Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I'm on to you, California.
This may have tipped me off. I think I just figured out why California's been especially insane this year. Any move to control the actions of Michael Jackson via the Nation of Islam only makes sense if it's some sort of bizarre conspiracy. I'm really hoping the state of California announces on New Year's Day that it's all been a joke, and they've just been playing some sort of live action version of Illuminati for the past couple years.

Meanwhile, apparently something I suggested on Craig's weblog may have precedent. I suggested a devil's advocate position within the Pentagon, just for approving names of operations. (Preventing names with odd connotations, like Operation Just Cause: "Why'd we invade? Just 'cause...felt like it...") Apparently, this fellow has a similar job with FBI, though in his case, he wants to cause the connotations.

I'm still trying to figure out why almanacs were particularly singled out, since really any reference book could theoretically be useful (okay, maybe not Benet's.) I'm a little concerned we may have the traditional reversal of things, and see people covering up their almanacs with porn magazines. I also want to see someone get to the ICT carrying a pocket encyclopedia and a Judge. Come to think of it, the only thing worse would be carrying the pocket encyclopedia IN the Judge. "I need to see what's inside that, sir."

And finally, this, well, I believe this explains the whole terror alert, much better than any story about almanacs.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Victory is MINE!

Submitted for your approval: Proof that I have become victorious over the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
1 2 3 4

Yes, folks, that's MY Shop 'n Save. As in, "turn at the light, but don't go into the Shop 'n Save lot, instead turn into the parking lot for my apartment complex."

Pennsy blue laws cower in my mighty presence. HA!

Monday, December 29, 2003

On to the list you go, Millen. It does appear that wooden stakes will be required here.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

While sitting here watching the Continental Freakin' Tire Bowl, I saw this go across the ticker, which explains more about the Cardinals than I could ever put to paper. - NFL - Kick start: Cards give Rackers two-year deal

Which is more screwed up: the timing, the length of contract, that this was a priority, the fact that it's Neil Rackers, or the fact that all parties felt it was necessary to make this announcement?

Monday, December 22, 2003

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Friday, December 19, 2003

Thursday, December 18, 2003

30pointsThe Onion's Least Essential Albums of the Year always good for a quick bonus conversion somewhere along the way.
Many years ago, I defined a term for all those things that are bad for you, but nonetheless make something worth eating. That term: Yummy Petrochemical Goodness. I mention this because I think I may have found a measurement of this, at least in some forms of junk food. At my office today I snapped this picture, which I find interesting. They're offering us the ability to choose what snacks will take up the bottom row of the vending machine, also known as the "crap even we engineers feel disgust about eating." What really caught my eye on this was the Shelf Life column, which likely could be a scale for exactly how much Yummy Petrochemical Goodness[YPG] was in each snack. You can sort of see the numbers on these sheets, I'll just point out the surprising bits for me:

Twinkies are ridiculously low for what you would expect, demanding a 14 day shelf life, while their knock off from the Dolly Madison people, Zingers, run about 35 days. Pop-Tarts, from which the original notion of YPG was derived, unsurprisingly has the shelf life at 120 days, but second place goes to the Olde New England Brownie at 84 days. Nothing else is above 60 days. The low mark is Apple or Cherry Turnover at 5 days. This is interesting, as I've never seen these consumed once, I'm wondering if it ever gets used in that shelf span.

Update: I just finished watching Brian Billick's Match Game appearance. Horribly bad play by him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

10pointsA new, earlier marsupial?
Simple question:
Am I fraught or not: Matt Millen?
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
I mention exhibit B because I hadn't heard about it until now, and really, that one almost seems fireable.

The real irony of this is the least fraught thing that can happen is he gets fired. If he survives it, I have no idea what could bump him off, but it'll have to be spectacular.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Weasel: does 1d4+1 damage to other weasels. 10% chance of flesh ripping.

J-Walk directs us to this, the original source of Frank Zappa's album title: Weasels Ripped My Flesh! RZZZZZ!! I'm enjoying the whole thing way too much. It's like something Lileks would put up in the Institute for Official Cheer. The headlines just beg more questions, like: "which sins? Sloth?" and "where exactly does one hook up with a killer shark?" The image is ridiculous; the man, in desperation, uses weasels to fight weasels. (Oddly foreshadowing the American litigational system, it seems.) And yet it also has this bizarre mythic quality, (I think it's the use of chiaroscuro shading, the slight Mannerist touch done in elongating his neck, and the frickin' ridiculous number of weasels), as if it were some section of the Kalevala that Elias Lonnrot looked at and decided "no, that's...that's too screwed up. I can't compile that in this."
30pointsThe annual college football awards

Monday, December 15, 2003

(Apologies to Hayden for stealing part what could be part of his kitchenware series.)
While I understand all the consumer groups having their lists of the holiday season's most dangerous toys, how have they missed the most dangerous thing I can imagine being given this year: The Gizmo Grater. Okay, take an item known colloquially as a "knucklebuster", and drive it with a motor, and make it so the consumer has to put one's hand directly in the path of the blade. This has to be from the same people who brought you Bag O' Glass, Bag O' Nails, and Bag O' Sulfuric Acid. However, it appears that people are not buying it (conceptually at least).
Well, that was amusing. No, not the capture of Jack Elam with two good eyes. No, the thing we speak of today was the Rule V draft in baseball. I suppose it says something about the Pirates that teams wanted five of their players in the Rule V, namely that we have depth. However, the fact that the Pirates' picks were snapped up with picks 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, does betray the fact that apparently the Pirates weren't clear on the concept. It's almost as if the Pirates were the only ones who brought anything good to the... shoot, I'd call it a Yankee swap, but that doesn't seem correct at all. Everybody else brought scented potholders and we apparently brought the hookers and beer. And apparently the report that several GMs were laughing as the Pirate players were picked, kinda confirms the notion that we don't know what we're doing over at the PaNiC Button.

Grrr.... A long season already.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I do believe Maurice Clarett just upgraded his fraught status. The scary part of this for my local readership is this: The way his father's been talking, Larry's about four quarters of the pageantry of the Continental Tire Bowl from landing on the list.

Meanwhile, I'll downgrade the Philadelphia Eagles, making the playoff pretty much negates the fraught.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Some quick bits in the news:
10pointsThe jumping frogs return to Calaveras County
10pointsMoving day for The Night Watch
10pointsThe Scream and Krakatoa, together again
It appears I may have been on to something last month, when I realized that squirrels aren't necessarily evil, but may be Dr. Evil. This would indicate the squirrels are all prepped to be cryogenically frozen.
Of all the things wrong with this new development in children's (and it is a long list of wrongness), I have to think the worst is they left themselves the follow up where Charmin the Bear teaches kids about prime numbers.
(via DaveBarry)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Things I learned from this weekend:

Don't let your postal address lapse, lest you miss out on wedding invitations.
Sonic isn't quite as incredible as I thought. (The ones down south sub jalapenos for the green chiles out west, and the heat makes a difference.)
American Movie Classics has officially jumped the shark, THEY LIVE is an American movie classic?
Nicolai Ceaucescu is similar to a rubber duck.
The new woman on Lingo looks like the woman on the Orbit gum ads, wearing a Fran Drescher mask.
Less than useful for trash familiarity: reading through the Borders Christmas catalog.
More than useful for trash familiarity: reading this weblog.
There's a parade Saturday night in Chattanooga. How many years has this been going on?
Between Friday and Sunday, someone purchased a novelization of Silent Movie from a used book store, and I feel thwarted.

Monday, December 08, 2003

With apologies to Victoria, I made have had someone more disturbing than Duelist F. Bacchanalia emailing me. I have spam in the spam trap from "Euclidean M. Sheetrock." What's getting me about this is I'm just the type of person who will look at this, and now I'll be up all night worrying to myself "Oh my God, what if my sheetrock is non-Euclidean?" Hyperbolic building materials are such a pain.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

10 pointsDid another of Hilbert's problems fall? Maybe not. (and a listing of the problems.)

Monday, December 01, 2003

Frankly, this is about the last place I ever expected to see the Gerbils mentioned.
Call me crazy, and this would be only one of several justifications you could have, but I think this profile of Conrad Black has given me a new goal in life. I think at some point I would like to have both the money, and unfounded rumors flying that I have to release the statement at the end of paragraph 10. Because, frankly, I don't have it, either, and I really want to know what sort of non-denial denials are required to get to the point where this is an issue.
30 pointsprofile of Yukio Mishima