Friday, October 30, 2009

Trippin' With The Snow Lep
Pre-action report: Verizon is offering a "media manager" which streams iPhoto and iTunes to a FiOS DVR. I have a FiOS DVR. I've downloaded the software and later today I will hold my nose and do a tuckflip into the deep end on this one. If this can stream iTunes radio, I may have a solution for listening to my favorite AM station (Mark Levin - THANK ME!) after the signal punks down at twilight.
Technology. It can do amazing things.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Undeserved Grace
I have recently been in the presence of the troubles of those I love. This pains me more than I can say. Then I remember the undeserved grace I received and wonder, how to I ask for blessings to flow to others when I am still greedy for them myself? If any of half a dozen of my friends won the lottery, their troubles could, in the main, be solved. As the Bard says: 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. So how do I get over the impulse to importune God for such blessings for myself? I don't think it's enough to say, "If I win the lottery, I will share my good fortune with those I love." Yes, I'd love to win it but I am too cognizant of the sin of avarice to be happy with myself for so wishing.
Let me instead pray that I can see the way to wishing the blessings of undeserved grace on others. Surely, good things for them are good things for me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Virtual Machine
Things might get interesting. Using VMWare Fusion, I just installed Windows XP on my iMac. The virtualization takes some getting used to - it's not a little strange to have a window running XP sitting on my desktop as all my other Mac-ish programs are running at the same time. But dang me if it's not a whole heap of fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Passing Sentence
And so the condemned man was brought before the King to hear his sentence for it was indeed to be death, swift and sure. Yet the condemned man knew the King, for all his power, all his glory, was a vain and foolish man. So before the sentence could be spoken, he said, "My Lord! Give me a year and I will teach your horse to talk!"
The King, a bit puzzled yet intrigued, granted him that year and, should the condemned man succeed, a pardon to the service of the royal livery.
The jailer, a common man but clever in his days, said to the condemned man as he was being led back to the cells, "You can't teach a horse to talk."
"Ah," replied the condemned man, "But in a year, the King may die. Or I may die. Or the horse may talk."

One Rockin' OS
I disabled the microphone on my iMac. Instead of running Snow Leopard, I wanted to run Def Leopard.
Of course now I have to type with only one arm.

Feetsball Redux
I had the most delicious meal of schadenfreude last night as I watched the Washington Snyders get their asses handed to them by the reasonably competent Philadelphia Eagles. Little Danny Snyder's ego play to own a collection of large men who are probably just like the ones who tormented him on the grade school playground is turning out to be just the fustercluck I expected when he bought the team (and reconsidered when he brought in Steve Spurrier and later Joe Gibbs to coach - I was wrong to reconsider).
There's something kind of epic in a team that opened their play with six straight games wherein their opponent was winless (albeit the first game of the season was against a very good NYG team so it's a bit specious to say that) and managed to 1) "amass" two wins and 2) give two horrible teams (Detroit and KC) what are likely their only wins this year. Epic fail, of course, but still epic.
I'm working on the idea of Li'l Danny's buying of the team as akin to an LBO but I'm not sure I can carry that conceit out. But if I do, you'll be the first to read it here

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Professional Feetsball
OK. Watching the Arizona Cardinals play the New York Giants on the night football show. On the graphic at the bottom of the screen, the teams are identified by the following designations: AZ (natch) and NYG.
Are we not tempted to read that last one as a word since it has two consonants and sometimes vowel? Raaaaacist NFL!

Despite my uplifting, or attempts at uplifting, words below, my heart has been heavy since hearing the news. All this morning I've been listening to John "Five for Fighting" Ondrasik's new disc, "Slice" and it's remarkably good to ease the heaviness. I hope you buy it. You'll understand what I mean.
Anonymous Condolences
Sometimes the Internet is not really the right place to put personal wishes and in this case, I'm going to violate that personal bond but hold anonymity to those involved and hope that in making the personal public, I might not do actual violence to those bonds.
A very dear friend of mine called me recently to tell me, in a rather round-about way it turned out, that his younger brother was just found dead. Then, in a sort of grotesque echo of that, the brother's son killed himself. My heart breaks for my friend because I have no doubt that he will internalize both of these deaths with the feeling that someway, somehow he played a role in these sad events. In reality, the brother's death was a long time coming and there's nothing that would have stopped it. That snowball has been rolling down the hill for so long I knew the shattering on impact would be dramatic even if I couldn't have imagined that the real drama would be in the loss of another life.
Leaving the nephew aside for a moment, the loss of this brother was, sadly, not a real loss for humanity. He has been an alcoholic, drug-addicted wastrel essentially all his life, a fair amount of which has been spent in custody. Of course in our world this hasn't stopped him from being married a few times and producing a few children that he hasn't been able to support. I wouldn't bother to consider what left him this way apart from the fact that he grew up in a toxic stew of a broken family with a mother who was no mother at all. What matters about this is for my friend to recognize that he grew up in that same stew and he is doing all right - beautiful wife who loves him deeply, a good son and daughter-in-law who brought a beautiful granddaughter into the family not too long ago, a lovely home in the suburbs. His life is not the perfect image he carries in his mind's eye but it is good, better than he will admit, probably.
When we weep for the dead, we cry for what we lose, that our lives have been stripped of being with someone we will never again hold, talk to, laugh with, gain knowledge from, feel the warmth of. In this case, even though there was hurt in his voice, my friend has not lost anything that was not lost long, long ago. In the last several years his brother has done nothing but make demands. Money, a place to live, even (I am not kidding) organ donation. Again, not ask for, demand as in 'you have it and I want it and you're my brother so you should give it to me.' This was a life that had become a black hole for the physical and emotional resources of a family (my friend's mother and sister, not his family per se) that was dysfunctional at best.
Now as for the nephew, I am at a loss there. I believe the young man (23 years old if I remember correctly) was not long out of jail for attempting to murder his father. Why would one feel the need to take his life after the death of someone he earlier tried and failed to kill? Perhaps the hopelessness of existence opened up before him when he faced the actuality of his father's death. Instead of seeing a blight and a burden on his life lifted, he confronted his life and could only see himself as his father's son which made his going on an impossibility. It takes an almost unimaginable depth of hatred for one's father to lead to suicide when seeing nothing but "I am my father's son" in the mirror. But I imagine, I posit, I do not know. I only met the lad once and were I pressed, I would say he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.

Not every life illuminates the world. As sorrowful as the family is, and I don't mean to diminish their sadness, the world will not much miss either of these lives. But I desperately want my friend to understand that the lesson is there for him: You and your sister came out of the same dumpster childhood that broke your brother and then his son. You may not have the life your fondest dreams limn but you have a wonderful one nonetheless. Let him go, hold what you've made of yourself and for yourself dear. And may God bless you. May you and your family find undeserved grace
in every day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More On The Mothership
Talking Apple again folks. Not that there's anything new with that.
Last night I was on the phone with a good friend whose family was a PC family of long-standing. He used to work for the feds and needed a PC for the Citrix VPN software to get him into his government computer system when he worked from home and his wife had started out on PCs which led her to become, essentially, a PC bigot. That, now, is moot. He retired which obviated the necessity of his using a PC so he got a MacBook. That he's a musician only made the choice easier as he explicitly mentioned how great the bundled software, and GarageBand specifically, is.
Now the family has an iMac to the mix and it seems his wife is over her Applephobia. Even his mother in law has migrated from a PC to a Mac. Pretty sure an iMac as well but I can't say that to an absolute certainty.
This is, of course, anecdotal but at the same time, it demonstrates what can happen when Apple has a chance to worm its way (get it- Apple, worm? these are the jokes, folks) into the regular computing expereince of daily users. I'm not opposed to PCs as much as I like my Macs. From what I've heard Windows 7 has done a good job of cleaning up the mess that MS made with Vista. But the experience is still seems to me not as seamless as it is with the Mac platform.
And I've ordered a Magic Mouse from Amazon. I actually save money by ordering from Amazon which has a nominally higher price but doesn't charge me tax. I think it'll be fun to use. I only wish I'd bought Apple stock back in April and doubled my investment through today.
I may have to update this post. I haven't yet been able to really identify the crux of the matter. Anecdotal evidence will do that to you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Very Possibly Perfect
If you wish to see how a woman can wear her hair extremely short and look just as sexy as ... analogies fail me. First, Morena Baccarin (whom I first saw as "Companion" Inara Serra in Joss Whedon's superb "Serenity") is just a gorgeous woman - as much an iconic "SciFi babe" as Tricia Helfer in "Battlestar Galactica." Secondly, watch the viddy (an ad for ABC's upcoming re-make of "V"). This is how very short hair on a woman should look. I hope the re-make is as good as Ms. Baccarin looks in the ads.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hole Lee Cow!
New hardware from the Apple Mothership. New iMac (did I buy too soon? of course) and something I just might have to get - a multi-touch capable "Magic Mouse." No more cleaning of a scroll ball ever. Nice. And multi-touch capable! Dang Steve, that rocks.
And a 27 inch iMac with more than 1080p definition? More than HD? Build a TV tuner into that bad boy and ... forget I said that. I didn't say that. You didn't read that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Self Evident
Ripped From The Pages Of Scientific American
"Stem Cells from Fat Used to Grow Teen's Missing Facial Bones."
Oh. My. God. I am a precious natural resource!
I can provide a nation's worth of the raw material for stem cell production.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Narcissist In Chief
President I Won really does seem to believe that "l'etat, c'est moi." I believe I'll call him Leroy Soleil from now on.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quick Update On The Moccamaster
Decidedly makes better coffee than the very good Mr. Coffee maker which will soon live with friends. And I had to pre-het the water for the Mr. Coffee to make its product as good as it was. No need for that now. Teh noob has a space issue with my scrap of counter between the range and the refrigerator but I'll figure out how to deal with it elegantly. Or at least deal with it.
I love making the coffee into a thermal carafe. I tend to pull the made onto my morning table and knock back my cuppas as I read the paper. The last cup I sipped was just as toasty as the first.
The only thing that restrains my joy is that I have to do some days of sperimenting (Lucy) to adjust the amount of water and amount of coffee to precisely calibrate it to my taste. Not a bad thing to experiment on - good coffee.
UPDATE: Not only is the coffee better, but it brews my morning pot o' in about half the time the Mr. Coffee did. And there's no piercing BEEP BEEP BEEP when it's through brewing. I'd say the only thing I lose in changing makers is a timer to start brewing automatically. But two things make that Moot! First, I never used that feature anyway and second, the Moccamaster makers believe that making coffee from fresh water is perferable to leaving a tank of water overnight to get "stale."
I dunno how stale water gets but I generally agree with that interpretation.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And Since I'm All Soppy With Nostalgia
I really, really miss Karen Carpenter. I'm not sure that she would have made music for the ages had she not died but I'm willing to bet good money on the idea that her amazing voice would have found material that would be popular and beautiful. I resent being denied the opportunity to know what she would have added to our musical world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let's Remember, Shall We?
Ah, those days of yester, the yoredays of our yute. I remember watching the televsioning machine with it's grainy black and white picture. I remember the Herb Alpert music that was used as the "Teaberry Shuffle" in ads to promote Clark's Teaberry gum.
I just ordered some of the Teaberry gum from Amazon.

I delight in the very idea that all the things that filled the nooks and interstices of our past have not gone away. Videos of ads on uToob, the gum itself. I suppose I could get some of those wax "cola bottles" things, the red wax lips that tasted like ... well, nothing natural to be sure. And what aging child can't forget the dusty snort of flavored sugar drained from a "pixie stick" directly down the throat? I imagine I could get those too. If they weren't just revolting to the taste.
There might be a catalog of disgusting sweeties from the past. And things that are so far beyond the pale that today's children would run crying to their school counselors if they were confronted with them. Candy cigarettes. Gum cigars. Now it's all red vines and dentally hygienic gums. Pfeh!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Coffee Masheen, She Has Arrived
And tomorrow morning, I'm going to be having Kenyan AA as bubbled through the Moccamaster. I like that name. Moccamaster. I am Master of my Mocca!
I'd better stop that. It's starting to sound a little too much like Cornholio.
Are you threatening me? I need mocca for my master!
I'll try to take pictures.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If You Don't Mind Teh Random
Today's Woot is a random five pack of 15 Christmas card boxes. 75 cards for $4.00 plus $5.00 shipping. If you don't mind taking a chance on the cards (and I have no idea who "Marian Heath" is), that'll probably cover your entire card list for not much scratch.
I tend to look over the 50% reduced cards on December 26 to see if any good ones are left. Yes, I am cheap frugal. It's me Scots blood.
Remember - the link is good for today only.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I M F N Nutz
My morning coffee is shortly about to become a whole new experience. Why? The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741. Indulgence ranges from transcendent to ugly. In this instance it could very well be both. Of course I've been wanting one of these since "Cook's Illustrated" informed me of its existence. Them recipe-writin' butter-mongers keep doing this to me!
Yeah. It's their fault.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taking Rash Action
Keep in mind that in my life, the following is "rash action."
My desk has been covered with computers for the last couple of days. I've had a friend's old Dell on which I've been trying to get a decent version of the the Windows OS installed. It has been, to put it mildly, resistant. So i came to the conclusion that I may as well bag that effort. But then I conceived of turning it into a "Hackintosh" instead. Well, I did some internet surfing and after finding the specs of the Dell, and what I'd need to do to turn this caterpillar into a butterfly, I realized that it was absurd. Basically, the only thing I could use would have been the case. Not, I hasten to assure you, an elegant result.
So I am abandoning all efforts with the frackin' Dell. I'll pull the WiFi card and then see if anyone wants it for parts. I will be, finally, glad to be rid of it. There's a point at which one is throwing good time after bad (just as with money but let's not talk politics now) and I've decided to end this black hole into which I've poured too much time already.
So what is the rash action? That's a Mac thing. I've been using a wireless Mighty Mouse for quite a while now. It's a wonderful mouse, the best mouse I've ever used actually. But the little scroll ball atop the oblong ice cream scoop has a really, really bad habit of getting crudded up and it's not like the old under-the-mouse ball. It's not designed to be removed. My "scroll down" (as in moving a web page up to read more) has not been right for, well, I can't put a date on it but, as Staind sez, "It's been a while."
Today the Bluetooth started acting way too flaky for my taste. And two malfunctions lead to one ticked off mouser. Yeah - me. So I opted for rash action. As I learned from my genius brother, if something's broken, you may as well try to fix it. It's not like you can do any more damage and you just might fix it. Though I figured (properly as it turns out) that new batteries might firm up the Bluetooth connection, it was the perfect excuse to rip the mouse open and physically clean the scroll ball.
Rash? Perhaps. But the fact is the mouse is now working better than it has in a long time. It's all back together. The scrolling is not as smooth as new but it works. And there was a disgusting little ball of fluff on one of the scroll shafts. My rash action paid off. I'll now be able to clean this bad boy anytime I want without freaking. So I've got that going for me.
UPDATE: After pulling a couple of things out of the old Dell (the WiFi card which I bought for it when I thought it was going to be used and the DVD drive for a friend whose machine is limited to a CD-ROM drive), I figured I'd see what eBay had to say about the "value" of the box. Pfft. They appear to sell for about $20. I'm not missing a zero, that's -$20.00- Not even worth messin' with.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Grace Notes
Every now and them something comes along that just makes you smile. In this case, I have a low-level e-mail correspondence with a Washington Timesman who recently wrote column on the silly dustup over a picture of model Lizzie Miller. She was called fat because her tummy folded over as she sat in the shot. Well, the fact is, she is a gorgeous woman, an absolute knockout. And her laughing smile in the picture (click the link) is just glorious.
But the grace note for me is that in the e-mail, I got a copy of a picture of all the Glamour magazine "plus sized" models. Such beautiful women! I append the picture here for your enjoyment. I normally wouldn't post a picture of women sans clothes but, as you can see, this is how nude is done with class.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I was taking my morning medication and noticed this warning label on the pill bottle. It has inspired me to get it tattooed on my guess where this sexy beast is going…

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Today's Riddle
What's the difference between ACORN and ENRON?
ENRON didn't donate enough to the Democrats.

There are many other answers in a similar vein. Feel free to add your own.

Aaaand in other news: Why does David Letterman call his production company "Worldwide Pants?"
Because you need pants that size to cover the world's biggest a**hole.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Is It Extortion?
I haven't bothered to drag out my legal dictionary but I was thinking about Roman PoLetterman's situation.

Let's say that I have information about a married man who has maintained a series of inappropriate sexual relationships with women who work under for him. It is information that the person does not want revealed. So I go to said person and say, "I'd like to pitch you a screenplay idea." Whereupon I lay out the situation of which I have proof.
And I go on, "But I need money to produce this movie. Let's say, oh, $2,000,000. If you're willing to invest that amount of money, you can have full script approval. In fact, it will even give you unlimited access to my files for any editing you'd like to do. Of course, you risk losing your entire investment should things go wrong but I think it'd be a great investment for you."

Now, on a very basic level, the blackmail is obvious. But if it's presented in such a way, can it legally avoid the definition of extortion? If so, there's no crime. I need to dig out the law books and double check.

I may have to do some deconstruction of the Peter Allen viddy I posted below which, I hasten to add, was also posted by mega-blogger Ann Althouse. So I'm in good company. Albeit .25% more gay.
But what I'm keeping in mind is how wonderful it is that Rio de Janeiro got the 'limpics. I have just one crucial thought about this decision: Consider the "atmosphere" visuals that will be broadcast along with the games themselves. Would you rather see pictures of people in the "Windy City" or images of bronzed Cariocas on the beach at Ipanema? Tall and tan and lean and lovely ....

A Brief Thought On Chrysler
Joe Sherlock today has piece on the situation at the littlest of the Big Three automakers with the heart of the matter nicely pulled together: "I was pessimistic about Chrysler's survival when it first filed for that bizarre banana-republic bankruptcy, which I now refer to as Obamaruptcy. And the subsequent shotgun marriage to Fiat - a nuptial which only made sense after a lot of drinking or a severe head injury."
First of all, "Obamaruptcy:" heh! It doesn't roll smoothly off the tongue but it is now an essential truism. So, full marks for the neologism.
But it's the meat of the post that intrigues me. I can offer no great insight into the car biz, especially in comparison to Joe who just knows his stuff. But an image, an idea struck me in reading the post. Both Chrysler and Fiat are like two falling-down drunks and the only way two drunks can support each other is if they're falling into each other from opposite directions. Unfortunately for us, Fiat and Chrysler are falling in the same direction with the only difference being the rate of drop.
As Joe said, the American taxpayer will never see his or her money that went into the "rescue" ever again. All to pay back Obama's union backers for their political support. Shameful.

Friday, October 02, 2009

A Word On Pedophile Rapist Roman Polanski
Don't worry: I won't get into an extensive who-shot-John exposition of all the ugly facts surrounding what the vile Polish director did in his violation of a 13 year-old girl. You can find that all over the blogosphere. I want to address an aspect of the case that rose at dinner last night with my boon companions the Wilmingtonians (recently the Yuman Beings).
I can't say that I know this for a fact but it was alleged in our conversation that Polanski had visited Switzerland before and was not arrested on those instances. Which led to the question of why was he arrested now? My response, based on nothing but an interior synthesis of the news is that the Swiss are reacting to the Obama administration's pursuit of "tax avoiders" by going after Swiss banking giant UBS.
It only makes sense that the Swiss government, whose hand was essentially forced by the US government, to break bank secrecy laws that have been in place for decades and have been a particular source of business for the "Gnomes of Zurich" would have good reason to decide: "If the American government insists on an absolute standard of the letter of the law, then we have no choice but to act on this outstanding warrant that has been in effect of the last several decades."

I'm not saying I have any proof but the reasoning fits the fact pattern rather precisely as I see it. And I can't blame the Swiss in the least. I hope they continue this idea and make sure that Americans in Switzerland are scrupulously law-abiding. It's not like the US is going to be providing capital for the banks now that the Obama economy is failing at full steam and the avaricious tax men continue to make trouble internationally.
If anyone else has a different interpretation, I'd be happy, no, delighted to hear it.

It's Sporty!

I'm now officially .25% more gay for having posted that.