Monday, December 25, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm sure I've done this before...

...but just for the record:

How evil are you?

The fun part is that I just answered the questions honestly. My ideal job really is Executioner.

H/T Pooh.

Update: Here's my wife's result:

How evil are you?

Not at all surprising, since opposites attract.

Monday, December 11, 2006


XWL, inspired by Blender, did a list of the 25 Greatest LA Songs. This made me wonder what the top Florida songs would be. (Orlando wasn't more than a town as recently as 50 years ago, so there's not going to be 25 songs about Orlando.) A few songs came to mind quickly, but they're mostly about somewhere else, despite the settings. "Gator Country" is very much about Florida, but "American Girl" is really about how much Tom Petty wanted to be in LA, and "Walk on the Wild Side" is really about whatever reality Lou Reed inhabits.

But one song keeps coming to mind as the perfect song about Florida... or at least the perfect song about what Florida has become. Far too much of this, and not enough of this. I've driven through some of the area described in that last article in the last few years, and I can tell you that as recently as 30 years ago places in what's now the massive suburban sprawl of Orlando used to be less developed than the area in that article is now. Give it another 30 years, and that'll be gone too. Since all of this is being caused by people from other places moving here, I figure I may as well grab a song about someplace else to repesent Florida. It'll make the new neighbors feel more at home. So the perfect song about Florida is, naturally, a song about Ohio....

"My City Was Gone"
by The Pretenders

I went back to Ohio
But my city was gone
There was no train station
There was no downtown
South Howard had disappeared
All my favorite places
My city had been pulled down
Reduced to parking spaces
A, o, where did you go Ohio

Well I went back to Ohio
But my family was gone
I stood on the back porch
There was nobody home
I was stunned and amazed
My childhood memories
Slowly swirled past
Like the wind through the trees
A, o, oh way to go Ohio

I went back to Ohio
But my pretty countryside
Had been paved down the middle
By a government that had no pride

The farms of Ohio
Had been replaced by shopping malls
And Muzak filled the air
From Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls
Said, a, o, oh way to go Ohio


My wife and I have been watching and enjoying House since it first aired. ("Aired"? Yet another anachronism for the digital age.) However, there has been one issue that has always bugged me to distraction: Gregory House, MD and super-genius continues you use his cane in the wrong hand! This has annoyed me to no end. (Which is a curious turn of phrase, although it makes sense when parsed.)

But in the 11/21 episode "Whac-A-Mole" (which I just saw tonight), the issue is addressed! House is having pain in his right, cane-wielding shoulder, and so he sees a physical therapist for relief. The therapy is causing him pain which causes him to say, "OOOOW! I hire you to take away the pain. Is there some confusion?" She immediately retorts, "Ever thought about using your cane on the proper side?"

This still doesn't explain why he refuses to use his cane properly, but at least they've addressed the issue! I can sleep easier now.

Bonus: Whac-A-Mole is a registered trademark of BOB'S SPACE RACERS, INC., which is based right here in sunny Central Florida.

Restating the Obvious Blogging

aka Correction Blogging

In the comments, Pooh corrects me:

Correction, alumni drink way more in bars then do the students.

For one pint of the good stuff at a pub, you get a case of Nattie Ice at the packie. (And let's not even talk about the efficiency of Boone's Farm...)
See, this is what I get for not drinking that much in college. Still, I should have figured this out from drinking in high school.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

So, how's that Baker-Hamilton Report working out?

Let's check some of the responses.

The elected Iraqi President Jalal Talibani has slammed the report:

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani rejected the Iraq Study Group's report Sunday, calling it "very dangerous" to Iraq's sovereignty and constitution.

"We can smell in it the attitude of James Baker," Talabani said, referring to the report's co-chair who served as secretary of state under President George H. W. Bush during the 1991 Iraq war.

Talabani blamed Baker for leaving then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in power after that conflict, which ousted Iraqi troops from Kuwait.

He also criticized the report for recommending a law that would allow thousands of former officials from Hussein's ousted Baath party to serve in Iraqi government posts.


"As a whole, I reject this report," Talabani said.

"I think that Baker-Hamilton is not fair, is not just, and it contains some very dangerous articles which undermine the sovereignty of Iraq and the constitution[.]"
Meanwhile, the Syria's ruling party seems to really like the report:
The United States will face hatred and failure in the Middle East if the White House rejects the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, Syria warned on Sunday, according to The Associated Press. Syria's ruling party's Al-Baath newspaper urged President Bush to take the group's report seriously because it would "diminish hatred for the U.S. in region," AP reported.
So, the governement we've put together in Iraq hates the report, and a government that backs state-sponsored terrorism, including the assasination of foreign leaders and that backs the insurgency in Iraq, loves the report.

Survey sez: As a whole, this report fails to pass the sniff test.

Added: Perhaps this should have been another entry in the "Stating the Obvious" series.

Later: Iran is down with the Baker-Hamilton plan, too. When your enemies are good with a plan, and your allies are against it, perhaps the plan isn't so good. Alternately, maybe we should switch sides. Yeah, that's the ticket....

Monday, December 04, 2006

More Stating the Obvious Blogging

Amadeus is not about Mozart, it's about Salieri. Or rather, it's about a mythical Salieri. F. Murray Abraham creates a first rate performance as the patron saint of mediocrities. Abraham has a long list of credits to his name, and we all know that Practice makes perfect.

Bonus Statement of the Obvious: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly isn't a movie about Clint Eastwood's character, Blondie. It's a movie about Eli Wallach's character, Tuco.

Stating the Obvious Blogging

Earlier my wife and I were discussing the economics of college football. This conversation resulted in me realizing something that should have been blindingly obvious, yet which had alluded me all these years.

We both went to the University of Florida in Gainesville, which is (partially and correctly) known as something of a party school, along with its other many fine attributes. When we started there, UF had approximately 43,000 students. Now that number is closer to 50,000. As is typical of college students, they tend to drink and carouse... a lot. Thus the party school image.

The students reside at UF throughout the school year, of course, and thus drink and carouse year round. However, the bars and restaurants make over 60% of their revenue during eight magical weekends a year, when the University of Florida football team plays its home games. Now, the students don't drink that much more than normal on those weekends.

So what does this mean? That the alumni drink WAY more than the students.

Sometimes even I marvel at my cluelessness.