpler since Apple has made desktops that simply pull open but the installation took all of two minutes. Stupid confession: the main circuitboard is blue. Not green. Blue. Such a little thing but so cool looking.
OK. I'm risking drowning in my own drool. I'm out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Modern Moviemaking
I've been seeing promo's for Samuel Jackson in "Coach Carter," which is one of the many "based on a true story" movies that Hollywood churns out like sausage stuffing. Couldn't they have just called it "Dribble On Me"?
This is one of those moments that David Spade did so well on "Saturday Night Live:" "'Coach Carter.' I liked it better when it was called 'Lean On Me.'"

Explaining Chromosomes
If you have to XY, you must be a guy.
Otherwise, you're forever a double crosser.

On Letterman
The Big Unit looks a hell of a lot better without the mullet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

In the Continuing Series of Things I Love
Oh great, you say. Nothing like having the obese go on and on about how wonderful food is, eh? But in the great tradition of Peter Lorre, I can't help myself! I think Marvelous Market (sometimes called Mercado Marveloso) is just the best place to go for breads and sammiches ever. It ain't cheap (you can get a whole fast food meal for the price of a single sandwich at MM) but it is worth it. It's like buying a six-pack of excellent beer instead of a case of swill.
Though I've known people who will opt for the case of swill. Hello! Deane, I'm talking about you!
There is nothing I'd rather have for lunch than a good sandwich. Nothing. Not good Chinese food, not even sushi. So it was a great revelation to discover the delights that lie in the cooler case at the Marvelous Market. Here is a link to their sandwich pages and that listing is incomplete. They have a (so-called) 'Mediterranean Wrap' that is killer good and a 'Havana' sandwich (called a Cuban sandwich elsewhere) that brings you back from the dead after the killer good Med Wrap. I just can't more highly recommend either one.
Now, having said all that, the great secret that MM reveals, I think, is that to make a truly great sandwich, start with truly great bread. And their bread is (insert superlative here). They make a sourdough sandwich loaf with Kalamata olives that is the bread on the finest example of the tuna sandwich it has ever been my pleasure to slip a lip to. But every loaf I've ever bought (and again, you pay premium prices for premium bread) has been wonderful.
If you are anywhere near one of these places (locations available on the web site), go and grab lunch. Because your lunch will grab you right back. And you'll love it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

This I Believe
All small animals are cute. Even little humans.
Site Meter
I'm trying to implement one. Let's see how it goes....
About The Previous Post
Scott Ott still has nothing to worry about.
Dateline: Indonesia
(January 10, 2004) The agony of homeless survivors of the December tsunami today was made worse as the toll of human suffering compounded in the aftermath of the great human tragedy of the breakup of the marriage of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. "My home is washed away in a great brown wall of water and now this!" howled Mai Akeenbac of Banda, Aceh. "How can I go on in a world where Brad and Jennifer are no longer together!" he sobbed while wiping away tears with a scrap of cloth that had once been his shirt.
"I was hurt when J Lo and Affleck broke up," agreed U.N. Deepee, a tsunami victim in Sri Lanka, "but this is intolerable. I long for the release of my soul into paradise if this horrible news is indeed true." Supplies of fresh water were left abandoned as ragged crowds clustered around any available radio or television that could pick up broadcasts of "Entertainment Tonight" or "Access Hollywood." Blackhawk helicopters flying relief supplies from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln were recalled to have thousands of pounds of food packages pulled off to make room for copies of "People" and "Us" magazines.
Grief counselors are being airlifted from Southern California in what the Bush Administration is calling "Operation Out of the Pitts." Continuing inclement weather in California, however, has delayed the relief efforts as scores of the commando grief counselors were unwilling to leave their homes as long as it was, in the words of one, "Ucky outside."

I'm Not a Guitar Blogger
But this eBay listing sure seems pretty. I don't know prices but it looks like it's going at an attractive price. If only my musical talent weren't limited to playing the stereo.
Queen of the Space Unicorns
Will remain on the job. In the undying words of Gomer Pyle, "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!" (Dang. I went looking for a sound file to link to that quote. The only one I found was a mislabeled clip from the "X Files.")
Somewhere in Hollywood
I just have the feeling that Mark Burnett is thinking of "Survivor: Banda Aceh."

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Add A Thinker
Another one for the blogroll. I have spent some time reading over the posts at Varifrank's and am surprised I haven't found his work before. Good stuff. Very good stuff. Smart stuff. Interesting stuff. I'd say go check it out but if you can't figure that out yourself, you lack sufficient brain cell energy to be using a computer.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I Shouldn't Be Surprised
But somehow I am. My new Mac is being shipped from Shanghai, PRC. Damn. I'd better make sure there's no Judas bug in it.
If I make coffee, can I put "Java Developer" on my resumé?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Oh, And By The Way Something
Welcome gampers. Feel free to drop by anytime.
Dixie, sorry to dis the girl but it's my opinion and you're welcome to it.

A Footnote to the Browser Wars
I've made no secret of my love for Mozilla and Firefox, Opera and (to a lesser extent) Safari as compared to the execrable Internet Explorer (no link just beacuse). So it behooves me to report that I have a quibble with my preferred browsers. Yesterday I created an account with the USPS to try their "click-n-ship" service which gives you a printable, postage-paid shipping label served up by a Java applet. However neither Mozilla, nor Firefox, nor IE (I do have a version despite my enmity) was able to handle the applet properly. Safari, on the other hand, performed flawlessly. I expect I'll be using "click-n-ship" fairly often and I will be firing up Safari to use it.
Apple also deserves high praise for its browser's aesthetics. Safari is ... well ... pretty.

I must also make mention of one drawback to "click-n-ship." It won't print regular, first-class postage. I spent about 60¢ more on priority postage to send my package. Still, given the fact that I didn't have to spend a moment in the P.O., a bargain.

Not the Big Brother, we-planted-a-chip-on-you, type. The where's-my-package-UPS type. I mentioned ordering RAM for my new puting Masheen and here's a copy of the info UPS puts up on the web that allows me, sitting my not inconsiderable ass at my desk to know where my physically is (roughly speaking) as it makes its way toward me:

8:00 A.M.
6:38 A.M.
6:30 A.M.
1:29 A.M.
Jan 6, 2005
8:32 P.M.


7:41 P.M.
7:19 P.M.
6:33 P.M.
6:02 P.M.

My RAM has gone from Boise to Philly in 14 hours even with a flight delay which UPS was kind enough to explain to me even though I would have accepted the timing without an explanation. I somehow have the feeling that the scheduled delivery date (Monday) is going to be moot. I'm guessing it's going arrive on Saturday.
File this in "I love the Internet."
UPDATE: I was wrong. My memory has been sitting in Baltimore (or so the system says) until this am when it began its final journey to my abode. So, they told the truth. It looks like it will be a Monday delivery.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tort Reform
OK, so this really isn't about tort reform but it is, as we say in the newz biz, a peg. Many moons ago as I was toiling in the fields of factual accuracy, I had a colleague whose father was a fatcat Demo-type gummint lawyer going back to the Kennedy years. My colleague wasn't involved much with the law but he did have the connection to get a low-level job at the Association of Trial Lawyers.
He told the story that one day he called some office somewhere on some business. His call was taken by a secretary and he properly identified himself as calling from "the Association of Trial Lawyers." He thereupon heard the secretary passing the phone call to someone else, telling that person that the call was from the "association of tribal warriors."
There is a kind of slaunchwise truth in there somewhere.

If Anyone Cares
With my latest acquisitions of the wonderful Ms. Krauss and her nigh-onto perfect band Union Station, my iTunes Library is up to 2911 songs, 8.2 days of continuous music which occupies 16.02 gigabytes of hard drive space.
And I can carry it all around with me in my iPod. Technology in the service of a better life.

I didn't believe Steve Jobs coming back to Apple, back when, was the best course for the company. I stand happily corrected. The master of the Reality Distortion Field may not be perfect but he's better than the lot that he succeeded. Besides which, the real Reality Distortion Field in the modern world is that the Wintel platform is superior to the Mac. It's quite good and it's better in the last couple of years than it's ever been, mostly by copying innovations made on the Mac, but it is not superior. I will accept that certain features are better on Wintel boxes but as for the entire experience of use, it's still Mac hands down.
Which is why I'm waiting for the deliver of this: 20-inch screen, SuperDrive, Airport Extreme card, Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse and one gigabyte of RAM (ordered from a third party as the one thing that Apple really tears you a new one for is additional RAM). After I load all the pertinent poop from my current desktop machine, I will totally rearrange my physical desktop and I will have a quiet office again. My PowerBook is most gorgeously silent but my desktop whirrs with fans and the new iMac is whisper soft. Not to mention the losing of a halogen desk lamp which has a faint but detectable buzz to it. If everything else is shut down in the room, I can hear the halogen lamp. I hate that. I'm getting one of these instead.
And About That Orange Bowl Halftime Show
The only question remaining is whether Ashlee Simpson spits or swallows. We know she sucks.
Sweet blistering Jebus. I'm ashamed that I know the spelling of her name.
I feel a rant building. Better nip that in the bud. Nip it!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bowls of Delight
Southern Cal is currently kicking Oklahoma's ASS in the Orange Bowl. Since SC is my dear departed father's alma mater, I take full delight in this.
If you didn't see the game you really, I mean really missed something: the throw and catch for the fifth touchdown at about a minute left in the first half. A ball that was thrown an amazing distance with 'target acquired' accuracy and then caught with the defender all over the receiver.
If there was a scintilla of doubt that Leinart deserved the Heisman Trophy, it has now been obliterated.
I may have to troll the web in a day or so to see if video of that play is posted.

I almost -ALMOST- feel sorry for Oklahoma.

New on the Television Machine
CBS has a new show on the slate called "Numb3ers." Can we be honest and just call it "CSI: Geekdom?"
Not News
I was talking with a friend the other day about the genius that is The Simpsons and just had one particular scene tear through the shrink wrap of memory. Homer has invested the family's entire savings in "Animotion," a motion-capture company. He uses a phone system to check stock prices:
Operator: For automated stock prices, please state the company name.
Homer: Animotion.
Operator: Animotion: Up 1 1/2.
Homer: Yahoo!
Operator: Yahoo: Up 6 1/4.
Homer: Huh? What is this crap?
Operator: Fox Brodcasting: Down 8.
Of course "Animotion" declares 'super duper' bankrupcy. But that one line dig at Fox is just so perfect. Even though I think we can see the end of the series off in the distance, it will live forever in such brilliant moments.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Watching the Sugar Bowl
Great game. Too bad for Auburn to go undefeated and not be in the running for the national championship but what the hell is going with VA Tech coach Frank Beamer's neck? Has he had a skin graft? God bless him as a great coach (coach of the year in the ACC) but seriously, what's up with the ... the thing?
listens For The New Year
Starting strong with two CDs from the ethereal Alison Krauss and the awesome Union Station. It's interesting to see how Ms. Krauss's look has changed. Her picture on the "Now That I've found You" disc is sorta kinda frumpy. But she is now sporting a mane of honey gold hair and wears a gown on the cover of her latest. She was cute before but now she looks gorgeous and elegant. But it is her voice that makes her heartbreaking.
It happens sometimes.
Like Gillian Welch, I think I've made the point about her before, who is never going to be a pin-up but she could sing me into heaven any time.

Upcoming artists who look to appear in the "longings" section are Claire Lynch and Heather Sullivan. Heather Sullivan ... hmmm. So blonde. And those eyes!

Oh fer...
Blog posts are forthcoming. Please be patient.