Just Another Blog
Thursday, January 30, 2003

I just finished watching Vulgar. Now, I never saw Man Bites Dog which was supposed to be rather disturbing, but I'll bet money that this is right up there with that. We tried watching it last night when my brother and his girlfriend were over. She was the first to leave the room, and soon after we turned the movie off. I went back this afternoon in a more straight frame of mind to see if I could get through it. I did, but I didn't particularly enjoy the show.

It's a View Askew production from Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes and was directed by Bryan Johnson. The lead character, Brian O'Haaloran, has also been in each of the previous View Askew movies (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). But this movie is not like those movies.

The jacket on the movie says, "Rated R for disturbing sexual violence, some shootings, and strong language." They might have added gore and really, super-disturbing sexual violence. Have I mentioned yet that this is a movie about a clown that does children's parties?

There's a chance that Tony and Graeme might be interested in this. Heck, there's a chance that they might dress up as Vulgar the Clown for Halloween. But most people will be happier if they never see this film.

I am curious as to whether the movie has a cult following in certain circles, but not curious enough to go looking. The people who get off on some of the stuff in here are scary. If you thought that the scene in the woods from Deliverance was bad, you ain't seen nothin'. And if, like Kosmo, you are somewhat afraid of clowns, you definitely need to avoid this movie.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
New Graphic

Stu has kindly photoshopped me into the picture on the left. Leave a comment to let him know what you think of his photoshop skills or to hire him to do caricatures of your children.

Voting in Israel Is Different

Read this short piece to realize how much so.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Leviticus - The Book of Laws

Nasty Bastard, who is as his tag line says, "putting the 'tard' in bastard," has this post reproducing a letter to Dr. Laura requesting some clarification on biblical law. All I can say is that I would rather own a Canadian. It's a lot easier to give commands when you speak the language. I mean, sure, Stu has taught me manos abajo (hands up), but that doesn't help much if I need the weeds pulled from my garden.

A New Holiday

Apparently, in some circles, there has been an email circulating proposing that March 20 be declared a new holiday. It's sort of like Valentine's Day for men. If there's a petition somewhere, I'll sign it.

Are You Kidding Me?

The Olsen twins both scored perfect 1600's on the SAT's. Color me impressed.

p.s. Please see the comments to Graeme's post if you have a problem with my use of apostrophes in this post.

p.p.s. Color me stupid I guess. I should have picked up on the IP in the URL instead of CNN.

Can't Find It on the Map

I'll be honest: I have no idea where Vanuatu is.

Well, I guess that was a dumb thing to say in the age of the internet. I can look at the CIA World Fact Book and see that it is an island nation in the south Pacific about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia, and that their internet code is .vu. But the important thing about Vanuatu is that a company incorporated there, Kazaa, is suing the United States' record and movie industries claiming they are "monpoloizing entertainment" through "copyright misuse, monopolization, and deceptive acts and practices."

This is one trial that I would love to be a jury member for. That's what Kazaa is looking for - a jury trial. I suspect that it will never get that far since the RIAA and friends have such heavy, legal hands. But can you imagine a trial covered by Court TV where the Kazaa lawyers and backers had the opportunity to make their case to the jury and the American public concerning the DMCA, copyright law in general, file-sharing, and all things digital-entertainment? I bet that file-sharing networks and technology would take off from all of the interest (that is, to a greater degree than they already have). It would be quite a boost for DSL, cable, and other high speed access providers.

You mean I can download the latest movies for free off the internet in only a few hours? And I can burn those movies onto a CD and play them on my television? Sweet!

Again, I doubt if much will come of this, but I sure like the strategy.

Good News for Rope Traders

This link shows what is truly the worst case scenario in our upcoming war with Iraq. I don't think that it will go down like this, but at the same time, it's not totally outside the realm of possibility.

My prediction is that the Iraqis will see nearly a week of bombing before they see any American troops. There will be some fighting on the outskirts of urban areas as our forces move in. The closer we get to the cities, the more we will start seeing support from the Iraqi people. They won't know what to do or how to help or where exactly Saddam is hiding, but they'll be mighty glad to see us and our chocolate bars. There will be ongoing operations for three or four weeks punctuated by some fierce and occassionally effective surprise attacks on our men. More Iraqi civilians will die than allied forces, but like Afghanistan, the numbers will be small enough that nearly every individual case will be reported. Constant stories of dead civilians by Reuters et al will make the casualties appear far worse than would have been expected even 10 years ago. We'll have a force in the region for years, but for the most part the operation will be complete in 8-10 weeks. I guess the only question left is when things will start. I suspect we'll have a better idea about the timing after tonight's State of the Union address.

Name that Candybar

If, like me, you have a bit of a sweet tooth (perhaps especially for chocolate), you'll enjoy this candybar contest. Look at the cross sections of the candybars, and see if you can identify them. The first page is pretty easy although I missed 2 of 12. The second page is significantly harder and contained a few candybars I had never heard of. I was only 4 for 12, but I should have done a little better.

How did you do? Leave your results in the comments section.

That's right: the comments section. It allows you to post your thoughts, ideas, and comments on my site. You may not have seen them used very often, but I can assure you that they work (well, most of the time any way.)

Monday, January 27, 2003
INS Gets One Right

A radical Muslim who left the United States for a three week trip to Jordan has been barred from re-entering the country. Good! Of course, all he needs to do is book a ticket to Mexico and then walk in.

Friday, January 24, 2003
More on the Plane Crash

Well, I guess there are a lot of lucky folks in my neighborhood. Initial reports are that nobody on the ground was injured other than about 6 people who had some very minor cuts and bruises from falling debris. They are currently reporting two dead in one plane and one dead in the other. These planes both came down right in the middle of the neighborhood right at rush hour. That no one on the ground was seriously injured is amazing.

As you can see from the image (originally from here), I am almost equidistant from both crashes. The two planes must have hit each other nearly right above my place. Not right above, as the early reports are that the planes dropped pretty much straight out of the sky. One was maneuvering and diving while the other was reportedly in a flat spin. Still it was close - really close.

At this point they have shut down all traffic into the area bordered by 23rd Avenue, 38th Avenue, Lowell, and Federal Boulevard. And closer to crash to the south, they have shut off all power. There is apparently a gas leak that was caused by the impact of the plane.

At this point the news is kind of rolling in slowly. I'm sure there will well compiled reports by the morning with all of the details. I was unable to get close enough to get any pictures, but I did see the house that had been hit by the plane. Unfortunately it was too dark and far for my digital camera to take a decent shot.

I just received my reverse 911 call from the police. They are encouraging any eye witnesses to contact the police so that the information can be compiled for the NTSB. More importantly, they are asking anyone who finds any wreckage to leave it alone and call the cops who will send someone out to photograph it and take it into possession. When the Jerry Whitman, the chief of Denver police was on television, he had added that it was not just wreckage they were looking for but also bodies or parts of bodies. Luckily at this point, it doesn't look like there are many fatalities.

The first guy at the scene though has done interviews for a number of the TV and radio stations. He is reporting to have tried unsuccessfully to open the door to one of the planes or to force his way in. He says that he heard screaming. Eerie.

Northwest Denver Plane Crash

Plane Crash

A plane (or possibly two) just crashed about 7 blocks from my house. I'm off to try and get pictures.

It was indeed two planes: a midair collision. There's a home burning on the ground and a couple of helicopters circling above the are.

Check out 9 News for updates.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Well Said

"If consumers know...the potential ill health effect of eating at McDonald's, they cannot blame McDonald's if they, nonetheless, choose to satiate their appetite with a surfeit of supersized McDonald's products," said U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in his dismissal of the lawsuit against McDonald's by fat kids.

Do good writers gravitate towards law or is there something about the legal education that produces good writers? The blogosphere is commanded by lawyers. I'm still hoping to find out. If I can just get my personal statement together. Actually, I am looking at working this theme of quality writing into the essay. And with that, I'm heading down to the library to work on it. Perhaps I can be more productive if I get away from all of the distractions of home.

Bad Burritos

Bad burritos may be trickier to avoid now that Jack in the Box has purchased Qdoba. It's interesting to see all of the burrito chains being bought up by the fast food companies. I haven't noticed a change at the Chipotles, so I guess that's good. It's nice to see all the Denver guys who founded these burrito shops cashing out for the big bucks. Good for them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003
I'm Finally Going to Learn

How to ride a motorcycle. My brother stayed up too late playing around on eBay and ended up with this. He should be picking it up in a day or two. Then it's just a matter of finding a helmet big enough for my enormous head and learning to ride at the tutelage of Mad Matty. I'll be riding wheelies at 95 mph on the shoulder of I-25 during rush hour just like him in no time. Oh wait: it's Peter's bike not mine. I'll have to remember that.

p.s. Please don't tell my parents.

Monday, January 20, 2003
And the Award Goes to...

Pete Townsend

For best underage score on a computer -- Jay Leno

Other Uses for the iPod

The 5GB iPod can hold 300 songs plus your entire genetic code, and it's fast. Everyone who has one seems to love it, and there's no limit to the types of information that you can store. I'll bet that it won't be long until we see other neat interfaces built into or for plug in that will allow the mp3 player to better interface with all sorts of information. Now if only the prices would come down a couple of hundred bucks... But, I guess that's always the problem with Apple.

It Could Happen

A snake, a computer, and a strange hissing sound. Well, my roommate has a snake that lives mere feet from my computer. If Killian ever gets loose, it could happen.

Sunday, January 19, 2003
Stupid Bitch

Sheryl Crow: Rock Star, Voice of America

(Thanks to Tanya for the pic.)

Wednesday, January 08, 2003
On Coffee and Marketing

From the New Yorker comes a look at how Starbucks has reinvigorated coffee sales in this country. It's a lesson in practical marketing chock full o' historical examples.

She Can't Keep Her Hands Off Herself

So fine!Tim Blair links to this story on Anna Kournikova's new tattoo. The story mentions that the tattoo is supposedly a sun, but that Anna has chosen to be discreet and cover it with tape while playing in skimpy, otherwise revealing outfits. To me the picture shows that she has such an incredibly hot ass that even she can't keep her hands off it.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Wanna Buy a Gun?

This looks like a fun little rifle to pair with your .45 handgun. Of course, I already have a 1911 style pistol, so this may be more appealing to me than to you. If I had a job, I would go to the gunshow and look for a used one of these. I guess I could always just put it on the credit card...

But if you do decide to pick one of these combinations up, the Coyote (Coyotes and Hyenas - what is this? A petting zoo in hell? Uh Tony, do they have petting zoos in hell?) has some warnings about the quality of ammo that you use.

Big Time Health Insurance

Willis McGahee took out a huge insurance contract on himself just hours before he had his knee bent backwards. Boy, good for him. I nearly threw up when I saw the first replay of the hit that he took. People in the room said that from another angle the hit didn't look quite as bad, but I turned away when it came on. It was one of the more disturbing hits in football that I have ever witnessed. It also likely cost the Hurricanes the game. That's a terrible way to have to lose, but I was rooting for my sister's (and Missy's) alma mater, and these kinds of things happen in the game of football. I really hope that he is able to make a recovery and go on to play again. Perhaps instead of jumping to the pros as planned he will be able to take his remaining two years of college as essentially rehab years and still go on to play pro ball. Maybe he'll need to bulk up and switch to fullback instead of halfback, but he looked to have a bright future, and hopefully, he will still be able to. If not, thank god for that last minute insurance policy. Get well soon!

"The USPS appears to have some collective sense of humor."

This is a funny look at how the post office deals with some very strange mailings including an unwrapped hammer, a dead fish, and a wrapped toy begging to be let out. What a fun experiment for people with too much time on their hands.

Monday, January 06, 2003

If I quit blogging or go on an extended hiatus again, it will be because of this article from CNET with 10 must have games for your Palm OS PDA. One of the games is Monopoly, and it is awesome! One of the user opinions lists the serial number to play the full version of the game. The free version is a full version, but it limits you to ten games which I expect to burn through by Wednesday or Thursday. User hehehe comments, "enjoy! s/n: ******." That number worked for me.

I also picked up Yahtzee and Dope Wars which I had to reinstall after the version I originally had freaked out and wouldn't pay me interest on my bank account holdings - which interestingly enough is the same problem you probably have if you have any money with my former employer, Merrill Lynch.

1/24/03 Update: At the request of Handmark, Inc., I have removed the actual serial number from this post. The number may or may not still be available in the user comments section at CNET that I link to. Otherwise, just pay the few bucks for the game: you'll get your money's worth.

The Secret of the Ring

I did end up seeing Lord of the Rings II despite not having been overly impressed with number one. The second movie was definitely better, and there were instances of dialogue that were good enough that I think I am finally convinced to try and read the massive tomes. As you know, the movies are very long - approaching three hours. Even at that length, not everything that was filmed could make the final cut. Whether you have seen the movies or not, please trust me and view this clip that didn't make the movie. Now that's funny!

Graeme, you didn't end up with one of the magical rings, did you?

Muslims VS Christians

I caught this on Fark the other day. Go ahead and buy a stack of the pamphlets and leave them at the door of your local mosque. It can't hurt. Reading the comic reminded of a song. This song.

Minty Fresh

Bums are getting all liquored up on mouthwash in Boston. A cop who frequently deals with these Scope-aholics reports that the overwhelming scent of mouthwash seaps from every pore. Well, it seems to me to be a step in the right direction. Now if the folks over at Think Geek who make the caffeinated soap could just make an alcohol-laced soap that coul be absorbed transdermally, we would go a long way to cleaning up the homeless problem once and for all.

More Good One Liners

Those of you who have met my brother probably recognize that he has a hell of a sense of humor. The other night he delivered a line that had me howling and that I will a) probably always remember and b) try myself if presented with the proper setup.

A bunch of folks were hanging out at Peter's house watching the Fiesta Bowl when Tom D. stopped by with his girlfriend, Jen, who most of us had never met. In the chat that followed the introductions to the room, Peter recalled and shared with us that Jen lived in a house with her twin sister. Without missing a beat, my brother queried, "So how do you feel about cloning?"


There's little in life that I enoy more than good food and good wine. Actually, there's probably nothing I enjoy better. Perhaps sex is on the list, but good food and wine are ever so much easier for me to come by. I still hold on to a sliver of hope that my next job - assuming I ever get one - will be related to food and wine in more than just a server/bartender capacity.

I was happy then to get two wine gifts at the end of the year. One sister got me a subscription to the Wine Spectator which I used to read cover-to-cover but haven't read much in the past four years. Hopefully, getting it by mail every month will get me reading about wine again and help me hone my skills which have become a bit rusty without rigorous use.

The other sister bought me Bacchus & Me by Jay McInerney who writes about wine for House & Garden and who authored Bright Lights, Big City. The book seems to be largely a collection of writings that he did for the magazine, but I am not an avid House & Garden reader, so they're all new to me. Mr. McInerney has a (very) educated consumer's point-of-view combined with an author's gift for description. One of the great lines from one of the early chapters (and also great enough to be highlighted on the back cover) is this observation on the challenges of picking a wine for most vegetarian meals. "Like boys and girls locked away in same-sex prep schools, most wines yearn for a little bit of flesh." Now that's a simile!

Catching Up

I haven't done a whole lot of writing lately. Oh course, my three loyal readers already knew that. It's not that I haven't had any funny stories to tell or that I haven't had any thoughts on current events. I've just been kind of bored with the whole blogging thing. I find myself reading fewer blogs and following fewer links off the ones I do read. I wonder whether the phenomenon will lose some of its popularity in the new year. I've been doing this for about 11 months or so, and while I haven't exactly run out of things to say, I have failed to convince myself that this medium is the most efficient or interesting way to say things. Wouldn't it just be easier to send out an email every couple of days to Graeme, Vince, and Stu with my random musings?

I guess that becomes some sort of listserv-news-group-form-letter-thingy or something that was really the predecessor to blogging. There's no point in taking a technological step backwards. And I guess there are another two or three folks out there who stop by on occassion to look at pictures of Colorado or to see what I have been up to or to look for life's meaning in my thought-provoking musings. I have been tempted to give this up all together in the new year and just concentrate on other as of yet undecided priorities. Basically, I've been downright cranky about the whole blogging thing in general.

I've also been out of coffee in the house for nearly a month. Yesterday, I bought more coffee. Today, I'm posting again. I think I figured out the problem: now on with the blogging.