Friday, September 30, 2005


Boingboing calls it "infringoriffic!"

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's ---- Hammertime

There was much wild dancing around our kitchen when the Hammer came down. 'Course none of it was by Tim or the kiddos, so I had to make up for their sitting on the sidelines.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Paul Wellstone Memorial

A memorial was recently dedicated to Senator Paul Wellstone and those that died with him in a plane crash in 2002. The memorial is in Evelyth, MN, near where the plane went down.

Reading about the memorial reminded me what a terrible loss this was. I sure do wish he were still around.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Future Governor of Michigan: The Nuge

Ted Nugent is not an evolution guy.

This became apparent recently when Mr. Nugent, the 57-year-old rocker, huntsman and N.R.A. board member, brandished a blood-drenched liver he had just pulled from a freshly slain deer. ...

"Big bangs don't make this," Mr. Nugent said, musing on the steaming organ he held before him. "That's not a big bang. God made that. That's a liver. That's mystical. You and I can't make livers. Things banging don't make livers. This is mystical stuff. This is magic. This is perfection."

Read on about debut of The Nuge's second reality series (who knew there was a first?) and his all-too-serious political aspirations.

Well, well, well...

The NYT reports today that WellPoint is buying WellChoice in a deal for $6.5 million.

What does this mean for the future of WellNext, WellCom, WellTech and WellPro*?

Are consumers are rapidly losing freedom of choice in the Well-plus-intracap market?

* all actual companies

Monday, September 26, 2005

New twist on Iraq aid: U.S. seeks donations

Iraq needs your help in the reconstruction of its country.
It was recently invaded, you see, and continues to suffer attacks from a myriad of insurgents with competing agendas, plus additional destruction at the hands of the occupying force as it demolishes towns every few months to spite eliminate the insurgent forces.

From the U.S. perspective, though, it's better than taxes: it's TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

Maybe we can convert things like the EPA and FDA to this kind of funding model...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Strategic Attempts to Deflect Attention


By Jay Dyckman in McSweeneys.

Welfare Schmelfare. Put'em on TV.

Tim Goodman gives a hearty endorsement today to the new reality show "Three Wishes." His comment makes me wonder if Bush's faith-based Initiatives could be replaced with network-based initiatives where product placement and advertising revenue fund social programs.

"Listen: If, for the forces of good to triumph -- helping people in real need, paying medical bills, building homes, pushing through adoptions, getting surgeries performed -- that good has to be done on a reality show that manipulates viewer reaction for maximum tears, is filled with gratuitous product placements and is hosted by Amy Grant, so be it."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Never Pay Retail

So who was the financial guy at the NY Times that thought of this business model?

They put Dowd, Friedman, Krugman behind a subscription wall, thinking that'll be a cash cow?

What it's going to do is drive bloggers to post links to the syndicated columns in other papers, increasing eyeballs and thus ad revenue for those papers web sites (instead of the NYTimes).

John Tabin has already set up a blog tracking down the columns and posting links (to the Raleigh-Durham News Observer, Minneapolis St.Paul Star Tribune, etc). Sure, they're a day or two behind the NYTimes, but they are free.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


We will be spending our anniversary this year at Paris-Las Vegas, in the front row at the new live show "We Will Rock You":

On Planet Mall, all musical instruments are banned. The Company Computers generate the tunes and the kids download them. It’s an age of boy bands and of girl bands. Of boy and girl bands. Of girl bands with a couple of boys in them that look like girls anyway. Nothing is left to chance. Hits are scheduled years in advance. Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality. But resistance is growing. Underneath the gleaming cities, down in the lower depths live the Bohemians. Rebels who believe that there was once a Golden Age when the kids formed their own bands and wrote their own songs. They call that time The Rhapsody. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see. Legend persists that somewhere on Planet Mall instruments still exist. Somewhere, the mighty axe of a great and hairy guitar god lies buried deep in the rock. The Bohemians need a hero to find this axe and draw it from the stone. Is the one who calls himself Galileo that man? He’s just a poor boy. From a poor family.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Bill O'Reilly's continuing obsession with inter-species marriages

O'REILLY: The secular progressive movement would like to have marriage abolished, in my opinion. They don't want it, because it is not diverse enough. You know, that's what this gay marriage thing is all about. But now, you know, the poly-amorphous marriage, whatever they call it, you can marry 18 people, you can marry a duck, I mean --

LIS WIEHL (co-host): A duck? Quack, quack.

O'REILLY: Well, why, you know, if you're in love with the duck, who is the society to tell you you can't do that?

(Note: Goats evidently are an at-risk population as well.)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bill Maher: Letter to the President

"On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

You don't really need to click on the link. That's the best line.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Soviet Monkey Space Pants on eBay

The monkey's "space pants" are designed with many clasps to fit bigger or smaller monkey.

Minnesota Fifth Graders Whip It Good

An elementary school project: remake Devo's "Whip It" music video.

Can we send Ben to *that* school?

Googlewhacking for fun and profit

I recently heard Dave Gorman interviewed on the radio and he's quite funny. Here's his account of how Googlewhacking became the impetus of a world travel adventure, a book, and a great way to NOT write a novel. Besides writing this book, he is also a solo performer based in the UK.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


From a recent speech by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia), born the same year as my dad (and JFK too, for that matter):

"Who among us did not shrink in dread from the specter of our fellow citizens' bodies floating in the murky flood waters or stacked in hospital stairwells for want of anywhere else to house them? Could this be happening in a major American city? Could we be so inept at dealing with this tragedy? The events of the past several days seem to have reduced our much touted American know-how and technology to little more than children's toys, strangely impotent in a real crisis. I know that many Americans cringed, as I did, at the vision of callous neglect of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens which flashed around the world, making the United States appear to be a nation unmindful of its own, a nation unable to handle a disaster about which it had ample notice, a country loudly touting our form of government to the world, while failing to provide even the most basic protections to our own citizens."

Yeah, maybe more often than not these guys sound like blowhards, but... give me this kind of old-fashioned blowhard any day over, say, Rick Santorum.

The Byrd bio:

Bob Dylan's Minnesota Backroads

The article didn't necessarily wow me, but I really liked the audio slide show that acccompanies it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

L called a meeting of all the Space toys

space circle
Originally uploaded by ereneta.
Clockwise, starting with the chimpanzee: Driver Jumpy, Workspace, Driver Joe, Orbit Space Shuttle, Lunky Potato, Driver Funky, Space Capsule Launchy, Floaty Air, Erky Worky Work, Launch Baunchy, Blahblibla Blahblahblahbli, Explorer, Worky, Driver Fonky

Friday, September 09, 2005

NBC to get San Francisco tower up and running

Well, we might finally be able to get NBC on a non-rainy day for the first time in three years.

Too bad there's absolutely nothing on NBC worth watching anymore.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Got Pork?

Why the Army Corps of Engineers can't prioritize spending: it's Congress' 24-hour pork buffet. The Washington Post looks at how federal water projects, and flood control projects in particular, are largely determined by which congresspeople are first in line for the pork.

"[M]ore than any other federal agency, the Corps is controlled by Congress; its $4.7 billion civil works budget consists almost entirely of "earmarks" inserted by individual legislators."

The Post asserts that there was no shortage of money appropriated to Louisiana for its water projects in recent years. Problem was, were those projects the right ones?

"But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large."


"Yesterday, congressional defenders of the Corps said they hoped the fallout from Hurricane Katrina would pave the way for billions of dollars of additional spending on water projects. Steve Ellis, a Corps critic with Taxpayers for Common Sense, called their push 'the legislative equivalent of looting.' "

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Firefighters. To distribute flyers.

1,000 firefighters called to Atlanta for training.

In flyering and disseminating phone numbers.

To people who don't have phone lines.

Katrina Timeline

Must vomit now.

Ouch. Just ouch.

Geography: an elective in Alaska schools

Alaska's distinguished senators explain the Gulf's disaster response.

Mysterious Mike Leigh

From The Guardian

The buzz at the National Theatre in London is over a new show that is sold out without anyone knowing what the play will be about. one but Mike Leigh and his actors know what his first stage play for 12 years is about. But that has not hindered its performance at the box office. The new production, which is currently going by the intuitive title of A New Play by Mike Leigh, has already sold out after theatregoers snapped up more than 16,000 advance tickets.

Sure, there's a celebrity factor. But Leigh's first stage production in 12 years?!?!

This one has arts administrators shaking their heads. Cal Performances commissions new works when they have the money, from big arts names like Mark Morris or Pina Bausch. And they'll book in Laurie Anderson or Robert LePage based on the name draw alone. They'll even book these when the shows aren't finished yet. But at the very least, they expect to have a description of what the show is about in their season program.

After the shock, the schlock.

I'm confident enough about myself* that I can admit I kind of have a thing for Oprah. She who gave birth to Dr. Phil. But she's walking a fine line these days. And teetering over the edge a little bit.

This week she's in New Orleans, accompanied by the Angel Network. Maybe not the whole network, but plenty of the seraphim, including Matthew McConaughey and Dr Oz. (By the way, do any of you know who he is? Celebrity heart surgeon is what I'm assuming.)

Anyway, that's all well and good, except when Oprah tours the Houston Astrodome, and of course plenty of shellshocked survivors are rushing up to her and giving her forlorn hugs. One older woman is sobbing and hugging her, and Oprah holds her head a little apart from the woman, insisting, "You're going to be fine you're going to be fine you're going to be fine," a little too crisply and firmly, with the subtext to the camera guy, "Get this woman off me and go find me a child under six years old, please."

But props to Oprah for just letting her hair go natural for once. Keepin' it real, Oprah.

Anyway, it was getting a little smarmy for me so I had to turn it off before Faith Hill showed up.

Today's show features Network cherubim John Travolta and Julia Roberts.** You can be sure I'll be faithfully monitoring the situation for you, dear Blognabbit readers, from the triage center that is my living room. On account of my kid being home sick today.

If you scroll through this link you'll see a photo of Matthew M. sporting his Erika Badhu look.

*Actually, I'm insecure enough that I can only acknowledge this fact in the privacy of my very own blog. Never at work, say. Or at a party.

**The word cherub (cherubim is the Hebrew masculine plural) is a word borrowed from the Assyrian kirubu, from karĂ¢bu, "to be near", hence it means near ones, familiars, personal servants, bodyguards, courtiers. It was commonly used of those heavenly spirits, who closely surrounded the Majesty of God and paid Him intimate service.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Barbara Bush sees the upside

Barbara Bush while visiting refugees at the Astrodome:

"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Landrieu's turn to quit being polite

From the NY Times:
"If one person criticizes [the local authorities] or says one more thing - including the president of the United States - he will hear from me," she said on the ABC program "This Week." "One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally."

Not only did he run the Arabian horse org; he was FIRED from it


Friday, September 02, 2005

Federal Flood Relief Arrives --- And It's More Tax Cuts!

Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week. Given sudden dire needs for increased federal revenues and charitable contributions, one questions his timing. Or wait -- maybe this will be the perfect time to hide the provision 200 pages deep in some emergency flood control bill that would surely pass unanimously.

The Clueless-in-Chief

Says Markos Moulitsas, the following transcript of the President's visit to Biloxi reads like a Saturday Night Live skit.

Anderson Cooper lays into Landrieu

Video of CNN's Anderson Cooper talking with Sen. Mary Landrieu, who's "not angry at anyone."
COOPER: Senator, I’m sorry… for the last four days, I have been seeing dead bodies here in the streets of Mississippi and to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other — I have to tell you, there are people here who are very upset and angry, and when they hear politicians thanking one another, it just, you know, it cuts them the wrong way right now, because there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman has been laying in the street for 48 hours, and there is not enough facilities to get her up.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides

Um, ok. I was in no mood for this either.

I'm still not.

I don't know these Capitol Hill Blue people, so I can't vouch for their access to "white house aides."

Maybe: how 'bout you don't click on the link and go to sleep easier.

Where the Bible Belt came unbuckled

Part elegy for a lost city, part screed about the preznit's fiddling while Rome burns: catch Howell Raines' special report in The Guardian.


Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude.


The populism of Huey Long was financially corrupt, but when it came to the welfare of people, it was caring. The church-going cultural populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration that worries about the house of Saud and the welfare of oil companies while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die on foreign deserts.


Feeling Good Is Understood

Crossing the Bay Bridge the other day, I was driving along side a white PT Cruiser painted with flashy pink signage that read "Larry Jr. - Certified Massage Therapist" and included, among other things, a URL. I simply could not resist going to