...never too busy for a quiz. (I blame King at SCSU.) It's not the best quiz ever but it's brief. You may as well...
I certainly don't think all the Monkeys are going to come out with the same results on this one.
The WebMD headline almost says it all: The Positive Side of Being a Pessimist. "Researchers found that a healthy dose of pessimism may come in handy in many real-life situations where optimists may be overly hopeful." Got that? I say the glass is half empty and if you don't like it, you can go straight to the place where Jesus doesn't live.
I was just telling the other Monkeys how much I miss TiVo when I travel. I wind up surfing the channels and wondering how I could possibly stop on a channel when BOTH Bill Maher and Jay Leno are on the screen at the same time. Then it hit me:
Apple and TiVo need to extend the relationship between iPod, iTunes, and TiVo beyond the current light-weight fluff. They need to develop an encrypted video codec (maybe a standard already exists?) that allows TiVo Series 2 owners with the Home Media Option (yes, I know somebody's got to make money for it to be worth doing) to sync a handful of preferred shows into their iPod/iTunes libraries to watch on their laptops while on the road for work, vacation, etc. You will only be able to watch the show on your Mac, and won't be able to edit, burn, or otherwise manipulate the video for non-TiVo purposes, thus avoiding the inevitable objections from the TV networks.
That said, why in the world hasn't Apple bought TiVo yet? It's a completely logical extension to its digital hub philosophy. And why won't Steve Jobs return my calls? I promised I'd stop hanging out in his alley and going through his trash.
I have made no such promise to Glenn Reynolds.
The WebMD headline is "Food: Cocaine for the Obese". Among the "enablers" cited in the story: "constant exposure to...advertising, candy machines, food channels, and food displays in stores." I suspect there is a great deal of truth to the study in question, yet I have a hard time resisting the urge to dismiss it, knowing that it will probably be Plaintiff's Exhibit A in the coming class-action lawsuit against Big Food.
One of the things I appreciate about William F. Buckley is that while he is brilliant and insightful, he doesn't imagine that he's got easy answers to problems that have plagued the Promised Land for millennia. Yesterday's column is no exception.
Brad used to drink coffee, but no longer. The change has made him soft. When he posted earlier, trying to come up with a worthwhile label for the Columbine psychos, he just wasn't trying hard enough.
Had the blessed drug caffeine been in his system, he would have known that the correct label for these worthless twits is, in fact, "The Little Assfucks." I would like to see the old media step up to the plate and start using this unbiased term, but it starts with those of us in the blogosphere, the New Media. Let's get the word out!
Okay, read this story and tell me it doesn't look like something The Onion would write.
Not only are the events themselves outrageous, but the names are clearly made up. I mean, what kind of name is Tillie Tooter?
This one's for MonkeyBrad: "Lower-Carb Coke on the Way".
Air America is going off the air again in the Second City, according to the Chicago Tribune. Franken, Garafalo, et. al., remain off the air in Los Angeles. (But, hey, there's always satellite!) Despite some legal wrangling last week, the network couldn't pay it's bills to Multicultural Radio, owners of the L.A. and Chicago affiliates.
Air America execs aren't saying much about this, and I find no rationalization yet from Sam Seder, who is busy denying the charge that the Majority Report disparages religion. (Sam, I heard the Bill Maher interview. You set the tone early. Or was that just schtick?)
(Hat tip: Philip Michaels, dammit.)
Update: Our main man Mitch Berg has an enlightening discourse on why FrankenNet is doomed. Make sure to read the comments, too.
Mitch Berg offers this reflection on the five years since Columbine:
The real lesson today? It comes from Israel. The intifada has destroyed life on a scale [...] and [...]* could not have imagined. Coincidentally (?), since terror became a fact of life in Israel thirty years ago, Israeli teachers have carried handguns in class - and are required to carry them on field trips. The intifada has struck no schools.
*As long as I'm on the topic, I should note something that's long bothered me: the Columbine guys' names being repeated and repeated and repeated. Given that they were aiming for infamy on a grand scale, it perturbs me that the ampersand between their last names is today like the ever present initial in the name of an historically noteworthy assassin.
Once I mentioned this to Michael Medved (you just knew I'd find a way to work radio into this, didn't you?), he agreed and offered the idiom, May their names be blotted out. Of course, by the next day, he had gone right back to the seemingly unavoidable practice of calling them by their names. And no, I wouldn't encourage anyone to refer to them as they who must not be named. I don't want to give their memory the honor of a title. I just prefer to find a way to construct my words on the topic in such a way as to avoid empowering their notoriety.
I don't think that there's anything I can really do about it in the long run. Perhaps even this very exercise is self-defeating. But staying cognizant of this helps me feel a little better than doing nothing.
Smash has sounded the General Quarters call. Do your part.
Where did the time go? Dave Cullen, whose controversial reportage nevertheless remains the most comprehensive, explains what Harris and Klebold were thinking that day. They were ambitious mass murderers. Here's what I wrote for Investor's Business Daily shortly after the smoke cleared: "Fact is, one law or 1,000 lawsespecially those drawn in hastecannot fix fatal character flaws. Lawmakers may ban guns or restrict violent video games. They may even outlaw trench coats. Yet none of those measures will matter until Americans stand strongly again for the idea of liberty rooted in moral principle, not moral relativism. Only this kind of 'prevention' will ever work."
Remember when Clinton used the "sooner rather than later" line to describe when he would publicly come clean with the details of his actions? Like so many talking-points phrases, that line enjoyed a notable bump in conspicuous usage for some time. To this day, I like to feature it in my rhetorical inventory. Similarly, I still over use "gravitas" from the Cheney as veep nominee days, play with my pronunciation of "harass" to harken back to the panoply of literation-conscious news dweebs during the Anita Hill silliness, and take great pains occassionally to call for someone to make clear what the definition... Of. Is. Is.
Now there's a new line I'd like to use mockingly. But the media isn't doing its part yet. We ought to be hearing "literally, formally" ... well, practically over and over. You know the line. John Kerry used it to describe how he planned to
apologize to, er... "rejoin the community of nations," in the U.N. should he be elected.
(Note to the folks at MadTV: Remember that old recurring "literally, literally" sketch? Dust it off and throw this Kerry angle into it. It would give you another excuse to have Nicole Sullivan back for another reprise, which wouldn't be a bad thing at all.)
Today on the radio Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy, pointed out that Kerry must have really meant figuratively, as there has been no real formal withdrawal from anything to which Kerry could literally rejoin us at the U.N. While that sort of pedantic exactitude is the sort of thing into which I sometimes delight, my spin on it seems just a little bit more down to earth. I think what Kerry's really trying to say is that if he were prez, he'd have the U.S. "literally, formally [bend over and grab its ankles before] the community of nations."
Do you suppose Weird Al's parents were offed by Michael Jackson because they knew too much?
We've all been wondering what's going on with Dr_Monkeystein. I'd dismissed rumors that he was holed up, watching re-runs of Crank Yankers. But now I'm not so sure.
Sunday was quite a day for the Arizona Monkeys. After getting to sleep around 2:00am, we were awakened at 8:00am by a requested call from the front desk. We packed up and checked out of our swanky digs (I will let Brad give you the play-by-play on our experience with "customer service excellence") and set out to find a Starbucks with a T-Mobile Hotspot in the truly hideous City of Commerce. Fortunately, we'd run across one in neighboring Pico Rivera when searching for a source of ZonePerfect bars for Brad the previous day, so we headed back there.
Sidebar: I used to feel a little uncomfortable asking for a "grande breve no-foam latte", but no more. My fellow Monkey's standard choice is a "decaf grande two-percent sugar-free-vanilla no-foam latte". Then he adds Splenda, of course. I'm not making fun (okay, maybe a little), just pointing out that at this point I feel like I'm ordering "coffee, black".
Over expensive McSpresso drinks, we went to MapQuest to find directions to our day's destinations. On Friday evening, Brad had made the exceptional suggestion of visiting Rev. Mark D. Roberts's fine church, Irvine Presbyterian. It was quite a drive, but we made it in time for a couple of songs and Mark's sermon. We were glad to have made the trek - the people were friendly and noticed we were visiting. They made the effort to come over, shake our hands, and welcome us without being overbearing.
Afterwards, we waited a few minutes for people to file out, and then spoke briefly with Mark. Lots of fun. We chit-chatted a little bit about the differences between our Presbyterian denominations (Mark's PCUSA, I'm PCA, and Brad's church is closer to Reformed Baptist) and the previous night's MonkeySummit. Then Mark signed my copy of "Dare to Be True" and we headed to the van. Thanks again, Mark!
It was lunchtime, and we went across the street to another wireless-enabled Starbucks to change out of our "church clothes" and get more directions. We decided to have lunch at Wahoo's Fish Tacos again (there was one a few miles away) and then head up to the West Covina IKEA store. Brad had never been to an IKEA, and somehow managed to leave without spending a penny. I, on the other hand, filled the space remaining in the van (I had already bought a slew of stuff at the Costa Mesa store on Friday) with more bookshelves and storage units for my office. Around 3:30pm, we finally were on our way home.
After a pit stop or two, we landed in Blythe around 6:30pm. Tempted by several of the Lovekin Exit fast food establishments, we decided to go to three, rather than pick one. We started at Popeye's Chicken (which I had never had before). I ordered two spicy chicken breasts, and Brad got a small side of red beans and rice. He wanted a $6 low-carb burger from Carl's Junior, so we headed there next. Unfortunately, the drive-thru was broken and they refused to take our order at the window itself. So we passed on Carl's and moved on to Del Taco, where Brad ordered a Macho Combo Burrito and we shared a gigantic order of crinkle fries. I also ordered a beverage, while Brad drank a warm bottle of Jones Sugar-Free Black Cherry soda. We determined that the reason he was happy to drink it warm is because he is "a classicist." Only explanation.
That was followed by a few more hours or driving, pit stops, and iPod music. I dropped Brad off at home a few minutes after 10:00pm and headed North to my own soft bed. A good ending to a delightful weekend. I'm already psyched up for another road trip!
Mitch Berg's "Shot In the Dark" has moved from Blogger to Moveable Type. Congratulations, Mitch! Welcome to the dark side. Bwahahahaha....
...he would definitely link to this post, and then he would say something funny and in incredibly bad taste:
Too bad John Ashcroft had him abducted. Now we'll have to make up our own punchlines.
The first annual (thankfullyI couldn't afford it if we got together more than once a year) Infinite Monkeys Summit concluded at 1:10 a.m. Sunday morning, and I would judge it a mixed success. It would have been an unmitigated triumph, but Monkeystein couldn't make it, which was a huge letdown. My agents tell me that the Doctor was last reported seen leaving the Gethsemane Abbey in Trappist, Kentucky. (Prayer and reflection? No, I think he went there for the beer.) And because my wife and I had another dinner engagement, we missed the knife fight at Ciudad. Robb emerged with only minor scratches, but I hear the other guy got a nasty laceration under his left eye. I did return in time for fire and Grand Marnier, however.
Here's a quick breakdown of the day's events:
What was discussed? I couldn't tell you. But I had so much fun, I didn't learn this bit of good news until late afternoon Sunday. I hope the other Monkeys all made it home safe and sound.
William F. Buckley on the November "choice":
"But the challenger is careful not to disparage Bush's motives for our mission in Iraq and emphatic that we cannot at this stage simply walk away from it. If the election were being held tomorrow, the voters would be registering simply whether they like the feel of George Bush at the helm, or would prefer John Kerry. Not whether we should pull out of Iraq."
Another good quote from the same column:
The cow will jump over the moon before President Bush volunteers an answer to how it is we were deceived about the presence of weapons of mass destruction; or, for that matter, how it is that we misreckoned the fractious behavior of the resistance. Mr. Bush's only recent approach to the problem of Muslim antagonism has been to cede some of the West Bank settlements to Israel.
Robb wrote about all the highlights. I guess that leaves me the details and the ephemera. Dinner worked out great, once I finally got it, that is. Our choice of fish taco was officially endorsed by Tony Hawk. Take that Zagat's.
Odd aspect of the moment: the WiFi group next to us have switched topics from Astronomy class to high bred horse show performance moves. They're playing QuickTime clips of different horses and riders. The quest is on to find video of a "reining horse sliding stop." From the description I've overheard, it's something like when a hockey player zips right up to the boards and turns his body and skates sideways for, well... a quick sliding stop.
Some notes on dinner conversation: We both enjoyed the Northern Alliance Radio Network filling in for Hugh Hewiit's national radio show (spelling that out for Montykins).
Also agreed on:
The show was tight
This weekend is the first (hopefully) annual (hopefully) Official Infinite Monkeys Summit, to be held at David's old place in Los Angeles. I've already been in town since yesterday, having had business in the area and a need for much new IKEA office furniture. Brad flew in to LAX tonight, and I spent about an hour on the I-405 parking lot going to get him.
Upon arrival, Brad announced that he was extremely hungry, so we headed down to Manhattan Beach for some "authentic" Los Angeles beach food. After spending another hour driving up and down Highland Avenue and getting kicked out of parking spaces by expatriate New Yorkers, we finally found a place to park and forage for dinner.
Rather than fork out $30+ apiece for dinner at some snooty restaurant that we'd have to wait an hour to get into, we instead decided to eat at Wahoo's Fish Tacos, a relatively small chain based in Orange County. Great choice. For $15 I had a huge carnitas burrito smothered in green sauce, a blackened fish enchilada, and not one but TWO mugs of microbrew "Ono Ale", which wasn't half bad. Brad enjoyed a gigantic blackened fish salad with excellent fresh and chunky guacamole, as well as a blackened fish taco and a heaping pile of rice and beans. his meal was less than $10. He left his Splenda in the car, so he just drank water instead of iced tea.
After dinner, we wandered up Manhattan Beach Boulevard to the Starbucks on the corner of Highland Avenue and sipped hot beverages while catching up on blogs and e-mail. (Brad just noted that he is "thrilled" to enjoy packet after packet of complementary Splenda with his Decaf Verona coffee). We were the third group in the shop to open a laptop and work on the Internet, and the first to have a stylish yet inimitably functional Apple PowerBook. So, in stark contrast to the worldwide marketshare, over 30% of T-Mobile Hotspot users on Friday night at this particular Manhattan Beach Starbucks are Mac users.
Tomorrow all of the Monkeys west of the Mississippi will get together for all manner of strange events, including something called "spinning fire", which sounds an awful lot like "chasing the dragon" to me. We'll see. By the end of the weekend, hopefully at least two of us will have attended services at Mark D. Roberts's church, hangover or not. With a little luck, there will also be an official First Monkey Summit theme song, as well. We'll keep you all posted throughout the weekend.
I'll let Brad proceed with Chapter Two...
Dale Franks puts some Cartmanesque rhetorical wood to a Baby Boomer's lament for Bob Dylan. The Boomers may be getting old, but as far as I'm concerned, bashing them never will.
From yesterday, but I would be remiss if I didn't post it: Air America to Go Back on the Air... in Chicago, at any rate. Here's the crux:
New York state Supreme Court Judge Marylin G. Diamond found Thursday that Air America had fully paid for airtime in Chicago and ordered Multicultural to begin broadcasting Air America's programming again.
Air America remains off the air in Los Angeles...
...Air America executives said they were withholding payments for the Los Angeles station because [Multicultural Radio Broadcasting] had been "double-dipping," or reselling airtime that the network had already bought and paid for, prior to the network's launch a little more than two weeks ago.
[Evan Cohen, Air America's chairman] said late Thursday that Air America is still considering its legal options regarding the Los Angeles station and would be "doing something within the next 48 hours."
Well, good for Air America...at least for the time being. I wonder where Air America will be broadcasting in L.A. and Chicago when those contracts finally expire? And, incidentally, how is the search for new affiliates going? The network premiered this week on Sirius satellite radio. Also, a couple of shows are being picked up in Chapel Hill, N.C. Once the juggernaut gets moving, it cannot be stopped!
Masochists can follow the trials and tribulations of Air America over at the Majority Report blog, where Sam Seder is just as annoying in print as he is on the air.
Gentlemen, please! Be careful what you...uh, play at!
"I don't know what this couple were playing at, but there must have been tremendous pressure...to make this happen."
(Parental Advisory Warning: Explicit Content. Not for the squeamish. I had to pry myself out of the fetal position and pull myself off the floor before I could muster the will to post this.)
(Hat tip: Go Fish.)
My wife and I watched "The Apprentice" from the beginning. Say what you will about Donald TrumpLord knows I wouldn't want to work for himthe guy is a first-class shuck-and-jiver. James Brown summed up Trump's business saavy this way: "I can dig wheelin', I can dig dealin', but I don't dig no damn squealin'." So it was obvious to me two weeks ago that cigar man Bill Rancic would be the winner last night. First, he showed drive. The guy is an entrepreneur. So what if he doesn't have a Harvard MBA? Second, he picked good people, real hustlers. Third, he didn't pick Omarosa, who certainly doomed the other finalist, Kwame Jackson, and who is obviously evil.