Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I am appalled

At this one.. really I'm speechless. I mean I'm sitting very near two or three almanacs at this very moment. Does this make me a "person of interest?"

Monday, December 29, 2003

Welcome back.. to this crap

One of our computers has become infected with a spyware toolbar calling itself "yeaeaxoshss" I can't find any info on it and I can't get rid of it. Anyone got any ideas?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Oh one more thing

I trust everyone is tracking Santa.

The good thing is no one can slap me.

Merry Christmas, all you movie houses out there!

Or, as they say on the east coast, Mèrry Christmas!

Or, in Svergie, God Jul!

Or, in N.O. Pass the erster dressing!

note: None of the oyster dressing recipes I googled looks anything like my mom's. I assume none of them is anywhere near as good.

Safire this Morning

Is engaged in a bit of self serving fantasy around the possibility of Dean running as a third party candidate should he somehow not end up as the Democratic nominee. This is plausible given the amount of sniping going on between Dean and the DLC people but still not something I'd place anywhere near the realm of the likely. What I find truly amusing about all of this is Safire's fear of what a three way race may bring:

That split of opposition would be a bonanza for Bush. In a two-man race, the odds are that he would beat Dean comfortably, but in a three-party race, Bush would surely waltz in with the greatest of ease.

Here's my problem: Such a lopsided, hubris-inducing result would be bad for Bush, bad for the G.O.P., bad for the country. Landslides lead to tyrannous majorities and big trouble.

In other words, Safire is concerned that a decisive victory for Bush (indeed an actual victory would be a departure from 2000) would bestow on him a license to govern with even more arrogance and imperiousness than he has demonstrated to this point. Stuff that sugarplumb in your stocking and dream about it for a while. Really, what more can he do? Invade Holland?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Good Thing I Got That Spicy Tofu Recipe

Mad Cow found in Washington State. The USDA spokepeson on TV took great pains to assure us all that this is not a terrorist related event. Boy do I feel better now.

Closing ranks

Last week the heretofore moribund 9/11 investigation picked up a little steam when it's chairman indicated that the commission's report may paint a less than glowing picture of the Bush administration's efforts at preventing the tragedy. Not surprisingly, this week the Bush people have stepped up their stonewalling of the investigation.

Even Your Beer is Watching You

In their report, the Swiss team talk about a future where computer chips, remote sensors or radio transponders are scaled down to microscopic size and built into just about anything.

You could have a pint glass that sends a signal for a refill when it is empty.

Is Kaczynski's shack still available?

story here

Monday, December 22, 2003


..consumer products you can take with you

thanks, Carol, that was good and creepy.


This morning's Nashville Tennessean ran a feature on Sunday's top NFL statistical performances. Aaron Brooks' 296 passing yards qualified him for the feature. The paper printed his statistics next to the beaming mug shot of... Jeff Blake. The guys at the paper must have figured any black guy who once played QB for the Saints would suffice. Good grief.

On the road

One day. 531.95 miles.

Three quick notes:

1) Every state is pretty much the same thing... if you judge them solely by their welcome centers. Well landscaped, replete with complementary coffee, colorful brochures promoting benign familly attractions, and a "pet area."

2) Oh except Alabama whose welcome center features a stone slightly reminiscent of Roy's Rock which reads, "We Dare Defend Our Rights."

3) Dammit, I have only seen snow once in 1989, and it doesn't look like I'm going to see any now. What the hell did I come up here for anyway?

Sunday, December 21, 2003

And you had to ask

Q: Jeffrey, tell us again why you identify so closely with Cubs and Red Sox fans.

A: I grew up in New Orleans

Yes, John. It's real. You are a Saint.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

What, you mean we still have a Bill of Rights?

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In a setback to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the president does not have the power to detain an American citizen seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant.

If this goes to the Supremes, then I don't know if the ruling will hold up. But for now, it's good news. No one should be denied due process simply at the whim of the President.

story here

More importantly, will he cooperate with a true-crime book project?

NEWARK, N.J. -- The lawyer for a nurse who claims to have killed as many as 40 patients with drug overdoses says his client won't help authorities investigate the cases unless they agree not to seek the death penalty.

Read more here

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Tiresome People

Via Political Wire:

In what we may call a perfect pairing, one of our time's most annoying egotists has endorsed the Democratic primary's biggest phony.

Wow.. really spewing the venom that time... sorry won't happen again.

Yeah, Good Luck, Guys

In a city not much known for political activism... or waking up before noon... or motivation for doing anything much that does not revolve around food and/or drink, (although not necessarily in that order) there arises a clandestine cabal of bright eyed crusaders seeking to free us from the clutches of one of the most powerful matriarchs of the local political gentry. Will someone please take their time machine to five minutes ago and let me know when this is over.

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Thanks again, Caligula

Another One I Don't Have to Read

Ricky on The Da Vinci Code:

I continue to read this tripe and want to throw it across the room just as I turn the page.

In my opinion, there is no higher literary form than that of the negative book/film/theater review. Does this make me a mean person?

By the way, if you're in Louisiana and you're not reading Timshel then, man, I really gotta wonder.

I should also mention that the most prolific book reviewer I know liked this book.

Monday, December 15, 2003

This is getting old.. but ok I'll play

George W. Bush is such a miserable failure that we may even consider him unelectable. These folks also seem to think that the miserable failure, George W. Bush, is unelectable as well.

I really don't feel so bad about having Etouffé either

The Queen's representative in Canada will issue an official apology for the Crown's decision to expel the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755.

James Gill on apologizing for history: Apologizing for misdeeds long ago is all the rage these days. Well, Her Majesty can lock me up in the Tower if she wants to, but I say that this is not only sublimely pointless but a craven surrender to the forces of political correctness.

It is also presumptuous to apologize on behalf of guys who have been six feet under for a couple of centuries. Maybe they wouldn't be the least bit sorry. Regardless, nobody alive today has any reason to take responsibility. It's history. Get over it.

While we're at it, I also feel pretty bad about that whole sacking of Rome thing. Sorry.
Signed, Society of Modern Visigoths

Hillary Rumor Resurfaces

For those of you who don't think Dean is a flawed enough candidate, ponder this.

Memory Hole

NY Times opines this morning: Though the Hussein regime ended with the fall of Baghdad on April 9, many frustrating puzzles remain. These include the question of what happened to Iraq's unconventional weapons programs in recent years and what was going on in that shadowed regime in the last weeks before the war, when the Iraqi leader seemed reluctant to take steps that might have stayed the president's hand.


AP report from Nov 7: BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Saddam Hussein personally initiated an attempt to reach a last-minute deal with Washington to avoid the U.S.-led invasion that ended with the ouster of his regime, an official of the former Iraqi government confirmed Friday.
On Thursday a Lebanese-American businessman who said he acted as a go-between between Iraqi officials the Bush administration described how the Iraqis had offered to allow U.S. agents to search for weapons of mass destruction and promised oil contracts for U.S. companies in an attempt to stave off the March 20 invasion.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

From the TV Movie of the Week Plotline Department

WASHINGTON -- A 78-year-old retired Los Angeles schoolteacher said she is breaking decades of silence to announce that she is the mixed-race daughter, born out of wedlock, of the late Strom Thurmond, the longtime Republican senator from South Carolina who was once the nation's leading segregationist.

Story here

Even Your Car May Be Watching You

The UK wants to use satellites to track and bill every motorist in Britain for using the roads.

Can't Buy Happiness

It turns out that the Saints have the NFL's highest payroll this season. This does not bode well for Haslett's future.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Right so I'm not a Geek at all, really.

G! dpu s: a- C+ U-- P? L- E? W++ N- O-- K? w O? MV? PS+++ PE-- Y+ PGP? !t !5 !X !R tv+ b++ DI+ !D G- e* h-- r- y+

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


Final in 30 minutes. Preparing to go into heavy Bullshit mode.

Pure Drivel.. Merry Christmas

Ms. Bling Bling just finished yet another of her impenetrable recitations of grievances which included a glossing over of the phrase "time is money." Of course this put me in mind of this stupid old joke which I found on the Engineering Joke Page.
Theorem: Engineers and scientists will never make as much money as business executives.
Proof Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
Postulate 2: Time is Money. As every engineer knows, Work = Power/Time Since Knowledge = Power, and Time = Money, we get; Work =Knowledge/Money Solving for money, we find Work =Money/Knowledge Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity regardless of the Work done.
Conclusion: The Less you Know, the More you Make.

Yes yes very cute, but since it's the holidays, I thought this might be more appropriate.

SANTA CLAUS: An Engineer's Perspective

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).

At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second.
This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.
Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0. 78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.
This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second --- 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them --- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

IV. 600,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second crates enormous air resistance --- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporised within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.
Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315, 015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

V. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Coincidence of the Day

Daisy discovers Union Supermarket at the same time as Gambit.

More on Dean

Aaron this morning:

I spent most of the debate squinting very hard at Dean and trying not to see the face of George McGovern. The parallels between now and 1972 are frightening: a populist Democrat rides in and scoops up the nomination against an extremely weak field, and then charges out with his young, idealistic followers to do battle with a criminally insane, wartime Republican president...and gets crushed. Stomped. Annihilated. Loses 49 states. Including his own

As I've said before, I am myself feeling the pessimism. It's really sad too because the theiving bastards need to go and how!

Back to Life

Now that it has been decided that the Gore endorsement has all but officially annointed Howard Dean as the Democratic nominee before even one vote has been cast, the press can get back to covering politics the way it wants, as a benign horse race. From this point on, expect mainstream campaign reporting to consist of 1) fund raising statistics, 2) poll numbers, and 3) the candidate's personalities. It began during last night's debate when atrios counted 19 questions before anything relevant to policy was touched upon. Reporters are happy in this realm because they get to put on the air of cynical newshounds chasing the "real story" behind the election which they consider to be the machinations of fund raisers, party managers, pollsters etc. Avoiding any serious analysis of the issues is also the easiest way for reporters to avoid the appearance of bias. And, of course, by focusing on the candidates' image/temperament/wardrobe/favorite food we can turn the campaign into the reality show that everyone wants to watch anyway.
The good news, for me at least, is that now I get to cast my irrelevant Louisiana primary vote for Kucinich the angry elf without reservation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Molly Ivins on Dean

I know, he's even less of a liberal than Bill Clinton was, but I don't think Dean is a moderate centrist. I think he's a fighting centrist. And folks, I think we have got ourselves a winner here.

I like the "fighting centrist" tag but I'm less confident in the "winner" thing. Dean is nowhere near as smooth as Clinton. He doesn't always handle tough questions gracefully, he tends to waffle on issues far more clumsily than Clinton ever did, and his TV persona often reminds me of Bob Dole. I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade here. Dean's presence has made the Democratic primary worth watching. Without him, I don't think the other candidates would have been able to challenge Bush as boldly as they have this early. Clearly someone had to take the fight to Bush in 2004 and I hope Dean is up to it. I do have my doubts though.

Read Molly's column

It's a very special time of year

Take a good look at these guys
No, really look at them. What? What do they want? What is the deal with those knowing sugary grins? Much like these guys, I have been stuffed full of marshmallow goo myself on more occasions than I am willing to admit and yet I don't recall reaching the same level of evil bliss that they seem to have attained. Try to avoid them if you can. And for God's sake whatever you do, do not buy two dozen of them and place them on display in a winter village you created for them out of cotton balls, miniature christmas trees, and ceramic gazeebos. This is clearly insane, and will cause the little marshmallow people to haunt your nightmares.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Geaux to hell, BCS

I know, I know, your soon to be National Champion LSU Tigers should be facing USC in the Sugar Bowl. Instead, they have to play a team that couldn't even win its own conference.
Don't worry, there is enough justice in the world to sort this all out. Michigan is, in my opinion, a better team than USC. They should win the Rose Bowl leaving the Tigers on top after they take care of business on Jan 4. Remember you heard it here first.
Ahem We conspicuously ignore my uncanny ability to make incorrect predictions.

Hands on Buzzers

Ok everyone it's time once again to play America's favorite game.. Which Cheesy Author's Publicity Mugshot Is More Deserving of a Slap in the Face?

Today's contest pits challenger Nancy Taylor Rosenberg against all time champion, Nora Roberts.

I have to watch these guys cross the circ desk all day long. As you can see, they both need to be smacked real bad.... but one of them wants it more. Who will it be? Vote now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

And of Course I Have to Keep This Going

I found it on atrios today. Again, I'm always the last person to learn anything. Enough people have linked the words miserable failure to the president's bio that it is the first result of a google search.
Ha Ha George w Bush. What a miserable failure.

At Least It Wasn't John Goodman

This has apparently been settled for a while now but it's news to me today. Will Ferrell as Ignatius Riley. I know this whole project is destined for disaster regardless but for what it's worth, I think Ferrell has the ability to handle the cartoonish boisterousness (word?) of the role, but I don't know if he'll get the necessary degree of pathetic sadness. Filming begins this spring. Two questions: 1) Does anyone have a better candidate for this role? 2)Should they even be making this movie?

Update: I was really really doubtful about this film until I read this in an article about the director David Gordon Greene.

Grasping for a way to break through to this obviously talented but misguided child, a teacher told him he was in a rut and gave him "Dunces" and said: "Here's a prestigious book that has your sensibility." He was 15. He loved it. He has read it over and over, picking it up and doing 50 pages from the middle at random. (Only Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" has also touched him this way.)

These are two of my all time favorite books. The guy can't be all that bad.

Currently on Display @ Your Library

The actual bare surface of my desk. This rare exhibit is certain to have a very short running time. Get your tickets now.

Monday, December 01, 2003

I'd move to Antarctica but the Penguins Might have Cameras.

Jesus check this out. Is your sweater watching you?

The generic name for this technology is RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification. RFID tags are miniscule microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from the initial radio signal to transmit their response.

Too depressed to comment

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Quick Update

I know all two of my regular readers turn here first for their news. While I am proud to serve you I am also too lazy to do so very competently. Here is a quick look at the stuff I sort of paid attention to over the holiday.
1) The awful Medicare bill passed. Look here for what an honest President Bush might have to say about this.
2) The awful energy bill did not pass. This is a good thing.
3) The phony, lying, cynical, smirking, frat boy visited the airport on Thanksgiving. Particularly disgusting in light of the fact that he doesn't attend the funerals of fallen soldiers. Also two high profile Senators on a similar visit actually went to Baghdad. I really don't understand what Bush is trying to say here. Is it "We are making enough progress in Iraq that it is safe enough for the President to visit?" Or is it "The President is such a tough guy that he braved the hazards of a visit to the front lines to be with the troops?" It can't be both... although it will be spun both ways. Also neither can be true given the fact that he didn't feel safe or brave enough to leave the airport.
4) LSU 55 Arkansas 24. The Tigers are now one SEC Championship game away from making the BCS situation very cloudy. I hate the BCS formula. The NYT poll has LSU 9th! Unconscionable.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

This is flattering.... but weird

It looks like someone has used the links on this page as a template for his/her new blog. Little ol' me!! That's cool.. we like the same stuff. But hey, how 'bout thowing me a link?
(unecessary apostrophes added for humorous affect)

Update: Ha! Ha! I can't read. HIS new blog.. sorry, Richard.

I am not George Washington!!

Aaron likes to take these ridiculous personality quizzes... I think I'm catching the bug myself... thanks, dude. I think my addiction stems from the fact that the results for my quizzes are wildly innaccurate. I am crushed. These unfeeling, web robots simply do not get me! Therefore I'll keep have to keep taking freaking quizzes until one of them passes.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Kitchen Drip Caper

I like to think that I've been generally tolerant of my current living quarters. The folks who live above me have recently invented a sport of some sort that sounds like it involves 1)bowling balls 2) cinder blocks 3)wild cackling. Meanwhile, the next door neighbors are only a few slips down the twelve step ladder from becoming the Shut Up, Little Man guys. I could also mention the daily progress of freaks, crackheads, Jehova's Witnesses, and other such n'er do wells who frequent my doorstep but I'd rather not, thank you.
As I mentioned above, Consuela and I have been pretty understating regarding these issues on account of the following facts: 1)The rent is relatively low for the size and location of the building. 2) No one seems to mind when said rent is late. Oh, and also the umm.. charm. And so everything was fine until last night when God decided it was time to the destroy the kitchen by water.
It began with a drip. Many good things do begin with a drip such as a pot of coffee or an afternoon thunderstorm after a hot August morning. This was not one of them. This was a drip which had journeyed from someplace deep within the sinuses of the building to an exit point in the center of an increasingly convex ceiling tile above my kitchen counter. Curious, I decided to begin an inquiry into the nature of this drip. I opened my investigation by positioning myself atop a barstool, mostly to increase the odds of breaking my neck. From there I began to, scientifically, poke at the tile cyst until, finally, it burst open in a magnificent shower of water and mold and pieces of something... oh and I think a few dead bugs.
Less than amused, I telephoned my slum lord with whom I carried on the following conversation:

"Um, my kitchen just, like, blew up and there's water all over the place and it's still dripping and this is not normal right?"
"Is it dripping or flooding?
"Well, I think the one generally leads to the other."
"Is it dripping or flooding?"
"It's dripping...... menacingly."
"Put a bucket under it and I'll send someone out tomorrow."

And there I was in a soiled and sinking kitchen looking for an adequate bucket. It was about this time that the following sequence of events transpired on my television set.
First and Goal: Deuce McAllister clearly breaks the plain of the goal line. One official signals touchdown only to be overruled by another official whose view of the play was blocked. Jim Haslett decides not to challenge the call.
Second and Goal: Aaron Brooks fumbles the snap, Eagles recover in the endzone. The Saints are doomed yet again.
I did the only thing a rational man could do at this point. I hauled ass to A&P and bought a giant bottle of Merlot.
The dripping continued unabated throughout the afternoon and began to crescend around 9 PM. The increased dripping and new tile buldges prompted yet another stool top investigation (I don't learn very quickly.) This time Consuela and Nurse Mama walked in the door at exactly the right time to witness as I received a second dousing. This time the water was just gushing in. I placed another frantic call to the slum lord who then condescended to dispatch his poor lackey to investigate. When the lackey arrived, the dripping stopped by itself. He didn't know where it came from or if it was coming back. He did know that he couldn't do anything about it until the morning. He went on his way and I spent the next four hours cleaning up. Supposedly he is back in my apartment today, while I'm here complaining. Hopefully, I'll have use of kitchen before it's too late to make oyster dressing.

So that's my day. How are you?

Thursday, November 20, 2003


It's 4:30 am
still working on the term paper

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Stop me before I blog again!

Lame heading, I know it but that's kind of the point here. I've got a problem. I can't stop posting to this stupid blog. My mind has been completely reformatted to fit the medium and now I can't get it to stop generating posts. And I'm not just talking about the stuff that makes it up here. Everything I read, every project I work on, every meal I eat, every song I hear gets processed in my brain into a few short incoherent sentences designed ideally to introduce a hyperlink or two. Which means, of course, that I can no longer complete a thought. This is Acquired Atttention Deficit Disorder (ADDS) and I can't seem to get it under control. Doesn't the fact that I have one kind of mean that the whole blogging thing is pretty much over anyway? Like the way that the emergence of Stone Temple Pilots signaled the death of grunge. (Not that the whole grunge thing lasted long enough to have a death... was there actually a grunge thing? Or was it just Nirvanna for like two records followed by a series of Pepsi commercials? Who knows? Maybe this is a separate blog entry altogether... see? I'm losing my mind!)
Deep breath... ok I'm fine. Back to freaking out over the unfinished term paper.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I'm In A Library, Therefore I Must Blog

And I guess since I'm not in my library the chances of this happening are slightly reduced. But really, now there needs to be a "How Not to Get an Incomplete on Your Term Paper Because of Your Blog" and quickly because time is a wastin' (apostrophe police? help?) Incidentally, right click is disabled on these machines.. totally bogus. If the permalinks don't work, I'll just fix them in the morning. Meanwhile I guess I'll wrap it up here. If only I'd started this a week ago..much like.. If only it rained Hershey's Kisses twice daily. Goodnight, everybody!!

Site of the Day


These folks claim to have created a search mechanism that uses Google search engine API to rank the Presidential candidates based on their association with search keywords. Completely useless, of course, but it sure is gobs o' fun. (proper apostrophe use?) The only thing I learned from this is that Al Sharpton seems to place highly in any search involving food items. Sharpton also is the champion of "pencil" "whistle" and "brioche." Lieberman is the king of "Knack" and "palooka" Kerry wins for "frugal" Bush wins "amphibion" Dean is "chunky" Clark runs first for "laser" and Edwards wins for "edwards" You figure it out.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Welcome to Lib Chron. Now with More Stuff!!

Really, how can I have the word Library in my site name and not alphabetize/catalog my links? And now that there are so many links available here I'd say the re-organization is long overdue. Rest assured there will be more of this in the future. As I've stated previously, the main goal of this blog is universal domination via hyperlink.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Glad to be wrong

My illustrious career as a prognosticator remains a spectacular failure. All good things here. Blanco is something of a zero but at least she's not a big arrogant phony twerp like Jindal.
Example: Jindal emerged from his room at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans about 10:20 p.m. to make his concession speech, which did not mention Blanco or include the standard congratulations.
Also it's good to know that the Republican sweep of governorships was stopped in Louisiana. They haven't quite got us figured out yet have they?

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Must Read of the Day

Why I Fucking Hate Weblogs
I must say I couldn't agree more. I've always thought of this as 1) A way to keep a personal record of stuff I find on the web. 2) An easy index of websites that I find useful, entertaining, or informative. 3) A good way for me to remember what I may have been thinking about on a given day. 4) A sub-professional format for logging problems I run into at work and ways they might be solved next time. 5) A convenient way to keep in touch with people who I would otherwise incessantly e-mail news stories to. In other words... yes it's just a bunch of personal bullshit and I am well aware of that fact. However, in the interest of serving the public, I agree to publish the author's suggested disclaimer.

Statement of Audience
I realize that nothing I say matters to anyone else on the entire planet. My opinions are useless and unfocused. I am an expert in nothing. I know nothing. I am confused about almost everything. I cannot, as an individual, ever possibly know everything, or even enough to make editorial commentary on the vast vast majority of things that exist in my world. This is a stupid document; it is meaningless drivel that I do not expect any of the several billion people on my planet to actually read. People who do read my rambling, incoherent dumbfuckery are probably just as confused as I am, if not moreso, as they are looking to my sorry ass for an opinion then they should be outside playing Frisbee with their dog or screwing their life partner or getting a dog or getting a life partner. Anyone who actually takes the time to read my bullshit probably deserves to ingest my fucked up and obviously mistaken opinions on whatever it is that I have written about.

Signed: Jeffrey

Election Day in Louisiana

Can you restrain your enthusiasm? Try harder. Today, our "gret stet" as Earl Long used to say, is faced with an historically annoying choice between the utterly milquetoast Kathleen Blanco and the ultra-Christian nutcase Bobby Jindal. We should all be ashamed of ourselves today. Louisiana politics has historically been known for its tendency towards high theater. We've been blessed (or cursed) over the years with such a colorful sequence of rascals, weirdos, preachers, populists, entertainers, and redeemers to stand for public office that elections in Louisiana have become more than just a civic exercise. Elections, like so many seeming mundane affairs, are here elevated to the status of a street party.. a truly captivating spectator sport.
So this is exactly why this election has been so disappointing. Maybe not Matrix III level disappointment but close.

Some quick observations:

The Times-Picayune continues to be the worst information source this side of a Laffy Taffy wrapper. While the online version seems to have been corrected, the headline in my print copy inaccurately reads, State Will Choose First Female Or First Nonwhite Governor.

Highlight of this entire election cycle came in one of the final debates when Ms. Blanco, in mid-response, forgot the question.

Reasons not to vote for Jindal: Well I've mentioned them here and here. But the short version is 1) He believes he has personally confronted Satan. 2) He wants to teach creationism in public schools. 3) He used to work in the Bush Administration. 4) He and his wife have a covenant marriage. 5) All of this is downright nutty.

Reasons to vote for Blanco: She is not Bobby Jindal

Election links
1)Online Guide to Louisiana Politics
2)Polling locations

Suggested Reading on Louisiana Politics
Earl of Louisiana by AJ Liebling Liebling's observations about the '56 Gubenatorial election are among the most astute from any outside observer. His comparison of New Orleans speech patterns to those of Hoboken, New Jersey is a featured quote in most printings of A Confederacy of Dunces.

Huey Long by T. Harry Williams Best Kingfish biography available.

Cross to Bear and The Last Hayride by John Maginnis ably cover the career of Edwin Edwards, Louisiana's last great populist (and scoudrel but we like that here) as well as his epic race against white supremacist, David Duke.

Prediction Jindal... probably in something of a rout.

Go vote!

Update: Absolute must-read Salon feature on Edwards.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Oh and by the way

We're all gonna die

This must be why I'm so dizzy lately.

Hey, Caro

Ewwwww gross!

What Risks Are Involved in Tattooing?
The following are the primary complications that can result from tattooing:

Infection. Unsterile tattooing equipment and needles can transmit infectious diseases,such as hepatitis. The risk of infection is the reason the American Association of Blood Banks requires a one-year wait between getting a tattoo and donating blood.
It is extremely important to make sure that all tattooing equipment is clean and sterilized before use. Even if the needles are sterilized or never have been used, it is important to understand that in some cases the equipment that holds the needles cannot be sterilized reliably due to its design. In addition, the person who receives a tattoo must be sure to care for the tattooed area properly during the first week or so after the pigments are injected.

Removal problems. Despite advances in laser technology, removing a tattoo is a painstaking process, usually involving several treatments and considerable expense. Complete removal without scarring may be impossible. See "The Most Common Problem: Dissatisfaction" and "Removal Techniques," below.

Allergic reactions.Although allergic reactions to tattoo pigments are rare, when they happen they may be particularly troublesome because the pigments can be hard to remove. Occasionally, people may develop an allergic reaction to tattoos they have had for years.

Granulomas.These are nodules that may form around material that the body perceives as foreign, such as particles of tattoo pigment.

Keloid formation. If you are prone to developing keloids -- scars that grow beyond normal boundaries -- you are at risk of keloid formation from a tattoo. Keloids may form any time you injure or traumatize your skin, and according to Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC) dermatologist Ella Toombs, M.D., tattooing or micropigmentation is a form of trauma. Micropigmentation: State of the Art, a book written by Charles Zwerling, M.D., Annette Walker, R.N., and Norman Goldstein, M.D., states that keloids occur more frequently as a consequence of tattoo removal.

MRI complications. There have been reports of people with tattoos or permanent makeup who experienced swelling or burning in the affected areas when they underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This seems to occur only rarely and apparently without lasting effects.

There also have been reports of tattoo pigments interfering with the quality of the image. This seems to occur mainly when a person with permanent eyeliner undergoes MRI of the eyes. Mascara may produce a similar effect. The difference is that mascara is easily removable.

The cause of these complications is uncertain. Some have theorized that they result from an interaction with the metallic components of some pigments.

However, the risks of avoiding an MRI when your doctor has recommended one are likely to be much greater than the risks of complications from an interaction between the MRI and tattoo or permanent makeup. Instead of avoiding an MRI, individuals who have tattoos or permanent makeup should inform the radiologist or technician of this fact in order to take appropriate precautions, avoid complications, and assure the best results.

From: FDA fact sheet

Uplifting Story of the Morning


COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - Four soldiers at Fort Benning have been arrested and accused of stabbing to death a member of their infantry unit, setting the body on fire and leaving it in the woods just days after their return from Iraq.

Police said the soldiers had gotten mad at Spc. Richard R. Davis for insulting a dancer at a strip club and getting them kicked out of the place.

Davis, 24, of St. Charles, Mo., was stabbed repeatedly in July. His skeletal remains were found Friday, nearly four months after he was reported missing. Fort Benning investigators had received a tip to search the woods near the Army post.

Now I know you want to talk about post-traumatic stress and so forth at this point, but first let me suggest that there is something much worse going on. For example this.

Lariam is the drug that at least two of the soldiers who killed their wives at Fort Bragg last summer took while serving in Afghanistan. Both those soldiers - and a third who apparently had taken the drug - subsequently killed themselves. The drug's label warns of psychosis, aggression, hallucinations and reports of suicide that can occur "long after" someone stops taking it. The Food and Drug Administration this year ordered that everyone prescribed the drug be handed a written statement listing those dangers and warning them to quit taking it if they experience mental problems.

So here we have yet another cost of the war. These kids are used by a military establishment with no qualms about giving them whatever freaking pill they think might help them blow stuff up regardless of the consequences.

Hell... they even did it to Elvis.

This Morning

Angst pure and unadulterated.

You really wanted to know that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Gobble Gobble

Ok I know it's early in the month, but we're beginning to decorate the library for Thanksgiving and ... well this stuff is on my mind. This year I'd like our display to provide a little more info than the usual banal collection of recipes and pictures of Pilgrims and whatnot. I'm thinking about posting this excellent essay by James Loewen. Here is an excerpt:

Thanksgiving is full of embarrassing facts. The Pilgrims did not introduce the Native Americans to the tradition; Eastern Indians had observed autumnal harvest celebrations for centuries. Our modern celebrations date back only to 1863; not until the 1890s did the Pilgrims get included in the tradition; no one even called them "Pilgrims" until the 1870s. Plymouth Rock achieved ichnographic status only in the nineteenth century, when some enterprising residents of the town moved it down to the water so its significance as the "holy soil" the Pilgrims first touched might seem more plausible. The Rock has become a shrine, the Mayflower Compact a sacred text, and our textbooks play the same function as the Anglican BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, teaching us the rudiments of the civil religion of Thanksgiving.

Indians are marginalized in this civic ritual. Our archetypal image of the first Thanksgiving portrays the groaning boards in the woods, with the Pilgrims in their starched Sunday best and the almost naked Indian guests. Thanksgiving silliness reaches some sort of zenith in the handouts that school children have carried home for decades, with captions like, "They served pumpkins and turkeys and corn and squash. The Indians had never seen such a feast!" When his son brought home this "information" from his New Hampshire elementary school, Native American novelist Michael Dorris pointed out "the Pilgrims had literally never seen `such a feast,' since all foods mentioned are exclusively indigenous to the Americas and had been provided by [or with the aid of] the local tribe."

I would be remiss if I did not also recommend Loewen's book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, which is about the sorry state of elementary and high school history textbooks.

I would also be remiss if I wrote a post about Thanksgiving which did not include at least one recipe for oyster dressing.... not as good as my mom's of course.

Monday, November 10, 2003

A Rose by any other name...

Doesn't smell too sweet in a tranfer tube I imagine. How many more transfers will there be?

So there!

I have once again been put in the very familiar position of having to defend my personal lifestyle choices via lazy documentation. The answer is yes you can put green onions in your mac and cheese you big meanie! Among lots of other stuff apparently. So shut up and eat it already. Christ!

don't get it?
don't care.

Well, Here We Go

When the US Congress passed the USA PATRIOT act in a truly childish fit of panic one month after Sept 11, the rationale, we were told, was that law enforcement needed a mechanism by which it could subvert the Bill of Rights in order to conduct more effective investigations of suspected terrorists. Surely loyal Americans had nothing to fear from the new intrusive government powers. Two years later how much safer so you feel knowing that the FBI has been using its new powers to protect us from strip club owners who bribe politicians? You may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with fighting terrorism?" You may be correctly responding to your own query, "Nothing, dimwit, now quit asking me these lame questions." A Justice Department spokesman quoted in the story offers an explanation that likely comes as news to the public at large as well as to most of the legislators who voted for the PATRIOT act,
"The Patriot Act was not meant to be just for terrorism," Corallo said. "A lot of the uninformed criticism was obviously misplaced."
Hope you guys sleep well tonight.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Gotta keep this circulating

What the hell kind of freedom are they supposed to be protecting anyway?

link via atrios here.

Today, Herr Director Says

How many librarians does it take to change a lightbulb?

None.. they can't afford one.


Very Timely Information

It has come to my attention lately that some people's dogs do not endure auto travel so well. Some people's dogs do not sit still so well, or refrain from eating shoes, cats, fingers, small children, etc. so well either but we can't solve all the world's problems in one day can we?
The carsickness issue, has been thankfully addressed by Tom and Ray. I suggest some people check it out.

Demons Out!!

I have been exasperating myself trying to convince people that Bobby Jindal is not a progressive candidate for governor and is in fact a rather dangerous fanatical christian lunatic. No one wants to listen. The local media is absolutely in love with him.. mostly because of his age.. but also because he is part of this new phenomenon of establishment conservatives who can sell themselves as reformers based mostly on TV charisma. I'm not at all surprised that he picked up the Nagin endorsement. Nagin shares much of Jindal's phoniness and anti-working class agenda. Now it turns out, that Jindal believes himself to have actually confronted a demonic possession. I wonder how much play this story will get locally... if any.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Getting a little nervous here

My site meter is down and I don't know why. MUST HAVE STATISTICS.... Arggh!

Update: Ok that's better... tantrum over.

Diebold Scheme in NYT

Pulled this link off of explodedlibrary where there is much much more on this subject.

It's good to see this finally get into the times. I think there are two major issues to be concerned with here.

1) Copyright law is, to an increasing degree, being used as a tool of suppression of free speech.

Legal scholars say that the online protest and the use of copyright law by Diebold have broad implications and show that the copyright wars are about more than whether Britney Spears gets royalties from downloaded songs. "We?re so focused on the microview whether EMI is going to make a buck next year but there is so much more at stake in our battle to control the flows of information,? including issues at the core of free speech and democracy itself," said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor in the department of culture and communication at New York University.

Indeed, while the news media tends to cast most of its attention toward the rather benign entertainment aspects of copyright law, abuses of this law in which the powerful use it as an intimidation tool go relatively unnoticed. Two recent instances of such abuse, have been perpetrated by Verizon against its employees and, more famously by Fox against Al Franken.

2) The most fundamental stone on which a functioning democracy is built, your right to vote, is under assault and this issue needs to be brought out into the open.

Read more:
Bev Harris explains exactly what is so insidious about the Diebold machine.
Greg Palast on why we shouldn't blindly trust public officials with stewardship of our right to vote.
Josh Marshall on the same issue.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

God Damn Times-Pic Movie Guy Stole My Line

See review from a thieving hack here

Watching "The Matrix Revolutions" is an experience akin to watching somebody else play a video game: One can see how it might be exhilarating for the player, but there's little to keep anyone else engaged

This is basically what I said after seeing the second Matrix. Either I'm not as clever and original as I should be or it's just true and the movie kind of sucks... probably both huh?

Site is Growing

Eventually it will consume everything. I've been adding new links. I found some librarians who actually know how to keep a real blog (unlike yours truly.) Also, be sure to check out War in Context for the best reference source about our current imperial misadventure. More to come...

Flash From Electric Newspaper Boy!

Ultimate gift for Jeffrey is available now. All we need is a generous person with money.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I can't help it

But Fox really really sucks.. and I have to post about it. Don't worry, I won't go on and on... just go read this on Tom Tomorrow's site.

Still not Scared

It has been a long weekend. I think Halloween night can be summed up in two words for me: Stinky Chris. No, I don't want to elaborate. I will say this. Everyone looked pretty damn good. I just hope the pictures turn out OK. On the whole, I suppose the evening could have been scarier. Halloween day, by the way, was downright terrifying. I became embroiled in the.. well... embroiling task of officially notifying the state of Louisiana that I would be assuming ownership of my father's go-cart Tercel while simultaneously donating my tired old shouda-been-a-taxicab-Caprice to Nurse Mama. I hope they will be happy together. I start to get a little teary each time I see her drive away in it. The title change experience was not a problem. The lady was very friendly and helpful, although also posessed of some minor racial predjudices which she felt necessary to share with us. The difficulty arose when I was forced to hold several increasingly frustrating telephone conversations with apparently half simien individuals employed by GEICO ostensibly as customer service representatives. My modest request involved the transfer of my existing policy on the Caprice over to my new vehicle. About two hours, five phone calls, and three "computer crashes" later, we still weren't sure if my policy covered the correct vehicle, or had been transferred into my brother's name, or if I ever had a policy with GEICO. (I certainly know that I've been writing them checks for the last six or seven years and that someone has been cashing them.) Despite the confusion, the pleasant, though slightly racist, lady at the notary's office allowed us to complete the title transfers. So all's well that ends well.... or at least all ends. Right now I'm in the tech lab listening to a man mumble disturbing things to himself while he looks at pictures of female bodybuilders on the internet. I'll give him five minutes before I see if I can encourage him to find a new project.

Bonus Halloween Link: Amazon has been taken over by brain-eating zombies!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Happy Halloween, Folks

Giant super scary party this morning. LOTS of children waving their creepy spiders they made from pipe cleaners and googly eyes.

We read Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin and Go Away, Big Green Monster! and everyone's Halloween favorite, Bark George.

There were cookies and candy and lots of fun stuff and afterwards I was very pleased with the situation until later in the afternoon when the GSUSy "I don't celebrate Halloween" types arrived to suck the fun out of my life. (yes that was one sentence) But whatever I hope they all get in to Heaven someday.. so I don't have to deal with them anymore.

Halloween link: Cities of the Dead

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Oh by the way it's basketball season

And we won!

Good news: Darrell Armstrong played well.
Bad news: Jamaal Magloire did not.

Outlook: You know, I really don't know where the bench scoring is going to come from for this team. I had high hopes for Courtney Alexander this season, but he's out for the year with an achilles injury so it's going to be harder. Also it turns out that the Hornets' owners have been overstating their ticket sales and attendance numbers. I still have serious doubts about the team's staying power in New Orleans.

Bonus: Hornets owner, George Shinn fashions himself some sort of literary individual. Check out some of his output and tell me what you think. My personal favorite is Good Morning, Lord.

Does Wal-Mart suck?

Yup, Wal Mart is just plain EVIL

Wal-Mart has set a trap for us by pitting consumers against workers with the myth that living wages are incompatible with affordable goods. The truth is, in the long run, poverty wages undermine the health of our workers, our families, our communities and, ultimately, our economy.

And it really doesn't have to be this way. I understand how convenient it is to shop at Wal-Mart. I do it myself. But the truth is that the convenience and economic advantages of shopping there do not have to come at the expense of the dignity and livelihood of working people. Wal-Mart simply chooses to do it this way. Until people are willing to bring pressure on them to do otherwise, they will undoubtedly continue to implement this strategy.

Beetle Update

Just to clear this up... here it is from the PETA list.

Carmine. Cochineal. Carminic Acid.
Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly, 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring). May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice (used in powders, rouges, shampoos; no known toxicity); alkanet root (from the root of this herb-like tree; used as a red dye for inks, wines, lip balms, etc.; no known toxicity. Can also be combined to make a copper or blue coloring). (See Colors.)


Is it journalism or advertising?

As local tv stations search for new ways to cut their production costs, it's hard to tell anymore.
Each year, thousands of such VNRs are distributed by corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations and even members of Congress who have discovered it's easier to manage the news when you actually produce it yourself. Thus the ever-growing deluge of expensively-produced, news-like video reports crafted, often by ex-journalists, to look and sound like actual telejournalism.

Also see Stauber's book (not available at NOPL)

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

They Must Think We're Stupid..... Oh Yeah, They're Right

I really don't have anything to add to this. It's just your President lying to you again.

The Pumpkins are safe to eat.... just not very tasty

For those of you who are completely baffled by the nature of this post, please content yourselves with remaining so. You really don't want to know.

So check this out.

Feel free to purchase some.

I see no mention of beetles anywhere.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Today's Wacky Reference Question

Forty-Something Male:"Y'all got any books on tape measures? You know.. how to read them and stuff?"

Sometimes I gotta wonder.

On the other hand... This information is indeed available.
Introducing the tape measure.
See the three important points here
Consult your carpentry textbook and open to the relevant unit
If you follow the instructions correctly, you can use your tape measure to find a champion tree!
Or create a labyrinth
Or make some pants
Or find out how fat you are
You, too, can be a reference librarian. Just try not to misspell Google.

Red Sox Pull Grady Little

Much like Grady's indecision on Martinez in game 7, this move came too late.

Blog Item of the Morning

Josh Marshall is running an item about a Kentucky Republican Party scheme to intimidate minority voters. One of the most underreported aspects of the 2000 Florida recount crisis was the extent to which the Republican party in that state had worked to exclude minorities from the voting rolls. Continuing efforts at this sort of thing remain underreported today. The glossing over of these issues by the mainstream press is irresponsible to say the least. I believe it stems from the journalist's neurotic fear of honest coverage of controversial issues being seen as evidence of some kind of bias. This lazy journalism perpetuates a notion that perfect social justice was achieved sometime in the mid twentieth century and is no longer a point of contention in today's enlightened society. The result is a chronically apathetic public perfectly permissive of the worst sort of behavior.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Liberry Sunday

Sundays are weird around here. Library traffic increases as church services wind down. This morning, on the way in, I found myself sitting at the light behind a vanity plate which read TRYGSUS. Such is life out here in the fundamentalist outskirts of an otherwise livable city. Coming out here to work often feels like visiting another planet. Lots of GSUS on the minds of the folks. As a result, I tend to rack up a lot of blessings. This or that church goer is always wishing me a "blessed day." This always makes me feel uncomfortable. There is something in that salutation that carries an air of superiority.. I've begun to consider it an insult. Add to all this the fact that there is nothing decent to eat, there is nowhere to get a cup of coffee, and no one out here seems to notice if the Saints are playing and you begin to feel as though this little backwater burb is not really part of New Orleans.
Sunday is also homework day. That is to say that the local school children are frantically finishing their weekend assignments. That is to say that the local school children are frantically trying to begin large projects that were due last Friday and complete them during the four hours that the library is open on Sunday. That is to say that the parents of the local school children are actually here without said children and are frantically trying to complete these projects for them. That is to say that said parents are not quite so interested in these projects themselves and are much more interested in bullying the library staff into doing much of the work for them. This is why we need GSUS to bless us so much.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Is anyone even watching the World Series?

One would think so considering it's dead even after four games. According to msnbc, the answer is yes. However, this story compares the ratings of this year's series to last season, when next to nobody cared.... at least nobody who doesn't live in California and, to be honest, who cares what those people think. Their new governor is a Nazi muscleman. According to this Nielsen report, the series ratings really can't touch those for the LCS, when the good guys were still playing. And then, of course, there's the most telling statistic of all and that is I can't even pay much attention to this crap. OK ok so the game was actually on my tv set last night, but the thing went 12 innings and I hardly noticed. I believe I am almost sufficiently brain dead for basketball season to begin.

Ok and no I'm not doing it

But I know some people who will go ga ga for this shit. Write your own novel in a month. I'm thinking about hiring a thousand monkeys and a thousand typewriters to see if they can't accomplish as much as the eventual winner of this contest.... or at least give us something on the level of Nora Roberts.

Hello?.. Anyone?... Is this thing on??

Right.. ok I think we're ready to go here. This will be a lot better. I have more space to add links and other such crap. Also this form will allow/force me to work more directly with the HTML so I won't feel like such a freaking newbie after a while. Plus I think the lighting in here is much more flattering on me don't you? Of course the aol stuff is still up. I think I'll leave it there in the interest of posterity. As usual, I am half distracted and trying to work while I write this stuff, so I can't promise much in the way of daily content until I get internet access from home (this is coming soon I hope.) For now there isn't much to say except welcome to the new digs. Make yourself comfortable. Perhaps.. have a drink?