Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Snip Snip

Some of my favorite blog posts from today ...
(from my page on BlogLines.)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Only one thing today ...

... Cats in Sinks!!


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Addictive Lines


You know you love them ... but there are so many!

It becomes quite difficult to remember to visit all of your favorite blogs and news and information sites every day. Enter Bloglines.

Bloglines is an online blog/news reader service. It organizes all the RSS (really simple syndication ... which never seemed that simple to me) feeds into one page. This way I just click the main "feeds" button and every blog I am interested in shows up on the right side of the screen. Bloglines only shows the new posts that I haven't read yet.

There are a few down sides to this. It becomes harder to leave comments (which can be half the fun anyway). You have to stop and visit the site to do so.

Some websites only give a summary feed, if you want to read the whole post you have to visit the website.

To be fair, bloglines makes it easy to visit the websites - you can click right from the post on bloglines to the post at the website. Yay!

You can even make your feeds public - and let the world know which feeds you are interested in.

Viola! My Feeds:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Your Guide to distinguishing between an afternoon 'caster, a clothing master and some random woman walking faster.

Sorry Jim, couldn't resist. Think of it as an homage.

Ann Taylor
(NPR newscaster)

Ann Taylor
(fashion powerhouse - who apparently has no photos on line. Does she even exist?)

Ann Taylor
(ugly shoe shill)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Every City Has Its Television Promotions

I think of myself as pretty media-savvy, and most advertisements in public don't garner much attention from me. Good marketing, really good marketing, creates an "ah ha!" moment in your mind. You instantly connect different methods of advertising and everything comes together. I think this can be extremely useful advertising if it's done correctly.

In the past few days I've noticed the following "graffiti" on block corners:

It didn't register much in me at first, it's quite common to have left-wing political slogans spray painted on the sidewalk (honestly, they're preaching to the choir). This one was original only for its lack of an opinion. It didn't seem to mean anything.

Then, yesterday, in The New Yorker, I saw this ad:

And its oddly familiar tag line:

ah ha!

The marketing will endure through the first rain. The writing isn't permanent ink, and the first light rain will cause the red dye to run - mirroring HBO's "blood in the streets" theme. It's a nice touch.

I'm sure that this kind of advertising happens all the time in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles, but it's not often that this type of marketing reaches DC. I suppose HBO feels the power struggle / political story line will appeal to power-mad Capitol Hill worker bees. Whatever their reasoning, it's nice to see DC included in this sort of marketing plan.

And it works. I'm interested, and I'll be watching.

Update: Also appearing in Chicago.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I love this.

Not quite sure why, but I do.

Hey, cheered me up.

Just one thing!

One little thing can throw your whole night off.

I was ready to blog about a really interesting series of Altoids ads in The New Yorker that ran this week - so I got out my trusty digital camera and snapped some shots.

For the life of me I can't find the damn cable that transfers the damn pictures from the damn camera to the damn computer.


First I looked in the red cabinet. A lot of the wires are in there - ipod wires and recharger with remote wires, along with some extra cable I got with a new VCR. No good.

Then I moved on to the plastic "junk" bin in the closet. This is where the wires in my life go to die. Old, old TV wires, old earbuds, a broken radio. Nada.

Now I'm getting desperate. I look in all the drawers - even the silverware drawer, the dresser (mixed up with clothes?) Near the dvd cases, the freezer (the freezer?). Nothing. *sigh*

So now I'm here talking about nothing - as usual. I swear, it was going to be a good post! Such a little thing, and it's driving me crazy!

I'll try to get them downloaded at work tomorrow, we have the same brand of camera there, and post it then.

Damn it!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Crossed Signals

It is amazing that as much as everyone talks about the armed services, no one really knows much about their secret training. I've uncovered some top-secret commando hand signals that I'm happy to share with you here.

Who knew?

Friday, August 19, 2005


The latest article from Bill O'Reilly with my translations:
Thirty-five years ago this summer, the USA was exploding in protest over the Vietnam War. And today, the radical left wants to revisit those awful days by replicating the anti-war movement over the Iraq conflict. The question is - will they succeed?
35 years ago Americans all over were protesting a war they felt was wrong. Americans are again beginning to use their freedom of speech. Isn't that awful?

As you know, the radicals have latched on to Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son Casey in Iraq. Mrs. Sheehan strikes me as a decent woman who has no clue with whom she is currently swimming.
Even though I say that I'm looking out for the common man, this common woman is good, just stupid.

Sensing a chance to humiliate President Bush, the Michael Moore crowd has rallied around Mrs. Sheehan, who has become the anti-Iraq war poster person. But it's sad to watch this woman being used by organizations that not only oppose the Iraq war, but believe the USA is a fundamentally flawed nation. Cindy Sheehan's byline now leads the Michael Moore website. Is she really that bitter?
Every article in which I mention Michael Moore gets 100's more hits than if I do not. I'm going to paint anyone that has anything negative to say as anti-patriotic. If you have something bad to say, you hate the U.S.

It is one thing to object to a war; it is quite another to throw in with people who are consistently hateful towards traditional America. Cindy Sheehan now calls President Bush a murderer, and the USA an "imperialistic" country. But the woman has paid a price for her political leanings. Her husband filed for divorce last week, and some reports cited his wife's radicalism as one of the reasons.
Not just anti-patriotic, you're hateful, too. I'll pull random musings off of any website to back myself up. (Ms. Sheehan has been quoted as saying her husband supports her. Her marital problems go back much further than two weeks.) I'm hateful. This bitch got what she deserves. See what happens when you don't fall in line? Maybe if Cindy was a bit more patriotic and didn't question the president, her mother wouldn't have had a stroke. Some reports cite Cindy's radicalism as a reason for her mom's stroke.

I don't believe Cindy and her radical left pals will succeed in dividing the country this time around. It is true that most Americans now believe the Bush administration is fumbling the war, and that may well be true. Certainly, the continued violence in Iraq is troubling, and it is an open question as to whether the Iraqi people themselves will fight hard enough to win freedom, and that is the crux of this matter.
Anti-patriotic, hateful, AND you want to split the country.

The communists prevailed in Vietnam because they had a stronger will to win than the U.S.-supported South Vietnamese. At great sacrifice, America gave the South a chance to be free. They did not step up. The result was decades of totalitarianism that continues to this day, and millions of South Vietnamese and Cambodians murdered by the communists. Funny how the radicals never mention that, or the decades of atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein.
The U.S. was not wrong in Vietnam. It's the Vietnamese's fault that the war was lost. Even our bombings on Christmas day couldn't help.

President Bush has made two major mistakes in Iraq. The first is keeping Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld, understandably, is simply exhausted. He needs to be replaced by a battle-hardened commander who will bring a fresh perspective to the conflict.

Second, Mr. Bush must define the danger he sees if the USA "cuts and runs." The WMD controversy and poor post-Saddam planning doesn't matter now. Terrorists want to kill us, and a victory in Iraq will embolden them and deliver huge momentum to their jihad. Why isn't the President on TV everyday saying this? If America cuts and runs in Iraq, the place will devolve into another terror state where Al Qaeda will have free reign.

I'll ignore the facts. More terrorists are now in Iraq than before the war. Every day our president keeps troops there, Osama Bin Laden has a huge recruitment situation. Also, anyone against the war must want troops all out of there now. Everything is black or white.

No one in their right mind would want Michael Moore or George Soros or Cindy Sheehan calling shots in the war on terror. If Mrs. Sheehan had any perspective at all, she would also protest outside the homes of Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Tony Blair, all people who understand that cutting and running will lead to disaster for the USA. But in my opinion Mrs. Sheehan isn't interested in the big picture, she just wants to embarrass Mr. Bush.
Black. or. White.

The question is, will Americans buy what Cindy Sheehan is selling, or, instead, focus on what is really going on here? Unlike Vietnam, we are now fighting a war against people who want to come to our country and destroy it. These people are the driving force behind the "insurrection" in Iraq. They have chosen this battlefield because America made a mistake by underestimating the difficulty of imposing democracy in a culture that does not revere it.
If we "lose" this war, it's not our fault again. It's the Iraqis. They didn't work hard enough.

Once again, that mistake is history. What President Bush must do now is clarify the stakes in Iraq and rally Americans to support the global war on terror. If Mr. Bush does not do that, America will be in big trouble.
You're with us or you're against us.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Great Magazine Chase

So who won?

You should know me better than that.

All three.

In an odd convergence of want, need and promotional mailings - I found that I could get all three magazines pretty cheaply.

The New Yorker offered me (and 1000's more, I'm sure) the "professional" rate of $30 for a year. That's 50 issues for 30 bucks. Good deal.

Gawker had a story about Radar being offered "free" for certain people. So I just switched my phone number with my income and boom! One free year subscription.

Discover is on sale at Amazon for under 20 bucks for a full year. Much cheaper than on Discover's own website.

That's a lot of happy for not a lot of money. Anticlimactic, ain't it?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Eenie Meenie Magazine Moe

A magazine subscription is a big commitment (OK, for me), you’ll be dealing with this partner for at least a year on a regular basis. So you can’t just pull the three-minute dating routine and subscribe to anything – you have to get a few issues, check out the writing over a bit of time and get to know them personally.

Here are the contenders.

1. The New Yorker
This magazine has been on my radar for sometime. (Thanks Jim, for the reinforcement.) It’s a solid magazine – a lot of excellent world reporting, decent fiction, and it isn’t too “New York-centric.”

I’m also sick of so many people starting conversations with “I read about so-and-so in The New Yorker – did you see that…” It must be a popular magazine with people that like talking about things they read in a magazine. These conversations always make me feel like an uneducated boob that should go back to his trailer and see if Bertha-mae has finished cleanin' my gun.

This magazine came up a lot when The New Yorker did a cover story on the gay community and crystal meth. Unfortunately, I got a lot of the “As a gay man, what do you think about that?” or, worse “As a gay man, tell me, is it all true?” Avoid this.

I usually countered with “As a straight person, what do you think about Britney Spears’ quickie marriage in Las Vegas? Is it true that straight people do that?” Don’t ask me to speak for an entire community unless you are willing to do the same.

But I’ve rambled. I can’t hold my friends against the New Yorker. Not for long anyway, the newsprint would rub off on their skin.

In other small ways The New Yorker bothers me. Face it, it’s pretentious. They use an umlaut in the word “cooperation.” They publish some really odd (I'd say "bad" but there I go being uneducated again) poetry.

2. Discover Magazine
I didn’t expect this one to be on here. A monthly – NOT published by the Discovery Channel – it wasn’t even a contender until I saw a copy in the airport with a cover story on string theory. Ever since I watched that three hour documentary from NOVA on string theory, I’m freaking hooked.

The rest of the magazine was really good as well. It reminded me of why I love science (my first major in college was biology before I transferred to the business school.) and the magazine doesn’t dumb things down like others.

At the same time, the magazine is not overly technical and is approachable. It has its share of fun stories like any other magazine, but they are about dinosaurs, not Jude Law’s penis. Also, in a bit of coincidence, I visit their website all the time when I am trying to pay my Discover Card bill online.

On the other hand, Discover isn’t a weekly, it’s a monthly. I’m usually almost always ready for a new magazine, and a month is a long time between fixes. I’ve only been able to read one issue, what if that one was a fluke of great editing?

3. Radar
Pop. Culture. Politics. Glamour. Gossip. This mantra – printed on the cover of every issue – sums up Radar better than I could. It’s a mixed bag – seemingly not dedicated to a genre, which could be its saving grace, or its demise.

Magazines seem to be all about demographics now-a-days. I like it so far (it’s only published two issues), they’ve included interesting articles on Tom Cruise and Scientology, Kanye West and Hillary Clinton.

It’s fresh. (to use an overused buzz word.)

The downside, obviously, is that I’m not sure this magazine will hang around for the 12 months of my subscription. It could go the way of Talk magazine, another of my past favorites – which Radar reminds me of. (Another personal favorite, gone too soon? George magazine.)

Also to consider, Radar is a monthly.

Enough for today. I sound like a magazine freak. (I am a magazine freak.)

Next: The Winner

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I go through this every year. Every year the magazine subscription that I have runs out, and I usually have to find a new one to replace it. Oddly, it's rare that I'll renew a magazine. Somehow, I outgrow them.

First, it was Entertainment Weekly, which I still buy when I'm going to take an airplane flight because it's a quick read and there are no hard words that might trip me up when I'm doped up so I can fly. But I soon got sick of getting it every week.

My sister hates this magazine with a passion because of its relentless use of puns in story titles. (A story on funny TV dads is "Father Knows Jest," and article on Reese Witherspoon is "The Gauge of Innocence.") I never noticed it until she pointed it out.

She's right. It's annoying as shit.

Then it was Vanity Fair. Which is still a good magazine, and still has some good in-depth investigative articles, but I got sick of the suck-up articles to the rich. The articles weren't even about the famous, just the rich. Vanity Fair also subjected me to a photo of Jocelyne Wildenstein, who has taken plastic surgery to a level never seen before. There was an article on her because, well, she's rich. Now I'm mentally scarred for life. No more Vanity Fair.

The last subscription was Time Out New York. Now, I know I live in Washington, DC, but I fell in love with its writing style and music coverage. Plus many of the shows occurring in New York were coming to DC sooner or later.

I still like TONY, but after awhile everything just seems to be a repeat of last year (they have a lot of "annual" issues) and a good chunk of the magazine space was taken up by NYC listings. If I lived in New York City, I'd consider renewing the subscription, but for now I'm done with TONY.

The subscription to TONY ended in May. Time for something new. Any suggestions?

Next: The Contenders

Saturday, August 13, 2005

tastes like chicken

How on earth did I miss this story?
END, Ore. -- A state board voted to publicly reprimand a Central Linn High School teacher and football coach for licking the bleeding wounds of several student athletes.


Reed agreed to "stipulated facts" that included him licking blood from wounds on a track team member's knee, a football player's arm, and a high school student's hand.

It was not clear why he licked the wounds.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office investigated the case last year. No charges were filed. Sheriff Dave Burright called the behavior "bizarre" but not criminal, since the contact wasn't forced.

Two students who reported licking incidents and another who witnessed an incident said it seemed that Reed was "just joking around."

Reed, a science teacher, resigned this spring as a track coach but remains the school's dean of students and head football coach.

The state sanctions virtually duplicated those imposed by the school district.

Just joking around? But, that's not funny. Who knew that vampires lurked in Oregon?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Tomorrow is my last day of Spanish class - so I can't write much today.

After tomorrow, I'll have plenty of time to really slack off and not write - not simply have no time to do it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Its not hard - just watch what your doing

Those with good grammar skills can skip today's entry. I'm never preachy, and I'm never opinionated (stop laughing), but please, for the love of God, listen to me!

1. Learn to use "your" vs. "you're." Repeat your sentence in your head - move your lips if you have to - and replace the "your" with the words "you are." If the sentence still makes sense then you need to use "you're.". It's the contraction of "you are." Examples include "You're a beautiful person, but death still awaits." and "Why are you kicking my skins? You're making them all bloody." "Your" is used for possession. Like "I threw the kidneys in your beady-eyed face," and "Under my breath, I silently cursed your awful sense of direction."

I think that's the most quotation marks I've ever used in a paragraph.

2. Learn to use "its" vs. "it's." This one is going to throw you for a loop! Repeat your sentence in your head again - think of it as a fun game! - and replace the "its" with the words "it is." If the sentence still makes sense, then you need to use "it's." It's [<-- see!] the contraction of "it is." "Its" is used for posession. Yes, yes, i know, typically the ' is used for possession, but listen up! It isn't in this case. "Its" is used for posession, like "The gas spread to my bedroom, and I tried to run from its caustic, skin-eating fumes." and "The sheep was pissing me off, so I removed its spleen."

It's not pretentious. It's a pet-peeve.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I Knew I Forgot Something

Sorry for not blogging lately - it's not because I don't love you.

I was home in Buffalo this past weekend, and it was a great time. I had the chance to visit my cousin's farm in West Valley - it was amazing. Goats! Cattle! Pigs! Bigger Pigs! They had it all. It was like a petting zoo with bar-b-que.

The airports - DC National and Buffalo, were crazy as usual. The lines at Buffalo airport security at 6am in the morning never cease to amaze me. They must pack the flights into that early time period.

I wish more people acted like the passengers in Buffalo when they are boarding the plane. The airlines - in their infinite wisdom - have decided that passengers cannot read the row of the plane they are seated in, so they board the plane in "zones."

In DC, they may as well forget about the zones too. As soon as they call for Zone 1, everyone packs around the door and pushes their way on. People! It's not like you're going to miss this plane and have to take the next one. The seats are reserved. Why are you rushing on so you can sit and be annoyed by the man next to you who is too much elbows and not enough deodorant?

I wish more people acted like the passengers in DC when they are getting their luggage. Each airport - DC and Buffalo - have those huge long baggage carousels - like a huge centipede running along the wall. In DC people stand back and wait to see what comes out - allowing everyone to get their bag.

In Buffalo, people pack against that carousel so tight, you'd think they were giving other people's luggage away. If you are getting your bag, there is no reason for your whole family, including grandma, her walker and Petey the dog needs to be standing right at the carousel. Back up!

The airports simply need big signs. "DON'T BE STUPID." But, I tried that all over DC and it didn't work at all.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Drugs and Shampoo

Coincidences are fun. Sometimes the most random things can just make your day. It's happened to me several times in the past few days.

I waited in a really long line for prescriptions at CVS. There's always a line at CVS, I'm not sure why I don't go somewhere else. If I needed a really important medication, I'd be dead by the time they got to me. But they're nice and they don't give me dirty looks for all the drugs I get, so I go.

On a recent trip I was finally at the counter and the pharmacist asked for my birthday, "April 2nd, 1976," I said, and all of a sudden the girl behind me says "What? My birthday is April 2nd, 1976." She was born on the exact same day as I was. "Wow!" I said, and then we realized that we had nothing else to say to one another, and I left.

Just last Friday I was getting my hair cut when we paused for a hair washing. They always have the most amazing conditioner at the salon - I keep asking to buy it, but they say it's not available on the market. I need to find out what it's called so I can get it on eBay. You can get anything on eBay.

So there I am, getting my luxurious locks rinsed, and I was talking to the woman washing my hair about going home this weekend to Buffalo. Bam! The guy getting his hair washed right next to me was from Buffalo, too.

No one that says they are from Buffalo is actually from the city of Buffalo, so I asked him which suburb he grew up in. "Amherst," he said, and closed his eyes and turned away. "My, my," I thought, "you act just like all the other assholes in Amherst, too!"

I don't know how many people from the Buffalo area read this chat, so I should make sure no one misunderstands my sentiment in the last statement.

I don't want to be insulting to everyone. I'm only saying that if you were raised in Amherst, NY, you are a little bitch asshole. All of you.

It's amazing the little things that make you happy, isn't it?