"Who would you rather have as your attorney, me or Hanky McGuiltyverdict here?"
-- Denny Crane (William Shatner) on Boston Legal
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Okay, so I just watched The Soup and (the always-hilarious) Joel McHale showed that creepy Gedeon clip of him talking about his painting, and I noticed something that I cannot believe I didn't notice before.
If you still have the show, look again; if not, check out The Soup:
The painting is either framed backwards, or he painted it on the back. Swear to God. Look for yourself.
Friday, March 10, 2006
The other day I was lost (as usual) and having Google Local for Mobile on my cell phone really saved my bacon. I was telling a friend about it and she said she was sorry she didn't have a PDA. I explained that Google Local is now available for regular phones now, too. She was delighted.
So will you be, too.
Check it out here: Google Local for Mobile.
I've written before about Writely.com, the very cool web-based word processor that lets you edit, store, and collaborate on Word documents online. I use Writely and I love it.
Well, they must be doing something right because just like the site you're reading now they've been bought by Google. New memberships have been frozen for now, but you can go there to register to be notified when they open up again.
In an extremely unusual speech, notable for its sarcastic and harsh tone, Sandra Day O'Connor blasted conservative Republican critics of the judiciary. Speaking at Georgetown University yesterday, Justice O'Connor obviously decried (without specifically naming) George Bush, Tom Delay, and John Cornyn, among others, for their actions, their words, their "nakedly partisan reasoning" and "threats to strongarm the judiciary" that threaten to plunge the country into "dictatorship."
The speech was not recorded, but Nina Totenberg of NPR was there and covered it for Morning Edition (listen here), then Keith Olbermann picked it up for Countdown. When a former justice -- and a moderate Republican one at that -- speaks so plainly it's a remarkable story, and if more outlets don't cover it, something is really wrong with the news. (Beyond just Katie Couric.)
UPDATE 3/11/06 -
Something is really wrong with the news. The lead segment on Today this morning was not that the former justice gave a speech at Georgetown attacking the President... but that his nephew, 19-year-old Pierce Bush, wrote a letter to a Houston paper defending his position on the Dubai deal. Then this idiot kid came on, complaining in his inarticulate way about how early it was. You know why it was so early, Pierce? Because NBC made you the lead story on The Today Show, you fuckstick!
Go to your computer right now, in your office or in your home, open a blank document, and hit Control-V (for Windows) or Apple-V (for Mac). And look at what just got pasted from your buffer.
That's right. The last thing you cut or copied.
If you cut or copy something sensitive, like a password or credit card number or love letter, then paste it, then walk away... it still stays there... waiting... to be pasted again... and read... by ANYONE...
If you compute in public, remember to clear your buffer after you paste if you've cut or copied something private. When in doubt, reboot.
In case you're tired of the new stuff...
C-SPAN3 is running the Gore-Bush debate from 2000 tonight at 7 Pacific/10 Eastern. If you don't get C-SPAN3 it's available in streaming video online.
I believe this is the debate from which I quoted in an earlier post. The one where Bush said he doesn't believe the military should be used for nation-building. I suppose this was before God told him to spread Democracy.
Anyway, it should be fun to watch, just to count all the lies and broken promises. And even though you can click above to read my earlier post in all its incisive glory, I will reprint the transcript portion below, because it must never be forgot:
BUSH: But let me say this to you [regarding Serbia]: I wouldn't use force. I wouldn't use force.
JIM LEHRER: You wouldn't use force?
LEHRER: Why not?
BUSH: Because it's not in our national interest to use force in this case. I would keep pressure. I would use diplomacy. There's a difference between what the president did, who I supported, [that's a lie] in Kosovo and this. And it's up for the people in this region to figure out how to take control of their country.
LEHRER: New question. How would you go about, as president, deciding when it was in the national interest to use U.S. force? Generally.
BUSH: Well, if it's in our vital national interests. And that means whether or not our territory -- our territory is threatened, our people could be harmed, whether or not our alliances -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force.
Secondly, whether or not the mission was clear, whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be.
Thirdly, whether or not we were prepared and trained to win, whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped.
And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy.
I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops.
The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation-building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders...
[I]f we don't do something quickly, we don't have a clearer vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that. I'm going to rebuild our military power. It's one of the major priorities of my administration.
When this ad appeared in my mailbox, the picture grabbed my attention. What is the message here? I think it's that inside the building is a guy who picked up this girl, had sex with her, then threw her her panties and socks and told her to wait out on the stoop until he's hard again. Don't let that happen to you. Get your guy to take this boner pill.
Either that, or it's targeting men. "Be ready when she is..." Hmmm... So if a girl shows up naked and horny on your stoop, you'd better be ready. Okay, that makes sense, too.
This picture is already more interesting and thought-provoking than most Oprah Book Club selections.
Bummer: If you buy a stand-alone TiVo after March 15th, you will no longer have the lifetime service option. So if you think you might want a TiVo, now's the time. Also, you can use coupon code TIVO50 to save fifty bucks on select TiVo's at www.weaknees.com. They also have rebates on models here. I get no money back from Weaknees, I just love their super-storage upgraded TiVo boxes.
As for the new TiVo service pricing, it appears the box is free and you pay for the service, but it is as complicated as cell-phone contracts. Here is the clearest explanation I've found... and I'm still fuzzy.
One interesting fact gleaned, though: If you bought a lifetime TiVo service before January 20, 2000 you are grandfathered in for one free transfer... meaning you can buy a new TiVo (even a Series 3, when they come out), and switch your lifetime service to that box, even though they're not offered anymore. Good to know.
This morning on The Today Show, Katie Couric was talking to Tim Russert about the Congressional reaction to the Dubai deal.
It should be noted that while the Dubai story was breaking, Katie was spending three weeks touring chocolate shops in Italy, so Today grossly neglected this story to begin with. Now they've been playing catch-up by acting like it never was a story, so you weren't missing anything if you were watching The Today Show all that time.
So back to this morning:
As maybe her second or third question, Katie mentioned to Tim that our cargo comes into our ports uninspected. That it's one of our biggest national security threats. That it's a "dirty little secret."
"Do they [Congress] look feckless and misdirected by obsessing so much on this issue and not perhaps looking at the big picture?"
Tim agreed wholeheartedly, adding that "Democrats will say" they've tried to amend legislation to add funding for cargo inspection. Well, they'll "say" it because it's true. Whenever Tim says, "Democrats will say" it always makes the truth sound like a lie.
But back to Katie, and my TV covered with spit.
Well, Katie, as for this "dirty little secret"...
John Kerry brought that issue up over and over again during the campaign. He brought it up during the debates. It was in the 9/11 Commission reports. Even Bill Maher has brought it up again and again.
Where is The Today Show's coverage of cargo inspection?
Do you look feckless and misdirected for spending one or two segments every single day covering the lurid story of the rape and murder of a New York student, instead of cargo inspection, or the war, or Medicare, or Halliburton, or any of the other things you could be covering? You know... "big picture" things?
Do you look feckless and misdirected for learning to snowboard or sampling wine and cheese while our soldiers were dying in combat? Or while children in Africa were dying from poverty? Or while children in America were dying from poverty?
Do you look feckless and misdirected for beginning the show the other day with "Sad news..." because Dana Reeve died, but never using those words when our troops are killed by suicide bombers?
Why don't you focus on the big picture, before you criticize Congress the first time in years they've gotten off their asses, reinserted their spines and done something?
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Just some thoughts on my favorite show I'm ashamed to love...
Ah, Kathy from Brevard, NC. Her first ever airplane ride, and what amazes her is that the people looked like ants. This is the difference between a Southerner and a Northerner. On my first airplane ride what amazed me was that something made of metal and weighing so many thousands of pounds could fly.
Oops, Kathy almost changed her clothes outside. She knows the bathrooms are indoors, right?
Dr. Yvonne won? She had nothing on that girl in the Daisy Dukes. Oocha magoocha!
Now Tyra surprises the girls by actually showing up for the first day of shooting of her prime time series. And they're surprised. These girls are easily surprised. I'm guessing half of them would have heart attacks if we played peek-a-boo.
Sara is a Hoya and she's 6'1"?! Mikey likey!
Furonda is a chameleon. She can transform into several unappealing people at will.
Kari is hi-day-ous in her street clothes... and rod-raising in her swimsuit. We have a new frontrunner, if she gets a makeover. And if that's what Bratz dolls look like, I need to log a lot more quality Bratz time!
Dr. Yvonne, I left a strict DNR for Miss Jay.
Wendy... So beautiful, and how can your heart not break for her?
Then some other stuff happened, but all I could think of over and over was something big and heavy falling on Jade. Maybe something filled with acid. And maybe some could splash on Furonda.
Meanwhile, Joanie is this year's Kim. I love her. So cool, so smart, so funny. I am rooting for her all the way.
Let's say you're a security guard at an office building. And you report to your superiors an envelope full of a suspicious white powder.
So now let's say that you watch in horror as, instead of any of the responsible things they could do, they walk the envelope to a room next to the boss's office, open a window, and shake the powder out into the street.
Now let's say your office is the Department of Homeland Security, and the boss is Michael Chertoff.
Because that's what several guards at DHS say their superiors did. And some Senators are shitting bricks. As am I.
DHS spokesman Brian Doyle, who shall remain soulless, says there was never anything to worry about because all mail coming into the building is irradiated to kill anthrax. Oh, then you know what, douchebag? Shake it inside the building. Or shove it inside your own asshole. You seem very free and easy with the lives of passers-by, Brian.
I say we put Barry Bonds, George W. Bush, Bill O'Reilly, Brent Bozell, Brian Doyle and Michael Chertoff in a tiny airless room and tell them the key to the door is inside one of their legs. Then we watch them rip and nibble at each other's skin until they bleed to death or suffocate. Whichever. I'm good either way.
If you have never seen the extraordinary movie Eight Men Out, do yourself a favor and see it. Then ask yourself how it is that those guys got banned from baseball and Barry Bonds is still playing... and getting closer and closer to the record books.
I finally realized what was so strange about the Oscars this year.
Well, there was a lot that was strange. As Aaron, a CNET Buzz Out Loud listener pointed out, Sid Ganis told us movies are better when we see them "with total strangers."
Very few things in this world are better with total strangers. Movies suck with strangers around.
But here's my epiphany:
At the Emmys, there is always a montage of what an amazing year this has been for TV. Usually, there are two or three. One for fun, one for issues, and so on.
Now there were a lot of montages at this year's Oscars, as Jon Stewart hilariously pointed out. And Chuck Workman has no bigger fan than me. When Precious Images came out, I had a friend make me a tape which I watched until I wore it out.
But all of the montages were of how good movies were. None of them were of the movies this year. There were a lot of really good movies this year.
The Academy could have put together an awesome and exciting montage of clips that would have made hundreds of millions of people say, "You know what? We don't go to the movies enough!"
Instead, they showed montages that made them say, "You know what? Let's rent Gentleman's Agreement and Ben Hur this weekend."
Microsoft has finally revealed its little computery touchscreeny tablety thingy, and it's cool. It isn't a phone, though, so I don't know how useful it is as a thing I would carry everywhere as my one device.
If there were universal free wi-fi, of course, you could just use Skype or Vonage, but the phone companies have successfully blocked that.
Oh, sorry, I should say phone company, as in just one. I'm so glad the government broke Ma Bell up, so they could all get rich getting back together. Oh, well... the bright side is we have much cooler phones now, and we no longer have to rent them. But I digress.
Anyway, it is a pretty neat device, and I'd love to play with one... especially if Mac made it. It's XP, so it seems a little yesterday-ish.
What's weird is that it apparently comes with Sling software, which must mean that you can view your home TV programs on it. Yet, on the "Entertain" page, the guy is happily playing Sudoku. Oh, boy... they really know how to show off the power of the thing! It does everything paper and pencil do!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Courtest of TWIT...
For those of you who live on the West Coast and have most of your family on the East Coast, just get your cell phone on the East Coast instead of at home. Not only will your family be able to call you locally, but your Nights & Weekends minutes will start 3 hours earlier! Genius!
Besides, don't we all call cell-to-cell out here anyway?
iTunes has added The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to its music store. You can either pay $1.99 an episode or (this is really cool) pay $9.99 a month to subscribe to either show for a month.
The last time we met this gifted young woman and her fan, I asked you to imagine what song she was dancing to. I thought it might be "Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast."
This time, I'm thinking either "The Green Berets" or "Both Sides Now." Or possibly Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited." Anyone?
Who cares? No McPhee tonight!
But here goes:
Gedeon made me sorry I had HD. That whitehead on the tip of his nose was almost as vomitatious as his painting explanation was creepy. I swear, it's as though Damon Wayans was imitating Percy Dovetonsils.
Chris is great, and he and Katharine will be the final two, but Simon is right: that song was boring. However, should that really count against Chris?
Kevin chose a song that was dull but plays to his cuddly strength. All over America, pre-teenage girls were unlocking their diaries in order to draw hearts with little butterfly wings.
Now Taylor the Hick is telling a story about Christopher Cross, even though Bucky is singing next. I am freaking out from the format disruption.
Oh, no, there's another Covington! Now we know who takes the showers in the family! He sucked. Buh bye.
Then that guy I like but always forget did "How Sweet It Is." Eh...
Then Taylor the Hick. He stole Michael McDonald's hair, now he stole his song! Blasphemy!
Anyway... I warned you all last week, if he did the Ray Charles imitation I wanted him off the show. He did it in the first second last week, while he was introduced. Now he did it again tonight when he was introduced, then again after the song.
I don't just want him off the show, I want his house burned to the ground, I want to go there in the middle of the night and piss on the ashes.
Next came Chia Head. I don't know why the judges love him so much. THAT was a boring song.
Then Beanie Baby came on. His new name is What a Maroon 5.
23 hours to McPhee.
For reasons that must make sense to someone -- probably as much sense as suing Howard Stern -- CBS has moved The Amazing Race. And the ratings are suffering.
Please, people, watch this show.
If you saw the last few minutes of last night's show, you know how moving and thrilling this show can be. It has the best action, the best drama, the best heroes, and the best villains on television.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Paris, the fact that you're a tomboy is not really much of a secret. The only secret is what dark Evil keeps you in this competition.
Even in a Cingular commercial, "Solisbury Hill" makes me happy.
Does anyone else think it's strange that Kentucky Fried Chicken uses "Sweet Home Alabama" in its commercials?
I still think Lisa Taylor is holding back from how good she is. Oh, and Lisa? You're beautiful now, but look at Gayle King. That will be you in forty years.
Melissa sang great, but... she thinks everyone thinks she's a girly-girl? Do these women ever look in a mirror? Her hotness comes from her Pinky Tuscadero-ness. Still, she needs an eye makeup intervention... All that shmear only calls attention to her Picasso eye.
Oddly enough, in the vision of Kinnik eating hog intestines, the hog intestines aren't the unsavory part.
McPhee! She kicks ass, she's stunning, smoking, charming... and I want her to sign a public pledge not to let anyone make her lose a single ounce of weight ever. If they turn her into Hillary Duff it'd be tragic.
Now Ayla. I think Randy's nuts. I think the Natasha Bedingfield song showed Ayla off better than some of the other songs have for other singers. I'm with Simon. She was good. I love her.
Noooooo, Mandisa! With Brenna gone, now you've taken up the off-tempo mike-finger-tapping??? The girl can definitely sing... but the judges went overboard.
(The point is often made that the sound in the theatre is very different from the one that is broadcast. I suspect this is a case of that.)
Kellie's dog Comet won me over. I also love seeing the smoldery side of her. Muy sexy. And yes, naughty. I thought she and Katharine were the standouts.
If you gave one of these to your special lady for Valentine's Day, my guess is you're single now.
If you check the product details for this device, which I will forever call "The Tit Lobster," one of the selling points is that "the big front LCD makes it easy to use."
I'm no doctor, but wouldn't a big top LCD make it even easier to use?
Unless you're supposed to use it on someone else... But how mad scientist is that?!
And one more question: If it's powered by two AAA batteries, then what by the hand of Zeus are those wires coming out of the bottom of it????!!!
Scientists believe five mentally retarded Turkish brothers and sisters in a remote corner of rural Turkey may reveal a unique insight into human evolution. They suffer from a genetic abnormality that leaves them only able to walk on all fours. Their genetic gumbo may stem from the fact that their mother and father are described as "closely related."
Brent may be a total nut, but everyone seems to be forgetting that it was his idea to do the massages and manicures last week that caused them to win. And if not for his clowning, they would have lost by one hundred percent instead of fifty. So let's lighten up on the crazy guy a little, okay?
Instead, why are we all not focusing on the Russian guy? He is giving me the willies, with a side order of heebie-jeebies.
Monday, March 06, 2006
I am stunned at the criticism being hurled at Jon Stewart today. Somebody at Salon wrote a barely coherent screed about how "hard" he "sucked" and Tom Shales -- who never likes anything -- said he should "keep his Daily job." Ha.
Most of the criticism seems to blame Jon for not bringing his Daily Show flava to the Oscars.
Remember when David Letterman hosted? There was a great deal of excitement beforehand. He came on the show, and literally turned it into an episode of Late Night, right down to the stupid pet trick. I thought it was very funny, but he has been punished to this day for it.
I'm sure foremost in Jon Stewart's mind was the Letterman caveat: don't bring my usual schtick with me. Be dignified. Remember the occasion.
I thought he succeeded. I was surprised and delighted at how sly and funny and Carson-like he was, in a way no host other than Steve Martin has been.
But there seems to be no way to win.
I use simplehuman products in my kitchen and I love them, so I went to their website to see what else they make... and found out they also have a very cool blog, full of useful tips.
For example, there was a hack to get ten or fifteen minutes more talk time out of a dead cell phone battery. I tried it and it really works.
Just rub the battery on your pants leg or heat it up in your armpit. Warm battery equals a little more juice... I love it!
For more, go to www.simplehuman.com and blog.simplehuman.com.
I'm very excited about the new tag cloud, there on the right, that lets you click on a word and bring up the most recent posts about that word.
Because of the limitations of the blog's feed, however, remember that this cloud only goes back about ten or fifteen posts from when it was created. So if you click on, say, "iPod" today you will only get four posts. And you know I have written a lot more than that on iPods.
The cloud will start tracking accurately from this day forward. To go backward, the most reliable way to search is the Technorati search box immediately to the right of the newest post.
In my experience, the Blogger search in the top left is fairly unreliable. I don't know why.
I know I shouldn't read Swanni, but it's just so weird.
His TVPredictions.com has once more gone wacky. He writes:
Sling Media, which has launched a new service called the Sling Box, is attracting investors such as Liberty Media and EchoStar. With the right connections, the box enables you to watch your home television channels from just about any Broadband-enabled laptop or PC regardless of location.
However, Sling Media must first create a demand among consumers who may not be interested in watching their home TV while on the road. While the concept sounds good, many people may feel they would have little chance to use the service because they would be too busy while traveling.
Okay, coupla things:
First off, this new service? The Slingbox? It's not new.
It was introduced over a year ago. It's been widely available since June. It was part of Time magazine's "Best Inventions of 2005" cover story back in November. Even I blogged about it back in December.
Second of all, who are these "many people" Swanni's citing? As always, Swanni links to an article which quotes him. But the article makes him look like a knucklehead. He's quoted as saying demand for the Slingbox "doesn't exist." But the rest of the article is about the popularity and success of the Slingbox! I suspect he only read the part about him.
And by the way, when visiting TVPredictions.com, be sure to read Swanni's new "comedy" column "Swanni's 'Laughin' At The Stars'!" No, seriously, read it once. It is so staggeringly, jaw-droppingly unfunny it's like being trapped in an elevator with the office jerk.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
I was so happy that Crash won. I didn't see all the nominated films, but it would be hard for me to imagine a more deserving movie.
And I thought Jon Stewart was an outstanding host. So much unnecessary pressure was placed on him, and I thought he handled the job with the perfect mix of respect and irreverence. And he was very funny. I hope he comes back next year.
But the distracting and disrespectful underscoring during the acceptance speeches was ridiculous.
And I still think Thandie Newton and Naomi Watts were robbed.
But the visions of Salma Hayek and Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba and Bahar Soomekh and Hillary Swank made up for everything.
I've previously written about how people routinely come up with ways to rejigger the rules of the Oscars in order to make them shorter, yet no one ever changes the rules of, say, the Super Bowl to make that shorter.
My position is that an event takes as long as it takes, and you should either televise it the way it is or not televise it at all. I think they've actually hurt the Oscars. That by hustling people on and off the stage, they've robbed them of the spark of unpredictability.
If anyone complains tomorrow about the length of the Oscars, I would like everyone to keep the following statistic in mind:
Two hours and sixteen minutes.
That's how long the Parade of Nations was at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Just people walking, carrying flags. For two goddamn hours and sixteen goddamn minutes.
And no one is suggesting that for the next Olympics, they not televise it. Or that only big countries get to do it. Or that they cut the "boring" countries. Or that some countries walk on a separate night.
No, a major network devoted two hours and sixteen minutes of prime time to people walking with flags and still no one suggested changing it. Because people who don't like don't watch it. That's the way the world works.
Just remember that tomorrow... when people start complaining the Oscars are too long.