Saturday, February 28, 2004

Move along citizens...
Busy weekend. Milo is right. I am wrong. I stand correctly-ed.
Love, life, joy laughter to everyone on the face of God's green earth.
As if.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Size matters
That is, matters of size, not the other thing. Wait, I didn't mean to say "thing!" In the immortal words of Tom Lehrer, "When directly viewed/Everything is lewd." Which is not really to the point.

I just wanted to note that I have indeed been dicking around (don't say it that way!Ed.) with the font size here on PoW. I think it's more readable but I'm willing to listen to disagreement.

A color change here, a font size change there and pretty soon the template is shot to hell.
Shakespeare at Home Depot
Act II, Scene 2
Hamlet: I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Why should I ever worry about gay marriage?
Beauty. What is the standard of beauty? What is the standard of sexual identification? Why do we have any standards at all?

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Good waste of time
Via Sugarmama, I was led to I don't think's nice little propagating meme of "Ten Songs I Didn't Choose." If you follow these links, you'll see that they are downstream propagations but I'm not going any further toward the headwater.
The idea is fairly simple: First, open your music player of choice (cough) iTunes! (cough) then set the play to "random" or "shuffle" and list the first ten songs played "no matter how embarrassing."
I'm not embarrassed at these:
1. She Said She Said - The Beatles
2. Once Bitten Twice Shy - Great White
3. Wondrous Stories - Yes
4. Well All Right - Santana
5. No Plane on Sunday - Jimmy Buffett
6. Return to Planet Earth - Kim Fox
7. Simple Twist of Fate - Bob Dylan
8. Dreamland (Live) - Joni Mitchell
9. Pretzel Logic - Steely Dan
10. Sunday - The Cranberries

Well, the Great White maybe but that came off the "Harley-Davidson Road Songs" compilation discs. There are other, better songs there. And two songs have the word Sunday in the title. That's a coincidence. Maybe I should waste a few hours trying to figure the statisical likelihood of that. (sound of distant laughter....)
Emm Gryner is coming back to Club Iota in April. Good for her. But good for me too.
Movie Dog
Well, not exactly. Movie Dog will be posting any cinema-related spews on PoW. It may be about dogs because there are so many great dogs in movies. But it's really about the fil-um.
Just an introuction. Movie Dog will return more often than Gen. MacArthur.
It's not always about the dogs
If I call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

It's an old question. The answer is four. It doesn't matter if I call a dog's tail a leg. It's still a tail.
This pretty much sums up my attitude toward "gay marriage." Some will call it "marriage" but it's not.
I do think that gay couples should have some legal access to the privileges appertaining to marriage but those are best codified in some form of civil union.
The legal aspects of marriage are what society has evolved to deal with the basically religious institution of "holy matrimony." Society (broadly and vaguely defined) has a real interest in confirming the basic unit of household and procreation as it has been through history. There is the presumption of parentage for example. A poor example for the consideration of gay marriage per se but rather crucial in the world of humans where children fathered by an interloping male have been produced since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Society is well served when there is a male in place to whom fatherhood can be ascribed. It makes succession easier (and heritability is one of the bedrocks of functioning society). It may make a lie of a family tree in a genetic sense but society is less concerned with the genes and more concerned with stability.
Even though many male-female marriages are made wherein there will be no children produced (for whatever reason: age, sterility, desire for childlessness), in a very real way the possibility of reproduction exists in any union between a man and a woman. And that possibility does not exist in a homosexual union without the necessary intervention of a third party. Even if the third party is a turkey baster.

And my final thought: Society has evolved a definition of marriage which encompasses the totality of experience of humans since vows were first exchanged. It is a more fluid institution today than it was even decades ago. Divorce is more common and in many ways easier now. Some would say too easy but that's another subject. But what marriage is comes from those who choose it and how the world accepts their choice. There is a very concrete norm for the idea we voice as "marriage." And it is not for those at the fringe to define what is the norm. If gay couples want to define marriage-like civil unions as "life couplings," or "soul unions," or any new term they wish, fine. Marvelous in fact. I'll sign the petition. But it is not their right to change what society (again with the vague and ill-defined! Ed.) recognizes as gathered into the word "marriage."

And thereby hangs a tail.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Another radio show I can't listen to
After Don Imus had the surgeon in to attach his lips to John Kerry's ass, I can't listen to his show any longer. Then this morning I hear Howard Stern go off on an idiot rant against George Bush. It seems that Howard is offended that CBS/Viacom has clamped down on the radio "talent" in the aftermath of the disgraceful Super Bowl show. This, it seems, is the President's fault. And I didn't make note of his exact language but he thought there was nothing wrong with the baring of Janet Jackson's breast.
I always thought Stern was pretty clued-in but obviously, *he* *just* *doesn't* *get it.* Context really does matter. I mean, I like breasts - they are a wonder of creation and bless women for sharing them with us guys, but they're not for show at the half-time of the Super Bowl where families are watching regular broadcast TV. Did I really have to explain that? Maybe so: Howard Dean doesn't understand it. He thought it wasn't anything different than people see on cable TV. Howie! *It's* *not* *cable!* Hmm, maybe it's a mental defect attendant to being named "Howard."
There was other idiocy on the Stern show with Gary describing Bush interim appointee Judge Pryor as someone (again, I didn't make note of the exact language) who 'reduced the sentence of a cross burner.' Gary, them just ain't the facts. (note to self - google up an explaining link)

Oh well. Two morning shows I can no longer listen to for the sake of avoiding sheer idiocy.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

There's a pony in there somewhere
Keep a well-peeled eye on Haiti. The fecal storm is growing. It is however, amusing, if we might indulge ourselves by ignoring the human suffering, to see the French make noises about sending troops there. Hey Jacques! The Haitians beat Napoleon's troops. That was when the term "French military power" was not the punchline to a joke.
Not that the modern Haitians are any more advanced than the ex-slaves who overthrew their French masters all those years ago (Gratuitous! -ed) but consider all the great success the current French forces have had in their African adventurism. .... (sound of crickets) ....
And speaking of Africa, why was Apartheid in South Africa universally condemned when Mugabe's new race war on whites is not generating a ripple on the brows of the deeply concerned. Double standard anyone?

Not that I meant to go off on Africa - a continent that's circling the drain at its own casual pace.

Personally, I welcome Chirac's unilateral interventionism. As soon as the first French soldier's foot touches Haitian soil, I say the US government pulls all diplomatic representatives out, informs all Americans there that they remain at their own risk and ends all aid programs for the beggar nation. The French want it, they've got it. Bon chance.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Past Tense
I'm very relaxed about my past. It's my future that makes me tense.
Paul's Law
You can't fall off the floor... but you can fall through it!
Knowledge is power
But you can't run a flashlight off a textbook.
Is it just me?
Or has anyone else noticed how John Kerry's face/head combination looks like the sole of a well-worn shoe?
After I get the comments implemented, it'll be time to figure out the hows and wherefores of picture posting. Stay tuned for PhotoShop madness!
BTW, I would like to thank Adobe software for making PhotoShop. It has turned an artistically-challenged wad of humanity into artists ... of a sort.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

It looks like the speed at which Haiti, as a nation, is circling the drain is accelerating. I could make the usual "tut-tutting" noises and the obligatory foofaraw about US and nation building. But I won't.
I am, however, sorry for the state of affairs the Haitian people have created for themselves because the state of that state is no one's fault but their own. Haiti is, I think (though I wouldn't say I have a knowledge of Haitian history greater than any thinking, observant Amercan's), the most successful Caribbean nation in establishing its own independence. Historically. Let me repeat that: Historically. Toussaint L'Overture was a brilliant leader.
But it's been downhill since then.
And it's entirely on the heads of the citizens. The Dominican Republic, sharing the island with Haiti shows that it's certainly not a geographic problem. It's political.
Having said that, I'm not about to do deep analysis of Haiti's political history. I never meta-analysis I didn't like. I'm only concerned with the last decade or so and specifically Jean Bertrand Aristide. Aristide has proven himself to be the moral equivalent not of Baby Doc Duvalier but of Papa Doc. He's almost succeeded in making Raoul Cédras look good by comparison. Not that I have any affection for Cédras either. I'm not even going to talk about Haiti's leaders anymore.

What I want to know is whether the Americans who pushed for the return of Aristide will take any responsibility for what has become of the island nation. Haiti Democracy Project. It's a pipe dream of the left. And it's going to get much, much worse before it gets better.
And another
My good friend and brother from another mother Paul reminds me of one of my all time faves who, for some reason, I neglected to put in the "listen" links: Mike Cross. North Carolina boy. Self-described "Hillbilly hippie folksinger." One of the funniest guys to put fingers to strings or rosin up a bow. And then he can turn around to sing a love song so beautiful it'll bring tears to your eyes.
One of these days I'll have to tell the full "how I came to know Mike Cross" story. But for now, there's a link for anyone to follow.
A musical note
I've begun putting some links up to some of my current favorites. It seems a waste of bandwidth to put up links to popular music, such music as everyone knows, so I'm trying to pull some quality stuff out of my collection which others might like.

Emm Gryner is a Canadian who suffers from the idiotic left-wing politics that pass for the norm in Canuckistan but her music is fantastic. I've called her a "whiny Canadian chick singer-songwriter" which sounds like a slam but I'd use the same description for Joni Mitchell so let's just say it's a backhanded compliment. It doesn't hurt that Emm is gorgeous. Petite, eyes that you could drown in, AmeriAsian (Philippine heritage) and a real musical talent.
Her "Asianblue" CD is stunning. If you've not listened to her music, buy this disc. I started with her lone major label effort "Public" after seeing her music video for the song "Julia" (which I can no longer find online). "Julia," which is on "Science Fair," the follow-up to "Public," is haunting with just a piano, a cello and Emm's ethereal voice. I won't pretend to understand her lyrics because she is, well, elliptical would be a way of putting it. Still, lines like "Julia leave the dark alone/Every day is better than the last/Julia leave the dark alone/Speak your mind 'cause this life's going fast" are wonderful. There are soundbites if you follow the link.

I've seen her twice at Club Iota in Arlington and both times she was fantastic. As I learn blogger, I'll scan in her set list from the second show (which I scooped up after asking if it would be OK) just for larfs. Her site has her tour schedule. If you have a chance - see her. No, buy a few of her discs (have you ever heard "Crazy Train" as a piano ballad? Fantastic!) first. Then I won't have to tell you to go see her.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Let the navel gaving continue...
Navel gazing as in circular posting. The product whose name I couldn't remember in my prior post is Zyrtec. A pharmaceutical with a name that belongs in an episode of really bad science fiction.
"Ah ha ha! I am Zyrtec the Conqueror and I come to enslave your planet!"

Maybe it strikes me that way because I'm reading one of the worst science fiction books ever written: "Genesis" by Poul Anderson. He passed away in 2001 and I'm tempted to guess that it was of embarrassment at having written such a turgid, bloated book. The prose is beyond purple. It's ultraviolet. Why, oh why would a respected author use the word "blent" where "blended" is the mot juste?
And the book won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year! I remember reading Campbell in the pages of "Analog" magazine all those years ago in my misshapen youth (some mis-spent theirs, I mis-shaped mine). I don't think Cambell would have gone along with the selection. Ben Bova on the other hand....

That aside, follow the link to Daedalus Books. Really great folks who set out to provide readers with good books (I may not like "Genesis" but obviously others do) at amazingly low prices. You won't find everything you'd like to read there but you will find something you want to read there even if you didn't know you wanted to read it before you found it.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Who whored the dogs out?
I certainly don't intend to make this blog all about the dogs but I may as well start with them since ... well, since I picked the blog name and I am the the BlogDog.
Advertising. I love advertising. I don't necessarily like ads but I love advertising. And I really like a little trend I see of late: little, off-beat breeds of dogs being used in ads. First, there was the pug in the Advair commericial. I wonder whose idea it was to feature a brachycephalic dog in ads for a human asthma drug? A bit on the insensitive side perhaps but pugs are wonderful little goobers so this blog must heartily endorse the genius behind that ad. See the pug.
Subsequently, I've seen an ad for ... here's where it breaks down ... some product that has to do with colds which has a woman taking her Boston Terrier to the dog park. The whole time she has her dog on leash she's coughing and sneezing and scaring the dog. When she gets to the dog park, she unhooks the leash and the dog just takes off like a shot, disappearing over a hill. She calls its name and it doesn't come back.
A bit off-putting to a dog lover but the pooch is adorable.
Finally, Nationwide insurance has an ad with a French Bulldog. A woman is checking her insurance info online and asking questions of a beautiful cream-colored Frenchie who grows increasingly restive until he (or she) pulls the internet connection. The woman looks at the dog and says, "Plug it back in."

Three ads, three little dogs of out-of-the-ordinary breeds, each one just as cute as all get out. This is a trend I endorse. Once I get the hang of this blogging thing, I will start putting links in for these dogs and these ads. If the ads have any online presence.
Cry "Have a snack?" and let slip the pugs of war!