1 February 2003
Sox nox, hox box

Back in 1991, the Chicago White Sox moved to a new facility. What made this move unusual was that the new ballpark was given the name of the old ballpark: in effect, Comiskey Park moved across the street.

The Sox aren't going anywhere, but this year and the next twenty-two, they're playing in something called "U. S. Cellular Field", in exchange for $68 million. That's the plan, anyway; given the ongoing shakeout in the wireless-telephone industry, the likelihood that there will even be a "U. S. Cellular" in 2025 strikes me as really low.

Of course, there are options even then.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:01 AM to Almost Yogurt )
On Columbia

As always, the Professor has sage advice regarding the destruction of the space shuttle:

This won't traumatize people the way Challenger did because (1) it's not the first time; and (2) we're at war now, and people's calculations of such things — especially post-WTC — are different. I hope, however, that we'll look at moving beyond the elderly and unreliable Shuttle now.

Rand Simberg should have something to say later today.

Meanwhile, prayers might seem to be in order.

Update, 10:50 am: Rand Simberg has checked in, and he's calling, once again, for some rethinking of the space program:

Until we increase our activity levels by orders of magnitude, we will continue to operate every flight as an experiment, and we will continue to spend hundreds of millions per flight, and we will continue to find it difficult to justify what we're doing. We need to open up our thinking to radically new ways, both technically and institutionally, of approaching this new frontier.

When I was growing up in the Jurassic period, it was taken for granted that space flight by 2000 or so would be routine. Obviously it isn't. Would more extensive experience have prevented this disaster? It's hard to say for sure, but it seems reasonable to me that if we'd done a lot more of these flights, we'd have a better grip on what can go wrong and what can be done about it beforehand.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 9:58 AM to Dyssynergy )
A Mini driver wannabe

Brock Yates, inventor of the Cannonball Run, owns one. My daughter isn't quite the leadfoot that the Assassin is, but she wants one too. And me?


Of such notions are Vents built.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 11:41 AM to Driver's Seat )
A surplice of neuroses

The Vatican has decreed that transsexuals suffer from "mental pathologies" and therefore should be barred from Catholic religious orders.

Yeah, they wouldn't fit in with the well-established straight-arrow image.

But what do I know? I don't have the emotional stability required to work for the U. S. Postal Service.

(Muchas gracias: Jesus Gil.)

Detention deficit disorder

I'd like to announce, first off, that I was never, ever kept after school for any misdeeds whatsoever.

This is a blatant lie, but I'd like to announce it anyway.

Be it noted, however, my high crimes and misdemeanors pale by comparison to those of this kid.

2 February 2003
The verdict

Leaving a "medical facility" in a Baghdad suburb today, Dr Hans Blix cast his eyes downward for a fleeting moment, and in that split second he saw something of grave importance:

His shadow.

There will be, apparently, six more weeks of weapons inspections.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 2:17 AM to Dyssynergy )
Godwin lurks

By now everyone has seen that noxious little bumper sticker that spells "Islam" with a swastika. It's noxious, not so much because it suggests that there is some similarity between Islam and Hitler's National Socialism — you can get the same suggestions seven days a week in Arab News — but because damn near everything these days is compared to the Third Reich; the next step in political benchmarking, no doubt, is to set up a scale and rate each and every incident from 35 to 98 Reichspoints.

And what's wrong with that, you ask? Jennie Taliaferro nails it down:

[T]he only result of trivializing the evil of the real Nazi Reich and Hitler will be to change the meaning of the Holocaust from "Never again" to "No big deal. That's just something people say when they don't get their way".

And in fifty years World War II will be remembered as some vague border skirmish, and Kristallnacht as some minor incident therein.

I'd just as soon not be party to the wholesale rewriting of history for the sake of a few ephemeral political points.

Lunchtime alert

I live only a few miles from the industrial compound that is the world headquarters of the Sonic drive-in chain, but it has never actually occurred to me to scale the walls and find out the true nature of their culinary secrets.

Kevin Parrott, by contrast, is a hell of a lot farther away — but for some reason, he was willing to do the dirty work. Regrets? He has a few.

(Muchas gracias: Marc at Quit That!)

Permalink to this item ( posted at 11:37 AM to Worth a Fork )
All filler, no thriller

Aaron Haspel was talking about something else when he stumbled across something with MetaTruth potential:

The better the album, the more likely that the hit is the worst song on it.

I'm not ready to claim that this is invariably the case, though I have no trouble finding examples. For instance:

Blonde on Blonde: Does anyone even play "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" anymore?

Revolver: "Yellow Submarine"? Oh, please. And "Eleanor Rigby" is tired enough to stuff into a jar by the door.

Zeppelin's officially-untitled fourth: technically, "Stairway to Heaven" wasn't a single, but it got more airplay than the rest of the tracks combined, to its everlasting detriment.

Zeppelin's officially-titled fifth, Houses of the Holy: This would be, inevitably, "D'yer Mak'er". Even the James Brown parody ("The Crunge") was funnier.

I'm sure those of you who have actually listened to something released in the last two decades can add to the list.

The ghosts of Tailgunner Joe

If there's one twentieth-century historical figure whose name is bandied about with a frequency approaching Hitler's, it's Joseph McCarthy. It's been more than fifty years since the Wisconsin senator first stood in a room and announced the existence of a list; and ever since then, it seems like everyone who's ever seen himself as being singled out for verbal abuse, however trivial, has shuffled the Deck of Delusion and played the McCarthyism card.

This might be a useful metaphor had Joe McCarthy been a silly-but-cute character like Ko-Ko from The Mikado, who had a little list of his own. He wasn't. McCarthy meant business. And while there actually were, as he had charged, some real-life Communists and fellow travelers uncomfortably close to the seats of power, McCarthy was ultimately censured by the Senate for his wholesale destruction of reputations.

This weekend on Usenet, some person with an exaggerated sense of his own importance (no need to identify him here; if you need to, you can Google the thread later), slapped down in a discussion, played the McCarthyism card and further likened himself to one of the Hollywood Ten. This, of course, was a serious anachronism — the House Un-American Activities Committee first took steps against the Ten in 1947, and McCarthy didn't open his mouth until 1950 — but the complainant apparently presumed that the rest of the world, or at least the rest of the newsgroup, would pick up on the historical references and smile.

He was wrong. Enter Al Moore, whose father was on the receiving end of a McCarthy-inspired witch hunt. And Moore was in no mood to listen to this guy's whining:

My father finished engineering school at Stanford, leaving when his GI Bill benefits ran out in 1954, to go to work for a local electronics firm. He was employed for about a year before the blacklisters caught up with him. He was tried (by a court-martial, for "disloyalty") and was found not guilty, but was never employed other than self-employed thereafter. I can still recall the day he was given notice at work. My mother told us kids "We may not be eating so well for a while."

So when you find you can't feed your kids because of something someone posted to the internet, then you can talk about McCarthyism.

Until then, keep it to yourself, please.

And that goes for the rest of you poor souls who think that because no one is buying your argument, it's because you're being suppressed. Actually, it's more likely because you're being idiotic.

God is an iron

And an example of the irony committed: I come up as #4 in Google for "women will desire you".

Sounds like #2 to me.

(Apologies to any Spider Robinson fans.)

Permalink to this item ( posted at 9:04 PM to Table for One )
3 February 2003
Well, no wonder

CNN screen shot

If I were going that fast, I bet I'd break up too.

Note to CNN: NASA has yet to demonstrate anything close to warp 1, let alone 2.6.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 7:26 AM to Say What? )
And he'll never, never be any good

Legendary rock producer/recluse/nudnik Phil Spector was arrested today for allegedly killing a woman in eastern Los Angeles county.

[insert "Unchained Melody" joke here]

Update, 10 pm: I left this in a comment at The Last Page, and after reviewing its contents, I figured I may as well inflict it on you guys as well. The melody, I think, you already know.

Met her on a Sunday and my heart stood still
(da doo ron ron ron, da doo ron ron)
Knew that she was someone that I ought to kill
(da doo ron ron ron, da doo ron ron)
Yeah, my heart stood still
Yeah, I ought to kill
And when I left her home
(da doo ron ron ron, da doo ron ron)

I should probably create a "Taste Takes a Holiday" category for this sort of thing. Then again, I'd probably have to pay Laurence Simon a retainer.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 2:51 PM to Dyssynergy )
The state of the state

The major interest when a new governor has to give a State of the State speech right away is how much of his campaign agenda he will be flogging, and Brad Henry was up to the task today.

After a moment of silence for the Columbia crew, Henry pointed to the state's budget shortfall, and declared: "Our will has outstripped our wallet." The condition of that wallet didn't stop him from proposing some new expenditures, but so what else is new? At least he didn't suggest raising taxes or the ubiquitous "user fees". And once again, he called for a state lottery, receipts to be earmarked for education.

It will be an interesting year in the legislature, to be sure. Henry has a Democratic majority to work with, but not much of one, and the Republicans aren't giving out any signals just yet.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 4:00 PM to Soonerland )
Supplemental restraint system

Are you, like Sherlock Holmes, suspicious when the dog does not bark? Diane L. at Everything Must Go seems to be:

After I heard the news about the space shuttle disaster, I assumed most of my favorite blogs would display pictures of Palestinians dancing in the streets. This has not happened. The only thing I've seen is a few comments about American arrogance, and the statement from the 22-year-old Iraqi mechanic to the effect that it was Allah's punishment. No Palestinians dancing in the street.

Assuming that no one in the Greater Islamic Co-Terrorism Sphere is going to send us condolences, or even set aside a moment of silence, there's something vaguely offputting about this seeming lack of response. And its implications are clear enough:

If Palestinians refrain from dancing in the street on orders from their leaders, that would imply that Palestinians would also refrain from terrorism if ordered to by their leaders. So, when Palestinian and American politicians act as though Palestinian terrorism were beyond the control of Palestinian leaders, they are lying.

Could be. Are their lips moving?

4 February 2003
Flying fickle finger of fame

Jeebus. Yesterday the meter on this site was running, if not 18 times the speed of light, certainly faster than it's ever run before. And instead of the usual 350 or so for a Monday, the spreadsheet shows a startling 1699.

I could, I suppose, characterize this event as yet another step on the long journey from Completely Unknown to Deeply Obscure, but once this flurry passes (and that CNN goofup falls off Blogdex, where it climbed briefly to #51), I'm gearing up for resettlement in a moderately-priced area of Oblivion Heights.

For those of you who were here, however briefly, on a day more than twice as busy as any I've ever seen — the previous record for 24 hours here is 728 — thank you for making possible something entirely unexpected: a veritable Instalanche without any participation by InstaPundit. In the immortal words of Marx: That's the most unheard-of thing I ever heard of.

Regular programming will resume shortly.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 7:17 AM to Blogorrhea )
Tears on my pillow

This piece from Dancing Brave hit awfully close to home. A sample:

The simple act of yearning for contentment is emotional alchemy. It turns coal into diamonds, the bland into the exotic, the adequate into the absolute. And it turns the quest for anything into a constant question: Do we ever reach the goal, or is real happiness a mirage that gets just close enough to slip ghost-like through our grasp?

I think Zeno had this one figured out: you can get halfway there, or three-quarters, or seven-eighths, but there will always be some distance, however infinitesimal or indefinite, that separates you from where you really want to be.

Plenty of good exists in my life. And yet I bury my face in the comforter to muffle the sounds and shield the shaking shoulders of a girl who's trying to lose herself because she feels so lost.

Thwarted perfectionism? Or something far deeper?

I can't answer that for Dancing Brave. Most of the time, I can't answer that for me.

Veni, vidi, Visa

TO: Humongous Bank and Trust Company (Member F.D.I.C.)


Inasmuch as you rejected my credit application on the basis of eighteen-year-old information from some two-bit credit bureau not among the established Big Three, you've got a lot of damn gall to follow up the rejection letter with a copy of the same promotional offer.

I will make a point of determining the identities of all your subsidiaries and affiliates and avoiding as many of them as is humanly possible for the rest of my earthbound existence.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:53 PM to Common Cents )
Java enabler

There's a lot of cute blog schwag out there, but if you're going for maximum cute, you want the Rachel Lucas "Imagine" mug, guaranteed to hold your favorite hot beverage without once complaining that the top ten percent contains as much warmth as the bottom 90.

I'm sure this will tide me over until Susanna Cornett finishes up work on her signature lingerie line.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 9:43 PM to Blogorrhea )
5 February 2003
The Carnival pulls out a plum

Carnival of the Vanities Episode 20 is now being screened at Plum Crazy; as always, this is where you catch up on the best bloggage of the week, and we won't even mention the stuff I wrote.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 5:59 AM to Blogorrhea )
J. C. gets a day job

Former Representative J. C. Watts, drawing on his experiences in Congress and as a University of Oklahoma football star, will be writing a monthly column for The Sporting News, on the role of sports in contemporary society. The first installment will appear in next Monday's issue (10 February).

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:58 AM to Soonerland )
And bullet holes may affect respiration

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft made the following startling declaration:

To the extent the open-source model gains increasing market acceptance, sales of the company's products may decline, the company may have to reduce the prices it charges for its products, and revenues and operating margins may consequently decline.

In a footnote, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates noted that rainfall is sporadic at best in the Mojave Desert, and that children under six should not drink bleach.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 7:57 AM to Common Cents , PEBKAC )
Lunatic pamphleteers

I'm not quite sure what's most annoying about this San Diego Union-Tribune piece about blogging: the rendering of URLs without making them clickable, the scattered typesetting commands that weren't screened out or converted to HTML, or the definition of "blogrolling" as "linking to sites that tend to share similar ideologies." On the far reaches of the political spectrum, maybe, but not for most bloggers within screaming distance of the mainstream.

On the other hand, Neal Pollack's characterization of bloggers as "lunatic pamphleteers shouting into the wind" — that I'll buy.

(Muchas gracias: Becky at Paradigm Shifts.)

Permalink to this item ( posted at 2:15 PM to Blogorrhea )
6 February 2003
Snow is just a four-letter word

As I'm ducking into my car this morning, some doofus four or five doors down is spinning his wheels at a prodigious pace and getting nowhere.

What's annoying about this is that the snow has yet to fall; it's still (barely) above freezing and the rain let up an hour ago. Imagine how well this guy is going to drive once the white stuff settles in earnest.

Now multiply him by half a million, and you'll know why I get antsy about winter storms.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:59 AM to Weather or Not )
Back to the shadows again

Well, it was nice while it lasted — 1699 visitors Monday, 1166 Tuesday, 604 Wednesday — but apart from some Carnival traffic, things are pretty much back to normal around here.

I was slightly amused by a thread at Café Utne which linked back to that CNN screenshot, in which someone wondered why there was a goldfinch on the page. I duly copied the pertinent paragraph from the site to the thread, and somehow managed to refrain from asking "How come you couldn't find this?"

Still, I got a couple of new readers out of all this brouhaha, and, as John Lennon once observed, you know that can't be bad.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 7:30 AM to Blogorrhea )
More on bloggage

Neal Pollack, you may remember, tagged all of us in blogdom as "lunatic pamphleteers," a term with lyricism enough to compensate for its barely-veiled sneer. Pollack, of course, has his own blog; people who don't, don't bother with the veil. An example:

[T]hey rant about things that upset them, they swoon over girls/boys they like, they expose their deepest fears and herald their most miraculous events with bold tags and large colored fonts. They evangelize for their favorite computer manufacturers, they list URLs they find interesting, they philosophize on mundane linguistic topics and editorialize on current political issues to, apparently, everyone. Therein lies the catch, of course, for their "audience" is probably, at best, only a couple of pairs of eyeballs and the countless hours they spend at the keyboard typing out their inner thoughts are likely wasted on a couple of readers, whom they will probably never actually meet.

And that was the kindest thing he said.

Jeff Jarvis suggests that it's "a desperate urge to get links from webloggers," and he may be right. Fortunately, whether it's desperate or not, it's at least reasonably amusing. And since I am intimately familiar with the process of trying to be both desperate and amusing, and mindful of the Second Commandment of Blogging — well, what the hell, he gets a link.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 10:36 AM to Blogorrhea )
7 February 2003
Fahrenheit 4.51

When it gets this cold, you can convince yourself that the decimal places actually mean something.

From the onset of the howl to the last decaying harmonics, the sound of the 6:15 freight took about twice as long as usual this morning. I don't know whether this was a trick of the atmosphere or a problem with the track — I do know that railroad men have been working on the bed just west of the Air Depot crossing — but the call of the horn was so long and so mournful that I wondered if Junior Parker's Mystery Train, sixteen coaches long, was the train actually making the run. And given the fourfold increase in minor (and maybe not so minor) physical issues I've faced this year, I've got to wonder if next time the train is coming for me.

(Aside to Elvis: Yeah, I know, you'd have hopped that freight and dared them to take your baby away. That's why you're Elvis and the rest of us aren't.)

Do you know where your pervs are?

Following up on a report that 33,000 sex offenders who are supposed to be in California's Megan's Law database aren't there at all, the national Parents for Megan's Law organization started checking the other 49 states and asking "And how are your databases?"

In Oklahoma, at least, they stink; according to PFML, half of the state's sex offenders aren't in the state database, a figure roughly twice the national average, promptly disputed by state officials. Brian Johnson at Corrections says there will be an audit of the database, but cautions against expecting too much from the list, or from Megan's Law itself:

"There's three reasons to have a sex offender registry. One is public protection, the second is it supports law enforcement investigations and it might prevent future acts of criminal behavior. I'm not aware of any research that says any of those things are accomplished."

And, in fact, the Supreme Court heard two cases last fall challenging Megan's Law. I've always been a little uneasy about this law myself — why is it, for instance, we don't register armed robbers or white-collar criminals or other people who present threats to the community? — but you know the drill: if it's for The Children™, it must be good.

(The Children™  is a trademark of Juan Gato.)

Permalink to this item ( posted at 10:43 AM to Soonerland )
Our big fat Greek allies

David "Clubbeaux" Sims (that just looks so cool) isn't too impressed with Greece these days:

Greeks contribute the least to the E.U.'s funding and are the biggest freeloaders of E.U. welfare, yet squawk and strut and obstruct E.U. business as if they’re bankrolling the whole operation. One does not want to even begin to calculate the total tonnage of money America flushes down the Greek rathole. E.U. diplomats I met in Istanbul told me privately that if the E.U. had a mechanism for kicking countries out Greece would have been shown the door a long time ago.

So they're, um, obstreperous. Do they stand behind us when we need them?

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page...gives these facts: 87.8% of all Greek citizens are against military action in Iraq — even with U.N. approval; more Greeks have a positive view of Saddam Hussein than of President Bush, and when asked "which country is more democratic, the U.S. or Iraq" a full 57% said "neither," and 8% said Iraq. On balance the French are more reliable allies than the Greeks.

Gad. What a bunch of Cretans.

Cadre remarks

Everyone knows the canonical collective nouns, even the weird ones like a murder of crows or a pride of lions or a clutch of mechanics or a graft of politicians or a gaggle of Googlers.

So how shall we denote a multiplicity of bloggers? The first thing I thought of was crash, but then it occurred to me that in this context, "crash" equates to something properly single, and a proper noun at that: a crash of Blogger. Okay, there are a lot of such, but as Bono might have said, we still haven't found what we're looking for. (And Bono apparently has no qualms about finding prepositions to end sentences with.)

If you have better ideas than I — and who doesn't? — please pop open Comments and expound.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 4:10 PM to Blogorrhea )
8 February 2003
New kid on the news block

It was last Saturday, and word had just come down the wire that Columbia was in trouble. Management at KOMA radio, which was getting ready to drop its oldies format (still carried on KOMA-FM) for news/talk the following Monday, apparently decided that if they were going to build any credibility as a news operation, they had to cover Columbia, and damn the official schedule.

And so they did, staying with the story most of the day, and when the regular schedule began on Monday morning, I suspect they had a lot more listeners on board than they'd originally anticipated.

So how did they do? The lineup hews pretty close to what you'd expect from a station of this type, and pretty close to that of rival KTOK. For some reason, KOMA thinks it takes a two-person anchor team in morning drive, but only one in the afternoon, which I attribute to lingering morning-zoo philosophy. Local personality Carole Arnold, bounced by KTOK a few years back, has the late-morning talk slot. After an hour of news at noon, Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor slides in, two hours of which run directly opposite Rush Limbaugh on KTOK. (Bottom line: Evenly matched, bile-wise, but Rush is usually funnier.) The afternoon news block is nothing special. Early evenings are given over to Laura Ingraham, who is the answer to the question "What if there were someone like Ann Coulter, only normal?" After midnight is a bit of weirdness called The Edge, a sort of macrobiotic Art Bell.

A couple of tweaks I would suggest to KOMA as they try to build a news powerhouse on a budget:

  • Is it really necessary for the guy in the traffic helicopter to read off promos for AT&T Wireless? For that matter, is it really necessary to have a guy in the traffic helicopter? This ain't New York or Los Angeles. The same intersections are clogged every day at the same time; only the accident locations are different. And hardly anyone in these parts will make a route change to avoid a wreck — most of the time, I think they actually want to see it.

  • The KOMA News Web site is indistinguishable from your average fifth-grader's Tripod or Geocities page. I'm not saying you should tart it up with Clear Channel-styled bombast, but this is just hideous.

That's the news, as Dennis Miller would say, and I am outta here.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 12:10 PM to Overmodulation )
Rebound effect

You may remember Behind the Mantle, operated by a blogger who was sacked (Bite me, King Stan!) for having a blog. (I mentioned it briefly here last month.)

Now working for someone less anal, he's back blogging at entrebat.net.

(Muchas gracias: Edward Ocean.)

Permalink to this item ( posted at 12:55 PM to Blogorrhea )
Southern exposure

Charleston, South Carolina, 333 years old and still a charmer, has a memory nearly as long as its history, and downtown, parallel-parked Volvos aside, is not all that different from the way it was when Rhett Butler supposedly wandered around its streets. King Street is the main north-south street, and it was a wild mix of modern-day commerce and antebellum gentility when I lived in the Holy City in the 60s; it still is today.

In 2000, reconstruction began on the William Aiken House at 456 King Street, about a third of a mile north of Marion Square, a world away from the presumed haughtiness of the SOB (South Of Broad) district — but only a few steps from the present-day Charleston Visitor Center. The new owners have turned it into a small-scale (about 20,000 square feet) convention center, a place for small gatherings with a taste of history.

This afternoon, Senator John Edwards (D-NC) is at the Aiken House, doing some of the obligatory legwork for his Presidential campaign. None of this matters, except that Edwards is supposed to be paying lip service to the NAACP's South Carolina boycott, and yes, it is true, William Aiken actually once owned slaves. Rather a lot of them, in fact. If you wanted to find a place in Charleston that had no discernible ties to anything that even remotely resembled the old Confederacy, you'd have to have your meetings at the Burger King on Dorchester Road near I-526. The NAACP Web site hasn't put up a complaint yet; I'm hoping this means that they're not going to pitch a fit about the Edwards appearance, but it could be simply that their Webmaster has the weekend off.

(Via Drudge, aided and abetted by C. Dodd Harris IV.)

Update, 6:15 pm: Christopher Johnson reports that the fix is in:

"What he's doing meets our guidelines," said James Gallman, president of [the NAACP's] South Carolina branch, adding "I'm very pleased with the efforts he has made and the support he has given our boycott."

Let's see what happens if a Republican tries to hold a pep rally at the Aiken House any time in the next few hundred years.

9 February 2003
Shurden's new game

Sometimes it's hard to get a grip on Frank Shurden. For years and years he's been pushing for a measure to allow chemical castration of sex offenders, and more recently he's been trying to come up with a workaround for cockfighting proponents, who were supposedly dealt the death blow in November's election; his most recent thinking on the subject is some sort of "county option".

The tendency, therefore, is to write off the Henryetta Democrat as some kind of crank. But, the Oklahoma legislature being full of such, it's not the disadvantage you might think. So it's Frank Shurden who gets to introduce the governor's lottery scheme into the Senate, and only God and Frosty Troy know how much wheeling and dealing will go into the final package.

The OkiePundit is not inclined to cut Shurden any slack:

Like a spoiled brat, [Shurden] has tried at every turn to change the rules of the game each time he loses. Given this M.O. by Shurden, the Legislature should consider Shurden's lottery bill only as a county-option. If the lottery loses when and if it comes up for a vote of the people this year we should assume that Shurden will disregard the will of the citizens and try in 2004 to pass legislation to institute a lottery in counties that voted in favor of the lottery.

Of course, a county-option lottery wouldn't work worth a darn — at best, it would increase the take from the state's fuel tax from people driving across the state to buy tickets where they could — but it could be just the thing for lottery opponents, who, after a few months of so-so business, will be able to point and say "See? We told you so!" In Oklahoma, this ability is prized more highly than gold. Or natural gas, anyway.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:09 AM to Soonerland )
Gam bits, again

I tend to pay close attention to anything Andy Crossett does, since Mr Crossett is the proprietor of The Celebrity Legs Gallery [not necessarily safe for work], a biweekly glance at some of the world's major-est Major Babes from here down. And it was inevitable, I suppose, that he should open a blog.

As a skirtwatcher of long standing, I consider this sort of thing noteworthy. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 3:20 PM to Blogorrhea )
T'ain't funny, McGee

No, not you, Kevin.

The previous entry, reports Movable Type, was number 666.

It caused the database server to error out, and had to be reposted.


(Mental note: Write to DavidMSC up in Montana and see if he can get me one of those Helena handbaskets I've been hearing about.)

Permalink to this item ( posted at 3:27 PM to Blogorrhea )
Oil together now

Yeah, I know, but this is funny.

Start making scents

Jason Kottke has decided:

The way we figure it, the world doesn't need another stupid web application, it needs bacon-scented candles.

And not just bacon, either.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 5:52 PM to Almost Yogurt )
10 February 2003
14th nervous breakdown

Thus spake Bitter Hag:

Surely I'm not the only one out there who hates February 14th with my whole being.

I can assure her, and you, that she's not.

And if there's some vast quantity of pent-up resentment, well, so much the better. The Hag wants to hear your story. And there will be a prize for the most bitter, or least repentant, or whatever criteria she chooses.

You've got until midnight (Pacific time; you slackers on the East Coast can slide until 3 am) on the 12th, so get with it.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:32 AM to Table for One )
Site issues

The site has actually been up, but anything requiring cgi — for readers, this means the comment windows and whatnot — has been down most of the morning due to Actual Hardware Failure, as in "Geez, isn't it about time we got rid of this piece of crap?"

In the meantime, someone Googled his way here looking for susanna porn. Uh, not here, pal.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 11:18 AM to Blogorrhea )
Site issues (the sequel)

I honestly don't know if everything is fixable at the host end; they seem to be fumbling a lot.

Unfortunately, I'm paid up through the end of the year, so I am loath to move — at least right now.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 3:11 PM to Blogorrhea )
< L

The Letter came today.

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to enclose your AARP Membership Registration and temporary membership card.

I'm just as thrilled about this as you think.

But this is the bottom line, right off aarp.org:

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over.

Uh, guys, "50 and over"? Can't you cut me a few days' slack, fercryingoutloud?

(The rest of you can debate "nonpartisan" if you want. I'm still in denial. And, I hasten to add, still in my forties. Barely.)

11 February 2003
No gander left unsauced

Retired (yeah, that's the word) computer vandal Kevin Mitnick has had his Web site hacked twice in the last couple of weeks.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:58 AM to PEBKAC )
You might be an Old European...

"...if you see no contradiction between your Socialist Party card and your new BMW."

John at Inside Europe: Iberian Notes has literally dozens of these.

(Muchas gracias: Cinderella Bloggerfeller, who, as a European himself, will not be able to vote for Dodd for President.)

When it's meant to be

Okay, maybe I'm somewhere between giddy and delirious, but I dearly love stuff like this:

Sarah and I had a lot in common. We were around the same age. We liked all the same bands (more importantly, we hated the same bands). We’d both worked extensively in publishing. She had a PhD in English; I spoke English.

Just one minor obstacle. After striving for all his life to get out of a 1.5-horse town like Seguin, Texas, he'd finally made it to New York City. She, however, lived in one of those 1.5-horse towns: Seguin, Texas.

You should probably read about it now, before it turns into a movie with Reese Witherspoon.

Permalink to this item ( posted at 6:19 PM to Table for One )
Oh, those four-letter words

From the We Must Protect The Children™ files:

"I realize people hunt in this area, but I still don't think that warrants the teachi