Thursday, November 30, 2006
I had a similar moment the other night driving home. I'm doubtful they even had advertising in the ancient world; what sort of fevered dreamers churn out such imagery in the service of commerce? With no cultural connection, much of it is gibberish even to someone of our own time coming across from a different country. I saw a sign that said "Wi-Fi Here"; above it were the familiar golden twin-arches, circled to resemble the familiar "@" we use nearly every day for business or home affairs.
In a thousand years, it's possible that every single current country on the Earth will be gone, and almost certainly, every one of the businesses will be long forgotten. Even barring a major cataclysm, how will they even know what wi-fi was? Kids today barely know what an 8-track was, much less a 45 or a Victrola. Will the coffeehouse web-surfing paradigm last? Will something utterly supercede the web, make the very idea seem quaint? If records endure, will the culture remain recognizable?
Bonn - Greetings, cousin!
Gimm - What have you there, cousin?
Bonn - It says, "Wi-fi here."
Gimm - Yes, but what is wi-fi? I've heard of hi-fi and sci-fi.
Bonn - Hm. I suppose it could be a kind of entertainment, then.
Gimm - So if hi-fi is musical, and sci-fi is visual...
Bonn - I think that it must have been aromatic. This was found in a building with a large quantity of food, too much for any one family - and a large board which Cousin Fritt thinks must have named each item.
Gimm - Hm.
Bonn - My guess, as strange as it seems, is that the ancients vied for the right to smell things.
Gimm - What happened to the food, then?
Bonn - We're not sure. Its low nutritional value would suggest that it couldn't be eaten regularly, or in such amounts. Perhaps a ritual sacrifice of some kind, cousin.
Gimm - And this? The (m)?
Bonn - It's very similar to the "at" sign.
Gimm - You mean, "amount."
Bonn - Now, cousin, let's be friends on this.
Gimm - What else could it mean, cousin?
Bonn - Well... it could mean "AT."
Gimm - But what of a scrap of paper like this? "Bananas @ 39¢/lb." Shouldn't it mean that a particular item has a value of 39 units per loub?
Bonn - We don't even know what the loub was, nor what it measured.
Gimm - True, cousin - but "Bananas AT"? Why would "39¢/lb" be a location?
Bonn - Why would "39¢/lb" be an amount?
Gimm - Hm... Perhaps it's neither. "Bananas" may not be a product, but a clan name; therefore, 39 of something identified by the "¢" is available for one loub (whatever that was) - but only for them.
Bonn - The ancients were big into clan grievances. Maybe Clan Bananas was held under sway unfairly.
Gimm - It would explain why "Apples" could get 99 of the same item for the same loub.
Bonn - Cousin Fritt is the expert in Differential Currency. We should ask him.
Gimm - True, cousin. Why don't we email him?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
At least you can roll back to IE6 if you don't like it. (Or so they say.) I may keep it simply because of the "Clear Type" browsing (which one can toggle). I kind of like the way the fonts look with it.
Monday, November 27, 2006
I think I just saw Tom Coughlin get fired.
Seriously, this fourth quarter was more than bad. I was watching agape, unable to fathom the horror. It was like that Calvin and Hobbes Sunday strip where Calvin imagines a guy in a lonely cabin... right on a major fault line! And a freight train jumps its tracks and an airliner hurtles earthward and he's just about to strike a match even though there's a gas leak!
It was so bad that the announcers kept forgetting to mention some of the boneheaded things the Giants were doing after gaining their 21-0 lead - which, in order, ran something like this:
- Manning throws off back foot;
- Burress fails to defend against a pass only the defender can catch, then tries to bring him down like he's tackling a cactus;
- Walker hits Young out of bounds on fourth down, when he's already stopped short;
- Big punt return;
- Brain-lock play on fourth down (again) where Young is wrapped up, pushed backward a yard, and then inexplicably let go to run for the first down -
- - Manning off the back foot AGAIN (shying away from contact), interception (with only 40 seconds left)
So the Giants were 6-2, first place, with the rookie-led Cowboys and the staggering Eagles in their rear-view... And bang, now they're Rutgers. Even Rutgers isn't Rutgers anymore. The Giants ought to break out the red throwbacks next week and complete the trade.
And hey - I hear that Jim Fassel is available. Not that he should have been fired in the first place, but still, it's nice to get a chance to fix certain things in life.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Got a tough, but heartwarming story and a picture of John Gebhardt in Iraq. For those that did not know John, he was our former Med Group Chief, Dave Nordel replaced him. Anyway, his wife talked with mine last evening and sent this picture. Mindy related that this little girl's entire family was executed.They intended to execute her also and shot her in the head but they failed to kill her. She was cared for by John's hospital and healing up, but has been crying and moaning. The nurses said John is the only one she seems to calm down with, so John has spent the last four nights holding her while they both sleep in that chair. The girl is coming along with her healing.
Monday, November 20, 2006
It was the first time I’d ever seen a cemetery in the parking lot of a restaurant.
Cemeteries are sort of a pastime of mine. I love the twilight of life, the evensong of existence… Others don’t understand. One girl I dated called it “bullshit” – or to be more specific, she called the description “evensong of existence” “bullshit.” “You aren’t poetic, so don’t try,” she sniffed.
She eventually went to Turkmenistan on a two-year mission, if you really want to talk nonsense.
It’s not like I hang my hat on my epistolary achievements. (Hm, there’s the assonance again.) I dig the wordplay, and for that matter I dig the whole mission for God thing, too – they’re just not my normal spheres of operation. Meh. I stick to the simple things: eating and dying, the two unavoidables; that’s my pastime, and if some dour, frigid chick gets her panties in a wad over how I express myself on that, then she can excuse herself.
Well, others have been more polite than she, but not too much more understanding. People think I’m a glutton if I talk about food, but I don’t overeat, I just study. I love how food works, even when I’m not fond of the taste; and then, eventually, it stops working and off you go to be food for something else. It’s totally linked, and nobody sees it. Nobody wants to. Keep them separate; don’t remind the customers that those yummy sausages are simply fattening you up for the insensate earth. That’s why the Cemetery Restaurant startled me.
I was driving through Rampart when I saw it. Everyone here will know where I’m talking about, though I ought to say Township of Glendalough for the visitors. (If you’re driving to Narragansett Beach, they always tell you to stay right at that statue of Alexander Hamilton or you’ll get lost; well, to find Rampart, get lost on purpose. Then you can’t miss it.) It’s not called Cemetery Restaurant, but the Orion Diner. The owner, Mr. Darcy, told me that it’s not his cemetery, either.
“Well, there’s no church around,” I said.
“Can’t help that.”
“Was there a church once upon a time?”
“It’s only one fence around the whole property,” I said. All the same fence, too – wooden posts with two slats between each, and recently whitewashed. The headstones along one side looked almost like the concrete stops for the parking spaces, and a quick walk around the building revealed that they wrapped around in the back.
“Yep; one fence,” he said. But then he failed to elaborate.
I turned to the other customer at the counter for help but he was reading James Joyce and ignoring us.
“You want to eat?”
I wasn’t hungry, to be honest, but I pored over the menu. I wondered aloud how he prepared the grits, since one recipe goes much better with buttermilk pancakes and the other is more of a compliment to buckwheat, but “Can’t tell,” of course. He didn’t seem impatient that I took so long. Finally I just bought a cup of coffee and a Milky Way from the candy under the register. I didn’t eat it. The wrapper was one of the older designs. Somehow he read me, and brought over a toasted corn muffin with fresh butter. It was sort of heavy. His oven probably ran a little cool and it didn’t cook properly all the way through.
Outside, the traffic ran sparsely, one lane each way, and beyond that was a large field with a few cows and a billboard for Mac Cosmetics. A quarter mile off, one ran into the outliers of a suburb a few miles off the beach. Ahead was another hour drive. I decided to linger over my coffee and muffin.
“You heading for the beach?” a voice asked. It was the Joyce fan, large and lumbering.
“No, just driving.”
“Nothing’s here, that’s why not,” said the Joyce fan. “No music, no theater.”
“Well, you’re here,” I replied. “You got family around here?”
“Nah.” He hefted his tome. “That’s why God invented books.”
“So you never get out to the beach or anything?”
“I don’t like to read on the beach,” he said. “You get no peace from the crowds or the sun or the wind.” He scratched his chin absently. “And of course you get food here. Not as good as the Versailles Inn downtown, of course, but Darcy here’ll let you start with breakfast, read all through lunch, have dinner, and go home after a nice cup of jello.”
I glanced over to see if Mr. Darcy had heard the slight to his food, but he didn’t even bother to shrug. I got the impression that he agreed with the endless reader on the relative merits of his menu. “Say,” I asked, “you know anything about this cemetery?”
I may be a fool, but I began to wonder if they all did and were simply having some fun at the expense of the interloper who merely drove past things instead of stopping in for whole day. I was mentally compelled to apologize. “I mean, it’s just that you come in a lot.”
“Yeah. Coming back tomorrow, probably – medieval poetry. It’s gonna rain and that puts me in the mood for medieval poetry.” He suddenly darted down to one side, startling me – he was sort of a bulky bird, with the same quick, peering manner as a fat pigeon eyeing a new discarded morsel. He came back up, sighing, and then handed over a bimonthly chess magazine. “This, here – this is for you.”
“Uh… Well, thanks, but I don’t play.”
“Neither do I.” He scratched his stomach, the all-too tangible expanse marking his life of entropy.
“Why would you bother with reading it if you don’t understand it?”
He turned, and I was shocked to see that he was angry. With a sneer he said, “Who said I don’t understand? I said I don’t play. I don’t have existential quests, neither, but I read Joyce. What’s the point of only reading about stuff you actually do? If you do it you don’t need to read all that much about it, do you?” And with another birdlike twitch, he was placid again. “Now, chess reading is great if you’re stuck in the mud, mentally. That’s for fog and gloomy evenings. That sort of weather is enervating, so I read chess to keep that weather outside where it belongs.” He waved down at his bulging satchel. “I come stocked for a lot of different weather.”
“But you don’t play chess,” I said, but very carefully.
“I play mahjong.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. Maybe mahjong was only for a particular climate condition, and I was afraid to anger in my ignorance. I took a sip of coffee. It was outstanding. In my excitement I totally forgot about chess and books for weather and practically flung myself toward Mr. Darcy.
“This is fantastic!” I blurted. “How did you do it? It tastes like a fine-ground, and almost like you ran it through an old percolator, but I saw you pour it from over there” – I waved wildly at a old tin pot – “and it smells different than a perk… Where did you get the beans?”
“Supermarket, of course,” he said. He betrayed utterly no emotion; somehow he’d brewed an elixir worthy of hosannas and halleluias, but it was entirely by accident. Then, thinking a little, he turned to the side of the counter and brought forth a blueberry muffin. “You didn’t seem t’ enjoy the corn,” he said. “Probably a little underdone inside. My oven needs fixing.”
I gaped. To my right, the other patron, unperturbed at my abandoning our conversation, had broken into a calculus textbook. It suddenly occurred to me that he’d know about the coffee, being here for long hours every day, but he was wholly absorbed. Given his previous proclamation about chess, I idly wondered if he could even solve a quadratic equation. The weather must have been equally suited to intractable sentences as it was intractable formulae.
“On the house,” Mr. Darcy said placidly. “And if you switch t’ tea, I’ve got a scone around here somewhere.”
I took the muffin back to my booth and sank into the plether. It was better than the corn, but even that turned out not as bad as I would have guessed. I took to the other side of my little table and looked out the side window, out at the regiment of headstones. They faced away from the lot. Without going around to check, it was impossible to know who was minding your car while you ate. I wondered if they minded, or if there was ever enough work for all of them at once.
Two hours later I’d also had a good lunch, and had pored over a game that Paul Keres had played in 1952. The man at the counter had switched to a Batman comic as the afternoon grew dry and cool, but as I laid down a twenty I noticed that he actually looked up and said goodbye with a hat-tip. Mr. Darcy didn’t smile, but nodded as imperceptibly as Pei Mei. Mindful, I nodded back.
My car smelled warm. I tossed my jacket to the back seat and rolled down the windows. I decided not to look at the name on the headstone before I drove away.
A refresh of the rules:
- Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
- Put it on shuffle
- Press play
- For every question, type the song that's playing
- When you go to a new question, press the next button
- Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...
Opening credits – U2, “Love and Peace (or Else)”
Our hero – Duane Eddy, “Forty Miles of Bad Road”
Ms Right – ZZ Top, “Viva Las Vegas” [I guess she's a partier]
The Jerk – The Pillows, “Stalker”
The Bitch – Seatbelts, “Waltz for Zizi”
First meeting – Talking Heads, “Wild Wild Life”
Clueless girl – KC & the Sunshine Band, “Shake Your Booty” [yup - definitely a partier]
Clueless boy – Woody Herman and the Thundering Herds, “Woodchopper’s Ball”
Second meeting – U2, “City of Blinding Lights”
Happiness – Lovin’ Spoonful, “Darlin’ Companion”
The Jerk makes his move – BST, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” [heheheh]
Quarrel – Wall of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio”
The Bitch piles on – Michael Jackson, “Get on the Floor”
All is lost – Three Dog Night, “Sure as I’m Sitting Here”
Best friends to the rescue – Edgar Winters Group, “Frankenstein”
Loose ends flying together – Squeeze, “Goodbye Girl”
Reconciled – Elvis, “I’m All Shook Up”
Happily ever after – Eric Clapton, “I Believe in Life”
Closing credits – Grateful Dead, “Eyes of the World”
Curious. Some of these would be absolutely perfect if I could switch the order around a little bit - but I can't because that's not how the game is played. So - how does your little romantic comedy sound?
Friday, November 17, 2006
(and taking the better parte of one half-hour)
Ladybug, dearest, you always inspire
You fill me with happiness, hope, and desire
Together I know we will build a fine home
And live there with joy ‘til we finally retire.
I’d never imagine a reason to roam
Or a worry that someday you’d leave me alone
My sweetness, my soul, and my better part
My lover and friend trav’ling through unknown
I couldn’t have asked for a more blessed start
Better-suited we two than two lovers could chart
Whatever I’d hoped for, you’ve easily gone higher
Years to come, tears to fall, smiles to share – my dear heart!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
It was said that God, in order to test mankind which had become swelled with pride as in the time of Noah, had commanded the wise men of that age, among them the Blessed Leibowitz, to devise great engines of war such as had never before been upon the Earth, weapons of such might that they contained the very fires of Hell, and that God had suffered these magi to place the weapons in the hands of princes, and to say to each prince, "Only because the enemies have such a thing have we devised this for thee, in order that they may know that thou hast it also, and fear to strike. See to it, m'Lord, that thou fearest them as much as they shall now fear thee, that none may unleash this dread thing which we have wrought."
But the princes, putting the words of their wise men to naught, thought each to himself, If I but strike quickly enough, and in secret, I shall destroy those others in their sleep, and there will be none to fight back; the earth shall be mine.
Such was the folly of princes, and there followed the Flame Deluge
Having the One-Man Army Corps rampage through your general vicinity would be a downer; Mr. Sims has the thanks of a grateful nation. Unfortunately, the Hive has learned that the ungrateful parts of the nation aren't so easily counted out.
TO: Chris Sims
The Invincible Super-Blog
FROM: Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, LLC
On behalf of our client, Mr. Jim Shooter, we announce our intention to bring action against you for the following:
On July 15, 2006, Mr. Shooter (the plaintiff) was a duly-logged visitor to your facility and registered same with your head of security, Mr. Luke Cage (hereby named as co-defendant). On this date Dr. Stephen Strange was also visiting for a symposium hosted by a government official named Nicholas Fury. During this symposium several unusual events occured, the nature of which have never been adequately explained.
It is not our intention to demand full disclosure of Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know (in accordance with the PATRIOT Act and certain other federal statutes). We do, however, claim negligence in the following particulars:
- Several bolts of the Power Cosmic demolished the auditorium and much of the adjacent wing. This structure was not built to the proper code despite previous similar incidents (some involving dieties and/or extradimensional beings).
- Security, in the persons of Mr. Cage and his associate, Mr. Daniel Rand, were entirely inadequate protection for such an event.
- The provided warning signs are of no informative or cautionary value if they fail to mention the significant threat of megalomaniacal super-villians.
- Neither the hosts, presenters, or any relevant personnel mentioned that a gamma-radiated scientist was on the panel, nor that he would unaccountably lose his temper when Mr. Shooter accidentally dropped hot coffee on his lap while fleeing the bolts of Power Cosmic as described above.
- In particular, the Eye of Agamotto should come with some sort of caution.
We understand that heretofore your response has been that the auditorium was empty for intermission when the incident took place. Trusting to comic-book physics as a safety device is not acceptable, especially as so many of the guests present during this symposium are perfectly capable of bending or outright disregarding all the laws of physics - one was observed summoning lightning with a large hammer while another opened a portal through time and dropped a dinosaur on someone's Hyundai. This is hugely irresponsible and dangerous, and we demand an immediate remedy.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Well, I've thought. Two causes for my spate of French-level ennui:
- I have no energy for much of anything recently. I've had to narrowly focus on a few things to do them well, and much of my contact with the larger world (blog included) has had to slide. I have posts and ideas but not a lot of leftover oomph to push them into view.
Well, you get what you pay for, right? In this case, zero, since we pay exactly zero for this. As a result, I don't suppose that I can complain too much; but sometimes I still do, as the song has it (I'm tossing y'all a bone since I skipped Musical Monday). I don't think it's too much to ask of any service (even free service) to actually work as designed, especially when it worked perfectly well for the Barking Spider for over two years and just now decided to put up a pointless argument.
Neither do I think it's too much to ask Google to spend a little money on a tech support staff. You have all that gmail stuff just lying around, doncha guys? Well, it's simple - "bloggerhelp -at- gmail" would do quite nicely. Or "support -at- blogger -dot- com". If you can spend billions to buy YouTube, you can sink a lousy million into some IT for the rest of us, instead of a peer support group of fellow users who are equally frustrated. Just let us drop you an email. "Click here for help." That's all. We'll even put up with the odd "planned outage" you guys seem so fond of.
It's not a good idea for me to hold my breath on this one, so I'll put it to you, friends. Many of you have already jumped to WordPress, Moveable Type, or what have you. I think it may be time to put a few dollars into this and make a similar jump. What say you?
(PS - you can also take a stab at the movie quote from the first graf, if you like.)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
If W nominates this manwhore to replace the nominee he screwed over, I will be in the office of the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office the next business day saying, "Get this blankety-blank "R" off my voter registration card NOW!
After he successfully won a court order to kill Terri Schiavo via euthanasia, the disabled woman's former husband Michael pledged to take on pro-life advocates and formed a political action committee to defeat them. However, the candidates Michael campaigned for during the 2006 mid-term elections didn't fare very well. In fact, every candidate Michael personally campaigned for during the election cycle went down to defeat.[NF here. I note that "kill via euthanasia" is redundant, and it should be simply "euthanise" or "kill via starvation".]
Let me speak proudly: tell the constable
We are but warriors for the working-day;
Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd
With rainy marching in the painful field;
There's not a piece of feather in our host--
Good argument, I hope, we will not fly--
And time hath worn us into slovenry:
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim;
And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
They'll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck
The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads
And turn them out of service. If they do this,--
As, if God please, they shall,--my ransom then
Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labour;
Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald:
They shall have none,
I swear, but these my joints;
Which if they have as I will leave 'em them,
Shall yield them little, tell the constable.
Friday, November 10, 2006
"There were times walking into my caucus room where it wasn't fun," he said, adding that he stayed with the GOP largely because it allowed him to bring federal dollars home to Rhode Island.It's all about the fun - unless it's about the pork barrels. Who said money can't buy happiness?
Maybe you Pennsylvanian people didn't like Santorum's principles, but at least he had some.
But the great citizens of PA have led the way for campaigns in the future: Say as little as possible, avoid taking a stand and make yourself as small a target as possible. Allegedly a pro-life Dem, Bob Casey, Jr. sold out the unborn in the closing days to seal the deal.
How many of you ignorant Iggles fans thought you were voting for his dad? The corpse of Robert Casey, Sr. would be a better senator than the empty suit you sent to DC.
You could have elected him governor where he could only screw up your state. No, you had to foist this soulless being upon the whole country.
Speaking of empty suits, I'm glad that RINO "Weak" Linc Chaffee went down. Scuttlebutt is that he would have pulled a Jeffords if the Senate was tied.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
November 9, 2006 - Rutgers 28, Louisville 25.
The Scarlet Knights rallied from down 25-7 and shut out the Cardinals in the second half. The winning points scored on a Jeremy Ito field goal with 13 seconds remaining. Of course, this being Rutgers, they had to scare the bejeebers out of everyone - first by MISSING the game-winning FG (only to get a second chance on a Louisville offsides) and then by allowing a big return on the kickoff, followed by a last-second play that ended in a sack. Some of the older Loyal Sons may be keeling over at this point.
One only hopes that ye olde campus doesn't suffer a riot. We're not used to this sort of thing. I was actually at the old Rutgers Stadium for the famed Halloween Homecoming win, 50-49, over Virginia Tech. The fans stormed the field but I don't think the goalposts came down. Now, however, with what is probably the biggest win in school history? The posts are halfway to College Avenue right now.
(update, 11:55 pm - yup.)
R-U, rah rah!
R-U, rah rah!
Hoo-rah, hoo-rah, Rutgers rah!
Upstream, red team!
Red team, upstream!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The Northeast
Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Take More Quizzes
Yup. Pegged to a tee. Now you can read my blog in the proper tone of voice. (w/t to the Boy Named Sous - and by all accounts more accurate than most of the online quiz genre. Check it out!)
PowerLine gave them a big boost just yesterday, so perhaps the forty or so visitors here won't seem to make a big difference, but believe me, every little bit helps. My Navy grandma would be proud, Ken. Thanks.
Remember that bill for the fence along the border that the President signed a week ago? You'll never see it.
The people of Iraq are screwed.
The unborn in the USA are, too.
Here's the first challenge for Speaker Pelosi: She knows that the impeachment of the Savior hurt the GOP in the 1998 election. I believe her when she says she doesn't want to do it. But all those new committee chairmen want it, the people who send Dems money want it, the media want it, the party faithful want it.
Monday, November 06, 2006
And where was the admin during all this trouble? Hockey tournament, Lancaster PA. We won't discuss how we did: all you need to know is that the words "shutout" and "repeatedly" figure rather often in the story.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
You know your band is old when the opening act is your bass player's stepson.
Guitarist Richard Williams is 150 lbs lighter than he was ten years ago. It has improved his playing. Heathlier? Skinnier fingers?
Vocally, singer Steve Walsh can no longer hit the fastball. It's like watching Willie Mays on the '73 Mets. He should have asked me to sing "The Wall" for him. Maybe it's because he is the sole keyboard player as well and has trouble dividing his attention.
Kerry on, wayward son.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
[Evgeni] Malkin also scored in the first period, beating Dan Cloutier with a wrist shot, to become the first NHL player in 89 years with goals in his first six games.
That was back in the day when there were only four teams in the whole darned league. (Click the proper year on this fabulous site for an idea of the hockey fashions pre-Depression - or even pre "Original Six.") He's in fairly impressive company, all the same.
Malkin became the first player since the 1917-18 season to begin his NHL career with goals in each of his first six games. That's when the Canadiens' Joe Malone established the all-time record by scoring goals in his first 14 NHL games.
Fourteen straight games. That is stupid good. Only six other players have ever gone for goals in 12 straight games EVER - start, end, or anywhere else in their careers.