Saturday, November 19, 2005

D'oh!!!!!!

Okay, so it only took me a little under a week to realize that I wrote a blog entry entitled "Would You Eat Skippy?"

In case you missed it, because you had five or six thousand better things to do, it was about Australia's search for a new name for kangaroo meat.

When I wrote it, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me: "Skippy" was one of the suggested names, and it's a terrible name, see, because it's so cute and cuddly and snuggly.

I mean, who in his right mind would eat something called "Skippy"?!

I thought of this as I made myself a peanut butter sandwich tonight.

D'oh!!!

Okay, I'm an idiot.

But I think you know what I meant. Right?

Why George Clooney is The Man


"The arguments I've had with Bill [O'Reilly] have only helped Bill. He's only used them to further his own cause. He started the fight over the telethon, the September 11th telethon and then he went on The Today Show and Matt Lauer said, 'Why are you doing this?' and he said, 'Because I want to help Americans' and Matt Lauer said, "Well, but, would it not be disingenuous to also say that you also said you would only come on the show if we talked about your book?'

"The truth of the matter is Bill is a self-promoter. That's fine. Those guys have always existed.

"I, in some ways, shouldn't have taken some of the bait by fighting him. But it wasn't when he was attacking me, it's when he attacked the actors that I got to come to the telethon that I thought I owed them a good fight and...y'know, the problem is he went on the air the other day and, y'know, was angry at something I said which was factual.

"And he constantly says, y'know, that he is credited, and he credits himself for the telethon, and he said, 'I proved that those guys, that the money was going to the wrong place, and I made the Red Cross change their ways.' And he keeps saying, 'I made the Red Cross change their ways.'

"And again, I say to him, as thick-skulled as he is, we were not the Red Cross, we were the United Way.

"We were investigated. At the end of the investigation, Conress basically said, 'This is the way you should handle the distributing of the funds.' We did it as perfect a way as you could in that a quick a period of time. We're very proud of the way we did that."

-- George Clooney on Fresh Air With Terry Gross, October 18th, 2005

He's a Very Funny, Talented Actor


But it's time for Nate Torrence to leave show business and let other actors have a chance to get in for a change. Any other actor. Any other face. Just for a while.

Cooking With A Microwave

I love to eat home-cooked meals, but the only one home to cook them is me, so I'm pretty much screwed. Mostly because I lack the patience to follow complicated recipes and spend a lot of time on prep.

But I just discovered a blog that looks like it'll keep me busy with quick and easy recipes for the next few months... and they are microwave recipes! Yeah, the microwave. That big machine I use for soup and popcorn can actually make food.

Anyway, the blog is called, appropriately, Cooking With A Microwave, and if you're as hungry and impatient as I am, check it out. Some of these dishes sound fantastic.

Truly Unique Art


I love this: DNA11 will turn your DNA into a beautiful work of art that is truly all your own. They send you a saliva-collection kit, you send them a sample and specify your choice of color and size, and they send you a museum-quality canvas image of your DNA. It's not cheap, but it is abstract and concrete and beautiful all at the same time, and about how many things can you say that?

Also, if you have a hard-to-shop for twin, this is probably a great gift.


Great Customer Service vs. Bad Customer Service: A Case Study

So remember I told you about the coffee maker I didn't get last night? Today I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought it, and they not only accepted the competing store's coupon for it, but everyone in the store was incredibly helpful.

Then I went to CompUSA. I had ordered a cell battery at CompUSA.com and they sent me the wrong one, so I headed over there to swap it. The disaffected girl at the counter told me with a shrug, "If you order online you can't exchange it at the store, you hafta email them or whatever." No, "I'm sorry" or anything like that. Then she sneezed on me.

"But What if I Need a Haircut Over Denver?"


Did you ever wonder what kind of stuff gets confiscated from people in airports? And did you ever wonder if there was a place you could buy it really cheap? And did you ever wish there were a place you could buy five pounds of stainless steel barber scissors?

Well, just go to eBay and search for NTSA and all will be revealed.

The Crown Affair

For those of you who had "crown falls out again Friday night" and "clam chowder" you won the pool.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Entertainment Weekly Has Officially Lost It

In this week's issue, Entertainment Weekly notes that Joey's ratings have plummeted, then suggests that NBC's only logical course of action is to cancel... The Apprentice.

Whaaaaa?

Yeah, I know, I don't get it, either. Their idea of brilliant programming is a 2-hour Thursday comedy block (yawn): To move My Name is Earl from Tuesday, where it's a hit, follow it with Joey and Will & Grace (which no one knew was still on), and bring back Scrubs.

Okay, I'm all for bringing back Scrubs, but if it's okay with EW, I like The Apprentice, and I think it has a bit more of a future than Joey and Will & Grace, don't you?

The Good, The Good, and the Weird

The Good: My new Starbucks opened and it's more beautiful than I could have imagined.

The Good: My copy of GQ arrived, and it had the Jennifer Aniston half-naked cover, not the Fitty cover. Phew.

The Weird: I ordered a coffeemaker from a home and bath store's website to pick up at the store, and when I got there turns out I had to show them the same credit card that I used to order it. But I had used a virtual card to fight online fraud. So there was no actual card. They had no idea what I was talking about. I had no idea why I couldn't just pay for the coffeemaker with the card I was holding in my hand instead. It was a stand-off right out of True Romance. I ended up with no coffeemaker. Sad.

So I went back to Starbucks.

"Your Tech Is Trying To Kill You"

First, let me say that in all my years online -- and I've been online since about 1991 or 92 -- I've spent a robust amount of time perusing items of, shall we say, an "adult" or "provocative" nature. As regular visitors to these pages know, I enjoy the sight of a woman who possesses the attributes shallow men prize.

In all those years, I have never, to my knowledge, come across a depiction of child pornography, rape or bestiality. Ever.

Not once.

Of course, the people at Action News and Eyewitness News and Street Beat On the Street News or whatever can't seem to turn on a computer without immediately stumbling into a deadly viper's nest of sordid, violent, illegal, immoral images and come-ons. It is Tijuana times Detroit to the power of Bangkok where they're surfing, apparently, and you can practically feel the ooze coming out of their monitor when they slavishly cover every deliciously evil byte (for sweeps week, of course.)

See, there's nothing that TV news loves more than to tell you that tech will hurt you. For an industry built on tech, that relies on tech, that transmits via tech, for some reason, TV news loathes tech.

You see it all the time:

"Coffeehouse hotspots and the theft of your personal information."

"Your cell phone is toasting your brain."

"Blackberry Thumbs: Are you at risk?"

"Chat Room Perverts: Is your child at risk?"

"Video Game Wrist: Is your wrist at risk?"

I know someone who won't allow cordless phones or wireless routers in his house because he saw on the news that the RF energy could give his children brain tumors. I don't have the heart to explain to him how many hundreds of times more powerful his microwave ovens are.

And my personal favorite: the constant drumbeat about the DANGERS of using your credit card online. Oh, yes, it's oh so dangerous to use your credit card in a secure site with encryption... but it's safe as mother's milk to hand it over to the sullen, disaffected young man who just spit in your salad and let him take it in the back room for ten minutes or so and do God-knows-what with it. What could go wrong with that plan?

There is a psychologist -- whom I won't name because he/she might be an irresponsible, opportunistic quack and I don't want to get sued -- who makes his/her living running in front of TV cameras every time there's a new tech innovation. Whenever the local news or the national news or a newsmagazine does a story claiming that there is some psychological harm behind some new tech device, there is this psychologist, providing the lone voice of doom, the only person making the specious claim on which the entire phony story is based.

Hey, he/she gets on TV a lot. And that's what matters.

Because the truth is TV news doesn't really hate tech.

They just love scaring you. And they know how to do it.

By exploiting the things you don't understand.

If they told you your umbrella or your toaster oven or your wicker magazine basket were out to get you, you'd laugh and tell them they were out of their fucking minds. But when they exploit your mistrust of the gadgets you've come to rely on without fully understanding -- the ones that freeze and crash without warning -- they are cynically exploiting you.

So the question must be asked: Where have the media been on rootkit? Now that there is a real story to tell, why have they been so silent? This should be right up their alley! "Popular music CD's install harmful software on your computer. We'll tell you which ones and how to get rid of it at eleven."

But nothing.

Sony has a patch available for rootkit, which may or may not work, as Technology Watch tries to explain. Have you seen anything on the news about this?

Neither have I.

But you can bet when the Xbox 360 comes out, there will be medical experts galore who will be all over the news to tell us how dangerous the controller is, how dangerous the colors are, the violence is, the music is, the addiction to media, the blah de blah de blah...

Until the next gadget to fear comes out.

New Grand Jury for Fitzgerald

Reuters/Yahoo: "Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case"

Civility

So I heard something stupid on the radio today.

I know, it's almost impossible to believe.

See, there's been a lot of discussion lately about why it's become so unpleasant to go to the movies. A valid discussion, since it really is often a chore. Long lines, remote parking, rude audiences, uncomfortable chairs and Fanta commercials are among the many reasons I don't go as much as I used to.

But today I heard this host on the radio ask his guest, who has written a book on the death of civility, whether Hollywood is to blame for the way people behave in theatres. After all, it was Hollywood that got people in the habit of watching movies at home, went his theory, so isn't Hollywood to blame for people acting in theatres the way they do at home?

His guest, an expert in civility, politely said, "That's an interesting theory." She was being very kind.

I would have quoted the great Inspector Sidney Wang:

"Very interesting theory. However leave out one important point: Is stupid. Is stupidest theory I ever heard."

People have eaten at home for a very long time, haven't they? And as far as I know, we still expect them to act differently when they eat in restaurants than they do at home. And when people are boorish in restaurants, we don't blame Swanson's or Campbell's or Dinty Moore, do we?

People go to the bathroom at home, people sleep at home, people scratch themselves at home, people tend to the interior of their noses at home, people kiss at home... but when they do those things away from home, they're expected to act with more consideration to others, and they generally -- thank goodness -- do.

And when they don't, it's nobody's fault but their own.

To blame Hollywood for people's lack of manners is... well, rude.

A Visit to the Palm Store


Palm has a new store at The Grove in L.A., and I stopped in today to see if it's going to be a new stop on my usual "Grove rotation." It's not. Unfortunately, it's just not very well-stocked or laid out. Or any fun.

Palm failed to follow Apple's shrewd example. Whereas Apple fills their stores with third-party products and fun and interesting activities, Palm's store is a sterile, barren display of a handful of Palm-manufactured products. And even if you are moved to buy something, nothing has a price on it. That's a pet peeve of mine.

When I visited, there was no one in the store but one very sad and lonely clerk. That's too bad. Let's hope Palm gets its act together and makes its store a destination as compelling as some of its products.

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Digg

You'l notice, in the right hand column, this blog now features headlines from Digg.com. If you're not familiar with Digg, it's a great news site/social networking site/podcast/videocast, etc. Check it out if you're interested in joining the exploding Digg community, and check out Lifehacker's beginner's guide to Digg.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Smaller iPod Shuffles Coming in January

According to AppleInsider, "noticeably smaller" iPod Shuffles, possibly in multiple colors, could be introduced as early as January. Sounds cool. Of course, I am already getting the shakes for when the new, thinner Powerbooks with built-in iSight come out.

Does Defamer Read Me?

So Defamer, the only real news site out there, is sending invitations to be a "commenter" out to friends, tipsters, and bloggers they like. Meanwhile, I have received a personal invitation to join the prestigious "Columbia House CD Club." So things are going pretty good for the Mike-Man right now.

Once Again, I Read an Article and End Up Feeling Not As Cool As The Writer

I've enjoyed reading Dana Stevens' Surfergirl column on Slate.com in the past. So I'm reading her review of the new Sundance Channel series, Iconoclasts, wherein celebrities interview celebrities. And she's talking about the episode where Tom Ford, whom Dana describes as "former head of design for Gucci" is interviewing Jeff Koons, whom Dana describes as "the superstar artist who incorporates pop-culture detritus into monumental works that hover between beauty and kitsch."

Wow. I assume Dana also thinks Jeff is dreamy and has nice teeth.

I know nothing about art, monumental or otherwise. I only knew Jeff Koons as the guy who put basketballs in fish tanks and sold them for thousands of dollars. Well-played, Jeff.

Anyway, then I get to this paragraph in the review, and I'm left scratching my head, which does not like to be scratched:


"There's a Spinal Tap quality to Ford's unintentional naiveté, as he asks Koons questions straight out of a bull session between stoned college freshmen: "Is that vacuum cleaner a piece of art, or does the art come from the fact that you have put it in a work and called it art?" But his genuine curiosity about Koons' work is touching, as is the level of attention and detail both men bring to their craft."

First of all, I'm sure Tom is glad you liked his genuine curiosity, Dana, and after you check his spelling and penmanship he would like a cookie, too.

But the main thing I wonder is: Isn't that question exactly the question you'd like to ask Jeff Koons, or anyone who puts vacuum cleaners in galleries? I mean, I think it's an excellent question. I think it's just the right question, stoned or otherwise. I'd like to watch the show, to hear the answer!


So, sadly, once again, I am reading an article and I am left feeling [DEEP, BOOMING ANNOUNCER VOICE] "Not As Cool As The Writer"!!!!

Hey, I Can Be Domestic, Too

Lisa Arch isn't the only one who knows kitcheny stuff. I know a couple of things. Er, at least I think so. Here are some of them:

Whenever you have a chance to buy a bag of lemons on sale, do it. Then throw a couple down the garbage disposal every now and then to keep it smelling sweet.

Some people will tell you never to throw chicken bones in a garbage disposal. Others will tell you it's actually good for the garbage disposal. The correct answer is: depends on your make and model. Check with your manufacturer. Some well-made brands, like In-Sink-Erator, actually hone and thrive on bones and ice ("Feed me, Seymour!") while others might wither and die. As always, RTFM.

A few things all garbage disposal manuals will tell you, though: no grease! And no celery or corn husks or artichokes or other stringy, tangly veggies. And cold water is better than hot.

And never, ever stick your hand anywhere near that thing. Haven't you ever seen a Final Destination movie??

Okay, enough about garbage disposals. Here is the secret to perfect scrambled eggs:

First, put a teeny bit of milk or soy milk in there.

Then, and this is key: Don't use a frying pan.

Instead use a small nonstick saucepan and a silicon spatula. Because the cooking surface is so small and hot and all-surrounding, the eggs will cook fast (another benefit) so you'll have to keep them constantly moving. This fills the eggs with air and makes them fluff-tastic. You'll love them.

If you like cheese omelettes, try substituting a little cream cheese for whatever cheese you usually use. (I've seen it called Eggs San Francisco) It's delicious.

And speaking of delicious, there is no better rainy day lunch in the world than soup 'n' Scoops. That is, Tostitos Scoops, filled with either Campbells Chunky New England Clam Chowder, or Campbells Creamy Tomato Soup. The Tostitos Scoops are like little bowls for the soup. It's fan-tastic.

If the Tostitos or Campbells people would like to send me cases of free product, please know that I am definitely not above such plugola. If anyone else wants to send me free stuff, I also love my new Converse Chucks Slips, and would love to get more. Also, a Power Mac G5 would be really cool. Also I like cars.

Bush's Haiku

The Daily Show pointed out (11/16/05) that, in a speech in Japan, Bush actually (accidentally, of course) spoke in Haiku. For the tranquility of those among you who missed it, here it is:

I've consistently
Said, as the Iraqis stand
Up, we will stand down

Stephen Colbert on torture: Doesn't the Constitution forbid cruel and unusual punishment?

"Sure it does. But torture is only cruel and unusual if we don't do it that often. From what I've been hearing, it's recently become cruel and fairly usual. So from a Constitutional point of view, torture is a go."

The Colbert Report, 11/15/05

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A C.S.I. Question


On C.S.I., when one character says something like, "All I have to do is spray this on the surface, and if there's any blood, it will glow purple"...

Why does the other character never say something like, "Who do you think you're talking to? I've actually worked here longer than you. I trained you. Don't patronize me, asshole."

I mean, can you imagine if you were at the office, in the Xerox room, and someone said to you, "See, if I put this document face down on the glass and press this green button, the machine will make an exact copy." You'd rap them in the mouth. At least I would.

I'm just asking.

If You've Got the Time...


...and you're handy -- I'm not -- you might want to try building your own clock.

If you do, everything you need can be found at klockit.com. They have kits, plans, parts, a wide assortment of movements and hands, and pictures of clocks built by other customers to inspire you (including the cool, Dali-esque one above, built by Ed Wolan of Tujunga, CA)

If you're better with drywall than wood, you can even go for a minimalist approach: put the works in the wall and show just the hands. If you do that, klockit has you covered: they sell numerals, and even templates to help you mark off the numeral locations for accuracy.

Where in the World Was I Today?

No posts! Outrageous!

I was to Hell and back today, people.

Okay, so I was just driving around the Westside and Beverly Hills all day. And maybe in the scheme of things it's not that bad. And yes, I saw a lot of hot women. And it was a warm day, so they were dressed in their skimpies.

But I was stuck in soooo much traffic with so many strange people who behaved so strangely... I may never recover.

Like when I finished gassing up my car, and I pulled forward to wait my turn to pull out of the driveway... and a man pulled his car in between my car and the driveway -- directly in front of me -- put his car in reverse and tried to back up RIGHT INTO WHERE I WAS.

I screamed out the window for him to stop. Then I did something I never do: I engaged.

I asked him why, even if he was rude enough to get between me and where I was going, even if he was stupid enough to take such an odd route to where he was going... putting all that aside...

I wondered why he felt he was above the Laws of Physics, why he felt his car and mine could occupy the same physical space.

He stared at me, mouth open. The smell of ginseng and Kools was whiffing its way across the parking lot. He said, in an indefinable accent,"You gonna move?"

It was a Seinfeld moment. I wasn't going to move, people. Not at all. Not an inch. He gave, or we'd still be sitting there.

Then, a half hour later, I came out of a store to my car and got in, started it, and began to back out of the space... and a woman parked her car right across the back of mine. Where there was no space. Just stopped her car perpendicular to mine and got out, blocking me completely.

I rolled down my window (I was getting used to that by now) and called out, "Excuse me, you're blocking me in." (I can be very polite when I'm pretending to be polite.)

She rolled her eyes and said, "Well, I wouldn't have to if you weren't in the only parking space."

Hoooooo-kay.

I pointed out that there were actually seven parking spaces.

I was in the only one about to be empty.

It would have been empty, if not for her, in about thirty fucking seconds.

(As you can see, I had given up on being polite.)

Couldn't she have waited thirty fucking seconds before her leathery sixty year-old-ass in its Juicy warmup suit jumped out of its Range Rover to buy some more leathery ass cream?

Or I said something like that. I may have thought it and just grunted a lot.

Anyway, she moved her car with a lot of eye rolling.

By the way, clearly, the lubrication required to roll her eyes came at the expense of the crusted-over cobweb factory between her legs, which hadn't seen action since backstage at a Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes concert in the late '70's.

And then there was the building at 435 Bedford, which if you know it has the smallest elevator in the world. And in this elevator rode me and a woman changing her baby's diaper.

A woman changing her baby's diaper.

In an elevator.

Jesus wept.

Now I am home, and waiting for Lost to make it all better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It Seems Terribly Unfair


Not only is Larry David phenomenally talented and wealthy, but he has a beautiful wife, Laurie, who is a committed and passionate advocate for the environment. Oh, well... Life's like that, I guess.

Meanwhile, you can read this interview with her in Newsweek, and learn about the many small but effective things you can do to safeguard our planet's future. I have switched to compact and LED bulbs, and I drive a hybrid car... I'm not a perfect citizen of the world, but I'm trying.

Jennifer Aniston: One of the Guys

For the first time, GQ has named a woman as one of its Men of the Year. This year, the GQ "Men of the Year" issue will feature three covers: 50 Cent, Vince Vaughn, and Should've Asked Me sweetheart Jennifer Aniston.

Commercial Questions

So the Earthlink commercials? Showing the office is staffed with freaks and mutants and sideshow attractions? Is this why the customer service was so awful when I was with them? Does Earthlink think this will actually appeal to customers? Isn't this like the ultimate outsourcing? If Americans don't want to talk to foreigners, they definitely don't want to talk to ogres and trolls.

After all these years, I still don't understand the IBM commercials where people explain business concepts at lunch counters. Or I think that's what they're doing. But then again, I still don't understand why the people in the Microsoft Office ads are wearing dinosaur heads.

You know the Philadelphia Cream Cheese commercials? Where the girl is the angel, sitting on the cloud? And she says the great thing about being "up here" is that she gets all the heavenly Philadelphia Cream Cheese she wants? Um... Did no one point out to the Philly Cream Cheese people that their spokesmodel is a dead girl?! And a really young dead girl, too. So we're probably talking about a car accident, or a drug overdose or something. Or maybe a murder. Maybe at a convenience store. During a holdup. While she was buying cream cheese! Whoa...

You know the Tic-Tac ad where the pretty girl is waiting for an elevator, and she pops three or four Tic-Tacs in her mouth, then she starts actually juggling them with her tongue? And she's really juggling them? And the door opens, and this guy sees her, and he gets this goofy smile? Okay, is it me, or is he smiling because he sees a hot girl who can juggle Tic-Tacs with her tongue? If you get my meaning. And she smiles back... why? Is this an Axe Body Spray commercial in disguise?

You know those Dove "real women"? "Real women" who look like "real women"? Yeah... Do any of the "real women" you know look like that? Dove has convinced millions of cubicle-dwelling, Oprah-loving women that that is what they look like in their bras and panties. Well-played, Dove. Bravo.

Seinfeld Reunion Next Week!


Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Lous-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards will reunite for a special Live with Regis & Kelly on November 23rd.

"I'm sick of your party, I'm sick of them undermining the President while we're at war" -- Sean Hannity, November 11, 2005

"Forty-eight hours we're sending our men and women in harm's way, and there's the leader of your party [Tom Daschle] in the United States Senate disgracefully attacking our president at a time we're going to war."
--Sean Hannity, May 18, 2003

"Here we are in a conflict, in a war, and the President is trying to direct things, and they just can't put aside their partisanship for five minutes and support the troops and support the President, and these are the leaders of the Democratic Party."
--Sean Hannity, April 6, 2003

"I'm just glad President Carter [who had criticed Bush's reasons for invading Iraq] wasn't in charge after Valley Forge, Bull Run or Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, this is becoming a dangerous pattern. Democrat leaders continue to undermine our troops and our coalition's ability to win the war and bring peace and stability to the Middle East.
--Tom Delay, April 12, 2004

"Without any coherent international blueprint, the White House has bombed its way around the globe. International respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly... No one wants us to be there... [It] has harmed [our] standing in the world."
--Tom Delay, criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of presidential candidate George W. Bush, criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."
--Sean Hannity, criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning. I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area... [G]ive peace a chance"
--Trent Lott, criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush, criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Rick Santorum,
criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."
--Tony Snow,
criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Tom Delay, criticizing President Clinton and the reasons for war while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem."
--Patriot Richard Lugar, criticizing President Clinton and heading for the door while our troops were in harm's way in Kosovo.

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, April 6, 1999.

There were no American combat fatalities in Kosovo.

For Those Of You Who Are Interested In Such Things...


Men.Style.Com was backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. And did not bring me. Despite my letters to Santa.

It's Official: I'm a Geek

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Regarding Arrested Development's Cancellation:


gina said it best:

"I hate FOX."

I'm a Bad Netizen, I Know

But I hate registering for every goddamn website I go to, just to read one article or skim one ad or check out one posting or... you get the idea. I know it's a small price to pay for free access, blah blah blah... but there are times when I just don't want to be bothered. It's awful and selfish of me, but it's true.

Thank goodness for www.bugmenot.com, where my fellow bad apples pool their registrations. Just go there, grab someone else's info and try and log in under it. Usually you're good to go. (You can also, of course, contribute working log-in info to the BugMeNot pool, which would make you a good citizen among the bad apples, I suppose.)

If even that's too much trouble, there's an even easier way. If you switched to Firefox, as I suggested, there's a BugMeNot extension. Once it's installed, when you land at a site that wants you to log in, just right-click in the log-in box, and you get logged in automatically as someone else.

My Favorite Mistake


I've been getting 404 errors -- you know, where the web page fails to load? -- for 15 years. Most are boring, some are fun, but this one is my favorite in a long time. Not work safe:

http://wickedmoon.com/simpsons.html

A Free Movie Download, Courtesy of TiVo


This is cool: TiVo is offering a free download of Red Trousers, a well-reviewed documentary about the training and discipline of those astonishing Hong Kong stuntmen and martial artists. (Included is
Lost Time, a "futuristic adventure" showing their finished work.)

If you have a Series 2 TiVo that is connected to your home network -- and if you don't, you are missing half the fun of owning a TiVo -- just go to http://research.tivo.com/redtrousers/ and enter your email address and your TiVo service number (it's on your ino screen under Settings) and you're good to go!

The Continuing Story Of My Tooth

Okay, so remember how I told you Saturday that a crown fell out while I was eating scrambled eggs? And I wondered why it would come out while I was eating something as non-challenging as scrambled eggs?

Well, for those of you following along at home, I had it put back in temporarily this morning.

Turns out, very temporarily, since it came out an hour later while I was eating macaroni and cheese.

But it was worth it, because I fucking love macaroni and cheese.

I go back in tomorrow to have it temporarily put back in again. I will let you know what oatmeal does to it after that.

Breaking News: Reality TV Writer Rushes Stage at Industry Panel

Read the story at Broadcasting & Cable

Monday, November 14, 2005

"You're Gagged!"

As noted here and elsewhere, Markus Garrison, fired Apprentice contestant and all-around blabbermouth, has been telling anyone who'll listen that he was portrayed via bogus editing as a... well, asn all-around blabbermouth. Apparently, hideous-event-planner Jennifer Wallen's been complaining, too.

Well, no more.

Lloyd Grove of the NY Daily News reports that all eighteen of the show's current cast have been sent cease & desist & shut-up letters by lawyers representing Mark Burnett Productions and NBC. Reminded of the hefty financial penalties (over 5 million dollars) that await them if they don't zip it, one presumes they will oblige.

Although, it's pretty much 3-to-1 Markus is genetically incapable of shutting up, even for 5 million dollars.

A Thought About Advertising

I saw a commercial for Target -- a store, by the way, that I like very much -- called "The Gathering." (The only reason I know what the commercial was called was because it was pretentious enough to have a title card.) Usually, Target commercials are full of fun, happy models laughing and dancing and generally having a good time.

This commercial, however, was full of living grotesqueries. Hideous, rubber-faced lunatics and wild-eyed, maniac children right out of
The Shining, gathering for a demented Thanksgiving dinner with pets running wild and caked-on make-up and garish colors and---

Urggghhh... It was a nightmare.

When you see a commercial like that, remember:

That is what the advertiser thinks of you.

That is how
they see you. How they think you see yourself.

In other commercials,
they live in a fantasy world of beach parties and chocolate-covered biscotti and beautiful snow bunny models.

You, on the other hand, live with your aunt with her whore's lipstick smeared across her face and your evil cousins plotting to kill you as your food falls on the floor. And you all laugh, because you don't know any better. Because you're idiots.

Or you eat at Carl's Jr., shoveling an entire triple cheeseburger whole into your mouth, dribbling it onto your shirt. Because
you actually like getting it all over the place, or else it doesn't belong in your face, right? At least that's how they think of you. While they use knives and forks.

Or when a woman walks into AOL with brownies to thank them for protecting her from viruses and spyware, and she talks in the voice of a mentally challenged eight-year-old, because that's what AOL thinks of the people who are stupid enough to use its service, right?

Next time a set of commercials comes on, instead of zapping through them, watch them. Really watch them. Get a sense of how these companies think of you, whether they actually respect you, whether they think you respect yourself.

It might make a difference the next time you make a decision how to spend your money.

liveplasma.com


I'm a big fan of mindmaps as a way of brainstorming or notetaking or just organizing information... and now there is a beta site that lets you use the mindmap paradigm to come up with a movie to rent, or a CD to buy. Liveplasma is a fun way to navigate through entertainment choices. With any luck, there'll be more customization and export options available as the project improves, but for now, it's just fun. Check it out at liveplasma.com.

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Zach Braff Thinks Randal Will Win The Apprentice


Or so he says on his video entry on his blog. I tend to agree... and I would add I'm getting the sinking feeling that Jim might actually have a chance to win Martha Stewart's version.

But back to Zach. Check out his video. He's right about white balance, too.

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Would You Eat Skippy?

The Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, the organization that markets Australian kangaroo meat, has a hot product. They sell a lot of it overseas, but can't seem to sell Australians on eating kangaroo, probably because it happens to be their national symbol. It would be us like going to Fuddrucker's for a plate of Bald Eagle. (Which is probably Dick Cheney's absolute favorite thing to do, come to think of it.)

So they think a name change might be in order. See, kangaroo meat is called "kangaroo"... whereas "cow" is called "beef" and "pig" is called "pork" and "philberts" are called "hazelnuts" and so forth.

So the Australians are launching a contest to find a new name for kangaroo meat. Read more about it here, and help them if you like.

Colorware: Pimp My Gear


The only thing better than a protective case for your tech is a scratch-resistant coating in the color of your choice.

Enter Colorware.

They will sell you a color-coated iPod, iBook, PowerBook, Xbox, Playstation, GameCube, etc, or you can send them yours and they will pimp it out in your choice of a dizzying array of color combos. Just deciding on what color to make your iPod and what color to make the click wheel could take all day.