Monday, February 28, 2005

Pope, Pope, Pope, Pope, Pope

It may be unbelievable to some of you, considering my past posts, but I am praying for the Pope every day.

It's not as if we don't have our (huge) share of disagreements:
- homosexuality
- birth control
- abortion
- that whole "Jews don't go to heaven" debacle.
- The veiled "women should be subservient" stance.

However, there's something very pure about "il papa."

You have to admire a guy that visited his attempted assassin in jail, and publicly forgave him. (A true forgiveness, not media lip-service.) You have to appreciate a guy who has not stopped doing his job - every Sunday, and beyond - for 26 years, even after said assassination attempt.

My background is 1/2 Italian and 1/2 polish, which works perfectly for this Pope. I may never have been to Poland, and have never been able to speak Polish -- but I'm still proud of the only non-Italian,Polish Pope in the history of the Vatican.

I wonder how much of the recent declarations by the Vatican can be traced closer to the Pope's close advisors, and not so close to the Pope. He seems like a much more forgiving and liberal person than most of his close Cardinals. He has proven himself a man who can admit mistakes - not just his own - but mistakes on behalf of a religion that counts over one billion members.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Water and Sleep

It's hard to write and have an opinion about something every day. (even for me.)

I'm feeling a bit Swiss today (the country, not the cheese), so with the help of a spectacular hang over, I present: More-Links-To-Fun-Things-Carl-Likes!:

The Freebie Source: Limited but interesting. Let's see, I already have hot sauce and free laundry booster coming my way! Mostly free samples as opposed to full sized items - yet there is the occasional t-shirt or free long distance card.

CB2: I hadn't heard of this incarnation of Crate and Barrel - they only have a few stores. The products have more of an edge than the typical Crate & Barrel fare. There are some things that my parents have that I still envy: Two cars, a big house, a decent sized retirement fund, and, naturally, the NASA Channel! Every time I'm home for the holidays I find myself obsessively watching the NASA channel, which features live shots of NASA operations & a graphic showing where the International Space Station is at any point in time.

Now I can watch anytime I want! The NASA channel, along with hundreds of other feeds from all over the world is available at this useful page.

A big shout out to the two bloggers that have officially linked to me, and in doing so became personal heroes, Rhodent and Happy and Blue 2. I visit them regularly, you should too.

Your Cheese
: What's the best cure for a hangover?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Stream of thought (warning, choppy water)

Why do men have nipples? And for that matter - where along the evolutionary chain was it decided that five fingers was better than 2 or 7? Were there keyboard designers and piano players in the pre-historic era? I'm sure the thumb had a hand (ha!) in this.

What was pre-historic life like? Was it really like the opening scene in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? That movie is incredible. Its special effects completely hold up, even today.

Odd how now that flat screen televisions are becoming popular, any movie made about the future and featuring CRT televisions has become instantly unbelievable.

Who picked the first brussel sprout and said, "hmm, let's force the kids to eat these."? I prefer Eblo to Blog. It sounds like a mix between an ancient tradition and a new Sesame Street character.

When ATMs were introduced, who started the "stay back a few paces when in line" thing? Did banks hand out little pamphlets that told people to stand back? Wouldn't a rule like that be helpful at the pharmacy?

Am I the only one that still stares at an airplane taking off in awe? It seems I am. Does it have something to do with the fact that 90% of my dreams involve a plane or an airport? I'm sure Freud would have something to say about that, but he's long dead.

Your Cheese: Would you rather have more fingers or less fingers? Whatever for?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Foghorn Funhorn

From Reality Hacking:
Opening concert for the 25th [theater festival] anniversary in collaboration with the ensemble for new music zurich. The ensemble premiered RH NR. 212, a new composition written for the occasion. As the piece started, 7 passengerships mysteriously appeared on the lake behind the stage. Guest musicians in the wheel houses of the ships, equipped with numeric clocks, accompanied the ensemble, performing a written [score] for sirens and foghorns.

The ships - which were timed to float by at just the right time - were musical parts of the piece. I can't get enough of art like this - click around on that website for more projects completed, including a symphony based on the sound of glass breaking and symmetrical clocks featured at the Museum of Modern Art.

Some people assume art is boring and strict. The truth is, if you look for it hard enough, you will find art that will amaze, entertain and enlighten.

See also:
Laurie Anderson
1812 Overture with Fireworks and Cannons heh. heh.
Jenny Holzer

Your Cheese: This Sunday, February 27th at 8:07pm, everyone go outside and throw a piece of cheese into the street. Then videotape whatever comes to eat it (mouse, bird, dad). Take that footage to the market and project it on the biggest piece of cheese you can find. Magic!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Testing 1 2 3 7 9 4 274 947 017 848

Spooky, mysterious and a little scary. I love finding information on the web that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Last year I stumbled upon information on the internet regarding Number Stations.

Wikipedia gives a good introduction to the phenomenon:
Numbers stations are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin that broadcast streams of numbers, words, or phonetic sounds. It is publicly not known with certainty where their signals originate or what purpose they serve. The voices that can be heard on these stations are often those of children, or are mechanically generated.

It has been speculated that these stations operate as a simple and foolproof method for government agencies to communicate with spies "in the field", using the transmitted codes as a one-time pad cryptosystem.

Others speculate that some of these stations may be related to illegal drug smuggling operations. A 1998 article in London's Daily Telegraph quoted a spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry as saying, "These [numbers stations] are what you suppose they are. People shouldn't be mystified by them. They are not for, shall we say, public consumption."
It's been suggested that these broadcasts emanate from embassies around the world. However, most of the transmissions that blanket the U.S. originate from Cuba. If these stations actually do transmit information, it's an ingenious solution for spies (or drug runners). Cell phones can be bugged, meeting in public is dangerous, but no one is going to suspect you are a spy simply because you own a shortwave radio.

A compact disc set was produced containing over 100 numbers stations broadcasts. The entire set - called the Conet Project & a comprehensive booklet explaining the codes can be downloaded here for free. You can also pick and choose which ones to listen to. (It's legal)

Each broadcast starts with a music clip or series of numbers or letters repeated over and over again, some for hours, before the "message" portion of the broadcast is heard. (This is how Wilco got the name for one of their albums - an opening message included in the Conet Project is "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Yankee Hotel Foxtrot ...")

One station is simply a buzzer [link contains sound] - originating from Russia - which never stops broadcasting. Actually, it did, twice. Once when the buzzer was changed to a deeper sound. It stopped again during the 1993 Russian Revolution. As you can see, information on numbers stations is very well documented on the web, and devotees can be obsessive.

Here's a few more links to get you addicted interested:
Rodent Revolution Parody or death threat?
Another good primer on numbers stations
NPR.ORG 2000 story on numbers stations.

Your Cheese: What things, discovered on the web, give you the willies? (Presidential election results do not count.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cheese Links

Instead of a traditional post, I thought tonight I would share a few links to other sites that I enjoy.

The Rasterbator - Sounds dirty, but actually a very addictive free online tool for making posters out of any image. I'm amazed things like this are free on the web. Take any image you have, or is online, and it instantly "rasterizes" it (that style that looks like a bunch of dots close up, but an image farther away). Choose how big - from 1 page to 100.

Ask MetaFilter - This may be preaching to the choir - MetaFilter is quite popular online - but this offshoot is addictive as well. Any registered user may submit a question, and anyone can answer. Questions and answers range from the practical to the sublime, and subject matter can swing from tenets of religion to recordings of cats purring at one click.

Mighty Goods - A recent discovery. It features all those beautiful items you see in friends' houses and compliment, and then swear under your breath. It's about time you owned them!

Of course, you can always check out all my links at my page.

Your Cheese: What are your favorite websites to visit regularly? Which pages should I be wasting my time on?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Everyone Old is Hot Again

It's amazing what watching TV during the wee hours of the morning can do for you. Sure, there are plenty of infomercials to keep you entertained, but soon the forced attention of the studio audience will implore you to cry out for their freedom.

If you find yourself screaming at the latest sandwich maker, switch over to the Game Show Network. They broadcast some gems at 3 a.m. "The Name's the Same" and "What's my Line?", both from the 50's/early 60's, instantly whisk you back to an eariler time. Men are in tuxes and women are in ball gowns. The chat is fast, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny. I can't think of one modern game show that can claim the same (laughing at Vanna's outfits does not count). Except for a few mystery guests, the content has aged very well.

Some aspects of television haven't changed over time. Networks always used end credits to shove in more marketing. A recent repeat of "What's my Line?" featured two voice-overs talking about "Life with Luigi," a 50's CBS sitcom.

Also noted: Male stars that my generation only think of as "over-the-hill" were lookers back in the day. This doesn't apply strictly to old game shows (but hey there Joey Bishop, woo woo!). Take a look at Dennis Hopper (yeah, the crazy guy from Blue Velvet) and Henry Fonda (yeah, the old guy from On Golden Pond).

So kick back (formal dress optional), embrace your insomnia, and enjoy.

Your Cheese [a new feature of my blog shamelessly stolen from Happy and Blue 2, but he's Canadian so I'm sure he'll understand]: What things take you back in time mentally? Other TV shows? Clothing? Design?


I couldn't resist. Such an attractive package - clear plastic separating each delicate piece of fruit. Who doesn't want to taste the future? Grapple (pronounced Grape-L) promised to "Look like an apple, taste like a grape."

Was this what years of biotechnology research had produced for human consumption? Scientists secreted deep below an apple orchard had tinkered with DNA and RNA and apple peels.

The lab looks something like the mutant scene from Alien 4 - full of failed attempts: orange-sized grapes, deformed apples, a chupacabra. Their work had succeeded, for a scant $5 for four apples (!), I enjoyed a fruit that smelled like a grape and tasted like a grape, yet was obviously an apple.

Oh huzzah! Welcome to the future! Could flying cars and cloned people be far behind? Instant teleportation from my apartment to work? I filled with glee.

Reality can be a harsh bitch. The facts at deflated my happy balloon. Grapples are produced by immersing apples in a mixture of grape concentrate and water (you mean grape juice?) for a short period of time.

Marketing: 1, Scientific mutants: 0.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Avoid the Brown Noise

There are many reasons I love my iPod. It saves me from having to respond to crazy people on the street, it reintroduces me to music I had forgotten I owned (Berlin, anyone?) and the back makes a nifty mirror in a pinch.

However, ever since a slightly noisy neighbor moved in, I also depend on it for putting me to sleep. It's simple to turn any iPod into a white noise machine - drowning out annoying noises around you, and much more hip than those lame "Drippy Brazilian Rainforest" sound Compact Discs.

You need to have a stereo to play the iPod file - I have the Altec Lansing IM2, but any speakers will do. It helps if the speakers are relatively close to your head.

Don't use this with your headphones - constant noise piped directly into your head causes insanity.

First download a small clip of white noise atAudio Test Signals. They have several to choose from - I prefer "pink" noise, it somehow sounds softer than the others.

These samples are only 10 seconds - you need to make it longer. You could put it on repeat on the iPod, but the ipod inserts a pause between each piece. It gets really annoying, really fast.

Use a free program, such as Wavepad to copy and paste the sample, over and over and over again. I stopped at 4 hours (if I'm not asleep in four hours, I've got problems other than noise). Then save the file as an .mp3 in Wavepad and sync it to your iPod. Play it on your stereo as you're trying to sleep.

Viola! You never have to hear your neighbors have sex again!

ADDENDUM: You can do this without an iPod as well. You could stretch the noise to 70 mintues and burn it to a CD, or you could keep it on your computer and use that to play it. (I don't want to come off as an iPod snob!)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Let's get this straight


Tonight's episode of The Simpsons carried a content advisory because the episode dealt with gay marriage. That's the only reason.

Please note this is the same show that dealt with Homer living with three gay men, Homer being concerned that Bart was gay and has also taken on gun control, tax reform, religious cults and child abandonment. No warnings for those.

Fox needs to grow a set.

Let's get the Gay Marriage debate out of the way right now. Either you believe that gays are equal to others and have the right to marry or you believe they are inferior. There's no grey area here.

A "Civil Union" is a separate-but-equal measure (to be honest, it's not even equal). Maybe gays should have their own bathrooms and water fountains, too. A marriage certificate immediately offers over 1,100 rights or legal protections. Rights that cannot be gained any other way: not through civil unions and not by going to a lawyer.

Gay marriage will not "degrade" traditional marriage (but you should probably have a chat with Britney Spears about that). There's no slippery slope - it doesn't open the door to women marrying llamas. Cut through scare tactics!

No church will be forced to perform a ceremony. This isn't a religious issue, it's a legal one. Church and state are separate for a reason. The U.S. government allows divorce while the Catholic church condemns it - people don't have a problem with that conflict between church and state.

I know the results of this past election regarding state bans on gay marriage. It doesn't matter: important changes take time and effort.

As odd as it may seem, I look to George W. Bush for inspiration regarding this issue:

You're with us, or you're against us.

Human Rights Campaign Marriage Center

I hope it itches like hell.

Sunday mornings are relaxing, right? Kick back, unwind, and forget about your worries. This is especially true for Sundays during a three day weekend. (Big shout-out to Presidents Day!)

This Sunday morning stunk like a gas station rest room next to a tex-mex restaurant after all-you-can-eat tamales night. In July. I deceided to check on the cheese this morning and found every picture, including the title, background and favicon (that little cheese in the address bar) gone.

My images were hosted on my work account at The George Washington University. I had considered free online services, but wanted something more stable. (ha) Not only were the images gone from my account - the entire account has been closed.

I can only guess as to why this happened - I guess because I've received no notice from GWU technical support. It is possible the account was closed because I was using it to post pictures to a different website. Isn't it better that I'm using a different site? It's certainly less strain on the university servers if the page is hosted somewhere else. Still, I could understand this reasoning.

The other possibility is because of content. If true, this is unacceptable. There is no content on this webpage that is questionable - especially for a liberal arts college (one that has a large journalism school preaching freedom of the press). If this is the case, I'll need to fight the decision.

I harbor no malice for GWU Technical Services, but if the person that deleted my account before talking to me were to get a painful rash, I don't think I'd send a get well soon card.

Tech-wise, I moved all the photos to the "hello" system offered by blogger. Because of the way hello works, I had to repost each picture as a separate post, then go back and pull the image location from the html in the post, place that in the correct post and then go back and delete the new picture only post.

Not what I was planning to do for 90 minutes on my Sunday off.

I still can't find a host for my favicon. (I miss that little cheese.)Success! Found hosting ... thank you Ripway!

I apologize for the lameness of this post - I know it's not very interesting, but I sure feel a hell of a lot better.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

You heard it here first!

Poorest Face Most Risk on Social Security Under President's Proposed Reforms (


In other news, water is wet

Just as shocking!

Friday, February 18, 2005

At the sound of the tone ...

This has been reported elsewhere, (Lifehacker for one) but I have to place it here because, well, it's simply too cool for school. Smash the Tones is a free (yes, babydoll, free) online service that will turn online songs into a ringtone for your phone.

Now don't get too excited. You are limited by your phone - don't expect to download .mp3's to your 5 year old Noika and have it work. [Isn't it time to replace that bad boy anyway? Everytime you have it in your front pocket you're hit on for the wrong reasons.]

Also, your phone must have some sort of web access - some way to "click" the link Smash sends to your phone.

I have a Sony Ericsson T637, so I was limited to .midi files. The good news: I found thousands of free midi files online - I could never say that about ringtones. If your phone plays .mp3's you can use any .mp3 file you have.

Smash takes you through the process - you may have to wait a few minutes to have things processed - then a link is sent to your phone, you click it and poof! Instanta-ring-tona.

I'll be proud to get odd looks on the street as my phone belts out The Golden Girls theme. The stares will continue as I sing along (join me, you know you want to!) "Thank you for being a friend ... Traveled down the road and back again ... "

Smash the Tones

Silly Rabbit!

Seattle's "The Stranger" magazine this week features a picture of Michael Jackson. Why is this AtheC blog-worthy? The photo was created completely out of children's cereals.

It's true; I spotted some honeycombs in there and I'm pretty sure I saw a Fruit Loop. [insert your own pithy joke there - I'm not touching that one.] Simply an example of something you probably could do with fancy computer graphic programs, but would never think to. Sometimes it takes boxes of cereal and silicone glue to provide graphic excellence.

Click here to see the full cover.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Arthur in LazyTown ?

Saturday morning used to be the only big day for children's television. I couldn't wait to get up wicked early, wait for the farm report or some-such-thing to end, and dive into cartoons and children's television on all three channels. [I know, I'm dating myself.]

PBS offered entertainment every day of course. Thank god for Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, and later, The Electric Company. [Whatever happened to The Electric Company? I'm telling you, PBS is missing out on a large market without that show.]

Today kids have more choices. You would think they would be spoiled for choice - but you'd be dead wrong. For every great show out there, there are ten featuring pure dreck. Obviously, kids are the main target of these shows, the important demographic, but having personally watched plenty of daytime children's television, I think any television producers would be advised to produce for parents as well.

The "Barney" backlash is legendary, but there are other shows out there - I'm looking right at you, "DragonTails" - that kids may love, but parents need Xanax to endure. There is hope. Having no children of my own, I find this embarrassing to say, but there are some children's shows I'll watch myself. Hell, I'd TiVo these. (if I had a TiVo.)

Arthur is an all-time favorite. The show is consistently entertaining and believable - once you get over the idea of talking/walking aardvarks, monkeys and bears. What keeps the show interesting is its commitment to real-life problems and situations. The producers aren't afraid of inside jokes (D.W.'s snowball, anyone?) or humor that is sure to go over any child's head.

There are a few signs of Arthur's hip nature: Ziggy Marley Jr. sings the theme song and episodes have featured jazz saxaphonist Joshua Redman, Yo Yo Ma & the Backstreet Boys [I know what you are thinking ... but it aired when the Backstreet Boys were still quite popular.] Arthur is on PBS, which isn't all that surprising - PBS can lay claim to the lion's share of decent children's programming.

One show not on PBS is a recent discovery. Lazy Town, featured on Nick Jr., is an odd combination of puppetry and live action with dance and songs thrown in for good measure. It's a bit trippy - many bright colors & quick cut camera work - which is probably why I like it.

Additionally - as online discussion boards online attest to - gay men (hello) and mothers alike cannot over-estimate the appeal of Sporticus (pictured right) who is played by Iceland's former athlete of the year, Magnus Scheving. It makes for awkward forums, but thankfully the show is quality stuff.

With either of the above shows, it's good to know the enjoyment need not be limited to viewers under 10.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

*gasp* Matches!

Ban on Matches, Lighters Vexes Airports (
When Congress voted last year to prohibit passengers from bringing lighters and matches aboard commercial airplanes, it sounded like a reasonable idea for improving airline security.

But as airports and government leaders began discussing how to create flame-free airport terminals, the task became more complicated. Would newsstands and other small airport stores located beyond the security checkpoint have to stop selling lighters? Would airports have to ban smoking and close smoking lounges?

This is all due to one person: shoe almost-bomber Richard Reid. Isn't it bad enough that because of him we all must take off our shoes and enjoy la pied de stank* of fellow Americans every time we take to the air?

Sure, this is real smart. They're also considering allowing people to use cell-phones on flights. So you're going to have people who have to get to the airport two hours early for a domestic flight because of the outrageous security situation [which will only get worse as they begin to frisk us all for matches.]

For example, let's consider people coming to the Las Vegas airport, who will not be allowed to smoke for two hours before their flight [at the moment the Las Vegas has smoking lounges within the secure area], then have to endure cross-country flights with people on cell-phones.

Terrorism would be less violent.

Shouldn't the TSA and the HSA be more concerned with stopping the bombs from getting onto planes and not a match that may ignite the bomb? They must assume they are utterly inept; which is exactly what this ban highlights.

*Note the fake French, I must be a traitor.

What IS up, Doc?

What has happened to the medical profession? I wonder if this is one of those "Have They Changed?" Vs. "I'm Just Getting Old" things.

Do you remember going to the doctor when you were a kid? The doctor always had an answer. Sure, sometimes you had to wait for a throat-culture (ick!) to come back from the lab, but you could always get a pill or a potion or a few days in bed and *poof!*, all better.

These days, no such luck. I cannot remember the last time I went to the doctor with symptoms of something and they provided an acceptable answer. Which leads me to a few theories ...

1. Doctors are much more afraid of being sued than they were 15 years ago, and rather than say you have something, they'd rather force 847 tests on you, 347of which force you to be half naked in front of people you don't know or require the use of "lubricating jelly." Doctors figure that you will be so put-off by these tests that you soon realize that the disease is better than the cure.

Then all the results of those tests come back and they still aren't quite sure what is wrong. By that time the symptoms are gone and you're not quite sure why you went to see a doctor in the first place. Now you have a new set of symptoms, which requires new tests. Repeat this cycle until you are dead; then the doctors won't know exactly what's causing your rigor mortis, so they'll order tests.

2. As you get older, you get symptoms that aren't simple anymore. When you are a kid, you get simple straightforward symptoms: my throat is sore, I'm throwing up, this bone is sticking out of my arm, etc ... But when you get older you have more esoteric symptoms: I'm light headed, I have a bump here that won't go away, my spleen feels heavy, etc ...

It's no wonder, then, that doctors don't know what is wrong with us and only offer tests that feature rubber gloves and the phrase "now you may feel some pressure." At this point in my life, I simply have to start living better and living healthier, and doing all those things that daytime TV and my mom have been saying for years but I've ignored.

3. I'm a hypocondriac and my doctors are just humoring me until the insurance information comes through. I'm positive Sympathetic Nodding 107 is a required course at most medical schools. You can take that course before or after Wheeling Around on Very Short Stools 108 and Never Paying for a Pen Again 210.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Goodbye, Hello, Goodbye

I remember when I was growing up, all TV or movie representations of college dorm phones could be summed up by "Pay Phone in the Hallway". That, and the idea of community showers and sexually segregated dorms haunted me until I got to college and discovered that I had my own bathroom, my own phone line and girls down the hall. [I had to share the bathroom and phone with 5 other guys ... I didn't share the girls with anyone.]

Now it seems as if things are coming full circle. [well, almost.] From Engadget:
According to the Washington Post, schools like AU are finding that it's now more cost-effective to either ditch their student land lines altogether, or just put a few phones in hallways, rather than maintaining their aging systems. For the handful of students still without cell phones, it looks like it's time to start saving those quarters.

The same thing is happening at the University where I work. It seems that the dorm room phone is on its way out. Still, let's spare the kids the trauma of communal showers.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Keeping Hookers Close

The Jeff Gannon scandal gets better and better ... or worse and worse, depending upon which side of the aisle you favor. From AMERICAblog [Plus if you're into Right Wing Nudity - they've plenty of links.]:

So in the end, why does this matter? Why does it matter that Jeff Gannon may have been a gay hooker named James Guckert with a $20,000 defaulted court judgment against him? So he somehow got a job lobbying softball questions to the White House. Big deal. If he was already a prostitute, why not be one in the White House briefing room as well?

This is the Conservative Republican Bush White House we're talking about. It's looking increasingly like they made a decision to allow a hooker to ask the President of the United States questions. They made a decision to give a man with an alias and no journalistic experience access to the West Wing of the White House on a "daily basis." They reportedly made a decision to give him - one of only six - access to documents, or information in those documents, that exposed a clandestine CIA operative. Say what you will about Monica Lewinsky - a tasteless episode, "inappropriate," whatever. Monica wasn't a gay prostitute running around the West Wing. What kind of leadership would let prostitutes roam the halls of the West Wing? What kind of war-time leadership can't find the same information that took bloggers only days to find? [emphasis mine]

I recommend you read the entire article - the research is quite good.

How much do you want to bet that someone within the White House will attempt to resign, and President Bush won't let him? Hey, if it's good enough for Rumsfeld ...

Because hookers and Bush always remind me of burning, stinging urination love I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Geena Davis Induced Head Trauma

Live blogging! TV on a Sunday evening. Continue at your own risk.

6:01pm - Superstation WGN - AFV: Still love the fighting babies on the retitled America's Funniest Videos. This is a very guilty pleasure for me - but I love this show. If they wanted to retitle this show they should have tried "laughing at Idiots."

6:05pm - HBO - Movie A League of Their Own: Whomever transferred this movie from letterbox to full-screen needs a good shot to the head. I honestly cannot watch this movie - it gives me a headache because of the constant pan-and-scan. Argh.. must ... change ... channel...

6:06pm - PBS - Rough Science: Call me a snob if you will, but I still think PBS airs the best reality shows. 1900 House rocked, I was addicted to Colonial House during its short run and I'll take Rough Science over Survivor any day.

A bunch of scientists from different fields are placed in an out of the way place (island, desert, etc...) and have to finish specific tasks each week (purify water, measure the height of a mountain, map the island you are on, etc) using only things they can find and their intellect.

No drawn out dramatic scenes, no one is kicked off of anything and no one eats bugs blended with ape shit to win $40. Hard to believe, I know.

6:10pm - InDemand - Carmen Electra's Naked Women's Wrestling: Has the female gender disowned Carmen Electra yet? Ladies, it's time.

6:19pm - AMC - Movie Sixteen Candles: Of the John Hughes films, this is the one I was not crazy about. It just doesn't seem to have the social commentary of The Breakfast Club, or the edge of Some Kind of Wonderful. Still, good to hear "Dong, where is my auto-mo-bile?" again.

6:36pm - Local 16 - Mayor's Press Briefing: TV is such a powerful medium, and it is important that we utilize it for community communication and activism. Programs such as this are an excellent example of access to the ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

6:43pm - Discovery Health - Face Eating Tumor: Why does this seem so familiar? Sunrise, Sunset.


Honestly, I have no idea why I have a blue cow on my webpage. I suppose there is the cow/cheese connection, but that wasn't really what I was thinking about.

I was simply surfing around and happened by Color the Animals. What a goldmine! There are plenty of animals to download and color; what made me download the cow and color it blue in Photoshop is beyond me.

It is, however, the cutest cow picture ever.

Let me be clear on one point: That is NOT Babe the blue ox from the Paul Bunyan story - I hated that ox, it never made sense within the story. Also, teachers in school always told the Bunyan story as an example of a Tall Tale. They forgot to tell us that it is the only one.

[Don't get started on Johnny Appleseed - not. even. close.]

Friday, February 11, 2005

Size Matters

I'm a little disappointed in the amount of snow this year. I know that I have to get used to having less snow now that I live south of the Mason-Dixon line, and yet I still can't help pining for the snow we used to get up in Buffalo.

Snowforts and snowball fights, catching snowflakes on your tongue and avoiding yellow snow: I miss all of it. For all the bitching that people do in DC about the weather [and there is plenty of it] they have to admit that this winter has been as mild as a Paul McCarthy halftime.

I'm still holding out hope for a blizzard in late February.

Next week - highs in the 50's. *sigh*

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hung like a Gannon!

Hopefully you've heard about this already ... I'm glad I can flesh it out for you.

From The Washington Post

The conservative reporter who asked President Bush a loaded question at a news conference last month resigned yesterday after liberal bloggers uncovered his real name and raised questions about his background.

Jeff Gannon, who had been writing for the Web sites Talon News and GOPUSA, is actually James Dale Guckert, 47, and has been linked to online domain addresses with sexually provocative names.


Among the domain names registered by Gannon's company several years ago, but never launched, were, and, along with The bloggers also have linked to a since-withdrawn America Online photo of a man who appears to be Gannon, posing in his underwear, with a screen name bearing the initials "JDG." [emphasis mine]

Traditional sources are bound to let you down with a lack of salacious photos. God Bless the smart asses at Craigslist!

Military Escort at Craigslist Washington DC M4M
[UPDATE: Ah, craigslist, those frisky devils - have removed the link. I wish I had taken a screen-grab. Nevermind. I DID.] And you're welcome.

Now if only I could link to Ann Coulter being told she's wrong repeatedly on a news show...
Oh, Wait!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

10,000,000,000,000,000 ... well, you get the idea.

It's easy to get used to some things on the web. Amazon always recommends books you wouldn't be interested in - ever, any word can be made sexual with the addition of .com & map websites are pretty good - and helpful.

Then something comes along that blows the current status quo out of the water. I give you that blow - Google Maps. Great with directions - it even gives you a AAA-esque highlight along the route - and it also helps you find local pizza or dance studios or art galleries or hardware stores.

And I dont' care what anyone says - it's good to know that the house you grew up in is just a few screen slides away. (at the correct zoom.)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

take this job and *hack* it

Just blogrolled LifeHacker - a new offering from the people that brought you Gawker.

I love this blog - they specialize in technology and other tricks of the trade to make your life (and my life, and *his* life) easier. I'm linking to a great post on the "25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview". (none of them question what you are wearing to an interview, but please, avoid rolled up sleeves.)

I'm not in the market for a job - nor do I expect to be for a least a few years - but I found this fascinating. I'm glad I read through them. They also have some great links on speeding up your brower & other tricks in Windows XP.

It's all those little things that are right in front of you - you just don't know it. You'll use them for years and people will say "You mean I could have been doing that this whole time?!" (Then you, of course, will say "Sure - you idiot. I learned this all on my own." Because you are a liar.)

I love you anyway.


Who can resist a trend? (not me)

I've read so much on the web about (yes, that's the whole address), that I had to check it out myself. Now - hooked - sigh.

I have to admit, I like the way the bookmarks are organized - they are all listed and then "tag" words you assign to each are listed to the right. What makes really interactive is that you can see how many people have bookmarked your same bookmarks - and you can search through their whole listings to find more interesting sites to visit.

That's sort of the downside as well. Anyone can search through your bookmarks - so forget about all your bill paying, bank & porn links. (We'll all know about your Britney Spears fetish.)

I have to admit - most of the traffic on this blog has come from my listing on (sadly - I'm the ONLY person who bookmarked AtC).

I don't think tons of web surfers are using the service yet - only a few people have bookmarked major sites like Hopefully the service will grow larger. God forbid this fucker disappears ... all my new bookmarks are exclusively there.

My listing

Monday, February 07, 2005

Wanna see a dead body? Alright then, what about a good movie?

Ah, February. Cold weather, no decent holidays & sludge puddles on the walk to work. What more could you ask for?

I'm glad you asked. Turner Classic Movies goes all award-y in February. Every movie shown is an Oscar nominee or winner. They've done this for years, and it's always the best time to tune in. This year, each day in February is hosted by a famous film character. Today it's Lolita (that tramp). Each character has a blog - along with room for comments.

An established media company jumping on the web log bandwagon purely for marketing value? Yes. Fun? Hells yes.

It's also great for useless trivia ... what do 12 Angry Men, Peyton Place, Stand By Me and JFK have in common?

(Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay!)


I had to work yesterday, so I missed out on all the Superbowl drinkin.... err... fun. However, always just as interesting as the game is the commercials - no no... not the ones they air, the ones they REFUSE to air.

I'm usually quite opposed to this, last year they banned and PETA, but this year FOX smacked down Mickey Rooney's ass. I gotta admit - even I agree with that.

All Super Bowl Commercials


Buying new technology is never easy - and never a sure thing. I spent way too long researching my new cell phone this past summer. I settled on the Sony Ericsson T637. Right after I received it in the mail, all I saw on the street were Motorola flip-phones. What a mistake!, I thought.

No more. In the last five days I've seen at least 7 Sony Ericsson phones of the same type as mine, in use by people I know and strangers on the street. It is a good phone - it includes a camera (not a great one), bluetooth and infared.

It's weird how I sometimes we're not comfortable with what we have until we know someone else has it, too.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Not a religious one

I was going to post tonight - about a Flamenco Dance class Lisner hosted, and about how I'm a bit disappointed that we haven't had much snow this year -- but it took me 45 minutes to create and implement that little "cheese icon" you see in your address bar above. YES, that's cheese!

So, no new information, but don't you think you should bookmark this blog? That way you could see that darling cheese icon every time you open your bookmarks! (or "favorites" or "Loved_Pages" or whatever you call it.) Do what you want, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I should be blogging about the State of the Union Address - where ARE the politics on this blog anyway? - but I have to admit, I didnt' see a lick of it. I was working at Lisner Auditorium - um, because that's where I work. It was the opening Gala of the Flamenco Festival, which is always a great time, but so much work that it makes my spleen ache.

I have to admit, I brought Xanax to work today, just in case. Turns out I didn't need it. On nights like tonight, I end up handling ticketing, the press and some front-of-house things.

However, this year, we expanded the festival so much, that I think I'm being stretched too thin. We had a cheese tasting at the beginning of the night [oddly enough, it's indirectly the way I named this blog, but that's a story for another day] and brought in volunteers to take surveys throughout the night.

With all those extra things going on I was a little stressed. I should have scheduled more people to work with me - it would have helped. Anyway, I never meant this blog to be me rambling on about my life, so enough about that.

Flamenco rocks. I love that as dancers get older they still dance and are even more respected than the youngin's. That's not done in many other types of dance - unless you are choreographing. Even then, you typically do not dance. Most dance companies that come though on tours are doing classic choreography, but with all young dancers.

Of course, some of the dancers tonight were younger than me. That's never good. It's why I don't watch the olympics. Every single one of those freakin athletes is younger than I am. I like to think my life is only a little wasted - not completely.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

needs candy

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you ...
The angriest baby in the world.

It's all French to me

Well, The Examiner hit the stands today. As expected, the arts coverage was brief (but at least they did something). The feature arts story was on Celine Dion. Why is it everytime this woman breathes the press is all over her? Her show in Vegas is sold out until the year 3427 - she doesn't need more press.

Then again, anything is better than another Cirque du Soleil in Vegas. Their new show at The Flamingo is performed in a pitch black room. No light is allowed near the audience or performers. You never see a thing. It's called Scamion. I'd tell you to see it, but it's sold out until the year 3427.