Sunday, October 31, 2004

In Brief

1. Not for nothing, but Osama's plea to the voters of America smacks of self-interest - if it is, in fact, the famed terrorist. Some folks have been known to use body doubles.

2. I've been chided for calling the New York Islanders "America's Hockey Team." Purely tongue in cheek, I assure you - but you do know they won four consecutive Stanley Cups, 1980-1983. It's a short list, those who've won four consecutive league titles: Yankees, Canadiens, Celtics, Browns, Islanders. The end. Only one of those is a United States hockey team. Ergo... America's hockey team, who are back on track with a 4-2 win over Los Angeles last night (in the real world).

3. Daylight savings time is nice, but I've already spent that hour. Can we fall back again next week?

4. Jake Plummer (?!?) threw for 498 yards today. Peyton Manning added 472 and five TD's. Both teams lost.

5. Otherwise, unseasonably mild here in Crappy New Jersey™. A good evening to be walking about one's neighborhood. There's still time - turn off the computer and meet me outside in ten minutes.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Dogs and cats, living together!

Game 2: Boston 6, St. Louis 2.

This grows serious.

Now, there was one positive about the whole Red Sox rally - the New York Daily News ran a great picture of Ed Westphal, captain of the 1975 Islanders, the last professional team to rally from 3-nil to win a playoff round. Always nice to see America's Hockey Team in the news for something other than screwing up.

(By the way - in the real world, where there's no lockout? Islanders are 3-0-1 following Saturday's 7-1 defeat of the Washington Capitals, who are truly terrible even when they do not play.)

OK, I lied, two positives - Curt Schilling is a freakin' stud. If he wasn't a Red Socker, they'd have mailed it in against the Yanks after that Game 3 wipeout. As it is, they may make Terry Francona the first talk-show side man to manage a World Series winner. (Davey Johnson, '86 Mets, already holds the distinction of first Porn-Star moustache to manage a WS winner.)

Cities (or regions, in this case) do this from time to time. They get hot and suddenly everyone starts winning at once. Think about 1969-73 in New York: Namath's guarantee, the Amazin' Mets, two Knicks titles, and Tug McGraw's "Ya Gotta Believe." Immediately following, Philly took the stage from '74-'83, opening that stretch with back-to-back Stanley Cups for the Flyers, ending with the Sixers winning in the NBA, and picking up the Phillies' only World Series in '80. Now things are Boston's way - the Pats, maybe the Sox, almost the Celtics a few years ago... If the Bruins could win in April something would be happening.

On the TV today, one of the NFL shows asked which was more important, the Patriots' streak or the Red Sox rally? The Pats, of course. Without that, would the Sox rally have been possible? Call me odd (take a number and wait your turn for that) - but I don't think that the Sox would have gotten Schilling without the Pats' example of excellence. They'd have settled for Jamie Moyer or something. Neither would they have dealt Nomar (the turning point of their year) without the example of the Pats dealing Drew Bledsoe.

I offer no predictions, but I do play a lot of High Heat Baseball. I swiped Nomar from the Sox in the game. (This is the 2001 Nomar, by the way - got him for Mike Hampton and Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Bill Simmons threw up in his mouth.) It worked, long term, but Boston won the Series that year. It was 2002. That's why I do not predict. And if you saw my office pool this week, you'd thank me.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Meanwhile, a word from our sponsors...

First, there was one blade...
And then...two blades.
Soon there were three blades.
But four blades? Come on. Right?

Hell, yeah, right! I mean, four blades? Are you nuts? Just how many razor blades can a man use at once, anyway? If we keep this up the durned thing won't fit on your face!

Truth be told, we're just trying to keep you from shelling out the forty bucks for an electric. I sort of wonder what we'll pull next. Maybe we'll shrink the width on the next model and bill it as a "precision razor." My idea is a small bubble, like a level, right on the top of the razor. I'm tired of seeing crooked sideburns on the subway.

Just do me a favor, won't you, guys? Don't grow beards. I'm hanging by a thread already.

Passing this on...

Mark Steyn is better at this than I am, so I'll just turn things over to him.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Keeping My Campaign Promises

Check down a couple of posts - those links are operable. I also strolled past some posts at Vox Popoli, a fellow Blogspotter. Interesting.

I have ambivalence toward libertarianism. In general, the less say a government has over your everyday life, the better. We ought to be suspicious whenever we surrender something of ours to the state.

On the other hand, the suspicion seems to get out of hand sometimes. Libertarians often think that government is at heart a criminal enterprise instead of a necessary safeguard against anarchy and mob rule. We could do with less of it, but would suffer grievously with none of it; that's why we had Founding Fathers instead of Kings. Rule of law is the thing.

Problem is, once you give the beast a lead, you tend to be dragged along in its wake. A government of law is one thing; a government of some persons over the rest is trouble. Such an arrangement, by its nature, attracts the busiest bodies in the citizenry - it is the natural home of (at best) well-meaning folk who'd like to help; at worst it's the refuge of bullies. The people most inclined to live and let live are exactly the ones who aren't running for council or school board or Congress. Why would they?

Galadriel said it best. Samwise told her that if she wished, she could put things to rights, and put a stop to a lot of bossing and bullying. "That's how it would start, alas," she replied sadly. In short, government is not inherently the problem. Any system of rule is flawed because the people who make it are fallen creatures.

Convinced yet? If so, I'm surprised. This isn't an argument, nor meant to be. Just sharing my misgivings. However, I'll make you one last promise - I won't ever run for anything more than a bus.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's me, baby!

The Hive is up and running again, fully re-wired. I now have a network jack right under the cable outlet. Except for my bed, home now feels like my office.

Wonderful things happen when you aren't subject to the vagaries of dial-up. You wouldn't believe what can get done in a short time:

1. The NHL settled their labor dispute. Tonight's regularly-scheduled games went off. Islanders beat Boston, 4-1, which makes it two straight for the home teams over the Beaneaters. (The Yanks swept Boston last week and are currently playing game six of the Series against Houston.)

2. Only four more shopping days until Christmas.

3. Star Wars: Episode III opened and closed in fifteen hours.

4. Election day was three weeks ago.

5. Iraq's hottest band, the Arabian Knights, just announced the dates for their world tour. After two months Stateside, they spend three weeks annoying France and Germany with tunes from their latest album, "We Kept the Receipts," before a triumphant Middle-East swing through Kashmir, Damascus, Tikrit, Tehran, Fallujah, Jordan, Tel Aviv, and Cairo. They then play three dates in Baghdad, coinciding with the close of Ramadan, before a special Jerusalem concert with Jars of Clay.

I could get used to the technology age...

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Release the Hounds

Not for nothing, but I haven’t been active enough this weekend to pick up on the Drudge stuff about Mr. Bill. O. Reilly. (It stinks when your Internet is down.) I had to play catch-up in the Mobile Command Unit.

I shan’t go into details, but if half of what Ms. Mackris says is verifiable, Mr. O’Reilly is – nay, not mere toast – a smoking cinder, the dregs of a month’s worth of toaster activity, scraped into three-day-old coffee. We’ll wait and see.

A gentleman named Vox Day, writing for World Net (I’ll link later, when I’m not emailing from undisclosed locations), wonders if the heretofore silent Right-Wing Conspiratists are double-standardizing, given their frothing regarding Mr. Bill. J. Clinton. I doubt my little buzz-in-the-dark will change that assessment (I’m a goalie, not a winger), but I offer these two observations:

1. Bill O’Reilly has an hourly talk show. People could choose to stay off it, or choose not to watch it, ever. (Such as yours truly.) His influence, in other words, is limited; the moreso if you consider that he’s working the same side of the street as the Mighty Rush (amidst others). Bill Clinton, on the other hand, toted about the nuclear launch codes for eight years. He signed legislation and executive orders (and dozens of pardons). Every last citizen, with or without a talk show, had every right to worry about what he’d been doing on citizen time – or dismiss those worries. I suspect that those who’ve withheld their opinions thus far about the current he-sued/she-sued are waiting for facts to sift a bit more.

2. Drudge helped break this story. Apparently not all of the VRWC got the “Hands Off O’Reilly” memo.

Nothing to add to that, except that, in fairness, Mr. Day acknowledged that Drudge helped this news out into the open, and left him off the list of Silent Treatments. Once the Hive is up and buzzing again, I plan to stop in on the Vox Populi blog and see what I can see.

And speaking of the hounds – has anyone successfully tracked down the Dissident Frogman? This is Day 35 since his last entry. MDF – if you’re out there, monsieur, reassure us!

UPDATE [Oct 21] - links are linked. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

And wash behind your ears, too...

"You should have your own blog," they say. "It's simple! Just type and post."

They do not add that simple is not easy. The Blogspot folks have put together a neat little tool for composing and posting these things; but so far I've lost two separate posts thanks to my own system's vagaries. The other day a friend's instant message popped up in the middle of my typing, and when I went back, half my post was gone, and the other half had turned into a link to a friend's blog.

Thus have I learned the big secret to posting anything on the Internet, a rule I'd known from my days on AOL's message boards, and then had forgotten - COPY AND PASTE.

The other trick is more challenging. I've gotten feedback from the first post...but none of it has made it into the comments section. It's set (I think) to allow comments from all users, but if I read things right, you still have to register to leave your name; else the comment is anonymous. That's a rule that I don't think I can change (sorry folks). However, I can make things up to my friend, by including a link to his blog here, and over on the side, permanent-like. I've also tossed in a couple of others. The first is for my church group and the other is for James Lileks, who is The Man.

As for the Lost Post... it took an hour to write and seconds to lose. Maybe next week. I'm out for the next few days - family wedding (a command appearance).