Just Another Blog
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Cool Picture

Click here if you want to see a super cool picture of an iceberg from Meesh who is moving to Colorado as soon as things are straightened out with the law.

Laugh, Cry, Throw-up

All of the above would be appropriate responses to things overheard at the STD clinic.

Kasper - Disappears Like a Ghost

The Broncos got rid of promising wide-receiver Keven Kasper yesterday. He's a heck of a special teams returner, and I think he has the speed and strength to make it as a receiver in the league. But as a Bronco he was expendable since rookie Ashley Lelie has begun to shine.

Breeders' Cup

I went down to Red and Jerry's on Saturday to watch and bet on the Breeders' Cup races. I did all right the last time I was at the off-track with my father, and I wanted to watch War Emblem run his last race in the $4 million Classic. This guy fared significantly better than I did that day. Winning that kind of money in one day of gambling is incredible. He fared better than any of the jockeys that day. I couldn't pick a winner to save my life and lost almost $170.

Watching and betting on the races reminds me of a thought that I wanted to mention after going to the OTB with my dad back in early August. My father and I sat down at a table where we had a tv on the table and two tv's just across the aisle. We could flip between about 8 to 10 different horse tracks that were running that day. Now my father has been betting on the horses for more than 20 years, so he knows what he's doing. I also have known how to read the racing sheets for about 20 years, but rarely get the chance to go to a track and rarely think to spend some time at the OTB.

I'm pretty big into multi-tasking and information processing and trying to do a bunch of things at once. I surf the net with four instances of the browser running and have my email open at the same time while I listen to music and download songs from Kazaa. I feel like I pretty good at handling the flow of info. My father is no novice when it comes to computers or the internet. For him they are a practical way to monitor his portfolio, check on the news, and maybe read The Onion or something fun like that. He's competent, but he's no super-surfer.

But what I witnessed while spending time at the OTB with dad made my head spin. He was flipping through the charts for all 8 to 10 tracks, flipping through the channels on three televisions, crunching all of the numbers, commenting on horses and jockeys he had seen recently or who had been having good years, making bets at the counter, eating lunch, and staying so far ahead of me that I couldn't keep up. He probably analyzed and bet three races for every one that I did. On top of it all, he was winning. I was so impressed. I thought at the time of the similarities between surfing through the race channels and racing information and surfing the internet, and realized that I have a long way to go before I am a super-surfer.

Smell Memory

The ability to remember smells as opposed to the ability to recognize smells seems in part to differentiate wine experts from novices according to this fascinating study. I would further hypothesize that the best wine folk, the master sommeliers, remember more than just the smell. It is the enitre experience including flavor, mouth feel, color, and smell that are remembered as a group. Being able to recall the different components and how these components fit together for a particular wine is critical for really advanced study or appreciation.

The story mentions briefly that practice is essential. That is very true. There was a time when I tasted probably around 20-30 new wines a week and in some weeks as many as a hundred. When you work at it repeatedly you get very good at picking out characteristics of particular grapes and particular regions. There was a time when I could have confidently distinguished French chardonnay from California and probably even Napa from Sonoma chardonnay. Unfortunately, I don't get to taste and drink wines as much any more. Now I would have a hard time describing the Italian table wine that I had just two nights ago for dinner.

Hmmm. Did I say for dinner? I think I probably meant with dinner. Still, the very good and great wines still stick out in my memory. I can close my eyes and taste the 1963 and 1994 Quinta do Noval Nacional ports that I tasted around 5 years ago. Same for the 1994 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux that I had in June of 1995. Heck, I can still smell that wine. I think I even dream about it sometimes... Anyway, practice is critical if you're going to be spending big money drinking fabulous wines.


Of course I watched 24 last night. Looks like it's going to be another good season. Hopefully I'll remember to keep up with it this year. Last year I watched about 2/3 of the episodes, but then ended up missing like the last 4. I'll probably go back and watch all of last year once I get a DVD for Christmas. Assuming I get presents and not lumps of coal. Jump back to Blogcritics for some notes on the opening episode and the challenges of producing a series that occurs in real time.

I thought last year that the show was one of the best put together drama pieces on tv. Every episode was exciting. Every episode gave you a little better understanding of the big picture. And every episode left you with a cliff hanger at the end to bring you back the next week. This year seems to be starting off on the right foot too. The opening scene last night of the NSA interrogating a suspect was awesome. I'd like to think that somewhere in a dark room agents of our government are torturing the shit out of terrorists using chemicals, drugs, force, and psychological techniques. Hell, I think it would be cool to be one of those agents. But I never see any adds on Monster for secret agents or torturers. Maybe I need to stop focusing only on the Denver market?

More Money on Music

This review of Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three may just be enough to get me to go out and spend money on music again. I could care less about the three offenders, but it does sound like Mr. Rollins did a good job putting together the album.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002
I've Got Muppets in My Head

I picked up this little diddy from Tanya, and now I can't get it out of my head. And the last 15 seconds are hilarious. I need to cut that part out as it could stand on it's own in so many cases. Here. Put it in your head: Muppets - M'Naa M'Naa. Oh yeah. Tanya claims there's a techno version of this somewhere. If anyone knows anything about that, I'd love to hear it.

Monday, October 28, 2002
Drive Like Hell, Go to Hell

That's the latest pronouncement from some Euro-bishop. Of course, all the people who listen to this kind of nonsense are the ones driving 50 in the left lane any way.

Little Swimmers

There was a pretty big story out two weeks ago about how men begin to experience declining fertility rates around the age of 35. Great. Am I really supposed to get a job, get a good paying promotion, meet a girl, get to know her, get married, and start having kids all within four years? Not too likely I would say.

On a related note, I saw the trailer for the new Eminem movie, 8 Mile, last night before The Ring. (Skip The Ring by the way. It has a pretty good idea for a ghost story, but then the ghost is hardly in the movie at all. I was disappointed. And it's not scary. You'd be much better off watching Signs which was a fine movie.) Eminem at one point axe one of his homies something along the lines of, "When do you stop living up here [hand held just above his head] and start living right here [hand moves down and held just below his chin]?" I'll be damned if that didn't strike a chord with me. At some point - and I guess it's happening now - I have to realize that I am not likely to lead the life that my parents lead. I fear my expectations for work and a career and financial success have been out of whack. It's an extremely difficult realization to come to. My whole life I have been lead to believe that intelligence and studiousness could get me anywhere that I wanted to go. Now I realize that that is not necessarily so. I'm half angry and half disappointed. Well, I guess I should be looking for a job instead of whining.


Everyone who has ever seen or used TiVo seems to absolutely love it. But this article from Slate explains why the digital recording service may not be around for much longer. I have to agree that it seems far fetched to pay $13 a month to make your fancy VCR work. Plus you have to pay for cable or a dish or something. It starts sounding like an expensive proposition to just sit down and watch some television.

Brigham Young: Bigamist, Murderer

The few Mormons I have known personally in my life have always struck me as good people with weird habits. C'mon - no caffiene or alcohol? How's a kid supposed to get through college? I worked with a guy at Merrill who was a Mormon. One day, another employee had a box of chocolates that she was sharing with the floor. My co-worker couldn't figure out what the funny flavor was in the chocolate chew. I tried one and quickly recognized it as bourbon. He was horrified because liquor had never before whet his lips. I assured him that the actual alcohol all cooked off in the preparation process, or that any residual amounts would be minute. Still, he was quite freaked out about it. He spit out what was left of the candy, and I am sure that he had to pray very hard to cleanse his palette and his soul.

This story in the NY Times is what got me going with this little tale. It is a fascinating look at the September 11 massacre of 1857.
On Sept. 11, 1857, a group of California-bound pioneers camping in southern Utah were murdered by a Mormon militia and its Indian allies. The massacre lasted less than five minutes, but when it was over, 120 men, women and children had been clubbed, stabbed or shot at point-blank range. Their corpses, stripped of clothes and jewelry, were left to be picked apart by wolves and buzzards.

It was one of the worst American civilian atrocities of the 19th century. "The whole United States rang with its horrors," Mark Twain recalled years later. But despite two trials, one execution and many official investigations, the event — known as the Mountain Meadows massacre — remains shrouded in mystery and rumor.
The article goes on to describe the glut of circumstantial evidence that points to Brigham Young as the force behind the attack. Sort of a modern day Osama if you will. He may not have flown the plane or clubbed the children, but he set the events in motion.

Tom Strickland Is a Jerk

There are already plenty of reasons to vote for Wayne Allard over Tom Strickland, but I thought I'd give you another. I think you can tell alot about a person by the way they treat the help. When Tom Strickland was first running for the Senate back in 1996, I worked at one of Denver's hot night spots. Mr. Strickland occassionally came into the bar to shake hands and chat with anyone who would listen. Consistently, the waitstaff would comment on what a jerk he was. They said he was arrogant and condescending. I remember that he gave out and left his business cards lying around and carried himself in a haughty manner. On the plus side, I don't recall anyone complaining about how he tipped.

I don't know anyone who has ever waited on Senator Allard, so I can't speak to how he behaves in public, but my experiences with Mr. Strickland are enough for me to encourage you to vote for Senator Allard.

I'm sometimes surprised how popular figures carry themselves in public. Certainly someone who wants your vote or may one day need your vote, should go out of their way to not be a jerk. I had a similar experience once with Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and his wife Wilma. The mayor was extremely pleasant and polite while his wife was rude and demanding. She signed the check and was cheap on top of it. It was enough to make me not vote for the mayor. I think the expected level of courtesy extends to athletes and media personnel too. Afterall, the public gets to vote for all-stars and various types of viewer awards. Though I would say that my experiences waiting on athletes and media folk have been almost all positive.

But I digress. Vote for Wayne Allard. Tom Strickland is an arrogant man who has shown his displeasure in associating with the common man. I believe he can be counted on to keep treating people poorly if elected.

My Digital Camera

I'm not sure whether or not I mentioned it, but I bought a digital camera. I got the Canon PowerShot S330 Digital Elph, and it is awesome. It's easy to use, it's tiny, it takes great pictures, and it's easy and fast to transfer pictures to the computer. I use Photoshop for image editing instead of the software they provide, but that's just because I was already at least a little familiar with Photoshop, and didn't feel like bothering to learn the new software. I think I have convinced more than a couple of people that this is the way to go if you want to get a digital camera.

The only thing that I could possibly complain about is the video recording capabilities. I bought a 256k memory card that will hold about 10 minutes worth of video at the highest resolution. Unfortunately, the camera will only record video in clips of about 15 seconds. But, I didn't buy the thing for video. I bought it for still shots, and I am tickled with the quality of the camera. I carry it everywhere and take photos with reckless abandon. It doesn't cost anything to fire away, so I figure why not. If you're toying with the idea of a digital camera, I highly recommend the Digital Elph. I got mine new on Ebay for roughly $50 less than the price that the Amazon link is quoting.

Either - Or

This next shot is either the Hyena before he figured out this whole blogging thing, or the Hyena next to a television where a crazy person stuffed his largely incoherent writings, or - just maybe - it is both...

Proto Blogger

Tools of the Trade

We checked out the Glore Psychiatric Museum up in St. Joseph, MO while on my trip. The museum consists of a single hallway on four floors of what was once a state mental institution. There are various exhibits that are really more of a history of the hospital than the practice of pyschiatry itself. There were a few neat exhibits and a few righteously indignant patrons who couldn't believe that we as a society didn't always know what we now know about the human condition. The fact that doctors a hundred years ago used treatment techniques that could be considered appalling today was just too much for their modern day sensibilities.

Here is a picture of a set of one of the more interesting tools. Click on the picture to see a bigger shot and to read the list of maladies that these were used for. I was surprised to learn that butt plugs could be an effective treatment for asthma. I guess if you use the big one, you just might gasp enough to really clear your airways. Whew!

Shove it! Cure it!

Home Again

Ok, I've been back from a great trip to KC for a few days now, so I guess it's high time that I gave the screaming masses the content you so rightly deserve. I know I said that I was going to focus more on the job once I got back, but I'm not in the mood so far today, and, besides, I did some work last night before I went to bed, so I can justify blowing it off for a while. So, on with the content...

Thursday, October 17, 2002
Back in a Few

All righty then. That's all of the posting for a few days. I'm off to KC in the AM to visit the Hyena and go see the Broncos play the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Vince will be in town come Monday, so the two of them will likely have to fight nasty hangovers next Tuesday at work while I sleep-in like the underemployed bum that I am.

I've actually been doing a lot of work on the Fairness Project this week. I've finally reached the point where they are paying me to surf the net looking for stories that I'm interested in anyway. I've been wondering all day why I haven't been better at putting in more time with this job. It's basically everything I say I want in a job. I have minimal contact with people; I have minimal contact with supervisors; I could work in my underwear if I didn't live with my sister; I can listen to music as loudly as I want while I work; I can drink two pots of coffee and go to the bathroom ten times in 5 hours if I want. I'm going to make an effort to appreciate what I've got when I get back. It's not perfect, but it's convenient as hell, and I need the money.

I'm a little freaked out by the recent pronouncement by Mr. George Tenet that an attck against American interests appears imminent. Why is his word not enough to raise the Homeland color back up to orange? I'll trust the director of the CIA over Tom Ridge if given a choice. His comments along with the general specualtion that the sniper in DC is an intentional distraction designed to draw attention away from trucks on the highway that are specifically not white and could be heading from our widen open borders in the south up the coast to the northeast corridor just seems kind of suspicious. I don't like it, and frankly, I'm a little nervous. I think I'd avoid New York for now given my druthers.

But KC is dull and far away from everything, so I will have my mind on more fun things for the next few days. See you soon.

What Other Choice Do We Have?

Dan Savage is no fan of bush, but that doesn't mean there's no testosterone in him. Read his piece here for an excellent take down of the left's opposition to war. I have to think that if Mr. Savage is ready for war, then surely Woody Harrelson and Barbara Streisand can't be too far behind. Screw Woody Harrelson. I hope they don't let him back in the country if he ever tries to return.

War Approaches

Stephen Green seems to think the hour of war is nearly upon us. He often goes out on a limb and makes all sorts of predictions. And the guy is right - or real close - a lot. I would not be surprised if he's right again this time.

I remember very well the beginning of the last war. I lived three blocks from the White House, and my roommate Seth Werner was an intern at the Old Executive Office Building where he helped to sort and answer letters written to the President by children. It was early evening or late afternoon when the reports started that the offensive had begun. It was soon announced that the President would address the nation from the White House at 8 PM (I think that was the time). My roommate then pulled off the ballsyest move ever.

Seth took his badge at 7:30 or so and walked over to the OEOB where he was only supposed to be one day a week for a couple of hours in the afternoon. He used his ID to get into the building which backs up to White House. He proceeded to walk through the OEOB and out the backdoor. He strolled across the driveway to the White House and just walked in. He just walked in.

He was dressed in a coat and tie, and he had my handheld mini-cassette recorder and a pen and tablet, but he should not have easily been mistaken for a White House beat reporter. So he walked into the White House and just followed the other journalists to the briefing room where the President was to address the nation.

Seth turned on the recorder and taped President George H.W. Bush's address to the country. Now, you may ask how I know that the wiley Seth didn't just make it to another building on campus where he held the microphone up to the television. The neat thing is is that he kept the recorder going for a half minute or so after the televsion broadcast was over. You can hear the President ask if he's off the air and then the room get loud with voices talking.

I still have that tape. It is one of my fondest memories of college, and I wasn't even really involved. I have no idea what ever happened to Seth, but on that night, he pulled off one of the bravest moves I've ever heard of. Here's to you, Seth - old pal!

I Didn't Think It Could Get Any Better

But it has, because now hockey has cheerleaders!

Which Adams?

I have no idea who this Ryan Adams guy is, but Missy likes him, and just reading her site has turned me on to lots of music that I like (most notably Dismemberment Plan). The description of him here as an "alternative country musician" makes me wonder whether or not I would actually like his stuff, but Missy sure had good things to say about him after seeing him a couple weeks ago. Anyway, this is a hilarious anecdote about his reaction to someone shouting out a request for Summer of '69.

International Rights and Law

Glenn Reynolds has a piece on making the right to keep and bear arms an international, basic, human right. It's a wonderful idea that would surely spur investment in gun technologies leading to cool new guns that I would very much want to own but rarely be able to afford. The article is well documented and is truly an interesting idea. Unfortunately, it has about as much chance of coming to fruition as I do of walking on the moon.
Armed citizens, they argue, are far less likely to be massacred than defenseless ones, and armed resistance to genocide is more likely to receive outside aid. It is probably no accident that the better-armed resistance to genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo drew international intervention, while the hapless Rwandans and Cambodians did not. When victims resist, what is merely cause for horror becomes cause for alarm, and those who are afraid of the conflict’s spread will support (as Europe did) intervention out of self-interest when they could not be bothered to intervene out of compassion.
Perhaps the best arguement or at least the most salient point of the article is this paragraph:
It may seem odd to make such an argument at a time when D.C. is being terrorized by a mysterious gunman. But no one should pretend that rights do not have costs. We recognize the right to free speech not because we believe that speech does no harm, but because we believe that free speech has benefits that outweigh the harm. We recognize the right to abortion not because we believe that it is costless, but because the cost of having the state supervise women’s pregnancies is seen as worse. And we recognize the freedom of religion not because religion is safe -- it can and does lead to violence, as the worldwide epidemic of Islamic terrorism demonstrates -- but because having the government prescribe what is orthodox is worse.
That's a great point and it's one that Glenn also touched on recently on InstaPundit in regards to calls for more gun control in the wake of the Washington DC area sniper shootings.

In an only vaguely related story, we find out that a church in England has silenced its bells which had tolled every fifteen minutes for the last 115 years. Why did this church suddenly change its ways? Well, it turns out that under EU law, people are, "guaranteed the right to sleep free of noise, light or smell pollution." I only wish I was kidding.

How are these stories even vaguely related? I don't know. I guess because one deals with international rights and the other deals with a law under the international body that is the EU. Whatever. It's late, and I'm getting tired.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Fun with Telemarketers

Since I have a lot of time on my hands, I generally prefer to annoy telemarketers by letting them go through their entire script. When they ask to confirm my age or birthdate or marital status or whatever it is they need to get to the next step in their script, I tell them, "I'm not comfortable disclosing that." Often, I can tell they are not used to getting so far because they start to struggle by the second or third sentence of their script. When I give them this answer, it often confuses the hell out of them. Some hang up; some treat it as a "No"; some stutter; some remain persistent. Now, however, there is a far better way to toy with the telemarketers. Take a few minutes and become comfortable with this script. When you set the table for dinner, have a copy of the script handy. It is sure to be loads of laughs when the calls start coming.

Not Sure if This Is a Joke

Via Fark, I stumbled across this grid which concisely details the way different European nations view each other. This would have been perfect if there was a United States column as well. Whoa! I just noticed that a number of charts have been added since the first time I looked at this. Or maybe I just didn't scroll down far enough the first time. Either way, this is obviously a critically important tool for those who study international relations with any sort of focus on Europe. I still want United States columns added to each grid. I may be NRE, but at least I'm not SDD, and I sure as hell am not CHTL.

Pauper Bequeaths Millions to NYC

Here's an interesting story from Fox about a rich guy named Joe Temeczko who apparently no one knew was rich and who left his entire estate to New York City to honor the victims of September 11, 2001. The public coffers all over owe this guy a thanks. If NYC got $1.4 million, the federal taxes probably were close to $1.5 million, and, surely, the state of Minnesota took their share too. Get rid of the estate tax and NYC would have had a sizably larger sum with which to do good. Assuming of course that they actually do choose to use the money to do good.


It looks like Reuters is in pretty bad financial straits. As the VodkaPundit has said about the firm, "One Man's Wire Service Is Another Man's Pounding Hangover." I don't understand how their anti-American bias affects their finances. Maybe it's just good karma or something.


Eric Raymond has written a terrific maifesto on the war on terror. I found the link via VodkaPundit, and by this time tomorrow nearly every blog you read will probably have a link to it. It's real long, and it's real good. Skip all of the comments though. They seem to be a bunch of folks who are over-analyzing the piece and taking it way too seriously. Sure, it's a damn fine post, but you'd think from some of the comments that this was headed to Congress for a vote or some such nonsense.

Thursday, October 10, 2002
Skier Conviction Upheld

There was a trial in Colorado last year where a skier was convicted of criminally negligent homicide for killing another skier. The guy was apparently racing down the slopes and came over a crest where he smashed into another skier and killed him. Now that conviction has been upheld by a Court of Appeals. For the most part, people are pretty cognizant of others on the slopes, but there are some serious assholes out there too. Maybe this will make them think twice before they let themselves get so out of control.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002
That's What I Like to Hear

Hockey season starts today. Here is the encouraging welcome-to-the-season message from CNNSI.com
If referees drop the hammer on hooking and holding, and if the preseason parade to the penalty box continues unabated, the Stanley Cup will be won by a team with speed and a premier power play. Factor in the new hurry-up face-off rule, which will help increase the tempo, and the odds shift even more favorably to a speedy club that plays four lines and can count on a third defensive pair. All those changes should tip the balance in favor of the Colorado Avalanche, who have everything. By June that will include the Stanley Cup.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Like Neal Says...

On the failure of the public school system: "where gay sex is considered acceptable gym activity, no true learning can take place." Hmm. I wonder if James and Andrew would agree with Neal and Bob. Ok, so there's no Bob, but of course it's a great punchline.

James, by the way, has a, uhh, umm, detailed description of his life as a top. Surely this will be a big hit with some of the KC ACI boys.

Paying for Music

Paying for music is not something that I feel like I really need to do much any more. That said, I still decided to plop down $25 (no tax and shipping included) for the 20 Years of Dischord box set. Looking at that list and reading the review (and chat with Ian) that Listen Missy linked to, I just couldn't pass it up. Actually, I thought it was supposed to hit the stores today, but I guess not yet. I've been driving around town looking for it, but no one had it. Heck, the pierced kid at Tower didn't even know what Dischord was. At least the 14 year-old at Twist and Shout knew what the hell I was talking about. Over at Virgin they were able to tell me that they had ordered 10 copies but that was it. Amazon and CD Now both said coming soon. But the Dischord site itself made it easy. And there was no tax. And the price was still within a buck of Amazon and CD Now. I'm really looking forward to it. I recently found this picture from college and kind of miss that old punk rock look. Maybe this will album will convince me to shave my head or something.

I was so punk rock.

On Football

Has anyone else noticed that John Madden seems to be alternating between dementia and lucidity on a week-to-week basis? I thought he was pretty good last night, but he was awful the week before. He seems to be doing well every other week. ABC needs to get him out of there next year. Maybe they could use him at half time in a manner similar to what they did with Chris Bermann a couple of years ago.

Mr. Madden's old partner - and I do mean old - Pat Summerall, likewise seems ready to hit the showers. I think this was perhaps the first week when he wasn't matched with the rest of Fox's A-team: Chris Collinsworth and Moose Johnston (uhh, I think Moose is the other guy (either way, Moose has shown himself to be quite good in the booth)). Instead he was matched up with someone I didn't immediately recognize, and Pat had a real hard time calling the game (Giants vs Cowboys). I think it's time for the ol' kicker to hang up his laces.

The quote of the week, as far as I'm concerned, came in passing during the Fox pre-game show when Howie called the NFC South the NASCAR Conference. Ha! That's perfect: Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans. I was pretty surprised that Jimmy Johnson didn't annoy me too much. There's no question he knows football. I wish they had filled the spot with Elway or Siragusa, but I guess Jimmy probably does have a deeper understanding of the game than either those guys.

While jumping around on the Foxsports site trying to verify who covered which games this weekend (which I never did find), I found this surprising little bit that they're doing that I wasn't aware of: Chicks on Football. I guess it's the game from the female perspective. I was a little surprise by the graphic on the Spankings of the Week page. Yeah, it's just a cartoon, but for Fox to show a bare bottomed young girl about to be spanked by an older, more mature woman really surprised me. Well, that last sentence ought to improve the number and quality of hits that I get off of Google.

It All Ends in Darkness. Darkness and Nothing.

There's a great little interview with Dr. Robert Jastrow who was the founder of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA on Tech Central Station. It's a really interesting look at how the space program came to be. It went from nothing to a plan to land on the moon almost overnight.

It sounds to me like Dr. Jastrow went from not knowing a whole lot about space to, quite literally, writing the book on it. How great must it be to have a job where your intellectual curiosity drives what you do? Heck, it didn't just drive what he did, it drove a whole nation. Amazing times.

Well, I Guess He Should Know

The story is already up on Drudge, and it's exactly the kind of thing the blogosphere loves to talk about, so I am sure that by the time you get here you will have already read this piece by Dick Morris in the NY Post on the slant in a recent NY Times poll, but in case you haven't read it yet, check it out.
For decades, responsible journalists refused even to cover public-opinion polls. Then, in a turnaround, they began to conduct them and treat their findings as hard news. Now the process has come full circle: Journalists appear to be using polls to generate the conclusions they want and to validate their own pre-existing theses and hypotheses.

When politicians use polling to produce a political outcome, not to probe what the public genuinely thinks, newspapers condemn it as "push polling." Is push polling any better done by a liberal newspaper universally respected for its integrity?

Monday, October 07, 2002
Colorado Drought

Colorado has been hammered this year by drought and forest fires. Now a new story says that perhaps the drought hasn't been as bad for some local cash crops as originally feared - well, feared in some circles anyway.

Wise Words from Tony Pierce
women should learn that lesson: if you have a record collection that is truly diverse, rocking, punk rock, soulful, and countrified in the right ways, the boys will want you big time.

nothing worse than going to a girls house and seeing three cds on the shelf and a cat. especially when the cds are cat steven's greatest hits, james taylor's greatest hits, and aretha franklin's greatest hits.

Saturday, October 05, 2002
DC Shootings

I think the term terrorist is beginning to be used a bit too loosely. Since when is an psychopath with a rifle a terrorist? I don't think I've ever heard anyone call Charles Whitman a terrorist. Megan has it right:
Of course, the police are saying he must be some sort of superpredator, but then the police like to make everyone out as a superpredator -- no one wants to admit they're being outwitted by Barney Fife. But this sounds to me as if its the randomness of the crimes, rather than the skill of the shooter, that's making him hard to catch.
I think I remember a movie - it may have been simply titled Serial Killer - in which the bad guy gets away with murders in large part because of the randomness of the crimes and the fact that he pulls them off some distance from his actual residence. Hyena - do you remember that movie?

Also, InstaPundit quoted some other blog about how this is a great time to increase the number of guns on the streets and to invigorate a public safety program and that yeah if we promote these TIPS-styled projects there may be some misunderstandings but we really just all need to be better crime fighters on an individual level. That's all nice and good, but let's imagine another, similar scenario.

Let's pretend that I live in Maryland and I am going into work one evening because I have to pick up some papers that I mistakenly left behind. It's the evening, and it's just going to be a quick trip, so I drive the car instead of taking the Metro. I'm a big web surfer, and I watch the news, so I know what's going on, and I am particularly wary of white vans. Just as I cross into the official boundaries of DC, I happen to see a white van in an empty parking lot across the street from a liquor store. Sudenly, I notice that there is a black rifle barrel sticking out of the back of the slightly ajar van doors. I immediately pull over, dial 911 on my cell phone and grab my Glock from the glove compartment. As I'm dialing a shot rings out. I don't even take a second to see if anyone near the liquor store is hurt. I take my Glock and go running for the van. I can tell immediately that I have been seen as the rifle barrel pivots and starts to point at me. I stop. I raise my gun and hope to hell I can get my shot off before the other guy does. I fire one round and then two more. Two out of three hit the guy, and he rolls out the back of the van. But suddenly, the van pulls away. There were two men. The shooter is dead, but there's another maniac still driving around. Luckily, after identifying the dead guy, the police are able to identify and quickly arrest the accomplice.

Now for the real justice. What in the world was I thinking? I knew that I was in DC when I pulled out my gun. You can't have guns in DC. In DC, only the criminals have guns. I have just committed a homicide and broken probably a half dozen gun statutes. I spend $25,000 - all I can afford - on a good defense lawyer. To no avail. The laws are clearly written. I go to jail and end up, ironically, sharing a cell with the driver who is obviously pissed at me as I am largely responsible for his getting caught (all of my speeches and pleadings about personal responsibility and taking blame for your actions seem to fall on deaf ears). I spend two nights in jail. During the third night, the driver kills me in my sleep. Glad I stopped to help.

Friday, October 04, 2002
Weather Report
Snow has covered Summit and Grand counties, creating winter postcard scenes in Breckenridge and Winter Park. Today is expected to be a rerun, with more snow showers and highs between 35 and 42 degrees before the skies begin to clear on Saturday night.
Mere days until the slopes open. Here's the webcam for Keystone's River Run. Looks like the snow is still mainly at the higher elevations.

And here are the scheduled opening dates for all the state's slopes.

Thursday, October 03, 2002
Great American Beer Festival

One of the greatest annual festivals in Denver, the GABF, starts tonight. $40 gets you all of the 1 ounce samples of beer from over 300 breweries with over 1200 selections that you can handle.

Sports in DC

I think that it's crazy that the Washington Redskins don't really play anywhere near DC. That said, I also don't think that it makes much sense to build a baseball stadium downtown. Who in their right mind would make a $400 million bet on the future of baseball right now? There is some talk that the Expos could go to Washington. I thought that the league was going to retract and kill off the Expos and/or the Twins. What has changed to make keeping these teams alive within the league a more viable option? Money. But I still say it's a crazy bet. But, if the whole thing or most of the project is financed by the taxpayers as opposed to any individual or group, then I guess the franchise owner has almost nothing to lose.

What's Up at Playboy

Playboy has hired the executive director at Maxim to be the new editorial director at the world's best selling men's magazine. Hef is apparently serious about making a return to the days of serious articles and Playboy as the must read lifestyle magazine of the hip, male crowd. Hef makes a good point about the strategies available to him. He can either crank up the porn and go the hardcore route, or he can crank up the writing and go the more serious route. The internet is for porn. Magazines are for reading.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Avril Lavigne

I watched young Ms. Avril Lavigne on Letterman last night. She sang Sk8er Boi which I probably listen to way too much any way. I never listen to the radio at home or in the car, but since my sister moved out to Colorado, I've spent enough time in her car to hear a bunch of radio songs. I rather like this girl especially compared to the limited stuff I've heard from Brittany Spears and Christina Aguillera or compared to just about anything else on the airwaves. Also, I understand that this Avril girl actually writes her own music and lyrics. I don't think that the other young teen idols do either. Her voice and songs belie her age. I think she's only 17, and standing next to David Letterman she looked like a such a little, young girl. Still, she rocks pretty well, and with the whole camo and punk look, it's almost enough to make me long for high school again. 10 or 15 years ago I would have had a big crush on this girl. I also think there's an interesting juxtaposition to be made between her Sk8er Boi and Blink 182's Girl at the Rock Show. Or maybe it's just two punk-edged songs about high-school rock stars falling in love. Whatever. I listen to both of 'em and feel old when I do.

No, Not Has Beens

The proper term apparently is hasbians - as in has been a lesbian (Uhh, why do I slip into an Eric Cartmen voice when I say has been a lesbian out loud?). Ok. Now wait just a second. It seems like there should be a good Dr. Seuss style rhyme in here.

Well, I can't think of it. Maybe that guy over at Unremitting Verse could come up with something. Heck, maybe you could come up with something. Leave your rhymes in the comments.

Vanilla Coke

I finally got around to trying the new Vanilla Coke today. It's quite good if you like vanilla and you like coke. It's more vanilla-y than I expected. I imagine this is pretty much right in line with the flavor as provided by the old soda fountains.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Life as a Loser

The Life as a Loser column is a lot like Lileks Bleat for me. I don't read it nearly enough, and then when I do go back to it, I spend hours reading through the archives to catch up on all that I have missed. I really enjoyed this particular piece on health. I think that I have an awful lot in common with Will Leitch.
I have helped foster this mindset, I admit. My mind is always balancing so many issues and difficulties and fears and worries that it seems strange that self-preservation, actually taking care of myself, never seems to enter the picture. It occurs to me, during rare moments of introspection, that I am on the fast track to death. My eating habits are horrendous, still at one meal a day, usually a slice of pizza or a couple cheap hot dogs from the stand across the street. I drink a glass of chocolate milk in the morning, I guzzle Diet Coke all day, and it’s either beer or Scotch in the evening, depending on whether or not I’m writing. I smoke a pack of Marlboro Reds a day. And physical exertion is limited to masturbation and running to catch a leaving subway train, sometimes simultaneously. And vitamins? Please. Next thing you know, you’ll want me to start eating carrots or something. A friend once pointed out to me that the only aspect of medical prevention I explored were condoms.
Not that I even have much reason for preventive practice in that realm. Which leads to the question what do you call the guy who is more of a loser than the guy who lives his life as a loser?

Breast Exams

Self breast exams don't work, and they actually increase the chance of a woman having a benign biopsy according to recent studies. Obviously, that doesn't mean that proactive prevention and discovery techniques aren't warranted.


The New York Attorney General is a bit over-zealous in his pursuit of former Salomon Smith Barney analyst Jack Grubman.

Not Sure I Like This Either

Chris Drury is playing for Calgary. I got a little tired of seeing him win the big little league baseball game over and over, but I thought that he was a good hockey player. I'm not really sure that Colorado comes out ahead in this deal. Of course, the Avs do have a pretty good history when it comes to making deals, so maybe I'm wrong.

I Don't Like This

In Jefferson County, Colorado, you can no longer go shopping unless you are willing to submit to fingerprinting or have the ability cash to pay. All check and credit card transactions will now require people to submit their fingerprints. I don't understand how in the world this is legal or why anyone would be willing to submit to this. The article claims that the fingerprints won't be maintained. I don't believe that for one second. If the fingerprints were only maintained until the transaction cleared as is claimed, they would be of little use. A stolen credit card purchase could easily clear the day after the purchase was made but the transaction may not be noticed as fraudulent for a week or a month or two months depending on when the cardholder realized the loss.

There is a new mall near Golden that is preparing to open, the Colorado Mills mall. All of the other area malls - Cherry Creek, Flat Irons, Park Meadows - would do well to advertise that they won't fingerprint you if you want to buy their wares. Actually, I guess Flat Irons may be in Jefferson County. I can't tell precisely from this map. Yeah, yeah. I know. The consumer databases maintained by the credit card companies are probably as invasive if not worse than the move to fingerprint people. But for some reason I can draw a line between data compilation and biometirc data collection.

Man, this sort of invasion of privacy pisses me off. If one county gets away with it, the invasiveness will surely move to other counties and states. No where on the county website could I readily find more information about this program. Could it possibly be because it is a terrible idea that is best not publicized? Will people really submit themselves to this? I hope not.

I notice that the domain names boycottjeffco.org and .com are both still available.